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The correct Driver Length


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#1 rkangrah

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 01:30 AM

In  the book "The Search for the Perfect Golf Club" by Tom Wishon, driver length is measured according to Wrist-to-floor.   According to the book, because my Wrist to Floor is 35", my driver length should be 43.5".  

Should I follow this rule?   Has anyone used this rule for your driver length?


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#2 rkangrah

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 04:25 AM

It says in the book that you will actually hit further because you will hit more sweetspots because of the correct length.  

Has anyone gain yardage from using Tom Wishon Club Length chart?

#3 TheDarkOne

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 04:55 AM

Wishon has probably forgot more about golf than I will ever know. That being said, I use a 48 inch driver now when according to him I should be using a 45. The problem for me has been using shorter drivers encourages everything to go way left. The longer drivers give you a little more right from the get go, a natural fade if you will.
I think skill level is the missing component in the above equation. I don't see many of the LD guys using a 43 inch driver.

#4 rkangrah

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 11:52 AM

View PostTheDarkOne, on 20 May 2011 - 04:55 AM, said:

Wishon has probably forgot more about golf than I will ever know. That being said, I use a 48 inch driver now when according to him I should be using a 45. The problem for me has been using shorter drivers encourages everything to go way left. The longer drivers give you a little more right from the get go, a natural fade if you will.
I think skill level is the missing component in the above equation. I don't see many of the LD guys using a 43 inch driver.

Those LD guys are very inaccurate.   Out of six shots, they can only made a one or two good shots. You don't wanna do the same thing when playing 18 holes.   4 OB out of 6 driver shots are too many....

Wishon said the longer your driver shaft is, the harder you hit consistently on the sweetspot.

#5 RJRJRJ

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 12:20 PM

Im 5'7", and I find that even at 44.5 my driver feels too long.  Its tough for me to have a swing with it thats not too flat.  If I try to get steep, ill hit the ground.  Ive got an old rapture v1 that ive been considering taking down to 43.5 to see how I like it.

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#6 HoMStYLz

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 01:59 PM

I'm 5'9 & have always used a shorter driver. Distance was never a problem for me so I always kept a shorter driver for control, until this season I was using a 44" driver but went to 44.5", took a bit to get used to but I'm still hitting fairways. The 45.75" driver length on stock drivers is hurting more than helping IMO. I'd rather hit it 300 in play than 350 out of play.
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#7 nhs99v

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 02:13 PM

View PostRJRJRJ, on 20 May 2011 - 12:20 PM, said:

Im 5'7", and I find that even at 44.5 my driver feels too long.  Its tough for me to have a swing with it thats not too flat.  If I try to get steep, ill hit the ground.  Ive got an old rapture v1 that ive been considering taking down to 43.5 to see how I like it.

Go for it. The simple fact (as stated by Wishon and Ralph Maltby for example) is that the longer it is the harder it is to hit. Get a length where you consistently middle it - the further away from the middle the greater the loss in distance and accuracy. I think there was an interview recently with Bubba Watson, who was asked what the single piece of advice would be that he would give to ordinary/amateur players - "play with shorter drivers" was his answer.

#8 RJRJRJ

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 02:41 PM

View Postnhs99v, on 20 May 2011 - 02:13 PM, said:

View PostRJRJRJ, on 20 May 2011 - 12:20 PM, said:

Im 5'7", and I find that even at 44.5 my driver feels too long.  Its tough for me to have a swing with it thats not too flat.  If I try to get steep, ill hit the ground.  Ive got an old rapture v1 that ive been considering taking down to 43.5 to see how I like it.

Go for it. The simple fact (as stated by Wishon and Ralph Maltby for example) is that the longer it is the harder it is to hit. Get a length where you consistently middle it - the further away from the middle the greater the loss in distance and accuracy. I think there was an interview recently with Bubba Watson, who was asked what the single piece of advice would be that he would give to ordinary/amateur players - "play with shorter drivers" was his answer.

Nice to hear that from Bubba.  Thanks for the response.  It seems with the longer drivers, I cant let my arms hang naturally and I have to change a lot in my posture and arm position (arms end up away from body and hands too high with little angle between wrists and forearms) to gets solid contact without the ground coming into play.
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#9 Mr. Happy

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:17 PM

Check out maltby's fitting guide. It's makes a lot of sense. In fact, he said if any fitter tries to use the wrist to floor measurement....run for the hills. Everyone is different, because of height, posture, swing speed etc. I personally found his fitting book very helpful. Check your local shop like golf galaxy for the book; by the way it's free. Black book red lettering.

#10 Mr. Happy

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:20 PM

By the way, i went and cut my shaft to 44 inches and i still can get it 280 yards. 6ft 210lbs. Go shorter! My friends still don't want to listen, but they will come around.


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#11 nitram

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 07:24 AM

First of all, I am an advocate of shortening the shaft for accuracy sake. I've played 44" drivers for years and I still hit it long enough. But before you go whittling yours down to meet "the rule", please try this: Take some athletic tape or vet wrap and build you a butt end on your grip. Begin at 43.5 and see for yourself how it works and feels for you. Continue to move it forward or backward until you are satisfied with your smash factor, ball flight, distance, and dispersion. I think you'll be surprised with your results.
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#12 jones137

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 07:39 AM

I'm 6'3" with a WTF of 31".....I've got some crazy long arms. 43.5" has always been the length at which I make the most solid contact and get the highest ballspeeds. My ss goes down compared to a 45" driver but I'm hitting the sweetspot more often at 43.5". I think according to Wishon I should be in the 42.5" range.
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#13 Colum

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 07:56 AM

I am told most pros use a driver of 44.5 or less.
I ordered a 44 inch shaft for mine, I am 6 foot tall.
I recently dicovered new 3 wood has same length shaft as my old driver!!!

#14 j-daniel

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 09:46 AM

so if i have a wrist to floor measurement of 33 inches and i am 5 foot 9 nches what according to to wishons ideal lengths should i be using for driver and other clubs.



thanks

#15 williamo

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 09:48 AM

I am 6"1' and I play a Ping G15 at 44,5" but I will order a 45" 910 driver in the next days.


#16 Matthewwildcats12

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 09:52 AM

I'm 6'2 and I play my driver at 44.25.  Feels great.  The added control I get is worth losing 10 yards off the tee for me.

#17 psygolf

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:42 AM

This has never been rocket science boys...you play with the longest you can hit straight.  It is not dictated by a philosophy in anyone's book.

#18 Vindog

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 12:02 PM

It's what you feel comfortable with and what you can hit well, ie in the center.

I mentioned this in another thread, but it seems to be appropriate here too:

I have a 427cc Cobra that I had cut to 43.5 and right after I had it cut I was smashing it, center face every time.  It was my money club for years.  I could even lay off it and hit 170 yd low lay ups.  find the center and you are the clubs master

Then I bought (from a buddy, didn't get fit) a TM tour burner 460cc 45.5".  Almost threw it in the ocean a few times.  Well after a year, I've got a swing grooved down for this length shaft, weight, and head size.  Finding the center of the face regularly and getting great results.  Sometimes it just takes finding the right swing, I guess.

Another note...Frustrated with the club's performance, I took it in to get it cut to a size I was used to.  The tech suggested not to since it was a stiff shaft and cutting 1.5-2" off would make it extra stiff and I wouldn't hit it as well, which made sense...any truth to that?
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#19 the4hornes

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 12:47 PM

I'm 6'2" and my WTF is 37.5". I play my Driver at 44.25 inches, which is what Wishon recommends. I have no desire to try anything longer than 44.25". I feel my distance increased due to on center hits, and I have better control.
Make sure you swingweight it to your liking. Don't just trim the butt end and regrip it.

#20 midweston

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 01:05 PM

View Postthe4hornes, on 09 July 2011 - 12:47 PM, said:

I'm 6'2" and my WTF is 37.5". I play my Driver at 44.25 inches, which is what Wishon recommends. I have no desire to try anything longer than 44.25". I feel my distance increased due to on center hits, and I have better control.
Make sure you swingweight it to your liking. Don't just trim the butt end and regrip it.

I'm right at about that same height, and I swing a stock Fast 10 with a stiff wasabi. What kind of distance losses did you see compared to squaring it with long vs. squaring it with 44.25? I'm just wondering how much distance I will lose by trimming the shaft?


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#21 the4hornes

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 03:52 PM

I don't know if I lost any distance. I've been playing 44.25 for a couple of years and my swing has changed over that time. I do know that I'm more confident and consistent with the 44.25 shaft (and a Wishon 919thi head). My playing partners have a TM R9 and a Cobra driver at 45 or 46 inches (whatever their standard is), I hit it up to or past them most of the time. I doubt very seriously that you will loose any noticeable distance, but you will notice more consistency.

#22 midweston

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:06 PM

thanks for writing back, and also good to know. I looked at the standard specs of the Fast 10, 46.125 inches...good grief. I hit my 43" 3 wood right where I wanted to the other day though when my driver broke.

#23 rhh7

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:17 PM

I have read Wishon's book at least 6 times!  Makes a lot of sense to me.

Based on what I learned from Wishon, I assembled the following driver:

Integra SoooLong 400 cc, 12 degree loft, True Temper Dynamic Gold Shaft, 43 inches long.

I am almost 65 years old, playing for 55 years, a bogey golfer from the blue tees.

Recently I had the longest drive of my life, laser-measured, at 296 yards!

#24 ilikegolf26

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:20 PM

My current driver is 45.75. I would like to play it at 44.5". Would just cutting 1.25" in. off the top of the shaft ruin the club?

#25 keyser

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:25 PM

The smoother your swing, the flater your swing, the later your wrist release, the better you are as a golfer, the longer you can go. If you don't have much lag and/or you have an over the top move, you probably won't see any increase in clubhead speed with a longer driver(because for those swing the head is further away from the spine increasing spine MOI). You'd also be very likely to see less ballspeed on average because of how incredably important it is to hit the sweetspot, and obviously more accurate drives. The average length on tour is about 44 1/2", and those guys have lots of lag and aren't half bad, yet they simply can't handle longer drives(they'd gladly have every extra yard they can get).
Also making the driver shorther, you´ll add weight to the head, increasing MOI. This can add a bit of forgiveness and some get more ballspeed with the shorter driver heavier head combo.
I´m a sceptic so I tried out lots of different lengths with various players on my vector, and to no surprise Wishon is spot on.

Comparing anyone to long drive guys makes no sense at all. Those guys are irratic as heck and they're very rare specimens as far a swing goes. Have all the characteristics to fit a long driver, and work on only the long driver(so they don't have to worry about how that flattening of the swing will affect the whole iron game). Also worth noting is that Sadlowski hit his 29" driver 405y when he put on a show, which was further than he did the next week in the long drive competition, so it doesn't seem even he is gaining that much with the long driver.

Edited by keyser, 09 July 2011 - 05:26 PM.


#26 MadGolfer76

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:30 PM

I went shorter, heavier and softer with good success. Any one of those factors alone would not have been sufficient to achieve the results I enjoy now.
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#27 khoward

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:38 PM

Not to hijack the OP's thread but I have a question for all of those who play your driver at 44.5"?   What is the length of your 3W?

#28 j-daniel

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:54 PM

when making a driver shorter say from going from a 45.5 to say a 44 or 44.5 do you just need to add weight to the head to achieve the same swingweight as before? or what porcesses/step need to happen?



does a shorter driver maybe need a heavier shaft? say going from aa diamana 63 to a 73? or a 70 to a 80? to help increase swingweight?



wishon says i should use somewhere between 43 and 43.5 so going to try and build around 44.25 from using 45" but want to shorten my drivers properly.

#29 the4hornes

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 07:25 PM

If you're making a club shorter, you'll need to add weight to the head (or install a heavier shaft) to keep the same swingweight. I installed a 75gm shaft in my Driver to help get the swingweight where I wanted it, and to help with control. I feel like I can control a heavier shaft (75 -85gm)better that a light shaft(55 - 65gm). I did not have to add any weight in the hosel to achieve a D2 swingweight with the 75gm shaft and 44.25" total length.
My 3wd is 42.5 inches.

#30 keyser

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 03:56 AM

For every inch you cut down the shaft, youll lose 6 swingweight points. To maintain the same swingweight you need to add 12gr. to the head. Try out which swingweight you prefer.


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