Jump to content
Will Par

Is the 45 Inch Driver Too Long?

Recommended Posts

I was reading the latest Golf Magazine and saw that Luke Donald had shortened his driver this year to 43.5 inches. That's the same length as a standard RBZ 3-wood. It got me to thinking and I realized I haven't been hitting my 45 inch driver with the control and accuracy that I once did with a persimmon driver and with the first steel-headed drivers. I got my old Toney Penna driver out and it was 44 inches... probably a half inch longer than standard for that club. I think Jack Nicklaus used a driver under 43 inches long and he was one of the longest drivers on tour in his prime.

 

So I cut my driver back to 44.25 and added a couple of three inch strips of lead tape to the sole to get the swingweight back to D2. So far I'm thrilled with the change. No noticeable loss of distance and I seem to hit it more solid with better accuracy. I'm sure that wind and hard or soft fairways has more influence on how far the ball goes than this little change in club length.

 

And now I'm wondering... have we let the quest for extra distance lull us into believing we can hit clubs that are too long? Are we letting the manufacturers have too much influence on what specs we play? I know I'm an old-school traditionalist and what's best for me may not suit everyone else, so what does everyone here think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For some reason, I was thinking about the same issue this morning and went to dig up that MGS Lab article about longer drivers (43" vs 46"?) and the difference was averaging 1.5 yards or something.

 

So I am actually considering cutting down my 45" driver 0.5" or 1".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just watching the Barclays and they said Sergio was using a 43 inch driver as well... interesting...

 

I know I cut mine down to 44.25" last year and I like the increased control... I might be a little shorter, but hitting fairways is more important to me right now...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just did an EPIC fitting (story coming soon) with Leith Anderson in San Carlos, CA - calgolflab - He built me a short driver and suddenly I've lost about 5 to 10 yards, but am hitting three times as many fairways and scoring way better (there are other changes that have helped me lower my scores) but yeah, I'm now a HUGE fan of the shorter driver!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
.....suddenly I've lost about 5 to 10 yards, but am hitting three times as many fairways

I'd take that ANY day of the week!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My driver is the same length as my 3w and I choke down. I measured from where I choke to and I'm basically playing a 42" driver. I'm splitting fairways at 265-280 like this, so in not planning on changing it real soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd take that ANY day of the week!!!

 

Try selling it to the average golfer.

 

Loose 5 yards and knock 3 strokes off your game. No thanks. Gimme my 10 more yards...or some such nonsense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try selling it to the average golfer.

 

Loose 5 yards and knock 3 strokes off your game. No thanks. Gimme my 10 more yards...or some such nonsense.

 

Truer words were never spoken - The reality is that consistent and straight distance trumpsdistance that's all over the map any day. If what you're concerned about is shooting the lowest possible score.

 

I don't think that is the goal of most golfers. If you listen to the grill room/19th hole talk it's about a hole, a shot, anything but the score or if it's about the score it's negative. Amazing.

 

We've talked about driver length in other threads - bottom line is what were you fit for? The average length on the PGA tour is a shade under 45". I play with a 45" driver because that's what I was fit for.

 

Very few drivers are as short as 45" off the rack - they start at 45.5 and work their way up.

 

Stunning!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've trumpeted shorter drivers for the last...5 years? I don't think I've fit anyone into anything longer than 45" in the last 3.

 

But you know what's funny? I'm back to 45" now...and hitting it good. Ultimately, a short club is not a substitute for a good swing, but the shorter club is likely going to be easier to hit consistently well.

 

For those that like math: I seem to recall reading that an additional inch of length on the driver should translate to 1-2MPH of club head speed, ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL. That means 2.5 to 5 extra yards, ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL. The problem is that capitalized part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Truer words were never spoken - The reality is that consistent and straight distance trumpsdistance that's all over the map any day. If what you're concerned about is shooting the lowest possible score.

 

I don't think that is the goal of most golfers. If you listen to the grill room/19th hole talk it's about a hole, a shot, anything but the score or if it's about the score it's negative. Amazing.

 

We've talked about driver length in other threads - bottom line is what were you fit for? The average length on the PGA tour is a shade under 45". I play with a 45" driver because that's what I was fit for.

 

Very few drivers are as short as 45" off the rack - they start at 45.5 and work their way up.

 

Stunning!

 

Hey Folks -

Look at it this way...the average length on the PGA tour is 44.5"...maybe 44.75 but I'd have to check to make sure that's the case but I doubt it. For the longest time, it was 43.5" which i believe was Mr. Nicklaus' length, and stayed that way even for a while w/ the intro of steel heads by Gary Adams while building the first Taylor Made. Then came graphite shafts....and the marketing band wagons. Still, if the BEST players in the world are playing lengths under 45"...

 

If you remember, most the OEMs have tried going longer in the past, over 46" before, and that pumped up sales w/ the marketing Blitzkrieg for a while, but soon rolled back the lengths as the buying public realized they had lost control....all for that one perfect swing that happened to go farther than their average drives before. AND it was proven time and again by a LOT of us that the added length did not result in these monstrous increase in distances so adroitly claimed. So what happened? Well Joe Golfer, unconsciously or consciously, when the time came for that tight and maybe even long drive that was required, or simply knowing he/she's missed the last 5 fairways....SLOWED DOWN their swing to maintain control. Net result then w/ the longer driver? You guess...

 

So by now you know the USGA, in all its infinite wisdom....has basically put the OEMs in a corner regarding head design and stifled a LOT of potential creativity and technical advances. So what are they to do? ""Hey, maybe we should try going longer again....with a super light head...and...and...that'll pump up sales for a bit and satisfy our shareholders.."...>.

 

The bottom line I think is still fitting, is still understanding the stiffness, weight and wt. distribution, even torsional distribution in the shaft and how it all affects different swings (speed, tempo, release point, head posit at impact, etc.); understanding the same w/ the head designs and their relationship w/ the shaft's properties, the club length, overall weight etc. That's what I'm doing with the design and marketing of the XCalibers and in doing so, maintaining a sense of responsibility and integrity...simply trying to make folks aware of the truth....Jeez....what a novel concept....;)....

 

Robin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I play a 44.50" cut it down from 45.00" earlier this year I added about 2 or 3 fairways hit a round to my stats so I believe it was the correct decision, I might have lost about 5 yards in distance but who cares when you are still putting it out there at 290+ a lot of times.

 

I think most people will gain a lot more control over their Drivers with it being shorter then 45.00" personally, maybe a MGS Lab is needed... Oh wait thier is one comparing 45.75" to 44.75"... though I don't know a lot of people that actually play those lengths. Maybe 45.00" versus 44.50" would have been able to hit the point better... here is the link to the "Lab"

http://www.mygolfspy.com/mgs-labs-is-longer-really-longer/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I play a 44.50" cut it down from 45.00" earlier this year I added about 2 or 3 fairways hit a round to my stats so I believe it was the correct decision, I might have lost about 5 yards in distance but who cares when you are still putting it out there at 290+ a lot of times.

 

I think most people will gain a lot more control over their Drivers with it being shorter then 45.00" personally, maybe a MGS Lab is needed... Oh wait thier is one comparing 45.75" to 44.75"... though I don't know a lot of people that actually play those lengths. Maybe 45.00" versus 44.50" would have been able to hit the point better... here is the link to the "Lab"

http://www.mygolfspy...-really-longer/

 

We chose 44.75" because it's the most common stock length on the market today, and for that fact alone, I'm reasonably certain it's the most popular length in play by the average golfer right now. We chose 43.75" because...well...we wanted to ensure that the difference would be meaningful and 2" seemed like a nice round number.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We chose 44.75" because it's the most common stock length on the market today, and for that fact alone, I'm reasonably certain it's the most popular length in play by the average golfer right now. We chose 43.75" because...well...we wanted to ensure that the difference would be meaningful and 2" seemed like a nice round number.

I know you meant to say 45.75" is the most common Driver Length stock... That statement might be true if you added TMaG into the statement but all OEMs it is pretty far from the truth the "stock length" is all over the map, here are some examples...

 

Adams Speedline Tech ~ 46.00"

Adams Fast 12 ~ 46.00"

Adams Fast 12 LS ~ 45.00" (adjustable to 45.50")

Adams 9088 UL ~ 46.00"

Adams F11 ~ 45.875"

 

Titleist 910 D2 / D3 ~ 45.00"

 

Cobra AMP ~ only the 10.5* matches 45.75"

--> http://www.cobragolf.com/golf-clubs/2012-cobra-amp-driver

 

Callaway Razer Fit ~ 45.50"

Callaway Razer X Black ~ 46.00"

Callaway Razar Hawk ~ 46.00"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know you meant to say 45.75" is the most common Driver Length stock... That statement might be true if you added TMaG into the statement but all OEMs it is pretty far from the truth the "stock length" is all over the map, here are some examples...

 

Adams Speedline Tech ~ 46.00"

Adams Fast 12 ~ 46.00"

Adams Fast 12 LS ~ 45.00" (adjustable to 45.50")

Adams 9088 UL ~ 46.00"

Adams F11 ~ 45.875"

 

Titleist 910 D2 / D3 ~ 45.00"

 

Cobra AMP ~ only the 10.5* matches 45.75"

--> http://www.cobragolf...obra-amp-driver

 

Callaway Razer Fit ~ 45.50"

Callaway Razer X Black ~ 46.00"

Callaway Razar Hawk ~ 46.00"

 

Sort of a pointless debate, but...

 

If you tally up your own list, the average comes out to just a tick below 45.70", which makes 45.75" the closest normal length. The most common length (call it the statistical mode) we received for testing over the last year has been 45.75" (down from 46" the previous season). To the letter of the law of my statement...since TaylorMade outsells the competition by an astounding margin and their stock length is 45.75", then it's safe to assume 45.75" is the most popular, but again we're splitting hairs.

 

And none of this can really account for the stuff TourEdge and Cobra have started doing...S & X shafts are built to 45.75", while A & R (ultralights usually) are built to 46". It's a bit comical insomuch as the fitters I've spoken with about it tell me it's the slower swing speed guys that suffer most when shaft length is extended.

 

What I wish more people would pay attention to are things like the stock length on PING and Titleist. Both are, on average, far shorter (in terms of shaft length) than most of the competition, but have proven to be among the longest, and straightest we test (something to be said for the sweet spot I suppose).

 

One final note, which as consumers we should find among the most frustrating; there is absolutely no standard for how clubs are measured. Each OEM has its own technique. The only OEM I have direct knowledge of is TaylorMade, which I can say with absolute certainty uses the USGA's ground plane standard (the same method used for all equipment on tour) to measure its retail clubs.

 

What's interesting about the USGA method (not to get too far off topic here) is that it results in a measured value that's roughly 1/4" shorter than other techniques. What this means is that TaylorMade's 45.75" can be roughly equivalent to another OEMs 45.5".

 

Point is...as unbelievable as it may seem to some, length isn't that much different than flex. We're dealing with an industry that doesn't even agree on what constitutes 1".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just reshafted my Razr Fit with a Talamonti PD80 X Tour Stiff a little over a week ago. It is 46" because I did not tip it before I installed it. It being a X Tour vs an just an X I thought I would try this and wanted to have some additional length if I needed to tip trim it. I love the feel of it but now plan on removing the grip this week and butt trimming it. I am first experimenting with it a little by choking down on it to see what length I want. Since I blow the grips on and off, marvelous invention, I can do this with relative ease.

 

I have a Titleist 909D3 with a 44 inch Motore F1 that was longer than any driver I have played and much straighter until I got this Talamonti shaft. This Razr Fit/Talamonti is a beast but I have not hit it as straight as I am accustom to but then again, I knew the shaft was too long to begin with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sort of a pointless debate, but...

 

If you tally up your own list, the average comes out to just a tick below 45.70", which makes 45.75" the closest normal length. The most common length (call it the statistical mode) we received for testing over the last year has been 45.75" (down from 46" the previous season). To the letter of the law of my statement...since TaylorMade outsells the competition by an astounding margin and their stock length is 45.75", then it's safe to assume 45.75" is the most popular, but again we're splitting hairs.

:lol: Well you said "the most common stock loft" not the average stock loft. I don't know the numbers put if you totaled all other OEMs against TMaG driver sales I would imagine that TMaG Numbers would no longer be the most common it would be the collaborative of all other companies :)

 

I just wanted to bust your balls a little T don't take it personal.

 

And none of this can really account for the stuff TourEdge and Cobra have started doing...S & X shafts are built to 45.75", while A & R (ultralights usually) are built to 46". It's a bit comical insomuch as the fitters I've spoken with about it tell me it's the slower swing speed guys that suffer most when shaft length is extended.

I would have to agree with that statement.

 

What I wish more people would pay attention to are things like the stock length on PING and Titleist. Both are, on average, far shorter (in terms of shaft length) than most of the competition, but have proven to be among the longest, and straightest we test (something to be said for the sweet spot I suppose).

I hope you are not implying that Ping and Titleist have larger sweet spots. Think I talked about that in "equipment myths" :) I would assume the shorter shaft is easier to find the sweet spot more often thus why Ping and Titleist are some the straightest and have most control over the shot? Or maybe they have less twisting and move give then other companies.

 

One final note, which as consumers we should find among the most frustrating; there is absolutely no standard for how clubs are measured. Each OEM has its own technique. The only OEM I have direct knowledge of is TaylorMade, which I can say with absolute certainty uses the USGA's ground plane standard (the same method used for all equipment on tour) to measure its retail clubs.

 

What's interesting about the USGA method (not to get too far off topic here) is that it results in a measured value that's roughly 1/4" shorter than other techniques. What this means is that TaylorMade's 45.75" can be roughly equivalent to another OEMs 45.5".

 

Point is...as unbelievable as it may seem to some, length isn't that much different than flex. We're dealing with an industry that doesn't even agree on what constitutes 1".

I didn't know that OEMs somehow have re-invented the imperial measurement system. :lol: 1" is a standard imperial measurement in a linear line. I would have to assume and suspect that OEMs use the USGA measuring method.

 

I am not sure what other methods you are referring to, LDA measurements for drivers is straight up the wall with the heel off the ground and it can't be anymore then 50" which at 50" normally results in roughly a 48.25" USGA measurement.

 

Lie angle can effect USGA measurements by 1/8" to 1/4" sometimes. I would really have to question by what "method" would result in a 1/4" change in measurement. I mean the USGA does have specification on how equipment gets measured and that's what OEMs are selling to the general public to be conforming to. So if they are not following that guide line something is totally wrong with that picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: Well you said "the most common stock loft" not the average stock loft. I don't know the numbers put if you totaled all other OEMs against TMaG driver sales I would imagine that TMaG Numbers would no longer be the most common it would be the collaborative of all other companies :)

 

I just wanted to bust your balls a little T don't take it personal.

 

 

I would have to agree with that statement.

 

 

I hope you are not implying that Ping and Titleist have larger sweet spots. Think I talked about that in "equipment myths" :) I would assume the shorter shaft is easier to find the sweet spot more often thus why Ping and Titleist are some the straightest and have most control over the shot? Or maybe they have less twisting and move give then other companies.

 

 

I didn't know that OEMs somehow have re-invented the imperial measurement system. :lol: 1" is a standard imperial measurement in a linear line. I would have to assume and suspect that OEMs use the USGA measuring method.

 

I am not sure what other methods you are referring to, LDA measurements for drivers is straight up the wall with the heel off the ground and it can't be anymore then 50" which at 50" normally results in roughly a 48.25" USGA measurement.

 

Lie angle can effect USGA measurements by 1/8" to 1/4" sometimes. I would really have to question by what "method" would result in a 1/4" change in measurement. I mean the USGA does have specification on how equipment gets measured and that's what OEMs are selling to the general public to be conforming to.

 

Regarding the sweet spot...what I meant to say is there's something to be said for hitting the sweet spot...and that's what the shorter shaft allows golfers to do more often.

 

And while an inch is an inch, there's are countless ways to measure a golf club. I'm sure most use some sort of floor to grip measurement, and ultimately the lie angle is the differentiation.

 

The USGA specification dictates how a club is measured in order to determine what's conforming for tournament purposes. It has no bearing on how retail clubs are measured. I'd be willing to bet, for example, most don't use the USGA specification (the pre-existing equipment they used prior to the adoption of the USGA standard works just fine) AND at least based on some of the clubs we've received and spec'd out, some measure to the end of the grip, some measure to the end of the shaft.

 

Point is you can give me any club, and depending on who and how it's measured there's easily 1/4" to 1/2" of disparity to be found.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have played around with a tape measure and have found that the heel to butt measurement and the butt to sweet spot is the same. Or damned near the same. I am assuming that the big x in the center of my driver face is where the OEM suggests I hit the ball. If I put the tape on the end of the butt and measure and then move it over to the heel and measure these are almost identical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have played around with a tape measure and have found that the heel to butt measurement and the butt to sweet spot is the same. Or damned near the same. I am assuming that the big x in the center of my driver face is where the OEM suggests I hit the ball. If I put the tape on the end of the butt and measure and then move it over to the heel and measure these are almost identical.

 

Majority of the time the true sweet spot is not the physical center of the driver head, It is almost always about 1" higher then physical center. The easiest way to find it is get a head only and balance it on the back of a bic pen that has a flat surface. Wherever the head sets on the pen without falling off is your true sweet spot.

 

For the Adams Fast 12 LS I have I just used the adapter piece on the tip to balance the head on instead of a pen. It provides a flat surface with hte same effect assuming the shaft is perfectly vertical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been playing mine at 44.75 to 45 inches. After seeing something during the Barclays it has me wanting to experiment. Sergio's 43" driver. That's what he also plays his 3 wood at (which is what my 3 wood is at). I have a Grafalloy BiMatrix on the way and I'm seriously considering giving this a go with that. Not sure yet, because I believe that X-Flex would play awful stiff in that shaft at that length, but with the way my driving is right now, I'm tempted to try anything lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Announcements

×
×
  • Create New...