A golf club’s loft refers to the club face’s angle relative to the club’s shaft, according to PGA pro Mark Blakemore. The least-lofted golf club, other than a putter, is the driver. Drivers are typically lofted between 8 and 11 degrees, so drivers with lofts of 9.5 and 10.5 degrees are common. The higher-lofted driver is typically a better choice for an amateur player.
Consider your swing speed. The lower your swing speed, the more you’ll benefit from a club with greater loft. A “Golf Digest” study of drivers with a variety of lofts concluded that players with average swing speeds will hit the ball farther with an 11-degree driver than a driver that’s lofted by 9 degrees.
Decide whether you need help getting the ball in the air. If your tee shot trajectory is too low, then choose a 10.5-degree driver rather than its 9.5-degree counterpart. All else being equal, you’ll hit the ball higher with a greater-lofted club.
Consider the weather. On windy days it’s better to hit the ball low than high. So if you own a 9.5-degree and a 10.5-degree driver, you may wish to put the less-lofted club in your bag on a windy day.