Are you better off playing a 9- or 10.5-degree driver? We found out

We put this driver loft theory to the test with out ClubTest robot.

Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Some players hit up on the ball with driver, otherwise known as a positive angle of attack (AoA). Some hit down on the ball, and some come in neutral.

You? Better find out quickly, because knowing how you deliver the club at impact is critical to optimizing driver loft. Simply selecting a driver because you think more or less loft is going to generate added distance simply won’t do the trick. In fact, it could rob you of yards off the tee.

best driver miss

RoboTest: This is the best spot to miss on the driver face for minimal distance loss

Town:

Jonathan Wall



To know for sure, we programmed the Golf Labs robot for all three types of AoAs and had it produce each with both a 9- and 10.5-degree driver.

With a neutral AoA, the 9-degree head carried the ball 7 yards longer than the 10.5. The negative AoA swings benefited from more loft, but the positive attack swings flew much farther with less loft — to the tune of 14 yards!

Bottom line: Get with a fitter to establish your AoA baseline. If your loft and AoA don’t match up, it’s time to consider other options.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.

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JWall

Jonathan Wall

Golf.com Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour.

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