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Hardballs

Being tall an advantage?

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Power wise it helps. Price wise it sucks. You can't just buy used clubs or clubs on discount. Add $150 the the cost of any set for extensions and fitting. Plus you can't try out clubs because of the customization needed. I'm 6'7"

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23 hours ago, Lihu said:

DJ is one heck of an athlete, but so is Rory.

No doubt. I think a lot of golfers are more athletic than they're given credit for given the static-looking nature of the sport, vs. say hockey or soccer.

 

23 hours ago, Lihu said:

However, based upon the small sampling of the PGA tour, it seems like once you reach a certain distance the advantage seems to plateau and I'm not sure why?

I did a little poking around and found some interesting points which I think are relevant.

Not all of these are hugely relevant to golf, but in general shorter people have:

  • quicker reaction times
  • faster acceleration
  • higher strength : weight ratios
  • better O2 intake and endurance
  • faster rotational ability
  • lower chance of injury, particularly in hips
  • lower center of gravity / higher stability

As a result, in the context of golf, shorter people tend to be able to rotate faster (at a reduced risk of injury), are stronger pound for pound, and have better balance via a lower center of gravity.

Now a few more points: it is very difficult for taller athletes to achieve the same relative strength as shorter athletes. For example, you will be able to find 5'9 athletes who can easily squat double their body weight; you will find very few 6'10 athletes who can achieve the same relative strength, even at the same body weight as the shorter athlete. And to your point about plateau... look at the world of track and field. In sprinting, long jump, and vertical jump, the vast majority of athletes fall between 5'9 and 6'1. Of course there are exceptions-- Usain Bolt is about 6'5 and is one of if not the best sprinters ever, but generally speaking when it comes to height, strength, and athletic ability there does seem to be a 'sweet spot' between that height.

Golf is a little bit more complicated because of the addition of a tool, but I think the above at least helps explain a big chunk of it. Taller golfers have longer levers, but it requires more power to be able to move those levers, and the taller you are, the more certain key elements like rotational ability / acceleration seem to diminish.

Obviously there are all sorts of body types, even at the same heights and weights, so there's probably even more to it biomechanically than just simply looking at height and weight, but from a purely athletic ability perspective it seems the 'sweet spot' is between 5'9 and 6'1.

 

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Interesting data, makes sense. I thought we were only dealing with statistics rather than actual physical differences. . .

Thanks for the explanation @BaconNEggs

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Standing tall at address gives me 10 to 20 extra yards. I make better contact, hit it higher and feel like my clubhead speed increases significantly.

I don't know how tall Jordan Spieth is but he looks 6' 4" with his exceptional posture. 

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6 hours ago, Runnin said:

Standing tall at address gives me 10 to 20 extra yards. I make better contact, hit it higher and feel like my clubhead speed increases significantly.

Standing tall at might just be your optimum stance. Being awkwardly hunched over the club is not a good thing.

6 hours ago, Runnin said:

I don't know how tall Jordan Spieth is but he looks 6' 4" with his exceptional posture. 

he's 6'1" 

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I'm gonna go ahead and say being tall and having longer arms is an advantage. 

Screenshot_2017-08-31-09-46-41.png

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4 hours ago, JxQx said:

I'm gonna go ahead and say being tall and having longer arms is an advantage. 

Screenshot_2017-08-31-09-46-41.png

I'm guessing here, but I would expect Rory to take the same "red" path as Dustin. Now, there's a height difference of 2" to 3" between Jordan and Dustin while a 7" difference between Rory and Dustin. :-D

 

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14 hours ago, Lihu said:

he's 6'1" 

Which means he's probably 5'10" or 5'11" or so.

Tiger is 5'10" at most.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Which means he's probably 5'10" or 5'11" or so.

Tiger is 5'10" at most.

No way.  I'm 5'11" and been that way for a long time.  Wiki has him at 185 cm.  5' 10" would be 178 cm.  No way he's that short, although I've never stood beside him. 

I did ride in an elevator once with Jack Nicklaus and could not believe I was taller that him and still a teenager.  But I still think Tiger is a true 6' 1". 

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7 minutes ago, Runnin said:

No way.  I'm 5'11" and been that way for a long time.  Wiki has him at 185 cm.  5' 10" would be 178 cm.  No way he's that short, although I've never stood beside him. 

I have stood next to him many times. He's not very tall. Like I said, 5'10" - 5'11" tops.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

I have stood next to him many times. He's not very tall. Like I said, 5'10" - 5'11" tops.

That's a shocker.

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9 hours ago, Runnin said:

No way.  I'm 5'11" and been that way for a long time.  Wiki has him at 185 cm.  5' 10" would be 178 cm.  No way he's that short, although I've never stood beside him. 

I did ride in an elevator once with Jack Nicklaus and could not believe I was taller that him and still a teenager.  But I still think Tiger is a true 6' 1". 

I've stood next to Tiger (1999 US Open). I was definitely a few inches taller and I'm 6'3.

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11 hours ago, Lihu said:

Is being taller an advantage?

Ask Maurice. . .

 

http://www.worldlongdrive.com/players/maurice-allen/

5'8" in shoes. . .

Uhhh… I bet he wishes he was taller.

C’mon @Lihu.

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On 8/8/2016 at 10:42 PM, saevel25 said:

Also, tall golfers are rare. No other time in the history of golf have we had so many golfers in the 6'3-6'5 range. 

One reason we may be seeing more taller golfers is the greater availability of custom-fit clubs. The ability of the factories to radically adjust shaft length and lie angles make it much easier for taller golfers to find gear that fits them.

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7 hours ago, iacas said:

Uhhh… I bet he wishes he was taller.

C’mon @Lihu.

Possibly wishes to be taller, I'd have no idea about that, but his shorter stature exactly as the OP noted his height to be had nothing to do with Maurice hitting the ball 486 yards. :-D

That's really long for anyone of any stature. . .

Edited by Lihu

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