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February 2008 Golfsmith Clubmaker Back to Main
clubfitting tip
Fitting for Length 101
by: John Mathieson

Because golfers come in different shapes and sizes, fitting club length is not an exact science; it is more of an art.

The length of the clubs is determined by multiple factors, not just one. Simply offering a player the length that the standard club rule indicates, without analyzing his swing dynamics and reviewing his player interview to determine his desires, is opening the door to failure.

Consider height, for example. Even though two players are the same height, they may require clubs of different lengths. By the same token, two clients more than 6 inches apart in height may play clubs of the same length. As much as clubmakers would like to say, “at 6' 2", you must have a club that is x long,” we can’t.

Here’s a quick guide to the factors most important to helping you determine correct club lengths.


Wrist to Floor Measurement

This measurement is only one factor to consider, the first step in determining club length. It is a guide to help you establish a starting point.


Ability

What length can the player hit in the center the most of the time?


Strength

Longer clubs require better coordination and greater strength to hit consistently, so the weaker and less coordinated a player is, the closer to standard length — or even shorter — their clubs should be.


Age

As golfers become older, their diminished flexibility may result in lost distance. Clubmakers often find that attempts to increase club length, in an effort to regain lost distance, fail.


Swing Plane

By observing the player’s swing plane, you can help determine if the length change will be successful. Longer clubs, by their very nature, have a tendency to flatten the player’s swing plane. The flatter the player’s natural swing plane, the longer the club can be. The more upright the player’s natural swing plane, the shorter the club can be.


Swing Tempo

The longer the club, the greater the amount of coordination and natural rhythm is required to swing it well. Longer clubs force the golfer to slow down the tempo of their swing. Golfers who would be classified as “hitters” will have a more difficult time using a club that is longer than standard. Quite simply, it is against their nature to swing a club that forces them to slow down. Players who have a naturally smooth tempo and who would be classified as “swingers” have the greater opportunity for success with longer clubs.


Posture

The player must be comfortable at address, or the likelihood of having a repetitive swing is reduced.

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