What is My Ideal Driver Shaft Length?
Bigger is better, right? Well maybe not. In this article, we'll help you determine what factors to look for when choosing the best possible length of driver to suit your needs.
by Jake Tingey & Judd Lyon · Updated: 4/24/23
Jake Tingey, Golf Expert
Jake is a lifelong golfer who loves keeping up with the latest golf news and equipment.
Judd Lyon, Web Developer
Judd is the tech guy behind Front Nine Golf with a huge slice.
You might be wondering: can a longer driver shaft boost my distance on the course? It's true that, in theory, a longer shaft can propel the ball farther. But before you make the leap, it's crucial to consider the whole picture. While a longer shaft might pack a punch, it can also be more challenging to control and may compromise your accuracy. To find the perfect driver for your game, it's essential to weigh several factors and strike the right balance between power and precision. Let's dive in and discover the ideal driver shaft length for you.
- Balance power and precision: Longer shafts offer distance but may affect accuracy
- Consider height and swing speed: Taller golfers and faster swing speeds may benefit from longer shafts
- Personal preference: Test different shaft lengths to find the right fit for your game
Distance vs. Accuracy
When looking for a new driver, the first question to ask yourself is whether you need to improve your drive distance or your drive accuracy. You may feel that your drive is falling short of where it should be but remember that many players tend to drastically overestimate what the average drive length should be. You might not be hitting the big 300-yard PGA Tour drives, but are you avoiding hazards? Are you able to avoid overshooting into the rough when you need to? Consistency is king, and you'll want that level of control before you consider moving up to a longer shaft.
Height & Average Driver Length
Maybe you're at the point where you've got that control down, and you still feel like your drive isn't quite outputting the distance you need. At that point, moving up in size is a good move, but don't immediately spring for that 48" monster in the display case. While it's true that the standard for driver length has gotten longer over time - from 42" to 45" since the 80s - but this doesn't account for the huge variance between individual players.
When choosing the right driver shaft length, one of the key factors to consider is height. Taller golfers tend to have longer arms, which can affect the length of the driver they need. On the other hand, shorter golfers may require a shorter shaft to ensure proper control and accuracy. Generally, taller players should start with slightly higher clubs, and vice versa for players on the shorter side. However, remember that individual differences in arm length and swing style can also affect the ideal shaft length for each golfer.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a driver shaft length is your swing speed. Golfers with slower swing speeds may benefit from a shorter shaft length, which can help them achieve better control and accuracy. On the other hand, golfers with faster swing speeds may generate more power and distance with a longer shaft length. However, remember that a longer shaft can also make it harder to control the club and hit the ball accurately, so it's important to find the right balance between distance and control.
Ultimately, the ideal driver shaft length depends on your preferences and playing style. Some golfers may prefer a shorter shaft for better control and accuracy, while others may prioritize distance and opt for a longer shaft. It's important to experiment with different shaft lengths and find the most comfortable and natural. Remember that the best driver for you is the one you can consistently hit well, so take the time to try out different options and find the right fit.
What Do the Pros Use?
As you might imagine, there is quite a bit of variance among golf pros - but one thing that makes the pros professionals is that they know what works for them and choose accordingly. For example, Tiger Woods measures above average at 6'1", but places a lot of value on accuracy and thus opts for a slightly shorter big stick at 44" according to golf.com. On the other hand, Rory Mcllroy - a mere 2 inches shorter than Tiger - uses a 45.5" club, exactly the size of an average driver fresh off the rack with no modifications.
Check out this visual perspective on ideal club length:
The reality is that having a longer club is not a substitute for skill and technique. While a longer shaft can potentially increase distance, it may also negatively impact accuracy and control. It's essential to consider distance and accuracy goals when selecting a driver and to test different options to find the right fit for your needs. Remember, it's not just about having the latest or longest driver but rather having the right fit for your game that can ultimately help improve your performance on the course.
- golf.com [1, 2]
- Wikipedia [1, 2]
- Swing Yard