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Golf tip of the week: The proper loft, lie can improve your putting

PHOTO PROVIDED Golfers that place the ball forward in their stance may need less loft than the golfer that plays the ball more back in their stance.

Most golfers are concerned about the proper loft and lie on their irons. Correcting the putter’s loft and lie can increase the chances of making more putts.

The standard putter loft bought off the rack at a box store or pro shop is four degrees. The problem is everyone addresses the ball differently, which alters the factory’s loft and lie. Your putter may have four degrees of loft, but your stance and putting style may increase or decrease the loft and lie.

When stroking a putter, the putter should have approximately four degrees of loft at impact.

A master club fitter can adjust the loft and lie to fit your stance and putting stroke. Golfers buy an expensive putter 80% of the time and find out later it doesn’t work as advertised. In most cases, the putter does not fit them properly:

• Too much loft — the ball will skip.

• Slightly too much loft — the ball will dribble.

• Negative loft — this will cause the ball to bounce.

• Correct loft — Fit to a golfer’s stance, grip, and stroke, the ball will skip the first three inches or so and roll smoothly after that, gripping the putting surface much like a tire grips the road.

An improper lie will cause the ball to roll left or right of the intended target line.

A master club fitter can check your golf ball roll pattern on a putter roll board device and adjust your putter accordingly. A putter roll board will show how much your ball will skip, jump or roll. The putter is then adjusted until the ball rolls correctly.

If the putter’s toe is up, the ball will roll left of the target, and if the toe is down, the ball will roll right of the target.

Rick Musselman, a golf author and professional, owns Musselman’s Golf in Williamsport.

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