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Saturday, March 4, 2017

More About Shorter Drivers (Video)

Around a week ago I did a post about Rickie Fowler going to a shorter driver. I've also found a Morning Drive video featuring Master Club Fitter Randall Doucette about what you should consider if you go to a shorter driver.

The video is self-explanatory, but here are a couple of high points.
  • Improving your ball contact with a shorter shaft can actually give you more ball speed than a longer shaft will.
  • When you first change shaft length, it may take some time to become consistent with it. That's because you may have developed compensations in your swing that affect it even after you get the shaft that's correct for you.
Doucette also says there are two important questions you should ask when you go for a driver fitting:
  • What kind of distance can you realistically expect with a properly-fitted driver?
  • Which is more important to you -- the distance or the ability to control where the shot goes?
And just to give you some perspective on the two shaft length changes that precipitated this discussion on TV:
  • Rickie changed his driver to 43.5 inches, which is the current standard for a 3-wood and was the standard for a driver back in the 1980s when steel-headed drivers became popular.
  • And Jimmie Walker changed his to 42 inches, which matches Harry Vardon's driver back in the late 1890s and early 1900s.
Even if you don't have one of the new adjustable drivers, it's easy enough to grip down an inch or two on your current driver to see how it affects your driving. It's worth testing to see if you get better results. You might even improve both distance AND accuracy!


  1. Mike,

    I have used a shorter driver for years. Consistent hitting is more important, to me, than length.

    1. I think there's a reason most players -- even the pros -- play better with a 3-wood, and it's that slightly shorter shaft. Guys like Rory seem to be the exception.