Recently, golf instructor Joe Mayo (twitter.com/TrackmanMaestro) stated that he felt that Driver lie angles were too upright.
I think that is an interesting insight. We know from Trackman that the 'standard' vertical swing plane with irons is at 60 degrees. Typically, 5-irons are made with a 60 degree lie angle. Then the lie angles become more upright as the club becomes shorter.
The lie angle changes as the club is shorter or longer. As the club gets shorter the lie angle is effectively flatter. Therefore, the lie angle is designed more upright to counter than shorter length.
With the driver, the 'standard' vertical swing plane is set at 45 degrees (15 degrees flatter than the standard VSP for irons). It's a much longer club and therefore the VSP is swung on a flatter 'plane.'
However, the typical driver lie angle is only at 58 degrees. The typical 5-iron is set at 38" long (with grip) and the typical driver is set at 45.5" long. So we have a 7.5 inch difference in shaft length, but only a 2 degree difference?
According to Tom Wishon, ever 1/2" in shaft difference equates to 1-degree of lie angle. Now have state that it is less than that, but for now I'll take Tom's word for it. So if you were to use that logic at 7.5 inch difference, that would equate to a 15 degree in lie angle (fits right in line with the differences in Vertical Swing Plane).
The only issues are:
1. We are teeing the ball up
2. We have to account for shaft droop.
So, it's not going to be a lie angle of 45 degrees. It has to be more upright to account for those factors.
As we should know by now...OEM's generally make equipment for higher handicap players in mind. Not only do higher handicaps tend to have the handle higher at impact which leads to more toe shots, but they tend to have softer shafts that can lead to more shaft droop. That would lead to OEM's designing a driver with upright lie angles. But a golfer that is less than a 5 handicap and plays with stiffer shafts and shafts that have less shaft droop, may need much flatter lie angle with the driver.
This may explain part of the problem that golfers have with hitting longer drivers. It may make the club too upright for them as the club is already too upright. And they end up going to a shorter driver and hitting it better because the lie angle effectively flattens more.
So that is a good observation from Joe Mayo. Here's a video from Tom Wishon discussing bending the hosel to fit the specs.