Nominal Lie Angle
The lie angle of the golf club is the angle formed between the center of the shaft and the sole of the club (ground), when the club is in its proper address position (grooves parallel to the ground) – see picture below.
Measurement of Lie Angle
In practice it could be a little difficult to measure the lie angle with a protractor. However, it is quite easy to measure it using one of the many available smartphone applications. The application should measure the deviation of the device from the vertical. Just remember to carefully align the grooves on the face parallel to the level / ground. Such a measurement is shown in the figure below.
The standard lie angle of drivers and woods is in the range between 56 and 60 degrees, hybrid / rescue clubs between 58 and 62 degrees, irons between 61 and 64 degrees. For wedges it is nearly always 63 or 64 degrees.
Flat Lie and Up Lie
Sometimes, in the length fitting process, the lie angle is adjusted. Then, if the lie angle is reduced the golf club is “flatter”. Respectively, if the lie angle is increased, the golf club is more “upright”.
Changes of Lie Angle
Changing the lie angle of a club does not affect its swingweight nor MOI (MOIG). However, such change influences the optimal position of the club when the player adressing the ball. A popular rule indicates that, to maintain the same position of the player, changing the lie angle by 1 degree requires ½ inch change in length. Unfortunately, this is only an inaccurate approximation and the real value depends on the type / length of the club.
The calculator below calculates more precisely what the change in club length will compensate for the applied change in lie angle. In other words, the result shows how to change the club length so that, after modifying the lie angle, it does not require any changes in the player’s address position.
The bigger length changes required in the length fitting process make significant differences in Swingweight (SW) and Moment of Inertia (MOI/MOIG). However, these changes could be partially or fully compensated by adjusting lie angle.
The calculator helpful in planning such a compensation is available on the page length / lie compensation.
update: February 2022