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What length of driver do you use?

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I play mine at 44.75" and choke down 1/4".

 

As for why manufacturers don't sell clubs at shorter lengths to promote accuracy. Accuracy doesn't sell, but distance does. With the heads maxed out as much as they can legally get to at this point, the only way to add distance is to increase shaft length. People go into stores looking for more distance, not more accuracy, so they naturally market to what people want.

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I might add the PGA Tour Driver length is 44.50", that includes Mr. Bubba Watson and he is 6'3" from what I have read. Tiger is 45" (used to play a 43" steel shaft when first on tour), Phil 45" (but has experimented with longer). Maybe they know something that we don't about ball striking and the length of driver they need?

Exactly my thought.

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2) Replace the shaft with something heavier, each 9g of shaft weight adds 1 point. The CG Black has a 39g shaft, so this may be your easiest option. You can get some very good shafts pretty cheap from ebay or Xcaliber.

 

I am using the stiff 47gr shaft now. 39 is the model, not the weight. I would need a nearly 100 gram shaft to stay at D2 with 45".I would imagine that I would be able to feel that change pretty dramatically. Anyway I am still loving this driver so no need for any drastic action.

 

Of the newer drivers it was the Callaway FTiz that really showed me what a 45" shaft could do. I could hit that as far as any 46" shafted driver of the time. Too bad the head fell apart.

 

It's easy to point at the tour guys and say they use 44 or 43 so we should too- but I think that is as wrong as simply saying more length equals more distance. The pros have massive club head speed even at those shorter lengths, they don't need more. They are also routinely hitting the sweet spot and getting near maximum returns from each swing. So with zero worries on ball speed or swing speed of course they focus on control and shorten the length.

 

For us mortals, getting more distance is just as important as the control. In fact most like me would be happy to give up a bit of dispersion to pick up some yards. Moving from 260 averages to 275 averages won't have much impact on a round, but moving from 190 to 215 will mean the difference between breaking 90 or shooting over 100.

 

I would second jmiller065's comment. If you are an amateur, play the longest shaft you can comfortably control and keep in the fairway.

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Two Solitudes: I think our conclusion is the same (play the longest shaft you can control), and I wouldn't advise people to play a club that's unnecessarily short, but don't discount the impact of center-face contact on distance. The math is pretty clear: adding an inch is much less valuable than hitting the center of the face. If distance is at a premium, that means hitting the center of the face is priority #1.

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EDIT Matt beat me to the punch:

Two Solitudes: I think our conclusion is the same (play the longest shaft you can control), and I wouldn't advise people to play a club that's unnecessarily short, but don't discount the impact of center-face contact on distance. The math is pretty clear: adding an inch is much less valuable than hitting the center of the face. If distance is at a premium, that means hitting the center of the face is priority #1.

 

Swing speed does not directly factor into distance. Ball speed is directly related to distance not swing speed, you have to efficiently transfer swing speed into ball speed or more commonly known on a LM as "smash factor".

 

Let me give you a perfect example, all of the 150 mph ball speed would be about a 250 yard carry:

150 mph ball speed / 1.5 smash factor = 100mph swing speed

150 mph ball speed / 1.36 smash factor = 110.29 mph swing speed.

150 mph ball speed / 1.25 smash factor = 120mph swing speed.

 

You are more likely to actually gain distance by playing the longest shaft you can still hit the sweet spot 8 or 9 times out of 10 with and get a 1.47 or higher smash factor.

 

This means for majority of Amateurs including professionals 99% of the time it is going to be in the neighborhood of 44.50" +/- 1", like I was saying we shouldn't play it just because the pros do, we should play what works for us and most likely that is actually going to be "under standard" and not "over standard" in terms of length.

 

I want to add again length is not the only thing that factors into contact and energy transfer, shaft weight does as well. you can have a 44.5" roughly 85g, 75g, 65g, 55g, 45g weights and get different smash factors from them and possibly different swing speeds.

 

In short "longer" and/ or "lighter" only works to your advantage IF AND ONLY IF you can keep a good smash factor.

 

Tour Pros are not immortals they just have proper sequencing in the down swing to build more energy.

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I want to add again length is not the only thing that factors into contact and energy transfer, shaft weight does as well. you can have a 44.5" roughly 85g, 75g, 65g, 55g, 45g weights and get different smash factors from them and possibly different swing speeds.

I did not know that. How does the shaft weight influence the smash factor?

 

Bk

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I have to weigh in (pun intended) on JMiller's remark. I look long and hard at smash factor when picking a driver - I actually find that I hit the ball the fartherest when my swing speed is at 94 with the proper launch angle and spin because that's the speed I can hit the center of the ball most frequently at thereby producing the highest smash factor - there are probably multiple clubhead/shaft/swing weight combinations that could be used to get me there - I'm finding that it's fairly easy for me to keep it there and under control with my current maltby shaft and Adams F11 10.5 loft (1 degree closed) head - I'm starting to get very confident with that club.

 

@ Two Solitudes I feel your pain - it's very scary for me to be competing against guys who hit it 260-270 when I hit it 230-240 - I can tell you that there is a difference between 260 and 275 though - it's the same 15 yards or a club to a club and a half into the green as it would be for the guy looking to go from 190-205.

 

I'd say the difficulty of the longer shaft is that you are most likely going to go 180, 160, 215, 175, 180, 207, 150 than the 180, 190, 185, 190, 195, 185 you'd get with the club you can hit consistently - which club are you longer with?

 

I've had to come to grips with the fact that I don't hit the ball very far for a low handicap golfer and so I've learned how to compenstate by being accurate, consistent and playing position very well - kind of like shooting pool.

 

JMiller is saying it by smash factor I'll do it differently - you need to use the longest club you can that you hit solidly at least 80 percent of the time - it might be a strong 3 wood - it might be that you could find that extra 15 yards with a 12 degree loft and a 45 inch senior shaft - don't leave out any possibility.

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I did not know that. How does the shaft weight influence the smash factor?

 

Bk

 

Feel of the head, I can't feel the head worth nothing on super light weight shafts, more then likely will negatively impact smash factor. I might have a slower swing speed with a 85g but get better feel of the head to make better contact. It is mostly a feel thing honestly, not real scientific on that one. Lighter might be faster SS but again lose feel of the head lose contact ability a little.

 

I personally like a 75g in a driver, I play the lightest weight shaft I ever would in a driver currently at 68g. You have guys on the champions tour playing 85 and 95g shafts in the driver because of feel of the head. I like a 85 or 95g in my fairway metal. I like at least a 85g in my rescue (mine is currently 88g) I might even benefit a little from a 95, 105, or higher in the rescue club as my irons are all 130g. It plays more like an iron then a fairway metal anyways.

 

JMiller is saying it by smash factor I'll do it differently - you need to use the longest club you can that you hit solidly at least 80 percent of the time - it might be a strong 3 wood - it might be that you could find that extra 15 yards with a 12 degree loft and a 45 inch senior shaft - don't leave out any possibility.

 

I was focusing on the OP question of driver shaft length. You have a valid point a 11.5 - 13* fairway metal is a great option for a club off the tee, they are "standard" 43.00" (well depends of course that is my consideration for "standard" anyways). The additional loft and 2" shorter shaft makes them an easier club to hit. A lot am Amateurs could use more loft on their Driver to maximize distance anyways. Regardless yes having a strong 3 wood is a good alternative.

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Feel of the head, I can't feel the head worth nothing on super light weight shafts, more then likely will negatively impact smash factor. I might have a slower swing speed with a 85g but get better feel of the head to make better contact. It is mostly a feel thing honestly, not real scientific on that one. Lighter might be faster SS but again lose feel of the head lose contact ability a little.

 

Got it. It goes back to making the best possible contact....makes sense.

 

I'm with ya on the heavier shafts too. I play an 80g Proto-by-you in my Driver, 3 & 5.

 

BK

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I hit my 13 degree 3 wood as much as I do my driver now, likely more (I know I do at my now reopened home course). I finally found one I love and can pretty much point and shoot with in the original Nike SasQuatch (had one in 13 and 17 a long time ago and sold them. Found one in a bargain bin used, bought it for $25, brought it home and stripped down the skymarked head, sanded it and refinished it in white polymer). I hit that club pretty much anywhere I want 260-265 yards all day long. Now, I find my driver getting less and less use unless it's a long par 4 or par 5. I almost exclusively tee off with the 13 degree 3 wood. I chopped it down to 43.25 inches (1/4" longer than my standard loft 3 wood). It's all about control to me.

 

For those looking for consistency, IMO, I'd much rather a guy give up distance and find the fairway more. Why? Because studies have shown that the average amateur hits the green more often from the short grass. 10 extra yards doesn't really mean much to me, nor most amateurs, IMO, if it's 10 more yards in the rough half of the time. I'm in the controllable length equals more consistency camp. I'd rather a guy consistently hit it 215 and in the fairway than hit is 240 and spray it with a 30 yard dispersion because of a longer shaft. I'd be willing to bet a decent sum of money, as well, that taking the same amateur golfer and having him play all the par 4's and 5's on a given course from 215 yards off the tee in the fairway will score much better than an amateur you take and drop balls all over the place (say 5 of 14 fairways, the rest in the rough and edge of the woods, etc) on the course from 240 yards from the tee. I'll take the wager on the guy playing from 10 of 14 fairways over the guy playing from 5 of 14 fairways all day long.

 

Find a controllable club you can consistently hit the center of the clubface and I'll promise you that you'll score better.

 

Speaking on that, anyone know where I can find a Cleveland HiBore XLS 2 wood? I want to test it against my strong 3.

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Got it. It goes back to making the best possible contact....makes sense.

 

I'm with ya on the heavier shafts too. I play an 80g Proto-by-you in my Driver, 3 & 5.

 

BK

 

Yup exactly, making best possible contact will allow for consistency in both distance and accuracy you know exactly what the ball is going to do every hit from the true sweet spot.

 

I randomly found this article with some stats sorry it is a third party, this targets 0 to 10 handicaps but makes a perfect point that I am getting at in terms of accuracy and distance, they tested a 44.50" against a 45.50" you are going to laugh at how little difference it made in terms of total distance. What shocked me the most was the dispersion numbers. and off target line with the 44.5"

--> http://www.milesofgolf.com/blog/golf-shafts/fitting-a-driver-for-shaft-length/

 

I am not saying that a longer shaft won't work, like I said "longest shaft you can control contact". If you can hit a 48" playing length swing aggressively with it and get 1.47 or higher smash... dang be my guest in playing that sucker more power to you.

 

If you want to experiment and have a shaft you don't care about or a cheap shaft, one time start at a 48" playing length, take 10 shots on a LM and record the details of launch, smash, ball speed, accuracy etc. Take 1/2" off to 47.5" and repeat the process, keep going all the way down to 43". Play the shaft that gives you the best distance and accuracy combination including smash factor. My guess for most people it will be in the 45.50" to 43.50" range with the most common being 45.00" or 44.50". Really if you wanted to you could do 1/4" segments to be more exact but 1/2" normally does the trick.

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A couple of weeks ago, we were playing and one of the guys went over to the bushes to do what guys go over to the bushes to do. (Bird watch?) and he found a White driver head. It was a Orlimar ATS. Anyway, in the bar he said he found it and someone had apparently broken the shaft over their knee and thrown both into the bushes. He said he found "One of those new white drivers" in the woods and asked me if I could fix it up for him. I thought it was a TM but alas it is not.

 

Anyway, his daughter has moved back home for the summer (she is attending grad school) and has started to play golf on Fridays with us. He does not need a different driver, but she is playing with a Ping ISI or something like that. So I had a Fubuki shaft that got broken and I put this together for her, it is 42" driver. She can barely even hit the earth let alone a golf ball, but this should be easier to control. I added a pink grip and touched up the bottom with a bit of pink fingernail polish. So it is white and pink. It looks pretty cool but I will see how it hits tomorrow before I give it to her.

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A couple of weeks ago, we were playing and one of the guys went over to the bushes to do what guys go over to the bushes to do. (Bird watch?) and he found a White driver head. It was a Orlimar ATS. Anyway, in the bar he said he found it and someone had apparently broken the shaft over their knee and thrown both into the bushes. He said he found "One of those new white drivers" in the woods and asked me if I could fix it up for him. I thought it was a TM but alas it is not.

 

Anyway, his daughter has moved back home for the summer (she is attending grad school) and has started to play golf on Fridays with us. He does not need a different driver, but she is playing with a Ping ISI or something like that. So I had a Fubuki shaft that got broken and I put this together for her, it is 42" driver. She can barely even hit the earth let alone a golf ball, but this should be easier to control. I added a pink grip and touched up the bottom with a bit of pink fingernail polish. So it is white and pink. It looks pretty cool but I will see how it hits tomorrow before I give it to her.

 

Any pictures?

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A couple of weeks ago, we were playing and one of the guys went over to the bushes to do what guys go over to the bushes to do. (Bird watch?) and he found a White driver head. It was a Orlimar ATS. Anyway, in the bar he said he found it and someone had apparently broken the shaft over their knee and thrown both into the bushes. He said he found "One of those new white drivers" in the woods and asked me if I could fix it up for him. I thought it was a TM but alas it is not.

 

Anyway, his daughter has moved back home for the summer (she is attending grad school) and has started to play golf on Fridays with us. He does not need a different driver, but she is playing with a Ping ISI or something like that. So I had a Fubuki shaft that got broken and I put this together for her, it is 42" driver. She can barely even hit the earth let alone a golf ball, but this should be easier to control. I added a pink grip and touched up the bottom with a bit of pink fingernail polish. So it is white and pink. It looks pretty cool but I will see how it hits tomorrow before I give it to her.

 

OT: I didn't know where the heck this story was going after the first line, sitting here thinking about the show 1000 ways to die.

 

You might end up hitting the 42" driver straight down the fairway and not want to give away the club..

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Any pictures?

 

You asked for it.

orlimar dts.jpg

 

orlimar grip.jpg

 

 

Confession time. I have not actually done the bottom with fingernail polish yet. Since I have not asked Larry about this, I decided not to paint it, however, here is what I did to my old FT9 that my wife uses now.

 

Orlimar sole.jpg

 

Got a little carried away and did the face. Please not the ball mark slightly towards the heel. She has played four rounds with it but the nail polish is still there.

ft9 face.jpg

 

 

This was an iMix adaptor that the rubber ferrule was melted so I put a pink stripe instead. Of course, women only see pink and that makes it look ok. I could start another post about women and golf, but why bother. They will not listen.

 

ft9 head.jpg

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You asked for it.

orlimar dts.jpg

 

orlimar grip.jpg

 

 

Confession time. I have not actually done the bottom with fingernail polish yet. Since I have not asked Larry about this, I decided not to paint it, however, here is what I did to my old FT9 that my wife uses now.

 

Orlimar sole.jpg

 

Got a little carried away and did the face. Please not the ball mark slightly towards the heel. She has played four rounds with it but the nail polish is still there.

ft9 face.jpg

 

 

This was an iMix adaptor that the rubber ferrule was melted so I put a pink stripe instead. Of course, women only see pink and that makes it look ok. I could start another post about women and golf, but why bother. They will not listen.

 

ft9 head.jpg

 

Looks great so far. I like the pink on the Ft-9 too. If you go ahead and paint the bottom of the Orlimar post another pic!

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Where was that Fubuki broken? Hopefully the butt as if it's the tip section it may be too stiff for her.

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Where was that Fubuki broken? Hopefully the butt as if it's the tip section it may be too stiff for her.

 

 

Nope, it was the tip and I am sure it will be too stiff for her in the traditional sense, but at this point, it does not matter what her swing speed is, because it is either over the ball, or into the ground 2 inches behind the ball. Swing speed only matters when it contacts the ball.

 

However, part of the reason I have yet to paint the bottom is that her dad my fall in love with the shorter shaft. Eventhough I do not think he will hit it further than he currently hits his. I bought him a Nickent 5DX with a 12.5* head and an A flex Proforce V2 shaft. He is not a club ho. And the only reason he has the drive he has now is because I got tired of hearing him complain that he could not hit a driver. So I replaced his Ping TiSi Stiff shaft that he had with this one last year. And now it shows up in his daughters bag. His irons are Ping Zing 2 and he has them because his wife sent a friend of his to get him a set of golf clubs for his birthday in 1994. So he has golf clubs and does not need any new ones.

 

So while this shaft may not be the best one for her, it is a damned sight better than what she will get looking at his cast offs. Which are mostly from the early 90's.

 

Oh, his 3 wood is a Callaway Hawkeye that he took from my bag several years ago when I said that my new 3 wood was supposed to be delivered that day, and he said so you don't need this one anymore. This was not a big deal because I was winning at least $40 a weekend from him. Now though, we use a quota system and I do not win everytime.

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I'd say the difficulty of the longer shaft is that you are most likely going to go 180, 160, 215, 175, 180, 207, 150 than the 180, 190, 185, 190, 195, 185 you'd get with the club you can hit consistently - which club are you longer with?

 

Once this starts happening you have gone to far.

 

But lets say at 44 you are (180, 190, 185, 190, 195, 185) and at 45.5 you are (180, 210, 195, 200, 230, 220). That trade off I will take. For me as soon as I get over 46 my numbers go more like (180, 160, 225, 175, 180, 235, 150) and that I won't take.

 

I do think the 260-275 is less important than 190-210, for the simple fact that at 190 or below you are looking at a long wood shot on almost every par 4. The percentage on that is low. While if you are 260 or even 220 your chances of looking at an iron shot are pretty good- much higher percentage, much better chance at scoring. Moving up to 275 gives you an even shorter iron shot, but for most I think the different between going for the green with a 5 wood or a 5 iron is far far greater than moving from a 8 iron to a 9 iron. Its the difference of treating the hole like a par 5 or actually having an opportunity to make a birdie. Does that make sense?

 

Good discussion!

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