What length golf clubs should you use? We look at the factors you must consider when selecting the correct shaft length for your driver, irons and putter
What length golf clubs should you use? Well it goes without saying that it is important to use golf equipment that is suited to your physiology and ability.
You wouldn’t buy a suit off the rack if you were 6ft 4″, and it’s the same principle with golf clubs.
Your clubs should complement your height, arm length, ability, gender and technique, and if you buy straight off the shelf you’ll miss out on the benefits the clubs were designed to offer.
Unfortunately, because of these key factors there is no magic answer. So read on and see what you must take into account before deciding what length golf clubs to use.
What Lenghth Irons Should I Use?
As a rough rule of thumb, you can fit irons using this height chart below…
6ft 9″ – 7ft 0″ Add 2″
6ft 6″ – 6ft 9″ Add 1 1/2″
6ft 3″ – 6ft 6″ Add 1″
6ft 0″ – 6ft 3″ Add 1/2″
5ft 9″ – 6ft 0″ Standard Length
5ft 6″ – 5ft 9″ Subtract 1/2″
5ft 3″ – 5ft 6″ Subtract 1″
5ft 0″ – 5ft 3″ Subtract 1 1/2″
4ft 9″ – 5ft 0″ Subtract 2″
Wrist-to-floor measurements are also commonly used. For this a fitter measures from the floor to the crease above your wrist. That reading is then cross referenced with your height to get a more accurate length recommendation. This type of system is used by Ping with its colour coded chart, and by many other brands.
This system is more accurate because not everyone will have proportionate arm lengths to their height, thus requiring not only different lengths than what their height may indicate, but also alternate lie angles.
A lot also hinges on your action. If you consistently dip through impact for example, your dynamic fitting measurements will be better suited to a shorter club than your static measurements would alone suggest.
If you’re struggling to follow, imagine this process is a bit like shopping for a pair of trousers, where a waist and leg length won’t always equal a comfy fit, if the cut, for example, isn’t favourable.
Because of these above points we highly reccommend you have a fitting with a professional or at least get their advice before you try to alter your own irons. Along those lines…
If you order a custom set of irons the shafts will be custom designed so the flex you were fitted for matches the length. However, if you are altering your current set it will change the flex and feel.
As shaft length increases, so does the weight. Increasing the length also alters the shaft’s flex; adding length makes the flex softer, while a shortened shaft will play stiffer, so you’ll need to bear this in mind.
What Lenghth Driver Should I Use?
With drivers the shaft length you choose will effect on amount of clubhead speed you can create vs the amount of control you have.
As shaft length increases clubhead speed also increases. However, as shaft length increases it is common for players to struggle to deliver the club as consistently, making it more difficult to make solid contact.
What length you should go for will depend on if you prioritise distance or accuracy in your long game.
In reality, the average length of a driver used on tour is 44.5″, while the average shaft length found in drivers on the shop shelves is around 45.5″.
Some brands now offer different length shaft options, such as with the new Callaway Big Bertha Fusion driver, so you can try before you buy, while any good fitter can take length off your driver if you need to add control to your game.
What Lenghth Putter Should I Use?
With putters the shaft length you need is the one that helps get your eyes directly over the ball at address. While in theory this means taller golfers need longer putters and shorter golfers need shorter putters, different postures means this doesn’t ring true for everyone.
We should also say that if you are comfortable with your putting stroke and are having success with it, you should not be concerned by your putter’s length.
Factoring in posture and wrist-to-floor measurements, most golfers usually end up with a putter between 32-35”.
To have the best chance of establishing the correct putter length for your personal set-up, you should go through a putter fitting with a professional, otherwise there are lots of potential pitfalls…
A putter that is too long will cause you to subconsciously stand further from the ball, moving your eyes inside, instead of over, the ball. From here your arc is flatter and the toe of your putter could be off the ground, pushing your aim left of target.
A putter that is too long might see you try to accommodate the extra length by bringing your elbows in too close to your body, rather than letting your arms hang naturally under your shoulders. This would fight against thre natural pendulum motion we all want to see.
A putter length that is too short will cause you to stand closer, with your eyes past the target line. Consequently, your putter path and shaft will be more upright. The heel of your putter could also lift off the ground causing it to aim right.