Are There Industry-Wide Standards for the Lofts of Golf Clubs?

three golf irons side by side
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There are no industry-wide standards for any specification of a golf club in the golf industry today, loft included. However, "styles" of irons will be relatively close in their loft angles per each head number among most iron models seen today.

Deep cavity back irons which are sold as more of a game improvement iron will have less loft per each head number than will forged, carbon steel irons. For example, the 5-iron from the deep cavity back models will typically be in the area of 25- to 26-degrees for men and 26- to 27-degrees for women's models. The 5-iron from a traditional forged carbon steel set will typically be 28 degrees whether for men or women.

Within drivers, it is most common for each club company to offer a variety of models made to different lofts, ranging from 7.5-degrees to 12-degrees for men and from 11-degrees to 13.5-degrees for women.

The faster the golfer's swing speed, the lower the loft the golfer would typically use to maximize their distance potential, and vice versa. However, golfers with swing speeds lower than 80 mph, regardless of gender, should be using a driver loft of 13-degrees, 14-degrees, or even higher. Many of the standard club companies do not yet offer such lofts for men and some not for women, so golfers with these loft requirements might need to visit their local custom clubmaker.

An extremely critical factor related to loft is to have an even increment of loft change between adjacent clubs. All clubheads, regardless of make or model, are produced to a production tolerance for loft of plus-or-minus 1 degree. While the better production companies will be statistically tighter than this, there is always that chance that two adjacent irons or woods may be as little as 2 degrees apart in loft, or have as much as 6 degrees of separation (no, Kevin Bacon does not work in the golf business!).

The typical loft difference that brings most consistency in shot distance through the set is 4-degrees. So if you have two clubs you hit very close to the same distance, or two clubs where you feel you have a larger distance gap between them than you should, you should to have your lofts checked (and re-fit, if a problem is found) by a competent custom clubmaker.