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Does Adding Length To A Golf Shaft Always Add Distance To The Shot ?
BC John used the Ask Terry button to submit this question:

Q: I have never been able to hit driver well.  Therefore, I use my 3-wood off the tee.  I can usually hit the 3 wood 210-220 off the tee.  What are your thoughts about making my 3 wood the same lenght as my driver (44 1/2 inches) and only using that off the tee ?  Would that add 10-20 yards to my "drive." I would probably not be able to use the longer 3 wood off the deck, but I rarely hit the 3 wood well off the deck anyway.  Thanks.

A: I commend your creativity, but think you will defeat the purpose by making your 3-wood driver length. 

There are two reasons for difficulty hitting driver, and one of them is the length, probably more than the loft.  The longer a club gets, the more unwieldy it becomes – that’s simple geometry. 

That’s why most tour players are still favoring drivers in the 44-45” range, while most amateurs are trying to figure out how to control that length and longer. 

Regarding making a 3-wood that much longer, you will also have trouble with the balance changing, as the swingweight will get quite heavy.  But if you hit it well, you might experiment with adding ½” or so to see if it gives you more distance.

I had a rather eye-opening demonstration last week when I was in Virginia with one of our Certified WedgeFitters.  He’s been prescribing stiffer shafts for his golfers than most would think they could handle, and then managing trajectory with the loft. 

I watched my partner, who’s a 14 handicap player and doesn’t hit it too far, have tremendous success with an X-shafted driver with 15 degrees of loft !!!  Who would have thought that ?  His accuracy was way better than he normally experiences, and the loft gave him the launch angle he needed.  Distance was as good or better than ever. 

To confirm that theory a bit, I just picked up a Sonartec NP-99 4-wood, which happened to have an X shaft in it (I play my woods at about 5.8 frequency).  My intention was to have it re-shafted, but I’m killing this thing, and hitting it laser straight, so I’m not touching it. 

My whole point here is that there are so many variables to distance and accuracy, one needs to proceed cautiously.  But in general, you ability to hit the ball consistently is very much a function of shaft length.
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[ comments ]
lou says:
I totally disagree with the length of shaft, I read a recent article from Golf Digest that the latest tests conducted by a PGA source that over 400 golfers were tested from low HDCP's to High HDCP's were given various lenght shafts from 44" to 48" shafts for drivers.
The results were that the longer shafts all graphites 48" were longer and more consistant overall than the other shafts for majority of all players.
As a 6 HDCP and at 58 years young I recently went from a standard 45" to a 48" and I a as every bit consistant off the tee and about 10-15 yards longer than before, it made a believer out of me. I was always under the impression from years back that you would lose accuracy vs length, it's an old myth now.
With the new technology in shafts and various kick points available your losing distance with the standard shafts. I am considering going with a little longer shaft for my 3 wood.
7/21/08
 
wedgeguy says:
Well, Lou, if that is your experience, more power to you. Any golfer should swing the longest shaft they can still handle for accuracy. I haven't seen the magazine testing you refer to -- can you direct me to the exact issue of Golf Digest, because I'd sure like to read up on that. But you're the first I've ever seen that hit it as straight and solid with the longer shaft. I've seen it time and again that shortening the shaft produces great results in both distance and accuracy. And GolfSmith tested hundreds of golfers a few years ago at their Austin facility and found the optimum length driver for almost all golfers was just over 43".

What have you other golfers experienced?
7/22/08
 
Rfowler says:
tried increasing the lenght in my shaft to 46" this year up from 44" I gained 10-20 extra yeards off the tee and now hit the ball 300 - 350 meters however my golf game has gone to sh*t of the tee so switching back so i can keep it straight...
7/26/08
 
viet-cong-ban-nuoc says:
I think longer shaft for driver is longer, and if you get the right shaft, you could get more accuracy. I am 40 years old, began golf 7 years ago and a 10-handicap. I play a Nike SUNO stiff shaft and drive about 230-240 with a baby fade. I recently got a 50" Harrison Pro shaft X-stiff, installed to a SUMO head, totalled is 54". I've been at the range 4 times and I've never experienced anything like it before, and neither were my 6 friends. I've been hitting straight and/or slight draw consistently carry over 250-260, and that could mean a total of at least 270-280 easily. I am so happy for the results because this is the first time I tried something different. Try it, you will find your truth potential because you are the real driver of your driver. God Bless!
1/2/09
 
viet-cong-ban-nuoc says:
As long as you could handle the longer shaft, just take some practice, and you don't need to swing hard at all. I swing my standard Nike Sumo 100-108 mph, but the ball does not fly far, and the ball's flight or projectile is boring. With the longer shaft, my average scores of mid 80s will be lower and more fun. Definitely the longer drive will help me with all the par 4s - think about it - I could hit 7/8/9 irons on the second shot instead of 5/6 or hybrids, or even worse 5 wood. Check me out, Dongta at www.vietgolf.com. God Bless!
DT
1/2/09
 
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