Definition of Golf Driver Loft

By Clint Hale
Optimal loft can be important on long par 4's or even longer par 5 holes.
Optimal loft can be important on long par 4's or even longer par 5 holes.

Golfers so often hear about the term "loft," particularly as it pertains to driving the ball off the tee. But how exactly is the term "loft" defined? Fortunately, there is a specific definition of the term, as well as ways to go about ensuring optimal loft during that next round on the links.

Definition

Pinemeadow Golf defines "loft" as "the angle of the clubface that controls trajectory and distance."

Specifics

According to Golf Engineering, the loft of a club is "what determines the initial shot trajectory when the ball is struck." Measuring loft is not difficult at all. To do so, simply measure the angle formed between a vertical line and the clubface when the club is in "address" position.

Loft Angles on Clubs

The average driver, according to Pinemeadow Golf, features a loft between 7 and 12 degrees. More experienced golfers tend to use lower-lofted drivers (less than 10 degrees), as these clubs tend to require more skill to gain optimal loft and distance. Novice golfers tend to feature drivers closer to 12 degrees, as these clubs are better equipped to provide more loft on their own.

Change in PGA Loft Trends

Although more experienced golfers tend to use lower-lofted drivers, a trend has developed during the past few years on the PGA Tour in which professional golfers are opting for higher-lofted drivers, some of which reach up to 11 degrees. These PGA Tour pros cite longer drives as a result of combining high launch angle and lower spin. The former is accomplished through a large-headed driver, and new, solid core golf balls help decrease spin on the golf ball.

Clubhead Speed and Loft

According to Golf Engineering, clubhead speed is directly tied to loft through the degree of loft on a driver. For instance, the best drivers in the world tend to swing around 130 to 150 mph, meaning they can use a driver with a loft of between 4 and 7 degrees. However, more novice golfers tend to generate a clubhead speed of 85 to 90 mph, which makes a 10- or 11-degree driver optimal for driving.

Photo Credits

  • Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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