Golf is a game for all shapes and sizes. Just about anyone can pick up a set of clubs, have a swing, and enjoy a leisurely round of golf. But how do you know what size golf club is best for you, and are shorter golf clubs better?
Whether you should use short or longer clubs is down to personal preference. Everyone is sized; differently those who are a little taller should opt to play with longer clubs and are suited to their height. Consider club fitting to know what club size you need for your unique body type.
Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all approach to picking the right-sized golf clubs for your abilities, and there are several factors you need to consider when purchasing a new bag of golf clubs.
In this guide, we’ll be walking you through the implications of how important it is to use the right-sized golf club for your abilities. We’ll also take a quick look at the problems that can happen if you opt to use a set of too big or small clubs for your stature.
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Are Shorter Golf Clubs Better?
Shorter golf clubs are better because almost everyone can use them. Shorter clubs can give you a little extra control, but the big problem about using clubs that are too small is that you’ll start to inherit bad habits and poor posture, which will ultimately hinder your performance on the course.
Swinging shorter clubs is a lot easier because they’re a lot lighter to use. But that means you’re not going to hit a short club as far. If you want to become a better golfer, you need to purchase a set of clubs that are the right size for you. That way, you’ll get the best of both worlds. Hitting accurate and clean shots while striking the ball the correct distances for each club.
In golf, your club length matters because it changes the angle of your swing. If you’ve ever tried to hit a driver instead of a pitching wedge, you’ll note you stand at different distances for each shot, which means you generate a different swing for each.
That’s also the same if you were looking to use two different-sized 7-irons. You’ll find the longer the club, the further you can hit the ball and the sweeter your connection. But with shorter clubs, your body will move during your swing, which can cause you to mishit, chunk, or scuff the golf ball.
The good news is that most adults don’t need to spend a lot of money getting their clubs fitted for their height. If you want to become a pro, you might want to get your club shafts measured for your shape, swing, and size. But for most of us high handicap amateur golfers, an adult set of irons generally comes in a universal size that most players can pick up and hit. If you’re going for a club fitting session, be sure to check out our guide on the nine things you’ll need to take with you!
For kids and juniors, it’s best to start with a set of clubs that are a little bit bigger than you’d expect. Sure it may be a little hard for them to hit the clubs at first as they can be a bit heavy, but you need to factor in how much your kids will grow into the clubs over the coming years. That way, you’ll get a lot more use out of them.
If your curious what age your little ones should take up golf lessons see our article for a complete guide
Why Shorter Clubs Are Better(Or Worse)
Let’s take a deep dive into the pros and cons of why it might be good to use shorter golf clubs.
Short Clubs Aren’t Great For Getting A Sweet Connection
As I said above, the longer the club, the further the ball will travel. That happens because you can generate more power through the shot through a longer club shaft swing trajectory.
Plus, when using the right-sized length club for you, you’ll be able to get a better connection on the golf ball. That happens because you’re not trying to compensate as much for condensing your body to get closer to the ball as you would do with a short golf club.
One common problem many beginner golfers have when they play is that they can be prone to chunking or hitting fat golf shots. What happens when a player’s body moves in their downswing and forces them to strike the ground before the ball. And if you’re using a short club, you’ll be working harder to get your arms and shoulders closer to the ground so that you can hit the ball. That means nine times out of ten, you’re going to be moving around a lot more on your downswing, and that will mean you’re more likely to scuff or chunk the shot.
Conversely, when using short clubs, you’ll also find yourself topping the ball more. A player’s body tends to rise in the classic golf shot as they strike through the shot. That means that if your club is too short or is not the right length, you’re likely going to miss the sweet spot on the ball and connect only with the top of the golf ball. That creates a low trajectory and a horrible stinging feeling in your hands, both very undesirable if you’re trying to make par!
Short Clubs Can Be More Accurate
Short golf clubs can improve your accuracy. That’s because there’s a little less weight behind the club. You can change and alter your swing to strike through, around, or away from the ball with less weight. That means with shorter clubs; you can have a lot more fun learning to fade and draw the golf ball.
When it comes to practicing your aim over 60 to 130 yards, shorter clubs can come in handy to help you dial in how hard to hit the ball and how to compensate your aim to hit each target. You’ll find you can work the ball a lot more with a lighter, smaller club, and the techniques you can develop with those types of clubs can then be put into practice with, let’s say, a 3-wood or a driver.
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Short Clubs Won’t Help You Improve Your Technique
Short golf clubs will give you a bad back. The number of times I’ve seen golfers using clubs that are too small for them, hunched over the ball, trying to swing the club viciously into the ground. That can be not good for your posture, health, and technique. When hitting a golf shot, you should be relaxed, with a bit of bend at your waist, softly bent knees, and your arms hanging loose around the club in front of you.
That’s the type of posture you should be striving to achieve, and you can only get that by using a club that is the right size for you. Shorter clubs will force you to hunch over the shot, compress your body into the ball, and encourage you to try to swing harder through the golf ball, which is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. When developing a good technique, you need to let the club do the work and relax over the ball. That’s how you hit big bombs down the fairway.
It’s not just short clubs that cause bad posture perhaps you have weak abdominals that contribute to your hunchback, does staying injury-free and playing golf until old age sounds good to you? Learn the 6 major muscle groups used in golf and how to swing stronger in our guide.
It’s Always Handy To Keep A Small Club In Your Bag
Even if you never use it, it’s always handy to keep either a small 7-iron or 9-iron in your bag. As amateur golfers, there’s always going to be an occasion on around where you find yourself in a tight lie or the woods. Often you’ll need to get creative with the type of shot you need to play to get yourself out of trouble.
That’s why it’s often useful when you’ve not got too much space to work with to have a shorter club to recover the ball with and get yourself back onto the fairway. Plus, have you ever tried hitting the ball when it’s on elevated ground with your feet are underneath the shot? It’s tough to get a good connection with a regular-sized golf club, and that’s why it’s a good idea to keep a short 7 or 9-iron in your bag.
What Happens If Golf Clubs Are Too Short?
On that analysis, you should avoid using clubs that are the wrong size for you. But how can you tell if your clubs are too short?
You’ll begin to develop an erratic fast swing, and that will cause you to either slice or thin the ball along the ground. Those are all poor traits you should avoid as a golfer but can all be rectified using the right lengthed club.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you hit a golf shot with the wrong-sized club is how much bend you have at the waist. Immediately you should know then that these are the wrong clubs for you. If you’re bending your knees or waist too much, that’s a sign you’re going to top or slice the ball.
You’ll also try to swing through the ball very hard and overcompensate for how light the club is, which, as I said above, is a fatal error when it comes to playing golf.
What Happens If Golf Clubs Are Too Long?
If you stand completely straight over the shot and feel like the club is too flexible, and striking under the ball or hitting it fat are all signs the golf club is too big for you.
But the remedy isn’t too disastrous; try gripping down the shaft a little more and reduce the distance between you and the ground. Many people have this issue when they purchase a new driver. Being the longest club in your bag, drivers are hard to get used to and can be a nightmare to hit.
To make things easier for yourself, you should make sure your clubs are always of good quality. Clean them and repair them regularly and when buying a new set, make sure to purchase the correct standard of clubs for your abilities. For more on buying new clubs, check out our guide here!
How Long Should Your Golf Clubs Be For Your Height?
The general rule is to ensure that when you address the ball, you have a little bit of bend in your knees, a slight tilt in your waist, and your hands should be able to hang loosely around the club, with the golf ball in the middle of the club’s face. But this varies for each club you use.
Specifically, a general rule for each of your irons is to add or subtract a few inches here and there based on your height. Check out our table below for a detailed look at what club length you should use for your height.
|6ft 9″ – 7ft 0″||Add 2 inches|
|6ft 6″ – 6ft 9″||Add 1.5 inches|
|6ft 3″ – 6ft 6″||Add 1 inch|
|6ft 0″ – 6ft 3″||Add 0.5 inches|
|5ft 9″ – 6ft 0″||Standard length|
|5ft 6″ – 5ft 9″||Subtract 0.5 inch|
|5ft 3″ – 5ft 6″||Subtract 1 inch|
|5ft 0″ – 5ft 3″||Subtract 1.5 inches|
|4ft 9″ – 5ft 0″||Subtract 2 inches|
For drivers and putters, the situation gets a little more complicated.
With a driver, the longer the club length, the more speed you can generate, but that is at the expense of control. The recommended size for most amateur golfers is to go for a 42 or 44.5-inch driver. When it comes to drivers, it’s all about preference, and you need to pick the correct club that feels right in your hands.
As for putters, this comes down to technique. There are some Tour Pros who use incredibly small putters and others who use crazy long putters. The average length on tour is around 33.5 inches, but you can fluctuate that depending on your putting technique. Some golfers have putters that only come up to their waist, while others like to tuck the top of their grip into their chest when they put.
What Works For You!
It’s all about what works for you! I wouldn’t normally recommend using a club that is too small, but if you can save shots off your round by using smaller clubs, then who am I to judge! Technique-wise, it is vital to use the right length of the club for your height. That way, you can easily improve on the quality, distance, and accuracy of the shots your hitting.
Finding it hard to hit the ball well with your driver? Check out our guide on where you might be going wrong.