10.5 Vs 12 Degree Drivers (Compared)

If you’ve ever found yourself pondering over the choice between a 10.5 degree driver and a 12 degree driver, you’re not alone.

This question has been a hot topic among golfers for years, and for good reason.

The loft of your driver can greatly affect your performance at the course, from the distance you achieve to the control you have over your shots.

In this post, I’ll compare 10.5 vs 12 degree drivers against a range of different factors.

I hope this will help you decide which driver is the perfect fit for your swing and play style.

Also Read: Does adjusting driver loft open face?

12 Vs 10.5 Degree Drivers

10.5 Degrees12 Degrees
Launch AngleLowerHigher
Back SpinLowerHigher
TrajectoryLower, penetratingHigher, ballooning
WorkabilityMore workable (easier to shape shots)Less workable
ForgivenessPotentially less forgiving on mishitsPotentially more forgiving on mishits
Distance PotentialCan be good for players with faster swing speeds due to lower spinCan be good for players with slower swing speeds due to higher launch
Player HandicapMight suit mid/low handicappers with controlled swingsMight suit beginner/high handicappers for launch and potential forgiveness

Let me breakdown these factors in more detail:

#1 Swing Speed


The first thing you have to consider when selecting a driver loft is your swing speed.

If you have a slower swing speed like below 90 mph, you’ll likely do better with a higher loft, like a 12-degree driver.

The extra loft helps get the ball up in the air easier and maximizes how far you can hit it.

And if you’re a player with a faster swing speed over 100 mph, you’ll likely see better results with a lower loft like 10.5 degrees.

With a faster swing, you can generate enough speed and launch angle without needing as much loft. The faster you swing, the lower loft you can likely play effectively.

#2 Launch Angle

A 12-degree driver is going to send the ball up at a higher launch angle compared to a 10.5-degree driver out of the same swing.

Also Read: Hooking Driver But Not Irons

For golfers who tend to hit a lot of low-launching, low-spinning drives that just pierce through the air without much hang time, going with a 12-degree loft can transform that trajectory into something more optimal and hang in the air longer.

However, you have to be careful not to go too high with the launch angle.

A higher angle will increase spin and reduce the distance.

#3 Distance

A lot of people think that lower lofts automatically mean longer distances, but that’s not always the case, especially for recreational players.

Many amateur golfers actually pick up extra carry distance when playing a higher lofted head.

This is because they can optimize their launch conditions for a more efficient ball flight.

However, if the course is dry and firm, a lower loft like 10.5 degrees can allow a bit more roll-out after landing – which increases the distance.

#4 Accuracy And Side Spin

12 degree drivers will give you better accuracy, shot dispersion and will reduce side spin than 10.5 drivers. But they will produce more back spin.

One big advantage of higher lofted drivers is their ability to enhance your accuracy and it will tighten up your shot dispersion (how close your shots land to each other).

The extra loft will also reduce sidespin, which is often responsible for hooks and slices.

If you can hit the ball straighter, you’ll probably land it more often in the fairway and steer clear of those expensive misses into rough or hazards.

Also Read: Why do i hit blades better than cavity backs?

But remember, it’s like a seesaw – you want some distance, but also some accuracy.

If you go for a super high lofted driver to hit it straighter, you might end up hitting the ball way shorter than you could.

#5 Course Conditions

You should also factor in the course conditions and your playing style.

If you often play on wet, softer courses where controlling the ball’s trajectory is important, a higher loft like a 12-degree driver could help keep your shots down.


However, if you typically play on firm, dry courses, especially those with wide-open spaces, you might want to go with a lower loft.

It will get you the maximum distance from the roll-out of your shots.

#6 Personal Preferences

The final factor is personal preference and ego.

Some golfers might not want to use higher lofts because they think it’ll make them hit the ball shorter or look like they’re not as good at swinging.

Get past these ideas and focus on finding the loft that helps you hit the ball well!

#7 The Shaft

Even though people often focus on the loft of the driver head, the shaft is just as important for getting the ball to launch right.

Shafts come in all sorts of varieties with different kick points, weights, and bending characteristics, and they can change how high the ball goes, how much it spins, and how consistent your shots are.

So you need a head and shaft that works well together to get the best results overall.

Get help from a club fitting expert for this!

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