What is Launch Angle?
Launch angle is the angle that a ball takes off at in relation to the horizon. Launch angle is measured in degrees. Understanding the launch angle of your clubs can be beneficial whether you are a beginner or advanced golfer.
Mastering your launch angle will allow you to:
- Develop higher and lower shots to match the course conditions
- Earn “ball-turf” contact (specifically important for beginners)
- Manipulate ball flight and distance
Once you understand the launch angle, it will change golf for you. You will better understand the game development and be able to better visualize your golf strategy.
Correct launch angle and the spin will help you get the most out of your golf clubs. At Gears Sports we offer biomechanical technology to help you improve your golf swing. Our motion capture system tracks your movement with immense detail and paints out your golf swing step-by-step. This technology was recently recommended by Forbes! By investing in these analytics you can assess your golf performance and find areas of improvement that have previously eluded you.
What Golf Club Hits the Ball With the Highest Launch Angle?
The lob wedge hits the ball with the highest launch angle. The lob wedge is used for shots of short distances or when navigating around barriers in the course. Typically, the lob wedge has a loft of 60 degrees. The loft of a golf club mixed with the speed of the swing determines the launch angle.
What is Loft and Why Does it Matter?
The loft is the angle that is created by the clubface and the ground. The loft will be different for each of the clubs in your bag. The loft of the club directly affects the distance the ball will travel. The lower the loft, the farther the ball will travel horizontally, while the higher the loft, the more it will pop upwards vertically but not go far horizontally.
The club with the second-lowest loft in your bag is known as the driver. The lowest is the putter. The driver usually has a loft of 9.5 degrees or less for advanced players and 12-13 degrees for beginners. The club with the highest loft in your bag is known as the wedge. The wedge is most commonly between 40 and 60 degrees in loft.
All the other clubs in your bag have lofts with varying degrees between the driver and wedge. This allows you to hit the ball at any distance and makes it possible for you to modify your performance depending on the course conditions and required shot.
Lofts need to be checked and cleaned regularly. If the iron is even a couple of degrees off from its original angle, it will completely change the distance the ball will travel. It is also important to stay up-to-date with your golf club manufacturer. Occasionally they will change the loft angle that is associated with each type of club.
How Does Launch Angle and Loft Relate?
Launch angle is determined by both the loft of your club and the angle of your swing. Together these affect the distance, flight, and spin of the ball. Golf is a much more technical sport than most people would assume. Experiment with different combinations of life and swing to better understand your equipment.
What Kinds of Lofts are There?
There are six categories of lofts. Players are allowed up to 14 clubs in a golf bag. Players must choose which 14 clubs best work for them. When picking clubs, it is necessary to buy the best set for you. A personal consultation with a golf specialist is recommended when buying new clubs.
Category One: Driver Lofts
These lofts are usually around 10 degrees. Advanced golfers can go lower in loft angle while beginners may choose to start higher with a 12-13 degree loft. As you feel ready to decrease the loft of your driver, do it in small increments over time.
Category Two: Wood Lofts
There are five types of wood lofts. The 3 wood loft is the most common and has a loft of about 15 degrees. The next most popular are the 5 and 7 wood lofts. The 5 wood loft typically ranges between 18-19 degrees while the 7 wood loft is about 21 degrees. The 4 wood and 2 wood lofts have not been used as much in recent years. The 4 wood loft is about 17 degrees and the 2 wood is around 12 degrees.
Category Three: Hybrid Lofts
Hybrid lofts have no set loft and they are best for beginners. They can range anywhere between the loft of the driver and wedge.
Category Four: Iron Lofts
There are eight types of iron lofts. The 2 iron is usually 18 degrees, the 3 iron is about 21 degrees, the 4 iron is around 24 degrees, the 5 iron is usually 27 degrees, the 6 iron is about 31 degrees, the 7 iron is around 35 degrees, the 8 iron is about 38 degrees, and the 9 iron is usually 42 degrees.
Category Five: Wedges
There are four types of wedges. The pitching wedge is around 46 degrees, the gap wedge is about 52 degrees, the sand wedge is usually 56 degrees, and the lob wedge is about 60 degrees.
Category Six: Putter Loft
Putter lofts range from 3.5-4.5 degrees.
Which Golf Club Has the Best Loft?
There is no overall “best” loft. It depends heavily on the course conditions and the desired ball distance. As you learn the technical skills of golf, you will better understand which loft is best for each situation you encounter.