Lofts And Lies (Yes, THAT Kind)
By Terry Koehler, The Wedge Guy
Terry Koehler has been in the golf industry for over 30 years and currently spends his days as the President of EIDOLON Golf, a small premium wedge company in Victoria, Texas. He's been blogging for over 3 years and has written hundreds of articles ranging from golf tips to equipment issues. His blog will appear on ClubSG twice per week. You can reach Terry to have your golf questions answered at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the most frustrating things about working with golf clubs is that you can't trust the numbers most of the time. Of particular interest today is the subject of lofts on drivers, resulting from a question from Krishnan, who asked:
"I have been seeing a lot of discussion about the real loft of the drivers versus the label put on the drivers. To make things complicated, I have come across discussions where it is mentioned some manufacturers are notorious to give lower lofts. What i would like to know is what exactly is happening here? Is it something people need to know and be aware of?"Well, Krishnan (aka Ironman), you have become aware of another of the industry's misleading tactics. In my experience, almost all drivers have more loft than what the graphics claim. And it’s no secret why they do this – because the marketing “experts” believe your testosterone is so out of control, it makes you feel better that you are swinging a 9.5* driver, when in fact it probably is closer to 11*. I’ve rebuilt a number of drivers of all models for golfers at our club, and almost all of them are 1-2* weaker than what the club graphics indicate they are.
The fact is that loft is not a bad thing. Most golfers need more carry and a higher launch angle on their driver, but apparently they lose their manhood a bit if that driver said “11*” on the bottom. It’s much more manly to hit a 9*, isn’t it?
To be minutely honest, no driver has a “true loft” of a single number. Drivers have roll and bulge in the face – the face is not flat, but rather a slight curve, usually a radius of 11-12”. So a typical driver might have 9* loft in the bottom third, 10* in the center third, and 11* in the top third. That’s why you tee the ball down to get a lower ball flight, and up to get a higher trajectory.
The only way to know a driver’s true loft in these “zones” is to put it in a measuring device designed for that purpose. And understand true loft is measured off the centerline of the shaft, NOT the angle of the sole.
I hope that provide a little illumination on the subject. When choosing a driver in today’s world, don’t pay that much attention to the number it’s claimed to be, but rather to the results you get from it. With more and more fitting centers having launch monitors, getting the one that is right for you is easier than ever before.
I’m off to the PGA Show this morning. See you all on Friday.
* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.
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