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How to Determine What Loft of Driver to Buy

By Craig Berman

Many golfers focus on the larger clubheads and space-age materials when they look at new drivers, but the loft of the club has an oversized impact on how your shots off the tee perform. Depending on your swing speed, the launch angle created by the loft can either add distance or prevent your drives from even reaching the fairway. Knowing your swing speed helps determine which loft best suits your game.

Swing Speed Key

The first step to determining which driver to buy is determining your swing speed. Golf pro shops and some sporting goods stores can do this via specialized equipment, or you can approximate it by going to the range, hitting 10 drives and estimating the distance on each, omitting the high and the low numbers, calculating the average of the other eight drives and dividing by 2.3. As a general rule, slower swing speeds require higher lofts to generate the backspin that keeps the ball in the air. That’s why some golfers find that they’re more accurate with a three-wood off the tee. The higher loft of that club generates increased backspin and keeps the ball higher and straighter for those with slower swing speeds than a driver with a 9.5 degree or 10 degree loft.

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