Do short golfers need short clubs and tall golfers need long clubs?
It is generally believed that the size of a golfer is the main factor in determining the length of their golf clubs. The belief is that taller people need longer clubs than the norm, and smaller people need shorter clubs.
According to Kris McCormack, expert fitter and vice president of touring and education at True Spec Golf, however, size doesn’t necessarily correlate directly with club length.
Fitting a golfer for custom golf clubs can be a complicated process that takes a number of factors into account. While human anatomy is certainly a consideration, there are various other things to consider, such as swing speed, swing style, general skills, typical ball flight, location of impact, and general player preferences.
When it comes to vertical height, McCormack says it’s not necessarily a person’s height that affects club length. It is more about the overall construction of their anatomy.
âIt’s not your height, it’s your height,â says McCormack. âYou can have three players of the same height, but the body structure can be completely different. For example, a person may have long legs and a short torso with long arms. People are longer and shorter in different areas of their body.
That being the case, a golfer with shorter arms may want to have longer clubs so they don’t have to bend too much. Likewise, a golfer with longer arms may want a shorter club so they don’t have to stand too straight.
McCormack also points out two other important factors.
1) Flexibility: âPhysical limitations and flexibility also play a role in determining length. A player who has back problems, joint problems, or injuries can play with a longer golf club to help offset some of the restrictions placed on him by his body. Most recreational and beginner players are not as flexible as a seasoned player. As a result, you can see them losing their posture or having a swing which is mainly driven by their arms. Making a change in length can help them.
2) Performance: âYou can also adjust a player’s length to achieve desired ball flight or improve the location of the strike on the clubface. As a rule of thumb, a longer club will help throw the ball higher, promote fade bias, and improve the location of the strike for those who miss it on the toe. If you were to shorten a club, for that same player, you might see a lower flight, plus a draw, and a thin and / or toe gap will start to appear.
The reason a longer club may have more skew to the right (for a right-handed golfer), according to McCormack, is that the plane of the swing will flatten out, the clubface will not relax as quickly and there will be more sleeve. sag and deviation. All of these factors lead to a more open clubface on impact with a longer club.
Additionally, shorter golf clubs can provide the golfer with more control, making the golf club more forgiving. While longer clubs can help increase speed and angle of launch, shorter clubs may be easier to hit due to the reduced swing arc. This is why âchokingâ on the club gives the golfer more control, in general.
In a typical golf club fitting, expert fitters do not take anatomical measurements. It is important for a golfer to be in a comfortable posture at address, of course, but length adjustment is not limited to a person’s vertical height.
The best way to determine the right length of clubs for you is to go through a full professional fitting or consult your local professional. Whether you are short, medium or tall, there is no shortcut to determining the right club length. The only rule of thumb is that the length of the golf club in stock is probably not the right length for you. The custom fit will always trump the purchase on the rack, especially when it comes to length.
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