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Driver (shafts) are sold to promote Distance, Not Accuracy


Chuck Volpe

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I find it interesting that many golfers say the worst club in their bag is the driver. Sure it’s the longest club in the bag and therefore hardest to hit. But, I feel that manufacturers making the shafts a lot longer than they should be has led to much of the struggle many golfers experience with the driver. Most pros are playing their driver shaft length under 45 inches. For instance, Rory cut his driver at the beginning of the season to 44 inches and has been playing great with it. A number of other pros even play it at 43.75 inches. Yet, Most drivers are sold with 45-45.75 inch shafts. 2 inches longer than some pros play. I feel manufacturers would be doing a better service to the customers by not selling the 1/5 max distance shot build and instead providing a more consistent shaft length to promote better striking/accuracy. Just my 2 cents 

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23 minutes ago, Chuck Volpe said:

I find it interesting that many golfers say the worst club in their bag is the driver. Sure it’s the longest club in the bag and therefore hardest to hit. But, I feel that manufacturers making the shafts a lot longer than they should be has led to much of the struggle many golfers experience with the driver. Most pros are playing their driver shaft length under 45 inches. For instance, Rory cut his driver at the beginning of the season to 44 inches and has been playing great with it. A number of other pros even play it at 43.75 inches. Yet, Most drivers are sold with 45-45.75 inch shafts. 2 inches longer than some pros play. I feel manufacturers would be doing a better service to the customers by not selling the 1/5 max distance shot build and instead providing a more consistent shaft length to promote better striking/accuracy. Just my 2 cents 

I agree wholeheartedly.  For years they have been lengthening driver shafts so on your best hit, the ball goes 5-10 yards further.  I remember around 1980 when the shaft length on drivers went from 43 to 43.5 inches.  Jack Nicklaus played his at 42 or 42.5 inches.  I learned at that time that I could hit it more in the short grass by shortening mine back to 43 inches as well.

Today, i play a TM 300 mini driver for that same reason.  Yes, I lose a little distance but, can hit 60-70% of the fairways.  The TM 300 not only has a smaller head but a 3 wood  length shaft.  When I was fitted with my current set of irons, I was also fitted with drivers as well.  After twenty different shafts in 5-7 different heads, the fitter said, you hit your 300 more accurate even though maybe 10 yards shorter.  So, I did not change.

I now wonder whether or not, the new driver heads truly are longer.  I would like to put a three wood shaft into the new heads just to see.

Any one else have any ideas or experience here?

Edited by RwsGolf1

A former plus handicapper who must settle for mid 70s to mid 80 scores today.  After taking 10 years off due to back issues, my driver length has decreased by 40 yards on average.  I look forward to any training aids, shaft improvements, club enhancements to get back part of what was lost.

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Here is my opinion.   

Manufacturers are catering to what the majority of golfers want; which is more distance.  This is partially obtained by maximum length drivers.   The problem isn't the driver but the fact that most golfers don't evaluate clubs to determine what they hit best and just walk into a store and buy a club.   No matter the length the driver will be the hardest club in the bag to hit.   

Educated golfers identify the balance of distance and accuracy that they want,  they look at how long of a shaft helps them hit the center of the club face,  what shaft profile helps deliver the club consistently, what weight the driver needs to be,  etc.   This is the same thing for every club in the bag.  

Addressing the question of are drivers longer?   Based on my testing, I'd say yes;  just look at ball speed retention on off center hits.   

The problem isn't the driver or the shaft; it's the golfer.  

 

Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15*  w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 915H 21* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype        
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :titleist-small: 54/12D, 60/8M w/:Accra iWedge 90 Graphite
Putter:   Sacks Parente MC 3 Stripe

Backup Putters:  :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, :seemore-small: mFGP2, :cameron-small: Futura 5W, :taylormade-small:TM-180

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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Most golfers don’t get fit, almost all golfers want the ball to go far, most golfers are high handicaps and it’s not because the length of the driver. 
 

Any product is marketed to either what the consumer wants. Golfers more distance. Longer shafts, lower spinning heads. Balls that are designed to go straighter. Or companies tell consumers what they need ie new cell phones, in the past iPods, etc.

 

 

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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I typically play a “standard” length driver (45.75). The First time I ever played a shorter driver was in the Mizuno long game test. I haven’t noticed an incredible increase in accuracy with only a 3/4” length difference. But I have noticed a 5-15 yard loss in distance (depending on the settings of each club). In my opinion, at my swing speed/distance it’s not worth going down to 43-44” on the driver as I’d likely hit my 3-wood just as far and consistent. As @cnosil said it’s the golfer. I think more amateurs would benefit from practice time with the big stick to become more consistent with centered strikes with the longer club.

Current WITB:

Driver:                      image.png.ad4d66f798557c86ee934344d1a24ed2.png       Paradym 10.5 Ventus Black 6S

Fairway:                   image.png.3077938d887c52577470dba42554f0aa.png     ST-Z 230 3-Wood (15°) HZRDUS Smoke Black 6.0 60 Official Test

Hybrid:                    image.png.a874a9a429fd132acae64968308d6a89.png     ST-Z 230 Hybrid (19°) Ventus Blue HB-8 Official Test

Irons:                       image.png.a874a9a429fd132acae64968308d6a89.png     MP-18 MMC (4-9)

Wedges:     image.png.8641af187e8958a5ff8c3c2146b1fc7c.png  Vokey SM8 (46.10F, 50.12F, 54.14F, 58.12D)

Putter:                image.png.a85c45cc6c173613e90f345a17c689b4.png      Select Squareback 2 34.5 Ping Corded 88G PP58 grip double taped

Ball:                       image.png.c4e52864bdd9535caa79ae03a9376870.png        Pro-V1 (currently testing the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS Triple Track)

 

Reviews:

2023 Red Rooster Sussex Glove Official Forum Test

2023 Mizuno Long Game Official Forum Test

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12 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Most golfers don’t get fit, almost all golfers want the ball to go far, most golfers are high handicaps and it’s not because the length of the driver. 
 

Any product is marketed to either what the consumer wants. Golfers more distance. Longer shafts, lower spinning heads. Balls that are designed to go straighter. Or companies tell consumers what they need ie new cell phones, in the past iPods, etc.

 

 

THIS. Most golfers don't go through a proper fitting. This should be step 1 when evaluating your bag. They would help players find the best of both worlds and could eliminate some of the marketing effects. 

:callaway-small:Driver: Paradym Triple Diamond

:taylormade-small:3 Wood: Stealth Plus

:taylormade-small:Hybrid: Stealth Plus 

:srixon-small:Irons: Srixon ZX7

:taylormade-small:Wedges: MG2 50* MG3 54* and SM9 58* M Grind

:EVNROLL:Putter: Evnroll EV5

:titleist-small: GolfBall: 2023 ProV1

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  • 2 months later...

For me, my driver is the best club in my bag next to my putter. My Ping G430 SFT driver is finds close to 70% of fairways and when I do miss it is not by much. I play the stock CB Alta shaft in regular flex, with the remaining clubs, all Ping G425 fairways and irons. also in the Alta CB, stiff, shafts. Can I demo or check other shafts, sure, but why change what is working for me.

Driver: Ping G430 SFT 10.5

Fairway Woods: Ping SFT G425 3-5-7

Irons;    Ping 425 4-LW

Putter:  Ping Sigma2 Anser Platinum

             Odyssey Tour#1 White Hot 

Ball:      Titleist Tour Speed

Bag:      Titleist

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I tend to agree.  When Callaway fitted me a month ago, they recommended the HZRDOUS Black 60.  Although I only have played 4-5 times with it, the fairway is only missed if I make a pretty bad swing.

A former plus handicapper who must settle for mid 70s to mid 80 scores today.  After taking 10 years off due to back issues, my driver length has decreased by 40 yards on average.  I look forward to any training aids, shaft improvements, club enhancements to get back part of what was lost.

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Does anyone know, from a pure science/physics aspect, how much club head speed is generated by extending the lever by 1/2 inch at a time?

I.E. how much club head speed can a 43" driver generate vs. 43.5" vs. 44" vs. 44.5", etc. taking the human factor out of the swing?

Are these numbers known from something like Iron Byron?

After retiring from the PGA of America, I did some demo days and club fitting for TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist, Ping, Cobra, Srixon and Mizuno.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, ShimmyCocoBop said:

Does anyone know, from a pure science/physics aspect, how much club head speed is generated by extending the lever by 1/2 inch at a time?

I.E. how much club head speed can a 43" driver generate vs. 43.5" vs. 44" vs. 44.5", etc. taking the human factor out of the swing?

Are these numbers known from something like Iron Byron?

I know it's out there l, but if memory serves me right it's only a couple mph or 5-7 yards an inch 

:callaway-small: Paradym TD Driver w/ Ventus Blue 6S

:ping-small: 3W

:srixon-small: MKII ZX 5's (4-6) w/ KBS Tour V

:srixon-small: MKII ZX 7's (7-PW) w/ KBS Tour V

:titleist-small: Vokey Wedges 50* 54* 58*

:L.A.B.: DF2.1 Putter

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Howard Jones, famous European club maker said the following:

Club Length vs Club speed
Using a robot, 0.25 inch more length = 1 mph added
1 Mph yields a maximum of 2.5 yards carry

There is a happy length for each of us which we can only find by experimentation.

After retiring from the PGA of America, I did some demo days and club fitting for TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist, Ping, Cobra, Srixon and Mizuno.

 

 

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55 minutes ago, ShimmyCocoBop said:

Howard Jones, famous European club maker said the following:

Club Length vs Club speed
Using a robot, 0.25 inch more length = 1 mph added
1 Mph yields a maximum of 2.5 yards carry

There is a happy length for each of us which we can only find by experimentation.

Howard is a great resource for information and has a ton of data. His data on spin and launch based on strike location is great and he has some good data on how AoA isn’t as important as people think when it comes to launch and spin

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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