What Degree Loft Should You Choose For Your Golf Clubs?
The short answer to what degree loft to go for is that there is no definitive number for each club, however there are some general guidelines and principles. The exact loft which will be most appropriate can differ depending upon the player and indeed the course. Every golfer had their own swing, and different types of course require different types of shots, and this in turn can determine which lofts are most advisable.
For example, a fast-running links course requires a different sort of game to a parkland course set up for target golf. Links typically favour low running shots, below the wind, so players here would naturally favour a lower loft than most. But target golf requires often for the ball to descend reasonably steeply on a small target area.
Adjustability has opened the options, too, especially in terms of changing the lofts of woods. Most manufacturers now give you the option of being to change the loft of your driver, fairway wood or hybrid so that you can cater the club to your game or the course you face.
What Degree Loft Should Your Driver Be?
Drivers tend to range between lofts of 7 degrees and 13 degrees. Bryson DeChambeau played with a driver which had a loft of of 7.5 degrees, but then changed to a driver with only 5 degrees of loft. But the better players normally will have in their bag a driver with between 8-10.5 degrees of loft. But beginners and high handicap players will benefit from the higher lofts.
The driver is one of the hardest clubs for beginners to hit – but also one of the most satisfying when a shot goes really well – so getting the right loft here is key. The general rule of thumb is that greater the loft the greater the forgiveness, so the easier the driver is to play well.
So for beginners or high handicap players the most suitable driver loft could be as high as 12 or 13 degrees to help get the ball up in the air with the right amount of spin. Many drivers on the market come with a variety of loft options, and some also have adjustable hosels so the player can adjust the loft themselves incrementally to find the most suitable loft through a process of experimentation.
There are drivers specifically designed for beginners and high handicap players, such as the Cleveland Launcher XL Driver, Callaway Rogue ST Max D Driver and the Ping G425 Max Driver. All three of these models come with a choice of loft options of 9°, 10.5° & 12° and an adjustable hosel. Or if you wish to got to a higher loft, the Wilson D9 Driver has a 13° option, for example.
What Degree Loft Should Your Fairway Be?
The same kind of comments can be made about fairways but there is an added element of having to be able to use the club off the tee and from the fairway. Usually fairways range from 13-19 degrees but there are also professional golfers who use seven-woods which can be as high as 24 degrees.
Once again, there is no right answer here aside from making sure the loft you have is allowing you to get the most out of your game.
What Degree Loft Should Your Hybrid Or Utility Be?
Hybrids and utility irons have become one of the best ways in bridging the gap between fairway woods and the longer irons in the bag. Sometimes they also replace fairway woods so they can be lofted from 17 degrees to as high as 25 degrees to replace the five-iron in some bags.
What Degree Loft Should Your Irons Be?
There is no official loft angle assigned to each iron largely because specific clubs vary from each manufacturer.
In the longer irons a three-iron usually comes in at around 20 degrees, a four-iron at roughly 25 degrees and a five-iron at 29 degrees of loft.
A six-iron is typically 31 degrees, a seven-iron is usually around 34 degree and then the eight- and nine-irons often come with 37 and 41 degrees of loft respectively.
What Degree Loft Should Your Wedges Be?
The wedges often have huge variety in lofts mainly because the distance-gapping between each of the wedges, and the gapping down from the irons, has to be even. As a result a pitching wedge can range from 45-50 degrees, a gap wedge is often 50-54, and then a sand wedge is between 55-58. The most lofted club in the bag is the lob wedge which can be from 58-64 degrees.
What Degree Loft Should Your Putter Be?
Do not forget you need to consider what loft your putter should be as well. Traditionally, the standard loft on putters is three to four degrees however out on Tour there is something called ‘effective loft’ which is the goal of delivering the putter with three or four degrees of loft at impact.
In short, the main thing to remember with all of this is to make sure you get fitted for clubs properly with a professional so they can give you an idea on how you hit the ball, and therefore advise you on what lofts will allow you to get the most of your game. Making sure you have good distance gapping between each club is also imperative when deciding what lofts each of your clubs should be.
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A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly.
Working with golf gear and equipment over the last five years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes.
He also loves to test golf apparel especially if it a piece that can be used just about anywhere!
As a result he has always been the one family and friends come to for buying advice and tips.
He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since December 2017. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.
Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well.
Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five.
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