The length of a golf club is one of the most important factors when it comes to club fitting. If a golf club is not the proper length for your game, you will struggle to have consistent and accurate performance. Golf club manufacturers do not need to make a club a certain standard length. Instead, they all have a general range, but it is up to a golfer to check the specifications of the club to ensure it is the right fit for their game. Let’s look at how long golf clubs should be and why this makes a difference in your game.
Why Golf Club Length Matters?
The length of a golf club will have a powerful impact on your ability to play the game. Playing with a club that is too long or too short causes swing errors that are difficult to overcome until you have the proper length club in your hand. Here are a few reasons why golf club length matters.
Without the proper golf club length, players will have a hard time making consistent contact with the ball. As you can probably imagine, the sweet spot of the club head will be delivered to a different location each time if the club length is not accurate.
Golfers that have a club that is too long sometimes struggle with hitting the ball on the toe of the club. Golfers playing with something too short will sometimes hit the ball out on the heel of the club head.
Players need to pay close attention to consistency if they want to score well, and that is why it is so important to have the proper golf club lengths.
Club Head Speed
If your club is too long for you, you may struggle to get the right amount of club head speed. This is a problem when shorter golfers are using clubs that are too long. As they try and swing the club, the extra weight added from the length of the club makes it difficult to get the necessary speed and precision.
Club head speed translates directly into ball speed. If you want to hit the ball far, you must have plenty of club head speed. Players that are trying to use golf clubs that are an improper length will constantly feel as though they are fighting for speed.
Eliminate this problem by simply playing with a golf club that is the right length.
When your golf clubs are not the right length, it will impact the way you stand over the ball. To have proper posture, you must be able to stand upright and have your hands drop down naturally to line up with the club and the ball.
Anytime a player is reaching for the ball or feels as though they need to stand far away, it can be challenging to achieve consistent results.
Sometimes when golfers are playing with clubs that are not the right fit for their game, it is easy to notice. The player will be standing hunched over or much too upright, and they won’t look as though they have a balanced and stable setup. However, when clubs are just a 1/4 inch or a 1/2 inch too long or short, it is harder to spot these issues.
The total length impacts the lie angle of the club. Golfers playing with a club that is too short or too long will have also to adjust the lie angle. Typically speaking, golfers that need shorter clubs also need a lie angle that is a bit flatter.
Players with more height that should be playing with longer clubs almost always have more upright lie angle. Lie angle can be adjusted the same way that length can be adjusted.
All golf clubs are different lengths because they are designed to travel different distances. If all your clubs were the same length and the loft of the club was not adjusted, they would go the same length.
All golf clubs have unique lofts, and that helps with distance, but if you are not playing with the right length clubs, it could impact the distance that you can get with your shots. Avoid all of this by simply using the proper size golf clubs.
Read Also: How to Measure Loft on a Golf Club
Standard Club Sizes
Now that you can see why the golf club length has such an impact on your golf game, it’s time to look at the standard golf club sizes and how you can use them to get yourself the perfect-fitting set of clubs. There are, however, a few things to notice when looking at our charge of the standard golf club sizes.
Graphite vs. Steel
As you will notice, we have provided both graphite and a steel column on this chart. Many golfers are shocked to find out that graphite golf clubs and steel golf clubs are slightly different in length.
With the way that graphite shafted golf clubs are made, the overall length of the club is about a 1/4 inch longer. This can vary depending on the club you have in your hand and the manufacturer you choose.
This small difference in length will not have too much of an impact for many golfers. However, there are other players that need that extra length or will be considerably thrown off with the extra length. If that describes you, make sure you know the graphite length golf clubs when you are ordering.
Men vs. Ladies
Men’s golf clubs and ladies’ golf clubs are of different lengths. This is because the average height of a woman is much different from the average height of a man, which will impact the clubs they are playing with.
This is important for women golfers to know, and it has a significant impact on women players that are tall. For women golfers taller than 5’8″, there is a chance that a standard women’s golf club is not the proper length.
This is where custom fitting comes into play. Any golfers that fall outside of the range of what golf manufacturers consider to be standard need to go for golf fittings to make sure they are playing the proper golf clubs.
One Manufacturer To Another
It would be great if all golf manufacturers made clubs the same length, but this is not the case. Sometimes the differences are minimal, and sometimes they are significant. This is why when shopping for the best golf clubs on the market; you have to look at their specifications.
The specifications will give you the loft, life, and length of each of the clubs in your bag. You will notice that as you move from one club to the next, the club will change by about a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch, depending on the club in your hands.
Signs Your Clubs are Too Long
Now that you have some more information about the golf club lengths and the standard size, it’s time to do more research on your own golf club set. Unless you have gone for a club fitting recently, you are probably unaware if your golf clubs are the proper size for you. Here are a few signs that your clubs are too long.
Standing Up Completely Straight
When golfers have to stand up completely straight while addressing a golf ball, the club is probably too long. This means that you are going to have to make the distance for yourself in order to accommodate the club. If you feel your stance is too upright, look into having some length cut off the clubs.
Hitting The Club On The Toe
Players struggling with clubs that are too long will often hit the ball off the toe of the club. Although there are miss-hits that can happen in the heel for those that try and stand too upright, the toe is quite common as well. This will lead to shots that venture off to the right making it difficult to score.
When golf clubs are too long, sometimes the movement that you can make in your swing is a bit restricted. This happens as the golf club becomes difficult to manage, and your upper body focuses on moving the club. The lower body needs to be rotated to hit consistent shots.
Signs Your Clubs are Too Short
Another issue that golfers can run into is golf clubs that are too short. If a golf club is too short, you will again struggle with accuracy and consistency. For tall golfers that are using standard golf clubs, this is a prevalent problem.
The shorter golf clubs will make players bend at the waist when setting up to hit golf shots. The poor posture will create other issues with the swing plane and even stability in the swing.
In To Out Swing Path
Although it is good to hit the ball from the inside out, this can also be a bit exaggerated and cause issues for players. If you struggle with getting the club on the proper swing path, the issue could be related to the length of the club. When a club is short, it is easy to take it back a bit too inside and shallow.
Quick swing speed is a good thing, but the tempo should be balanced. If your tempo seems a bit off, chances are you are moving your hands too quickly because the golf club is too short. Golfers that feel like they are dominating the club a bit too much probably have something in play that is too short for them.
Other Height Recommendations for You
Here are a few key numbers to keep in mind if you are shopping for these golf clubs. Sometimes if you go for a custom club fitting, you can get more information about each of the clubs, but without the fitting, it pays to stay informed about each of these golf clubs and important height fitting recommendations.
Sometimes players that are faster swinging and stronger golfers will be able to use an iron that is slightly longer. A longer golf iron will technically travel a bit further than a shorter golf iron. This little bit of extra length can lead to more distance for players that can handle it.
Some golfers will play with one-length golf irons. This is where every iron in the set is the same length. If this is something that you are working with, make sure that the one length irons are fitted to your exact height. Even though all clubs are the same length, they should still be adequately measured to your swing.
Most golfers, even shorter ones, will try and make a 45-inch driver work. The combination of that 45 inches with the 460cc club head helps players get the full performance they need from this club. Golfers need to be very aware that if they cut the shaft down on the driver, it will get stiffer.
For players that already struggle with ball flight and a release, this stiffer shaft is a problem. The driver is not changed as far as length is concerned nearly as much as the golf irons are changed. If you are looking for something that provides more control, take a look at the new accuracy build from Cleveland.
A putter should be around 34 inches for the average height golfer. However, not all golfers are of average height. If you are around 6’0 or taller, start to think about the 35-inch putter. Some golfers who shop for a new putter will notice that the feel of a shorter putter may be better. You will not damage your putting stroke or your abilities if you play with a putter that is a little shorter than recommended for your height.
Test Them All While Wearing Gloves
When you test out golf clubs, make sure that you are wearing a glove and your golf shoes. This is the best way to ensure that you get the most accurate golf fitting. Suppose you don’t typically wear a glove, then keep it off. However, for players that are going for an accurate club fitting, it is important to recreate the situations that you usually see on the golf course.
We hope you now feel more confident in your ability to choose the proper golf club lengths for your game. There are plenty of online fitting charts that will help you determine a club length range. However, to find the perfect fit, you may need to test some clubs using a launch monitor. Overall, club length is something that golfers cannot ignore as it has a significant impact on the game.