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The lofts of a golf club have a significant influence on the maximum height you can hit a golf ball at, the maximum amount of spin that can be imparted on the ball, and ultimately the distance that the ball will travel after being hit by the club.
In this guide, we will discuss the lofts of all golf clubs so you can get a better idea of which of your clubs you should be using in any situation.
Related article: Golf Club Distance Charts
When compared to the lofts of irons and hybrids, woods often have lower lofts. For example, the loft on a standard 3-wood is somewhere about 15 degrees, but the loft on the majority of 3-irons is anywhere between 19 and 21 degrees. Here are the lofts of common woods.
- Loft – 9 to 12.5 Degrees
When compared to the other golf clubs (except the putter), the driver has the least degree of loft possible. In addition to this, these clubs measure an average of 45 inches in length, making them the longest in the bag.
Although the typical loft for most drivers can range anywhere from 9 to 12.5 degrees, some golfers push it to even greater extremes than that.
You must remember that drivers are typically always struck with the ball teed up at least an inch off the ground, which enables strong drivers of the ball to strike it at a slightly higher angle, resulting in greater “dynamic loft.”
For example, while Bryson DeChambeau’s positive (upward) angle of attack helps the dynamic loft at impact, he is notorious for utilizing a driver with a loft angle as low as 4.8 degrees.
Golfers who have slower swing speeds and those who have low angle of attack (such as those who swing slightly down on the ball with the driver) typically benefit from using higher lofted drives with between 10.5 and 12.5 degrees of loft.
Golfers who have faster swing speeds and those who have a positive angle of attack (which creates a more dynamic loft) are better suited to drivers with a loft angle that is closer to the lower end of the spectrum, which ranges from 8-10.5 degrees.
This is because a positive angle of attack results in more ‘effective’ loft being created.
Currently, the loft on the great majority of the best drivers may have one to three degrees added or subtracted from it in a matter of seconds. Bear in mind, however, that this will also alter the lie angle of the clubhead as well as the degree to which the clubface is open or closed.
As an example, the TaylorMade SIM drivers come standard with a loft sleeve that can be found on the very tip of the shaft. This gives you the ability to remove the club head from the shaft, and then reattach the clubhead to the shaft after making the loft adjustment.
There’s a significant link that exists between spin and trajectory, in addition to loft and dynamic loft. If you feel that you aren’t hitting the ball high enough or that it’s spinning too low, you may want to think about increasing the loft on your driver.
If, on the other hand, you discover that you are driving the ball excessively high or putting an excessive amount of spin on the ball, even when you are striking it from the sweet spot, you should consider getting a driver that has a lower loft.
- Loft – 13.5 to 16 Degrees
it’s not unusual to see 3-woods with lofts varying from 13.5 to 16.5 degrees, although 15 degrees is considered to be the standard loft for a 3-wood. Because of this, the loft of a 3-wood is roughly comparable to that of a 2-iron.
The preferences of the player as a whole and the intentions they have for the club will both play a role in determining the ideal 3-wood loft for that player.
In general, stronger players and those who are seeking to maximize their yardage off the tee choose 3-woods with lower lofts. This is because lower lofts allow for greater distance assuming the player can generate a high enough launch angle.
Players who have difficulty getting the ball into the air, particularly golfers who use their 3-wood off the deck the majority of the time, will prefer woods that have a loft that is either the standard or higher than usual.
As is the case with drivers, the usage of an adjustable loft by manufacturers in 3-woods is gradually becoming the norm and will likely become the standard soon.
- Loft – 17.5 to 19.5 Degrees
The loft angle of the majority of 5-woods is somewhere in the range of 18 and 19 degrees. However, there are a few manufacturers that go as low as 17.5 degrees and a few that go as high as 19.5 degrees.
The loft of a 3-iron is often in the middle of that of a 5-wood and a 7-wood. This varies depending on the maker of the clubs.
5-woods aren’t a very popular or much-used club in golf, especially among the more professional players. This is because players have been moving towards using long irons and hybrids more.
Typically, higher woods like the 5-wood and 7-wood are used by players who struggle with long irons and are shorter hitters. Still, fairway woods are making the 5-wood come back into fashion somewhat.
Launch monitor data has shown that even for stronger players, utilizing a 5-wood or even a 7-wood may provide improved ball flight and spin characteristics for long approach shots.
The speed and direction of the wind, in addition to wetness or dryness of the course, are some of the key elements that impact the choice of the club by the players on any given day.
Woods though can make it easier to hold quick greens than irons can. This is because of the woods’ greater launch angle and increased spin. On the other hand, for the same reasons mentioned above, shots taken with woods have a greater chance of failing when played in windy circumstances.
- Loft – 21 to 22.5 Degrees
There are some 7-woods created by firms like Cobra that have lofts as high as 22.5 degrees, although the usual loft for most 7-woods is 21 degrees.
Similar to 5-woods, 7-woods may function well in place of a long iron or hybrid club. When compared to irons or hybrids, many players believe that 7-woods are easier to hit, have more forgiving features, and give superior ball flight characteristics.
Even though they have just begun making a revival among better golfers, they have been a fixture in the bags of amateurs (especially seniors and women) for a very long time.
On the PGA Tour, some professionals, including Louis Oosthuizen, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, and Dustin Johnson have recently begun to carry a 7-wood when they are playing a professional event.
If you discover that you are hitting a 5-wood too close to your 3-wood for appropriate yardage gapping, you might want to consider moving to a 7-wood instead.
A few years ago, 2 and 4 woods were very popular in the sport.
Typically, the loft of a 2-wood is set at a degree or two less than 12 degrees. In most cases, the loft angle of a 4-wood will be 17 degrees.
On the PGA Tour, Phil Mickelson has recently been using a driver with an extremely low loft of 5 degrees along with a 12.5 degree 2-wood. Although not everyone uses these clubs, Mickelson has found success with them.
Similar to woods, the loft drops to a lower value as the iron number goes down.
If you haven’t played golf in a while but are thinking about starting it back up, you should be aware that iron lofts have gotten much “stronger” in recent years.
In other words, many irons, especially ones that are designed specifically for beginners, have fewer degrees of loft than irons that were numbered the same in the past. This is especially true for irons that are marketed toward beginners.
Newer technology and a change in the manufacturing methods have made it possible to make irons that are both more forgiving and have a larger launch angle. This is a significant step forward in the game of golf.
These irons, which are frequently used by beginners and players with higher handicaps, need to have lower lofts to maintain the greatest possible ball flight characteristics.
There are going to be some substantial differences between the irons that each manufacturer makes for developing your game and the irons that they make for the best golfers in the world.
For example, compare the loft of the King Tour 6-iron, which is 29 degrees, to the loft of the King Radspeed 6-iron, which is just 24 degrees. The King Radspeed 6-iron is manufactured by Cobra.
There’s also a significant amount of variation in the lofts of the many alternatives made by other manufacturers like Mizuno, Callaway, and TaylorMade.
Each manufacturer makes iron sets that range somewhere between the two extremes. These sets are designed for players with low or mid handicaps.
- Loft – 19 to 21 Degrees
The majority of iron lineups begin with the 3-iron, which is often the lowest iron that can be purchased individually. The lofts on 3-irons can be anywhere from 19 to 21 degrees, and this varies depending on the level of play that the clubs are intended for.
The 3-iron is not the best club for the majority of players in today’s game; rather, they would do far better with a hybrid or fairway wood as their choice of club. Very few players carry the 1- or 2-iron these days, and most should replace their 3-iron as well.
- Loft – 19 to 24 Degrees
Even though the majority of players would be better off using a hybrid club, the 4-iron is the lowest iron that the average golfer would consider using.
As a consequence of the ever-increasing demand for hybrid clubs as opposed to conventional 4-irons, several manufacturers are now including alternate clubs for the 5-iron through the wedge in their iron sets.
When looking at 4-irons, you will see that there’s a very wide variety of loft options available. Although there are game improvement 4-irons with lofts as low as 19 degrees, the most typical loft for a 4-iron is anywhere between 21 and 24 degrees.
- Loft – 21 to 27 Degrees
Lofts for today’s ordinary 5-irons fall anywhere in the region of 26 to 27 degrees; however, game improvement iron sets can contain 5-irons with lofts as low as 21 degrees.
The 5-iron is a typical club that is carried by practically all golfers. The only golfers who do not carry one are those who have very slow swings.
- Loft – 24 to 31 Degrees
The lofts of 6-irons meant for more experienced players will vary from 30 to 31 degrees, while the lofts of 6-irons made for less experienced players may dip as low as 24 degrees.
Related article: The Definitive Guide To Using A 6-Iron
- Loft – 28 and 35 Degrees
Although the most common loft for a 7-iron is between 34 and 35 degrees, there are game improvement 7-irons that have lofts that go as low as 28 degrees.
- Loft – 32 to 39 Degrees
Typically, an 8-iron will have a loft that falls between 37 and 39 degrees. Certain game improvement irons have loft angles as low as 32 degrees though.
- Loft – 37 to 43 Degrees
The 9-iron is typically used as a club to improve a golfer’s game.
Although a 9-iron’s loft is typically anywhere between 41 and 43 degrees, certain game improvement 9-irons can have a loft that is as low as 37 degrees.
It’s common for iron sets to include a pitching wedge, and some iron sets even include a gap wedge or an approach or attack wedge as well. These clubs are typically used for full swings that are more forceful compared to those that require wedges with the highest lofts.
Because of this, it’s helpful to think of these clubs as the 10th and 11th irons in your bag. One of the key characteristics of these irons is that they have distance gaps that work well in comparison to your 9-iron.
Lob wedges and sand wedges are used more frequently for strokes that are closer to the green and need higher precision, such as strokes out of bunkers. This is because these shots require more accuracy.
The majority of players choose to use their personalized sand wedge and lob wedge with the appropriate loft, bounce, and grind attributes that fit their golf game as well as the conditions of the courses that they compete on.
When purchasing wedges separately, as opposed to wedges that are included in a set of irons, the wedges will typically be labeled with their loft rather than with an abbreviation such as “SW” (sand wedge). This is because purchasing wedges individually is more expensive than purchasing wedges as part of a set of irons.
Related article: Wedge Lofts Explained
- Loft – 43 to 47 Degrees.
The majority of standard pitching wedges, often known as PWs, have a loft angle that falls anywhere between 45 and 47 degrees. Pitching wedges that are part of a set that is intended to help a player improve their game will have steeper loft angles. Some models have loft angles that are as low as 43 or 42 degrees.
When compared to the variances in lofts that can be found in mid-irons, the differences that can be seen in pitching wedges are much less noticeable.
Approach And Gap Wedge
- Loft – 48 to 52 Degrees
The loft of a gap wedge (GW), which is sometimes referred to as an approach wedge (AW), normally falls somewhere in the range of 50 to 52 degrees.
There are game improvement iron sets that can be purchased, and some of these sets include gap wedges with a loft angle that is as low as 48 degrees.
The distance and loft differences between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge are something that the gap wedge is intended to bridge (or gap) the distances for golfers. This is how the gap wedge got its name.
The majority of iron sets will either include a gap wedge as standard equipment or at the very least provide customers the option to buy one separately.
- Loft – 54 to 58 Degrees
Although there’s a general agreement among golfers that a sand wedge (SW) should have a loft of 56 degrees, some players choose to have lofts that are as low as 54 degrees or as high as 58 degrees.
The loft, bounce, and grind that you have on your sand wedge will be determined in large part by your skill level, the way you want to use the club, and the conditions of the courses you play on.
Instead of purchasing a sand wedge that is included in a set of clubs, it’s in your best interest to get a sand wedge separately so that you can be certain that it satisfies all of your requirements and preferences.
- Loft – 58 to 64 Degrees
Although the standard loft for a lob wedge (LW) is 60 degrees, some players choose a wedge with a loft that ranges from 58 to 64 degrees.
A lob wedge with a loft that is more than 60 degrees will be difficult to use for the majority of players.
Because they have the greatest loft of any wedge, lob wedges have the highest launch angle of any club in the bag. This allows them to provide the highest possible angle of launch.
Because of this, they can be effective for getting over the sides of bunkers and playing high shots that stop on the green faster. In addition, they can be used to play shots that are higher than normal.
The loft on hybrid clubs, which is comparable to that of irons, is significantly higher than that of wooden clubs. When compared to 3-woods, the bulk of 3-hybrids has a loft angle of 19 degrees, while 3-woods have a loft angle of 15 degrees.
When compared to irons, hybrid lofts are frequently intended to fall within the same general range as irons of the same number. This is because hybrid lofts are typically meant to be more versatile.
Even though a hybrid and its iron relative may have the same loft, hybrids are often more forgiving than irons are, have a higher launch angle, and put more spin on the golf ball than irons do.
- Loft – 19 to 20 Degrees
Loft angles on 3-Hybrids normally fall somewhere in the range of 19 to 20 degrees. This places classic lofted 3-irons and 4-irons, which are meant for more extreme game improvement, in the same category as 3-hybrids.
- Loft – 21 to 23 Degrees
The loft on a 4-hybrid will be somewhere around 21 to 23 degrees, however, this might change according to the manufacturer as well as the ability level of the player the hybrid is made for.
Because of this, 4-irons built for the best players typically have a loft that is a little bit higher than that of 4-hybrids, which usually have a loft that is a little bit lower.
As an alternative, 4-hybrids often include lofts that are similar to those of 4-irons, and they are intended for players with handicaps of mid-handicap or below.
- Loft – 24 and 26 Degrees
The loft angle of the majority of 5-hybrids falls somewhere around 24 to 26 degrees.
Although 5-hybrids are lofted to a larger degree than game improvement 5-irons, the lofts on 5-hybrids are frequently equivalent to those seen on 5-irons created for the greatest players. This is although 5-hybrids are longer than 5-irons.
For example, the loft angle of the game enhancement style TaylorMade SIM2 max 5-iron is a low 21.5 degrees, but the loft angle of the SIM2Max 5-hybrid is 25 percent.
Having variety in your golf bag is key to getting the best score you can on the green, as you never know what the game will throw at you.
When choosing what clubs to include in your bag, you must carefully think about the lofts, and ensure that you have a variety of clubs able to achieve different shots and distances so that you can cover all bases.