The Truth About Lofts.

By on February 3, 2020

Since this article was written many of the golf manufactures are stating that the loft of a golf club has to be reduced by so much to as the clubs they produce hit the ball so high. If they kept the loft at it’s usual specification the consumer would not be comfortable with the flight of the golf shots.

Rising Irons Lofts

Over the past twenty years the loft on your golf clubs have changes massively. When I was a trainee back in the late eighties the loft of a seven iron was around 36 degrees however many of the modern seven irons have a loft of as little as 30 degrees (This would have been about a 5 iron)

Below you will see a chart of the more popular clubs on the market and it is amazing how much they vary. When the manufactures are questioned about this change they generally reply with a statement that the modern golf club hits the ball higher and with the modern ball this lower loft can help the golfer. In truth the answer to why lofts have been made stronger is pure and simple –


If you have an older set of clubs that have a seven iron loft of 34/36 degrees and then you try a new manufacture who has a new club they have just launched and this has a seven iron loft of 30 degrees then you will probably get excited because the ball is going a club further and sometime a club and a half further. Well I’m afraid to say you are not comparing apples with apples as in simple terms you are comparing a seven iron with a six iron and this should go a club further.

Many of us know this already but we go along with it because it is a bit of an ego boost. When your stood on the tee of a par 3 and your mates are hitting a five iron and you pull out a seven iron and get onto the green it’s a great feeling and certainly something we can like to recall when we get back to the clubhouse.

What difference does this really make I here you ask? Well it is not a big issue in the scheme of things as it is only a number on the bottom of the club but this can cause some big issues when it comes to getting the correct wedges into you bag. When you consider that a sand wedge needs to be at least 56 degrees to play any sort of lob or bunker shot. Now look at the chart below and you will see that a Cobra AMP Cell iron has a PW loft of 42 degrees giving you a gap of 14 degrees. Given that you should have a 4 degree gap between clubs this would mean you will need up to 3 additional wedges and if you wanted a lob wedge as well your bag could have five wedges in your golf bag!!!

Look at the difference in loft of these two irons

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 10.04.35

Also in has implications at the other end of the bag as a number 3 iron can have as little as 18 degrees of loft so you have to make doubly sure that you get the correct gapping in you longer clubs as it is quite feasible to purchase a 5 wood with 18 degrees and a rescue club at 18 degrees. Three clubs that might all go the same distance is not very useful. In fact this answers the question about why golfers cannot hit 3 and 4 irons these days as the lofts on them are so low that they are the equivalent of number 1 and 2 irons which really are only for the low handicaps and professionals

What is the answer?

Personally I would like the manufactures to remove the numbers from the bottom of the club and to simply have a loft displayed and rather than stating that you hit  a 5 iron you would state that you were hitting 30 degrees (which would be shortened to 30 in time.) This would allow us to compare properly but alas I cannot ever see this happening as the numbers on the clubs are part of the traditions of the game and I doubt the club manufactures would subscribe to this as then they would have to find other ways for you to hit an iron club further.

Below is an interesting comparison of some of the top clubs on the market and it is interesting how they vary so much. (lofts rounded up)

About James Langmead

James Langmead is the golf professional at Stover Golf Club in Newton Abbot

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