The higher the loft on the clubhead, the more critical it is to be dynamically fit for the correct lie angle. It is also important, however, to have the lie correctly fit for the fairway woods and hybrids to ensure solid impact consistency.
For the driver, lie angle is less of an accuracy issue due to its lower loft, but if the toe of the driver is severely up in the air in the address position — due to how the length chosen affects the set up of the lie for the golfer — the driver lie should definitely be fit to the golfer if for no other reason than confidence and psychological reasons.
Recent studies and observations have shown that the technique where an ink line is drawn on the back of the ball is better for dynamic lie fitting than using a lie board with tape on the sole of the iron. Plus the ink-line technique can also be done while hitting shots from normal mown grass lies so as to avoid having to hit the club down into a hard surface lie board, a practice which does bother some golfers and cause them to possibly swing differently than they do when hitting shots off grass.
The ink line on the back of the ball technique for dynamic lie fitting is simple and logical. A heavy ink line is drawn on the ball with a Sharpie pen. The ball is placed on the ground with the line vertical and facing the clubhead. After impact, a faint image of the ink line is transferred to the clubface. If the line is perfectly vertical on the clubface, the lie of the club is correct for the golfer. If the ink line tilts in an angle up toward the toe side of the face, the lie of the club that was hit is too upright so the correct lie has to be flatter than the lie of the club being hit. Vice versa — if the ink line angles up toward the heel side of the face, the correct lie has to be more upright than the lie of the test club.
In the near future, kits for this technique of dynamic lie fitting will become available that will include face labels with graduated lines to make the determination of the correct lie much easier and more definitive.
For the highest level of accuracy, dynamic lie fitting should be done as the last procedure in the fitting, using a test club(s) that possess every one of the golfer’s determined fitting specs for the clubhead model, length, shaft, swing weight (MOI) and grip size. In lieu of this, a test club for proper dynamic lie evaluation should at least have the length, shaft and swing weight that is found best for the golfer.
In an ideal world, the dynamic lie test should be done with each one of the golfer’s clubs. Obviously, this will take a good bit more time to do. As such, if time becomes an issue, it is OK to perform the dynamic lie test with every other club or even every third club, with the lies of the in-between irons calculated from the actual dynamic lies determined by each test club.
- What length should your clubs be?
- What lofts should your clubs be?
- Face angle is crucial for a proper fitting
- The best way to fit lie angle
- How to choose the right club head design
- Tom Wishon’s keys to set makeup
- Getting the right size grip, time after time
- What shaft weight should you play?
- What swing weight should your clubs be?
- What shaft flex should I use?
This story is part of a 10-part series from Tom Wishon on professional club fitting.
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