When it comes to golf, driver lofts are one of the things that amateurs tend to get wrong. Too often, golfers determine the measure of their lofts based on the preferences of their favorite professional golfers. As a result, they end up buying golf clubs that do not suit their skills and then struggle using these clubs effectively. In this article, we discuss the best loft for a driver:
Why Is Driver Loft Important?
Measuring the loft of a golf driver is extremely important for golfers. Most beginners don’t understand that the wrong loft can heavily influence the trajectory of their drive. Understandably, if you are new to golf, the requirements for your driver would be substantially different as compared to someone with a low or mid handicap.
The Best Driver Loft for Distance Depends on Your Game
Therefore, if you buy a golf club that does not suit your skill level, you won’t be able to strike the ball to a greater distance. With that said, there is no one-size-fits-all rule in determining the right driver loft that can give you the best distance. Everything from the level of skills of a golfer to the speed of the clubhead affects how far a driver hits the ball, so it’s all relative.
What Kind of Golfers Need High Loft Drivers?
The measure of the loft of a driver can vary from person to person, depending on what kind of golfer they are. The following golfers need a driver with a high loft to launch the ball at a greater distance.
Someone who swings their golf club at a slow speed, which is 80 mph or less, can benefit from a high loft on their driver. The higher loft on the driver enables it to carry the ball at a greater distance.
To understand this, think of water flowing from your hose to the other side of your backyard. If the pressure of the hose is low, then you will need to tilt the hose higher in order to flush the water at a greater distance.
Similarly, the higher loft on a driver enables golfers with slow swing speeds to hit the ball at a greater distance. Ideally, golfers with slow swing speeds will benefit from a driver with a measure of loft between 12-14°.
Golfers who have a positive attack angle usually hit the ball up. Because of the low spin of this angle, the ball has a lower trajectory. Therefore, by using a golf club with a high measure of loft, these golfers can achieve a greater distance.
Golfers with Low and Front Weighted Drivers
Like the example above, drivers with a low and forward center of gravity tend to generate lower spins on hits. Golf equipment manufacturers make this possible with the help of either heavier sole weights or front tracks.
Nevertheless, by increasing the measure of loft of these golf clubs, a golfer can maximize the distance the ball covers after hitting it. Keep in mind that a driver with a high loft can also be more forgiving because it is harder to curve the ball with such drivers.
What Kind of Golfers Need Low Loft Drivers?
A greater loft doesn’t always lead to a greater distance. In some cases, decreasing loft on a driver can actually help a golfer hit the ball over greater distances. Let’s see the driver that can benefit from clubs with low lofts.
Some golfers strike the ball at insanely high speeds, up to 115 mph, in some cases. The additional speed means that these balls have considerable power behind them, but at the same time, they can also have a lower trajectory. As a result, these hits might not cover as much distance as you want.
If you fall under the bracket of fast swing golfers, you will instantly benefit from a driver with a low measure of loft. Keep in mind that a golfer with a swing speed of 100 mph or more doesn’t need a high loft to achieve greater distance. Therefore, a golf driver with a degree of loft between 8.5-10° will be enough to deposit the ball at a greater distance.
If you are a golfer who hits the ball lower, then it’s likely that you generate a high spin on the ball. If you use a driver that has a lower loft, you will limit the backspin on the ball and then be able to deposit the ball at a greater distance.
With that said, it’s also important to remember that you need a high-enough launch angle simultaneously, which should be greater than 11 degrees, ideally.
Golfers with High and Back Weighted Drivers
Some manufacturers make specialized drivers that have a cavity or a hollow back, which places the center of gravity at the back. As a result, these drivers naturally have a higher spin, along with a higher launch. As a result, golfers don’t need additional lofts to keep the ball airborne for a longer time, so golfers with high and back weighted drivers can afford to use a low degree of loft.
Other Important Factors You Should Consider
While determining the ideal measure of loft for your driver, you also need to consider the following important factors:
This is the level of driver that is assigned to the driver naturally. Manufacturers usually etch this detail into the sole of the driver to allow golfers to choose a driver that suits them. With that said, the way you strike the ball can affect how much of an effect this measure of the loft has on the ball.
For instance, a strike with a downward angle reduces the effect of the dynamic loft. Similarly, if you have hands excessively ahead of the ball while striking it, you will decrease the effect of loft on the ball.
You must keep in mind that the dynamic loft of the driver can affect everything from the spin, launch, and distance of your hit. Therefore, it’s important that you consider your own technique before choosing a driver with a certain loft.
For those who don’t know, the measure of loft on the clubface of your driver can vary up to six degrees from top to bottom. The measure of a loft is the lowest at the bottom of the club and the highest at its top. This is why if you strike the ball above the center of the clubface, you will launch the ball higher and generate less spin.
The impact location on the clubface directly relates to your level of skill. Therefore, beginners should consider buying a driver that offers maximum forgiveness and the least amount of variability on mishits.
If you own a driver that allows you to adjust the angle of the clubface, messing with the clubface too much can also affect the loft of the driver. In most cases, beginners accidentally reduce the loft too much when they open the adjustable club faces. It’s better to keep this in mind before messing with your clubs.
Our Final Thoughts
In a nutshell, the best loft for distance depends greatly on how you play the game. For beginners, a driver that offers a high loft angle, typically between 15- 17° is the best for greater distance.
Alternatively, if you are a golfer with a handicap of less than 10, then it would be ideal to try a driver with a measure of loft around 10-13°. In the end, you also need to consider your swing speed to get a driver that fits your needs.
The best way to gauge what kind of golf driver is best for you is to visit a pro shop. Experts available at the shop can evaluate your skill, observe your launch angles, along with your swing speed, and suggest the best driver loft for distance.