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Shorter Shafts??


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I would also be curious to know what your ball flight looks like. I'm 5'5", I play shorter clubs with flatter lie angles. A standard iron, off the rack, is a hook machine for me, even when hit well. Because they are too upright for me, I couldn't dream of hitting a fade. Hitting a straight ball was tough enough, even with a wedge. But when I went to a flat lie angle, the world changed. Again, it's something requiring an experiment and a builder / fitter with bending equipment. I would look at flatter lie angles with at least as much curiosity as length. In my opinion, at least with your irons since impact with the ground is part of the outcome, lie angles are more important than shaft length.

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Complicated question to me although it seems an easy one. My experience over the years has been one of I prefer standard to a little over standard lengths but require flatter lie angles. I use to go off pure wrist to floor measurement/static fitting (told me I needed shorter clubs) but found that my center strikes occurred with a little longer length clubs. Figured out that I stand further from the ball at address position (think single plane / Moe Norman like) and tilt accordingly. That posture for me requires a little longer club lengths (at least for my swing)  and corresponding lie angle tweaks. I am under 5'9. Additionally I counter weight (add weight under grip) my clubs  to ensure I achieve what I like to feel for each club. I have gone through a lot of impact tape to identify where the strikes on the club face occurs and tweak accordingly. And fitting options (places like a Club Champion, etc) are much better today for testing at different lengths. 

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I played with a set of Ping I-5 irons, standard length, green dots for years, even won a league championship with that set of irons.  But, despite how many good days I had with those irons and the achievements I experienced with them, I never felt really good about the way I was striking the ball, because I just couldn't do it as consistently as I wanted to.  Then, I tried something radical.  I shortened the shafts by 1-1/2 inches on the whole set, from the 60 degree wedge all the way down to the 4-iron.  And wow, what a difference it made, almost immediately.  Rather than lose any clubhead speed at all, I actually picked up speed, started striking the ball cleanly and solidly, gaining both distance and accuracy and went from a golfer who was averaging in 85-95 range to someone who was playing consistently in the 75-85 range, primarily because I had a lot more confidence in my ability to strike the ball consistently.  So, based on my own experience with shortening the shafts on a set of Ping irons, I would highly recommend giving it a try, especially if you are struggling with striking the ball cleanly and achieving accuracy at hitting your target.  Keep in mind, you can always add the length back onto the club shafts if it doesn't work out for you, next time you get them regripped!

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I am 5’8” with shorter legs. I have played with 1/2” shorter irons for the past 30 years. Changing to standard lengths would definitely be a challenge. My swing plane has adjusted to this length and would not change. That said, I just added a 2” extension to my Talamonti driver shaft . My swing plain is a little flatter but I have picked up 7-10 yds off the tee. As others have suggested, try choking down 1/2 inch or pull your 7 and 8 iron heads and try your 7 on the 8 iron shaft. 

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I'm 5'9" and my driver is just under 44" and have cut down my other metals and my irons as well - Accuracy has improved across the board and distance loss has been negligible. 


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On 4/26/2020 at 2:05 PM, Pupini said:

Hey guys - 

Considering shortening my golf shafts. I'm short 5'4" and currently use standard length shafts. What would happen to my distance if I shorten the clubs. I am a 12-14 handicapper and hit an 8 iron about 155. I would gladly give up some distance if I would see an increase in accuract (which I expect). I just don't want to lose a full club. My thought is cutting 1/2 inch off. - Thanks.

My guess, take an inch and a half off the butt, you'll hit it straighter and more on the face, likely longer with the contact

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I assume you weren't fit for your driver. I've had many customers 5'4" and I've never sold any of them a "standard" length driver. I'm 6' and use a 44.5". At your height I'd be looking at 1.5"-2" shorter, and when properly fitted, the weighting from the factory is correct. Before cutting your driver, go into a shop where you can hit different length drivers and have each weighed. When you find the length for you, have a club fitter cut it down then add the correct amount of weight for balance. I use lead tape which I can easily add or subtract, placed in the correct areas, to make the club fit correctly.

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I play 1/2" short, 2 flat. I've always wanted to try shorter, but have never committed to that experiment. Fitters that I have worked with have never had any strong recommendations on playing shorter irons or not. Probably need to find a better fitter. 

For reference, I am 5'5" with shoes on, but also have short legs. 

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First the clubs WILL NOT GET FLATTER the lie is dialed in at the hosel.  If you had your clubs adjusted originally to a flatter lie because they are longer then you might have to have them bent more upright, if you shorten them, if you did not, then you might get better ground contact where the heal is not digging, if that is not a problem then your lie is good now, then do not change anything without experimenting by choking up, if you see the toe dragging then you know what adjustment is needed.   Other than that, shorter club could be faster, could have better contact, but I have always gone longer, carried a 52 inch driver until the USGA Nazi's took that away and still carry a 48. but I am back to stock in my irons etc.

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Plus, when I was 5 the first ball I ever hit on a golf course went in the hole, so I have that going for me.

My bag is a mish mash of Srixon drivers, cobra and adams fairways, TA1 irons and Hopkins wedges, plus a Cure putter.  

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My regular golf partner got fitted for new irons over the winter and they were an inch shorter than stock.  I cut down his driver, three wood and hybrids by an inch this spring and he hits his driver and three wood significantly better then he used to and it fixed his slice 

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I have been shortening my Driver shafts from 45+" to 43.5" for years and find more fairways and exact same distance as stock length.

BTW this is same length that Tiger woods played during his prime years.

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58 minutes ago, Tim Bozarth said:

I have been shortening my Driver shafts from 45+" to 43.5" for years and find more fairways and exact same distance as stock length.

BTW this is same length that Tiger woods played during his prime years.

The current model 307cc TaylorMade driver comes standard with a shaft about that long.

It's a fairway finder and long enough from my point of view.

I still bag a driving iron for the really scary tee shots, though.   Better safe than sorry.



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On 5/11/2020 at 8:40 PM, Guest Delete said:

Shortening the shaft will make the lie more upright, lower the swingweight, make the club slightly lighter, and could make it play a fraction stiffer. 

Being short usually means making the lie flatter with standard length clubs.

If you feel you have to make adjustments to get good strikes, have perfect timing, or just feel inconsistent, then getting fitted for shorter shafts may help. 

On good way to know a club is to long is how you stand. If you feel like you have to stand almost straight up and swing out to the ball, only to have the toe of the club sticking up in the air at impact then the clubs are too long.


Also, checking your divot for the heel digging in will show you. The goal is the divot to have the club enter and exit as square as possible. 

This reason you state is why I play mine shorter. My irons are 4 deg flat and naturally with fairway clubs you are stuck with the factory lie unless you shorten the length. It's about the only way I can make up for what I need. Shortening a club "flattens" the lie.

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As someone about your height exactly but with a 6" wingspan over height differential, I can from 35+ years experience tell u:

1. If u find yourself hitting the ball a bit fat more often than thin it wouldn't hurt to find a choke up length that works well across multiple range sessions. Last thing u should worry about it distance. It is insanely overrated to hit an 8 or a 7 iron 3-5 yds shorter or longer. Precisely why u have several irons to choose from in your bag.

IMPORTANT and it will make more difference than most would imagine ....Work in 1/4" or 1/3" rather than 1/2" increments. It correlates better with grooves spacing  and hosel to sweet spot relationshipas well. 

2. If u find a length that coordinates better with your distance from the ball to hands .... your plane will improve naturally. Your contact will improve beyond comprehension compared to now. Your distance likely will imorove as u will gain in smash which improves ball speed ....which also follows from reduced variation of strike ....which begets accuracy and consistency of said accuracy which begets strokes gained frequency which begets workability which begets better recovery shots which begets and u will be-gets PAID when u kick their hindquarters over and again! 


I've NEVER lost yardage from any shorter of irons change in as everything improved instantly after roughly 20 swings.

Conversely though is driver. Up to 45.75" it improves across the board absent a poor shaft/head setup for me. But that surely can vary as I've driven the ball well with 43.75 up to the 45.75 mentioned. And poorly with each if bad setup. I see zero downside here for you! 


Just my 35 cents 


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On 4/26/2020 at 2:05 PM, Pupini said:

Hey guys - 

Considering shortening my golf shafts. I'm short 5'4" and currently use standard length shafts. What would happen to my distance if I shorten the clubs. I am a 12-14 handicapper and hit an 8 iron about 155. I would gladly give up some distance if I would see an increase in accuract (which I expect). I just don't want to lose a full club. My thought is cutting 1/2 inch off. - Thanks.

I'm like you. 5'4". I play my clubs 1/2" short and ALSO have the lie adjusted several degrees flat. You will not see any loss of distance with just 1/2 inch. Now if you take 3-4 inches off, yeah, you'll see about half a club or so. But half an inch will do very little, except make the club marginally easier to play. Getting your lie adjusted is FAR more important. 

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Doesn’t increased control from choking down come from the change in leverage you get from that 1/4-1/2” of grip sticking out? Aside from less distance, that’s the other reason we were told to choke down. Seems like going back to gripping the club at the butt, even if it’s shorter, is not as controllable as choking down. 

Are these steel or graphite? Doesn’t butt trimming make a shaft more flexible? Or is that just steel? Or is that only for taking off an inch?

Looks like I don’t have any answers, just questions. 😋

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Club fitting was the best decision I did. I used to play a 44" driver and I am 6' it was consitent but lost some distance which was okay. I got fitted in August and they set me up with a 45"  driver with the correct shaft, head, loft lie and grip and I gained yardage and am now more consistent than playing my 44" driver. Just my 0.02 cents

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I'm 5.7 and I tested 4 lengths in my driver (43.5 / 44.5 / 45 / 46) and 2 in my irons (standard and half inch shorter). All what I can tell the only and the most important thing is your swing! I have the same distances with all shafts and the same bullshits with all of them for the driver. I chose one of them just for the feeling. For the irons is the same story! Finally I chose to standard length in all my clubs. I change my grips moving from regular size to midsize so I can grip down the clubs when I need and for a better control. My only advice is to use the same lengths in all your clubs and visit a custom fitting centre for a good adjustment of your clubs. And don't forget to take few lessons before custom fitting, you will understand why, don't worry. Good luck!

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