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Theory - All Clubs Should Have the Same Lie Angle?


iacas
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I mentioned this in another topic, but my friend has what I'll call a "theory" for now, and it goes as such:

Shafts droop when you swing them because the center of mass, which is OFF the shaft, tries to line up with the line of the center of the shaft, in the same way that if you tie a rock to the end of a rope and swing it around your head, the rope is pulled tight.

club_with_cm.jpgclub_drooped_cm.jpg

The amount of droop is determined by: 

  1. The speed at which the club is swung.
  2. Shaft stiffness/design.
  3. Weight of the clubhead.
  4. Distance from the center of mass from the centerline of the shaft.

As you can see, this changes the effective lie angle of the club and this changes where the clubface is actually pointing (in the same way that the clubface points farther left when the ball is above your feet and right when it's below your feet). Here's a video:

You're commonly fit for a 7-iron, and the lie angle, shaft, etc. are fit to deliver a pretty flat (sole) at impact. (Side note: this, and the fact that most golfers return the handle higher up at impact than at setup, is why I never really care too much if the club is slightly toe-up at setup).

Lower numbered irons are longer and flatter, while higher numbered irons are shorter and more upright. This makes sense if you consider it in a vacuum (or at 0 MPH, like at setup), but what my friend has discovered is that longer irons droop more and shorter irons droop less.

So, his theory is basically this: almost every club should be fit at the same lie angle to deliver a neutral lie angle at impact. He also said he thinks that lie angle is often about 60° because you'd rather have it be slightly toe down than heel down, particularly out of the rough.

He said that he finds that a lot of better players will miss their longer irons to the right (more droop means the face points right and is more toe down) and their shorter irons left (less droop means the face points left with the toe more up).

Again, his recommendation is not to change the length of your clubs, but just to change the lie angle: your long irons will be more toe up (so when they droop "extra" they're level) and your short irons will be more toe down (so that when they droop less they'll also be level).


With GEARS, you can put a 3I, 6I, and 9I in someone's hands and have them make the same swing, and the system will tell you with research-grade accuracy what the dynamic lie angle of the club is at impact. He's seen a LOT of these swings, and sees this pattern repeating. He says that club makers and fitters and instructors are missing out here.

I think I've done his theory some justice. Whaddya think?

P.S. The data in this chart would be useful: https://thesandtrap.com/forums/topic/64131-effects-of-lie-angle-on-varying-degrees-of-loft/.

P.P.S. I'm happy to give the "friend" credit if he wants it, but I haven't asked yet, so I'm leaving it vague for now.

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Very interesting. With GEARS, can we measure where the face is aiming at impact? I assume we can. That could be very valuable WRT shot zone data. But we would also have to look at the variation at impact too. If we have a lot of variation, it may not make much of a difference adjusting the lie.

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3 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

Very interesting. With GEARS, can we measure where the face is aiming at impact? I assume we can. That could be very valuable WRT shot zone data. But we would also have to look at the variation at impact too. If we have a lot of variation, it may not make much of a difference adjusting the lie.

GEARS will show you a bunch of stuff about the clubface at any point in the golf swing. It'll tell you where the face is pointing (open/closed) based on the bottom line of the club (i.e. "open" or "closed" in the traditional sense, it'll tell you the dynamic lie angle (shaft droop, how much you've raised the handle of the club, etc.). It'll tell you the delivered loft.

Then you can figure out where the face is pointing relative to where it is "supposedly" pointing with this chart:

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Sure, this could be the case for some people but is most certainly not the case for all. Having fit and adjusted more than a few golfers, I can't say I've seen this play out this way.

But if you are really thinking this could be the case for you (ie an individual golfer), just check your lie angles of your PW, 7, and 4 or 5 iron with the vertical line check and see if you do in fact see your lie angles being off.

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2 minutes ago, Adam C said:

Sure, this could be the case for some people but is most certainly not the case for all. Having fit and adjusted more than a few golfers, I can't say I've seen this play out this way.

You fit every club in the set, from 3I to PW, and measure and calibrate the best lie angle for each? I doubt it.

How often do you have the golfer come back with their complete set and SUPER accurately measure swings they make with their actual clubs? With something that's accurate?

3 minutes ago, Adam C said:

But if you are really thinking this could be the case for you (ie an individual golfer), just check your lie angles of your PW, 7, and 4 or 5 iron with the vertical line check and see if you do in fact see your lie angles being off.

That's nowhere near as accurate as GEARS.

Like I said, it's my friend's theory, but this person has spent a lot of time seeing what he's talking about on a super accurate system. I'm inclined to begin testing it myself.

And as a club fitter I think you might be inclined to consider the possibility that what you do could be improved.

After all, the stock lie angle on a Titleist TSi1 is 58.5°… which isn't anywhere near where it would be without shaft droop. It's only about 5 degrees from some wedges.

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25 minutes ago, iacas said:

You fit every club in the set, from 3I to PW, and measure and calibrate the best lie angle for each? I doubt it.

How often do you have the golfer come back with their complete set and SUPER accurately measure swings they make with their actual clubs? With something that's accurate?

That's nowhere near as accurate as GEARS.

Like I said, it's my friend's theory, but this person has spent a lot of time seeing what he's talking about on a super accurate system. I'm inclined to begin testing it myself.

And as a club fitter I think you might be inclined to consider the possibility that what you do could be improved.

After all, the stock lie angle on a Titleist TSi1 is 58.5°… which isn't anywhere near where it would be without shaft droop. It's only about 5 degrees from some wedges.

I am sure the GEARS system is great for a number of things but when it comes to lie angle it's not necessary. Also we should probably take a cue from the OEMs who have and continue to make iron sets with progressive lie angles. Trust me when I say that they have a very complete understanding of shaft droop and all other forces acting on a golf club. If this was something with merit that could lead to selling more equipment, they would be all over it as they are pretty desperate for new features and benefits on modern equipment.

Also, I do recommend people check every lie angle in their set. It's so simple and accurate, no reason not to spend 15 minutes on the range and check everything.

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10 minutes ago, Adam C said:

I am sure the GEARS system is great for a number of things but when it comes to lie angle it's not necessary.

That's not an argument. GEARS is incredibly accurate and you've countered with "draw a line with a marker." GEARS is used by club manufacturers to measure things.

10 minutes ago, Adam C said:

Also we should probably take a cue from the OEMs who have and continue to make iron sets with progressive lie angles.

That's not an argument, either.

Golfers believe they want them, and the first company that came out with "every iron is 60°" would face an uphill battle. There are reasons beyond "what is actually correct" why companies would continue to market these types of things. Golfers likely wouldn't understand why their long irons look toe up at setup with a 60° lie angle.

10 minutes ago, Adam C said:

Trust me when I say that they have a very complete understanding of shaft droop and all other forces acting on a golf club.

So do I, but you're not doing anything to argue against anything here.

My friend believes that if you are fit with a good lie angle for a 7I, your 3I will come in toe-down from more shaft droop and your PW will come in heel down from less shaft droop. Basically, if a 6I droops 0.5° more than a 7I, then there is no need for dynamic lie angle — the shaft droop will dynamically flatten the longer irons.

Also, a lot of good players I know already order wedges flat, as they almost never push wedges, but will pull them fairly often.

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15 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

FWIW @Adam C, it may make for a nice experiment and video to check this out.

I don't think Adam has the capabilities to do this all that accurately.

I intend to have a student and a +2 come over to hit a 3I, 6I, and 9I here so we can measure some of these things. It'll be one data point only, but it may shed light or provide something material about which we can talk.

Like I said, I'm exploring it. I don't know if my friend is right, but I can't think of a reason why he's wrong yet. There's no obvious breaking point that I've come across yet.

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't think Adam has the capabilities to do this all that accurately.

I intend to have a student and a +2 come over to hit a 3I, 6I, and 9I here so we can measure some of these things. It'll be one data point only, but it may shed light or provide something material about which we can talk.

Like I said, I'm exploring it. I don't know if my friend is right, but I can't think of a reason why he's wrong yet. There's no obvious breaking point that I've come across yet.

But he can adjust the lie of the same clubs, 3, 6, 9 all to 60 and run a less accurate test with a lie board. It won’t be as accurate, but it may show some improvement or give rough data. Adjustable woods and hybrids could be set more upright too.  It is winter, what else do we have to do other than work on our swings?😀

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27 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's not an argument. GEARS is incredibly accurate and you've countered with "draw a line with a marker." GEARS is used by club manufacturers to measure things.

That's not an argument, either.

Golfers believe they want them, and the first company that came out with "every iron is 60°" would face an uphill battle. There are reasons beyond "what is actually correct" why companies would continue to market these types of things. Golfers likely wouldn't understand why their long irons look toe up at setup with a 60° lie angle.

So do I, but you're not doing anything to argue against anything here.

My friend believes that if you are fit with a good lie angle for a 7I, your 3I will come in toe-down from more shaft droop and your PW will come in heel down from less shaft droop. Basically, if a 6I droops 0.5° more than a 7I, then there is no need for dynamic lie angle — the shaft droop will dynamically flatten the longer irons.

Also, a lot of good players I know already order wedges flat, as they almost never push wedges, but will pull them fairly often.

No one needs to argue about anything here.

Again, just go check your own clubs with a sharpie line and you can decide if you need the lie angles adjusted within a tighter progression or simply 1 lie angle to rule them all, or no change at all.

 

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8 minutes ago, Adam C said:

No one needs to argue about anything here.

You're not using the word the way I am.

We're discussing, not "arguing." I'm using the word "argument" as your position. I could have said "you're not making a case here" or "you're not presenting your side very well" or "you're not showing how his theory is wrong." Big connotative difference there.

You said the GEARS is not "necessary" for lie angle, but what if this is an area of optimization that's being overlooked? What if, because we have this technology now to accurately measure this stuff, we can improve the fit for golfers (even if it's just better players) by adjusting lie angles a bit? What if the old method of "draw a line with a Sharpie" isn't about to go the way of the dodo?

I'm disappointed that you don't appear to be interested in this, and instead seem to be poo-pooing the whole idea. I'd have thought you might be interested in considering whether this could be something new, something previously we had a hard time seeing or understanding or measuring.

Why does a driver have a lie angle of 58.5° (when many golfers often swing it at about 45°)?

8 minutes ago, Adam C said:

Again, just go check your own clubs with a sharpie line and you can decide if you need the lie angles adjusted within a tighter progression or simply 1 lie angle to rule them all, or no change at all.

A Sharpie line is not very accurate.

If your lie angle is off 2°, with a 4I that could mean you're off by more than the width of a green once you factor start line and curve into the equation. And that's just something that's off 2° with relatively little delivered loft.

Does this matter to many golfers who struggle to break 90? Probably not. But neither does a lot of club fitting stuff.

But to better players, this could matter quite a bit. Look at what a difference of three feet did for Camilo vs. Tiger in Every Shot Counts.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

 

I'm disappointed that you don't appear to be interested in this, and instead seem to be poo-pooing the whole idea. I'd have thought you might be interested in considering whether this could be something new, something previously we had a hard time seeing or understanding or measuring.

This information isn't new. True Temper was measuring shaft bend in 3 dimensions almost 30 years ago via Shaft Lab. Fujikura has been utilizing ENZO since 2013. GC2 and GC4 can also provide this info and have been around for a number of years.

 

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1 hour ago, Adam C said:

This information isn't new. True Temper was measuring shaft bend in 3 dimensions almost 30 years ago via Shaft Lab. Fujikura has been utilizing ENZO since 2013. GC2 and GC4 can also provide this info and have been around for a number of years.

 

Not sure if I’m misrepresenting him here, but I think Erik’s point is that while shaft bend, lie angles, etc have been studied for years, there new, more accurate ways to check old information which may lead to new ideas or correct old misinformation and if that possibility exists why wouldn’t someone in your position be interested in growing professionally.  As you prob know, Erik is very science, numbers, FACT driven and if there are new innovative, more accurate, ways to test things, he prob sees it as an exciting opportunity and couldn’t understand ignoring that opportunity. 

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2 hours ago, Adam C said:

This information isn't new. True Temper was measuring shaft bend in 3 dimensions almost 30 years ago via Shaft Lab. Fujikura has been utilizing ENZO since 2013. GC2 and GC4 can also provide this info and have been around for a number of years.

 

Sounds like you’re saying, ‘ why bother with DNA when the FBI has been using fingerprints and hair for years?’ Metaphorically speaking.

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3 hours ago, woodzie264 said:

Not sure if I’m misrepresenting him here, but I think Erik’s point is that while shaft bend, lie angles, etc have been studied for years, there new, more accurate ways to check old information which may lead to new ideas or correct old misinformation and if that possibility exists why wouldn’t someone in your position be interested in growing professionally.  As you prob know, Erik is very science, numbers, FACT driven and if there are new innovative, more accurate, ways to test things, he prob sees it as an exciting opportunity and couldn’t understand ignoring that opportunity. 

 

3 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Sounds like you’re saying, ‘ why bother with DNA when the FBI has been using fingerprints and hair for years?’ Metaphorically speaking.

Hmmm. Actually it would be more accurate to say the FBI has been using DNA for years, but now average people can buy the same tools and use them to solve crimes at home.

Not saying don't use GEARS for any number of swing investigations. It will provide information to the average golfer they otherwise would never have access to. But the idea that all the shaft and club OEMs have completely missed the mark on the idea of lie angle is far fetched.

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12 minutes ago, Adam C said:

But the idea that all the shaft and club OEMs have completely missed the mark on the idea of lie angle is far fetched.

I don’t believe he ever said that.  He can defend himself, but I’m pretty sure he was simply saying improvements might be made with further research in this area as technology advances. Please don’t resort to hyperbole in the absence of valid points.

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20 minutes ago, Adam C said:

Hmmm. Actually it would be more accurate to say the FBI has been using DNA for years, but now average people can buy the same tools and use them to solve crimes at home.

A GEARS-that costs as much as a well outfitted SUV-is hardly something the average people can buy.

Dude-I am with EriK - your responses have been highly disappointing. Manufacturers have missed things before. They are not always chasing what is best but what they can sell.

This makes sense to me and I see what your friend is saying @iacas. I think the GCQuad will show dynamic lie angle-right?

Yes-appears so:


Precision, Not Guesswork How We Measure Foresight Sports launch monitors use a combination of infrared object tracking and high-speed...
Quote

Delivered Lie Angle

The lie of the club is the way the club compares to the ground through the hitting area. This is a dynamic measurement, and it is relative to the ground plane. A negative number means the club is “toe down” at impact, while a positive number means the club is “toe up.”

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