How to Measure Driver Shaft Length
The length of the golf club’s shaft in relation to the overall length of the club defines the length of the driver shaft. Alternatively, this is the difference between the length of the overall golf club and the length of the clubhead.
Generally, the longer your driver shaft is, the more difficult it becomes to have control over the club and hit a ball squarely.
How to measure the length of your driver shaft:
- Keep the golf club in the playing position such that the center of the sole is in contact with the ground.
- Position a 48” golf club ruler behind the golf club making sure the ruler tip touches the ground by the heel of the club. The ruler must be kept such that the golf club rests on it.
- Measure the distance from the edge of the grip cap to the heel.
The above method can be used in all instances except putters because the shaft is not positioned at the heel in this case.
It’s a good idea to measure the shaft length of all the golf clubs in your bag and save them for future reference.
How to Shorten/Cut Driver Shaft Length
A short driver shaft may help you hit a straight shot better and also hit the center of the face more than you usually do. Moreover, a short shaft helps you gain better control.
- Remove the grip from the driver using a hook blade or a utility knife, as well as the grip tape on the shaft.
- Measure the length that you want to shorten on the shaft. Add an extra 1/8 inch to this and mark the position using a permanent marker.
- Fix the golf club in position in a vise.
- Position the tube cutter or the saw blade on the position that is marked. Use a tube cutter for a steel shaft and a saw blade in case of a graphite shaft.
- Turn the cutting equipment on and cut the shaft through smoothly and slowly.
- Turn off the cutting equipment and remove the club.
- Smooth out the rough edges on the butt end of the golf club with sandpaper.
- Fix a new grip on the shaft end.
- Add weights to the clubhead to restore the original swing weight feel.
It’s advisable to wear a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes during the sawing process. Also, cutting through the shaft in one motion will ensure an even cut.
Effects of Shortening a Golf Shaft
When you have decided to shorten your golf shaft, you must keep in mind the after-effects of doing so. How much and where you cut off the shaft has different effects on the golf club.
If you cut the shaft at the tip end, your golf club will become considerably stiffer and lighter. This will, in turn, make the club flatter and affect the swing.
For every 1/2 inch that is cut away from your golf club shaft, you will end up doing away with about three swing weight points. However, the flex will hardly be affected.
On the other hand, cutting at the grip-end does not cause as much stiffening as the tip end. That is why cutting at the grip-end end is preferred for improving accuracy.
How to Lengthen a Driver Shaft
You may consider lengthening a driver shaft if you’re experimenting with golf clubs of different lengths or buying used clubs. The following steps will help you to extend your current driver shaft length.
- Get an extension with a butt diameter of a slightly lower size than that of your present shaft so that it goes into the current shaft with a tight fit.
- Place a little two-component golf epoxy on a clean surface and mix it up.
- Use a toothpick or a small spatula and apply some epoxy on the outer surface of the extension.
- Apply a little epoxy inside the shaft in a circular motion.
- Insert the extension into the shaft so that it goes well inside the original shaft.
- Spray a little acetone on a paper towel and wipe off the overflow at the point of insertion.
- Allow the shaft to dry for at least a couple of hours before you use your golf club.
Read more: How to use golf club epoxy
Effects of Lengthening a Golf Shaft
As in the case of shortening a shaft, you must be aware of what the effects would be if you increase its length.
Increasing the length of a 45 inches shaft by an extra inch will help you gain about five to six heavier swing weight points and will affect your timing. The shaft will also be a bit more flexible and softer than it was before the extension.
Remember that your accuracy is likely to be at stake with the lengthened golf club. You may find it difficult to render a solid shot. The extra length also tends to reduce the bend or kick point of the shaft.
What is the Standard Driver Shaft Length
The standard length for a male driver shaft used to be 43.5 inches for a steel shaft and 44 inches for a graphite club. However, in recent times, the standard driver length has been accepted as 45 inches.
Typically, the length of a female golfer’s club is an inch lesser than that of a male golfer’s club. While the standard length for this club was initially 43 inches, it was revised to 44 inches in 2012.
The Maximum Length of the Driver Shaft
The minimum length for a driver shaft is 18 inches. However, the minimum and maximum lengths do not apply to putters. Drivers that exceed 48 inches in length cannot be used to play official tournaments and long driving competitions.
Irrespective of whether you own a golf club with a steel shaft or a graphite shaft, there is a maximum length that your shaft can have. This length has been set as 48 inches by the United States Golf Association under the Rules of Golf and it must not be exceeded.
How to Pick Driver Shaft Length
The driver is undoubtedly the biggest club in a golfer’s bag. Needless to say, this makes it essential for the shaft of the driver to be of the correct length for you to play a perfect game.
Cutting down the shaft length offers assurance of control while increased length generates more clubhead momentum and offers more overall distance.
Steps to Choose the Right Shaft
There are various parameters that you must consider while trying to pick the right shaft for your game. These are as follows:
The best way to narrow down on the right shaft is to do test shots on the range with drivers of varying lengths. The right shaft length will help you to hit the golf ball with the driver much the same way that you would do with a wedge.
You must find a shaft length that offers you a comfortable rhythmic and smooth swing and the ability to hit the maximum distance consistently with accuracy.
A swing using a 44-inch shaft must be able to take the ball by approximately an extra distance of 20 yards when compared to a hit with a 43-inch shaft that will make the ball travel approximately 250 yards.
It’s also worth noting that that the shaft length also has an impact on the lie angles. While upright lie angles are often associated with tall people, short players prefer flatter lie angles.
By increasing or decreasing the shaft length by an extra half an inch will result in the club playing 1 degree more upright, or flat respectively.
With a standard-length club, tall players tend to stoop quite a bit while short players will find themselves having to stand in a more upright position than required.
The flex refers to how much your golf shaft is capable of bending when a force is applied to it during a swing. It plays a key role in determining the squaring of the clubface at impact. Without flex, there are high chances of not being able to render a solid and good contact consistently. This, in turn, affects the distance and direction of the shot.
Kick-point refers to that point on the shaft that encounters the maximum bend during a swing. A high kick-point implies that the bend is closer to the grip resulting in less trajectory. A low kick point indicates that the bend is towards the head triggering a high trajectory. Kick point is also called bend-point or flex-point.
The spin rate is the speed at which a golf ball spins on an imaginary axis during the flight after its hit by a golf club. This is measured in terms of rotations per minute.
Grip size is just as important as the size of the shafts of your driver and other golf clubs for a perfect game. Big grip size can inhibit your wrist release through the impact area and cause a fade or a block.
On the other hand, a very small grip results in an early release and result in a draw or a pull.
Selecting Shaft Length for Men (Chart)
The following table will give you the ideal club length for iron golf clubs for the standard size. You can use the same table for reference for steel shafts, graphite and hybrid shafts.
Wrist to Floor Length
Golfer Height (inches)
26” to 29”
5’ – 5’2”
29” to 34”
5’2” – 5’4”
32” to 34”
5’4” – 5’7”
34” to 37”
5’7” – 6.1”
37” to 38”
6’1” – 6’2”
38” to 39”
40” to 41”
6’4” – 6’.6”
41” to 42”
6’6” – 6’.8”
Selecting Shaft Length for Women
You can use the same table given above as a reference for women. Remember that golf clubs for women are designed to be an inch shorter than men’s golf clubs. So, you will have to make your calculation accordingly.
Driver Shaft Length for Height
To get the best performance out of your driver, you must use one that has a shaft length appropriate to your height. Often shaft lengths are decided by taking into account the height and wrist to floor measurements of a person. The measurements are usually taken in inches.
Calculating your wrist to floor measurement is almost as simple as measuring your height.
- Stand on a hard surface wearing regular or non-golf shoes.
- Maintain a relaxed posture and stand straight with your arms hanging by your sides.
- Request someone to measure the distance from your wrist to the floor.
Based on the size of your driver, the other golf clubs in your golf bag will have a decreasing size.
For example, if your driver uses a 44 inches steel shaft, then the shaft of your 5-iron golf club will be 38 inches and that of the sand wedge will be 36 inches.
Alternatively, if you have a standard 45 inches graphite driver, then your 5-iron shaft will size at 38.5 inches and the sand wedge at 36 inches. All these sizes will be an inch lesser for women golfers.
You can also check out for yourself what size will work the best for you.
- Take some tape and cover the grip from the tip to the butt.
- Now, make several markings on the tape at a distance of half an inch from each other.
- Step out to the golf range and start hitting your shots from the different lengths that you have marked. This will help you decide the height you’re comfortable with and what gives you good control.
- Based on this, you may want to adjust your sand wedge and other golf clubs. At this point, do not worry about the distance covered by the shot.
It’s worth noting that the height and weight measurements are only rough estimates to help you judge the appropriate club size. They do not consider several parameters like your swing speed and posture.
If you want to know the exact length that you will need for your driver shaft considering your height, you should avail of the professional club fitting services.
Driver Shaft Length for Short Golfers
The general rule followed is that short golfers play better with short clubs. So, the shaft length adjustment must be carried out considering this height factor.
Another point to be noted is that short golfers of the same height can have different wrist-to-floor measurements. The driver length increases in indirect proportion to the wrist-to-height measurements.
Hence, if the height of a male golfer is 5’2” and he has a 29 inches wrist-to-floor measurement, he will have to lessen the standard 44 inches size of a steel shaft by 1.5 inches.
Most male golfers will feel comfortable using a 42.5 inches long steel shaft. However, if a player of the same height has 34 inches of wrist-to-floor measurement, he can use the standard golf club without any changes.
Alternatively, a 5’2” golfer with 38 inches wrist to floor measurement will have to increase the standard size by 1.5 inches. This means that the ideal shaft length for his driver will be 45.5 inches.
You may also need to make some adjustments to the lie of your driver.
Driver shaft length for 5’5” | 5’6” | 5’7” | 5’8” | 5’9” | 5’10” | 5’11”
Cross-referencing your wrist-to-floor measurement with your height can help you make a fair judgement on the shaft length for your height.
Many brands like Ping use this cross-reference along with a color-coded chart to arrive at the length. Steel shafts are smaller than graphite shafts because of their weight.
With a graphite driver, the extra length helps in balancing the shaft. As a general rule of thumb, you can modify your standard driver shaft length as follows for iron shafts:
- 5’5” – Subtract 1”
- 5’6” – Subtract 1/2”
- 5’7” – Subtract 1/2”
- 5’8” – Subtract 1/2”
- 5’9” – N/A
- 5’10” – N/A
- 5’11” – N/A
There are also instances where 5’5” golfers have reduced the shaft size of their drivers by just 1/2 inch to 44.5” and opted for flattening the lie a little more. Some other golfers of the same height play with the standard 45” long driver at two degrees flat.
Few 5’6” golfers with 32” and 33” wrist-to-floor measurements use 45” and 44.5” drivers respectively.
With that being said, a few golfers who are 5’6” tall who use long 47.5” driver at two degrees flat, prefer standard lengths for all other clubs and wedges.
There are 5’7” tall golf players with long arms and high swing speeds who use flat irons with half an inch cut off from the standard size while there are 5’10” players who opt for 44.25” drivers.
Driver shaft length for 6’ | 6’1” | 6’2” | 6’3” | 6’4”
Standard golf clubs are generally designed keeping in mind golfers of average build with a height between 5’8” inches and 5’9”.
So, it goes without saying that if you’re taller than the average height specified, you may have to do a bit of modification to the shaft length of your driver.
The standard modifications for your standard iron shaft driver will be as follows:
- 6’ – Increase by 1/2”
- 6’1” – Increase by 1/2”
- 6’2” – Increase by 1/2”
- 6’3” – Increase by 1”
- 6’4” – Increase by 1”
Some 6’4” golfers find themselves giving their best performances by increasing the standard driver length by 1.5”.
Also, a few 6’4” players with 38” wrist-to-floor measurement are comfortable with a small 39” driver because they find swing weight important.
There are also slightly taller players at 6’5” who have added just 1” extra to the normal drive length.
Need to cut your golf club? Read my Golf Club Epoxy Guide