Last Updated on March 9, 2023
Games like golf have been around since at least the 1500s when they would be played either out in open fields or through the streets of the town.
The first shipment of golf clubs and balls arrived at the American colonies in 1743.
Though popularity came and went, golf saw a permanent resurgence in the late 1800s and has been a mainstay in the US ever since. Though a lot has changed since the 1500s, the main way the game is played has stayed the same.
Players today now have tons of options for golf clubs, including the ability to find one that fits them perfectly and helps improve their game.
The problem that many players have is finding the right length for them. There are various ways to measure the length of a golf club as well as to determine how long the golf club should be for a specific person.
The following provides some insight into how to measure golf club length to find the size and how to determine the right length to use based on various factors.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard length for golf clubs. Manufacturers can make a variety of sizes that could be considered standard, as there isn’t an industry-wide length that is considered the basic standard size.
Throughout history, the size of what could be considered standard length clubs has changed, so it could change again.
The key to remember is that there are limitations when playing in tournaments. For the USGA, for instance, the maximum length of a golf club is 48 inches.
Since there isn’t anything that could be considered an industry-wide standard, players can choose from a variety of sizes.
This means that players can find a golf club that’s going to be the right length for them instead of having to alter their playing style to work with what might be the only size available when they want to buy new clubs or play a quick game.
To find the right length, golfers need to understand how to measure the length of a golf club and to find out which length would be right for them.
There is no industry standard for measuring golf club length, either. The club length can be determined using three main methods.
When trying to measure golf club length for a tournament, make sure the right method is used to avoid breaking any rules.
When measuring for practice or fun, any of the below methods will work.
The most common way to measure a golf club is to lean it so that the center of the club sole is touching the ground. Place a ruler at least 48 inches long behind the club, touching the ground.
The point from the top of the shaft to the ground is the measurement. It is important to make sure the club is leaning correctly, or this method will lead to incorrect measurements.
Calibration devices are available to help with this type of measurement.
The USGA method uses a device that places the angle of the sole at 60 degrees when the golf club is in a horizontal position. The measurement can then be taken along the shaft, ending at the end of the grip cap instead of the edge.
It is important to measure using their method when participating in a USGA tournament to prevent exceeding the limit of 48 inches for any club other than the putter.
The third method is commonly used by the LDA (Long Drivers of America) and involves placing the club flat against a wall.
The toe of the driver will need to be on the ground, and the measurement goes from the tip of the grip to the ground.
This results in a longer measurement, so the LDA has a higher maximum length for their tournaments. For the LDA, the maximum length of golf clubs that can be used is 50 inches.
Measuring sizes can be done in a few different ways, as mentioned below. When measuring women’s sizes, the process doesn’t change.
What does change is the standard length that is added to or subtracted from based on charts that show the length adjustment needed.
Though there is no actual standard, it’s generally considered to be one inch shorter than the men’s standard. If a particular manufacturer has a standard length for the 7-iron of 37 inches, for a woman, the length would be 36 inches.
If finding the appropriate club length is not crucial, some manufacturers make women’s club sets based on height. These sets have few options, but they do come in petite or average sizes.
The average size is five foot three inches to five foot eight inches.
Petite is considered anyone under five foot three inches.
Women taller than five foot nine inches may want to opt for the men’s clubs, as they’ll be a more appropriate length based on height.
The most basic way to choose the proper length to purchase is by the golfer’s height. Taller players will likely have longer clubs, while those who are shorter will generally have a shorter club.
By basing the measurement on the golfer’s height, it’s possible to make sure the player can reach the ball at the same spot in their golf swing compared to someone who is not as tall.
The measurement by height is also important to make sure the player does not have to lean too far to reach the ball or have to worry about the golf club is too long to easily use.
Though the height of the player is a good place to start, the wrist-to-floor measurement may be more accurate. A player’s arm length can make a difference when it comes to choosing the right club.
Someone who has longer arms may need a shorter club compared to someone who is the same height but who has shorter arms.
Finding the correct length based on the wrist-to-floor measurement begins with standing straight and letting the arms hang. The person measuring can then measure from the player’s wrist to the ground.
This does generally match with the person’s height when viewing a chart, but not always, so it can be important to check this measurement, too.
Just standing isn’t always the best way to determine the right length to purchase. Players can have different swing motions when they’re golfing, and this can impact the correct length for their needs.
In a dynamic fitting, the player will get into playing position and swing.
The person taking the measurement will consider how much the golfer is bending, whether there are any issues with the golfer’s stance, and other details.
This can change the potential measurement of the golf club, as the player may need to compensate for flaws in how they play by changing the club length they use.
The right length for a golf club isn’t the same as the putter length. To measure golf club length for the putter, players will need to consider how they put, their comfort, and their height.
There isn’t an industry-standard putter length, but most golfers will use a mid-length or long putter, depending on their preferences. In most cases, the putter will be between 32 and 27 inches long.
The best way to determine the right putter length is to try out different options. The player’s comfort is the most important consideration for putting, so testing out various lengths gives the player the ability to find one that’s going to be more comfortable than other lengths.
With the lack of standards and the necessity of checking how a golfer plays to find the desired length, it is a good idea for golfers to get professional assistance for finding the right measurement.
Club fitters are professionals who can help any golfer find the most accurate measurement easily.
Many manufacturers and brands will have a professional available to help golfers find the right length, of any club from driver to putter and everything in between.
There are also professionals available at clubs that can help with the measurements.
Measuring done by a professional can help:
- make sure it’s easy to hit the golf ball
- that the player is comfortable while golfing
- and that they’re able to improve their game
With so many different techniques needed to find the correct club length, is it worth going through all of the trouble? Those who just play for fun may not worry too much about the size of the golf club.
Those who want to improve their golf swing or play in tournaments, on the other hand, will need to make sure they find the right shaft length for their needs.
Along with impacting the swing, the right size club can impact the club head speed, which impacts how far the golf ball will go. If your club head speed is slow, you may need a longer shaft to hit the ball farther.
The benefits of having the right length can also include the following.
It’s easier to get a better connection with the ball and to do so consistently with the right size golf club.
More Comfortable to Use
A club that’s too long or too short isn’t going to be comfortable to use. The right length is far more comfortable, which can decrease fatigue during the game.
Better Score When Playing
With the ability to hit better shots, a player’s score can improve compared to what it was before buying the right length.
More Accurate Shots
Shorter clubs are easier to control, so they’ll lead to being more accurate. If the player was using one that was too long, they could see a significant improvement by buying one of the right length.
Longer clubs are more flexible, even if the type of shaft is the same. By shortening or extending the club, it’s possible to change the flexibility.
If the golf clubs purchased long ago aren’t the right length for a player, they don’t have to toss them and get new ones. It’s possible to get the right golf club length by adjusting the length of the driver shaft.
If the shafts are too short, you will need to purchase new shafts to replace them.
Another option is to have the current shaft shortened.
To shorten the shaft, remove the grips and tape, exposing the end of the shaft. Use a shaft cutter to remove the necessary length.
Replace the grip and you now have the correct size for the player.
Though altering the length can be done, it is important to understand that this isn’t always the right option. In some cases, it may be better to purchase a new set of clubs.
Shortening a clubs shaft reduces its flexibility.
If a significant amount is being removed to shorten the shaft, it’s going to have a bigger impact on the flex. If this is the case, it may be better to purchase new clubs.
However, by trimming the grip end of the shaft, the amount of impact can be reduced.
The length of a golf club can be far more important than many new players will realize. By finding the right length, it’s possible to improve playing significantly, learn how to play better, reduce flaws when playing, and be more comfortable while golfing.
If you don’t have the right size golf clubs yet, the information here can help you determine how to measure golf club length and the correct size club to purchase.
Remember you can speak with a professional to get the most accurate measurements and help you can trust.