Are you looking at buying your first set of golf clubs? Beginner golfers can feel like a kid in a candy store as they browse the brands and sets on offer. However, there’s quite a bit involved with choosing the right golf clubs. Several factors come into play when selecting clubheads and shaft lengths.
Your height is a defining factor in your club selection and golfing experience. The wrong shaft length will leave you with improper swing dynamics and a frustrating experience at the driving range or short course.
This post unpacks everything you need to know about how to choose the right golf clubs for your height.
How to Choose Golf Clubs for Your Height?
- 1 How to Choose Golf Clubs for Your Height?
- 2 Get Tailored – Custom Club Fittings
- 3 Sizing Your Driver
- 4 Sizing Your Putter
- 5 Is Custom Fitting Worth It?
- 6 Why Does the Shaft Length Matter when Sizing My Clubs?
- 7 Top Tips for Sizing Golf Clubs
- 8 How to Choose Golf Clubs for Your Height? – Key Takeaways
People come in different shapes and sizes, but we generally have a consistent ratio of our limb length in relation to our height and torso length. The “Fibonacci” Ratio of 1.618 exists everywhere in nature and our physique.
So what does it mean? Basically, people of a specific height will generally have the same arm length. Sure, there are variations away from the norm, but, in general, this rule applies to most golfers. So, your height determines your arm length, which determines your distance from wrist to floor when holding the club.
These are the primary factors involved in selecting the right shaft length for your club. We’ll get more into the specifics of customizing the shaft a little later. For now, let’s look at the general height/shaft lengths.
For this example, we take a standard shaft length as 40″ for a 1-iron, 38″ for a 5-iron, and 36″ for a 9-iron.
- 6ft 9″ – 7ft 0″, Add 2″ to Standard Length
- 6ft 6″ – 6ft 9″, Add 1 1/2″ to Standard Length
- 6ft 3″ – 6ft 6″, Add 1″ to Standard Length
- 6ft 0″ – 6ft 3″, Add 1/2″ to Standard Length
- 5ft 9″ – 6ft 0″, Standard Length
- 5ft 6″ – 5ft 9″, Subtract 1/2″ from Standard Length
- 5ft 3″ – 5ft 6″, Subtract 1″ from Standard Length
- 5ft 0″ – 5ft 3″, Subtract 1 1/2″ from Standard Length
While these recommendations are not set in stone, they make for a surprisingly accurate guideline for beginners.
However, if you find that the cuffs on a regular dress shirt seem short or long, it means that you have variations away from the standard length, and the same will apply to your golf club setups. You need a custom fit to help you get the optimal distance from wrist to floor.
Get Tailored – Custom Club Fittings
If you have unusually long or short arms for your height, think about custom fitting your clubs with a pro shop. Many top-tier golf brands like TaylorMade offer free tailoring of your clubs at centers around the United States.
So, what is a “fitted” golf club? Fitting refers to trimming the shaft length to accommodate your exact height. The fitting process involves assessing your arm and leg length and bringing that into the fitting process.
The result is a perfectly tailored set of clubs designed to perform specifically for you. So, what are the procedures involved in the fitting process, and what do fitters look for when customizing your clubs?
We’ve already droned on about height and how it’s the most significant factor involved with choosing your golf clubs. Fitters match your clubs to your height and the distance from your wrist to the ground. So, the first step of the process is measuring your height. Stand up straight when taking the measurement. You don’t need to be in your swing stance.
As mentioned, measuring your wrist to the floor is another critical component of fitting your clubs. Some people have longer arms or legs concerning their torso length and height. While we’re all pretty uniform, everyone is different, and that’s why fitting your clubs is so important.
Try a Practice Swing
The fitter will use this information to calculate the right shaft length for your club. They’ll make recommendations on club lengths, and they’ll have a few on hand to try. When you pick up a well-fitted club, you’ll instantly notice the difference in how it feels in your hands.
A well-fitted club feels well-balanced, and you just lightly skim across the surface with the clubhead when you’re at the bottom of the swing. Well-fitted clubs mean fewer divots on the course and more accuracy with the sweet spot on the clubface insert.
Give the Fitter Your Handicap
Some golfers think that beginners can’t benefit from a fitting. However, that’s not the case. Fittings help beginners get the right set of clubs for their body type. As a result, they make fewer beginner mistakes and build the right habits into their swing from the beginning.
Playing with clubs that are too long or short may cause the beginner to unconsciously compensate for a longer or shorter shaft length. This unconscious decision affects the motor skills they build when learning the game. These bad habits can take years to undo once there entrenched in the motor skills system,
So, beginners need to get fitted. You’ll find it fast-tracks your learning curve and your swing improves faster than with unfitted clubs.
Measure Your Swing Speed
Some fitting venues have tools on hand to capture your swing speed. Swing speed can be useful in assessing you for fitting. The swing speed gives the fitter a sense of the flex and grip you need in the shaft.
Most custom fitters will watch your swing and use it to get the feedback they need to take your custom fitting a step further.
You’ll need access to an electronic launch monitor and radar to determine swing speed. Most pro shops have these on-site. Beginners usually measure clubhead speeds of around 80 to 85-mph with their swing.
Players with faster swings will prefer stiff shafts, and players with slower speeds will benefit from more flex in the shaft.
Track Average Drive Distance
Take note of the distances you make with your drives and calculate your average drive distance. Follow these guidelines for selecting the flex in the driver’s shaft and woods.
- Less than 180-yards, ladies flex.
- 181 to 200-yards, senior flex.
- 200 to 235-yards, regular flex.
- 236 to 275-yards, stiff flex.
- Over 275-yards, extra-stiff flex.
Sizing Your Driver
Take a look at a driver competition, and you’ll find the pros use long shafts up to the legal limit of 48″. The pros benefit from more clubhead speed generated by the longer shaft, creating more distance with their shots.
However, as a recreational golfer, you don’t need this kind of length in the driver shaft. Most players, depending on height, will suffice with a shaft length between 44.5″ to 45.5″.
Sizing Your Putter
Your putter also requires a custom fitting. Some players prefer different putter designs to others. Whether playing with the classic style or a mallet putter, you need the right length to match your height.
Getting a custom-fitted putter means better accuracy around the green and improving the scorecard. The average putter length is between 32″ and 35″.
Is Custom Fitting Worth It?
Without a doubt, we can confidently say it’s worth getting a custom fitment when purchasing your clubs. Many brands include fitment at a local center included with your club purchase. You can buy your clubs online and get a fitment done in-store when you have a gap in your schedule.
If the fitment costs aren’t included with your club purchase, consider paying for it anyway. Having the right setup tailored to your measurements is worth the extra money. Custom fitments come in two methods, static and dynamic. Let’s look at each of them in detail.
Dynamic Club Fitting
The dynamic fitting method involves using a launch monitor to calculate the correct shaft length and clubhead design for the player.
This method is better for experienced players due to the accuracy offered by the technology. This method includes advanced AI analysis of your launch angle, ball spin rate, and dispersion when assessing you for the right size club across all categories.
Static Club Fitting
The static fitting technique measures your height and wrist-to-floor as the sole factor in selecting your club length.
It’s a more practical and affordable system for beginner golfers. Despite lacking the dynamic method’s data, you’ll get an accurate fitting.
Why Does the Shaft Length Matter when Sizing My Clubs?
So, why do I need to worry about shaft length when choosing beginner club sets? How do I know if my clubs are too long or too short? These are valid questions. Let’s look at the answers.
Using clubs slightly shorter than the recommended size for your height is usually not going to affect your swing that badly. However, using longer clubs will make a noticeable difference right away.
However, both options are suboptimal, so you can expect subpar results from your swing and equipment. Using the wrong club length typically results in less distance and accuracy in your shots.
Here are a few tips to help uncover if your clubs are too long or too short.
Your clubs are too short if you experience the following issues.
- You need to bend deeply at the knees or waist when presenting to the ball.
- You have an in-out swing path.
- Your shots frequently hit the clubhead’s heel.
- You shank the ball to the right.
- Your swing tempo is too fast through to the backswing.
Your clubs are too long if you experience the following issues.
- Your grip on the shaft feels insecure.
- You need to straighten your legs to present to the ball.
- You find your lower body locking up during your swing.
- You get the ball with the toe of the clubhead.
- The ball flies too high or to the left.
Top Tips for Sizing Golf Clubs
Getting custom-fitted for your clubs is always the better choice. Why go to the expense of buying a new set, only to leave them unfitted. Fitting the clubs makes them yours. It customizes them to your height and arm length, giving you the best chance to learn the game and progress as fast as possible.
Here are some pointers for getting your clubs fitted.
Try the Clubs
Visit a pro shop and try a few different shaft lengths. Speak to the pro-on-site and have them assess the right shaft length for you using their equipment.
Even if there isn’t a pro-on-hand, you can try a few different lengths and see which shaft feels better in your hands. Look for the club’s balance and how it feels through every phase of your swing.
Why Not Go with Hybrids?
Hybrids are becoming popular choices for beginner golfers, especially in the fairway woods. Hybrids blend the best of tradition with innovation, giving beginners a club that offers more distance and forgiveness. As a result, most hybrids have a longer shaft than the standard fairway wood.
Let Your Intuition Guide You
When you’re trying out the clubs at the pro shop, pay attention to how your body feels throughout the swing., If you feel awkward, you either have a bad swing, or there’s something wrong with the shaft length on the club.
How to Choose Golf Clubs for Your Height? – Key Takeaways
- Your height and distance from your wrist to the floor are the most crucial aspects of choosing the right golf club for your game.
- Players using too long or too short shafts experience problems with their swing and contacting the ball.
- Some poles have longer arms or legs than others and need tailored shafts to improve their golfing experience.
- Golf clubs come in standard shaft lengths, and you have the option of custom-fitting them to match your unique measurements.
- Custom fitting is available in static and dynamic methods.
- The static method is better for beginners, and the dynamic process is better for advanced golfers.
- Spending a few extra dollars on fitting your clubs is worth the money. You’ll notice the results as soon as you step to the tee, fairway, or green.