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How much of a difference would a 12 degree driver make? From 10.5....


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Anyone know?  I currently use a 10.5 but I don't swing very hard and can hit about 240-250 on average.  I hit my driver pretty low and my thought is that I can add a little more carry and swing a little more aggressively with the added loft.  I just don't want to lose distance because I need all I can get.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Shaft may be the answer.  Yesterday I demoed the Ping G15 (10.5) at a range with both the stock and Serrano shafts.  the stock shaft has a lower kick point and the launch angle was a bit higher than the Serrrano.  It was easier to get in the air with my swing.

I currently use an R9 with a stock shaft and it was the lowest of the three.  I have also thought of trying a higher loft because my angle at impact is a bit steep.

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It's hard to say without actually trying a 12* head, ideally with different shaft combinations.  I can tell you that without getting properly fitted, I stumbled upon a lightly used 12* Ping K15 driver (with stock TFC R flex shaft) that I bought.  I figured what the heck--if anything can keep it straight on the fairway, this thing should be able to.

I took that K15 combo out for its one and only round last week, and it was an interesting mix of contrasts.  On the one hand, I never had a better driving round, keeping the ball in the fairway or right off the fairway, and this was a big help to my round and to my confidence.  On the other hand, I am convinced I lost distance from my usual distance from 10.5* drivers.  I was using a GPS this past round, but I never had one for previous rounds.  But I was generally driving shorter than my FIL, which is not usually the case.

Bottom line, I felt very comfortable with the 12* loft, but this combo with the TFC R flex shaft was probably producing too high of a launch and too much backspin.  So I just reshafted with a Prolaunch Red that I had around, and this should bring the launch and spin down, generate more roll, etc.  I suspect that this type of shaft would be the only way I could play a 12* loft driver, but if this combo with the PL Red still produces too much distance loss, I will inevitably give my 10.5* G15 Draw another shot, or likely try the K15 in a lower loft, as I love what the K15 does in producing straighter drives.

So unless you get fitted OP, trial and error is your only option.  Maybe try to pick up something like a 12* G10 (which should be pretty cheap) to experiment with what the extra loft might to for you.

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I currently play a Launcher DST 10.5 with a regular flex stock diamana shaft.  I'm looking to go with a Cleveland SL290 with a stiff shaft and 12 degrees.   I really like light clubs...

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Id really talk to a pro or a fitter or someone who knows alot about this kinda stuff because their is an awful lot that goes into the height of the shot. There is the degree of the club, their is the stiffness of the shaft, their is the kickpoint of a shaft and then of course the most important part... your swing.

Also if your low on height and distance switching from a regular shaft to a stiff shaft is counter productive. Stiff shafts don't bend as much so they don't provide as much height and distance as a regular. In fact if you wanted more height and distance a senior flex would be the way to go not stiff. You essentially want to play the most felxable shaft you can control accurately.

Stiff flex will give you more control at the cost of height and distance.

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The shaft is makes more of an impact than the loft of the club, thats even what a guy at Dicks Sporting Goods told me once.  Im not an expert on shafts but I can imagine that every shaft is a little different, some give more carry with higher ball flight and some lower with more roll regardless of the loft on the driver.   I prefer the latter,  i believe a lower ball flight(at least for me) gives me more accurate tee shots and usually more distance as well.   The higher I hit the ball in the air, the more sidespin i tend to put on it and greater chance of slicing.   Also,  a lower ball flight isnt affected as much by wind, cuts right through it though you dont get as much help when you have the wind on your side.

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More loft on a driver creates more backspin/less side spin which in turn will create a higher ball flight and straighter shots. Which in turn means less roll.  However a shaft can do anything really, high kick point shafts are used to generally keep the ball lower by reducing spin.  Low kick point shafts are used to generally get the ball higher by helping to create more spin.  Its important to get the right shaft also.  Its definately better to be on the fairway 250 yards than blocked out in the trees 270 yards. If you want more distance you need a higher swing speed. try get fitted

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Originally Posted by SouthernILGolfer

The shaft is makes more of an impact than the loft of the club, thats even what a guy at Dicks Sporting Goods told me once.  Im not an expert on shafts but I can imagine that every shaft is a little different, some give more carry with higher ball flight and some lower with more roll regardless of the loft on the driver.   I prefer the latter,  i believe a lower ball flight(at least for me) gives me more accurate tee shots and usually more distance as well.   The higher I hit the ball in the air, the more sidespin i tend to put on it and greater chance of slicing.   Also,  a lower ball flight isnt affected as much by wind, cuts right through it though you dont get as much help when you have the wind on your side.


the guy at Dick's is dead wrong.  you cannot optimize the launch angle and spin rate for a 90 mph swing speed using a 9 degree driver with any shaft.  the TRUE LOFT of the driver head is the FIRST fitting factor.  the shaft is for fine tuning.  by TRUE LOFT i mean the ACTUAL MEASURED center-of-the-face loft when the head is in it's designed and manufactured lie angle.  the guy at Dick's has no idea what that is unless he has learned how to measure it and has the proper tools to do it.  the number that is on the bottom of the clubhead is a reference point of the design.  it is the INTENDED loft.  and just saying that it's within a degree or two is pure BS.

the rest of your post, Southern, is very accurate and please don't take offense at my post here.  i'm not dissing you at all but there is a LOT of BS hype out there that golfers are being fed that is KILLING their game.

btw- next time you talk to a "Salesperson" at a retail outfit ask them what schooling in clubfitting they've had.  it's scary!

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Originally Posted by jeffrey r

I took that K15 combo out for its one and only round last week, and it was an interesting mix of contrasts.  On the one hand, I never had a better driving round, keeping the ball in the fairway or right off the fairway, and this was a big help to my round and to my confidence.

So unless you get fitted OP, trial and error is your only option.  Maybe try to pick up something like a 12* G10 (which should be pretty cheap) to experiment with what the extra loft might to for you.



If that happened to me, I wouldn't change anything about that driver!

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Tweaky is spot on. Loft is the #1 thing to get right for the vast majority of golfers. We don't really have enough information to make even a useful guess about what loft would fit you best. At a minimum, you need to know your swing speed and angle of attack (whether you hit up or down on the ball). A good club fitter will also look at the characteristics of your swing itself. But, as a rule of thumb, it's fair to say that far more people play drivers that have too little loft than play drivers that have too much. Manufacturers know this and often their higher-numbered models (typically the 10.5 degree) will actually measure rather more. So you may already be playing an 11 or 11.5 or so. I had a "10.5" G15 that was actually over 12.5 degrees. It's a bit of a crap shoot.
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Quote:

If that happened to me, I wouldn't change anything about that driver!


I hear ya 2left, but the distance loss was a little too much with that combo, the 12* K15 together with the R flex TFC.  I am confident I can achieve more "best driving rounds" with the K15, but either with a lower launching/spinning shaft in the 12*, or by going to a 10.5*.  I tinker quite a bit, sometimes to my detriment, but this is one case where I don't think there is any question that the 12* head with a high-torque high spin shaft like the TFC R flex was working against me, despite the benefits of hitting it straighter.  The K15 in the proper setup is capable of hitting it straight, but still long.

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I have recently gone from a 10.5* driver to a 12* with a heavier shaft 74g vs 64g but have stayed in R flex.

So far I am really enjoying the switch. I certainly have many more effective drives with misses much more frequently in the short rough than the trees like my 10.5*. I'd say the 1 drive a round I nail out of the screws I'm giving up about 15-20 metres versus 1 out of the screws with the lower lofted driver. Overall though I'd say my average driving distance is up by that amount. The 12* also gives me most of my yardage in carry, I am able to take on hazards at the 200 yard mark with a lot more confidence now in that regard.

I have hit the occassional moon ball with the 12* but I hit plenty bad shots with the 10.5* too. A bad swing is just a bad swing.

Good luck with it, I reckon it is worth persisting with if it is keeping you in play...

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Had a driver fitting a couple of years ago.

My old driver was a 9* with a stiff-flex, high launch shaft. I was pushing 60 at the time and needed regular shafts. I had experienced a big yardage drop - getting barely 200 - and a 22* launch angle on the monitor.

I tried a couple of 9.5* drivers with regular, mid-kick shafts - low hot shots sometimes, but about half were so low they went "under the radar" and didn't register on the launch monitor.

The 10.5* drivers in mid-kick R flex shafts were the ones! Launch angles of 13* to 15*, and about 220 yds. (Current driver launches at 13*)

On today's jumbo drivers, ball height on tee can be critical. Check out Golf Digest: Hank Haney advises average golfers to tee the ball so the top of ball is about same height as the top of the driver head. Traditional advice has been to tee up jumbos with a half-ball above the head. He says that works for better players, but increases mishits for average players.

I tried lower teeing this spring, and am getting more consistent hits. And, ball flight is slightly lower with about 10 yard distance gain.

My humble advice: Play around with loft and shaft type to see which works best.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have also been using the K15 in 12 degree, I've always used 10 or 10.5. My drives are nice and straight but have really noticed a drop in distance. Thinking of trying to find a K15 in 10.5 . It's hard to complain when your driving the ball straight, but when you usually out drive your  golf partner and now he's out driving you it's tuff.

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