There is a good chance that you are reading this post because you are looking at ways to increase how far you drive the ball which leads you to wanting to know what is the best loft for a driver. Overall, having an advantage of distance from the tee is a huge benefit (especially when combined with accuracy.)
There are many different ways that you can get extra yards into your golf drives and in this guide we’ll explore exactly how the right loft is beneficial and go into which is the best loft and why.
Once you have the right one you can be more confident with your tee shots. It is reassuring knowing that you are in a better position to hit the ball longer and you don’t need to worry as much about if it is right for you.
See Also: Best Driver Shafts For Distance
What Is The Best Loft For A Driver?
The driver loft that you choose can depend on your clubhead speed. If your swing speed is above 90mph then a 9.5 – 11 degree loft will give you the best angle of attack. Golfers who swing faster than 120mph would require a loft below 9.5 degrees and those golfers with a slower swing below 90mph would be better choosing a loft between 11.5 – 17 degrees for the optimal launch angle.
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Why Is Loft Important?
As you can tell above the loft is so important to get right when choosing a new driver because depending on the height of the loft, it can have a different outcome on the trajectory of the drive. If you are in the market for a beginner golf driver or senior driver then your requirements will be different to a low handicapper driver or mid handicapper driver.
This is because the optimal loft of the golf club can differ dependent on the level of ability of the golfer. By understanding the answer to the question ‘what is loft in golf?’ you put yourself in a better position to make the most out of your game, especially when it comes to driving the ball off the tee.
As we’ll cover in more detail later in this post, there isn’t a one size fits all approach to finding the best loft for distance and hitting the golf ball far as this has a lot to do with club head speed of players of differing ability affecting the desired loft required.
This confusion can often lead new golfers to ask themselves ‘what degree driver should i get?’ or ‘what loft driver should i use?’.
Driver Loft Chart
The below driver loft chart (source: wishongolf.com) illustrates the correlation between clubhead speed and loft. This shows that it is a myth that a low launch angle will mean greater distance in all cases.
As you can see in the chart, the launch angle that you choose can affect the distance of the drives.
However if your swing speeds are faster, especially when it is 100 mph or over then the lower angle of attack of the club actually provides extra driver distance than using a driver with a higher loft.
A popular speed is between 80mph and 90mph and this is where many golfers make a mistake as they will opt for a 9.5 degree when really a loft of 11-13 would be the best driver loft for 90mph speed to hit the ball as far as possible.
What Do Pros Use?
As you would expect professionals on the PGA Tour see a fast swing speed. As you can see from the above swinging faster will correlate to having less loft.
The average driver clubhead speed on the PGA Tour is 113 MPH and 94 MPH on the LPGA Tour with even faster ball speed (TrackMan) which indicates that they will require less loft, typically a 9.5 degree loft for their driver (especially the longest hitters on tour).
Best Distance Driver Loft
So that is how things look for professionals on tour but for you the ideal loft for distance is totally dependent on your own individual game. If you are a beginner golfer we would typically recommend a driver with a high loft attack angle of between 12-14 if you are looking to add extra distance as the probability is that your clubhead speed is lower. This additional loft will help to provide you to increase your average driver distance while focusing on improving your technique and increasing club head speed.
Alternatively if you have a handicap below 10 then you may wish to try a club with a lower loft angle of around 10-13 degrees as this will help add yards to your game as the chances are that you have a higher mph than golfers with a higher handicap.
It is also recommended to have an understanding of your own club head speed on a regular basis. There are a couple of easy ways to do this. Firstly, you could go to your local golf club for a fitting where they should be able to calculate this for you. Otherwise, you may wish to purchase a Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar which will be able to measure this for you and allow you to track your progress without breaking the bank compared to expensive alternatives.
Best beginner Driver Loft
Quick Summary: The ideal loft for beginners would be between 12-14 degrees due to slower swings.
The best loft on your driver for beginners is dependent on the average club head speed generated but typically in this range I would recommend a beginner golfer purchasing a driver that is between 12-14 degrees in loft to get optimal ball distance. This loft would be recommended and allow beginners to find the best driver for a high handicapper.
As your speed improves the loft of the driver should decrease in accordance to this. This will help to make sure that you maximize ball distance by using as much loft as you need.
The best way to stay on track is to use a simulator (You can view our top picks here). You can then track your key stats on a consistent basis to track any changes.
Best Seniors Driver Loft
Quick Summary: The ideal loft for seniors should be between 10.5 – 13 degrees depending on the individual golfer.
The best loft on your driver for seniors follows a similar pattern to that for beginners in the sense that senior golfers usually see their club head speed decrease. Therefore, the loft required for maximum distance will increase.
Depending on the performance level of the senior golfer in question the best loft for senior golfers should be somewhere between 10.5-13 degrees.
Average Driver Loft
An average loft if you are unsure would typically be a 10.5 degree ranging up to a 12 degree. Unless you have exceptionally fast club head speed for an amateur we would advise against using less loft such as a 9.5 degree starting out.
9.5 vs 10.5 Driver
Something that is often considered among amateur golfers is when comparing a 9.5 Vs 10.5 Drivers. As you can see from the above chart chances are that as a beginner you would hinder yourself greatly with a 9.5 driver and a 10.5 driver as a beginner is a much better choice. This also gives you plenty of room to grow as your game improves. However, to really maximize your game starting out the question shouldn’t be whether you choose a 9.5 vs 10.5 driver and instead whether to choose a 10.5 vs a 12 driver.
In summary, there is not a one size fits all when trying to answer the question ‘what is the best loft for a driver?’. However, as you can see from the above the answer to this question won’t always remain the same as it can change both when you move from a high handicapper to a low handicapper and when you move from a junior to senior golfer. This is because of the typical correlation with golf clubhead speeds at these points. Typically the lower your golf handicap the faster you will swing and the less loft you will need for the angle of attack on your drives. You can check your current golf handicap here.
By choosing the best loft for you, you can be certain that in your bag you have the best loft on your driver for distance so that you are getting the right attack angle and gaining maximum golf ball distance off the tee at all times on the golf course.