There are a lot of factors that go into optimizing your driver. You’ve got head size, shape, and style, shaft, grip, and maybe most importantly, loft.
Of all the things mentioned above, loft just can have the greatest impact on how your driver performs. And I’ve been getting a lot of questions from our readers about what loft they should be using in their driver.
So, I decided to reach out to some of the game’s best instructors and club fitters, and I’m excited to share their advice with you below.
How Do You Know What Loft Your Driver Should Be?
With advances in technology, it’s no longer a secret that the equation for maximum driver distance is maximizing launch angle and minimizing spin.
For most golfers, that means that the slower they swing their driver, the more loft they need, and vice-versa.
A general guide goes as follows:
- Swing speed less than 72 mph – 14 degrees of loft
- Swing speed from 72 mph to 83 mph – 12 degrees of loft
- Swing speed from 84 mph to 96 mph – 10.5 degrees of loft
- Swing speed from 97 mph to 104 mph – 9 degrees of loft
- Swing speed greater than 105 mph – 8.5 degrees of loft
Why Choosing the Right Driver Loft is So Important
The goal with your driver is to hit the ball as far as you can while maintaining some accuracy. It’s the only club in your bag that’s not meant to be hit a specific distance. As such, achieving that perfect combination of maximum launch angle and minimal spin is of vital importance. You need the correct loft to do that.
Playing a driver with the incorrect loft can do more than cost you distance though. It can cause wayward shots left or right, and overall inconsistencies in your ball flight.
The most common mistake teachers and club fitters see golfers make is playing a driver with too little loft. For example, someone with an 80-mph swing speed who plays a driver with 8.5 degrees is most likely going to struggle. They certainly won’t carry the ball very far, and they’ll be sacrificing accuracy at the same time.
Conversely, someone playing a driver with 12 degrees of loft that swings the club at 110 mph isn’t going to have a problem with launch, but their spin rate will be way too high. This will lead to a loss of distance and wide shot dispersion, especially on shots into the wind where the ball spins even more.
Hopefully this article gives you a general idea of the driver loft that’s best for your swing speed and game. Your driver should be a weapon, not a liability, and having the right loft is an important part of the equation.
As always though, we can’t stress enough the importance of getting properly fitted by a PGA Professional or certified club fitter. Even though this takes a little extra effort on your part, it can make all the difference in your game.
What are your thoughts about driver loft? Let us know in the comments below.