Driver Lie Angle Explained

Lie angle is an important club-fitting factor in irons, but what about drivers? We investigate its importance or otherwise there...

Driver lie angle address shot
(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

Driver Lie Angle Explained

While lie angle is a very important factor in iron and wedge fittings, it can have some bearing in drivers (and woods) as well, although historically, adjusting the lie angle in these clubs was always much more complicated (or impossible!) than in an iron, where the metal can be adjusted via bending. We look into driver lie angle a little more in this article and the accompanying short video with highly experienced Ping club fitter, Nick Boulton.

Most standard driver lie angles will be between 56˚ and 60˚ and there is certainly a school of thought that says lie angle is not as critical a fitting factor in drivers as it is in irons because the combination of low loft and greater shaft droop (how much the shaft bends downwards as you swing it) means misdirected shot tendencies won’t be as great as in irons.

Driver lie angle - hitting shot

Lie angle can still be a factor even with driver in hand

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

But that’s not to say it doesn’t matter at all even though you are hitting off a tee peg 99% of the time and the only time turf interaction becomes a factor is when you are attempting the brave (or foolish!) driver off the deck shot.

Even if there is no turf interaction, the wrong lie angle in your driver can still affect shot direction. Too flat, and your drives may go towards the right side; too upright and they may tend to head left. As with irons, what you’re really looking for is the sole of the club to be coming through flat to the ground at impact, or parallel to the ground and slightly above it off a tee peg.

Driver lie angle - dispersion

Adjusting driver lie angle could potentially help with your miss tendencies

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

So driver lie angle does matter in that it can affect the accuracy and flight of your golf ball and the good news is that many of today’s driver models offer adjustability in terms of not just loft but also lie via ingenious hosels – adjustability that just wasn’t possible in years gone by.

Ping’s Trajectory Tuning 2.0 in its G425 drivers, for example, allows driver lie angle to be made a little flatter. If you’re hitting it a little out of the heel of the golf club, moving it in to the flatter position can help you strike it a little bit more out of the centre of the face.

Driver lie angle Ping G425 adjustability

Lie angle can be adjusted via the hosel in many of today's drivers including Ping's G425

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

The same applies to fairway woods and hybrids and, indeed, in a recent full-bag custom-fitting, Golf Monthly’s Jeremy Ellwood had both his G425 3-wood and hybrid adjusted to the flatter setting for that very reason. There are also options to either increase or decrease the loft by 1˚ in that flatter setting so you can further finetune set-up to match swing characteristics.

Many other brands also now offer varying degrees of lie angle adjustment in their drivers via their hosels so it may be something worth looking into if a particular miss tendency off the tee is hurting your game. Tweaking the lie angle of your driver (perhaps with the assistance of a qualified professional) could just help on that front.

 

 

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf