Tip From the Archives

Driver Shaft Length

Problem

You want to gain more distance from your drives.

Cure

You can increase clubhead speed and arc by using a longer shaft. Many women golfers find they can hit more consistently and much further when using a standard length driver for men.

Therapy

Go to your local sporting goods store or pro shop and try out several drivers, all an inch longer than what is recommended for your height. You may need to hit a dozen balls before you get a natural feel for the swing but once you do, you will be impressed with the distance. Some players find they swing better overall with a club that is up to 5 inches longer than their usual length; so do not be afraid to experiment with the different drivers and shaft lengths to find the best club for you.

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29 votes

 
Mike | 6 years ago, mid-April

I have to say the opposite worked for me I cut off 2 inches off my driver; which gave me more control and increased my distance by 25+ yds...

Mark | 6 years ago, at the end of July

I agree with Mike's comment above: I was puzzled by hitting my 3 wood as far as my driver - but far less accurately. It turned out that my swing speed was precisely the same for both clubs! By reducing the length of my driver by 2.5" I added at least 20 yards to my drive and the accuracy was more comparable to that of my 3 wood. I understand that Pro circuit golfers have shorter drivers than average with the sole exception of Phil Mickelson, who has a 46" driver. Also, it is worth noting that the Long Drivers' Association has come into line with USGA and R&A rules on driver length - the old 50" drivers are now several inches shorter - but it has not affected length of drives. Conclusion: 1) a long driver shaft does not produce greater swing speed/length off the tee and seriously affects accuracy; 2)standard drivers are far too long for people!

Greg | 6 years ago, at the end of September

Mark's comments defy the laws of nature. A longer shaft, swung with the same arm speed, will generate more clubhead speed than a shorter shaft. That's not an opinion. Maybe Mark's problem is that he has been swinging too hard and once he slowed his swing down, he discovered better control. That does make sense.

TOMMY G | 5 years ago, at the start of January

I HAVE A 48'' E360 X-STIFF WITH A 10.5 ALPHA 830 AND I SAIL STRAIGHT DRIVES. THEY AVERAGE 250 IN 39 DEGREE WEATHER... SO I THINK IF YOU SWING SMOOTH WITH GOOD RYTHYM, AND I AM 5'11'' 260 SOLID

Nathan | 5 years ago, at the start of July

Good contact - hitting the sweet spot of the clubface - is the best way to gain distance. A shorter shaft makes it easier to make good contact by providing more control. A swing may be faster with a longer shaft but ball speed could suffer due to inferior contact and produce a shorter ball flight.

Jim Bryan | 5 years ago, mid-September

For a swing speed of 90-100, a stiff shaft and low torque, what should be the ideal length of the driver shaft?

Josh B | 5 years ago, mid-October

Add another vote to Mike and Mark. I was given a nice Taylormade driver with the 45g stiff shaft and could only hit it straight once in a blue moon. I went to see if maybe I needed a regular flex shaft because I wasn't sure of my swing speed. Turned out that the driver was a half inch longer than normal and when I choked down an inch, everything pulled in straight. I had them cut an inch off and regrip it. It added a good 15 yards to my drives also.

MAak Perry | 4 years ago, at the start of November

I am sooo confused. I have a Krank 10.5 with a Fujikura Diesel LT stiff shaft length 46". I hit it far and straight (I find 12/14 fairways). My swing speed is relatively slow - dont know exactly what it is but hit a 5 iron 150m. All the research says I should be using a regular shaft. What do you guys think ? Mark

Rob | 3 years ago, at the end of January

I have been playing golf for 41 years. All I cared about was distance. With the standard Persimmon Head driver an 43 inches I bombed it 265.Then came graphite! BANG another 10 -15 yards! Then came the First TaylorMade metal drivers with graphite shafts and I averaged 290+. Of course I was young then and that helped alot!. Now 50+ I still search for distance but accuracy is the main goal. I'm a decent player (3 hdcp) so my swing is very consistent. 10 years ago I started playing around with shaft lengths. I maxed out at 48 inches from the 45 I started with. I gained 7 - 10 mph and was hitting the ball consistently 280 to 320 depending on conditions. I usually hit 9 to 10 fairways a round so I figured I needed to hit more fairs than distance. I slowly backed off to 47 then 46, which I have now on a G10 with a Diamana blue 65 custom shaft. Older now, I still can occasionally hit that 300 yarder but am more likely to be at (245 -255 in the air) 265 -270 with my drives now and I hit 10 -12 fairways a round on avg. with several days hitting all 14!. Long story short, If you want more distance go longer with mid to high flex and low torque no more than 3.0 if you can find it. Play around with it and you'll find the best solution for your body and swing! Experiment! Have Fun, I DID and IT WORKED!

Jakes | 3 years ago, at the end of February

LOnger lighter, les loft. I am 50 yrs old play of a 3 hdcap, have always played blades or semi blades, 3 years ago also went longer shaft, lighter shaft, less loft. my handicap went to 9, I was outdriving most, never on the fairway, Now I play a Titleist 909 D3. 10.5 loft, Project x 6.5 flex, 44 in shaft, drive 280+ and 70% fairways. My wife plays of a 6 handicap, increased loft to 11deg, length 43 inch, drives the ball better than ever. Any shaft longer than 44.5 will reduce your FWH by 25 to 30%> Ask Tom Wishon, on of the best club fitters and builders in the world. So go shorter to go longer and more consistant. the Human body is not a machine.

Ronald in SWEDEN | 3 years ago, mid-May

I agree, when I,ve changed my shaft on my driver recently, and when it was completed at home, I saw myself with a new driver, "48"-long, because I measured the shaft length from the ferrule, before I by research, realised that you measure from the "heel" of the clubhead to the butt of the shaft. I wonder how many people have made the same mistake, and still play with great confidence, that they found their right shaftlength according to their knowledge. After testing my driver on the DriveRange, I`m happy to be one of those.

andy | 3 years ago, mid-July

been sruggling to hit fairways recently,tried few different drivers,then read about shaft length,decided to chop 1 inch off old hyper x tour driver i had,JACKPOT! wheter i was lucky,it s worked for me,maybe lost 5 yards but nothing better than getting ball on fairway,i m a 3 handicap that plays a links course with a lot of wind so straight is essentiaL !!!

loops | 3 years ago, mid-July

am thinking of reducing the shaft length of my driver and all other clubs to the same as my pitching wedge which is 36 inches. the reason is simple i tend to get great accuracy and consistancy with shorter length clubs as opposed to loner ones. please let me know your thoughts.

BobL | 3 years ago, at the end of July

The simple truth is we all have an optimum bio-mechanical swing plane - that's why some Drivers immediately feel too long/short. Another simple truth is that the average Driver length on the PGA tour is 44 & 1/2 inches with a maximum of 45 inches and only Phil uses a 46 inch shaft. Tom Wishon says if Tiger (43 & 1/2 inches) Jack (42 & 3/4inches) and his pals as the best players in the world could consistently effectively use a 46 inch Driver they would, but they can't, so they don't - Tom also said if you as an amateur think you can despite the fact they can't then stop reading now. My own experience after 40 years of playing competitive league golf is that it is far more important to be able to consistently hit the sweet spot with a shorter driver (44 & 1/2 - 45 inch) as I've never yet seen the flag located in the heavy rough. I am ambidextrous taking the money with either hand.

BobL | 3 years ago, at the start of August

I should have said in previous comment that getting a Driver with the correct shaft flex, kickpoint, lie angle and loft is the vital first move. All of us amateurs have used (almost all still do) a Driver with too strong a loft that gives too low a launch angle and too much spin. PGA Tour Pro's take a real lot of time and effort getting these factors correct. When I'm trying out the newest Drivers (usually 7 or 8 at a time I've already narrowed down by research) I will always when necessary choke down the grip to give me my optimum '45 inch club'). If I select one off the shelf such as my most recent one at 45 & 3/4 inches I took it home, immediately shortened the shaft to my 45 inch optimum and regriped the club. For me this does 2 very important things. First, my own biomechanical swing plane gives me the vitally important correct Angle of Attack (every bit as important as swing speed) and a proper full release of the clubhead thru' impact. Secondly, as a result of all this and completely contrary to what anyone else tells you, you will consistently hit the ball much further than with the very rare 'good one' using a Driver that is too long for you.

zozaya | 3 years ago, at the start of November

je recherche le driver golf medic shaft velocity.

don | 3 years ago, at the start of November

Is everyone talking just shaft length or of shaft and club head? thanks, confused

Justin | 3 years ago, at the end of November

I currently play a Nike VR Tour 9.5 Degree Driver with an Aldila RIP Shaft Stiff - 44 inches long. I have been shocked at the lack of roll I get on my drives. Furthermore, I swing between 100-105 consistently and have only seen the ball travel between 240-260 yards recently. The weather has been between 5--70 degrees, so other than cool air, I don't understand why I am so short off the tee. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks, Justin

mickydee | 3 years ago, mid-December

don - the 'shaft' length is measured from the ground in the address position. So this will include the club head. Measure along the back of the shaft from the ground up.

donald cross | 2 years ago, mid-March

Justin, get spin rate measured. I had same problem with my old R9 driver fell from the sky like my wedge and my spin rate was way to low. Went to local pro and we hit a few different drivers. R9 my spin rate was 1800, R11 it went up to 2450. Then I closed face on R11 and it bombed so low. I then cut shaft by 1/2" and I hit my drives so much lower and much much further (H'cap 3)

stuart | 2 years ago, mid-April

My 3 wood has a stiff shaft and it works really well for me. It goes long. But my driver, has a regular shaft and I can throw if further than I can hit a ball with it. I rarely make good contact, and I don't miss with anything else. should I put a stiff shaft on my driver? also do stiff flex and 10.5 match up, or should it be stiff and 8.5, or 9.0?

collin | 2 years ago, at the end of April

hello im 15 and i have a relatively fast swing speed and currently play with the 46.5" driver with a stiff flex shaft and i find that i slice it quite a bit and a a friend of mine has the same driver as me but he chopped 2" off his driver so its 44.5" and when i hit his i hit it straight every time but I'm also much taller than him I'm 6' 0" and he's about 5' 6" would a 44.5" driver be to short for me if i cut that much off mine? i also hit his driver about 25-40 yards further than i do mine. Should i only cut an inch off the end to begin with? I've really been doing a lot of looking into of shaft lengths and i find that shorter shaft will give me greater accuracy and thats really what i need. some advice would be great from anyone. thanks in advance.

peter | 2 years ago, at the start of May

Reply to 15 yo Colin,..... First of all just try gripping down on your driver so that in effect shortens the shaft...YES! If this works for you then you can cut the shaft to its optimum length that suits. You want to aim for a smash factor (monitor will show this figure) of 150 for a driver. This figure shows the point of contact of the ball on its club face, ie a smash factor of 150 shows that you are hitting the ball on its "sweet" spot. You may find that a slightly shorter shaft produces more swing control which will assist you in hitting it out of the face sweet spot. Club head speed is important of course, the higher the speed which is helped by a longer shaft will propel the ball further PROVIDED that you have the smash factor right and the spin rate not too high. Experiment with your driver loft which effects the spin rate and accuracy. Hope this helps.

Jon Robert | 2 years ago, at the end of July

I am 6' 4" tall. if anyone needs longer shafts it would be me right? NO!!!!!!! I started out with a rummage sale set of women?s clubs that were old. They were 2" shorter than the modern era men?s. I have tried as much as 5" longer than modern men?s standard. I have recently tried 3" longer this year. I am definitely going back down to standard length and maybe even shorter. I will seriously consider modern women?s standard length. Through minus 2 to plus five experiences I have learned that length is irrelevant. I can hit minus 2 and plus 5 then same distance on a sweet spot hit. Physics meets man and the reality is that I see no difference if hit. Further more I have learned that the centrifugal force effects results in it being very difficult to manipulate a longer club to be a sweet spot hit under control as intended. I have even tried as much as 4 ounces of lead in my experiments. Length is not your friend PERIOD! You would freak out if the surgeon had his scalpel on the end of a 48" stick when doing cosmetic surgery on your face. Likewise length on a golf club is not your friend. If you could hold a club head in your hand and smack the ball 270 yards then you would be wise to do so for control. Unfortunately you cannot and length of shaft is needed. But I can attest that you need much less length than what your brain thinks to smack the ball 270 yards. Just today I chocked up on my 48" driver and played it as a 44" driver. I drilled it 246 will no roll as the course was soaked. Length is not a friend. Your wrists just can't handle the centrifugal forces like it can the shorter lengths. Tomorrow I will use My P3ProSwing swing analyzer will tell me which length results in the highest percentage of sweet spot hits. I will cut them off As much as 5? cut off would not freak me out (modern women?s length)

Bob Crane | 2 years ago, mid-November

Whomever wrote the first "cure" is right in one respect, if you increase the length of the shaft and you maintain the same swing speed that you had with your original club, you can get greater club head speed. The problem is that due to a longer shaft, the dynamics of the club in relation to the weight and center of gravity change, making it more difficult for most people to maintain the same control that they had with a shorter club. Think of it this way, take a 12" ruler and swing it and you will notice that you have a great amount of control with it. Then take a yard stick and swing it, you'll notice the difference in weight distribution, aerodynamics and flexibility. It's physics.

Right Driver Shaft Length | last year, at the start of December

Increased driver length has the potential to increase distance off the tee (simple physics) but it's far more important to find the RIGHT driver length for your game. Too long and you'll be hitting the ball off the heel of the club which can actually hurt your distance.



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