Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

The most overlooked reason you miss wedge shots

Published

on

“Get fit!”

It’s something we hear about all the time in the golf equipment world. Fitting helps optimize your gear, which leads to lower scores. With a driver, that also means maximizing distance and accuracy, and for irons and wedges, it’s about precision and dispersion. The issue is when most golfers are selecting wedges the main focus is often on loft gapping and bounce selection, which leaves golfers forgetting about one key factor: lie angle.

What is lie angle?

Golf club lie angle is defined as, “The measured angle between the axis of the shaft relative to the ground when the middle of the sole and grooves are parallel to the ground.” For you visual learners like myself, see the diagram below.

Why is lie angle so important?

Lie angle plays a crucial role in club performance, specifically related to the direction a golf shot will travel after impact. It plays its the largest role in launch direction and spin axis, which, when properly controlled, leads to tighter dispersion and straighter shots. Let me explain further…

Launch direction (horizontal launch): The horizontal angle the golf ball takes off at relative to the target line and measured immediately after separation from the clubface. Although the ball is moving in a 3D space, the vector is calculated in 2D space. The diagram below demonstrates an example of a ball with an 8.9-degree left horizontal launch direction.

Spin axis: The angle relative to the horizon of the imaginary line that the golf ball rotates around and is measured after separation from the clubface. Think of this as an airplane tilting direction when banking into a turn—the more banking the sharper the turn and for a golf ball that means more curve. The diagram below demonstrates a shot hit with 12.3-degrees left spin axis.

Making sure lie angle is properly calibrated through the set for any individual golfer makes it easier for the said golfer to hit shots online towards the intended target, even down to the shortest shots around the green. Ping’s Karsten Solheim was the first to introduce lie angle fittings to golfers and simplified its explanation by combining lie angle with length to end up at a color code. It is a reference that has become synonymous with fitting and Ping clubs.

The Original Ping Fitting Chart

Why wedges lie angles are the most important

The reason lie angle plays a crucial factor in wedge fitting is that as loft increases, so does the effect lie angle has on launch direction. Since wedges are the highest-lofted, highest-spinning clubs in your bag, as spin axis goes up so does the ability for the shot to end up away from the intended target.

There is one last part to this whole puzzle and it has to do with the speed at which wedges swung. At slower speeds, shafts deflect less, meaning as you go through the bag, greater shaft deflection occurs with the most happening with the driver. With the least amount of deflection, or droop, occurring with wedges, they need to be played flatter compared to your irons to make sure the face is pointed towards the target at impact—and just as importantly, to be sure the sole interacts properly with the ground.

The video below further explains the importance of wedge lie angle both around the green and on full shots.

Your Reaction?
  • 101
  • LEGIT9
  • WOW2
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK10

Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. nova88.com

    Sep 16, 2020 at 7:05 am

    Situs Judi Nova88

    Nova88 is one of the better reliable online bookies within Indonesia which provides been operating given that 2004.
    More than thousand individuals register as official members every single day at Nova88.com for
    one reason only, specifically we remain committed to paying members’ winnings.
    Coupled with our upgraded and more superior platform betting system.
    From your Maxbet server migrated in order to
    the Nova88 server, customers will knowledge an improved gaming knowledge for maximum overall gameplay.

  2. Osnola Kinnard

    Jul 25, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Gonna have to disagree. I do believe in properly fit equipment. That being said, the most overlooked reason is, we simply aren’t that good. We are not only not that good, we don’t practice the way we should. Yes, properly fit equipment is key, but the truth is, you kind of just suck, and often we make poor decisions that got us to the point of needing some hero shot with a wedge and we are now attempting a shot we barely know how to do, and wonder why it turned out poorly.

    • gwelfgulfer

      Jul 25, 2020 at 5:27 pm

      I was basically going to say the same thing. It’s far more about lack of ability than a fitted wedge.

      • geohogan

        Jul 28, 2020 at 2:18 pm

        I think Ryans point is that no one will be as good as they can be unless the lie angles are correct for the golfer.
        The inaccuracy is magnified as loft is highest is simply a fact, many golfers arent aware of.

  3. Frank

    Jul 25, 2020 at 1:34 am

    Ben Hogan in Power Golf and Sam Snead in Natural Golf both said that they soled their clubs completely flat on the ground, Hogan going into more detail that if the lie angle was not soled on the middle of the face at address the whole swing will be off. Not impact, address. For some reason club manufacturers are making their clubs upright as heck to combat the average golfer uncocking their wrists prematurely, not because of shaft droop. With modern lie angles now, if you had to address it like Hogan recommended, you’d have to set up like Moe Norman to even get it to sole at the middle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: The science behind Dustin Johnson forgetting his bad shots

Published

on

We’ve all been there, it’s the right of passage for the golfers. You are standing over a shot not feeling comfortable, you hit a bad shot and then proceed to obliterate yourself with names think, “how could you?” And then worse, you can’t let it go for the next three holes and ruin your chances at a decent round of golf. Now, you have wasted your day and you come home grumpy and you take it out on your loved ones and turn one bad day into three…Let’s stop the insanity now and let science show us the way!

 

Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

On Spec

On Spec: Talking fitting with Marty Jertson – VP Fitting & Performance at Ping Golf

Published

on

This week, host Ryan Barath had the opportunity to speak with Marty Jerston, VP of Fitting and Performance at Ping about all things club fitting. Topics range from the increasing popularity of virtual fittings to what optimization really means for every golfer.

The conversation also covers the new Stack System—a training program developed by Dr. Sasho MacKenzie and Marty to help golfers train for speed and improve performance.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Club Junkie

Club Junkie: The softest forged irons you’ve never heard of and the Cobra RadSpeed hybrid!

Published

on

Ever heard of New Level Golf? If you are looking for wildly soft players irons, then you should check them out. The PF-1 blades and the PF-2 cavity backs are as soft as anything on the market right now. Great irons for skilled players.

The Cobra RadSpeed hybrid is a solid mid/high launching hybrid with a solid Cobra feel and sound. Pretty neutral-bias ball flight with only a slight draw.

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending