Driver Loft: What Loft Angle Should You Play

The driver in golf is usually the first club you would use on each hole you play. Due to its long length and low loft, it can achieve the long distances you need to achieve on your first swing to make the next shot distance as short as possible to the green.

Picking the right driver loft is important! So what is driver loft?

The loft is the angle that lies between the head of the golf club and the shaft. This is very important as it determines the speed and trajectory or upward inclination your ball makes when it is hit by a club. In choosing the right loft for your driver, you have to consider a few things.

Let’s dive in.

What Factors Determine What Driver Loft to Play

#1: Your Golf Skills

Many beginner players pick a particular loft for their drivers based on what their favorite player uses on the PGA Tour. Imagine you grew up watching Tiger Woods for most of your childhood, and now you have decided that you want to venture into golf.

Without a second thought, you would do extensive research on him, find out all the equipment he uses and their specifications and decide that this is what you need to use.

The problem is, what works for one person might not necessarily work for you, especially if you are at different levels of competency. You should also avoid comparing yourself to other players, especially if you are just starting.

Most beginners should actually play a higher loft on their driver to help keep the ball straighter. Lower lofted drivers are more difficult to play, hence why usually the professionals are the ones who can be seen playing these low lofted clubs.

#2: Your swing speed

You have to know what your swing speed is to be able to determine the loft you need. You can visit a local golf shop where you can hit multiple balls via a simulator to determine your speed.

Golf swing speeds can range from 50 mph to 120+ mph.

How far you hit a golf ball is correlated to the speed of the clubhead. Force is mass x acceleration so the faster your clubhead is accelerating into the golf ball at impact, the more force is delivered to the golf ball causing it to fly farther.

Now that you can see that the distance your golf ball travels is directly related to the golf ball speed, let’s talk about how much loft you should be using on your golf driver.

Your swing speed is the speed your club generates just before it hits the ball. The higher your swing speed, the lower the amount of loft you would need on your club and vice versa.

The reason for the high loft requited with a lower speed is to compensate for the reduced force propelling the ball upward. When you have a golf swing with lots of speed, it naturally will launch the golf ball higher.

But please ensure to avoid swinging at the ball too hard, as this does not necessarily increase your swing speed. Having a balance of stability and control to go along with power can help you hit the golf ball farther than someone swinging out of control with too much power.

#3: Your clubhead speed

Your clubhead speed is a huge determinant of your driver’s loft. Your clubhead speed is similar to your swing speed, and generally, if you have a high speed, you would require a lower loft for maximum launch.

Also, if you have a relatively low speed, you would need a higher loft.

To illustrate this, a clubhead speed between 90mph and 120mph would need a loft between 9.5 and 11 (this is about the average for most players).

A clubhead speed below 90mph would require a loft above 11, while a clubhead speed above 120mph would require a loft below 9.5. You should keep this inverse relationship in mind when deciding on the best loft for your driver.

#4: Your technique

The way you play and hit the ball determines a lot in a game you play, from your speed to how far the ball can travel. Your attack angle is an important technique to take note of, especially if you are a beginner.

This is very useful, especially if you do not know what loft to use and if your speed is not fast enough. The attack angle is the relationship of the clubhead with the ball on the horizontal plane.

A negative attack angle is when you hit down on the ball, and a positive attack angle is when you hit on the ball. Having a positive attack angle helps to maximize the trajectory and distance your golf ball can travel.

Adjustable Drivers and Loft

A huge advantage of modern golf clubs these days is that it comes with an adjustable hosel. The hosel is a hole in the club where the shaft enters.

This can be used to reduce or increase the length of the shaft, thereby having a similar effect on the loft; an increase or a decrease. Your aim as a player is to seek constant improvement, and an adjustable driver can accomplish this quite easily.

High attack angle

If you have a high attack angle, you are hitting the ball too high in relation to the ground. This is going to affect the speed and distance your ball moves.

An adjustable driver helps combat this by reducing the shaft length, which then reduces the loft angle, leading to a lesser trajectory.

Low attack angle

The opposite applies to a low attack angle. Your club length is too short, and you cannot hit the ball effectively off the ground and reduce the speed the ball can travel through. An adjustable driver helps you increase your club’s length, which increases the angle of your loft.

A perfect loft is very hard to achieve, and it takes time to learn which driver works perfectly for you and the loft it requires. Alongside this, you need to determine some of the factors above, from your swing speed to your technique.

If you are new to the game, seek help from a professional coach or someone more advanced in the game. This prevents any mistakes your naivety can cause and saves money and errors in the long run.

Also, practice as much as possible and try out different drivers to determine which one you would maximize effectively from the material used to the weight and length.

Final Thoughts

By keeping these few guidelines in your mind when you are deciding on the loft to use for your driver, you are bound to find one that works for you perfectly.

But, just as everything is bound to change, like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly, so also is your loft expected to change in your golf journey as you progress from a beginner level to a more advanced one.

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