Are you having a hard time hitting the golf ball far and straight? You’re not alone. Golf remains one of today’s hardest games to become proficient in.
If you’re a high handicapper, meaning your handicap index is 18 or higher, you may struggle to hit the ball. This means your shot may go to the right or left. You might also struggle to master your short game, including chipping and putting.
Fortunately, you can elevate your golf game simply by having the right golf equipment. Let’s examine what driver loft you should be using.
What Is a Driver Loft?
Driver lofts are the angles created between golf club shafts and clubfaces or the greens when the clubs’ heads are sitting squarely. The driver loft affects a ball’s distance, trajectory, and speed when you hit it with a club.
Drivers have less loft than most other clubs. Only putters have lower loft numbers. Their range is seven degrees Fahrenheit to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Proficient golf hitters usually prefer less loft. However, a recreational player with a slower speed may appreciate lofted drivers more, finding them more convenient.
Best Golf Driver
The best driver loft is mostly based on your golfing swing speed. Let’s explore which driver may fit you best depending on whether you have a high, average, or low swing speed.
If you have a high speed, you may fall under either the lightning-fast or the fast category.
A lightning-fast player produces a speed of 105 miles per hour. They minimize the ball spin and maximize the ball speed with 8.5-degree drivers.
Meanwhile, fast swingers produce a clubhead speed of between 97 miles per hour and 104 miles per hour. The club that works best for them is a nine-degree driver. This driver is great for the maximum roll, low spin, and controlled flight of the ball.
If you have a moderate swing speed, you produce a clubhead speed of 84 miles per hour to 96 miles per hour. Most golfing amateurs fall under this category.
If you have an average speed, you may want to use a 10.5-degree driver. Moderate lofts will give you an extra boost when you’re trying to make contact with the golf ball. That’s because the driver’s face is more open with this type of loft.
This will make it easier for you to consistently launch your golf ball long and high off the golf tee.
Perhaps you’re producing too much lift and spin with a 10.5-degree driver. In this situation, a nine-degree driver may be a better option.
A driver with an adjustable loft will let you slightly strengthen your angle by half a degree. This will keep you from going too far the other way.
Seniors and beginners usually have slow swing speeds as they attempt to master this sport’s most challenging shots. In this category, the most appropriate loft drivers are higher-launching and weaker.
A slower swinger delivers a clubhead speed of 82 miles per hour or less. Their clubface also needs to be open more. This will help their ball to go airborne off their tee.
If you’re new to playing golf and you’re wondering what loft to choose, it’s best you choose no higher than a 12.5-degree driver.
A weaker loft will produce a little more spin compared with stronger ones. This will elevate your launch and increase your swinging distance gains.
Still, you might think a 12.5-degree driver isn’t strong enough for your golf swing, as you’re generating excess launch and spin. You may want to go with a 10.5-degree option instead.
This option’s lower loft will decrease your spin rate. This will help you launch the ball lower. That will lead to an optimal ball roll and a consistent ball flight.
On the other hand, what happens if a 12.5-degree driver is too strong? In this situation, you have a few options.
First, you may want to stick with the 12.5-degree option but choose one with a hosel you can adjust. This will let you moderately weaken your clubface’s loft angle.
The second option is to customize your 12.5-degree driver.
The third option is to use a 13- or 13.5-degree driver. The challenge with these options, though, is that the clubhead is smaller compared with a bigger stick.
High Lofted Drivers
A higher lofted driver can help most amateurs playing golf. However, they can present challenges such as spin, accuracy, and launch off the golf tee.
A weaker loft will close your clubface angle. This can cause the ball to launch higher and fly straighter.
An open clubface will cause you to produce increased spin. This will cause your golf ball to go higher and land softly. It will eliminate roll, limiting your overall yardage potential.
In addition, note that a weaker driver’s closed face can cause misses. Right-handers and left-handers may miss toward the left and right, respectively.
Low Lofted Drivers
Let’s say your loft is far too strong, given your swinging speed. You’ll generate erratic dispersion, distance problems, and inadequate carry.
This means your ball will fly low and hit the ground early. It will ultimately stop short of your desired landing zone.
Your clubface angle will also be open with a lower driver. This can lead to major slices if your tempo isn’t right and the clubface remains open when you make contact with the golf ball.
Perhaps you decide to go with the 8.5-degree lofted driver option. You may appreciate being able to control the golf ball’s flight. However, you might find yourself frequently missing the ball if your swing mechanics aren’t strong.
Best Loft Option for Distance
The best choice for distance depends on your launch ability and swing speed.
For instance, a golfer with a moderate swinging speed may want to use the 10.5-degree option. This driver will encourage neutral launches.
However, players with higher swing speeds might produce too much launch and spin with the 10.5-degree option. This may lead to ballooned launches. It might also decrease your ball’s roll and carry distance.
If you fall under this category, you should use the decreased nine-degree loft instead.
Finally, if you have a slow swinging speed, you should avoid reduced lofted driver options. They have closed-face angles, which makes it hard to launch the ball consistently.
In light of the above, beginners should use a 12.5-degree loft driver — nothing stronger.
If you’re looking for the best golfing equipment for beginners, higher lofted drivers are the best options for amateur golfers. That’s because they make it easier to launch a ball from a tee consistently.
Still, higher loft drivers can cause you to produce excess spin if you’re a fast swinger. You might also balloon your shot. This means you may lose total distance and roll.
If you have a high swing speed, a nine-degree driver or lower is your best choice. Meanwhile, if you have a moderate swing, the 10.5-degree option is most appropriate. Finally, slow swingers may want to use the 12-degree driver or a weaker one.
Also, keep in mind that lowering your driver loft does open your clubface angle. If you weaken your loft, the clubface’s angle will close.
Best Driver Brands
Drivers are important clubs for a high handicapper because they can improve your accuracy off your golf tee. They can also improve your distance. Let’s go over some of the best driver brand options to choose from.
First, consider Callaway’s (Epic Max) and TaylorMade’s (SIM2 Max) drivers. They are popular options among players with high handicap indexes.
That’s because they feature larger clubheads. They also feature advanced technologies aimed at improving performance.
Another popular option is the Cobra driver (F-Max Airspeed). This stick’s offset clubhead and lightweight design can help your golf ball go straighter.
You might also want to try Ping’s G425 Max and Titleist’s TSi1 options. These sticks have even bigger clubheads. They also come with adjustable features, which can help you optimize your performance.
How We Can Help with Your Golf Game
The best driver loft for you will be based on your swing speed.
If your swing speed is high, choose an 8.5-degree driver. If it’s average, the 10.5-degree option may suit you better. Meanwhile, if your speed is low, choose the 12.5-degree option.
At High Golf Handicap, we take pride in offering golf advice for high handicappers seeking to improve their game.