Standard Golf Club Length: What is right for you?

man checking length of golf club

Getting the right length golf clubs for you is crucial. And the best fit might not be standard-length golf clubs.

You may think your height is the only factor that comes into play when getting the right length golf clubs. However, although important, height isn’t the only thing that determines your golf club length.

When finding the right length golf clubs, we also must measure the distance between your wrist and the floor. A fitter takes that measurement when your arms are hanging naturally beside your body.

Now you know why standard-length golf clubs aren’t suitable for everyone.

How Important is Having the Proper Length Golf Clubs?

Having the proper length golf clubs is super important because it affects how you set up to the ball. That setup position directly impacts how you hit the ball.

Therefore, finding the right length in golf clubs affects your performance on the golf course. You won’t hit the ball optimally if your golf club length isn’t right.

Let’s say your golf clubs are too long. Now, you need to adjust your setup to adapt to that length.

That means you’ll likely stand too upright at the address position. When you swing, you’ll naturally compensate for that poor setup without even knowing it.

Inconsistent ball striking results from such compensations because you won’t be able to repeat it the same each time. So, that directly impacts your performance.

However, you can strike the ball more consistently with the right-length golf clubs. Your body won’t compensate because you’re already in the correct setup position.

Therefore, it’s much easier to complete that swing repeatedly. That leads to steady golf and better scores.

What is the Standard Golf Club Length?

Having measurements for standard-length golf clubs is essential. You can find the correct length for you by using the standard length as a starting point.

Before we get into finding the right length golf clubs for you, let’s cover the standard-length golf clubs for drivers, irons, and putters.

Drivers

The driver is the longest club in the bag. It’s one of the reasons you swing it the fastest and hit it the farthest.

The standard length of a driver is around 45 inches for men. If you go into a golf shop and pull a men’s driver off the rack, it’ll measure about 45 inches.

Fun fact: The USGA used to limit driver length to 48 inches for its competitions. But that limit has recently changed to 46 inches.

The standard length of a driver for ladies is around 44 inches.

In theory, a longer driver lets you hit the ball farther because you can swing faster. There’s more to hitting the ball far than swinging fast, though.

A longer driver also makes it harder to hit the sweet spot. And in reality, you’re not getting the optimal distance without finding the sweet spot.

So, before you go out and get a 46-inch driver, you need to make sure you can find the sweet spot with the longer club. Tour Pros like Rickie Fowler prefer shorter drivers because it’s easier to find the sweet spot and results in better accuracy – his driver is 43.5 inches.

Irons

Pinpointing the standard length for irons isn’t so straightforward because each iron has a different length. For instance, a standard 3-iron is longer than a standard 9-iron.

However, each iron still has a standard length that we can refer to here. The length of irons usually ranges from 34 to 40 inches.

Check out the iron length chart below for a full breakdown.

IRONSHAFT LENGTH FOR MEN (steel/graphite)SHAFT LENGTH FOR WOMEN (steel/graphite)
2-iron39.5/40 inches38.5/39 inches
3-iron39/39.5 inches38/38.5 inches
4-iron38.5/39 inches37.5/38 inches
5-iron38/38.5 inches37/37.5 inches
6-iron37.5/38 inches36.5/37 inches
7-iron37/37.5 inches36/36.5 inches
8-iron36.5/37 inches35.5/36 inches
9-iron36/36.5 inches35/35.5 inches
PW35.5/36 inches34.5/35 inches
SW35.5/36 inches34.5/35 inches

As well as the loft, the length of the shaft makes higher irons, like a pitching wedge, easier to control than a 3-iron. So, the length of the golf club is one factor that determines your control over it.

Also, it’s important to note that different golf club manufacturers use different standardized sizes. Therefore, it’s best to check the standard size for a particular manufacturer before buying a new set of irons.

Putters

Unlike drivers and irons, there isn’t necessarily a standard length for putters. For instance, some players use broom handle putters and belly putters, which are both long putters.

However, the most common length for putters is between 32 and 35 inches. The best fit for you depends on your height and your wrist-to-floor measurement.

Related: How to Determine the Correct Putter Length to Use

Also, your posture comes into play with the putter. Some tall players stand farther from the ball and stoop over a lot when they’re putting to get their eyes directly over the ball at address.

Therefore, they must find a putter with the right length to suit that position. You have room to be much more unique in your putting setup than you do with other clubs.

A lot of success around putting comes down to feeling comfortable. But it’s still a good idea to get measured for your setup.

How to Measure Golf Club Length

We now know the importance of the proper length of golf clubs and the measurements for standard length golf clubs. So let’s find out how to measure golf club length for you.

Your height and your wrist-to-floor measurement are two crucial factors in measuring your proper golf club length.

Height

It’s essential to measure your height when identifying the proper golf club length for you. This is the first step in the process and is part of a static fitting.

A static fitting in golf is a measurement taken when you’re standing still.

You can get an idea of your proper golf club length from your height. However, you should use this measurement with the other steps we’ll cover for the best results.

The chart below shows your proper golf club length based only on your height. We’ll use standard-length golf clubs as the starting point, subtracting and adding length accordingly.

HEIGHT IN FEET/INCHESADJUSTMENTS FROM STANDARD LENGTH IN INCHES
under 4’10”minus 2
4’10” to 5′minus 1-1/2
5′ to 5’2″minus 1
5’2″ to 5’4″minus 1/2
5’4″ to 5’7″minus 1/4
5’7″ to 6’1″standard length
6’1″ to 6’2″plus 1/4
6’2″ to 6’4″plus 1/2
6’4″ to 6’6″plus 1
6’6″ to 6’8″plus 1-1/2
above 6’8″plus 2

You can get a good idea of your proper golf club length from the height chart.

Wrist-to-Floor Measurement

Combining your height with your wrist-to-floor measurement gives you a more accurate reading for the proper golf club length. This accounts for different body shapes even when people are the same height.

For instance, you may be 5’10” but have a very long reach. That means your wrist-to-floor measurement would be shorter than someone of the same height with a short reach.

callaway wrist to floor golf club measurement
Source: Callaway

This step is also part of a static fitting. To get the wrist-to-floor measurement, you must stand still with your arms hanging naturally beside your body. The fitter (or a buddy) then measures the distance between your wrist and the floor – do this with your golf shoes on for the best results.

Check out the chart below for golf club length in relation to your height and wrist-to-floor measurement (WTF).

HEIGHT IN FEET/INCHESWTF MEASUREMENT IN INCHESADJUSTMENTS FROM STANDARD LENGTH IN INCHES
under 4’10”under 25minus 2
4’10” to 5′25 to 27minus 1-1/2
5′ to 5’2″27 to 29minus 1
5’2″ to 5’4″29 to 34minus 1/2
5’4″ to 5’7″32 to 34minus 1/4
5’7″ to 6’1″34 to 37standard length
6’1″ to 6’2″37 to 38.5plus 1/4
6’2″ to 6’4″38.5 to 40plus 1/2
6’4″ to 6’6″40 to 41plus 1
6’6″ to 6’8″41 to 42plus 1-1/2
above 6’8″above 42plus 2

Both height and wrist-to-floor measurements are crucial to getting the proper golf club length for you. We recommend taking these measurements as a minimum to get the best club length for you.

However, there’s another factor that plays a part in determining your best golf club length. That’s your golf swing.

Golf Swing

A golf club fitter can record measurements taken during your golf swing. This is a dynamic fitting – measurements taken while you’re in motion – as opposed to a static fitting.

These measurements can record your setup position and your position at impact. If you stoop at setup and impact, a shorter club length might be the best for you.

However, a dynamic measurement is best used for established golfers rather than beginners. That’s because established players already have an engrained swing motion – unless they spend time and money on lessons to change it.

Beginners, however, are still learning the game. Their swings will change a lot more than someone who’s been playing golf for years.

Therefore, we recommend that beginners use a static fitting to get the proper golf club length. Height and wrist-to-floor measurements are enough to get beginners using the proper length golf clubs.

When they establish their swings, they can then think about a dynamic fitting.

Benefits of Proper Length Golf Clubs

Proper length golf clubs benefit your ball striking, the lie angle of the golf club, and they improve your overall game.

Ball Striking

With proper length golf clubs, your ball striking will be more solid. You can set up to the ball in the correct position without having to stand too upright or stoop over the ball.

When your setup is correct, your body doesn’t need to make any compensations during your swing. Such compensations are rarely repeatable because you don’t even notice you’re making them. Therefore, it causes inconsistent ball striking.

But if you have the proper length golf clubs, you can get into a consistent setup position. That gives you a much better chance of repeating the same swing for every shot.

That consistent repetition leads to more solid ball striking.

Lie Angle

The proper length golf clubs give your clubs a more suitable lie angle.

If you’re short, a flatter lie angle is better for your setup. Having the proper length golf clubs will naturally flatten that lie angle for you.

If you’re tall, the lie angle of your clubs should be more upright. Golf clubs of the proper length will ensure that the lie angle is more upright if you’re tall.

Game Improvement

Golf is a game of consistency. If you can repeat your swing and consistently strike the ball well, you will improve.

Using the proper length golf clubs makes it much easier to play consistent golf. You can set up correctly and then try to repeat your swing from there.

Having the proper length golf clubs isn’t a magic bullet for game improvement. However, it gives you an excellent foundation to build on to start shooting lower scores.

Signs Your Golf Clubs Are Too Long

If you’re playing with clubs that are too long, you might notice these signs.

  1. You need to stand too upright at address.
  2. Your lower body feels restricted when you swing.
  3. You strike the ball off the toe.
  4. You’re hitting the ball high and left (right-handers).
  5. The shaft feels too flexible when you swing.

Signs Your Golf Clubs Are Too Short

You might notice the following signs if your clubs are too short.

  1. You need to hunch over at address.
  2. Your knees bend more just before you swing.
  3. You strike the ball off the heel.
  4. The attack angle is too steep.
  5. You’re hitting the ball right (right-handers).

Conclusion

Standard-length golf clubs aren’t for everyone. Some players will need longer clubs, while others will need shorter ones.

To play your best golf, it’s critical to find the proper length golf clubs for you. It allows you to get a consistent setup and leads to better ball striking. Now that you know the appropriate length golf clubs based on height and wrist-to-floor measurement, you can find the best fit for you.

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Joe Morelli

Joe's been playing golf for 25 years, starting as a junior golfer in his early teens. He loves getting out on the links with his dad and friends -- whether an early weekend foursome or his weekday, afternoon league.