Basically, most of the wedges are designed to hit the ball with the highest launch angle rather than other clubs. But the one club among the wedges which is designed to hit the ball with the highest launch angle is the lob wedge.
Why the lob wedge hit the ball with the highest launch angle? The answer is because of its high-angle loft design. Generally, the beginner and the old golfers suffer the problem of the launch angle. They can't hit the ball with the highest launch angle and they search for a club that can do the trick.
If you are a beginner you will face difficulties to understand the terms loft angle and the launch angle. These terms are quite difficult. But we will try to describe them in simple words.
What is a Loft Angle?
In simple words, the loft is the clubface's back angle or the angle behind the clubface. The higher the loft angle the higher the launch angle will be. That means with a higher loft club a golfer will be able to launch the ball too high in the air but the ball would not cross the further distance. On the other hand the flatter the club the more distance it will provide.
All the manufacturers design the lob wedge with the highest loft angle. For this reason, golfers can hit the ball with the highest launch angle with a lob wedge.
Why Loft Matter?
If you are a golf fan then you may have seen that while taking a shot a professional golfer takes out two or more clubs from the bag and choose one for the shot. The golfer chooses the club depending on the situation. Now you may be thinking what is the difference between the club the golfer choose to take a shot and the other clubs he didnâ€™t choose. The difference between these clubs is the loft angle.
Determining the loft of the clubs is very important depending on the situation. A player has to choose a club that has a flatter loft angle while teeing off. As we already learned that the flatter loft angle club is designed to hit the ball for further angle. Therefore a player will choose the flatter loft angle club to reach near the green from the tee off place.
On the other hand, if the balls land in the rough or in the bunker then it can be seen that the golfer is choosing a higher loft angle club. The higher loft angle club gives the advantage of hitting the ball high above in the air. The club would not shot the ball in further distance. Just after covering some distance, the ball will fall down in the ground which helps the player get the ball in the fairway or in the green.
Sometimes it seems that the ball gets stuck in a very clumsy place and the golfer needs to chip of the ball from the place. At that time the high loft wedge plays a very important role. With a high lofted wedge, one can easily toss the ball in the fairway or in the green with ease.
For those above reasons, golfers can be seen carrying many clubs in their backs. So after all that it can be said that for taking different types of shots and for getting out from clumsy situations determining the right lofted club is very important.
What Influences the Launch Angle in Golf?
After reading the above part it is quite cleared that the main thing that influences the launch angle is the loft angle of the club. However, there are many other things that influence the launch angle of the ball. Things like strength of the golfer, clubhead speed, experience of the golfer, and many more.
It can be seen that the same club performs differently in the hand of different users. Also, the launch angle of the club depends on the manufacturer too. They can design the club to be aerodynamic and to provide more speed. Both of these things influence greatly the launch angle. Different situations need different launch angles.
If someone insists to increase their launch angle then they should search for a pro-creator. The pro-creator will teach how to increase the launch angle and also will make the person understand better about different situations.
All Clubs Loft Design
In the above part, we have discussed about the loft design, loft angle, and launch angle. Now we will take you through the loft design and angle of all clubs. Knowing the loft design will help a golfer more in the game. If you want to know Standard Size Golf Club?
Wedges
Generally, all the wedges are highly lofted. With any wedge, one can hit the ball very high in the air. But we have already given the idea of which wedge is made to hit the ball with the highest launch angle. So we would not talk about this anymore.
Here is the table of all wedges loft angles.
Wedge Name | Loft angle |
Lob wedge | 60 degrees and above |
Sand wedge | 60 degrees |
Gap wedge | 52 degrees on average |
Pitching wedge | 45 to 49 degrees |
Lob Wedge- We have described about it in detail in the introduction. However, we will describe about it in brief. As we can see in the table the lob wedges are designed with a loft angle of 60 degrees or even more. There are some golfers who use a lob angle more than 60 degrees like Phil Michelson who uses a lob wedge with a loft angle of 64 degrees.
Sand wedge- It is known as the sand wedge because when the ball gets stuck in the bunkers the player needs to hit the sand instead of the ball to toss the ball out of the bunker. The sand wedge is designed with a loft angle of 60 degrees. This club is known as the 2^{nd} best club that can shot the ball with the highest launch angle after the lob wedge.
Gap wedge- The gap wedge is between the sand wedge and the pitching wedge. Sometimes it seems that it is not possible to take a shot with the sand wedge or with the pitching wedge there comes the gap wedge. It makes the work easier for the golfers.
Pitching wedge- Previously pitching wedge was known as 10 irons. With a pitching wedge a golfer can produce higher shots and also the club can produce shot to toss the ball over rough or bunkers. The pitching wedge is a very versatile club. For this, the club is very important for golfers. The loft angle of the pitching wedge is about 45 to 49 degrees.
Irons
The irons club has a shorter shaft and smaller clubheads. Typically, it can be seen that a golfer has 4 irons in their bag. Irons are used to hitting the ball towards the hole.
Chart for iron clubs number and their loft angle.
Irons Number | Loft angle |
2 | 17 to 18 degrees |
3 | 20 to 21 degrees |
4 | 23 to 24 degrees |
5 | 26 to 27 degrees |
6 | 29 to 31 degrees |
7 | 31 to 33 degrees |
8 | 37 to 39 degrees |
9 | 41 to 43 degrees |
It can be said that the irons are designed with mid-range loft angles.
- The 2 and 3 irons will provide a more straight distance but a bit lower than the wedges.
- With the 4 irons, one can have both the distance and the right accuracy which can be a big help to the beginner and the oldies.
- The irons from 5 to 7 are known as the mid irons. These irons are used to avoid low rise and to hit the fairways. These irons will provide more rolling distance and can hit better than the long irons.
- The 8 and 9 irons are used for situations where a golfer needs more accuracy than the distance. These are known as short irons. They are suitable for a moderate distance.
Hybrid Woods
Hybrid woods are made by combining the mechanism of irons and woods. There is no specific loft angle in a hybrid wood. The angle of the hybrid woods loft is between 18 degrees to 22 degrees. The hybrid woods provide the swing mechanism of irons and provide distance like woods. For those golfers who need both the woods and the irons to shot the ball, they can rely on the hybrid woods. Hybrid woods are designed with a higher launch angle than irons and a shorter shaft design than the woods.
Fairway Woods
Fairway woods are also known as higher number woods. These clubs are designed to shoot the ball from the fairway. As we know that the fairway is the middle distance between the green and the tee off. That means a golfer needs to cover a very long distance to hit the green. Basically, the fairway woods are used to take the 2^{nd} shot of par 5 hole and for long par 4. Some golfers also use fairway woods for teeing off. The fairway woods are designed with a shorter and stronger shaft with a smaller clubhead and higher loft angle than the driver.
Typically, the most commonly used fairway wood is number 3 wood that can have a loft angle from 13 to 15 degrees. The 3 wood is available in different loft angles. The angle of the 3 wood lofts depends on the golfers. If the golfer wants to shot the ball far away then they use the 3 wood with 13 degrees loft design.
However, there are many fairway woods numbers that can be seen on the golf course.
Here is a chart with the loft angle of the fairway woods.
Fairway wood number | Loft angle |
2 | 12 degrees |
3 | 13 to 15 degrees |
4 | 17 degrees |
5 | 18 to 19 degrees |
7 | 21 degrees |
Driver
The driver is used to shot the ball far near the green. That is why the traditional driver has 10 degrees of loft angle. However, some players use far lower loft angle drivers like a driver with 5 degrees of loft angle. The skilled and advanced players use drivers with loft angles like 8 to 10 degrees.
On the other hand, for the beginner or the higher handicap golfers, the suitable loft angle is about 12 to 12.5 degrees.
However, one must not think that one can shot the ball high in the air with a driver. That means the driver cannot toss the ball out of the bunkers or the rough areas. These are only designed to shoot the ball with a lower launch angle and further distance.
Putters
Putters are used to rolling the ball towards the hole. For these reasons, these clubs are made for short and low speed shots. The putter is designed with a very flat clubhead. Golfers use this club when the ball is relatively close to the hole. When the ball is near the hole a golfer would not want to toss the ball in the air they just want the ball to roll and hit the hole. For this reason, the putters are designed with the lowest loft angle.
Therefore the proper loft angle of putters is from 3 to 4 degrees. Besides, some professional players use putters with 1 degree loft angle and some use 6 or 7 degrees loft angle putters.
Why Most Golfers will Benefit from More Loft Angle?
For beginners and for higher handicap players and also for old golfers the higher loft angle can be a great help. The beginner and the higher handicap players will face problems to cover up more distance as they are unskilled and on the other hand old golfers cannot provide much strength to the ball. There comes the higher loft angle design. With a proper loft angle, a golfer will be able to cover more distance without providing much effort. Also, a slow swinger will be benefitted from the higher loft design club.
Final Thoughts
Skilled and advanced players do not have to use higher loft design clubs to cover more distance. However, to get the ball from the rough and from the bunkers there is no other club that can perform better than the higher loft design clubs. Some beginners, higher handicappers, old golfers, and slow swinger face problems to hit the ball at a far distance. Therefore they can use the higher lofted design club.
This article has all the relevant information on the golf club design and loft angle. After reading this one will know why the lob wedge is the first club to launch the ball to the highest and the sand wedge is the 2^{nd}.