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Friday, March 6, 2020

Nick Clearwater on Shorter Driver Shafts (Video)

This short GOLFTEC video is about something you should seriously consider: Can you really get more distance from a shorter driver shaft?

Think about what Clearwater says at the beginning of this video:
  • The average driver you buy at the golf shop usually has a 44.5 inch shaft.
  • The average driver used by PGA Tour pros usually has a 43.5 inch shaft.
  • And some of the best drivers on Tour use a driver with a 43 inch (or even shorter) shaft.
Longer shafts don't automatically equate to longer drives. I know that sounds crazy, but a shaft that is too long for you isn't as easy to swing effectively (which usually results in a slower clubhead speed). And if you aren't swinging effectively, you probably aren't hitting the sweet spot on the clubface very often either.

I know modern clubs are more forgiving, but 'forgiving' only means the ball doesn't go as far off line with an off-center hit. But you still get less distance on the off-center hit.

Clearwater's little rubber band test is a good way to see if you hit the center of the clubface more often with a shorter shaft, but be aware that this test won't give you the same distance you'd get with the 'correct' shaft for that length.

When you grip down on the shaft, the shorter shaft is stiffer because you've changed where the flex point of the shaft is. Getting the correct shaft length puts that flex point back in the correct spot and you get more distance. Or, to put it another way, gripping your 44.5 inch shaft so it plays at only 43 inches won't give you the same distance as an actual 43 inch shaft would give you.

So bear that in mind if you try testing for your proper shaft length. Once you find the correct shaft length using the Clearwater method, you'll need to try hitting a club with an actual shaft of that length to find out how it actually affects your length off the tee.

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