What Is the Difference Between a 9.5 and 10.5 Golf Club?

Smiling Man Swinging a Golf Club

One of the most important considerations when shopping for a golf driver revolves around loft. The loft of the club directly impacts the distance and trajectory of your shot as well as the direction of your ball off the tee. Drivers with 9.5 and 10.5 degrees of loft are among the most common on the market today.Understanding what each is likely to offer will help determine the best club for you.

Loft Defined

All golf clubs -- woods, irons and even putters -- feature specific loft angles. These angles are expressed in degrees and indicate how high the ball will fly and how far forward it will travel. Drivers feature the lowest loft numbers aside from putters, meaning that the face of these clubs are closer to being perpendicular to the ground than the other types of clubs.

The Range of Driver Lofts

According to Golf Equipment Source.com, the loft on drivers range from 7 degrees to 12 degrees. The difference in shot-making from even half a degree change in loft, however, can be great enough for club manufacturers to feature drivers with lofts such as 9.5 degrees or 10.5 degrees. The decision for the loft options on any given model depends on the standards of each club manufacturer.

Difference in One Degree of Loft

Although it might seem as if one degree difference in loft angle would not have a marked impact on a shot, it has sizable influence on both distance and control. A driver with 9.5 degrees of loft, for example, might be considerably more difficult for a given player to use in managing the proper trajectory. Switching to a more lofted 10.5 degree driver will make getting a higher trajectory easier.


Golf Swing Plus.com contends that for every swing speed there is an optimal launch angle and, subsequently, an ideal loft. The site recommends that lower lofted drivers be used by more skilled players -- 9.5 degrees included. Less-skilled players will enjoy better results from a moderate degree of loft -- including 10.5 degrees. Most golfers, however, don't have a strong sense of the loft that is best for them. For best results, you should consider consulting a club fitter.