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So, I'm positive there's other threads on this subject. Lets start a new one! for those of us chasing distance off the tee, what are your thoughts on the idea that a shorter shaft that produces a faster swing speed should produce better distance. yes? Weighting being adjusted in the head of course. Advice?

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I'd say that if you get faster club head speed with a shorter shaft then you should also hit center face more often, so win win. 

 

All things equal, faster club head speed should create more ball speed. But faster club head that you cannot hit in the center probably costs more distance. 

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3 hours ago, Rflores91 said:

So, I'm positive there's other threads on this subject. Lets start a new one! for those of us chasing distance off the tee, what are your thoughts on the idea that a shorter shaft that produces a faster swing speed should produce better distance. yes? Weighting being adjusted in the head of course. Advice?

Generally a shorter shaft will have less swing speed than a longer shaft.   Now the fact that it may lead to better control and center face contact, could show an increase in distance. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

Generally a shorter shaft will have less swing speed than a longer shaft.   Now the fact that it may lead to better control and center face contact, could show an increase in distance. 

 

Exactly. Better contact this raising ball speed and efficiency will improve launch numbers and distance. 

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Definitely been discussed elsewhere but it's never a topic that grows old. There are quite a few schools of thought and retails that need to be understood before deciding to lop off 1-3" from the end of the driver.

I've done the shorter shaft 44" and it didn't work out for ME.

From what my understanding is/was regarding the shorter shaft, wasn't that it leads to more distance so much as better dispersion and control BUT not a loss of any or much distance.

A longer or standard length shaft should better aid the load, release, and whip that really is the key to higher swing speed. Additionally there are the shaft characteristics that have a million variables.. i.e. tip, mid, butt stiffness, torque, materials, load, weight, flex, etc, etc, etc.

The misunderstanding is that reducing the overall driver weight will help increase swing speed. Swing speed is measured at the head end of the club at or near impact. It might help increase handle speed which is generated by ones personal strength but what's happening at the end where the club head is would actually be losing additional load/release characteristics.

Finally there's swing weight debacle. Standard is D2-D4. Heavier is ok, too light becomes a big problem. Swing weight is the weight that really defines how the club head is felt through the swing. If you lighten the club enough to reduce the swing weight (doesn't take much at all) and you'll completely lose the natural feeling of the driver as a club. You don't want to lose the feel of the club head.

Rickie Fowler plays a 43.5" driver.. but he's also 5'9" so a shorter driver might scale to him a bit better. Additionally, he has a team of wizards at his beckoning command who know how to correctly add head weight to get his SW back to his specs. If you do decide to cut the shaft, make sure you have a professional do it. A, one who knows what end is best to cut from for you, and B, how to correctly add back the head weight as to not lose CG and MOI characteristics of the club head and how it was designed.

Bottom line is that if you can effectively control a longer club, keep it that way. You are getting the fastest club speed available. OEMs are designing their clubs at 44.5" - 46" for a reason and that's maximum club head speed/distance possibilities.

the more I practice, the luckier I seem to get..

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I cut my G400 max down to 44.25 from 45.75. I experimented by choking down to see what might work best. I figured the worst case was to just add an extension if it didn’t work. I cut it down myself and didn’t add any weight to bring back the S.W. to the original. I could always buy a heavier weight to replace then current weight.

Results: I hit the center more, better dispersion, no lost distance and the club feels fine.

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13 minutes ago, azstu324 said:

Definitely been discussed elsewhere but it's never a topic that grows old. There are quite a few schools of thought and retails that need to be understood before deciding to lop off 1-3" 
From what my understanding is/was regarding the shorter shaft, wasn't that it leads to more distance so much as better dispersion and control BUT not a loss of any or much distance.

A longer or standard length shaft should better aid the load, release, and whip that really is the key to higher swing speed. Additionally there are the shaft characteristics that have a million variables.. i.e. tip, mid, butt stiffness, torque, materials, load, weight, flex, etc, etc, etc.

Bottom line is that if you can effectively control a longer club, keep it that way. You are getting the fastest club speed available. OEMs are designing their clubs at 44.5" - 46" for a reason and that's maximum club head speed/distance possibilities.

 

... azstu mi amigo, this has been a pet peeve of mine ever since my teaching days. I'll start by saying OEM's offer drivers with longer shafts so robots can hit them farther and they can claim they are the longest. I have posted this many times but an additional 1" will certainly gain a few yards if struck in the center, but for every 1/4" you miss the center you lose 5 to 7 yards. In practical terms that means if you add 1" to the length of your driver and hit it perfectly you will gain maybe 10-15 yards. But missing the center by 1", and we all have hit it an inch or more toward the toe or heel, you can lose 20-28 yards! Keep in mind even the best drivers on tour still miss the center and Am's miss the center with regularity. So for the vast majority of players, a shorter shaft will be straighter but also consistently longer than a shaft at 45.5" or longer and most OEMs are at 45.75 and that is just way too long for the majority of people that play golf. 

... Many also find they swing a shorter shaft faster as well. Remember persimmon driver were 43" long. Why didn't they make them longer? Because missing the center of a persimmon driver lost even more distance (and direction) than todays bigger, more forgiving drivers. I would also add that some get fitted or use a LM and find they hit a longer shafted driver farther. Standing in one spot and grooving a swing is quite different than playing a hole and only hitting their driver once, or twice if the first is OB. Add to that it doesn't matter where the ball goes in a fitting or on a LM so there is a freedom to your swing but standing on the tee with bunkers, water, trees, fences and OB certainly can change anyone's freedom swinging a driver. 

... Of course there are stronger, bigger/taller players that can effectively swing a 45.5" driver and hit the center as much as a shorter driver and reap the reward of longer drives.. There have also been distance challenged seniors and women that have played a longer driver (up to 48") and swinging with a smooth controlled swing, they too hit the center and hit it longer. But they are the exception. We all different and have to find what works best for our individual ability and skill, but if most of the best players in the world are using drivers 45" and shorter, why would an Am play one longer? I have had many conversations with VP's of Engineering or just the guys doing the work in the field testing players and every single one of them think 45.5" is too long for the majority of people playing golf. I complained in my reviews for years that stock drivers were too long and I don't wanna give myself callouses patting myself on the back but 3 years ago the VP off Engineering for Cobra greeted me at the PGA Show with "Sam, you are gonna be happy this year. We are offering a 44.5" Tour Length Driver!"  

From Tom Wishon:

It’s time to be blunt.  The standard driver length of 45.5 to 46.5 inches offered by the majority of golf club companies is too long for the majority of golfers and will prevent at least 80% of all golfers from achieving their maximum potential for distance and accuracy.  For men with an average to fast tempo who have an outside/in swing path, 44” should be the absolute maximum length; for women, 42.5” to 43” should be the limit.  There’s a very good reason the average driver length on the US PGA Tour since 2005 has been 44.5” and not 45.5” to 46.5”.

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Like others have said this does come up a lot. I have tried all lengths from 43.5" to standard 45.5". As a short man (5'7") I have found that reducing the length to 44.25" (this seems to be my sweet spot) and going with a lighter 50g shaft, I not only hit the sweet spot more I also kept my swing speed the same. I also added weight to the head until I consistently hit the sweet spot. For me this all adds up to more yards with better consistency. Best of both worlds.

Sent from my Moto Z3 Play using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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... azstu mi amigo, this has been a pet peeve of mine ever since my teaching days. I'll start by saying OEM's offer drivers with longer shafts so robots can hit them farther and they can claim they are the longest. I have posted this many times but an additional 1" will certainly gain a few yards if struck in the center, but for every 1/4" you miss the center you lose 5 to 7 yards. In practical terms that means if you add 1" to the length of your driver and hit it perfectly you will gain maybe 10-15 yards. But missing the center by 1", and we all have hit it an inch or more toward the toe or heel, you can lose 20-28 yards! Keep in mind even the best drivers on tour still miss the center and Am's miss the center with regularity. So for the vast majority of players, a shorter shaft will be straighter but also consistently longer than a shaft at 45.5" or longer and most OEMs are at 45.75 and that is just way too long for the majority of people that play golf. 

... Many also find they swing a shorter shaft faster as well. Remember persimmon driver were 43" long. Why didn't they make them longer? Because missing the center of a persimmon driver lost even more distance (and direction) than todays bigger, more forgiving drivers. I would also add that some get fitted or use a LM and find they hit a longer shafted driver farther. Standing in one spot and grooving a swing is quite different than playing a hole and only hitting their driver once, or twice if the first is OB. Add to that it doesn't matter where the ball goes in a fitting or on a LM so there is a freedom to your swing but standing on the tee with bunkers, water, trees, fences and OB certainly can change anyone's freedom swinging a driver. 

... Of course there are stronger, bigger/taller players that can effectively swing a 45.5" driver and hit the center as much as a shorter driver and reap the reward of longer drives.. There have also been distance challenged seniors and women that have played a longer driver (up to 48") and swinging with a smooth controlled swing, they too hit the center and hit it longer. But they are the exception. We all different and have to find what works best for our individual ability and skill, but if most of the best players in the world are using drivers 45" and shorter, why would an Am play one longer? I have had many conversations with VP's of Engineering or just the guys doing the work in the field testing players and every single one of them think 45.5" is too long for the majority of people playing golf. I complained in my reviews for years that stock drivers were too long and I don't wanna give myself callouses patting myself on the back but 3 years ago the VP off Engineering for Cobra greeted me at the PGA Show with "Sam, you are gonna be happy this year. We are offering a 44.5" Tour Length Driver!"  

From Tom Wishon:

It’s time to be blunt.  The standard driver length of 45.5 to 46.5 inches offered by the majority of golf club companies is too long for the majority of golfers and will prevent at least 80% of all golfers from achieving their maximum potential for distance and accuracy.  For men with an average to fast tempo who have an outside/in swing path, 44” should be the absolute maximum length; for women, 42.5” to 43” should be the limit.  There’s a very good reason the average driver length on the US PGA Tour since 2005 has been 44.5” and not 45.5” to 46.5”.
Chisag I don't see that my post argued with what you said in any way. It was just worded differently. The overall intention of my post was to suggest some definite research and understanding of why a shorter shaft may or may not improve ones game. I re read my post and don't feel that my tone was all that negative towards shortening the shaft, so much as it was to throw caution if deciding to go down that path.

It is a definite fact that it works great for some and not for others. But many that it didn't work well for may have done it incorrectly and missed the benefit due to incorrectly going about it. And, if one has the ability to consistently hit the center on a longer shaft vs a shorter shaft, there is distance to be gained. We both stated that. I think that we can also both agree that it's a serious modification. I ended up having to trash a nice Aldila Rogue Green due to this not working out.

When I played the shorter shaft, I was strictly doing it to find more distance. My consistency finding the sweet spot was fine so I wasn't looking for more control. After cutting down the shaft and getting the SW back to D3, while I was finding the middle of the face just as often, my swing speed actually reduced by 3 mph and I lost a good 10 - 15 yds. As soon as I went back to my original 45.5" everything came right back. I then realized that my mechanics needed work and learned how to gain an additional 3 mph just by correcting my swing.

I guess the final question that goes right along with Wishon's comment is "how tall is the average golfer"? I'm 6'3" so a 45.5" driver in scale is not beyond my ability to effectively and consistently control.

the more I practice, the luckier I seem to get..

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If you're 6'3", I'd be pretty surprised if you weren't fit into clubs longer than standard.  So knocking 1.5" off your driver would be difficult for you.  If nothing else, I'd think that you would need a more upright lie angle if you were going to go shorter.  Being 5'10", choking up an inch on my driver doesn't really impact me negatively, but I'm closer to what they're building stock models for.

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5 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

If you're 6'3", I'd be pretty surprised if you weren't fit into clubs longer than standard.  So knocking 1.5" off your driver would be difficult for you.  If nothing else, I'd think that you would need a more upright lie angle if you were going to go shorter.  Being 5'10", choking up an inch on my driver doesn't really impact me negatively, but I'm closer to what they're building stock models for.

Height means nothing when getting fit into clubs. @Golfspy_CG2 who is taller than 6’3” was fit into Titleist irons using their standard length. 

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3 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Height means nothing when getting fit into clubs. @Golfspy_CG2 who is taller than 6’3” was fit into Titleist irons using their standard length. 

And we actually flirted with 1/4 SHORT 😳

And No, I don't have arms the length of a gorilla 🤪.  It was all about my position at impact.   

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Chisag hit on most points i'd have made. I don't cut my shafts although I've considered it a few times. My natural position with my left hand on a driver or any club is about 3/4" - 1" from the butt. And like Chisag said.... we used to all play drivers at 43" back when they were made from trees. But the heads were also about the size of a modern day 4 wood. LOL

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was recently suggested that I cut 3/4 to 1 inch off my driver shaft; he *strongly* advised that I cut from the butt end vs the tip.... 

cutting from the tip changes the properties of the shaft much more than the butt end.... and it's a lot easier to pull the grip than it is to remove a proprietary driver head tip.  

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39 minutes ago, GolfSpy Stroker said:

was recently suggested that I cut 3/4 to 1 inch off my driver shaft; he *strongly* advised that I cut from the butt end vs the tip.... 

cutting from the tip changes the properties of the shaft much more than the butt end.... and it's a lot easier to pull the grip than it is to remove a proprietary driver head tip.  

There are also a lot of shafts that are butt trim only, so it might be a manufacturer's spec vs. advice. 

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21 hours ago, chisag said:

 

... azstu mi amigo, this has been a pet peeve of mine ever since my teaching days. I'll start by saying OEM's offer drivers with longer shafts so robots can hit them farther and they can claim they are the longest. I have posted this many times but an additional 1" will certainly gain a few yards if struck in the center, but for every 1/4" you miss the center you lose 5 to 7 yards. In practical terms that means if you add 1" to the length of your driver and hit it perfectly you will gain maybe 10-15 yards. But missing the center by 1", and we all have hit it an inch or more toward the toe or heel, you can lose 20-28 yards! Keep in mind even the best drivers on tour still miss the center and Am's miss the center with regularity. So for the vast majority of players, a shorter shaft will be straighter but also consistently longer than a shaft at 45.5" or longer and most OEMs are at 45.75 and that is just way too long for the majority of people that play golf. 

... Many also find they swing a shorter shaft faster as well. Remember persimmon driver were 43" long. Why didn't they make them longer? Because missing the center of a persimmon driver lost even more distance (and direction) than todays bigger, more forgiving drivers. I would also add that some get fitted or use a LM and find they hit a longer shafted driver farther. Standing in one spot and grooving a swing is quite different than playing a hole and only hitting their driver once, or twice if the first is OB. Add to that it doesn't matter where the ball goes in a fitting or on a LM so there is a freedom to your swing but standing on the tee with bunkers, water, trees, fences and OB certainly can change anyone's freedom swinging a driver. 

... Of course there are stronger, bigger/taller players that can effectively swing a 45.5" driver and hit the center as much as a shorter driver and reap the reward of longer drives.. There have also been distance challenged seniors and women that have played a longer driver (up to 48") and swinging with a smooth controlled swing, they too hit the center and hit it longer. But they are the exception. We all different and have to find what works best for our individual ability and skill, but if most of the best players in the world are using drivers 45" and shorter, why would an Am play one longer? I have had many conversations with VP's of Engineering or just the guys doing the work in the field testing players and every single one of them think 45.5" is too long for the majority of people playing golf. I complained in my reviews for years that stock drivers were too long and I don't wanna give myself callouses patting myself on the back but 3 years ago the VP off Engineering for Cobra greeted me at the PGA Show with "Sam, you are gonna be happy this year. We are offering a 44.5" Tour Length Driver!"  

From Tom Wishon:

It’s time to be blunt.  The standard driver length of 45.5 to 46.5 inches offered by the majority of golf club companies is too long for the majority of golfers and will prevent at least 80% of all golfers from achieving their maximum potential for distance and accuracy.  For men with an average to fast tempo who have an outside/in swing path, 44” should be the absolute maximum length; for women, 42.5” to 43” should be the limit.  There’s a very good reason the average driver length on the US PGA Tour since 2005 has been 44.5” and not 45.5” to 46.5”.

 

Thanks guys for all the great advice!!

I did forget to mention I am a short guy, so a shorter driver just feels more natural. I choked down 4 inches on a new standard length driver and Hammered it. Thats pretty much what got me thinking about this whole question. As well as recently giving my 11 year old daughter an old driver I cut down for my son to 42"!  As I was giving her some tips I swung the club and it felt so effortless and comfortable. Her swing coach swung it as well to show her a proper finish (he's 6'4") and striped a laser ball until it disappeared into the clouds. I'm gonna do some tinkering and report back.

Thanks again Gents! Cheers.  

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This is one of the very few matters where Chisag and I disagree.  It's not that I disagree that a shorter shaft on driver will benefit people it's that I disagree with the general or absolute statement that it will benefit all people. 

The very simple answer to this question is go to a fitter and see what he or she recommends for your swing.  Shortening the shaft could be great for you - it's not for me - the last three fittings that I have been to have fit me for 45.25 to 45.5.  And I'm average height.

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44 minutes ago, revkev said:

This is one of the very few matters where Chisag and I disagree.  It's not that I disagree that a shorter shaft on driver will benefit people it's that I disagree with the general or absolute statement that it will benefit all people. 

The very simple answer to this question is go to a fitter and see what he or she recommends for your swing.  Shortening the shaft could be great for you - it's not for me - the last three fittings that I have been to have fit me for 45.25 to 45.5.  And I'm average height.

 

... Rev, while I do think everyone should at least demo a shorter driver on a golf course to see if they hit it straighter and farther. I also think if you are inclined to think a longer shaft might give you more length with near the same accuracy, you should demo a longer driver on a course too. So even though we may lean in opposite directions, we agree it is not an absolute. As I said earlier:

Of course there are stronger, bigger/taller players that can effectively swing a 45.5" driver and hit the center as much as a shorter driver and reap the reward of longer drives.. There have also been distance challenged seniors and women that have played a longer driver (up to 48") and swinging with a smooth controlled swing, they too hit the center and hit it longer. But they are the exception. We all different and have to find what works best for our individual ability and skill

... I also failed to mention there is a mental aspect to anything related to golf and equipment. If you truly believe you will hit it farther with a longer shaft, then there is at least a good possibility that you will. I hope it doesn't seem like I am against anyone using a longer shaft in their driver, because like all equipment I think everyone should find what works best for their swing. And yes, for some that will mean longer than 44.5 - 45". I just know from teaching and watching Am's for many years as well as talking with engineers that design clubs,  the overwhelming majority will do better with less than 45.75" shafts that most OEMs have as their stock length. 


 

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Swing fast not hard. Lots of good points here and a few that are a bit misleading. This discussion truly illustrates why getting fitted is important.


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