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Motley01

Driver shaft length too long for most players

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Just been reading a thread over on GolfWRX. On how manufacturers have too long shafts in most current drivers.

My Big Bertha driver shaft is 45.5" and I just can't control it like I can with my 3 wood. The 3 wood off the tee my most consistent club.

In order for all these OEM's to "claim" their new driver is longer, is to lengthen the shafts each time they increase head size. Sure its may be longer in distance, but can the typical 15 handicap player control that broomstick?

Many people are cutting their driver shafts down to 44.0"

I'm not very tall either. I'm 5'8". Apparently Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, etc. some other pros, are currently using 44.0" lengths shafts in their drivers. Wait, what? Yes they are!

They want control over distance? I want control over distance.

So I just marked a spot on my driver grip, that is 1.25" from the end. So I choke up on the club by that much. Take a few practice swings, WOW! It feels totally different! It feels more comfortable at the top, easier to square the face at impact, etc.

I'm going to the range tomorrow, and will see how I do by choking up on the driver. If I'm successful, I'm having it cut down by 1.25" and have the new grip installed.

I will report back with my findings.

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If pros are using drivers less than 44.5 inches, I'd be surprised. These threads come out in every forum on a cyclical basis and it's true. A shorter length shaft is easier to control, you increase the probability of better contact and therefore, more distance.


Don't overdo it. Remember, when you cut off 1-2 inches, you are introducing a disturbance in the force. The balance of the head becomes lighter, the shaft become marginally stiffer. To return balance, buy some lead tape.

I play a 45 in length driver. I put a couple of wraps on the lower part of the grip to make it easier to grip down if I'd like to get it to 44.5 inches on narrower fairways.

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Yes you are correct, they recommended using lead tape under the grip if it feels too light.

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Yes you are correct, they recommended using lead tape under the grip if it feels too light.

Well, that is not correct.

If you shorten the club, you use lead tape on the bottom of the driver to give more weight to the head and get the shaft flex close to its original swing weight (or whatever weight you feel is best for you). Typically, flex is not a big deal since most people only trim .5-.75 inches max. But once you start trimming one inch plus, you are affecting flex a bit more. Will it matter? Depends on you.

This is not a new topic. I've heard this same subject discussed on forums since 2002.

Counterbalancing a club is another subject.

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FWIW, I'd hazard that the miniscule effect on flex/swingweight is outweighed by the fact that 1.5" less length is giving you more control and a better smash factor. Better control, better impact - all good.

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Well, that is not correct.

If you shorten the club, you use lead tape on the bottom of the driver to give more weight to the head and get the shaft flex close to its original swing weight (or whatever weight you feel is best for you). Typically, flex is not a big deal since most people only trim .5-.75 inches max. But once you start trimming one inch plus, you are affecting flex a bit more. Will it matter? Depends on you.

This is not a new topic. I've heard this same subject discussed on forums since 2002.

Counterbalancing a club is another subject.

Whooops, yes you are right. Adding lead weight inside the tip end of the shaft should do it.

I'll just have to consult with the fitter to figure all this out.

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Whooops, yes you are right. Adding lead weight inside the tip end of the shaft should do it.

I'll just have to consult with the fitter to figure all this out.


If you are considering shortening your driver you can use an on-line swingweight calculator to get an estimate of how much needs to be added/subtracted and where. Lighter grips can increase swingweight, heads have different weights etc. But my recommendation would to first be fit for a shaft. IMO shaft is everything in a driver, not just flex but every other spec. From there you can decide which way to go. Be sure to ask the fitter how additional tip/head weight affects flex, even 10g of weight on a head will change how a shaft feels.

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If you're just shotening the shaft, you can add lead or tungsten down the shaft (and cork it), but lead tape is easy and you can adjust it easier. I added lead tape to the rear of the driver instead of the bottom so it wouldn't inadvertently be scraped off by one of my fat shots. Tape to the back of the head would move the CG back also, which is a good thing.
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I prefer tungsten inserts, can you use corks and powder with graphite? Never seen it done. Usually the corks are iron shaft diameter.
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Driver control is related to how much you reach out to the ball. Follow this idea for a second...my irons are currently set for a 32.5 inch height to my curled fingers. My driver lie is 55 degrees according to the line marks, and yes this wont include shaft droop, but i hit a 75g V2 so its a robust stiff so call it straighter. A right triangle with the 90 degree right bend at 32.5 height and a 55 degree lie has a high hand angle of 35 degrees if my arms are straight down. This works out to a 39.67 inch club. Neat idea, but no thank you. Its controllable if I reach a little, raising the hands to ground height. But at some point the swing become too around or you reach too much. For me its longer than 39.67 inches.
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Apparently Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, etc. some other pros, are currently using 44.0" lengths shafts in their drivers. Wait, what? Yes they are!

They want control over distance? I want control over distance.

I don't think control over distance is really the tradeoff.  I think the shorter shaft is easier to swing consistently, therefore giving you better plane and impact conditions, which result in better contact and more consistent distance.  If the tradeoff was really between distance and accuracy, you should choose distance. (But don't confuse wild shots that sail 20 yards OB with poor "accuracy", because that's a plane/impact issue.)

A shorter length shaft is easier to control, you increase the probability of better contact and therefore, more distance.

Yeah, this.

FWIW, I'd hazard that the miniscule effect on flex/swingweight is outweighed by the fact that 1.5" less length is giving you more control and a better smash factor. Better control, better impact - all good.

And especially this.  Cutting 1.5 inches off of your driver shaft will change the swing weight, and if you look at charts it appears to be significant  But remember that swing weight is just an alphanumeric figure that purports to represent how the club feels in your hands.  If the club feels fine in your hands, then the number doesn't make a crap bit of difference.

I for one believe that shafts are too long these days.  I came late to the "modern" 45+" driver party--I bought my 910D3 in 2011.  I hit several and liked the Titleist best, but for a few weeks the shaft (45.5") felt too long.  I cut the driver down to 44" and the 3-wood from 43.5" to 42.5".  I noticed zero difference in how the club felt in my hands (aka swing weight).  The feel of the shaft didn't change at all (aka stiffness or boardy-ness).  I did instantly gain better, more consistent contact, and more consistent distance.  Shorter was longer for me, and helped eliminate some of the wild swings/shots I was making as I tried to adjust to what felt like a freakishly long shaft.

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I just bought a 3rd driver yesterday to test out the shorter driver shaft theory on my own. I normally swing my stock G20 Tour S at 45.75 and do pretty well with it. However, lately i have bee playing courses with small narrow fairways and wanted to see if a shorter shaft would allow me greater control. I bought an Amp Cell and had it cut to 44.75". Time will tell but i hit back to back with both drivers at the range last night and couldn't tell much difference.

I personally would not go too short. I would step down and maybe go 44.5 first.

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I just got back from the range. I marked a spot on the grip that is 1.25" from the end. I choked down to that point. I was hitting it beautifully, much much easier to control.

By choking up that much, I had to stand closer to the ball. Which was part of my problem, before I was reaching for the ball. I was bent over more too. It was easier to set my wrists at the top.

Then I started killing it, great ball flight, around 265 ish. I didn't see any distance loss at all.

So this confirmed for me I'm going to have it cut down for sure now. I'm not even sure if I'm going to add weight to the end of it, because it felt perfect for me.

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I didn't lose any distance going to 43" and that head is 12* 430cc. I have another 43" with a 14* 410cc head, if I could hit it of the deck better I'd toss out my 3w and bring in another club.

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How is driver length related to wrist height standing up vertically? When I calculate my 36 inch wrist height with a 55 lie head I get 44 inches for the shaft, but have been recommended for 44.40 inches. My thought is that control must be enhanced when the shaft doesnt rise above your natural measurements with a square address.
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I just got back from the range. I marked a spot on the grip that is 1.25" from the end. I choked down to that point. I was hitting it beautifully, much much easier to control.

By choking up that much, I had to stand closer to the ball. Which was part of my problem, before I was reaching for the ball. I was bent over more too. It was easier to set my wrists at the top.

Then I started killing it, great ball flight, around 265 ish. I didn't see any distance loss at all.

So this confirmed for me I'm going to have it cut down for sure now. I'm not even sure if I'm going to add weight to the end of it, because it felt perfect for me.

Remember, you've also created a counterbalance effect by gripping down and that may have also helped you hit beautifully.

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I prefer tungsten inserts, can you use corks and powder with graphite? Never seen it done. Usually the corks are iron shaft diameter.

Just saw this. I have corks for both irons and wood shafts. I don't like pouring a lot of lead down the shaft. It's probably a mental thing. I don't trust the strength of the graphite shaft tips.

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