Should I go with 9 degree or 10.5 driver?
I have been grappling with this for a while now and still undecided as to which is the best solution for me.
Loft determines the spin that you can generate off the tee and that impacts on the carry distance you generate with your driver. A lower degree loft will reduce the spin generated and thus cause your ball to fall out of the air losing out on distance.
In this article, we will evaluate the use of a 9-degree driver and explain the pros and cons of its use.
Who Is A 9-Degree Driver For?
Why should I use a 9 degree driver?
A 9-degree driver is suited to golfers that generate swing speed above 100 mph and use a stiff shaft.
Slower swing speed will experience difficulty to generate sufficient spin to get the golf ball airborne and likely lose distance using a low lofted driver.
Golfers with an average carry distance of 250 yards or a total distance of around 280 yards can successfully implement a 9-degree driver into their arsenal.
This video explains lift theory quite well.
Is A 9-Degree Driver Harder To Hit
Golfers with slower swing speeds may find the 9-degree driver too difficult to hit consistently and achieve maximum distance.
However, golfers with high swing speed will benefit from the lower loft.
What Type Of Golfer Is A 9-Degree Driver Suited To?
If you have a steep angle of attack, high clubhead speed, or generate a high amount of spin the 9-degree driver will appeal to you.
- A 9-degree driver is ideal for a golfer that strikes who would like to hit down on the ball.
- Golfers that play with high and back-weighted drivers will gain maximum benefit from a 9-degree driver.
- It stabilizes the clubhead at the impact point which prevents golfers from hooks and slices.
- The driver introduces speed and forgiveness to the golf ball.
- The lower loft of a 9-degree driver adds to the workability to draw and fade your drives.
- Low loft can help golfers achieve perfect hook and slice shots.
- It produces less oblique angle and hence transfers more energy at the point of impact.
Is A 9-Degree Loft Too Low For A New Golfer?
New golfers that are still building their swing generally struggle to generate the speed required to hit drivers with less than 10.5-degree loft high and long.
Any loft below 10.5 degrees would not benefit a new golfer’s confidence and help in lowering their scores.
9-Degree Driver vs 10.5
Why should I go with 9 degree or 10.5 driver?
9-degree drivers produce a lower trajectory and produce the best results with fast swing speeds that generate the spin needed to get maximum airtime.
10.5-degree drivers are suited to most golfers with an average swing speed that requires forgiveness and extra distance. The extra loft helps to get the golf ball into the air and produce sufficient spin to keep it airborne for the best results.
Benefits Of A 10.5-Degree Driver
- The biggest benefit of a 10.5-degree driver over a 9-degree driver is the additional forgiveness that it provides. Lower lofts add to technical difficulties in striking the golf ball correctly and generating the correct amount of spin.
- Assist in getting the golf ball airborne at lower swing speed.
- It generates sufficient spin to keep the ball in the air for the optimal time without sacrificing rollout after landing.
- It is possible to keep the golf ball low and below the wind by delofting the driver on the tee and hitting a knockdown drive.
Benefits Of A 9-Degree Driver
- Golfers with a fast-swing speed generating high clubhead speed will be able to generate a lower penetrating trajectory with a 9-degree driver than with a 10.5-degree driver.
- Produce more rollout due to the lower ball trajectory.
- The penetrating ball trajectory is ideal in windy conditions.
- Increases the amount of compression on the golf ball for a more explosive effect of the clubface. A 9-degree prevents the ball from ballooning under high compression conditions.
9-Degree vs 11-Degree Driver
Golfers with swing speeds between 80 to 90 mph will benefit from a slightly higher loft such as 11-degree driver.
There is hardly any difference between 10.5-degree and the 11-degree drivers and beginners are more likely to get more benefit from a 12-degree driver.
How Much Difference Does 1 Degree Of Loft Make To A Driver?
Loft and shaft length are both instrumental in the distance you can hit a golf club including your driver. Loft increases as the number of the club increases while the shaft length shortens as the club number increases.
This means that a driver will have a longer shaft and a lower loft than a mid-iron or a wedge.
A higher loft will generate a higher ball flight and shorten the distance that the ball travels.
Generally, a ½ inch difference in club length produces a difference of 5 yards in distance.
As discussed earlier the shorter club with the higher loft will produce less distance. Furthermore, an increase of 4-degrees in the loft will decrease the distance by approximately 5 yards.
Following an intricate formula, the variance in distance between clubs of equal length
For example, the difference between a 4-iron at 23-degrees loft and a 9-iron at 42-degrees loft gives you a variance of 19 degrees. Dividing 19 degrees into 4 (4-degrees = 5 yards) gives us 4 with 3 degrees remaining.
Since 4 degrees variance provides a 5-yard differential, the difference between a 4-iron and a 9-iron in the example should provide at least equals 20 yards difference.
Multiplying the remaining 3 degrees by 5 yards will give you approximately 4 yards extra bringing the total difference to 24 yards.
In summary, the average golfer can expect approximately 1 ¼ yard extra for every degree decrease in the loft. This may vary depending on the quality of ball striking and shaft length.
Using the same length shafts across all clubs in your bag could increase the differential between clubs to approximately 2 yards per degree.
How To Hit A 9-Degree Driver
Hitting a 9-degree driver is not much different from hitting a 10.5-degree driver. There are two schools of thought with one school believing that 9-degree drivers are ideal for golfers that are hitting down on the golf ball while the second school believes that, similar to long driver 9-degree driver for contestants, you should hit up on the golf ball.
In the YouTube video, Lee Whitaker explains the difference between hitting drivers with 9, 11, and 13-degree driver lofts
9 Degree Driver For Beginners
Callaway Big Bertha
Callaway’s popular Big Bertha with its next-generation Rmoto technology structure for a thinner face, and 9-degrees of loft needs you to generate high swing speed to squeeze every yard of distance. This technology adds to the forgiveness on off-center hits.
The driver head design is light and stable, while the aerodynamic head shape adds to your ability to generate speed.
Adjustable perimeter weighting is provided via a 10g sliding weight on the perimeter of the club head for increased forgiveness and control.
I sincerely hope that this article has clarified why should I use a 9-degree driver to provide the optimal distance off the tee and an advantage over shorter hitters.
If you have any feedback, comments, or experience using a 9-degree driver, we would appreciate your feedback in the comments section below.
The Editorial Staff at Golfible is a team of golfing geeks and enthusiasts led by founder Alec Rose. All have the same obsession with golf tech, equipment updates and avoiding rain on the course.