Length Relates to Distance and Accuracy
Our fitting philosophy has always been to have our golfers play the longest, lightest, softest flex shaft that they can control. This is especially true in fitting longer clubs like drivers for golfers looking for more distance. No matter what our golfers say in our interview process about hitting straighter, more consistent shots, they want more distance!
But does it always work? We know from actual launch monitor testing that what you may gain in distance, you can sometimes lose in accuracy and consistency. Perhaps that is why the average driver length on the PGA Tour is 44.5″. Geoff Ogilvy plays an 85 gram Aldila VooDoo shaft at 44.5″, but he still hits it 290 yards!
There is no doubt that most golf equipment manufacturers are trying to get more distance by putting light weight shafts (45 to 55 grams) and lighter weight heads in their drivers and going to lengths of 46″ to 46.5″. Why? The longer length increases club head speed and, if you hit the ball on the sweet spot, also increases ball speed. We have had several golfers try longer driver shafts, up to 48″, and increase distance up to 50 yards! So, should you try a longer shaft to get more distance? Here are my rules of thumb for longer shafts:
1. If you are a good driver, meaning consistent contact and usually straight off the tee, try adding length…up to 1″ or more.
2. If you add length, you need to use a lighter shaft and potentially a lighter weight or adjustable weight head in order to maintain feel, swing weight and control.
3. As the shaft length gets longer, the butt stiffness must increase to maintain feel and ability to square the club face at impact.
4. If the swing weight of the club gets too heavy, try counter balancing with weight in the butt of the club. Be careful as too much counterbalance weight will cause the overall weight of the club to feel too heavy.
5. If you have a very fast tempo, longer may not be better as you may lose control and distance.
If you think you would like to try a longer driver, give us a call and we can discuss the options with you. If you have not been through a driver fitting, take advantage of the special below and we will show you how YOU can get more distance AND accuracy out of your driver.