Having the correct driver will really set up the rest of your game. It changes the yardage you get off the tee, while it can also make a huge difference to your accuracy.
The problem is the fact that there are so many options out there on the market that is becomes confusing. So, we are going to focus on only one thing here, and that’s the difference the loft angle makes. In particular, we will look at whether you should be using a 9.5 degree, or a 10.5 degree driver to help you with your game.
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Why Loft is Important
Let’s quickly address why the loft angle is so important with your driver.
The loft angle is going to make a difference when it comes to getting your ball up off the ground. The angle has a direct link to the trajectory, as it deals with the angle at which the face of the club makes contact with the ball.
Now, on a club such as a wedge, you want a huge angle to get the ball up into the air as quickly as possible. Also, distance is less of an issue, so you sacrifice distance for height.
The opposite is true for a driver. You want that distance, and you want the energy created by your swing to be transferred into distance rather than wasting anything with height.
So, let’s talk about something called the angle of attack.
The Angle of Attack
To get the most out of your drive, you need to have the correct angle of attack happening between the clubface and the ball.
Ideally, what we are looking for is to have the clubface hitting the ball with just the slightest of upward angles. That will be enough to get the ball off the ground and into the air without it flying too high.
At the same time, the right angle means the correct speed, and that’s going to really determine the distances you are able to achieve with your drive.
So, with all of that in mind, let’s look more closely at the 9.5 degree and 10.5 degree driver.
The Aim of a 9.5 Degree Driver
With a 9.5 degree driver, it’s going to be better for those players that tend to get a lot of height on their drives. With height comes a loss of distance as so much power and energy is used up by the ball climbing so high.
A driver with a 9.5 degree loft will bring that height down and offer you a better trajectory off the tee. As a result, you will achieve greater distances compared to normal, and that can only be a good thing for your all-round game.
The key here is in hitting the sweet spot, and clearly the modern driver will help with this. If you can hit the sweet spot with this driver, then the outcome should be pretty cool.
But we want you to keep one thing in mind.
If you struggle with hitting that sweet spot, and if your driver is less forgiving than others, then you could find yourself landing in trouble on a regular basis. That extra 10 yards could mean you are well off the fairway and in deep trouble.
So, if you are struggling with the accuracy of your drives, then while it’s good to get extra yardage off the tee, you need to balance that up against how many times you end up missing the fairway. Remember, you will only be pushing yourself deeper into trouble.
The Aim of a 10.5 Degree Driver
So, how about the 10.5 degree driver? Where will that club come into play?
Well, it makes sense that this extra degree of loft will change things a bit. You should end up getting slightly more height along with a drop in distance, but that’s not always a bad thing.
Remember, it does mean your accuracy may improve, if this is a problem, as your drives may end up being straighter. Also, less distance means it’s a bit harder to end up well off the fairway, and that’s going to improve your overall game as well.
Also, a higher loft will usually come with a better sweet spot, and that does mean you are more likely to make a great connection and send the ball down the fairway from the tee. Now, that is certainly something that sounds pretty good when you think about the other option of landing in the deep rough.
So, Which One Should You Use?
Finally, let’s address the question of which option you should use when it comes to selecting between the 9.5 degree and 10.5 degree driver.
To be honest, this is all about what you want to get out of your game, and also where you feel your problems lie.
If you are a beginner or a regular amateur, then you should always start off with the 10.5 degree. You need to work on your swing and improving that accuracy before you go ahead and start worrying about gaining some extra yards.
Remember, hitting that sweet spot should be your main concern and sending it down the fairway. You can work on distance later on when you are more confident in your swing, and your game shows those improvements.
Ultimately, you would only switch to a 9.5 degree driver once you have mastered the art of driving. If you find you are hitting the fairway on a regular basis, then by all means give a 9.5 degree driver a shot and see the difference it makes. Those extra yards gained on your drive may push your game to a whole new level.
But don’t take the risk when starting out. The only thing that will happen is you will be working hard at your rescue shots when you should be dealing with other aspects of your game aside from getting out of the deep rough.