Defining Your Drives with Driver Lie Angles

By Todd Kolb
August 23, 2023

Why Is No One Talking About Driver Lie Angle? This Under-Acknowledged Detail Can Make or Break Your Tee Shots.

A strategic driver lie angle is the crucial secret ingredient in the average golfer’s driver setup.

In fact, it can be both the cause and cure for that stubborn slice… especially for older, more “experienced” golfers.

So why aren’t more golfers taught to think about driver lie angle?

I think it’s because of the way golf instruction is presented. Most of the videos and articles you find online are all about the science behind your slice problem. This isn’t a bad thing—the science matters! But in 25+ years as a golf coach, I’ve learned this much:

The best way to help a golfer improve is by finding what works for them.

Understanding the science won’t bring you more joy on the golf course if you’re still slicing the ball.

If you’re constantly battling that miserable driver slice, I want to share a solution that could solve your problem instantly. 

This is a solution that’s based on the typical swing of the average older golfer. It’s not based on physics that assume you’re at peak fitness.

You’ll also learn a drill that will help you master this new technique right away.

But first, let me clarify what I mean by “driver lie angle.” 

What is a Driver Lie Angle?

Driver lie angle refers to the angle of the driver shaft at address.

To clarify further, it’s the angle of the shaft in relation to your body. It’s the angle you’d see from a down-the-line view of your setup, where your body is in profile.

Now, you may have seen me talk about shaft lean at address, referring to the shaft’s angle in relation to the target. This is the angle you see from a head-on view.

The ideal driver setup includes a slightly forward shaft lean where your hands are even with the golf ball, forcing the shaft to lean slightly towards the target. But that’s not your driver lie angle, and it’s not what we’re talking about right now.

Why Driver Lie Angle is the Key to Your Success

So why does driver lie angle even matter?

Simply put, the angle of your driver shaft at address changes the way you swing the club.

The more horizontal that angle is, the more you’re forced to drag the club low and behind you in the backswing. For senior golfers especially, this is a formula for a slice. You’re almost guaranteed to follow this low, flat backswing with an out-and-across downswing…

…which is exactly how a slice happens.

That’s why I’m constantly talking about the benefits of a vertical swing path for experienced golfers. When you allow the arms to travel more upwards in the backswing, you not only lengthen your swing, but you also find that in-to-out clubhead path as you swing down and through.

And that in-to-out swing is how you hit a nice, high draw instead of another cringe-inducing slice.

Now, how do you make sure that vertical swing path happens naturally?

You set yourself up with a slightly more vertical driver lie angle at address. 

Plus, when you get your driver shaft a little closer to upright, your lead arm and shoulder come up a little, too. If you’ve been keeping up with my tips for hitting long, straight shots with your driver, you know the best driver setup includes:

  • A lead arm that’s higher than the trail arm
  • A lead shoulder that’s higher than the trail shoulder
  • More weight on the lead foot

With a more vertical driver lie angle, you’re gonna do all those things without even thinking about it.

Now, how do you practice this adjustment?

It’s super easy.

Drill for Mastering Driver Lie Angle

Here’s how it works:

  1. Take your regular driver setup.
  2. Lift the handle of your driver just a bit so the shaft angle is a little more vertical.
  3. Take your trail hand off the club and let it rest on your trail thigh.
  4. Lift the lead arm (and the club it’s holding) straight up three times.
  5. The third time you lift it, rotate your upper body back until you’re in top-of-the-backswing position. Once you’re there, put your trail hand back in its proper position gripping the club.
  6. Do that three times, then make a shot, keeping this vertical swing position in mind.

Now, there’s one common error you really gotta look out for when you run this drill.

When you raise the golf club straight up, make sure you do it by lifting your arm, not your body. If you come up out of your golf stance, you won’t get anything out of this exercise.

Do it correctly, and you’ve got a great shot at hitting longer, straighter drives much more consistently.

Take It a Step Further

If you’re still doubting whether a simple adjustment to your driver lie angle can have any significant effect on your drives, let me tell you this:

One of the things I specifically asked Josh Boggs for when I worked with him to design the VLS Maxvert 1 driver was a more vertical lie angle.

See, if you look at your traditional driver, you’ll notice that the shaft comes out of the clubhead at a “flatter” angle… around 56-60 degrees.

Since my goal with the Maxvert was to design a club around the strengths and abilities of casual golfers, I wanted to see a steeper angle. Josh made it happen, along with a ton of other adjustments made just for the average Joe.

Now, the drill I just taught you will help you find a lot more control and consistency on the tee no matter what driver you’re using. But if you want to give yourself an even bigger boost in terms of both distance and accuracy, I highly recommend checking out the Maxvert

It’s the only driver designed specifically for experienced golfers and the only one designed by a major champion coach (me). Most importantly, it does exactly what I wanted it to do. It’s already helping senior golfers hit straight rockets off the tee without even changing their swing.

If you’re interested, you can check it out for yourself here.

What Do You Think?

It’s what I’ve said a million times (and will say a million more):

Improving your game doesn’t have to be that complicated. It’s just a matter of finding the techniques that fit your body and your swing.

A more vertical driver lie angle has been the trick for so many of my students, and I bet it’ll be the trick for you, too.

But that’s what I think. What do you think?

Have you tried this for yourself? Did it work? 

Do you have any questions?

Drop into the comments and let me know! I love hearing what you have to say and learning more about what we can do at USGolfTV to help you play your best game.

And if you want more tips and products designed specifically for golfers like you, be sure to visit


  1. Todd, I see what you are saying about creating a higher shaft angle, but I have a problem with the statement that the designer of the driver built a club with a higher shaft angle! The shaft angle is going to be higher because the golfer is raising his hands a bit or lifting his lead shoulder a bit. Is this not correct? By the way, I bought your book and I love it. My wife has it now. We are both in our 80’s and I’m scoring better than I ever have. I’m usually around 45 for nine holes and in the mid-90s for 18. I’m working on that second nine!

  2. What is your opinion on Kinking your Wrist a little when you set up to
    the ball?

    Ron from South Florida

  3. I got my driver and was disappointed. I have a Callaway Rogue set at 11 degrees and it still goes much farther. I have been using the VLS and works well for me. I will hang on to the Maxvert May need it down the line.

  4. Would the above comments about lie angle with the driver still apply for a shorter person (5ft 6″) say when most
    info/comments online by golf instructors claim lie angle on drivers is of very little consequence ? .
    Obviously the shorter ( or longer your arms) the more the toe will be upwoulds ?

  5. Todd,
    should I also raise my left shoulder when I hit my 3 wood and 5 wood just like explained how hit the driver to get a high draw.

  6. Ric,

    Great question. Best to watch this video where I cover all those questions and details

  7. Good question. The more vertical shaft angle applies to all golfers no matter the age or build in our experience.

  8. Ron,

    Not a huge fan of this move. Like the wrist to be move “bowed” at the top of the swing for most my students. Hope that helps.

  9. Harlan,

    Welcome to VLS Golf and the Vertical Line Swing, you are in good hands. Awesome to hear you and your wife are both still playing and looking to improve, so cool! Here is a great video on the full set up with the driver, take a look

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *