If you're filling your bag with new gear, it's important to make sure it's set up correctly – like what loft you should have in your driver
You’re heading out to your local pro shop to buy a new driver for the season but how do you know what loft is most optimal for your swing? Now I would always recommend you go and get custom fit but here are a few tips about how to get the optimal loft for more distance and accuracy. So what loft driver should you use?
As always the answer is it depends. There are a wide variety of factors affecting which loft will be best suited for you. A general rule of thumb is to pick relative to your clubhead speed. This is especially true if your swing is under the 80mph mark. In this case, a driver with 11° of loft or higher will give you extra yardage.
If your club head speed is over 105mph then it is likely you don’t need as much loft as your ball speed will give you the trajectory required. This is most obvious with long drive competitions who often have as little as 4° of loft on their drivers. Bryson DeChambeau has been know to use as little at 4.8° loft on his driver.
Clubhead speed < 80mph = 14-20° driver loft
Clubhead speed 80-95mph = 12-14° driver loft
Clubhead speed 95-105mph = 9-11° driver loft
Clubhead speed 105-115mph = 7-9° driver loft
Clubhead speed > 115mph = 4-7° driver loft
However this can change relative to your angle of attack and strike location. Balls hit high on the face will launch higher and balls hit lower of centre will launch lower. If you strike it at the top of the face there is actually 1.5° more loft than in the centre of the face.
If you hit up on the ball a lot you may benefit from more loft as your spin loft will be lower. Likewise if you hit down on the ball using less loft would actually reduce your spin loft and lower backspin generated giving you more distance.
The model of driver will also affect what loft is optimal. Many new drivers have a centre of gravity which is low and back meaning you may need less loft than you think.
If however you have a driver with a low forward centre of gravity which generate less spin you will probably need more loft to get the correct launch angle.
The driver shaft can also have an impact on what loft works best for you. During the swing you generate lag with the clubhead getting behind the hands, the stiffness of the club will effect how much loft you deliver at impact.
Of course your overall swing and technique plays a big factor too. Your dynamic loft – how much loft you present at impact – will effect what static loft will work best for you.
More loft can also be your friend if you shape the ball too much. Loft actually reduces the amount of curve that can be put on a shot so could help keep you more accurate.
If you have any questions let me know in the comments below or you can tweet me and I’ll be happy to answer.
- Related: Have you got the right bounce on your wedges?
- Related: Why you should check how much loft you have on your putter