How Does the Angle on a Golf Club Affect a Shot?

By Steve Silverman

The angle or loft of a club influences how high a ball will fly and how far it will go. Under most circumstances, a golfer should swing each club the same way until he gets within 100 yards of the green. Prior to that, the golfer should be taking a full swing and the angle of the club used will be the determining factor to distance and height. Accuracy is also a factor on the club face's angle.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Examine your driver for a club that has little or no loft. In order to get the driver to send the ball into the air, the golf ball must be teed about an inch from the ground and the ball should be struck just as the golfer is beginning his upswing. Many golfers eschew the driver because it is a difficult club to hit and when the ball is struck incorrectly, it won't get much loft and may not stay on course.
Step 2
Use a 3-iron for distance when hitting from the fairway. The angle on the face of the 3-iron is about 20 to 22 degrees. If swung properly, the 3-iron can propel the ball 180-200 yards.
Step 3
Use a 5-iron to get more height on the ball than the 3-iron. The 5-iron is angled at 27 to 30 degrees and that angle will allow the grooves on the club to put some backspin on the ball, which will then allow it to hold its landing position on the green as long as the golfer has finished with a high follow through.
Step 4
Use the 7-iron to get the ball above most trees and then come down softly on the green. The 7-iron is angled at 34 to 38 degrees and that will send the ball high in the air and come down softly on the green. More backspin is put on the ball as the club numbers go up.
Step 5
Use the pitching wedge in order to get the ball to "stick" on the green and roll backwards after impact. Pitching wedges are angled at 46 to 50 degrees in order to let the golfer place the ball on the green with touch and accuracy. Many golfers include a lob wedge in their bag. The lob wedge is more like an extreme pitching wedge, with its club head angled at 60 degrees.

Tips & Warnings

Take your clubs to the driving range and hit each one in succession using the same swing. Watch how the angle and distance changes as you hit your shots. This will give you an idea of what each club is capable of doing, provided you hit each shot with the same type of swing.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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