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Before we get into the details of how to measure your clubs, let’s answer the question of why you would want to do so. The length of your golf club has a profound effect on your shots, more so than you might realize.
It should be evident that the longer the club, the larger the arc will be, resulting in a faster swing speed. That swing speed will result in longer hits. Of course, there is a trade-off, otherwise you might want to max out every club to the limit of 48 inches by rule. That trade-off is a lack of consistency.
The longer the club the more difficult it is to strike the ball in the sweet spot. This could even make your average drive shorter, even if it makes your maximum drive longer.
Here’s how that could happen.
If you were to hit a driver of 48 inches long, your maximum drive might be 300 yards. That is extremely long and up there with professional golfers. But you might only hit one of those great shots out of every 100 drives. You might top some and hit them 100 yards. Some may go out of bounds, which is the equivalent of two shots of zero yards.
Your average with this driver of gross length might well be below what you are hitting with a driver of average length, say 45 inches. And that is no good. So then, how do you determine what the proper length your clubs should be, and not just your driver?
How To Determine Proper Club Length
First, know that when we say a club is “standard” length, what we really mean is the most common. There is no industry standard that club manufacturers follow. These standard lengths have changed some over time, getting a bit longer.
Professional golfers all have specific specifications for each club in the bag. Bryson DeChambeau famously has his irons all the same length, the standard length for a 6-iron. He has also made some dramatic changes in lie angle and grips size that you are better off avoiding. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at those average lengths.
|Club||Length in inches|
Again, this is not industry-wide, so if you did not have your clubs custom fitted, your clubs may vary from this chart.
Given all this information, there are two reasons you might want to check the length of your clubs and have them adjusted. Again, do not automatically assume longer is better since you will gain yards off the tee.
If you are inconsistent with your clubs, they may be too long for you. If you hit the ball a shorter distance that you feel you should, they may be too short.
Determining Correct Club Length
Two physical traits are important for determining what the correct length your clubs should be. One is your height. The taller you are, generally speaking, the longer your clubs should be.
The other is your wrist-to-floor measurement. You might need a friend to help you measure this one. Stand straight wearing normal shoes with your hands hanging by your side. Measure from the point your wrist meets your hand to the floor.
With those two lengths in hand, you can now figure out what the suggested length your clubs should be compared to the standard length. Personal preference, swing characteristics, and other factors could affect this as well, so keep that in mind.
Here is a chart showing height at the top row, and the common difference from standard lengths for each wrist-to-floor measurement in inches. A zero means your clubs should be standard length.
|5-foot-4 to 5-7||5-7 to 6-0||6-0 to 6-2||6-2 to 6-4||6-4 to 6-7|
To determine if you need an adjustment for your club-lengths, you need one more measurement. That is, of course, the current actual length of your clubs.
To do this, you need one specialized piece of equipment. That is a ruler of 48 inches long. If you do not have one of those, you can transfer measurements onto a thin and sturdy piece of wood and use that as a measuring stick.
Place your club where the center of the sole is flat on the ground. Then run your ruler along the shaft of the club and measure at the end of the grip.
Measuring your putter could mean a slight adjustment since putter shafts sometimes enter the club head in the middle.
Be careful in assuming that your clubs are not the proper length. Your lack of consistency or distance could be from a flaw in your swing. Similarly, you should not assume that proper club length does not matter.
At impact, being just a tiny bit off can result in a large difference in the landing area. Especially on longer shots, millimeters off at impact can leave you quite a long way off target.
If you are serious about becoming a better golfer, it might be advisable to seek a professional’s help. Getting a proper club-fitting can immediately take strokes off your score.
Any decent pro shop or golf shop will have someone on hand who can personally fit your clubs.