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 I Use?
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, wrist-to-floor length, ability and swing speed, and if you buy straight off the shelf you’ll miss out on the benefits the clubs were designed to offer. When it comes to what length golf clubs to use, it is all about ensuring they are correct for your height and posture. Get it right and your ball-striking is guaranteed to improve.
What Length Golf Clubs 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.
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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.
All that being said there is an added element of using one-length irons too which have become increasingly popular because of Bryson DeChambeau.
One-length irons allow you to stand to the ball in the same way regardless of the iron you’re using, in theory helping with consistency of strike and club speed. Essentially you can swing the same way regardless of what club you have in your hand.
This added element makes it even more important to have a proper fitting with a professional or at least get their advice before you try to buy or 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.
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What Length Driver Should I Use?
With drivers the shaft length you choose will effect the amount of clubhead speed you can create vs the amount of control you have.
As shaft length increases so 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. That means there is a compromise worth considering – is it really worth going for a longer shaft in your driver if the quality of strike becomes less consistent?
When thinking about what length golf clubs to use, specifically the driver, it 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″. If you struggle with accuracy off the tee, think about asking your fitter to try a slightly shorter shaft.
Some brands now offer different length shaft options, 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 Length 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.
When asking what length golf clubs to use, 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 the 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. As you can see, there is plenty to think about when considering what length golf clubs to use.
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