The launch angle might sound strange to you if you’re at the beginning of your golf journey. Also, it’s one of the things beginners struggle to understand. We’re here to help you out because you will need a club designed to hit the ball with the highest launch angle when your ball ends up in particularly complicated areas of the golf course.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in and discover which club it is.
UNDERSTANDING THE LAUNCH ANGLE
The golf club loft is the angle the clubface supports. With a high loft, you get a steep angle. Conversely, a lower loft provides a less sharp angle. For example, a driver has a flat clubface leading to a low loft. On the other hand, a sand wedge has a sheer back slope, which leads to a higher loft. That means that a higher loft provides a higher launch angle.
So, a higher loft will launch the ball high and land a few feet further from the original position. On the flip side, a club with the lower loft won’t make the ball fly high but will allow it to land much further. That’s why drivers and irons with lower numbers are perfect for achieving distance, as they have lower loft angles.
WHICH CLUB WILL HIT THE BALL WITH THE HIGHEST LAUNCH ANGLE?
Even though golf club producers are divergent with their loft degrees for every club, the one that will hit the ball with the highest launch angle is, in most cases, the lob wedge. Wedges, in general, have the highest lofts, but the lob wedges typically feature 60 degrees or higher, which will make your ball shoot straight up into the air.
3-woods typically come with a lower loft of around 16 degrees. This 44-degree difference significantly impacts how the ball responds to a hit.
LOFT IS ESSENTIAL
The loft is crucial as it governs how the ball will move after impact. Regardless of how you swing the club, a ball won’t achieve great distance if you use a high-launch-angle club.
Why does it matter if the distance is what’s important? The distance is crucial when you’re trying to get the ball closer to the end target or when you’re on the tee. That’s why the woods and driver typically have a lower loft than wedges and irons.
However, when the ball lands in a bunker or behind an obstacle, you will need a club with a high launch angle to get it out. Every club has a purpose. That’s why golfers carry a variety of clubs in their bags.
If you find yourself stuck in an obstacle and need to chip the ball over it, a wedge with a high loft can save the day. It will push the ball over the stumbling block with enough room to clear the landing.
Let’s say your ball is stuck behind a tree stump on the borders of the golf course. If you hit the ball with a low-loft club, it will cause the ball to head straight into the tree stump and return it to its initial position. So, don’t do that. Use a high-loft club instead, and chip the ball over it. Then, you can freely use a club with a low loft to move the ball closer to the target.
TEE HEIGHT AFFECTS THE LOFT / LAUNCH ANGLE BOND
As we discovered in this article, the clubs with higher lofts lead to higher launch angles. That’s true if you hit a ball off the ground. However, when you do it from a tee, things become a bit different.
For example, PGA Tour players launch their drivers higher than 5-woods, 3-woods, hybrids, and 3-irons even though a driver has the lowest loft of all the clubs, apart from a putter.
With driver shots, the ball is usually teed up 1.5 inches or more. That allows golfers to deliver the club with a less negative or even positive attack angle. That results in a higher dynamic loft reciprocal to the club’s loft.
ALL IN ALL
If you play on a golf course full of obstacles, you will need a wedge to get the ball out of tight spots. And among wedges, a lob wedge is designed to hit the ball with the highest launch angle, closely followed by a sand wedge. All wedges provide a higher launch angle than other types of clubs because of their high lofts.
So, if you need a club that offers a high launch angle, ensure to consider the loft. The higher the loft, the higher the ball will fly.