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Golf Club Loft Charts For Men & Women

Golf club loft impacts the flight of the golf ball, the total distance and the ease of use of the golf club. Golf club loft used to be an incredibly standardized thing, and that has gone out the window.

With game improvement, players and beginners’ clubs all having different lofts, you may want to learn a little more about golf club lofts and how they will impact your game. We will show you golf club loft charts for men’s and women’s clubs and how much they vary so you have a baseline to compare against.

Take a look at your current golf clubs and ensure that you are playing with a loft that matches your abilities.

Men’s Golf Club Lofts Chart

Pro Loft (º)Game Improvement Loft (º)Beginner Loft (º)Range (º)
Driver910.5123
3-wood1415162
5-wood1819202
7-wood2122232
3-hybrid1921223
4-hybrid2225253
4 Iron2419195
5 Iron272121.56
6 Iron3025255
7 Iron3428286
8 Iron3832326
9 Iron4238366
Pitching Wedge4643415

As you can see, men’s golf club lofts vary 2 to 3º in the woods and longer irons, then this gap can increase up to 6º difference in mid and short irons!

Why?

Club loft has the biggest impact on distance and launch height, but it isn’t all a marketing campaign to create the longest irons. Weight is positioned in beginner and game improvement irons low down and away from the club face, this makes them more forgiving, but also launches the golf ball higher. Club loft is then reduced to offset this design, making each club launch at an ideal trajectory, with as much ball speed as possible.

Below we cover golf club lofts for women’s clubs. We will see the same trend as above but with a few more degrees of loft on each club.

Women’s Golf Club Lofts Chart

Pro Loft (º)Game Improvement Loft (º)Beginner Loft (º)Range (º)
Driver1012156
3-wood1516183
5-wood1920212
7-wood2224252
3-hybrid1921212
4-hybrid2225264
4 Iron2419205
5 Iron2721276
6 Iron3025316
7 Iron3428326
8 Iron3832366
9 Iron4238404
Pitching Wedge4643453

Women’s golf clubs have a few more degrees of loft, as on average, women have slower swing speed and need a higher launch to optimize carry distance on their golf shots.

Driver loft: 9 to 15º

Driver lofts on men's and women's clubs
Images of women’s (left) and men’s (right) Ping Drivers with the loft in small numbers above the golf shaft.

The most common driver loft is 10.5º. However, driver loft can range from 8º to 15º depending on the player’s ability, club head speed, and technique. Your ideal driver loft will depend on your club head speed, current golfing ability, and swing technique.

Many golfers assume lower loft drivers go further, but the opposite is true; in testing, most golfers above a single-figure handicap gain carry distance and total distance when moving from a 9º driver up to a 10.5º or 12º driver.

Driver Loft is also your friend when it comes to accuracy. More loft equals more backspin on your golf shots. Backspin helps keep your shots straighter through the air if there is any slice or hook spin on your golf shots, resulting in more fairways hit and lower golf scores.

The key takeaway here is if in doubt, go for more loft. The best advice is to go test out different loft drivers on a launch monitor to find out exactly what will be best for your golf swing. In addition, choosing a club with an adjustable loft angle can be helpful.

Fairway wood loft: 14 to 24º

Fairway woods often have a number indicating the type of wood they are. You may have a 3 wood, 5 wood or 7 wood in your golf bag, but until you know what the loft of the club is, it’s hard to tell exactly how far it will go. You can find a beginner’s type 5 wood with as much loft as a standard 7 wood.

What’s the reason for the extra loft?

Forgiveness.

The higher the loft on the fairway wood the easier it is to improve turf interaction and get the golf shot to travel where you want it to go. With a 3 wood that has 14 degrees of loft, expect that you will need a little extra clubhead speed in order to maximize the distance of these shots.

2-iron loft 17-19º

A 2-iron loft ranges from 17-19 degrees. This is one of the smaller ranges you will notice on any golf club lofts chart. The 2 iron is not a club offered by manufacturers in the game improvement iron set or beginners iron set. Hitting a 2 iron solid, especially from the turf is incredibly difficult making it a rare find for mid to high handicappers to put one of these in their bag.

3-iron loft 18-21º

The 3-iron loft is between 18 and 21 degrees. We notice the same issue here with very limited number of 3 irons on the market. Again, 3 irons are hard to hit, so must beginner and game improvement irons have set makeups of 4 iron and less.

If you like the concept of the 3 iron but can’t find one to match your set, look for a utility iron with a slightly wider sole and more forgiveness.

4-iron loft 19-24º

The 4-iron loft ranges from around 19 degrees to 24 degrees. The 4 irons designed for the lowest handicap golfers will have more loft. These golfers are not worried about getting long distances, instead trying to find the degree loft that helps them shape shots and achieve better distance control.

5-iron loft 21-27º

An average 5-iron loft ranges from 21 to 27 degrees. Many players have the 5 iron as the lowest iron in their bag before switching to a 5 hybrid. If that’s the case for you, make sure you have a good indication of the degrees of loft of your 5 iron before you purchase your hybrid.

A 25-degree 5 iron and a 25-degree 5 hybrid may have very similar distance performance if they are both more game-improvement style golf clubs.

6-iron loft 25-30º

A standard 6-iron loft is 25 to 30 degrees. Again, this is a spot where many senior golfers are deciding to get rid of the 6 iron and put a hybrid in play. Check the golf club lofts of your hybrids and your shorter irons to make sure the club you put into play is properly gapped. You are looking for 4º of left between each club.

Beginner style 6 irons may have a degree or two more loft than the game improvement irons. This extra loft adds in a little forgiveness (even though the game improvement and beginner have a strategic center of gravity to promote forgiveness).

7-iron loft 28-34º

The 7-iron loft ranges from 28 to 34 degrees. The 7 iron tends to be the middle club in the golf bag nd some players choose to base the other lofts in their bag off of the 7 iron. A 7 iron can be a good club to use for fitting when it comes to determining proper distances and distance gapping. If you can hit your 7 iron 150 yards, chances are your 6 iron is 160, 5 iron 170 etc.

8-iron loft 32-38º

Loft angles on an 8-iron range from 32 to 38 degrees. SImilar to the 7-iron we can see a big range in lofts, depending on the design of the rest of the golf club and the type of player the club is aimed at.

9-iron loft 36-42º

The 9 iron is the last club in the bag before you hit the wedges. Therefore this 9 iron and wedge loft gap is one of the most crucial to get right. The 9-iron loft ranges from 36 to 42 degrees, most golfers with lower handicaps have 9 irons with high lofts. The higher lofted 9 iron allows for better control and a personalized ball flight on each swing.

Wedge lofts 41-64º

The largest loft range are the wedges ranging from 41 degrees in a game improvement style pitching wedge to 64 degrees in a lob wedge designed for golfers who like to try Phil Mickelson-type shots around the green.

Finding the proper wedges loft is crucial to distance gapping. A gap wedge is almost necessary for every golfer’s bag at this point because of the wide range between the pitching wedge loft and sand wedge loft.

Having around 4-5 degrees of loft between gap wedges, sand wedges and lob wedges is typically ideal.

Putter loft

The traditional putter loft ranges from 2 to 5 degrees. The proper putter loft will depend on your specific putting stroke and the angle that you strike the golf ball. The putter is the lowest lofted club in the bag. A higher lofted putter can be helpful on slow and soft greens, where the lower lofted putter can be good for fast greens where stability is needed.

Most medium and high-end putters come with a loft that is suited to all greens you will pay on, so don’t worry too much, as long as you buy a nice putter, you loft will be well suited to your conditions.

Why are not all club lofts the same?

Golf clubs are not all the same loft because they are designed for different players and other aspects of the club design (centre of mass being the big one) will also affect the launch angle.

Low-handicap golfers with fast swing speeds are not looking for distance they are looking for control and so clubs aimed at these players have higher lofts..

Mid-handicap golfers need a mix of distance and control.

High handicap golfers need forgiveness and they usually need a bit of extra distance. For these golfers, golf clubs are designed with a low centre of mass and low golf club lofts.

How does loft affect golf shots?

Loft in a golf shot has three main influences on your golf shot:

  • launch angle
  • ball speed
  • spin rate

As the loft of a golf club increases the launch angle increases allowing for higher ball flights.

In addition, when this launch angle is increased we also notice lower ball speed (think penetrating driver at 10.5 degrees vs. 8 iron shot), and finally, we notice an increase in spin.

Let’s remember that spin, speed and launch angles are not only impacted by the golf club you have in your hands. They are a combination of how you impact the golf ball and the club you are using.

Golf club loft definition

Golf club loft being measured with driver

Golf club loft is the measured angle between the face of the golf club and a vertical plane. The more loft the club has the more distance there is between the face of the club and that vertical plane. Think about holding your wedge in the address position and holding up a wedge, the amount of space between that vertical plane (yardstick) and the face of your club is wide. Now if you put your driver in this position you can see the difference quite clearly.

How is golf club loft measured?

Golf club loft is measured using a lie and loft machine. This will give you the exact static measurement of golf club loft in your clubs. The dynamic loft (the loft on your golf club when you strike the golf ball) can be measured using a launch monitor.

Final Thoughts: Is Your Golf Club Loft Right For Your Game?

There are no perfect lofts for all golf clubs, instead, you need the best golf lofts to suit your golf game. To find the lofts of your current irons, you can usually google ‘you golf irons make and model’ and ‘lofts or specs’ to find the manufacturer’s loft and lie charts.

Knowing your golf club lofts can help you understand how far they carry, help you figure out where you may have gaps in your golf bag and help you choose the best golf clubs to fit in with your current set.

Hopefully, this article has been useful. For more content like this, come join the free Golf Insider weekly newsletter.

Happy golfing.

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Will Shaw, PhD, MSc, PGA Pro

Will is a PGA golf professional, with a PhD in Biomedical Science and MSc in Sports Biomechanics & Psychology. He spent 10 years lecturing part-time at Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds in Biomechanics and Motor Control before becoming the Head of Golf for the University of Exeter. He currently runs Golf Insider UK, Sport Science Insider around wider consulting and academic roles in sport performance and motor control.

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