Does increasing loft on driver open or close the clubface
Last Updated on June 14th, 2023
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Golf is a beautiful yet frustrating game. It is full of many angles, obstacles, and techniques. In fact, so many variables go into golf that becoming a proficient player is notoriously difficult.
Driving is perhaps the first thing people attempt to master once they begin playing the sport.
Hitting a good shot from the tee is vital because it sets the tone for your playing and dictates which strategy you will use for the remainder of that hole. Being a great driver is rewarding, but it is easier said than done.
One of the first things you will have to address with your driving is the loft. Loft means the angle your clubface has from 90 degrees or vertical, which will determine the height and trajectory at which the ball will travel once it’s struck.
When you increase the loft, you are opening the clubface to increase the angle at which you hit the ball. If you open the clubhead up as high as possible, the ball will shoot high toward the sky.
If you close it as low as possible, the ball will strike lower, closer to parallel with the ground.
What Happens with the Distance?
You can tell a lot about the loft’s relationship with distance by looking at different golf clubs and their purpose. Drivers have the lowest loft and are designed to hit the ball long and far.
Wedges, however, have the highest loft and are designed to hit short distances with a high launch angle. This means that increasing loft on your driver, whether by opening your club face or other means, puts your driver at risk of losing distance.
Another factor to consider when thinking about loft and driving is club speed. Club speed plays a significant role in determining a drive’s distance, and it has an interesting relationship with loft.
You may think that to add distance to your drive, and you can just lower the loft as much as possible. The problem with this is that there is a cutoff where losing loft begins to actually change the height and trajectory of your shot, shortening its total distance.
The key is finding a balance: the threshold in your swing where you have just enough height to travel as far as possible.
Does Accuracy Change?
So how does changing loft affect the accuracy of the swing? It certainly can and likely does; however, the change can be either beneficial or detrimental to your swing based on certain factors.
Increasing loft by adding a lot of backspin is not the right way, and you want to avoid that. The less spin, the better the ball’s contact, flight, and accuracy.
This means that adding loft can improve the accuracy of your shot, but adding too much on your drive changes the way the ball behaves in the air and alters its accuracy.
Therefore it is not a simple equation of just adding loft to increase accuracy. Instead, it is about finding a balance of loft as one of many components of your swing.
Does Adding a Loft to the Driver Add Spin?
Adding a loft to the driver does add more spin to your drive. Therefore, knowing how loft affects ball spin and what that means for your drive is essential.
Whenever you hit a ball in golf, you’re going to create a backspin. This is a given, as there is rarely, if ever, topspin in golf. The question then is its relationship to the loft and how much backspin you want on your drive.
As we have established, opening the face of your club up will increase the loft of your swing, but it will also increase the backspin on the ball. In fact, for each degree of loft you add to your swing, you will add anywhere from 400-500 rotations per minute of backspin.
Unlike accuracy, there is a direct relationship between loft and spin: the more loft you add, the more spin you will get.
How Do You Increase Loft the Right Way?
Your driver will have the least loft of all the clubs in your bag because it is closest to vertical.
As a result, it is common to try and find ways to add loft to your driver for circumstances where you would increase the launch angle or backspin. (Be careful, you don’t want to overextend in either of these two areas!)
To add loft, try these things:
- Raise the height that your ball sits on the tee. This will give you more prominent access to the lower hemisphere of the golf ball. (Be aware of regulations for tee height)
- Move the ball closer to the front foot of your stance when you tee off.
Things You Need to Avoid Doing if You Want to Increase Loft on Driver?
When it comes to putting a loft on your drive, there are some things you want to avoid.
- Putting too much backspin. Loft and spin are crucial factors in optimizing the accuracy and distance of a drive. There are varying thresholds of spin to put on a shot based on club choice, swing technique, and other factors but adding too much backspin is something to avoid.
- Do not open the club faces too much; this can make you slice your shot.
Final Thoughts on Increasing Loft on a Driver
The loft is just one of many details to iron out in your golf game, but that doesn’t take away how fundamental it is to your game, especially for your driving.
If you add loft, make sure you do so slowly and steadily with a balanced approach; flipping between extremes in golf can lead to erratic mechanics and play on the course.