What is the perfect driver length?
There is no doubt about it, the average golfer lives and dies by his/her driver game. The ability to get off the tee and into play can be the difference between having a great day out or wanting to break all of your clubs into tiny pieces. We've all been there and had both of these days. Working in a golf shop has taught me that the average golfer struggles with accuracy off the tee. So, how would you like to get more consistent off the tee with the driver?
The answer might be easier than you think. Instead of me saying that you need to buy a new driver, or go and get fitted for a new driver, or spend a fortune getting lessons or whatever! How about I just tell you a story of a professional golfer named Rickie Fowler.
As you all know, American Rickie Fowler is a very good golfer. He is also quite a small golfer in height. This has not stopped him from ranking inside the top 40 for driving distance on the PGA Tour. Yes, he has a quick swing speed and most of you reading this cannot get as fast as him, but that is not what this story is about. This story is about how he is now hitting more fairways and as a result, is now leading the PGA Tour in scoring.
Although Rickie was doing very well in scoring last year (70.118 - 14th), he now leads all professionals at 69.322. The difference may not be all that great, but in the world of the pro golfer, this small difference could equal millions of dollars. Fowler has gone from 113th in driving accuracy to 20th and all the time, he has not lost a great amount of distance. His 2016 driving distance average was 275.78 meters, compared to this years 272.94. that is a difference of just 2.84 meters! His driving accuracy percentages have gone from 58.69(113th) to a massive 67.53(20th).
Who among us would not want to hit the fairway 67 percent of the time, instead of 58 percent? So what is the huge difference in Folwer's game? He cut his driver down to 43.5 inches. That's it! He cut his driver length down from 45 to 43.5 inches. He cut 1.5 inches off his driver length and as a result hits lots more fairways and leads all pros in scoring. This small tweek has resulted in great gains on the PGA Tour, but it can mean a lot more to you and I playing club golf.
The reason you hit a wedge far straighter than you hit a 5 iron is because the shaft is shorter and it gives you more control. Obviously there is a comparison between distance and length as well, but the difference when it comes to the long clubs is less than in the shorter ones. Cutting any club down will make it go straighter, but cutting it too much will ruin not only the club, but you wallet as well. The driver, at 45 inches (on average) is the longest and hardest club to keep straight. Nearly every club golfer will benefit from cutting just 1 inch off. Yes, you may lose 5 meters, but you will hit so many more fairways and be in better position to hit many more greens in the process.
This process will cost you about $10 at any pro shop or golf shop that do repairs. As I said before, not a lot of money for a very good result. What do you have to lose? If it doesn't work for you, a club extension of 1 inch will cost you about $15 to put it back to how it was. I have tried it and I can tell you, it works. Good Luck!