When using a launch monitor, one of the things I check for is my performance in relation to the loft of the driver. Driver loft will impact how the ball flies, distance, forgiveness, and more. In other words, driver loft is important.
If you are wondering what the best driver loft is for average golfers and when to change your loft angle, I have all the information you need. Hopefully, you have an adjustable driver, which will make this process much easier.
How many degrees loft should my driver be?
The best loft for amateur golfers is between 9.5 and 10.5 degrees. Depending on your angle of attack, golf swing tempo, swing speed, and even shaft properties, you will notice a difference in performance when you change the loft of your driver.
Drivers with proper loft for your game can help improve spin rate, overall launch, and total distance. Professional golfers that hit the golf ball with more precision and at faster swing speeds often benefit from a lower driver loft in the 8.5 – 9.5 range.
New golfers and those with slower swing speeds tend to see maximum distance and results in the 10.5 to 12-degree range.
Benefits of a lower loft driver
Years ago, it was assumed that a lower loft driver that produced a low-piercing ball flight would give you maximum distance. Now that we have launch monitor technology to teach us about launch angle, carry distance, and total distance, we can see the peak height all golfers should get to maximize distance. However, there are still benefits to having a lower-lofted driver.
It can result in lower spin rates
Lower spin rates on a driver produce more roll when the golf ball hits the fairway. If you have too much spin on your driver, it can cause the ball to back up when it hits the fairway. I don’t know about you, but I want maximum distance with my driver; having it stop and roll backward is not ideal.
Easier to control ball flight
Ball flight can be easier to control with a lower lofted driver. You need to be accurate to hit the sweet spot, but then you should be able to keep the ball from getting up and away from you. Faster swing speed players that have lower handicaps like this feature.
Roll in a driver shot is your friend. If you have too much loft at impact, you won’t get the same amount of roll. The descent angle on a driver should be lower than it is with other clubs like a pitching wedge or even a 7 iron.
Better in the wind
Lower loft degrees in a driver will help you control the ball in the wind. Wind can knock a high drive down or even pull it away from the center of the fairway. Recreational golfers may not worry much about those windcheaters, but it is worth considering.
Great for golfers with fast speeds
Faster swing-speed golfers with a lot of clubhead speed do well with a lower lofted driver.
Benefits of a higher loft driver
High-lofted drivers are often seen in golf clubs for senior and women golfers. If you think about it, these players have lower club head speed, a bit more shaft flex, and maybe even a steeper attack angle than we would hope for.
A golf driver with 12 degrees is easier to hit than a driver with 9 degrees. If you don’t believe me, give it a try for yourself. Take your adjustable driver and hit a tee shot with the higher loft and the lowest loft.
If your pitching wedge or 9 iron is one of your favorite golf shots to hit, chances are it’s because these golf clubs have a higher loft, making them easier to hit. Let’s say a pitching wedge with an average loft has about 45 degrees of loft. The actual loft of your driver being only 9 or 10 makes it much less forgiving.
Easier to get up off the ground
Sometimes a higher handicap player has difficulty getting the golf driver off the ground. This swing error will work itself out in time, but in the meantime, make things easier by playing with a driver that is easier to launch.
Great for golfers with slow speeds
Slower swing speed players tend to have trouble maximizing distance from the tee. With a driver that has a higher loft, you can get a bit more distance and shorter approach shots to the green.
How to choose the best loft for my driver?
So many driver heads have adjustable lofts, making it easier to fine-tune the loft needed to improve your golf game. Here are a few things to consider to get the correct loft in your golf driver.
Dynamic loft vs. static loft
The static loft is the golf driver’s standard loft, the number you see on your golf club. The dynamic loft is the loft of the driver’s head at impact. If you have an upward attack angle or downward attack angle, or even some rotation in your arms
Golf club fitting
Going for a golf club fitting can be a great way to tell if you have an effective loft on your driver. This is an important step, especially for senior golfers, women golfers, or players taller or shorter, to ensure they interact with the ball at impact.
If you have a steeper, more downward angle of attack on your driver, chances are you will push the ball a little higher up in the air and maybe even add a little bit of spin. If your attack angle is shallower, you may struggle to get the ball in the air. The attack angle should play into the driver loft you choose.
The peak height of the driver
The peak height of your driver ball flight is a common measurement when collecting golf launch monitor data. Keep the peak height around 30 yards or 90 feet to see optimal distance and better results. If your peak height is higher or lower, use the loft on the club to adjust.
Slow-swing speed golfers almost always find that they do better with a higher lofted driver when compared to the average swing speed or higher swing speed players. If you swing less than 80 miles per hour with the driver, it’s almost guaranteed that more than 10.5 degrees of loft will help you.
Yes, those five extra yards from the driver are important. However, the key to better performance is being able to hit a repeatable and straight shot. Sometimes a little higher loft costs you a few yards, but if the accuracy makes up for it, it is well worth those yards.
Modern drivers are more adjustable than they ever have been. Turning a 9-degree driver into a 10-degree driver in minutes is an incredible feature. I encourage you to take some golf swings with varying lofts and determine the best for your golf game. Remember to keep distance and accuracy in mind when choosing the best driver loft.