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Driver Shaft Length Creep

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1 hour ago, Bucki1968 said:

I am 5'9". It may be that the new shaft just doesn't match well with the club head but the ball just does not come off the face with the same velocity. I don't use that driver much so I just put a shorter shaft into it as an experiment to see if it would work. Maybe it's the guy swinging the club?

Naw.  One important thing to remember...it's always the club!  Lol!

This wasn't a cut-down, correct?  You had your driver re-shafted, but to a shorter length if I remember correctly?  There are a couple of reasons why it might feel "clunky" or like the ball isn't coming off the face with any authority:  

  • The swingweight is too light.  If the club is 1" shorter than before, it will be approx. 6 swingweight points lighter.  1.5" shorter = about 9 points.  This weight has to be replaced in some way, otherwise the results won't be good.
  • The new shaft is too stiff.  If the new shaft is stiffer than the previous one, or too stiff for your swing, you won't be able to load the shaft and it won't feel good or go very far.

It's usually a good idea to note the specs of a club before any changes are made.  This will give you a point of reference to know how much difference there is on things like swingweight, shaft flex, length, and things like that.  If there is an issue like this, then the specs can be compared which will usually provide a clue as to why.

Don't give up on it yet!

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I'm sure this was touched on before, but I wanted to add to it. For about the first six years Tiger Woods was on tour he played a 43.5" Driver with a Steel True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft.  I think that shaft is ~130 grams. John Daly who won 11 Driving distance titles from 1991 to 2002 (DL III got him in 1994), played a few different heads but had something like an 80 gram 45" graphite shaft in his drivers. When Tiger went to 45" graphite, his accuracy went south. Then he went to the Memorial Tournament in I want to say 2009 with a 10° Driver and 44" shaft (weighted properly) and missed only 7 fairway all week. I don't know why he didn't stick with that length. 

I know distance sells but controlled distance is better.  All I'm wondering is why when they went from 44 to 45 to 46 inches and back to 45, why didn't they realize, oh 44 inches has less dispersion for amateurs and they distance loss is negligible.

I'm 6'5" and I can hit a 44" driver, why did standard creep?

I'm sure this was touched on before, but I wanted to add to it. For about the first six years Tiger Woods was on tour he played a 43.5" Driver with a Steel True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft.  I think that shaft is ~130 grams. John Daly who won 11 Driving distance titles from 1991 to 2002 (DL III got him in 1994), played a few different heads but had something like an 80 gram 45" graphite shaft in his drivers. When Tiger went to 45" graphite, his accuracy went south. Then he went to the Memorial Tournament in I want to say 2009 with a 10° Driver and 44" shaft (weighted properly) and missed only 7 fairway all week. I don't know why he didn't stick with that length. 

I know distance sells but controlled distance is better. 

I'm sure this was touched on before, but I wanted to add to it. For about the first six years Tiger Woods was on tour he played a 43.5" Driver with a Steel True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft.  I think that shaft is ~130 grams. John Daly who won 11 Driving distance titles from 1991 to 2002 (DL III got him in 1994), played a few different heads but had something like an 80 gram 45" graphite shaft in his drivers. When Tiger went to 45" graphite, his accuracy went south. Then he went to the Memorial Tournament in I want to say 2009 with a 10° Driver and 44" shaft (weighted properly) and missed only 7 fairway all week. I don't know why he didn't stick with that length. 

I know distance sells but controlled distance is better. 

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6 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

I'm sure this was touched on before, but I wanted to add to it. For about the first six years Tiger Woods was on tour he played a 43.5" Driver with a Steel True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft.  I think that shaft is ~130 grams. John Daly who won 11 Driving distance titles from 1991 to 2002 (DL III got him in 1994), played a few different heads but had something like an 80 gram 45" graphite shaft in his drivers. When Tiger went to 45" graphite, his accuracy went south. Then he went to the Memorial Tournament in I want to say 2009 with a 10° Driver and 44" shaft (weighted properly) and missed only 7 fairway all week. I don't know why he didn't stick with that length. 

I know distance sells but controlled distance is better.  All I'm wondering is why when they went from 44 to 45 to 46 inches and back to 45, why didn't they realize, oh 44 inches has less dispersion for amateurs and they distance loss is negligible.

I'm 6'5" and I can hit a 44" driver, why did standard creep?

I'm sure this was touched on before, but I wanted to add to it. For about the first six years Tiger Woods was on tour he played a 43.5" Driver with a Steel True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft.  I think that shaft is ~130 grams. John Daly who won 11 Driving distance titles from 1991 to 2002 (DL III got him in 1994), played a few different heads but had something like an 80 gram 45" graphite shaft in his drivers. When Tiger went to 45" graphite, his accuracy went south. Then he went to the Memorial Tournament in I want to say 2009 with a 10° Driver and 44" shaft (weighted properly) and missed only 7 fairway all week. I don't know why he didn't stick with that length. 

I know distance sells but controlled distance is better. 

I'm sure this was touched on before, but I wanted to add to it. For about the first six years Tiger Woods was on tour he played a 43.5" Driver with a Steel True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft.  I think that shaft is ~130 grams. John Daly who won 11 Driving distance titles from 1991 to 2002 (DL III got him in 1994), played a few different heads but had something like an 80 gram 45" graphite shaft in his drivers. When Tiger went to 45" graphite, his accuracy went south. Then he went to the Memorial Tournament in I want to say 2009 with a 10° Driver and 44" shaft (weighted properly) and missed only 7 fairway all week. I don't know why he didn't stick with that length. 

I know distance sells but controlled distance is better. 

I think a big reason for the distance creep in shaft length is because they have continued to make them lighter and lighter, so the extra length is needed to keep the swingweight up.  I agree that a shorter length driver is better, but when you go from a 130g shaft like the Dynamic Gold to a 50g graphite, that's an 80g difference which is about 8-9 swingweight points.  So from a manufacturer's perspective, how do you get the swingweight back up without making the head heavier?  Make the shaft longer.  And before you know it, drivers are 46-46.5" long!  

Is this the best for most players?  I don't think so, but in terms of how it happened, this would be why.

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2 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

I think a big reason for the distance creep in shaft length is because they have continued to make them lighter and lighter, so the extra length is needed to keep the swingweight up.  I agree that a shorter length driver is better, but when you go from a 130g shaft like the Dynamic Gold to a 50g graphite, that's an 80g difference which is about 8-9 swingweight points.  So from a manufacturer's perspective, how do you get the swingweight back up without making the head heavier?  Make the shaft longer.  And before you know it, drivers are 46-46.5" long!  

Is this the best for most players?  I don't think so, but in terms of how it happened, this would be why.

The shaft is miles lighter which is the truth... Most pros were playing 80-90 grams when the big switch to graphite happened. I personally play a 77 gram shaft..  I think with a heavier shaft it's a little easier to get away with. I am tossing around getting a 44" driver shaft with an EX9 adapter on it and finding a lighter grip. The issue is, I play Jumbo grips hard to find any.of those in the weight category I'm looking at.

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I wondered about this very subject.

I would hit one in 4 or 5 right down the center of the fairway. The others were equally as long, but who knew where they were going to go. Spraying to the right? Spraying to the left? Bah.
I read where Tiger and Ricky, as you did, used the shorter length drivers. So I started messing with that by choking up (or is it down) on it and hitting several with my hands in that position. Trying to make sure that the swing was essentially the same.
I took mine down to 44" (rather than 45) as it was 90+% of the time right down the gullet.

 

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I had my driver shaft shortened by 1 1/2" today. I'd been gripping down to the end of the grip for some time now trying to gain some control, so I made the decision hoping it wouldn't bring a loss in distance.

I brought it home and immediately started hitting balls with it. Nothing really seemed different at first - maybe a bit less distance... but it's not like I'd been hitting very long the last couple of months anyway. I then got into a groove and started hitting the nearly exact same shot 6 or 7 times in a row. I haven't checked GPS yet for distance, but I'm going to guess these shots are at least at my average.

Obviously, this means very little as far as a lasting improvement with accuracy. But I don't think there will be a substantial loss in distance. At this point, I'd trade a small amount the latter for the former.

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This is from Game Golf - before and after I changed the shaft in my driver

before (Matrix VLCT SP)
Shaft 45.5", Fairway 36%, Average 244 yards

After (Project X HZRDUS Black-65)
Shaft 44.5", Fairway 52%, Average 261 yards

I'm not claiming the most technical test, and in part it may be due to me improving my swing and different conditions etc, indeed the replacement shaft may be 'better' as well as shorter, but its a reasonable sample size and hopefully will give some of you considering the switch food for thought.

Capture1.thumb.JPG.402605b4c20bea6bd16679c3f7ef30b2.JPG

Capture.thumb.JPG.51b2ae31c530288eaa5d5d271aa45353.JPG

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Don't know if anybody else has mentioned it, but in February, Rickie Fowler started playing a driver a full inch shorter than he previously used.  Saw many articles about it at the time.

This season have heard many commentators talking about how much more accurate he has been off the tee than in years past.  Have not heard that many comments about being shorter off the tee.  

 

Edited by scotth

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12 hours ago, Dinoma said:

This is from Game Golf - before and after I changed the shaft in my driver

before (Matrix VLCT SP)
Shaft 45.5", Fairway 36%, Average 244 yards

After (Project X HZRDUS Black-65)
Shaft 44.5", Fairway 52%, Average 261 yards

I'm not claiming the most technical test, and in part it may be due to me improving my swing and different conditions etc, indeed the replacement shaft may be 'better' as well as shorter, but its a reasonable sample size and hopefully will give some of you considering the switch food for thought.

That's a substantial improvement. I'm certain I won't experience any increase in distance but at this point, distance isn't even on the radar.

I practiced a bit more tonight and decided shortening the driver won't fix my issues. I have to swing sooooo slow to get decent ball flight. As a result, I'm losing 10 - 20 yards from what GameGolf said I was averaging (219). 

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I'm going to revitalize this thread and take it a step further.

I thought about this a little further. I know we've had a driver shaft length creep where the average length is ~45 inches. Yes the shafts have gotten lighter, so to keep the swingweight the same you have to add weight. I get it.

But 45" is very long for the average golfer. So I'm going to go to 43.75"-44" next year, not by cutting down, but from the factory.

I'm going to take this a step further, A 43" 3-wood is too long as well, yes, I'm 6'5" but I'm saying fairway woods have creeped longer as well. Some OEMs have their standard 3-wood at 43.5"! I think a 42 to 42.5" 3-wood is plenty long enough for me.

Yes, I play my irons 3/4" longer than "standard" but standard is 1.25" longer than old standard... I wonder to myself why I play clubs that are so long... Oh Tour Edge won't bend more than 2 degrees either way.

So in conclusion, the OEMs are selling you "distance" with these longer shafts. But your ball speed and smash will be better with a shorter driver.

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9 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

I'm going to revitalize this thread and take it a step further.

I thought about this a little further. I know we've had a driver shaft length creep where the average length is ~45 inches. Yes the shafts have gotten lighter, so to keep the swingweight the same you have to add weight. I get it.

But 45" is very long for the average golfer. So I'm going to go to 43.75"-44" next year, not by cutting down, but from the factory.

I'm going to take this a step further, A 43" 3-wood is too long as well, yes, I'm 6'5" but I'm saying fairway woods have creeped longer as well. Some OEMs have their standard 3-wood at 43.5"! I think a 42 to 42.5" 3-wood is plenty long enough for me.

Yes, I play my irons 3/4" longer than "standard" but standard is 1.25" longer than old standard... I wonder to myself why I play clubs that are so long... Oh Tour Edge won't bend more than 2 degrees either way.

So in conclusion, the OEMs are selling you "distance" with these longer shafts. But your ball speed and smash will be better with a shorter driver.

If you've ever read any of my posts on this subject, you know I'm a big supporter of shorter driver shafts and encourage players to try it and see the benefits for themselves.  Ordering them from the factory with the shorter shaft specs is a great way to have this done, since you can also select different weight shafts and possibly weight screws to help achieve your desired swingweight.

One thing to keep in mind though is some companies have a limit as to how short a club can be ordered from the factory.  When I was with Bridgestone, it was +/- 1", so 44" was fine, but 43 1/2" wasn't available.  I'm not sure what other company's policy is on this.

Even though you're tall, it shouldn't be an issue.  Tall guys tend to have longer arms, so often time their clubs aren't much different than anyone else.  I have a good friend who is 6'8" and his irons are only 1/4" longer than that brand's standard loft.  Please follow up your post with how the ordering process was done and the results when you finally receive them!

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On 9/21/2017 at 7:21 AM, Dinoma said:

This is from Game Golf - before and after I changed the shaft in my driver

before (Matrix VLCT SP)
Shaft 45.5", Fairway 36%, Average 244 yards

After (Project X HZRDUS Black-65)
Shaft 44.5", Fairway 52%, Average 261 yards

Long drives of 360+! Whew.

But thanks for the charts of before/after. In your gut, how much of this was equipment, and how much was you improving your swing? You also mention "different conditions" but it looks like a large enough sample size to have those conditions equalize... unless one was early spring and courses were mush, and one was late summer and fairways running firm and balls rolled out.

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On 9/21/2017 at 6:21 AM, Dinoma said:

This is from Game Golf - before and after I changed the shaft in my driver

before (Matrix VLCT SP)
Shaft 45.5", Fairway 36%, Average 244 yards

After (Project X HZRDUS Black-65)
Shaft 44.5", Fairway 52%, Average 261 yards

I'm not claiming the most technical test, and in part it may be due to me improving my swing and different conditions etc, indeed the replacement shaft may be 'better' as well as shorter, but its a reasonable sample size and hopefully will give some of you considering the switch food for thought.

Capture1.thumb.JPG.402605b4c20bea6bd16679c3f7ef30b2.JPG

Capture.thumb.JPG.51b2ae31c530288eaa5d5d271aa45353.JPG

I just noticed this post @Dinoma.  This is a great example of the type of improvement many players have gotten from shortening their driver shaft, and falls in line with the results I personally had and what I've seen with others.

Guys, one thing that I don't think has been mentioned regarding this subject is the idea "if 1" off my driver is good, then cutting 3" off will be even better!"  Shortening your driver can be very beneficial, but don't over-do a good thing.  There are no hard and fast rules on this because not all drivers are the same, but I'm comfortable going down to 44-44.5" on most drivers, but when you start going shorter than 44", there is a point of diminishing returns, so keep that in mind everybody.

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33 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

I just noticed this post @Dinoma.  This is a great example of the type of improvement many players have gotten from shortening their driver shaft, and falls in line with the results I personally had and what I've seen with others.

Guys, one thing that I don't think has been mentioned regarding this subject is the idea "if 1" off my driver is good, then cutting 3" off will be even better!"  Shortening your driver can be very beneficial, but don't over-do a good thing.  There are no hard and fast rules on this because not all drivers are the same, but I'm comfortable going down to 44-44.5" on most drivers, but when you start going shorter than 44", there is a point of diminishing returns, so keep that in mind everybody.

I read an article on MyGolfSpy (the one that does all the tests), they took a Taylormade R15 driver with a 45.75" playing length, and another with a 43.75" playing length. Average golfers from +1 handicap to 20 handicap, hit a series of shots with each club. 

The test revealed that all players increased their ball speed, distance, and were closer to the center line with the shorter driver than the longer driver. Hmmmm... I wonder what that is telling us?

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2 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

I just noticed this post @Dinoma.  This is a great example of the type of improvement many players have gotten from shortening their driver shaft, and falls in line with the results I personally had and what I've seen with others.

Guys, one thing that I don't think has been mentioned regarding this subject is the idea "if 1" off my driver is good, then cutting 3" off will be even better!"  Shortening your driver can be very beneficial, but don't over-do a good thing.  There are no hard and fast rules on this because not all drivers are the same, but I'm comfortable going down to 44-44.5" on most drivers, but when you start going shorter than 44", there is a point of diminishing returns, so keep that in mind everybody.

I've lost 20 yards of so in the last month. If anything my turn has gotten a little better I'm hoping it's the colder weather. To get to your point I use a 50" driver figuring it gives me more time to build up speed. I have several drivers and all have the 50" shaft, which includes 2,   07 TaylorMades.  Tonight I'll cut 5" off my backyard driver and take it to "work" tomorrow. I walk everyday and play is light this time of year so I should be able to give it a decent "working man" test You folks have me wondering, we'll see.

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4 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

I just noticed this post @Dinoma.  This is a great example of the type of improvement many players have gotten from shortening their driver shaft, and falls in line with the results I personally had and what I've seen with others.

Guys, one thing that I don't think has been mentioned regarding this subject is the idea "if 1" off my driver is good, then cutting 3" off will be even better!"  Shortening your driver can be very beneficial, but don't over-do a good thing.  There are no hard and fast rules on this because not all drivers are the same, but I'm comfortable going down to 44-44.5" on most drivers, but when you start going shorter than 44", there is a point of diminishing returns, so keep that in mind everybody.

Many moons ago, the "standard" driver length was 43". But that was in the days of persimmon woods and 130g steel shafts. Now with lightweight graphite shafts, (some of which are 42-43g). The length had to get "longer" with the problem of balancing swingweight. 

I believe that the OEMs, who are selling "distance" aren't looking at the average player. They're looking at "better" players.

As @1badbadger has pointed out, and advocated several times: Most golfers even taller golfers would benefit from a shorter than standard driver.

I'm going to take this a step further. I think that fairways should be shorter than standard as well. Their lengths haven't creeped quite so much. But "old" standard length is plenty long enough, 42" for 3-wood, 41" for 5-wood (with steel), I'll say 42.5", and 41.5" is fine with graphite, but any longer is overkill.

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