How long is too long?

Before we start today, go measure the length of your driver. Dont worry, Ill wait. Are you playing some thing from 2011 on? Let me guess the length. I would imagine its around 46 inches. If its a superfast 2.0 its 46.5. I know you’re probably asking why that matters. Since 2005 the USGA and the R & A have limited the COR (the trampoline effect) of the driver. A driver can not exceed .830 COR. If that’s the case how do club companies create drivers every year that allow you to hit the ball farther than last year? The Anser (see what I did there) comes in the length of the driver.

Think of your favorite driver from when you were younger.One of the more popular drivers of all time is the Titleist 905r. It did what a lot of drivers now are trying to do. It was fairly low spin had an amazing stock shaft and met the COR limit. People say that they find that driver more forgiving than anything that is currently out there.That club played at 45 in.

Science tells us that the longer a club is the more clubhead speed you will gain. Clubhead speed = More Distance. Again its simple science. Another thing science tells us is that the farther away from an object you are the harder it is to hit. Think of it like a putt. A 2 footer is easier to make than a 50 footer. It is simply harder to hit the center of the club face (where COR is maxed out) with a longer driver. This is why you are more comfortable with your old driver than your new 400 dollar driver. I personally play my driver at 45 in. Shorten up that driver and gain consistency. Since I shortened my driver down to 45 in my drives havent lost any distance plus I am finding the fairway more often.

Not convinced to join the short driver revolution yet? Almost every pro uses a driver that is probably shorter than your driver is. Just a few examples Jeff Ogilvy (44.5), Andres Gonzales(44.5),Sergio Garcia (44!),and Dustin Johnson (45). This is a very short list of many that I could add.

Now that I have you convinced to join team short driver you need to know how to determine what length to go to. Here is how I figured out my length. It takes a few supplies. Dont worry you can get most of these at a golf store. You could even probably use some things around the house but I will teach you how to do it right.

Impact Tape
Bucket of Range Balls.

Steps to shortening your driver:

1) Place impact tape on face of driver

2) Take 5 swings

3) Look at impact tape if shots are all grouped together in the center you are good to go

4) If scattered all over the face choke down a half inch and repeat until all marks are in the center of the club face.

When you finally decide on the length you hit best,take the club to a club repair shop. Tell them you want the driver cut to what ever length you decide on. This will make the club much lighter. This will need to be countered with tip weights,a heavier shaft,lead tape,or heavier weights. Make sure you keep your swingweight fairly consistent.

Do not take this post as me saying your old Big Bertha is as good as say an R15. I am not saying that at all. Technology has advanced in terms of aerodynamics and materials used for faces. Faces are thinner and creating crazy ball speeds. Clubs are lighter and overall are better. They are more forgiving for those days when the swing just isn’t there. With all things being equal (length, weight, shaft) newer clubs will go further. I am a firm believer in new technology. Take your new driver cut it to a shorter length. Enjoy the consistency of your old driver with all the benefits of the new technology.

Find the Fairway Friends

The Big Lie

I am going to get some feedback from this one from people saying I dont know what I am talking about. I’ll also get some push back from people saying I dont have any experience and yadda yadda. I agree with the 2nd point I dont have the experience of many a lot of people.

Here is my experience with golf club fitting

-Certified fitter through DSG/Golf Galaxy
-Worked for a Top 100 Club Fitter for over a year. I had many conversations about fitting with him and he has influenced my thinking in many ways and also challeneged me to think differently about golf club fitting.

To me the biggest lie in golf club fitting and equipment is the Lie Board.This piece of equipment is far less useful than it gets credit for. I see fittings taking place all of the time that use the lie board. Lie boards create perfect divots not perfect golf shots. If I told you that you can have a perfect divot or a straight shot which would you choose? I know I would choose the shot every single time. The lie board tells us what is going on at the bottom of the swing. I dont care what my turf interaction is if I hit it dead straight every time.

This is not to say Lie Angle isnt important when fitting a golf club. I would argue its one of the most important factors when fitting for irons. The fitter I worked with LOVED messing with lie angles. In every iron fitting he would grab a club that was 3* up and one that was 3* down. Watching the ball on Trackman and down range was something to be amazed by. The ball would differ by 30 yards. Again lie angle is important.

With all of that being said, The solution is to watch the ball flight and adjust the lie from there. I believe in a dynamic fitting. Watch the flight if its fading pull that toe up. If its hooking a little push the toe down. I once saw a guy come get fit who was hitting a fade/slice. If you put him on a lie board he needed 2* flat. Now I ask why would I want to make this guy flatter who he is already hitting a fade. Who cares what happens on the ground. I care about ball flight. Before I changed my swing I would measure for 1 degree flat. I tried that and my fade was even worse. Moved it 1.5 degrees upright and it straightened out. If you play for pretty divots I applaud you. I play for low (ish) scores.

About Me

I am a 25 year old guy who isnt very good but wants to be. I typically shoot high 70’s to mid 80’s. It truly depends on putting and if I can keep it in the short stuff. My cap is around a 6. I use The Grint as my GPS and my handicap tracker. They say those last 5 are the hardest.  I am obsessed with golf equipment and enjoy it probably more than I enjoy playing golf. You will find that I am changing clubs in my bag frequently. Nothing makes me better outside of practice but its all about the hunt. My wife and I moved to the DFW area 6 months ago from Houston. I am going to buy a Player Development Membership at Riverchase Golf Course. I pride myself on being a budget golfer as well. I play good golf for good deals and get pretty good clubs for good deals. I will put my total amount invested next to each club in my bag.

Whats in my Bag

Driver-Tour Issue Taylormade r7 Superquad 9.5* Stiff Flex w/ Swing Science 200 Series ($60)

3 Wood-Tour Issue Titleist 910f 15* w/ 6.0 Tour Issue Project X ($55)

3 Hybrid – Adams Idea Pro Black 9031 19* w/ Stiff Flex NV Voodo ($5)

4 Hybrid- Adams Idea Pro a12 23* w/ Ozik Altus Stiff Flex (Free gift)

5-PW Nickent 3dx pro w/ Ping AWT Stiff Flex Shaft ($80)

Gap Wedge- Callaway Big Bertha 2002 (Free)

Sand Wedge- Cleveland 588 54*

Lob Wedge-Cleveland 588 58*

Putter- Ping Redwood B60 34 in