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Thread: Experimenting with driver length

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    Experimenting with driver length

    This is my first year playing golf, so I'm still in the learning process to find what works best for me. One of those variables that I just started exploring is driver length. I'm a short golfer at 5'6'' and 32" wrist to floor. My current driver is the TM R9 SuperTri which comes stock at 45.75" and D4 swing weight.

    I've been struggling with control off the tee and have been reading older posts on the forum about shortening shaft length to gain more control. I went to GS today to have it cut down to see if it would help. I was planning on going down to 44" and adding a Winn Lite to help gain some of the swing weight back. However, the pro there convinced me to start with just cutting off an inch and keeping the swing weight around D0. He said even an cutting down an inch would make a huge difference.

    I went to the range today and I can definitely tell a difference. I'm hitting more consistent shots and feel like I have much more control. However, I'm still hooking a few, and feel like I still may want to go shorter. I know if I go any shorter I'm going to have to add some head weight back, but I'm not too concerned since I can add the weights with this driver.

    My question to you guys is, how did you know when you found your optimal length? I've read in several forums that they knew the length was too long because they were inconsistent. On the contrary, how did you know when the length was too short? Did your consistency remain the same, you just start seeing less distance? I'm going to keep it at 44.75" for awhile and see how it goes. If I'm still have consistency problems, I'm considering just going down in 1/4" increments until I find the perfect length. I was just hoping you guys could help me know when I'm there!
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierHacker View Post
    My question to you guys is, how did you know when you found your optimal length? I've read in several forums that they knew the length was too long because they were inconsistent. On the contrary, how did you know when the length was too short? Did your consistency remain the same, you just start seeing less distance? I'm going to keep it at 44.75" for awhile and see how it goes. If I'm still have consistency problems, I'm considering just going down in 1/4" increments until I find the perfect length. I was just hoping you guys could help me know when I'm there!
    I did not know until I got a fitting. It told me what the best length for me was. However I strongly recommend listening to this as GolfTEC discussses this very thing right here.

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    Major Champion Wake's Avatar
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    I'm doing the same thing. I am fairly tall, at 6'2", but my driver came with a 46" shaft. I have been wildly inconsistent with it. The past 2 weeks I have been choking up 1" on the driver, and am seeing great results. I have been more consistent, and am not noticing any loss in distance. I also got this idea from reading threads on this forum.

    I think many buy a driver, and never consider how long the shaft is.
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    Major Hacker! HoosierGolfer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierHacker View Post
    This is my first year playing golf, so I'm still in the learning process to find what works best for me. One of those variables that I just started exploring is driver length. I'm a short golfer at 5'6'' and 32" wrist to floor. My current driver is the TM R9 SuperTri which comes stock at 45.75" and D4 swing weight.

    I've been struggling with control off the tee and have been reading older posts on the forum about shortening shaft length to gain more control. I went to GS today to have it cut down to see if it would help. I was planning on going down to 44" and adding a Winn Lite to help gain some of the swing weight back. However, the pro there convinced me to start with just cutting off an inch and keeping the swing weight around D0. He said even an cutting down an inch would make a huge difference.

    I went to the range today and I can definitely tell a difference. I'm hitting more consistent shots and feel like I have much more control. However, I'm still hooking a few, and feel like I still may want to go shorter. I know if I go any shorter I'm going to have to add some head weight back, but I'm not too concerned since I can add the weights with this driver.

    My question to you guys is, how did you know when you found your optimal length? I've read in several forums that they knew the length was too long because they were inconsistent. On the contrary, how did you know when the length was too short? Did your consistency remain the same, you just start seeing less distance? I'm going to keep it at 44.75" for awhile and see how it goes. If I'm still have consistency problems, I'm considering just going down in 1/4" increments until I find the perfect length. I was just hoping you guys could help me know when I'm there!
    I don't agree that it will "make a huge difference". I doubt you will notice much difference. Never be afraid to experiment. Anything you do can be undone. I've cut my drivers down to 44 inches for years. I simply can not feel the difference. Gained some control and lost very little if any distance.

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    I took down one of the shafts in my old 4dx to 42 inches. Didnīt loose all that much distance - gained some control. Didnīt like the short shaft after a couple of rounds though, Did nothing about the swingweight, If it would have altered the test Iīll never know know that Iīve sold it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierHacker View Post
    ...

    My question to you guys is, how did you know when you found your optimal length? I've read in several forums that they knew the length was too long because they were inconsistent. On the contrary, how did you know when the length was too short? Did your consistency remain the same, you just start seeing less distance? I'm going to keep it at 44.75" for awhile and see how it goes. If I'm still have consistency problems, I'm considering just going down in 1/4" increments until I find the perfect length. I was just hoping you guys could help me know when I'm there!
    I think that "knowing when you're there" is basically when you can pull the driver out of the bag, tee up a ball and think only about where in the fairway you'd like the ball to land.

    If when using a driver you're thinking about slices, hooks and all of the other things that can go wrong, then you're not "there" yet.

    I grew up on "Men's Modern Standard" lengths which dictated that a driver should be 43-inches long. I played very well at that length until graphite came along.
    I started experimenting with graphite shafts (back in the early 90's) and I was told that they "had" to be at least an inch longer than steel.
    So I started using lengths as much as 46-inches and I'll be the first to admit that when I connected with the ball dead on the screws, the result was a sight to behold.

    The problem was that I didn't get to see that sight often enough to really appreciate it because most of the time I was wandering all over the course looking for my tee shot.

    Over the following years (which included a couple of lengthy layoffs from golf) I started shortening shafts until I got to where I am now, which is 44 1/4-inches and now I know that I'm "there" because I no longer worry about what might happen. All I think about is where I want the ball to land. For example, there's a par 5 I play that has a slight hill on the right and a level spot on the left in the landing area and I know that if I can land the ball on the right side with just a touch of draw, I can get a huge kick off that hill that's worth at least another 30 yards of runout. Back in the days of super long shafts, I would have been content with ANYTHING in the fairway. But today, I actually aim for that spot and fully expect to get that bounce off the hill (and I have done just that on several occasions).

    I honestly haven't noticed a loss of distance either (that hill is about 270 yards out) and in fact I think I've GAINED distance because I'm striking the ball far more accurately that I ever have before (just like I did when I played those short steel shafts) and I can also shape shots with confidence rather than just "hoping for the best".

    I think you're on the right track and I think your pro is correct in having you shorten up a little at a time.
    I'd give any change at least 3 to 5 rounds before deciding if it works or not, but when you finally find your "I'm there" length, the game will definitely change for you and definitely for the better!

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    i have played a 44 3/4 inch shaft for 5 years ,but last winter i switched to a 46'' shaft ,im as straight as i was before.
    my pro stresses one thing to me for control -tempo.it was my pro who suggested to me to try 46''
    no regret's yet good luck

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    Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I played 9 this morning and I was definitely more consistent off the tee. I shot a 42, which is one of my better 9 hole rounds this year. I still hooked one or two drives, but the slice wasn't nearly as severe as it was prior to getting it shortened. The pro that cut it down said the stock swingweight of D4 was a little heavier than what it should be for a regular flex driver, and that the standard is between D0-D2. I know this is preference depending on the player, but has anyone else heard this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierHacker View Post
    Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I played 9 this morning and I was definitely more consistent off the tee. I shot a 42, which is one of my better 9 hole rounds this year. I still hooked one or two drives, but the slice wasn't nearly as severe as it was prior to getting it shortened. The pro that cut it down said the stock swingweight of D4 was a little heavier than what it should be for a regular flex driver, and that the standard is between D0-D2. I know this is preference depending on the player, but has anyone else heard this?
    My K15 is D3. Callaway Diablo's are D4 as well the Razr Hawk. The only Callaway that is not is the FT Tour which is D3. Not sure on other brands.

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    I'm 6'4 and have been playing a 45'' driver for a while now. I love it. I have more control that way. I'm not one who puts a ton of stock in swing weight and all that. I just want something that offers a tighter dispersion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierGolfer View Post
    My K15 is D3. Callaway Diablo's are D4 as well the Razr Hawk. The only Callaway that is not is the FT Tour which is D3. Not sure on other brands.
    My Callaway is D5

    I did and experiment with a 43" driver and it was only 10-15 yards shorter than my Callaway which is 45.5" But it was toed in so I stuck with the Callaway as it's 1 degree open. I think most people would be better off going for 44.5" that way you get the best of both worlds. May do this over the winter with a White geek and hof shaft.
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    Major Hacker! HoosierGolfer's Avatar
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    I think a proper fitting is key as well. There is a optimum length for everyone and there is more to it than just ones height.

    Big Bertha 2005 454 13* Driver
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    Quote Originally Posted by parnetbirdie View Post
    i have played a 44 3/4 inch shaft for 5 years ,but last winter i switched to a 46'' shaft ,im as straight as i was before.
    my pro stresses one thing to me for control -tempo.it was my pro who suggested to me to try 46''
    no regret's yet good luck
    i totally agree...for me it's about tempo. i'm only 5'6" and have been playing a 46" driver for several years now. i've not lost any control because i have a much smoother tempo and i still get decent club head speed without having to go after it.
    Driver: i15
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