9.5 vs 10.5 Driver: Which Should You Use?

For many, the driver is the most difficult club to hit in the bag. It has the longest shaft, and swing arc, which makes amateur golfers get “twisted up” during the backswing and the downswing through the ball. Add to this the tendency to swing too hard at the ball, and you have all kinds of problems waiting to happen.

Your driver choice can significantly impact your accuracy and distance off the tee. So join us as we take a look at using a 9.5 vs 10.5 driver. We’ll also cover the 9 vs 10.5 drivers. Read on to learn more.

9.5 vs 10.5 Driver: What to Look For

There is no one size fits all answer to which is better between these drivers. Let’s take a look at the factors you should consider.

Driver Loft: 9.5 vs 10.5

Loft is a player’s friend, especially when it comes to hitting the driver. The more loft on the driver, the easier it is to get airborne with consistency. Accuracy will improve, and scores will tumble. Sound too easy? Let us look at it another way.

Most beginners or mid-handicap players can hit a 3-wood fairly consistently off the tee. The reason is that a 3-wood carries a loft of between 13 to 15 degrees.

So, a 10.5 driver may be best for you if you value forgiveness.

Which is Better for Beginners? 10.5 vs 9.5 Driver 

One of the hardest things to do is to accept your playing capability and skill level. Drivers can carry lofts of up to 12 degrees, and many senior golfers and beginners would be well advised to start with similar lofts.

Confidence is crucial when hitting a driver; finding fairways during a round will build this and improve scores.

While it may be tempting to head for a lower lofted driver to pierce through the winds, you need to assess your current skill and whether or not you’ll be able to strike consistently.

Spin: 10.5 vs 9.5 Driver

The dimple pattern on the ball helps lift the ball into the air, accompanied by spin. Spin controls the flight trajectory and the curvature of the ball. Sidespin will move the ball either left or right in the air; this control is critical.

Too much backspin on the ball will make it balloon into the air and fall short of the anticipated distance. The type of ball put into play will affect the above.

9.0-degree drivers can compensate for potential lacking forgiveness by adding extra spin to the ball, but that may defeat the purpose of using that type of driver in the first place.

The Angle of Attack

The driver is the one-shot where you should make contact on the upswing. Played from a tee, the ball height should be sufficient to allow the driver’s head to sweep through contact without taking a divot.

If the swing path is negative at impact, i.e., still on the downswing, the ball will pop up high into the air without achieving too much distance.

This is another factor to consider when selecting the loft on a driver, as a higher lofted driver can compensate for this a little. But I suggest the swing path be corrected rather than through loft on a driver.

If you’re prone to striking high off the face, you may be better off with a lower loft, as the difference between the 9.0 and 10.5 drivers could mean more accurate shots for such swingers.


Selecting the correct shaft for the driver can increase clubhead speed and improve accuracy and consistency off the tee. You can test various lofts, and players will be surprised to find how easy they can control the driver provided the shaft suits the swing speed. Remember, no matter if you opt for a 9.5 or 10.5 driver.

9.0 and 9.5 Degree Drivers

Let’s take a look at what these drivers can offer. Some famous golfers who use a 9.5 driver include Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, and Matt Kuchar.

9.5 Degree Driver Average Distance Chart

mph Distance (Yards)
80 193
90 228
100 256
110 289

Who Is a 9.5 Degree Driver and 9.0 Degree Driver For?

Swing speed is an essential factor when deciding on driver loft. Too little speed will not get sufficient compression and spin on the ball to launch it at a decent trajectory. Carry through the air, equals distance. You’ll need a decent swing speed with a 9.5 or 9.0-degree driver.

A 9.0 or 9.5 driver is a perfect fit for someone who hits their driver too high. Or, skilled golfers with a swing speed of around 100mph that will generate enough compression and spin to launch these drivers high and far.

It is always worth considering playing conditions when deciding on a driver loft. If playing in coastal or windy conditions is the norm, then try hitting a driver with 9.5 degrees or 9 degrees to keep the ball out of the wind.

Links-style courses allow for low running shots, so the low flight will be an advantage. Conversely, inland conditions require a high ball flight and trajectory to maximize carry through the air for increased distance and are less suited to a low loft driver.

The Best 9.5 Driver: XXIO Black

The right driver goes a long way in improving your shots but finding one is hard because it is very subjective. It depends a lot on how fast your swings are and several other factors. Still, in our opinion, XXIO has the best 9.5 drivers, which are more forgiving than most and good at preserving ball speed, not to mention great aesthetics.

10.5 Drivers

To make comparisons, we will now look at the distance 10.5 drivers can cover and who they’re aimed at. Famous golfers Dustin Johnson and Webb Simpson often use a 10.5 driver.

10.5 Degree Driver Distance Chart

mph Distance (Yards)
80 210
90 222
100 270
110 278

Who Should Use a 10.5-Degree Driver?

Possibly the most popular driver loft used by skilled and unskilled amateur golfers. The reasons being it is forgiving, hits the ball with medium to high trajectory, and has sufficient spin to obtain a decent distance off the tee.

Accuracy off the tee is enhanced, which leads to lower scores and an improved handicap. Could a player want any more proof to use this loft?

It can be controlled by most players with slower swing speeds, and the added loft gets the ball airborne easily. Faster swing speeds will also benefit from the improved accuracy off the tee, and a change in the ball type can decrease the spin factor if required.

Skilled players can work the ball both ways in the air more easily with the 10.5-degree loft.

The Best 10.5 Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver

There are many different opinions on the ground, but we recommend the Callaway brand, which has the best 10.5 drivers. The Callaway Rogue ST Max driver is the standard in the golf industry which is why it is popular among many professional golfers. It is fast on the swing and off the face. The Callaway Rogue ST Max driver is an excellent 10.5 driver with a stable, consistent ball flight and a premium aesthetic.

How to Know Whether to Use a 9.5 or a 10.5 Driver

Your swing speed and attack angle should tell you whether to use a 9.5 driver or a 10.5 driver. You can use a launch monitor at a golfing range to measure your swing speed. The 10.5 driver is good for beginners and golfers whose swing speed is 80mph – 90mph.

If your club head speed is in the 100s mph, then you’d do well with a 9.5 driver. Just be prepared for the hooks and slices as forgiveness decreases slightly with a lower loft driver.

9.5 Degree vs 10.5 Degree Accuracy Chart

To test which loft of driver is more accurate, we took identical models of drivers with differing lofts to our golf simulator and kept track of how many shots landed on the fairway. Here are the results of 3 average golfers taking 30 shots each:

9.5 Driver 10.5 Driver
Golfer 1 15 18
Golfer 2 21 25
Golfer 3 18 20
Totals 54/90 63/90

As you can see, the 10.5 driver was much more forgiving than the 9.5-degree driver.

9.5 vs 10.5 Driver Distance

9.5-degree drivers can provide more distance off the tee, but only if the person using it has a fast swing speed. Slower swing speed players will actually find the hot further with a 10.5 when comparing the difference between a 9.5 and 10.5 driver.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 9.5 or 10.5 Better for a Driver?

If you’ve been asking yourself, “Should I get a 9.5 or 10.5-degree driver?” You need to consider that “Better” is subjective. But, a 10.5 is much better for many players since it is more forgiving, meaning that you are less likely to hook or slice your drives. It is also easier to adjust it to suit the golf player than the 9.5 drivers. Check out our reviews of the most forgiving drivers to learn more.

Is It Harder to Hit a 9-Degree Driver?

It is harder for an average golf player to hit a 9-degree driver. You’ll also need a faster swing to get the maximum distance from 9 drivers.

What Is the Difference Between a 9.5 Driver and a 10.5 Driver?

The difference between a 9.5 and a 10.5 driver is 1 degree of loft which doesn’t sound like a whole lot but translates a lot to the distance of your shot and usually a difference in forgiveness.

A 10.5 driver is generally more forgiving than 9.5 drivers. It is also easier to keep the ball straight with the 10.5 drivers. A higher loft also keeps the ball in the air longer, which is why it is suitable for golfers with lower swing speeds.

Do Any Pros Use a 10.5 Degree Driver?

Yes, there are quite a few PGA Tour players that use a 10.5 driver. Some notable examples include Dustin Johnson and Webb Simpson.

Who Should Hit a 9.5-Degree Driver?

Golfers that desire low and piercing ball flight to cut through windy conditions should use a 9.5 driver. They also suit golfers with a higher swing speed.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the correct loft on the driver will make the game more enjoyable and build confidence on the tee. If you make the right selection when comparing a 9.5 vs 10.5 driver, there’ll be no need to get the “jitters” on the 1st tee when your mates are watching.

Hitting it far and straight is every golfer’s dream and if you need help with this, go for a 10.5-degree driver. If you need to cut through the wind, or often strike the ball a little too high off the face, opt for a 9.0 or 9.5-degree driver.

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Nick is the founder of GolfSpan and an avid golfer. He's not quite a pro but has over 15 years of experience playing and coaching golfers worldwide. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience when it comes to choosing the right golf gear and finding the right setup for your game.

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