9.5 vs. 12 Degree Driver – Who Should Use Which Loft?

If you are shopping for a new driver in 2021, chances are there are a lot of choices that you will have to make. Between getting the perfect blend of forgiveness and distance, the right shaft, and the right loft, picking a driver can be confusing.

Even if your driver has an adjustable loft, you still need to understand the impacts that the range of loft will give you. Understanding the importance of driver loft and how it can impact your game is quite essential.

Driver loft will directly impact the distance that you can get with your club. A driver with 9.5 degrees of loft will be best for a golfer with a faster swing speed and a bit more precision. Drivers with 12 degrees of loft help the slower swinging player get the launch and forgiveness that they need.

Which Loft Should I Use?

 The two biggest factors that will impact the loft of the driver that you use are the swing speed, the weight of the club, and your golf handicap.

Golf Handicaps

The more loft a driver has, the easier it is to hit accurately and with good loft.

Therefore if you are a higher handicap golfer, you are likely going to do a bit better with a driver that has more loft.

A handicap is not going to be the only indication of the loft you need; however, it should be considered.

Swing Weight

The heavier a golf club is, the harder it is to get the ball in the air. When a club has more weight, the ball flight is knocked down quite a bit.

Therefore, if you are going to play with a lightweight 12-degree driver, you need to be sure that it will not balloon on you.

This is when the ball gets too high up into the air, and it does not travel as far as it is supposed to. Golf balls need to penetrate the air in addition to just flying.

Swing Speed

With a higher swing speed, it is easier to launch the golf ball.

When your swing is a bit slower, the ball won’t go up in the air quite as quickly, and it will potentially cause a lack of distance.

The golfers with the faster swing speeds will do much better with the 9.5-degree driver.

 

Who Is A 9.5 Degree Driver Going To Suit

A lower handicap golfer with a faster swing speed is going to see the most benefit from the 9.5 degree driver.

With this club, the golfer is also going to be able to control the ball flight of their shots as well.

They can keep the ball down on those windy days and let it fly a bit when there are not weather obstructions. The 9.5 gives the better player plenty of versatility with the shots that they hit.

 

Who Is A 12 Degree Driver Going To Suit

A higher handicap player is going to do best with the 12 degree driver.

With this club in their hand, the golfer can get plenty of ball speed, distance, and ball flight as well. IF a faster swinging player were to attempt to use the 12 degree driver, they might struggle with getting the control they need.

The 12 degrees of the loft can end up costing golfers distance if their swing speed is fast and they compress the ball.

 

8 Degree Vs. 14 Degree Loft Driver

It is very hard to find a driver that comes stock with 8 degrees of loft. You will often find that a driver may be adjustable to the 8 degree setting, but it very rarely comes stock at 8 degrees.

Years ago, 8 degree and 8.5 degree drivers were sold to better players that were trying to get more distance. It has since been proven that more distance comes from more time in the air than lower shots caused by stronger lofts on drivers.

Driver with 14 degrees of loft are more likely to be sold to the senior golfer or a female player. Since these players have a slower swing speed, they are not able to get the same launch that faster players get. The 14 degrees of loft also makes the club more forgiving.

 

Loft Vs. Swing Speed Table

Clubhead Speed

Optimal Loft

75 mph

15°

85 mph

13°

95 mph

11.5°

105 mph

10.5°

115 mph

9°

 

How Is Loft Going To Affect Distance

Golf balls are going to face the least resistance when they are in the air. The longer you can keep the ball penetrating through the air, the more distance you get. There is, however, a point where loft can get too high.

If the ball is going straight up without getting the proper angle, you will lose out on distance. There is certainly a match of the loft vs. launch angle that is going to result in the maximum distance for a player.

 

Why Are My Drives Too Low And How To Correct It

Sometimes a golfer’s drives are too low because the loft on the driver is not high enough; other times, it can happen because of missing the center of the clubface.

The center of the clubface needs to be hit in order to make perfect contact with the golf club. When you hit the ball on the lower end of the face, it very rarely gets the necessary height.

The best way to fix ball flight is to make sure that you are playing with the proper golf equipment and that you are hitting the ball as close as possible to the center of the clubface.

 

What About Too High

If your drives are flying a bit too low, chances are you have too much loft and too steep of a golf swing.

When your swing is steep, the ball travels almost directly up instead of launching out.

To fix a driver that continually goes too high, it is essential to take a more shallow golf swing.

 

Can I Get Adjustable Loft?

The adjustable loft is one of the greatest benefits of modern golf drivers. With adjustable lofts, you can fine tune your driver to work precisely for your swing. If you do some work on your swing and adjust things, you can simply change the driver to work better for you.

In years past, you would have to purchase an entirely new driver to be able to change the loft. Today you can adjust the loft within a matter of seconds. We love the adjustable loft options for golfers that are going through swing changes and working on making improvements to their game.

 

What Flex Should I Be Using?

The flex of your driver needs to be determined by the speed of your swing.

The faster you swing, the stiffer the golf shaft that you are going to need. Players that struggle to get distance most likely have a slower swing, and they need a more flexible golf shaft.

You can have your swing speed tested quite easily to determine the flex of the shaft that you need for your game.

 

Best Driver Loft For Distance?

Most golfers find that the 10.5 degree driver is the best loft for matching both distance and forgiveness.

You will find that even with average swing speeds, the 10.5 degrees gives you tremendous distance and lots of high launch.

Choosing a club that is adjustable may give you the chance to get more fine tuned with either 10 or 11 degrees of loft on the days that you need it.

 

Our Favourite Choice Of Driver For 2021

 

TaylorMade SIM2 Max Driver

The TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Driver is the best choice on the market in 2021. The SIM 2 Max comes with a new forged ring construction that helps it to be lightweight and even more powerful than before.

The SIM Inertia Generator helps golfers get much more club head speed and distance as well. The head is a bit more aerodynamic than previous golf drivers on the market and it has the same Speed pocket technology that we have enjoyed from TaylorMade.

Pros

  • Lightweight and high speed
  • Speed Pocket technology
  • Speed injected twist face
  • Split mass weighting

Cons

  • Expensive new release

Overall Score: 98/100

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Conclusion

Hopefully, you now have a better idea as to which of these driver lofts is going to be better for your game.

The 9.5 is not necessarily better than the 12, however, most players will want to strive to get to this 9.5-degree loft at some point in their game. With the 12 degrees of loft, the ball can sometimes end up a little too high, and it will cost a player distance.

When you choose a driver with the adjustability, you open up a wide range of possibilities for your golf game. Regardless of your strengths and weaknesses, you can get the performance you need for your game.