Before deciding on the best loft and lie machines for adjusting irons, it may be best to understand what the objective is when using one of these machines. For new golfers, they would have heard the term many times, without understanding what they actually do.
What is Loft and Lie on a golf club?
Every golf iron in a set has a different loft, which enables players to hit the ball varying distances with the same swing. It is the angle of the face on the clubhead to the ground at address. This is referred to as the loft. The lie angle of a club is the angle of the shaft in relation to the ground when the sole of the club lies flat on the ground. Lie angle will either be tow up, tow down or neutral.
What is a Loft and Lie Machine?
In simple terms, it is a device used to adjust the loft and lie of a club. There are a few reasons for these adjustments which we will go into more detail. A tall golfer will tend to stand more upright at address, and closer to the ball. The lie angle of a standard set of clubs will more than likely have the heel of the sole slightly raised when the club head is on the ground. Conversely, a shorter player using a standard iron set will stand further away from the ball at address, with the toe slightly raised at address. Neither of these will be conducive to the player getting the best results out on the course. Hence an adjustment using the Lie Angle Machine will correct these.
How does a Loft and Lie Machine Work?
A club fitter or golf retailer will be capable of making the correct amount of adjustment on the clubs to suit the characteristics of your swing. For the DIY enthusiast, a list of top suppliers follows later in the article. The initial task can be manually done by placing some tape on the sole of the club. A wooden or plexiglass type material board is set firmly on the ground and the golfer will take up the address position to a golf ball placed on the board. Hitting the ball off the board will leave a mark on the taped sole, which indicates where the contact point is. In simple terms, if it was in the middle of the sole, it is the ideal lie angle for the golfer. A few swing repetitions are required to finalize the result. Should the mark appear towards the toe or heel of the clubhead, then adjustment or bending is required on the lie angle machine. Modern ball flight computer systems will confirm shot shape results that assist with lie angle adjustment.
Below is a list of the Best Loft and Lie Machine Manufacturers, in random order:
Mitchell Golf Equipment Company
The company started in 1988 and has revolutionized custom club fitting and making. Accuracy is the key to any bending operation and the company has developed machines that can bend forged and cast irons, hybrids, putters, and metal woods. They manufacture a full spectrum of measuring and bending angle machines under the brand names of TourGauge and Steelclub. These machines are found and used on the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour.
The Golf Club and Economy Loft and Lie Machine
The Golf Club and Economy Loft and Lie Machine are precision-made and capable of bending and adjusting left and right-handed clubs. Woods, irons, and putters are accurately altered to the specification required for loft and lie angle. Each machine is independently manufactured in The GolfWorks machine shop and comes with an engraved serial number. They are quality machines for loft and lie angle adjustment.
Golf Mechanix Clubmakers Loft and Lie Bending Gauge
The Golf Mechanix Clubmakers Loft and Lie Bending Gauge is a well-engineered loft and lie gauge, and can accommodate today’s specialty wedges, hybrids, and oversized irons. It is a tried and tested machine worldwide, and offers non-scoring sheaves and a very sophisticated clamping system for accurate results. It has more than sufficient bending capabilities to handle all materials including some tough alloys.
The company has kept pace with the latest technology within the golf club industry and can accommodate the new softer malleable alloys in clubs. New accessories extend the capability and versatility of the machine.
Golfsmith Ultimate Loft/Lie Bending Machine
The Golfsmith Ultimate Loft and Lie Bending Machine lives up to its name and is a well-recognized machine for the club maker or fitter who wants a total package. It is 25% larger than the Professional Loft and Lie Machine from the same company, with all the “bells and whistles” and easy to operate. A 100% milled construction ensures top quality and accuracy. Loft and Lie Angle scale reading from 17 to 70 degrees, and protractors with large clear graduations. A deep-throat can accommodate the latest large head irons. It can be mounted onto a workbench or the specially designed Loft and Lie Stand from the company.
Golfsmith Professional Loft/Lie Machine
Golfsmith has a Professional Loft and Lie Machine which is a smaller machine than the Ultimate Model in Golfsmith’s stable but is very popular with all club fitters. It has clear, easy to read loft and lie indicators, for accurate settings. Soft metal jaws eliminate marking or damaging clubs. Cambered sole iron heads are easily accommodated with rollers on the sole mount.
Golfsmith Basic Loft and Lie Machine
The Basic Model by Golfsmith is an ideal machine for the DIY enthusiast or the club fitter who only occasionally does loft or lie adjustments to clubs. It is both economical and easy to use. Loft and Lie measuring gauges are mounted on the machine, which enables accuracy on the measurements without having to remove the club to check readings. It mounts easily on a workbench or can be fitted to Golfsmith’s Heavy Duty Stand.
A Few facts about Bending Clubs
- It is advisable to understand a few basic truths and untruths about golf clubs and the myths that are associated with them.
- The Lofts and Lie angles on a new set of clubs may not be totally accurate and are worth checking.
- All bending machines are not totally accurate.
- A well-manufactured club can be bent and adjusted more than once without weakening or breaking the club.
- A club can be bent more than 2-degrees.
- Metal woods may have limitations on adjusting loft and lie angles but can be done.
- Hybrids can be adjusted for Lie Angle but should be done by a club-fitter for best results.
How much does 1-degree of Loft affect Distance?
The length of the shaft and the amount of loft on a club will together determine distance. On average, a set of clubs may have 4-degrees of loft between each club and about half an inch in shaft length. Using this as a guide, it can equate to anything between 5 to 8 meters per club difference. Many manufacturers today tend to deloft irons, to satisfy golfers who seek distance above accuracy! Test this on the range.
The Importance of the correct Lie Angle
Without the correct Lie Angle on a club, the ability to hit the ball consistently straight is diminished. The ball will either slice or hook if adjustments are not made during the swing or at address. Golf is difficult enough without these added problems, so have the Lie Angle on your clubs checked.
Loft and Lie Angle Machines can be purchased directly from the company or via other popular websites. Top-of-the-range products prices vary from $500 to $750, but Used machines are readily available. Good new machines are available below $500, and it all depends on the level of sophistication required.
Hopefully, a few basic facts about adjusting Loft and Lie Angle will be clearer to the average golfer after reading this article. For the DIY enthusiast, it is imperative to understand how and what result is required, before venturing into the garage to do the adjustments. Some of the best suppliers in this article all have instructions for ease of use and I suggest they be read before any action! Check them out for the best deal for the budget!
If the results from your golf club fitting show that you need a one-degree adjustment in your golf clubs, is it really worth going through this process?
The answer to this question of whether or not changing the lie angle is worth it will come down to how much it is impacting your game.
If you are playing really great golf and hitting the golf ball the way you want to, you probably don’t need to change the lie angle.
If, however, you are struggling with a slice or a hook that just won’t ease up, we highly recommend getting your lie angle adjusted.
If you don’t have the angle adjusted, you may start to make an accommodation with your golf swing.
These swing accommodations are going to lead to bad habits and cause you a lot more work in the future.
If this describes your situation, we highly recommend using a lie and loft machine to get your golf club lie angle corrected.
This is not a difficult or expensive project, and if it allows you a chance to start shooting lower scores, it will have been well worth the money spent.
Bending a golf club’s lie angle at home certainly steps up your golf club tinkering skills. Regripping or changing the length of a club is a bit easier than this project. However, with the proper lie and loft machine, you should have no trouble completing the project. We highly recommend making sure that you are fully ready to adjust the lie and loft before starting your lie angle adjustment.
Although most golf clubs will respond quite well to a golf club lie change, you won’t want to keep adjusting the clubs back and forth. Without the proper knowledge, it can be challenging to return the clubs to the manufacturer’s original settings. Before you start bending clubs, read our guide and make sure you are (5641)
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.