Golf irons can be adjusted for loft, lie, and length. These three adjustments are often necessary in order to ensure that clubs fit your swing and are giving you the best results. A professional club fitter can easily make these adjustments for you.
Adjusting Lie Angle
Adjusting the lie angle is the most common adjustment for golf irons and is usually necessary whenever you buy new irons.
In fact, many golfers will get their lie angles checked every year to make sure the clubs haven’t bent over time. This is more common for clubs made with softer metal, but it is a good idea to get them checked at least once a year in case either the irons or your swing have changed slightly.
If you want to really dig into the details and importance of the lie angle then check out this article.
The old way of testing lie angle was with a lie board and a piece of tape on the bottom of the club. This can still work as an “at home” check, but if you are getting fitted professionally, go somewhere that has access to a launch monitor like a GC Quad that gives accurate face angle information at the time of impact. This will give you a much more accurate fitting.
I would also recommend using a fitter that is also a golf instructor. Sometimes getting clubs that fit your current swing can actually hurt your game.
For example, manufacturers tend to make their clubs more upright because most amateur and mid-handicap golfers buying irons have over-the-top, upright swings. But if you get fitted for the current swing, you’ll just be perpetuating the bad habits.
A good instructor/fitter will recognize that and give you flatter clubs along with some drills to work on to break those habits. The flatter clubs will almost force you into a better swing.
A word of warning though, this can backfire, so its best to attempt this only with an experienced golf pro.
Some Tips For Adjusting Lie Angle
1. Manufacturers Don’t Use A Universal Standard For Lie Angle
Just because you were fitted to 2 degrees flat on your last set of clubs, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get fit for a new set. The lie measurement is rarely consistent from manufacturer to manufacturer and often is not even consistent for different models from the same brand.
2. Some Irons Can Be Adjusted Many Times (but not all)
Certain metals are easier to bend than others. Contrary to popular belief, whether a club is forged or cast has little to no effect on its ability to be bent. The makeup of the metal is far more important.
Cheaper clubs can often break when they are bent even just 1 or 2 degrees. So be sure to consult a professional before trying to adjust the lie angle on your clubs.
3. Clubs Can Be Bent More Than You Think
It’s often possible to bend the lie angle of a golf iron by more than 2 degrees. I personally have had my irons bent 3 or 4 degrees flat. It is important that the irons be made of a metal that accommodates such bending.
Adjusting Shaft Length
Shaft length is probably the easiest thing to adjust on your irons. In many cases, all you need is a hacksaw and a new grip if you have steel shafts. Graphite shafts require a little more experience and more specialized equipment.
Even though this is easy to accomplish, I would still recommend going to an experienced club fitter before making any changes to your clubs.
Changing Your Golf Shaft
Another way to adjust your golf shaft is by swapping out the shaft for a completely new one altogether.
This is an easy way to change the length, weight, or even the bend characteristics of the shaft. Of course, it requires the attention of an experienced club fitter to figure out which shaft characteristics are right for you.
Even with a good launch monitor, picking a shaft can take a lot of trial and error.
Adjusting the loft of your clubs can help you dial in your yardages for each club. This is a very common thing for competitive golfers to do so that the yardage gaps between their irons are consistent.
Before you do this, it helps to have a relatively consistent swing. If your distances are all over the place than making loft adjustments will have minimal benefits.
Slower swing speed players tend to have much smaller yardage gaps between their long irons. In this case, I wouldn’t recommend changing the lofts of those irons, but instead, try switching the irons with hybrids.
Adjustable Golf Irons
Some companies have tried making adjustable golf irons along the same lines as the way drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids are commonly made.
These haven’t quite caught on like the other types of clubs. It requires the irons to be more bulky and very often, players can’t be bothered to adjust an entire set the way they would a driver.
Additionally, like I mentioned earlier, irons are easy to adjust anyway, so there isn’t much need to build adjustable tech into the heads at the expense of performance or aesthetics.