Choosing the proper shaft length for your driver is a vitally important decision for every golfer. Golfers are often amazed at how much farther or more accurate they can hit the ball off the tee with a simple half of an inch adjustment. As the widely used saying goes, “Golf is a game of inches.”
Is there anything better in the game of golf than hitting an absolute BOMB off the first tee box? All golfers these days want to hit their drive a long way. Did you know one of the keys to hitting your driver further is selecting the right shaft length?
Yes, the sophistication of modern-day golf equipment is at an all-time high, and drivers offer more forgiveness these days than in previous eras. However, without the proper shaft length, it will be difficult to hit your driver ‘long and straight’ with any level of consistency. To learn more about driver shaft length and how it affects your performance off the tee, keep reading!
Driver Shaft Length Plays a Role in Distance & Accuracy
You may have heard that the longer your driver shaft length, the further you can hit the ball. While this popular saying is technically true, golfers should not automatically opt for the longest shaft length they can find. Why?
Drivers with longer shaft lengths are more difficult to control and will cause a decrease in driving accuracy. Multiple companies have proven that increasing your shaft length can enable golfers to hit their driver up to ten yards further. However, what good is hitting the ball ten yards further if you end up losing accuracy and going into the woods or the water more often?
On the other hand, golfers do not want to play it too conservatively by playing a driver that has too short of a shaft length. It’s no secret that hitting the ball longer off the tee offers a distinct advantage and the ability to shoot lower scores. If you are striking your drives well but do not quite feel your distance is as long as it should be, consider moving up in driver shaft length.
If you’re interested, I wrote an entire article on the average driving distances that I highly recommend you check out.
What is the Standard Driver Shaft Length?
Generally speaking, the standard men’s driver shaft length is 45.75″ off the rack with no customizations. Standard women’s driver shafts are between 43.75″-44.75″. These are averages and can vary plus or minus 1″ depending on the manufacturer.
With such an emphasis on club head speed and increased driving distance, golf club manufacturers have steadily increased the standard shaft length of their drivers over the years.
What Length Should your Driver Shaft Be?
Height and wrist to floor measurements are two factors that should be considered when choosing the right driver shaft length for you. In general, taller golfers should play longer driver shafts, and shorter golfers should use shorter ones. All golfers have a different posture, which means you should also factor in the height of your wrists when addressing the ball.
If you’re looking to increase club head speed, a longer driver shaft will help. If you want more controlled accuracy, a shaft on the shorter side may be better.
It is difficult to recommend a specific driver shaft length because so many factors are involved in making that decision. A golfer’s height, muscle strength, and swing speed must be considered when deciding on shaft length. A club fitting pro will want to know all of these factors before recommending a specific shaft length for your driver.
For example, a golfer with a height of 6’3″ and long arms will need a longer shaft than a golfer who is 5’9″ with shorter arms. To find the best shaft length for your swing, schedule a club fitting and experiment with many different lengths to see what length makes you the most comfortable. A key to playing good golf is finding out what works best for you.
When considering a change in your driver’s shaft length, remember the old ‘risk/reward’ adage. A longer shaft will usually mean longer drives, but it also results in less accuracy off the tee. Remember, you never want to sacrifice too much accuracy because that can lead to higher scores and the dreaded ‘double bogey blues.’
Here is a great article on swing speed that you should check out.
Driver Shaft Length Height Chart
As a general rule, taller golfers will need a bit longer of a driver shaft. For example, PGA phenom Rickie Fowler is only 5’9″ and swings one of the shortest drivers in pro golf at 43.5 inches. Tony Finau is one of the tallest golfers on the PGA Tour at 6’4″, and his driver’s length is usually around 45 inches.
Both Finau and Fowler are two of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour. Finau currently averages about 305 yards off the tee, and Fowler clocks in at around 301 yards! This proves that it is possible to hit your driver a long way regardless of what the shaft length is.
Do you think you have to be super tall to drive the ball a long way off the tee? Think again. 1991 Masters champion Ian Woosnam is only 5’4″ but has freakish strength, fast club speed, and the perfect driver shaft length that helps him pound it off the tee.
Driver Shaft Length Based Solely on Height
|Height (feet/inches)||Driver Shaft Length|
Driver Shaft Length Factoring in Wrist-to-Floor Measurement
Here is a nice chart that shows how the wrist to floor measurement affects how long of driver shaft length a golfer will need. If you ever get the luxury of being personally fitted for clubs, the club fitter will likely use a chart like this one when selecting your driver shaft length. This chart offers a good starting point when deciding on your driver’s shaft length.
|Height (feet/inches)||Wrist-to-Floor Measurement||Driver Shaft Length|
Should I shorten the length of my driver?
Have you ever been in a real slump with your driver? What did you do to pull yourself back into a better groove on the tee box? You might have started teeing off with your 3-wood instead of your driver and were amazed at how much easier it was to find the fairway. The shorter shaft length of the 3-wood makes it a bit easier to control and leads to more precise accuracy.
If you are struggling to find the fairway most of the time, it might be time to consider shortening the length of your driver. Why? The answer is simple: it is easier to find the sweet spot on the driver’s club face with a shorter length driver.
Like we said above, a longer club does mean further distance. However, the longer the club, the more difficult it is to find the sweet spot consistently. We all know that not hitting the ball off the sweet spot results in erratic drives and higher scores, and neither of those is fun.
One reason to shorten your driver’s length is that you may not lose as much distance as you think. Several golfers have found that they actually drive the ball around the same distance with a driver that is one inch shorter! In fact, some PGA pros like Tony Finau have even increased their distance off the tee when going with a shorter driver length. The added control leads to more accurate drives off the tee.
Another great reason to shorten the length of your driver is the added confidence it could bring. I have personally experimented with a driver that is half an inch shorter and can attest that the increased accuracy increases my confidence while on the tee box. Even if I give up a tad bit of distance, it is worth it to my overall golf game.
Before shortening or lengthening the shaft length of your driver, be sure to try out many different lengths. There are many golf shops or stores that will allow you to try before you buy, which is immensely beneficial. As all golfers know, the driver is the most expensive club in the bag, so you want to be sure the shaft length is correct.
How do I measure my driver’s shaft length?
Measuring the shaft length of your driver is a pretty simple process. You may not even need another golfer to help you, though that may make the process a bit quicker. First, find a ruler that is at least four feet long. A solid, steady ruler will work much better than a flimsy measuring tape.
Next, hold the driver with the club head flat on the ground as if you are about to hit a tee shot. After that, place the ruler flush with the driver and make sure it is vertical with the ground.
After completing these steps, you should be able to see on the ruler the exact length of your driver’s shaft length. Now you know what length of driver shaft you are currently swinging and decide how to best make adjustments.
A Final Word Before Heading to the Clubhouse
Before tinkering with the shaft length of your driver, ask yourself if a change is really necessary. Many golfers are known to overthink even the most minute details about their game so beware of this flaw. Too often, golfers are out to improve a certain facet of their game that does not need improvement.
Remember the old saying: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. If you are routinely smoking the ball off the tee longer than 250 yards and finding most fairways, count your blessings and focus on another aspect of your game that needs real improvement.