One of the most satisfying parts of playing golf is hitting the ball with your driver and watching it sail through the air.
To achieve good distance and accuracy you need to practice your swing and make sure you are hitting the ball with enough power. However, you also need to use a club that is suited to you. This includes the shaft length of the club.
So what is the standard shaft length for a driver? How does changing the length of the shaft affect your performance?
And which driver shaft length is going to be best for you? If you want to find out the answers to these questions along with more information about driver shaft lengths then you are in the right place.
We have put together this useful guide to tell you everything you need to know, so keep reading to find out more.
About The Driver Club
The driver is the club that will allow you to achieve the most distance with the ball. It has the largest head out of all of the golf clubs which makes it easier to make good contact with the ball. It also has the longest shaft out of all of the clubs and the lowest loft.
You need to use a particular type of swing with a driver to ensure that you achieve the right balance between distance and accuracy when you hit the ball.
You want plenty of power behind the ball but you also want to make sure it gets high enough to clear obstacles and it travels in a straight line.
As a general rule, the longer the shaft the more distance you will be able to achieve. However, it is harder to achieve accuracy and directional control with a longer shaft, so there is a trade off.
What Is The Standard Driver Shaft Length?
The standard driver shaft length has increased slowly over the years. It is currently at 46 inches long for men and 44 inches long for women.
This is because women tend to be a little bit shorter than men on average. So why has the standard length changed?
There are several reasons. The first is that driver club heads have become larger, so the shaft length has increased to compensate for this.
Another reason is that with new developments in technology and research, golf clubs have become a lot more forgiving in terms of accuracy.
This means that you can afford to increase the shaft length to improve the distance of the ball without sacrificing your distance control.
Another factor to consider is that golf club manufacturers want to advertise the maximum distance you can achieve with their club, which is achieved by lengthening the shaft.
Related article: How To Measure Driver Shaft Length
What Is The Recommended Driver Shaft Length?
The recommended driver shaft length varies from player to player as it depends on your height and your swing style. However, the majority of golfers will achieve their best performance when playing with a driver that has a standard shaft length.
The standard length is a good balance between distance and accuracy, so is well suited to players of different experience and skill levels.
If you are shorter or taller than average then you may want to consider using a golf club that is more suited to your height, otherwise you will be at a disadvantage.
If you are hitting the ball with great accuracy then you could try using a longer shaft as you will achieve more distance and you have the skill level to keep the ball straight.
If you are using a standard length shaft and you are achieving great distance but poor accuracy then you could try switching to a shorter shaft to improve your directional control.
What Length Shaft Do PGA Tour Professional Golfers Use?
Different professionals will use different length shafts depending on their preference. However, most professionals use a driver with a shaft length of between 44 inches and 46 inches.
There are exceptions to this, and professionals such as Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson have achieved success using clubs that were longer or shorter than standard.
The longest club length permitted in the game is 48 inches, though it is not believed that a club of this length has ever been used during a professional competition. New rules are being established to allow tournament organizers to place tighter limits on club length.
Which Driver Shaft Length Should You Use?
The best way to decide which length driver shaft you should go for is to test out different clubs on a simulator. A lot of golf shops have these available for customers to use with staff supervision.
A professional golf fitter should be able to watch you use the clubs and help you by recommending which shaft length is going to help you improve your game.
Keep in mind that if you are struggling with accuracy you should use a shorter club, and if you are struggling with distance you should try a longer club. You also need to consider the flex of the shaft.
Some shafts are very stiff whereas others have a good amount of flex, and this can make a big difference to the contact you make with the ball and the distance, speed, power, and accuracy you can achieve.
The shorter the club, the stiffer it tends to be, though this is no a hard and fast rule as it depends on the manufacturer,
Adjusting The Shaft Length
When you are adjusting the shaft length of a club, it is not as simple as shaving a inch or two off and putting the club back together. When you take away from the length of the shaft you need to adjust the weight of the head to ensure that swing weight is correct.
If you shorten the shaft and leave the weight the same then the club will be unbalanced and it will be much harder to perform well when you are using it.
When you are adjusting the length of the shaft you should also consider the position of the grip. You may need to move the grip to ensure that you are holding the club in the optimal position to perform the best swing.
Is Distance Or Accuracy More Important?
The importance of distance vs accuracy when using a driver is an ongoing debate between golfers. The driver is designed to help you achieve greater distance than any other club.
There are other clubs that you can use later to hit very accurate shots when you are closer to the hole, and your putting skills have a large part to play also.
However, if you hit the ball a great distance but in an inconvenient direction, you could end up stuck behind an obstacle, the ball could land in water, or you could get stuck in a sand pit.
This could cost you precious strokes as you try to navigate your way out of a tricky situation. If you hit the ball far each time but never quite where you want it, you will be surprised at how much this will impact your game. Losing out on a little bit of distance may be easier to make up for.
Ideally, you want to achieve a good balance between distance and accuracy so that the ball goes where you want it to go.
Alternatives To A Driver
Using a driver isn’t the only way to achieve distance with the ball. Some amateurs don’t use a driver at all. It depends on your skill level and what handicap you are.
If you are regularly scoring over 100 then you probably don’t need to think about using a driver yet. Stick to a fairway wood or a hybrid when hitting the ball off the tee as you will have much more control over the direction of the ball.
Once you are scoring below 100 or below 90, then your swing is probably good enough to start using a driver to increase your distance. Once you get the hang of using a driver, you will see an improvement in your score.
Some people prefer to use a 2 wood over a driver. It has more loft and a shorter shaft than a driver, so it helps to improve accuracy whilst still achieving decent distance.
Most golfers will perform best with a driver that has a standard shaft length. However, there are some exceptions and you should always use the driver that will best suit your game.