There is nothing quite like the feeling of hitting the golf ball right on the sweet spot of the club and watching it sail away into the distance! Many experienced golfers make it look all-to-easy, and beginners are unaware of what it took to get to that point. One major aspect of attaining that sweet spot strike is to have a club of the right length.
The best way to get the perfect golf club length is to take your height and wrist to floor measurement and go to a golfing shop to test different length clubs and clubs with different lie angles. Some shops offer an electronic evaluation of your swing for a small fee for more accurate measurements.
Many people unfamiliar with golf don’t realize how the length of the golf club can affect your game. Not any old club will do when you start taking swings at the ball. Having the right size club for your stature will lay a good foundation to build your golfing game on and develop correct habits. There is some science behind choosing the correct length golf club and several different methods to get it right.
Why Does Gold Club Length Matter?
To play a good game of golf, you need to have many variables dialed in to produce consistently accurate strikes of the ball.
Posture and stance when approaching the ball are important for achieving solid, repeatable strikes that improve your overall golf game.
Golf Clubs That Are Too Long For You
If your golf clubs are too long, you will have a posture that is too erect, legs that are too straight, and bent arms. Clubs that are too long could result in undercutting the ball or hitting fat shots, where the club’s head impacts the ground before it impacts the ball.
The point of impact or POI of the club’s head with the ball will be towards the club’s heel, resulting in the flight of the ball curving left to right.
This will make it difficult to strike the ball accurately and produce shot after shot on target down the fairway.
Golf Clubs That Are Too Short
Golf clubs that are too short will affect your posture on the approach and have you hunched forwards over the ball with your knees bent too much or your arms extended too far.
Short clubs encourage stikes too close to the club’s toe, resulting in the flight of the ball curving from right to left in a hook or pull shot. The point of impact on the ball with a short club is often too high up on the ball, resulting in thin shots causing the ball’s trajectory to be too shallow.
Golf clubs that are incorrectly sized too long or too short will both affect your swing action and reduce the power with which you can strike the ball, severely limiting your long game.
How To Calculate Your Correct Golf Club Length
To get the right size golf clubs for your stature to improve rather than negatively affect your game, you need to find the right shaft length on the club. To complicate matters, you cannot get a single shaft length for all your club types.
The correct shaft length on your driver will be different from those of your irons, which is different again for your putters.
The right length club is also determined by personal factors relating to the individual golfer.
- Gender. Gold clubs designed for men tend to be longer than those designed for women golfers.
- Your age. Age affects the length of golf club that is most suitable for a player, as more mature golfers tend to stoop more in their stance.
- Height. A player’s height will affect the length of golf clubs they will require.
- Wrist to floor measurement. People have different length arms comparative to their height.
Other factors will affect your choice in golf club length, including the manufacturer’s recommendation for which of their clubs will best suit a particular person.
Method 1 – Height To Standard Height Comparison
The first method we will discuss is a method driven by the charts that a golf club manufacturer puts out where your height difference in comparison to a “standard height” person will give you an indicator of the length of golf club you will need.
The problem with this method is that all club manufacturers do not use the same “standard height” as the baseline. Another issue is that most advanced golfers find this measurement a little on the conservative side, and the length adjustment is not enough.
However, it is the most common method that most beginner golfers use to establish their club length. Most club manufacturers use the average male and female height as the standard, 5-foot 10-inches for men and 5-foot 5-inches for women.
For every 5-inches your height is above this average; you would add half an inch to the length of your club. Likewise, for every 5-inches your height is below this average; you would subtract half an inch from the standard club length.
The main issue with this is that manufacturers do not standardize on what the “standard length” is. For one manufacturer, the standard length for a driver could be 45-inches, while for another, it could be 45.5-inches.
This difference between manufacturers can make a big difference in the length of club you choose from club-maker to club-maker. It is important to know what the standard length is that the manufacturer is using.
To confuse matters even more, the standard length of a golf club may differ between a club with a graphite shaft and one with a steel shaft. This is due to the different characteristics that each material brings to the golf club in terms of weight and flex.
The golf club sizing table below gives an indication of how a manufacturer chart would work for a set of irons.
|Height Based Chart For Irons|
|Golfers Height||Golf Club Standard Length Adjustment|
|6-foot 9-inches to 7-foot||Standard length + 2-inches|
|6 foot 6-inches to 6-foot 9-inches||Standard length + 1.5-inches|
|6-foot 3-inches to 6-foot 6-inches||Standard length + 1-inch|
|6-foot to 6-foot 3-inches||Standard length + 0.5-inch|
|5-foot 9-inches to 6-foot||Standard Length|
|5-foot 6-inches to 5-foot 9-inches||Standard length – 0.5-inch|
|5-foot 3-inches to 5-foot 6-inches||Standard length – 1-inch|
|5-foot to 5-foot 3-inches||Standard length – 1.5-inches|
|4-foot 9-inches to 5-foot||Standard length – 2-inches|
The table to establish the right length of the driver would be different since the standard length for a driver is longer than that of an iron.
As we have mentioned, this is not the most accurate method for establishing the correct length golf club, but it is probably where most beginner golfers start.
This can be a problem because a beginner golfer with an incorrect size club can develop bad habits in their golf game that can be hard to break later in their golfing game.
Method 2 – Height And Wrist To Floor Measurement
This method is similar to the previous method, but it adds another metric to the equation when measuring a player for a golf club.
The additional metric is the wrist-to-floor measurement or WTF of the golfer. This measurement is best taken by a third party rather than the golfer is trying to measure it themselves. The golfer should stand with their feet shoulder-width apart with their hands hanging loosely by their sides.
A second person should take the measurement from the wrist joint of the golfer to the floor, measured in inches.
Many tables incorporate the wrist-to-floor metric to determine the correct golf club length for a player. However, while this method considers an additional metric and should be more accurate because of the additional data, it is also fundamentally flawed.
This method may give a slightly better indication of the right club length, but it is also not quite accurate enough. The main reason for this is that a golf club is not held vertically to the ground. It is held at an angle to the ground.
This is known as the lie of the golf club. The golf club’s lie will depend on a person’s height and preferred posture when playing the game, which will determine the angle the shaft of the golf club is to the ground.
Method 3 – In-Store Club Testing
Many new golfers may look at purchasing golf clubs with one of the previous two methods, and they may strike it lucky and get a good fit with their golf clubs. However, the more likely scenario is that the clubs will be slightly off compared to what you actually need.
One of the best ways to find the right size club for your game is to go to a golf supply store with your height and wrist to floor measurements and speak to a consultant.
As we have mentioned, golf clubs come with different lie angles to cater for different angles of the club to the ground, depending on your stance and posture.
The lie angle of the club’s head can vary by 7 or 8-degrees, which will impact whether you make a solid impact with the ball with your stance and swing.
While you can get some idea of your stance and swing by observing yourself in a mirror, it is always more accurate for another person to observe your stance and swing. An experienced pro-shop consultant will be able to examine your golf style and recommend clubs of a particular lie, weight, and flex that would best match your game.
When you go to the golf shop, take your golfing gloves with you, since the feel of the clubs in hand can be dramatically affected when wearing a glove.
Modern golf clubs also have different thickness grips and balanced or unbalanced handles, which can all contribute to finding the best golf club for your game.
Have Your Golf Swing Assessed Electronically
Many pro-shops have electronic equipment that can digitally assess your golf swing and recommend the correct club for your game.
Electronic assessments are very accurate and can pinpoint factors of your swing that will suit a particular style, length, weight, flex, and lie of the golf club.
You can then test the suggested golf clubs in-store to assess how they feel in hand, in your approach, and when you contact the ball.
Custom-Fit Golf Clubs?
Getting a set of custom-fit golf clubs is like going to a tailor for a custom-fit suit! The end result will fit you perfectly because it is designed for your individual measurements rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
Custom-fit clubs can be expensive, but you don’t have to get an entire set of custom-fit golf clubs. If you are struggling with your long golf game, you may consider having a custom-fit driver made for you, but keep your other standard clubs as they are.
Likewise, if you struggle with your putting, a custom-fit putter may be all you need to vastly improve your game.
A custom-fit will involve several sessions with a professional outfitter who will take your measurements, assess your swing, make adjustments to length, lie and weight for the particular club. The process will continue until a club with the right combination is found that gets you in the sweet spot every time!
Some golf clubs can have their length adjusted to make them longer by installing spacers on the shaft to increase the overall length.
If your golf clubs are adjustable, you may find that the custom fitment session will give you the right data to make the necessary adjustments to your existing clubs without purchasing new clubs.
Shortening golf clubs is not as easy as lengthening them, but you may find some suppliers that would be willing to do this for you, but you may find it more worthwhile to buy a new club of the correct length
Sizing your golf clubs correctly for your height, posture, stance, and physiology can be a complicated process that will take some time to get a satisfactory result.
Finding the right combination for your game may also take some trial and error since the standard fitment guidelines for your physique may not feel right to you. You may find that you play better with a club slightly shorter or longer than what is recommended for your stature.
Many new golfers get frustrated when they struggle with a certain aspect of their game when it can be remedied with a golf club that is correctly sized for their specific requirements.
This is why a professional fitment for golf clubs is always the best way to get the perfect fit for your golf club length.