Driver Length and Distance

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goalie

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So, I get the physics of a longer shaft = increased clubhead speed.

I also get that it's easier to hit a shorter driver (at least for me) consistently.

I was at PGATSS and noticed the HL4 offset driver and fairway woods. They reminded me of a club I made through Golfsmith 20+ years ago that I remember hitting well, so I hit them on the launch monitor with good success.

Anyhow, I wanted to try a shorter driver, so I ordered one with the shaft I wanted 1" shorter.

It's very noticable that the club is shorter, and it's easier to hit in the center of the face for me (as expected). It also doesn't allow my miss to be a big banana-ball slice, even with a 3-piece urathane ball. I'm hitting it more per round than I ever have, and in yesterday's round they were all in- play, usually first cut if not in the fairway.

Here's the odd thing:. I'm hitting it longer. Much longer. And longer than my past good, straight drives, not just the bananas.

Is it simply a function of hitting the sweet spot (or closer to it) more? It seems counter-intuitive that is gain distance.

Heck, I was willing and expecting go give up a few yards to be in play. I'm not complaining, but man, being in play sure makes a difference, especially when it's 30+ yards further than "in play" with a hybrid or iron off the tee like I had been doing a lot.

Oh, one other observation from my last few rounds playing driver again: IMO, driving is more important than putting for anyone who's used to a lot of OB penalties trying to get off the tee.

I missed some short putts yesterday, and generally had a bland putting day, but my best driving day ever.

It was also my best score ever.
 
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tomcat

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I'm guessing that you're hitting the center of the face more often, thus getting better distance.

I play my driver a bit shorter as well.
 

cbaker2882

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Exactly what @tomcat said. It's a product of being more controlled and hitting the center of the face more. I also play my driver shorter and gained distance by doing so for basically the exact same reason.
 

ArmyGolf

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A couple things here:
1) You are probably hitting center more often
2) Shorter shaft can change your plane a little bit - perhaps for the better.\
3) Longer shaft = more speed isn't a rule. Many people (incl. myself) don't see any extra speed from any length beyond 45".
 

goalie

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Yeah, the best part is that I ok with losing distance and didn't expect the gains, so being more accurate AND being longer is quite the pleasant surprise.

:p
 

Canio

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I may try this next year as I also have trouble hitting the center as often as I should!
 

DataDude

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Another benefit for slicers of the ball is that the lie angle is more upright which closes the club face a bit.
 

goalie

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Another benefit for slicers of the ball is that the lie angle is more upright which closes the club face a bit.
And it's offset. ;)
 

Doubleb21

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Best thing I have done with my driver. Much more consistent and playable balls off the tee. In my fitting last week we were discussing driver shaft length and he said it is very rare he puts anyone in a shaft length over 45.
 

donny475

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Sounds like a win/win....I must explore this in my garage.....
 

MWard

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Another benefit for slicers of the ball is that the lie angle is more upright which closes the club face a bit.
If you shorten a driver, it makes it effectively flatter. Longer, heel rests more on the ground and plays more upright.
 

Nate

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I can hit my 3W almost as far as my driver.......when the conditions are right. How is that possible having a driver at 10 degrees and a 3W at 15 degrees and a driver shaft that is almost 2 inches shorter? Lots of reasons.

I compress the ball much better with the 3W. I tend to swing harder w/ the 3W because I hit it better. I grew up hitting a 3W over a driver due to consistency. 3W loft helps me go after it cause I know it will get airborn. My smash factor is better w/ the 3W. Many different reasons that go into that.
 

jjfcpa

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I don't know if this applies to the driver, but I went to a fitter and he actually shortened my irons 1/2" and my swing speed increased.
 

Acesteve

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I’m scoring better since I got a 44 inch driver. I’m finding decent contact more often. Funny how I hit more greens from fairways
 

Joelsim

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Another benefit for slicers of the ball is that the lie angle is more upright which closes the club face a bit.
If you shorten a driver, it makes it effectively flatter. Longer, heel rests more on the ground and plays more upright.
Agree with this. I think for some people, who play a more upright way in particular, will benefit doubly from the shorter driver. For me, certainly, I much prefer hitting my driver when it’s closer to me and I’m standing a bit taller, seems to suit my plane and additionally, I also think it helps me keep my arms extended in the backswing, which also hugely benefits distance and accuracy.
 

Joelsim

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I don't know if this applies to the driver, but I went to a fitter and he actually shortened my irons 1/2" and my swing speed increased.
I should do this, I grip down a bit generally which does the same job.
 

tahoebum

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Hitting the sweet spot more often is certainly the reason that I play my driver at about 44.5” to get more distance. It’ somewhat funny that all the OEM’s have a standard driver length of 45-46” when many can’t control or find the sweetspot with a driver that long. BTW, the average length on the PGA Tour is short of 45”.
 

ForeOnFour

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As others have said finding the sweet spot will give better results.

Could be also that the shaft profile is a better fit for you.
 

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