Golf is a complex game that requires different types of clubs for various shots. Each club is designed with a specific loft, or angle between its head and the shaft, and understanding the different lofts is essential to play the game correctly. In this guide, we’ll explain how each type of club differs in loft, and how the different lofts affect your shots.
The knowledge of club lofts can be an invaluable tool for the golfer, both in getting the best performance out of each shot and improving their overall game. It will also save you a lot of money in the long run as golf clubs can be quite expensive.
Let’s take a look at the different types of clubs and their respective lofts.
Woods are designed for long-distance shots, usually off of the tee. The driver is used on a par 4 or 5 to hit from the tee box, while 3- and 5-woods are used from the fairway or rough. Woods have low loft angles, between 9 and 12.5 degrees for drivers and 15 to 19 degrees for 3- and 5-woods.
The driver is the club that you see sticking out of the top of most golf bags as the standard length of a driver is 45”. Drivers have the lowest loft angle of all woods, between 9 and 12.5 degrees, as they are designed to hit the ball far rather than high. The low loft helps reduce spin rate and keep your shots straighter for maximum distance.
Most golfers will either use a 10.5 or 12 degree driver. The lower-lofted drivers will typically offer more distance, while the higher-lofted ones are easier to hit and provide forgiveness on off-center hits. You will also find that most of the latest drivers have adjustable loft settings up to three degrees. The adjustable loft feature allows you to fine-tune your driver to the perfect loft angle for maximum performance.
I currently carry a custom-fitted Cobra King LTDx driver with 12.5 degrees in my bag and I am loving it. I can hit it approximately 240 yards and find it incredibly forgiving.
I would highly recommend that all golfers get fitted for a driver to find the best loft for their individual game – you could be surprised at how much difference a small adjustment can make.
The 3-wood is the next club in line after the driver and is traditionally used off the fairway. I have seen some golfers even use their 3-wood off the tee when they want to keep it low and straight. The loft angle varies between 13.5 and 16 degrees, and the standard length of a 3-wood is typically 43”.
It is one of the most difficult clubs to hit due to its low loft angle, but it is also incredibly powerful. Its main purpose is for long-distance shots from the fairway when you need extra distance to reach the green. The average shot with a 3-wood will travel up to 230 yards, depending on your swing speed and technique.
On a good day, I can hit my Taylormade M2 – 3 Wood around 220 yards, and while it takes some practice to master the 3-wood, it’s worth the effort. The low loft helps keep shots straighter and allows you to hit the ball farther off the tee.
A high number of golfers will find it easier to hit a 5-wood than a 3-wood as it has more loft, typically between 17.5 and 20 degrees. This makes the club easier to launch, and the higher loft angle will help you hit it further than a 3-wood.
The standard length of a 5-wood is usually 41”, but you can get them as short as 39” for more control. The 5-wood is commonly used when hitting off the fairway, although some players use it for tee shots on shorter par 4’s. On average, a 5-wood should travel around 210 yards, but this will depend on your swing speed and technique.
If you look at the yardages then there is not a huge difference between a 3-wood and 5-wood, but the extra loft makes a huge difference when it comes to hitting accuracy. For a beginner or an average golfer, I would recommend carrying a 5-wood in the bag as it is a lot easier to hit and will save you a lot of strokes.
The final club in the category of woods is the 7-wood, which usually has a loft angle between 21 and 22.5 degrees. It is much more lofted than the other woods, making it an ideal club for hitting off the fairway and getting out of tight spots.
These clubs are easier to hit than the lower-lofted woods, and they produce a higher trajectory to help you get the ball up in the air. Although they are very popular amongst women and senior golfers, many players have started to include 7-woods in their bag as they help get the ball to the green easier.
The 7 Wood has the same amount of loft as the 4 Hybrid but a longer shaft and will definitely go further. I would recommend a 7-wood if you struggle to get the ball airborne, as it will help you launch the ball higher and straighter. There are many professional golfers including Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Marc Leishman and Tommy Fleetwood who carry a 7-wood in their bag.
Irons are the most versatile clubs in golf and come in many different lofts to suit every player. The higher the number of iron, the more loft it has. They range from 1 iron all the way up to 9 irons and they all offer different levels of forgiveness and distance. Most amateur golfers will carry between 5 and 9 irons, depending on their skill level.
Irons are typically used for shots from the fairway, but many golfers also use them off the tee. The average length of iron is 38”-39”, and they range from a loft angle of 17 degrees for the 1 iron to 45 degrees for the 9 iron. Higher lofts produce more spin, while lower lofts will give you more distance and less spin.
There are two different types of irons: cavity back and blade. Cavity back irons are designed for more forgiveness, while blades offer better control and feel but will make it harder to hit the ball straight. Beginner or amateur golfers should opt for cavity back irons, as they offer more forgiveness and will help you hit straighter shots.
The driving iron, or 1-iron, is the most difficult club to hit and requires a lot of skill. It has very little loft between 14-16 degrees and is usually used off the tee on long par 3’s or even par 4’s. It will travel further than wood, but you have to be accurate with your shot in order to make it work.
You will rarely find this club in most bags as it is very difficult to hit and can be a bit too much for the average golfer.
The 2 Iron as well as 1 iron, is traditionally the longest and most difficult club to hit. It has a very low loft (16 to 19 Degrees) meaning that it can send the ball a long distance but with a low trajectory which makes it harder to control. It also has the smallest sweet spot of all the clubs due to its small striking face.
For these reasons, very few players carry a 2 iron and often replace it with a higher lofted fairway wood. Instead, you would usually find a Hybrid in the bag as they offer more forgiveness and better control.
The 3 Iron is easier to hit than the 2 and 1 iron, but still requires a lot of skill. It has a loft angle between 19-21 degrees which gives it a higher trajectory than the other irons. Although players can hit this club off the tee, it is usually used for long shots from the fairway.
It will give you more distance than a higher-lofted iron, but it requires precise accuracy to land on the green. This club can be difficult to hit, so it may not be suitable for beginners or those who lack power in their swing. It is recommended that they opt for a Hybrid instead.
The 4 Iron is a great club for longer shots from the fairway and it has more loft than the 3 iron. It has a loft angle of between 21-24 degrees which gives it a higher launch and more spin, making it easier to control your shots. It can also be used off the tee on long par 3’s but is best suited for long shots from the fairway.
It’s not very common to find a 4 Iron in golf bags as it is often replaced with a Hybrid or Fairway Wood. This is because it requires a lot of skill and precision to hit accurately, making it more suitable for advanced players.
The 5 Iron is typically used for medium to long shots from the fairway with an average distance of between 160-190 yards. It has a loft angle of between 26-27 degrees which gives it a higher trajectory and more spin, making it easier to control.
It is great for intermediate players, as it gives them more control and accuracy for shots from the fairway. You will find that most beginner golf sets include a 5 Iron as it is the easiest of the long irons to hit and control.
The standard 6 Iron has a loft angle of between 28-30 degrees and is commonly used for mid to long shots from the fairway. It is slightly shorter than the 5 Iron and can give you more control and accuracy for longer approach shots. The 6 Iron is an important part of a golfer’s bag and can be a great club for most players.
The most popular club in any golfer’s bag is the 7 Iron. It has a loft angle between 29-33 degrees and is usually used for mid to long shots from the fairway. It is shorter than the 6 Iron and can give you more control and accuracy for longer approach shots. The 7 Iron is a great club for most players and can be used to hit a variety of shots from different distances.
The 8 Iron is a great club for mid to short shots from the fairway. It has a loft angle between 37-39 degrees and can send the ball a relatively short distance with some spin. It is commonly used for shots from the fairway that require a high trajectory and some spin.
The 8 Iron can be used for bump-and-run shots and for hitting over hazards, such as bunkers and trees. The average distance for beginner golfers is between 130-150 yards.
The short game is where the 9 Iron shines. It has a loft angle of between 41-43 degrees which gives it a high trajectory and more spin. This makes it perfect for shots from the fairway that require a high launch angle, such as approach shots to the green.
The 9 Iron can also be used for chips and pitches around the green. Most golfers hit their 9 Iron from between 120-140 yards. This club is a must for any golfer’s bag and can be a great tool for those who are learning the
Wedges are a great tool for beginners and experienced golfers alike. Wedges come in all shapes and sizes, from lob wedges to gap wedges to sand wedges, and provide a variety of different shots.
These clubs have very high loft angles (between 48-64 degrees) which give them a very high trajectory and backspin. This makes them perfect for shots around the green, such as chips, pitches and even bunker shots.
The pitching wedge is the most common wedge and has a loft angle between 45-47 degrees. It can be used for a variety of different shots from the fairway, such as approach shots to the green or from a tight lie. It is also great for bump-and-run shots around the green and for hitting over hazards.
Gap WedgeThe gap wedge is the “middle child” of the wedges as it has a loft angle between 48-52 degrees. It is a great club for intermediate shots from the fairway, such as approach shots to the green or shots over bunkers and trees.
I carry my 52 Degree Gap Wedge in my bag for those “in-between” shots that require a bit more spin and height than my pitching wedge.
Gap Wedges do not normally come as standard in a golf set and are usually sold separately. They can be great for those who want to take their short game to the next level as they give you more control and accuracy for approach shots.
Do I really need Sand Wedge in my Bag? Absolutely! Sand Wedges have the highest loft angle of all the wedges, between 54-58 degrees. This gives them a very high trajectory and maximum spin for shots around the green.
They are perfect for getting out of sand bunkers and hitting over trees or other hazards. I have also been using my 56 Sand Wedge around the greens as it gives me maximum control and accuracy.
The Lob Wedge is the most specialized wedge and has a loft angle between 60-64 degrees. It is designed to give you maximum spin and
Hybrids are becoming increasingly popular in golf bags as they combine the best features of a fairway wood and an iron. They have a higher loft angle than fairway woods and provide more control and accuracy than irons.
Hybrids are great for shots from tight lies, fairways, and even off the tee. Most Hybrids have a loft angle between 19 – 26 degrees which makes them great for mid to long-distance shots. Overall hybrid golf clubs are known to be more forgiving and provide more control than traditional irons.
They are great for beginners and experienced golfers alike, so if you’re looking for a club to improve your game, a hybrid may just be the right choice for you!
The 3-Hybrid is a great club for beginners who may find the longer irons difficult to hit. It has a loft angle between 19 and 21 degrees which makes it perfect for long-distance shots. The average distance of a 3-Hybrid is somewhere between 180 and 210 yards, depending on the golfer’s swing speed.
The standard 4-Hybrid has a loft angle between 22 and 24 degrees, making it great for mid to long-distance shots. Hybrid clubs are generally aimed at golfers with slower swing speeds as they are easier to hit than traditional irons. The average distance of a 4-Hybrid is somewhere between 160 and 190 yards.
If you are looking for a club to get you out of trouble, the 5-Hybrid may be a perfect choice. It has a loft angle between 24 and 26 degrees which makes it perfect for mid-distance shots. The average distance of a 5-Hybrid is somewhere between 140 and 170 yards.
The average Putter has a loft angle between 3 and 4 degrees, making them perfect for finishing off a hole. They are designed to produce a smooth roll of the ball and make putting much easier. Putters are the most important club in your bag as you will use them more than any other club.
I would strongly recommend getting fitted for a putter as this will make a huge difference in your game. Putters come in different lengths, shapes and weights so it is always best to try out a few to find the one that suits you best.
Golf Club Loft Chart
|Golf Club||Loft Angle|
|Driver||9° – 12.5°|
|5-Wood||18° – 19°|
|7-Wood||21° – 22°|
|2-Hybrid||17 – 18|
|3-Hybrid||19° – 20°|
|4-Hybrid||21° – 23°|
|2-Iron||16° – 19°|