Golfers are so concerned with what their clubs look like and how they feel they often forget the importance of playing a club that is the proper length. In all my years of teaching and playing this game, I have seen so much damage done to a golfer’s swing from using a club that is not the proper length. If your clubs don’t fit you, you will make unnecessary swing changes to accommodate. In this guide, we will help you try and narrow down how long your clubs should be to give yourself a fair chance at hitting a golf ball correctly.
Impact of Playing With Golf Clubs That Are Too Short or Too Long
Sometimes golfers have no idea if their golf clubs are too long or too short for them. Without going for a custom fitting, it can be hard to tell. However, there some signs to look out for when it comes to your clubs being too long or too short.
Signs Your Golf Clubs Are Too Short
If your golf clubs are too short, it could affect your game negatively and seriously impact the distance you can hit the ball. For getting the most distance out of your shots, the golf club you play with should be as long as you can handle. Here are a few signs to watch for that your club may be too short.
- You will be hunched over as you approach the golf ball
- Your knees will be extremely bent instead of just a flex
- As you come through the golf ball at impact, you will sometimes lose balance just trying to reach the ball
- The club path may end up too far inside
Signs Your Golf Clubs Are Too Long
When golf clubs are too long, it is usually something that is quite visibly obvious. The major problem you will run into with clubs that are too long is lack of control. It is challenging to hit the ball straight and consistent when your club is too long. Here are a few signs that could indicate your clubs are too long.
- Your stance will be very upright with almost no knee bend
- You will very likely hit the ball with the toe of the club, causing weak shots to the right
- The ball flight of your shots may be very high
- It may feel difficult to release the golf ball and get the club to the finish position in your swing
How To Measure For Golf Clubs Static vs. Dynamic
Now that you know what to look for to determine if you have an issue with proper club length, it is helpful to understand how to measure what length golf clubs you need. Here are a few tips to help you get both a dynamic and a static measurement.
Dynamic Golf Club Length Measurement
Dynamic golf club length measurement is getting increasingly popular. If you are a serious golfer, you will probably want to get custom fitted for your next set of clubs. The custom fitting will allow you to swing clubs of all different lengths and see how they perform.
During a dynamic golf fitting, you can see how your spin, ball flight, dispersion, and ball speed are affected by changing the club’s length. The fitter will have tools to adjust the length of the club and give you the exact fit for your player profile.
Static Golf Club Length Measurement
During a static fitting, a golfer will stand upright with no golf club in their hand. A static fitting is something that you can do at home, and it will give you a general range of what length golf club you should be playing with.
With a static fitting, you will take the player’s total height and combine that with a wrist to floor measurement. These two numbers can then be compared on a golf club fitting chart to see what adjustments should be made to the golf club.
Static fittings give an excellent ballpark range as to the best length clubs for a golfer. They are not always 100% accurate. Sometimes when the mechanics of a golfer’s swing and their fundamentals (stance, setup, posture) are considered, ideal club length can change.
The Ideal Club Sizes
The proper club length is going to be unique for every golfer. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing the proper length for the different clubs in your bag.
A driver is going to be the longest golf club that you carry in your bag. The longer the driver you can handle, the further you are going to hit the ball. A standard driver is going to be between 45 and 48 inches long. Unless your height is taller than 6’0”, you will want to stick with the standard-length drivers. Standard length will help you develop better control and still give plenty of distance.
Depending on which fairway woods you are hitting, the club’s length will be anywhere from 40 to 43 inches. There should be a difference in length between your 3, 5, and 7 wood so that you can hit them different distances. Sometimes more forgiving game improvement fairway woods will be manufactured a bit shorter to give golfers control.
Irons are sometimes the trickiest when it comes to the length. Each iron in your bag is going to be a different length. (Unless you play with a One-Length Iron Set) The standard seven iron is 36.5 inches, and the longest club in the bag will be a three or a four iron. Pitching wedge and nine iron are considerably shorter and, therefore, easier to control.
Most golfers play with putters that are too long for them. A proper putter fit allows your arms to hang naturally and your eyes to be over the golf ball. Putters are usually sold in 34 or 35 inches. More and more players are switching to the 33 and 34-inch putters to get a bit closer to the ball and have more control.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is A Custom Fitting Worth It?
If you are a golfer who is shorter than 5’6” and taller than 6’0”, then a custom fitting makes a lot of sense. If you fall into these categories, chances are you are going to need some customizations made to the golf clubs you use. Purchasing clubs is a large investment; it makes sense to ensure that the clubs are a perfect fit.
Can I Adjust The Length Of My Current Clubs?
You can bring your golf clubs to a local golf club repair shop, and they will be able to take measurements and get your golf club to fit you properly. When you cut down or extend your clubs, you will need new grips, but you may not need to replace the shafts in your clubs.
We hope that you now have a better understanding of what goes into golf club measurement. Playing with golf clubs that are either too long or too short will have a significant impact on your game. If you feel as though all of your mechanics and fundamentals are correct, but you can’t quite get the contact and consistency you need, your clubs may not be the right length.
Take some static measurements at home, and from there, you may want to schedule a fitting to get some more dynamic golf club length measurements.