Are you struggling to decide between a wedge and a driver? Are you having trouble maintaining the distance, spin, and direction of the golf ball?
Well, you’re in luck! This handy guide is your one-stop shop for all things loft.
I’m here to answer all your burning questions so you know exactly how the angle between the clubface and the ground will affect the trajectory of the ball.
This blog post is for anyone who simply wants to improve their game! It has all sorts of handy information for beginners and veterans alike – not to mention those in the market for a shiny new iron.
Specifically, this guide will cover:
- What is a loft in golf?
- Club-by-club golf club loft chart
- How to read the golf club loft chart
- Types of clubs and their loft factors
- The right loft angle for you
- Whether loft angle will change.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s jump right in!
What is Loft in Golf?
There is no regulation on golf club lofts–it is all up to the manufacturer. However, there is a pretty set range for the different types of golf clubs, including the best golf club set. Again, if you want custom-fit clubs, the lofts may fall out of this range.
But first, for our newer golfers, let’s go over what loft is and why it’s important, along with how to choose the right angle for you.
Well, for starters, it may be helpful to explain what exactly loft is. The loft is the angle between the clubface and the ground. The angle is denoted by degrees and differs between every type of club.
Now, you may be wondering why you should care about the loft of your clubs. Well, they directly influence how far the golf ball will travel. The lower the loft of your club, the further the ball will travel.
The loft also helps you control the spin and direction of the ball. This is incredibly important when it comes to playing with wind or on particularly challenging courses.
Club-by-Club Loft Chart
|Golf Club||Loft Angle|
|Driver||5.5º-12.5º, average between 8º-10.5º|
|2-Iron||16º-19º, average 18|
|Sand Wedge||54º-58º, average 56º|
|Lob Wedge||58º-64º, average 60º|
This golf club loft chart was created on the averages of each type of golf club, so there is a range of angles. If you have or are looking for custom-fit golf clubs, then the loft can be different as it is tailored specifically to you.
How to Read a This Loft Chart?
You might now be thinking to yourself: what in the world am I looking at?! But don’t worry! The golf club loft chart is actually super simple once you know how to read it.
Essentially, the numbers on the chart represent the loft angle of each club in degrees.
As you can see, some of these numbers vary. This is because the loft of each specific club will change depending on the manufacturer, although they will remain close to the average listed.
The higher the number, the higher the loft angle – which means the ball will have a higher trajectory and shorter distance.
The lower the number, the lower the loft angle – which means the ball will have a lower trajectory and longer distance.
That is why the lob wedge has the highest average and the putter has the lowest.
When choosing the right club for you, you need to know the distance you want to hit the ball, the type of shot you need to make (for example, a tee shot, approach shot, or short game shot), and the conditions of the course (e.g. wind, slope, and hazards).
Without all this, it will be extremely hard to get the results you hope for on the green.
However, for reference, I’ve listed a few helpful examples to give you an idea of what you should be looking out for:
- Is there a hazard in the way and you need to hit a high, soft shot over it? You may want to choose a club with a higher loft angle, such as a sand wedge or lob wedge
- Trying to hit a low, penetrating shot into the wind? You may want to choose a club with a lower loft angle, such as a 3-iron or 4-iron
- Some hanging tree branches in the way? You may also want to choose a lower lofted club such as a 5-iron or 6-iron so that the ball won’t get caught!
- Approaching the green? You need to hit a high ball that will not only land softly but stop quickly, so choose a club with a higher loft such as a pitching wedge or gap wedge
- But what if you’re approaching the green but the shot is uphill? Well, to maximize both distance and height, I would use a club with a moderate loft such as the 3 hybrid.
Overview of the Types of Clubs and Their Loft Factors
A brief overview of the types of clubs and how loft factors into each type. That way, you know a little bit more when it comes to what you want out of each club and how loft is going to impact your swing.
Drivers are a type of wood but are more commonly thought to be their own club. A driver is used for long-distance shots, as they are the fastest club to swing, giving the golfer more force behind the ball.
Think Happy Gilmore when it comes to drivers. The lower the loft angle, the farther the distance, which is why drivers come in at one of the lowest loft angles, second only to putters.
As you can tell from the handy golf club loft chart, there is a range of irons, with the higher number indicating a shorter club length.
The loft angle increases as the serial numbers increase, so the correlation is a little easier to remember. High iron, high loft. Irons are used for those in-between distances where a driver is overkill and a putter is well… underkill and you’re going to be there awhile.
Hybrids are a fusion between irons and woods, mostly in the area of the clubhead design. However, if a golfer uses a hybrid, it is usually in replacement of an iron rather than a wood club type.
Most often, golfers find hybrids to be more successful and easier to swing than irons. It is due to this hybridization that the loft angle of hybrids falls in between those of irons and woods.
Though the clubheads aren’t made of wood anymore, the name is still used. Woods have flat, usually hollow heads and are used for long shots down the fairway (hence the term ‘fairway woods’) or off the tee. Remember, drivers are a type of wood but have less of a loft angle, making the golf ball go farther.
Wedges are for the chip shots. Think about it as wedging the ball out of a hole. And you may even notice a wedge-shaped chunk taken out of the ground after your swing (and no, that’s not how the club got its name, but we think it would be a lot cooler if it did).
Wedges are just irons with a higher loft angle, making them the best types of clubs to get the ball out of tricky situations.
Mini golf has its place in the golf world, so you more than likely have swung a putter. You may have even noticed that putters are almost completely parallel to the ground. That is because they have a low loft angle to give the golfer the most distance for a small swing of the club.
But now, without further ado, here is the golf club loft chart. Look, it is in a nice table and everything! You can just copy and paste this into a word document and print it out (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone).
How Do You Know the Right Loft Angle for You?
Well, you don’t until you know the wrong angles. Every golfer is different, and some lofts on clubs can be custom to your type of swing. The most variance will most likely be with driver clubs, but other golf club loft angles may vary as well. For example, Phil Mickelson uses a loft of 64 degrees on his lob wedge club, which is rather high (or lofty, if you will) compared to the average 60 degrees.
Driver lofts have a wide range of loft angles and for good reason. Beginning or handicapped golfers need a higher angle range (between 10-12.5 degrees) to get the ball in the air. Whereas professional golfers may not need that much of a loft angle.
If you are a beginner golfer, it’s good to start with the averages. When shopping for clubs, you should talk to the local expert or store consultant to get a good set for starting out. After you narrow down what you don’t like, you can jump into looking at custom-fit clubs.
Will Loft Angle Change?
For you personally?
As you progress through your golf career, even if you’re in the midst of it now, your preferred loft angle may change on certain clubs. This can be due to the fact that you can develop a new type of swing, an injury that forces you to swing differently, or just developing new muscles in your arms and back to influence your swing.
There are a lot of reasons that you may change your loft angle, which is why for beginners we recommend sticking to the standard range before shelling out money for custom clubs.