There is no question a lot of golfers make the wrong decision for what driver loft is going to generate the greatest possible distance for their swing speed and their swing characteristics. Because it is a technical fact that less loft with the irons hits the ball farther for all golfers, it is very easy for most golfers to think that the same relationship between loft and distance exists with the driver as well.
Unfortunately, the facts of physics of ball flight say otherwise for a large segment of golfers when it comes to knowing what loft is going to result in the best possible combination of total distance with the driver. It is a fact that the lower the golfer’s clubhead speed, the more loft is needed on the driver and vice versa for higher swing speeds, to allow each golfer to get the most distance possible.
In addition, the swing characteristic called Angle of Attack plays an extremely important role in the decision for driver loft. If the clubhead is traveling on a downward angle coming to the ball, more loft is needed on the driver to maximize distance, while if the clubhead is coming into impact on a slightly upward angle, less loft results in the most possible distance.
But how is any golfer to know exactly what driver loft their individual clubhead speed and swing angle of attack will result in the most distance possible?
Without question, the best solution is to be custom fit by an experienced Clubmaker/clubfitter who has a launch monitor AND knows how to use it to correctly translate your shot data into the best possible driver loft recommendation. While there are some of the big box golf retail chain stores that can do this as well, unfortunately too many do not know how to correctly use a launch monitor to be able to say with any degree of confidence that a trip to one of the big golf stores could result in an accurate driver fitting. To find an experienced Clubmaker with whom you may work to be professionally custom fit, click on the following link to find a competent custom Clubmaker in your area – http://www.twgolftech.com/locator.php.
To offer assistance in ‘self-fitting’ yourself with the best possible driver loft for your swing characteristics, we offer the following chart:
Optimal Driver Lofts for Maximum CARRY
|Clubhead Speed||Angle of Attack||Driver Loft|
|75 mph||-2 degrees||16|
|75 mph||0 degrees||15|
|75 mph||+2 degrees||14|
|85 mph||-2 degrees||15|
|85 mph||0 degrees||14|
|85 mph||+2 degrees||13|
|95 mph||-2 degrees||12.5|
|95 mph||0 degrees||11.5|
|95 mph||+2 degrees||10.5|
|105 mph||-2 degrees||12|
|105 mph||0 degrees||10.5|
|105 mph||+2 degrees||9.5|
|115 mph||-2 degress||10.5|
|115 mph||0 degrees||9|
|115 mph||+2 degrees||8|
It is VERY important to note the above chart offers the optimum driver loft for maximum CARRY DISTANCE. Due to the fact that fairway conditions vary by part of the country, weather conditions and turf/ground conditions, a golfer’s optimum driver loft for TOTAL CARRY + ROLL DISTANCE may be slightly lower than the lofts indicated in the chart for each combination of clubhead speed + angle of attack. If/when your fairways are mowed very short, or are hard, firm and more conducive to roll, the driver loft which will result in the most total distance will be between 1 to 1.5 degrees lower than the lofts offered in the chart for maximum carry distance.
Golfers may also wonder how to determine if they have a downward (-), level (0) or upward (+) angle of attack so the information in the chart is more helpful. While accurate angle of attack can only be measured with a high end launch monitor such as TrackMan, it can be estimated from an observation of driver shot trajectory well enough to allow the chart data to be helpful.
If you swing over the top with an outside in path, it is likely you would have a downward angle of attack. With the driver, if your current shot trajectory is lower to much lower than the majority of other golfers using the same driver loft, you likely have a downward angle of attack. Likewise, if your current shot trajectory is higher to much higher than the majority of other golfers using the same driver loft, you likely have an upward angle of attack.
Good luck and I hope this information helps you gain more distance off the tee!