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Being tall an advantage?

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I am 6'3" and I have been trying to figure out this question for more than 50 years.  Here are my conclusions...

The major advantage of being tall allows the golfer to create a larger arc in their swing, thus, generating more clubhead speed and, theoretically, longer distances and more height to their shots for softer approaches.

But, I also know that the shorter golfer has shorter arms which can move more quickly through the hitting zone, thus creating addtional clubhead speed which, in turn, nullifies the advantage of being tall. So, being tall does NOT necessarily mean longer distances. (Jamie Sadlowski, long drive champion, is 5'11" and has a clubhead speed of over 145 mph.)

Where I think the real advantage lies is being short. Think about going up in an airplane. The higher you go, the smaller things on the ground appear.

The same is true for golfers. Tall golfers' eyes are farther from the ground, and consequently, farther from the ball. This would lead to the conclusion that the ball would seems smaller to the tall golfer. If a study were done of who strikes the ball more solidly on the clubface, I would venture to say that shorter golfers might be the winner because they perceive the ball to be a larger target than the tall golfer. Those of us who golf with any regularity understand that more bad shots are created by off-center hits on the golf club. Thus, the advantage goes to the shorter golfer, since they are seeing a larger ball to hit.

In addition, since almost half of the shots in any round are taken on the green, I think the same can be said for putting. The shorter putter sees a larger ball, a larger cup and their eyes are closer to the line of the putt.

In conclusion, let's look at 11 of the all-time great golfers and their height...

Gary Player - 5' 6"

Lee Trevino - 5' 7"

Bobby Jones - 5' 8"

Tom Watson - 5' 9"

Ben Hogan - 5' 9"

Jack Nicklaus - 5' 10"

Arnold Palmer - 5' 10"

Sam Snead - 5' 11"

Tiger Woods - 6' 1"

Phil Mickelson - 6' 3"

I don't think there is an advantage to being tall nor short, also the list you gave reinforces what I just said. The height of the best golfers varies all over the map.

Average height of the PGA pro is around 5'11", but the deviation could vary +/-6 inches.

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You can swing on a huge arc as a tall guy and still have a slow club head speed of you're not swinging fast. Also, Tiger ain't no 6'1"...

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You can swing on a huge arc as a tall guy and still have a slow club head speed of you're not swinging fast.

Also, Tiger ain't no 6'1"...

I agree that he is not that big a guy, but he is a good 3 inches taller than Lindsey Vonn who is conservatively over 5'10".

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You can swing on a huge arc as a tall guy and still have a slow club head speed of you're not swinging fast. Also, Tiger ain't no 6'1"...

I stood face to face with him for the better part of a day, I'm 6 3" and I. Don't believe he is 6' 1", I'd say he is 511, maybe 5' 11.5 For that matter Adam Scott isn't 6' 1" either.

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I stood face to face with him for the better part of a day, I'm 6 3" and he is not 61", I'd say he is 511, maybe 5' 11.5


I guess I could also believe 5'11.5". Maybe he was taller before his spinal injury?

Like Jack Nicklaus is barely taller than K J Choi, in his old age. He might be only 5'9", now?

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Back on topic, taller guys have longer lever arm due to arm length , torso, legs etc. They may hit the ball further or perhaps with less effort, but they still have to putt. I think today's athlete for most sports is over 6 feet to 6'3" is the norm. Yes there will always be exceptions. Maybe in a decade, maybe longer, I believe the next dominating athlete in golf will be 6'3" to 6'5" 225 lbs+.... And could very well be Chinese.

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Back on topic, taller guys have longer lever arm due to arm length , torso, legs etc. They may hit the ball further or perhaps with less effort, but they still have to putt. I think today's athlete for most sports is over 6 feet to 6'3" is the norm. Yes there will always be exceptions.

Maybe in a decade, maybe longer, I believe the next dominating athlete in golf will be 6'3" to 6'5" 225 lbs+.... And could very well be Chinese.

Most athletes in these types of sports are either taller or bigger or both. Okay, I agree that a future new dominating PGA tour golfer will be much bigger and taller.

However, I kind of thought we were talking about recreational golf. In which case, we are not selecting the tallest, biggest most skilled golfer in the world. Instead, we have a mishmash of all different body types.

Statistically, I see no advantage of being taller on its own merit.

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Most athletes in these types of sports are either taller or bigger or both. Okay, I agree that a future new dominating PGA tour golfer will be much bigger and taller.

However, I kind of thought we were talking about recreational golf. In which case, we are not selecting the tallest, biggest most skilled golfer in the world. Instead, we have a mishmash of all different body types.

Statistically, I see no advantage of being taller on its own merit.

And I don't see any midgets on the tour. ;-)

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And I don't see any midgets on the tour.  ;-)

And Yao Ming blows. [VIDEO]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUBlznV865k[/VIDEO]

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I always thought the only benefit to being tall was a longer leveler arm to swing with, since you would have longer arms and a longer shaft likely. That said, I've out driven people who are 6'4" and been out driven by people 5'6" (I'm about 5'9 1/2) so it's not something that I would put any stock in outside of long drive competitions with tons of training. Even then, Jamie Sadlowsky seems too keep up with the big boys.

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I guess I could also believe 5'11.5". Maybe he was taller before his spinal injury?

Like Jack Nicklaus is barely taller than K J Choi, in his old age. He might be only 5'9", now?


I'm 6' 1 1/2" and when I was standing a few feet from Tiger it was obvious he wasn't as tall as I am and quite a bit smaller boned guy than I am.

He's in good shape with good muscle definition and low body fat but not a big guy at all.

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And Yao Ming blows. [VIDEO]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUBlznV865k[/VIDEO]

This is funny, especially the announcers who have zero knowledge of golf :-$

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I always thought the only benefit to being tall was a longer leveler arm to swing with, since you would have longer arms and a longer shaft likely. That said, I've out driven people who are 6'4" and been out driven by people 5'6" (I'm about 5'9 1/2) so it's not something that I would put any stock in outside of long drive competitions with tons of training. Even then, Jamie Sadlowsky seems too keep up with the big boys.

Agree, plus 5 time champion Jason Zuback is 1.5" shorter than Jamie. So, I play purely recreational level golf and have out driven two 6'8" to 6'10" guys, and was out driven by a 13 year old barely 5' (I'm about 5'10.5" standing upright, which I never do) :-P

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And Yao Ming blows.

Look at how much he is squatting down, it looks like he's using clubs made for me and I'm maybe 5'9 tops.

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That guy was in the Hank Haney project where Michael Phelps was learning golf!

Phelps looked so tiny compared to this Chinese basketball player...

But Michael's wingspan - his arm length, boy... he was made for swimming that's for sure. Could'a been a boxer also with those kind of arms too. ;-)

But it's reassuring to see that even "the mighty bomber" Nicklaus wasn't a basketball player size. He's basically the best golfer ever - at least in the golf era where video footage exists. But I gotta say I really like those old time golf swings, I think Sam Snead's swing and even Bobby Jones's swing... these are just beautiful golf swings, no question about it in my opinion !!!

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This is funny, especially the announcers who have zero knowledge of golf

Somebody get them a copy of Lowest Score Wins

Look at how much he is squatting down, it looks like he's using clubs made for me and I'm maybe 5'9 tops.

He needs one of these:

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