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bellevue18
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PostSubject: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:37 pm

Howdie

Newbie here and looking for a used or new driver to practise my 'fear' of long clubs.

I found that most drivers have a pretty long shaft in region of 46 inches, give or take. I am not young and have a slow swing speed and also quite short. I have tried a long driver and have problems getting the club head to strike the ball properly due to the length.

Question to the sifus here - will simply having the shaft cut an inch or even more by a fitter be perfectly fine, without affecting the club swing statistics, like its swing weight, or do I have to get a proper fit to also adjust the club head weight etc etc? Or should I just get the standard driver and practise long and hard till I can hit it properly? If getting a standard driver is the better option, then I am in the market for a 'forgiving' used driver to train with.

Cheers
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enwee
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:40 pm

why don't u visit a fitter and see what they said? Length imho, does not affect distance, you go read tom wishon's myths on golf. You'll understand.
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bellevue18
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:03 pm

enwee wrote:
why don't u visit a fitter and see what they said? Length imho, does not affect distance, you go read tom wishon's myths on golf. You'll understand.
Thanks for the suggestion, but does any fitter give free advice without me having a driver yet? If so, who would you recommend for advice?

Will read Tom Wishon's article and see what he said.

Thanks
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bellevue18
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:27 pm

Was reading Tom Wishon's site. Interesting. But based on his measurement of wrist to floor length, my driver should be about 42.75 inches!!
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haragolfer
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:34 pm

i play a 43 inch driver now. no loss from my old distances. But i never was any good with the 46 inch drivers.  i choked down on my drivers like anthony Kim and got better results after watching him.  finally made a decision to play a 3 wood shaft in a driver, Lo and behold, straighter longer.  experiment a little.
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bellevue18
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:05 pm

haragolfer wrote:
i play a 43 inch driver now. no loss from my old distances. But i never was any good with the 46 inch drivers.  i choked down on my drivers like anthony Kim and got better results after watching him.  finally made a decision to play a 3 wood shaft in a driver, Lo and behold, straighter longer.  experiment a little.
Wow, great, now I know I am not alone.

But how would I do this? Should I get a cheap 2nd hand driver and cut the length to see how I can manage, or go ahead and get a good new driver I like (I have tried a few and felt the Ping G25 is nice and hits well IF I can manage a good shot) and get it fitted? I am tempted to go for the 2nd option, but the outlay is higher and it may feel different after cutting the shaft length, right?
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Devvic
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:12 am

Hi,

I'm a newbie with less than a year's experience and have struggled with the driver since I've started. 

My dad has been playing for a few years and I inherited a few old drivers from him. 

The first driver I used was the Cobra 414 Comp 10.5 with a 44.75" shaft and swingweight of D0. Was pretty alright and manageable but I couldn't get much distance. 

I also tried the original Burner driver. Shaft length was 46" but wasn't sure about the swingweight. I totally couldn't handle the driver at all. Gave up on this after a few attempts. 

Don't know what got into me when I went shopping for clubs for the first time. Saw the RBZ global specs driver on sale and went ahead to buy without even reading up on the specs. Only after I got more interested did I realize that the shaft is 46" and swingweight of D4. 

Struggled with the driver badly also and started to regret the buy. However this driver had the newest head amongst all of the drivers I had. So I brought it to a fitter. 

He saw my swing with the cobra driver which I could manage and saw my swing with the RBZ driver. Finally cut it by an inch to shorten it to 45". 

I have a more consistent drive now, averaging between 170-180m on good drives. Never bothered with the exact swingweight or anything else but the length reduction has done wonders for me. 

I'm not very tall, only 1.7m. If you like, we can meet and let you try swinging some of my older drivers.
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jeffman88
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:32 am

bellevue18 wrote:
will simply having the shaft cut an inch or even more by a fitter be perfectly fine, without affecting the club swing statistics, like its swing weight, or do I have to get a proper fit to also adjust the club head weight etc etc? Or should I just get the standard driver and practise long and hard till I can hit it properly? If getting a standard driver is the better option, then I am in the market for a 'forgiving' used driver to train with
Shortening an existing driver by an inch is a lot and yes it will definitely affect both actual and swing weights and it will not hit as before..

One school of thought is as u have stated go get a std driver and perhaps hire a swing coach and go practice long and hard Smile lol

The other (n more expensive option) is u go see a fitter w your current driver and basically get him to check/ determine your swing statistics + the existing swing weight of the driver (whether is a D1 D2 or whatever).. This is impt esp so if u are comfy with that original swing weight so if he needs to shorten the shaft later on, he can then recalibrate the shortened club back to the original swing weight)...   If you are unsure of the correct swing weight for you or not happy w your current driver's performance,  the fitter usually has many other driver heads and shafts for you to try after determining some basic stats/ facts like ur swing speed, height, reach etc and then fix up something for u to hit a few times on his trackman/ scope to collect more data  (assuming u hv a consistent swing) for him to eventually recommend something to suit your needs (swing as well as budget)..
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willytan
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:58 am

Nice information. Shld visit a fitter soon to determine my shaft length.
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Derek
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:37 pm

In general, the following are true for the majority of golfers

1) Shorter drivers are easier to swing than longer drivers
2) Contact on the driver face is more consistent with a shorter driver than a longer driver
3) Most golfers will experience a gain in AVERAGE distance with a shorter driver compared to a longer driver because the loss in distance from contact away from the sweet spot is much more than can be compensated by the increased clubhead speed achieved through a longer shaft
4) Swing the longest shaft you can handle ... however for most humans, what we can handle is going to be much much shorter than 46.5in

To get a quick feel how a shortened driver will feel like, choke down 2 inches on your current driver, like what haragolfer mentions, and if you like it, stick with it, cutting your driver may make it harder to sell later ... the majority view is still longer shaft = more distance ... also, you will have quite a few games to decide if a shorter driver is right for you (or if you need instruction to correct fundamental flaws)

Food for thought: Touring Pros have more ability, raw talent, practice and mental conditioning (related to golf) than the average social golfer.  Wonder why they don't all carry 46.5in drivers?  Do you think if they could consistently get more distance with no loss of accuracy or consistency they would not use it?

_________________
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What's in the Bag

Driver: Callway X-Hot 10.5 with Fubuki 50S (pulled from a TM Burner SuperFast)
Woods: 19 Deg Callaway X-hot Proj X Stock S Flex
Hybrid: 22 Deg TM SF i70R, Cobra Baffler 25 Deg NS950R
Irons 5-Pw:  Titleist 704 CB NSP950 (Flex Unknown - think it is R)
Wedges: Perry Gear 52 Deg DG S300 and BFG 55 Deg KBS Hi-Rev, Tourstage 60 Deg
Putter: RIFE Antigua Island with Champ Large Grip
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Doraemon
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:53 pm

I have checked online before...

According to USGA (back 10~15 years then), only allows the longest club length around 42"~44".

Recent years (2005/6 or so), the USGA changed the longest club length allowed to 46", that is why most aftermarket shafts comes maximum length of 46".

The USGA regulation for the longest club length allowed should be even longer by now... 

I remember also from a golf website, an experiment was done on same Drivers with different length shafts and the increase of distance after 44" are not as significant as of 42"~44". (Not sure if they try doing it again now with the new equipment)

Longer is always further but also harder... Shorter may not be as far but definitely easier...
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kennyky
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:02 pm

interesting from a different froum/thread:




Found this, thought it was interesting: http://3jack.blogspot.com/2009/04/statistical-analysis-of-tigers-driving.html 




Tiger went from a steel shafted driver to a graphite shafted driver in 2004 (http://golf.about.com/cs/componentscustom/a/steelvsgraphite.htm). So let’s first take a look at Tiger’s driving accuracy stats over the years. 

YEAR…………………FWY % 

1997…………………….68.6% 
1998…………………….67.9% 
1999…………………….71.3% 
2000…………………….71.2% 
2001…………………….65.5% 
2002…………………….67.5% 
2003…………………….62.7% 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
2004…………………….56.1% 
2005…………………….54.6% 
2006…………………….60.7% 
2007…………………….59.8% 
2008…………………….57.9% 

Let’s also look at Tiger’s driving distance during these years. 

1997…………………....294.8 
1998……………………296.3 
1999……………………293.1 
2000……………………298.0 
2001……………………297.6 
2002……………………293.3 
2003……………………299.5 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
2004……………………301.9 
2005……………………316.1 
2006……………………306.4 
2007……………………302.4 
2008……………………294.3









[original post http://www.freegolfinfo.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=2890110&mpage=6]








Now, i found one guy saying Tiger plays 45 1/4 inches on his driver, to be confirmed though.
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bellevue18
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:00 pm

Thanks Devvic for the offer - much appreciated. Will PM you if I want to demo, but am trying to demo those offered by the retailers first.

Hi Jeffman88, I would gladly see a fitter but I think my swing now is still pretty inconsistent and I need to practise more before I can see the fitter, otherwise I get shove off out the door.

Hi Willytan, I am sure you are already quite consistent and good with your driver and you are still considering seeing a fitter - improving on your handicap?

Hi Derek, many thanks for the insightful info. I did try to grip down on my driver during the demo sessions at GH. True, I was able to hit more times with the ball solidly than when gripping at the end of the shaft.

Hi Doraemon, totally agree with your findings that shorter is easier than longer. And more chances of getting the ball straighter.

Thanks Kennyky for the interesting stats on Tiger and the rest of the Tour.

Now I am more inclined to start looking for a newer driver and get it fitted than to try struggling with a long stick.

Another query though, I saw that most drivers have lofts ranging from 9* to 10.5*. However I have trouble hitting balls even with 10.5* loft. Even after trying a 12* loft driver, my balls seem to fly more straight than high. Should I then look for a driver with much higher loft than 12* then?
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jxoo
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:10 pm

I guess u can try working on your AOA. Worked for me.
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bellevue18
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:32 pm

jxoo wrote:
I guess u can try working on your AOA. Worked for me.
AOA - Angle of Attack right? I read that for drivers you have hit the ball on the upswing while for irons you have to hit down. Well, I am still trying to be consistent with my swing and it is not easy to try to hit time it to hit it on upswing. Quite often, I hit the ground when trying too hard. I am now trying to align my left foot with the ball when hitting with the driver, and aligning mid-way between the left and right foot when hitting with my irons. Hope that helps when I hit more balls at the range.
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jxoo
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:37 pm

bellevue18 wrote:
jxoo wrote:
I guess u can try working on your AOA. Worked for me.
AOA - Angle of Attack right? I read that for drivers you have hit the ball on the upswing while for irons you have to hit down. Well, I am still trying to be consistent with my swing and it is not easy to try to hit time it to hit it on upswing. Quite often, I hit the ground when trying too hard. I am now trying to align my left foot with the ball when hitting with the driver, and aligning mid-way between the left and right foot when hitting with my irons. Hope that helps when I hit more balls at the range.
Yup. I normally align my left armpit with the ball when hitting the driver. Should work well if you have a wide stance.
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bellevue18
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:46 pm

Quote :


Yup. I normally align my left armpit with the ball when hitting the driver. Should work well if you have a wide stance.
Great, I will continue practising with a wide stance, and am planning to reward myself with a Christmas gift of a driver. Am eyeing the Ping G25 with 12* loft. Have tried the X Hot, Razr as well as the Titleist 913  but the G25 seems to be the better hitting one with less dispersion.
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Birdman
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:49 am

Perhaps I can add on to what the rest have said which for the most part I agree with, that most golfers not yet proficient with driver should go with a more manageable shorter shaft that allows for more consistent contact with the sweet spot and tighter dispersion.

Anywhere from 44 inches to 45 half inches perhaps? Anything shorter than 44 inches, then might as well stick with a 43 half inch 3 wood and leave space for an extra hybrid or wedge, a much more useful club combo.

However, I am a firm believer in the 46 inch driver. Does it give more distance? Absolutely. If you can handle it. Those on the PGA Tour seek a delicate balance of distance with control, most don't need to hit it that long, because they are already long. Over the years, major venues like Augusta have lengthened their courses by moving back the tees over cries that golf courses are becoming obsolete because of the prodigious distances these pros hit (many averaging 300 yrds plus these days). Professional long drivers on the other hand, know their physics and go long in shaft so they can go deep in distance. Jamie Sadlowski plays a 48 inch shafted driver, with instances in the past of even 55 inch drivers until a 50 inch limit was introduced in 2005. They've got to be on to something...

Let's not even take it to extremes to prove a point and just turn to our own golf bag. If an extra inch or two won't make a difference, then why not have all clubs the same length as a pitching wedge? One length all the way through the bag would make it so much easier to have the same set up, same plane and same swing for the same consistent results each and every time.

Obviously ridiculous, and not true. Very Happy

I am of the opinion that one should play a driver with the longest shaft that one can handle with their current skill level, then as one becomes more competent and consistent, stretch the skill level by stretching the shaft length till just before the point of diminishing return.

I say this from the perspective of one who has never had the ability to hit it that long, I used to average 180m off the tee, if I find the fairway. My miss was a major banana slice, the only place deep I ever went was into the woods. The driver was my weakest club in the bag.

It's now my strongest. It has to be for a short hitter like me with a maximum swing speed of 88mph, and that's on a really good day after I've fully warmed up; first few swings, I'm in the region of 80 to 83mph. That's sloooow...

I've pushed myself and moved up in length with the industry through the years from 44 inches to my current 46 inches and gone from 180m to 225m through being more efficient at impact with my driver. And at 1.67m in height, I'm undertall, if anything. On bad driving days, I average 190m to 200m, mediocre days about 210m, way better than the 180m of old. I'm pretty confident of finding the fairway up to 80% of the time, if I do miss, I'm not so far in trouble that I can't get back to the fairway.

And I believe I wouldn't have gained an extra 45m over the years if I had stuck with a 44 inch driver cut down, or dumbed down, to manage my 90 degree slice.

Why limit yourself by emasculating a 46 inch driver, rather grip down two inches if you want a 44 incher, or even three, if you want control out on the course.

Then push your skill level on range, grip it and rip it until you get the hang of your 46 inch monster and let it one day be a weapon of mass destruction out on the course. Very Happy





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bellevue18
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:25 am

Wow.. thanks Mr Birdman for your valuable inputs. Now I am having a headache deciding whether to grip down the shaft or 'emasculate' the driver, though emasculating the driver does sound rather cruel.
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haragolfer
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:51 pm

simple then.  play a 3 wood first. emasculate later
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bellevue18
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:29 pm

haragolfer wrote:
simple then.  play a 3 wood first. emasculate later
3 wood head much smaller so even harder to hit well.
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enwee
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:31 pm

bellevue18 wrote:
haragolfer wrote:
simple then.  play a 3 wood first. emasculate later
3 wood head much smaller so even harder to hit well.
Actually from the tee, 3 wood is much easier to hit because it's shorter, dispersion also tighter.
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bellevue18
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:47 pm

enwee wrote:
bellevue18 wrote:
haragolfer wrote:
simple then.  play a 3 wood first. emasculate later
3 wood head much smaller so even harder to hit well.
Actually from the tee, 3 wood is much easier to hit because it's shorter, dispersion also tighter.
Bro emwee, that would apply to good players like you la. i tried a 3 wood before. Its shorter (I think about 42 or 43, not sure which) so not much if compared to me gripping down on a standard driver. But driver head is much easier to hit. Also if I grip down on the driver, the shaft is tapered so its smaller and seem not as easy to grip.
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Birdman
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:51 am

Haha... You're not alone Bellevue18, I was the same too. Even now, there are times I prefer to hit a grip-down driver rather than a full 3 wood for the same reason. It's a matter of individual confidence.

A cheap and easy solution... have a fitter add additional tape under the lower half of your grip so you have a constant taper the whole length. That way, your grip feels the same no matter where you grip it.
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bellevue18
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question on driver shaft length   Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:11 am

Birdman wrote:
Haha... You're not alone Bellevue18, I was the same too. Even now, there are times I prefer to hit a grip-down driver rather than a full 3 wood for the same reason. It's a matter of individual confidence.

A cheap and easy solution... have a fitter add additional tape under the lower half of your grip so you have a constant taper the whole length. That way, your grip feels the same no matter where you grip it.
Yes, Birdman, that is another good option instead of shorterning the shaft. Thanks.
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