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Beginners often find different golf club lengths confusing to navigate through when buying their first club – and for a good reason. Even professional golfers may find it difficult to choose just one size.
Choosing the optimal golf club length can make or break your game – so you must choose properly. But what exactly are golf club lengths based on?
Golf club length is based on your height as well as your power. If you are shorter you will need a slightly shorter club so you don’t regularly hit the ground when swinging.
A golf club’s length dictates whether or not you can make your shot with all your strength. The idea is to complement your height, wrist-to-floor length, ability, and swing speed.
Depending on how strong you are, you can use a golf club length made specifically for your height or one where you lose power on your swing. Both these options serve a specific purpose.
Not every trainer teaches this, though, and many will tell you that you need to change your playstyle, not the golf club’s length. Let’s examine the idea of different golf club lengths closely and what you should look for when buying clubs straight off the shelf.
Are Golf Clubs Based on Height? What do Different Lengths Mean?
There is no set industry standard for the length of your golf club. You get to choose what you play with.
Different manufacturers have different length standards that they follow, ranging from 37.75 inches to 38.5 inches.
The length of your golf club translates into how much power you can exert on your ball when striking it. Despite what rumors might suggest, the ball angle won’t be affected as much unless you choose a golf club that is a bit too long for you (such that you cannot extend your arms without hitting the ground).
Longer clubs will result in hitting the turf and creating deeper groves than what you can expect from shorter clubs, which may damage the iron. Hence, longer irons have been recommended for practice by many coaches to help players lose power during the swing instead of changing their technique.
You won’t be playing in this way professionally but will be able to make the most out of your recreational golfing trips.
If you have a strong core and arms, you may find that you may overshoot unless you practice some restraint. Let’s face it, restraint on a golf course is never a ‘fun’ idea. So, instead of having to limit yourself, you can choose longer clubs.
Even with longer clubs, you can avoid hitting the turf, and even still, your shot won’t be as powerful as with the right length. You will have to exert force while pulling it down towards the ball and keep it from hitting the ground.
On the other hand, shorter clubs don’t mean that you will have more power. You will have to bend more for the shot, supporting your upper body with your core. Your core will probably hurt for a while in this position if you are a beginner, as you will be straining your abdomen and deltoids.
Shorter golf clubs give you more control over the angle of your ball, though you won’t be able to apply as much power as an optimal-length club.
Calculating The Right Golf Club Length
Having a golf club with the optimal length can help you get the balance you need between power and balance, maintain the right posture, and even prepare for a professional game.
To measure the optimal length for your golf club you should do the following:
Step 1. Measure your height from your feet to the top of your head. Ask someone else to measure your height for best results. Stand straight and on a flat surface – preferably against a wall.
Step 2. Measure the length from your wrist to the floor, standing straight. Again, this is something that you may not be able to do yourself accurately. Let your arms loosely hang when measuring. Place the measuring tape at your wrist (joint) and let it hang to the floor.
Step 3. Compare the two measurements to get more information from the table below. It should help you understand the type of club you need, while the club type will help you determine the best angle.
Here is a table to see which golf club will suit you best based on your height and arm length.
|Type of Club||Hand-to-Floor Length – Women||Hand-to-Floor Length – Men|
There are several other factors to consider as well when choosing the right club, though, such as the shaft length, playstyle, and whether you’re right or left-handed.
Step 4. Try a standard club first, even if you know it will be small. This trial will give you an idea of whether you need a longer or smaller club according to your playstyle.
Step 5. Choose your handicap level. It would help the store manager create more specific clubs for you and your skills.
By measuring your height and your hand-to-floor distance, the goal is to make sure you don’t have to bend over too much when playing and can hold the golf club in such a manner that you don’t have to bend your arms too much.
If the golf club length is too small, you’ll have to bend more. If it’s too long, your arms will start bending. When holding a golf club, you should place one hand’s (depending on whether you’re left- or right-handed) pinky about an inch above the base, and the other hand should sit snugly on top of it.
Both hands should be equally bent and be no more than an inch or 1.5 inches above your kneecaps.
Finding the Ideal Golf Club Length
Although shorter and longer golf clubs have pros and cons, having a club of ideal length is much more beneficial for your game and body. You’ll be able to play longer, keep your spirits up, and you won’t have to risk pulling a muscle each time you go out to play.