This is a complete guide to golf club length.
The best part?
I’m going to show you how you can determine the perfect length for your golf clubs right now.
In short: If you are unsure about how long your golf clubs should be, you’ll love this guide.
Let’s get started.
Why should I care about golf club length?
There are no specific industry standards for golf club length, but different manufacturers have differing lengths for clubs. A 5-iron from a particular brand is 37.75 inches, others 38 inches or even 38.5 inches long.
We cannot stress enough, the importance of a golf club’s length and its effect on your performance.
Moreover, that’s why:
We have come up with a comprehensive guide on the length of Golf Clubs and how they determine your result and performance.
- The various types of clubs and the ideal length that each should come with.
- A step by step process of determining the perfect length of your club.
- Assessing and understanding your handicap
- Defining your swing speed
- Determining the right flex for your clubs
- Getting the right clubs for your loft
Upon completion, you should be better placed to understand everything about the length of irons that you need to know before approaching the green in 2018 and beyond.
1. Clubs and their Ideal Lengths
The various clubs that are available as individual irons or complete sets differ in length. Typically, the longest clubs in the set are the drivers which range between 43 and 45 inches in length.
Fairway Woods measure between 40 and 43 inches whereas Irons measure between 34 to 40 inches, Pitching Wedge and Sand Wedge 34 to 36 inches. The Putter is the smallest club on a typical Golf Set and measures about 33 inches in length. For more information on the various types of golf clubs, click here.
Drivers are the clubs with the longest shafts and largest heads in the complete set stand bag. They are initially referred to as oods,’ but today they come with graphite, titanium or steel construction and now are used to take long-distance shots. Drivers today ranges between 43 and 46 inches according to the manufacturer.
Taylor Made Drivers, for example, measure 45-46″ inches for the men and 44-45″ for the women.
A Pinemeadow Driver, on the other hand, measures 44-45″ for the men and 43-44” for the women.
Getting the right length for you driver is essential for you to take long shots accurately and comfortably.
Woods can either be 3,5,7,9 or 11-wood. They are preferred by players who find drivers challenging to use. They are the second longest clubs in your bag ranging between 40 and 43 inches according to the manufacturer.
Irons are the versatile clubs in your bag and come with varying lengths depending on the type of iron. They can either be between 1-9-iron with the length of the range between 34 to 40 inches depending on the manufacturer.
Taylor Made, for example, constructs a 1-iron that measures 40.25″ or 39.75″ for men and 39.25″ or 38.75″ for the women. Pinemeadow irons are available as 3-9-iron, with the 3-iron measuring 39″ or 38.75″ for men and 38″ for women.
They are the second shortest clubs and differ in length according to their type. Your bag contains a Pitching Wedge, Sand Wedge, Lob Wedge or Gap Wedge measuring between 34.5″ and 36.25″ depending on the manufacturer.
The putter is the shortest club in your bag used to put the ball in the hole. They vary in length between 33″ and 35” depending on the manufacturer.
2. Determining the Ideal Length for your Club
Many players base the starting point of determining your golf club length by referring to the chart that matches your height and wrist-to-floor measurement from your club manufacturer. For a detailed and conclusive deduction, it is prudent to compare your H/WTF ratio as you take test shots with the particular clubs. This enables you to have a good understanding of your lie angle, physiological needs and the club with the most comfortable feel.
Your chart may state that your ideal iron is a 37″ 6-iron, but you are a superb ball-striker and going longer is not a problem. You can go for a 37.5” if it feels comfortable. In fact, going longer boosts your distance and enhances your accuracy ratio. Accuracy and distance trade-off can be achieved by adjusting your lie angles and settling for the optimum length on your clubs.
Let’s say your ball-striking abilities are not so good. You can knock off a few between 1-5 inches from the chart. Your chart may state that your ideal iron is a 37″ 6-iron, but the 36.5” may be a better length according to your physiological needs.
If you are the tall person, say 6” feet and above, this may become a problem as if you use 9-iron, you would not get comfortable with the smaller size of the club. This is because you will be in an uncomfortable position that affects your impact and lie angle culminating in increased missed shots.
For you to get the most comfortable length for your club, which suits your physiological needs you need to consider:
- Your gender
- Your age
- Your height and wrist-floor length
- Your lie angle
- Your flex and grip
- Your handicap or skill level
Height and Wrist-floor Length
Your height and wrist to the floor distance in inches are used together in determining the length of the most appropriate golf club for you. When making all these measurements, be sure to use a straight object like a ruler or tape measure to get the exact measurements.
How do you do this?
Step by Step Tutorial
First, measure your basic height, i.e., your height from your head to your feet while standing as upright as possible.
Secondly, measure the distance between your wrists from where it bends to the ground while standing straight also. Ensure that your arms are hanging loosely at your sides. Having a partner do this, will enable you to get the most accurate results. The result is then cross-referenced with your height to determine the most precise length recommendation. For more information on body measurements for a perfect golf club? Click here.
Then, measure the length of one club you intend to use while it lies on the ground for accurate measurements. Place it on the sole center and place a ruler in a similar position next to the heel touching the ground. From the sole, take measurements up to the grip cap edge. If it is a putter, measurements should be taken from the center and not the heel, all the way to the end of the grip. For more measurement details, Click here.
Having taken these measurements with all the clubs, you intend to use; you can now get your custom fitted to precision. Custom fitting is determining the precise length of a golf club, concerning your height, wrist-floor length and your swing as a player.
This is essential because clubs have differing guidelines on length and custom fitting. With the measurements at your disposal, you can now proceed with identifying the club that suits you best.
You are probably wondering;
How do I determine the ideal length for my golf club
First of all, have a variety of Drivers, (between 3-5 clubs) that you intend to use. Ensure that they are 1-2” of the regular length. Remember that drivers are available with either graphite or metal shafts and the latter are generally heavier than the former.
Swing all clubs with the help of an instructor or a golf simulator to acquire optimum results. Understand the correct loft in your driver because it helps in producing a right launch angle, the angle at which a ball leaves the clubface during impact. It is a critical factor that enables you to maximize distance. Typically, a slow swinger benefits from a higher lofted driver due to the high trajectory and longer carry.
The Shaft Kick Point or Bend Point is the part of the shaft that bends the most when swinging your driver and should be kept in mind when choosing a driver. A high kick point results in lower trajectory whereas a lower kick point helps to increase the trajectory of your shot with the difference between the two points being a mere 2 inches.
Players with higher swing and club speeds benefit most from shafts with high bend points whereas those with slow clubhead speeds do so from a lower flex point. It is prudent to practice using a shaft with a bend point in the mid-range since the majority of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) produce most shafts within that range. If you have to choose between distance and accuracy with your driver, go for accuracy since you can perfect your distance gains more easily.
- The longer the shaft, the higher the speed and distance.
- The weight and length of the club and your control capability reduces speed.
- Have your driver custom fitted to your individual needs and specification
- Settle for the driver with the right bend point to improve on distance.
- Practice with drivers with medium-range flex point since most OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) produce them that way in bulk.
The process of taking measurements to determine the best irons for you is similar to those of drivers. Different irons are ranging from 1-9-iron clubs depending on the manufacturer. Identify three irons in the mid-range, i.e., 4-6-iron clubs and one from the extremes, i.e., 1-3-irons and 7-9-irons.
Swing all clubs with the help of an instructor or a golf simulator to acquire optimum results. Take note of the construction material and practice shots with each iron to check your comfort level. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding the iron and check how the clubhead rests on the ground.
As a rule, the toe of most mid-irons (4-6-irons) should be slightly raised (quarter or half an inch) from the ground whereas the (7-9-irons + PW) are elevated somewhat higher. The longer hitting irons (1-3-irons) have their heads resting on the ground.
The shaft length of your irons significantly influences your shots direction, consistency and distance and forces you into an address position that should be maintained throughout the golf swing. Practice with different Irons in the various categories to determine the most suitable iron for your individual needs.
- Choose the shaft length of your iron based on your height, arm length, and the posture.
- Tall golfers benefit most from over-length irons whereas short ones do so from under-length ones.
- Standard length clubs are the best to practice with for standard golfers.
- The weight and length of the club and your control capability reduces speed.
- Increasing your irons’ shaft length affects your lie angle and flex point.
When it comes to putters, your suitable shaft length is one that enables your eyes to see directly over the ball during the address. Generally, this would mean that all golfers need longer putters, which is not the case for everyone. To settle on the ideal putter, consider your posture, comfort, and measurements (height and wrist-to-floor measurements). Here is a simple way to extend your shaft of a putter.
A Long putter forces you to stand further away from the ball, moving your sight lower, instead of over the ball. This may cause your arc to flatten resulting in the toe of your putter being off the ground which affects your aim and pushes it to the left of the target.
It also forces you to move your elbows too close to your body instead of letting your arms hang naturally under your shoulders and also affects your natural pendulum motion that is essential when using a putter.
A short putter causes you to stand closer to the ball, pushing your sight past the target line. Its heel is also lifted off the ground resulting in an aim that is too much to the right.
Choose some putters that you intend to use and swing them for long periods to determine the ideal one for your game.
You can repeat the same process with all the other types of clubs including hybrids, fairway woods, and wedges, and settle on the ideal club for enhanced performance from tee to green.
REMEMBER to try out different club brands since they differ regarding length feel and comfort.
The lie angle of your club, which is the angle between the sole and the shaft that affects the club head position at address and impact. Having the proper lie allows the clubhead center to strike the ground instead of the heel or toe.
The best way to measure your lie angle is dynamically or during motion. Tall players, for example, require an upright lie angle whereas short players require a flatter lie angle but with consideration of factors like your address posture and positioning of hands during address and impact. Therefore, your lie angle cannot be accurately determined using your (height and wrist-to-floor) measurement alone.
Shaft Flex and Width:
Flex is defined as the bending ability of a golf shaft when force is applied to it during a swing. The force generated is determined by your type of swing, i.e., fast, slow, smooth or jerky. Flex is rated as Extra Stiff, Stiff, Regular, Senior and Ladies and will mostly be denoted by the letters (X, S, R, M, and L) on the club.
Flex plays a significant role in determining the manner in which the club face is squared during impact. Having a proper flex for your swing speed is essential because it allows you to make solid contact consistently, which affects both your direction and distance.
To determine your swing speed, you can ask your instructor to guide you, which will require you to swing in their presence. Moreover, you can use an electronic launch monitor or radar machine available on golf shops, since doing it at home may give you the wrong results.
Most high handicappers and amateurs have a swing of 80– 85-mile-per-hour swings. People with faster swings benefit from stiff shafts on their clubs whereas those with slower swings benefit from flex shafts on woods and graphite shafts on drivers and irons.
Handicap or Skill Level:
Your handicap or skill level is referred to as your numerical potential and ability as a golf player. According to the index range, you can fall between; one can either be a low, mid or high handicapper. Low disabled players, who are professionals prefer long shafts for long shots. The ideal shaft for long shots is graphite for most drivers and iron or steel for most irons.
This is, however, determinant on a particular player’s preferences. Medium handicap players are the standard player whose standard height is about (5’7″ – 6’1″) and wrist-to-floor measurements of about (34″ – 37″). The ideal club length for such player is the standard length iron indicated in the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) chart. High handicap players, amateurs, and beginners have different preferences that can be identified easily by a professional (https://www.quora.com/Whats-your-golf-handicap).
The “loft” of a club is mainly the manner in which your shots fly after hitting the ball. Players with a high hit benefit more from clubs with less loft whereas players with low flight prefer a higher lofted club.
Test all Clubs While Wearing Gloves
Be sure to test clubs with your gloves on. This is because you will require to use them during your game and they may affect your grip. Generally, if you wear a large-sized glove, you will benefit from a club with a large club size and vice-versa. Using the wrong grip size can cause friction and disrupt your swing thereby affecting your game.
Many golfers use the pinch test to determine the most suitable glove for their arms. You should have a pinch of material at your fingers and no pinch at the palm of your hand. If your ideal size of gloves is small or cadet-small, a standard grip is the best. If it is a medium or medium-large glove, a standard grip is also the most ideal. If you use a large glove, a mid-size grip is perfect, and if it is extra-large, an oversized grip would be the most ideal.
The ideal club that you are going to select, be it a Driver, Fairway Woods, Hybrid, Iron, Wedge or Putter has to come with the right length for you to play comfortably and get your desired results. A minute distortion of the length of your club can have a drastic effect on your game and the end result.
Golf clubs are constructed with either metal or graphite shafts depending on their use but mostly vary in length depending on the manufacturer. It is hence crucial to have your club custom fitted to your individual needs by considering factors like height, age, gender, height and wrist-to-floor measurements, handicap level, flex and grip as well as the type of club in use.
To achieve an accurate club fitting as a player, insist on having them fitted using both dynamic and static measurements. This is because there is a direct correlation of these factors to the direction, flight and speed of the golf ball and also enables you to swing your club consistently without the need for compensation swings. Seeking the services of a professional fitter and instructor other than gathering the information yourself, enables you to have precise measurements.