Why don’t golfers take lie into account?

It amazes me how many golfers don’t look at the lie they have before selecting a club.

Most will assume a ball above their feet will go left and below their feet go right, but I am talking about looking at how the ball is sitting and judging how much farther or shorter the ball might go.

“Well, my laser range finder tells me I have 163.2857 yards and I hit 5-iron 167.837 yards, so I need to hit a 97% 5-iron.”

Low and Behold (yet another double entendre on this blog), the ball comes up 25 yards short and barely gets airborne.

“Wow! My rangefinder must need to be recalibrated.”

No, you needed to see that your ball was sitting down in 3 inch rough and you only hit 5-iron 133.14159265358979323846264338327950288 yards.

From individual experience you should know what lengths of rough will make your ball fly too far, or come out like a fluff ball.

From individual experience you should know that a ball sitting up on certain types of grass in the fairway will have more backspin.

…or a ball sitting down in a depression in the fairway will come out a little thin and not go as far from long distance, or possibly farther on a short wedge shot from a bladed shot or digging…depending on your swing and game.

I could go though dozens of these, but the point is instead of occupying your brains with 15 step swing checklists and 12 step pre-shot routines, you should be logging distance changes you get from different lies.




  1. will

    You make a good point. I think that for one, many average golfers don’t play enough golf to encounter enough different lies to judge those types of things. On top of that, they are struggling so hard just to make the ball “act right”, that the lie, unless it’s really thick or deep, dosen’t even register. It ain’t easy for us hacks, man!

    You’re post is spot on. Our brain isn’t like a bottomless pit. In order to make room for things like assessing lie, elevation, wind, etc., we have to lose some of the clutter. Good stuff.

  2. John

    I always like it when I hit a good shot out of the rough and maybe a little against the wind, and a higher handicapper says, good shot, was that a pitching wedge? I say, ahh.., no, it was a 6 iron. I love the look on their faces, especially when there ball is short and in the lake, LOL


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