Degree Loft of Golf Clubs – Loft Angle of Golf Clubs Explained!

You might already know that the degree loft of golf clubs varies. Top brands spend huge amounts of money every single year to make their clubs more and more advanced in terms of construction and performance. And this is largely due to the extensive manufacturing process, which includes deciding/designing the golf clubs’ loft angle.

To put it mildly, the loft is the angle between the clubface and the ground. And this loft angle is not the same throughout your whole golf club set.

Now let me state another commonly known fact – the loft is responsible for producing distance as well as trajectory and spin. And as you may already know, factors like spin, trajectory, and distance are very, very important in the game of golf.

So now let’s move on to getting to know more about what loft means and does, along with the different loft angles in golf clubs.

Golf Club Loft Explained

The clubface tilts at a certain angle (i.e. loft angle) when you lay the sole flat on the turf. This loft angle is what helps the golf ball lift up off the ground. The loft is then directly responsible for getting the ball airborne.

Much too often, this loft angle is neglected by golfers, so they end up playing the wrong loft.

Now, based on what I’ve seen and experienced in golf, it’s always a better idea to hit higher-lofted clubs. Because more loft equals more distance and higher ball flight, at least in the majority of situations. A lower loft will also take your shots farther but an increase in the loft not just boosts distance but launches the golf ball higher as well plus adds more spin.

Golf Club Loft Chart – What Is the Standard Loft On Golf Clubs?

Here’s a quick chart to compare golf club lofts.

DRIVER9 – 12.5 degrees
3-WOOD15 degrees
4-WOOD17 degrees
5-WOOD18-19 degrees
7-WOOD21-22 degrees
2-HYBRID17-18 degrees
3-HYBRID19-20 degrees
4-HYBRID21 – 23 degrees
5-HYBRID24 – 26 degrees
2-IRON16 – 19 degrees
3-IRON21 degrees
4-IRON24 degrees
(19 degrees – stronger loft in a game improvement set)
5-IRON27 degrees
(21 degrees – stronger loft in a game improvement set)
6-IRON30 degrees
(25 degrees – stronger loft in a game improvement set)
7-IRON34 degrees
(28 degrees – stronger loft in a game improvement set)
8-IRON38 degrees
(32 degrees – stronger loft in a game improvement set)
9-IRON42 degrees
(38 degrees – stronger loft in a game improvement set)
(43 degrees – stronger loft in a game improvement set)
(48 degrees – stronger loft in a game improvement set)
SAND WEDGE54 – 58 degrees
LOB WEDGE58 – 64 degrees

Different Types of Golf Clubs and Their Loft Angles

1. Driver Loft Angle

Driver Loft Angle

These longest golf clubs in every players’ bag have a standard loft between 9 degrees and 12.5 degrees. Shots with a golf driver are mostly struck using a slightly upward angle of attack because the golf ball here is usually teed up either 1.5 inches or higher. This results in extra “dynamic loft.”

Now if your swing speed is below average (under 90 mph) with a lower angle of attack (where you swing down slightly on the golf ball), then choosing a higher-lofted driver is a must – that is between 10.5 degrees and 12.5 degrees.

On the other hand, faster swingers in golf that can create additional dynamic loft through a positive angle of attack usually opt for lower-lofted drivers – that is between 8 degrees and 10.5 degrees.

Thanks to the latest tech, there are now drivers with adjustable loft too. You can actually adjust the loft angle by 1, 2, or 3 degrees. But then this will affect the open/closed position of the clubface at impact, along with the lie angle.

2. Fairway Wood Loft Angle

Wood lofts are generally lower in comparison to hybrids and irons, the driver being the lowest of course. So let’s cover every kind of fairway wood…

  • 3-Wood Loft Angle

The standard 3-wood loft is approximately 15 degrees, although the range falls between 13.5 degrees and 16.5 degrees (the same as 2-iron).

Once again, players higher up on the ladder in golf opt for a lower loft. But if you can’t seem to launch the ball into the air easily, then picking a standard loft or even higher only makes sense.

Even 3-woods, just like drivers, are now manufactured with a loft that can be adjusted.

  • 5-Wood Loft Angle

5-woods, for the most part, have a loft of either 18 degrees or 19 degrees. Although there are lower lofted (17.5 degrees) and higher lofted (19.5 degrees) 5-woods too.

The loft of a 3-iron is often between 5-wood and 7-wood. So if you end up hitting short and struggling with your long irons, a higher wood is the solution indeed. Even more experienced and skilled players prefer using 5-wood to improve ball flight as well as spin on those long approach shots.

The crucial choice between long iron and fairway wood also depends on weather and course conditions. For instance, when it’s windy, hitting a high-launch, high-spin wood instead of irons (on fast greens) is likely to send your shot offline.

  • 7-Wood Loft Angle

Here the standard loft is 21 degrees but there are 22.5-degree 7-woods too.

Be it 7-wood or 5-wood, both are excellent alternatives to long irons. Certainly easier and more forgiving to hit for all types of golfers, 7-wood launches higher for a better ball flight.

You might also want to know that those who wish to ensure proper yardage gapping between 3-wood and 5-wood often prefer the 7-wood distance in place of 5-wood.

  • Other Wood Loft Angles

The standard 2-wood loft is roughly 12 degrees and that of 4-wood is 17 degrees. Although these two fairway woods are rarely used and spotted at the PGA Tour level.

3. Hybrid Loft Angle

Hybrids are higher-lofted than woods, as are irons. So the loft of hybrids is much the same as that of irons that are similarly numbered. But the former i.e. hybrids are usually more forgiving and higher-launching (with more spin) than the latter, even though both share the same loft.

  • 3-Hybrid Loft Angle

The standard loft of 3-hybrid is either 19 degrees or 20 degrees, the same as 3-irons and even those super game improvement 4-irons.

  • 4-Hybrid Loft Angle

4-hybrids are typically lofted between 21 degrees and 23 degrees, which is lower than 4-irons.

However, it all depends on the manufacturer. Meaning if the 4-iron is specifically crafted for better players, then the hybrid loft is comparatively lower. On other hand, the loft of 4-hybrid and 4-iron is the same for mid-handicappers and beginners.

  • 5-Hybrid Loft Angle

More often than not, the loft of a 5-hybrid is between 24 degrees and 26 degrees.

Now in comparison to 5-iron designed for more seasoned golfers, the 5-hybrid loft is and should be the same. But 5-hybrids have a significantly higher loft than extreme game improvement 5-irons.

  • Other Hybrid Loft Angles
  • 2-hybrid loft – 17 degrees.
  • 6-hybrid loft – 27-28 degrees.
  • 7-hybrid loft – 31 degrees.

Most beginners (meaning those with slower swing speeds) choose 6 and 7 hybrids. And not every brand even manufactures these higher hybrids.

4. Iron Loft Angle

Lower-numbered irons have a lower loft, just like woods.

Now, what does a stronger iron loft really mean? These are mainly engineered for beginners. And they now have a lower loft angle, even though the numbers on these irons have remained the same. Thanks to modern technology, manufacturers are now able to design irons that are higher launching and more forgiving than ever before.

This is why you mostly see high handicappers and beginners hitting stronger-lofted irons for producing optimal ball flight.

And yeah, one more thing you might want to know. The differences (in the loft) between players irons (for Tour-level golfers) and game improvement irons (for beginners and amateurs) are not the same with every brand. And these differences are often extreme.

  • 1-Iron Loft Angle – The standard loft is typically between 14 degrees and 16 degrees. Although 1-irons are now practically non-existent.
  • 2-Iron Loft Angle – The standard loft here is between 16 degrees and 19 degrees. Even 2-irons are not so common these days because most golfers prefer using a fairway wood, hybrid, or the fourth wedge instead of this outdated golf club.
  • 3-Iron Loft Angle – The majority of 3-irons have a loft somewhere between 19 degrees and 21 degrees. Once again, fairway wood or hybrid is better than 3-iron.
  • 4-Iron Loft Angle – 4-irons generally have a loft of 21-24 degrees. But if it’s a game improvement iron, then the loft angle can be lower i.e. 19 degrees.
  • 5-Iron Loft Angle – The traditional loft of 5-iron is 26-27 degrees. Once again, just like 4-iron, even 5-iron in the game improvement category is lower lofted, that is 21 degrees.
  • 6-Iron Loft Angle – These irons are aimed at better players, so the loft here is 30-31 degrees. But if it’s a beginner-friendly 6-iron, then a lower loft angle of 24 degrees is the norm.
  • 7-Iron Loft Angle – If it’s a game improvement 7-iron, the standard loft is 28 degrees or lower. Otherwise, traditional 7-irons are lofted 34-35 degrees.
  • 8-Iron Loft Angle – The standard loft is between 37 degrees and 39 degrees while the game improvement version is lower at 32 degrees.
  • 9-Iron Loft Angle – Usually, more advanced golfers prefer the standard 9-iron loft angle, which is 41-43 degrees. As for beginners and even high handicappers, they perform better with game improvement irons. So this kind of 9-iron is lofted lower i.e. 37 degrees.

5. Wedge Loft Angle

It’s actually very common to mess up wedge lofts. And that’s mainly because iron loft angles have been getting stronger (there are both pros and cons to that). So the result of this can be a little bit of confusion when it comes to the spacing between wedges and short irons.

But then that means all the more attention is required for choosing the proper set. Optimal yardage gaps or spacing between clubs is crucial if you want to touch average golf club distances, which inevitably leads to yielding greater shorter shots finishing closer to that hole.

With that in mind, let’s get to know all about the correct wedge loft angles…

  • Pitching Wedge

Conventionally speaking, pitching wedge loft is 45-47 degrees. But you may want a lower-lofted PW (42-43 degrees) if you prefer game improvement technology.

  • Gap Wedge or Approach Wedge

This particular golf wedge’s standard loft is 51-52 degrees. And if it’s a part of a game improvement set of irons, then the loft angle is lower at 48 degrees.

  • Sand Wedge

The traditional loft of a sand wedge is 56 degrees. But you can pick a SW with a higher loft (58 degrees) or lower loft (54 degrees).

  • Lob Wedge

A standard LW is lofted at 60 degrees, although the range begins from 58 degrees to 64 degrees. If you struggle with the lob wedge, it’s better to choose a loft lower than 60 degrees.

And you should be able to ace your lob wedge shots since this club produces the highest launch angle, which is exactly what you need to get out of bunkers as well as to generate fast-stopping high shots on the green.

6. Putter Loft Angle

Needless to say, this golf club has the lowest loft angle. And the standard putter loft is 3-4 degrees.

Frequently Asked Questions About Golf Club Loft

What Are the Five Types of Lofts In Golf?

Based on the five categories of golf clubs – woods (this includes the driver), hybrids, irons, wedges, and putter.

What Golf Clubs Have 22, 25, 26, and 27 Degree Lofts?

  • 27 degrees loft angle – 5-iron, although there are some woods and hybrids too with the same loft.
  • 26 degrees loft angle – this is a 5-hybrid or 4-iron.
  • 25 degrees loft angle – this also could be a 4-iron.
  • 22 degrees loft angle – typically, a 5-wood is lofted between 20 degrees and 22 degrees.

What Is the Highest Loft On A Golf Club?

That would be the lob wedge, where the loft angle is between 58 – 64 degrees.

How Much Does 1 Degree of Loft Affect Distance?

Given that you’re at your maximum clubhead speed, just 1-degree change in the loft angle of a golf driver can affect your driving distance by 2-4 yards.

As for irons, the difference in distance between 8-iron (37-39 degrees) and 9-iron (41-43 degrees) is usually 10-15 yards.

Does A Higher Loft Reduce Slice?

More loft equals more backspin, which reduces the chances of slicing the golf ball.

Does Change In Loft Angle Affect Clubface Angle?

When the loft of your golf club is lowered, the clubface angle is bound to decrease too. But if you increase the loft, the clubface angle tends to open. No wonder now there are drivers, hybrids, and irons with loft adjustability.

The EndNote – Weaker or Stronger Golf Club Lofts?

When you strengthen the loft angle, it actually means you’re lowering the loft. On the other hand, a weaker loft implies adding more loft.

And clearly, beginners, high handicappers, amateurs, and the like perform better when the loft angle is higher. While low handicappers and more experienced/skilled/seasoned players i.e. Tour golfers opt for lower lofts.

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The Editors

JimFuryk team of experienced golf professionals is here to provide you with the knowledge and advice needed to make informed decisions on the best products for your game. Let us arm you with all the info, so that finding just what suits your needs comes easily!

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