You can measure driver shaft length using a regular tape measure, but knowing exactly how to measure driver shaft length is a bit more complicated. Golf club, and especially driver, manufacturing is as much science as it is craftsmanship, so measurements are precise.
To measure the length of your driver shaft accurately, follow these steps:
- Position your driver on the ground in the typical setup for hitting a golf ball.
- Place a measuring stick or tape measure, preferably 48 inches long, on the ground.
- Measure from the grip end of the driver down to the heel of the club to determine the shaft length.
Measuring your driver will help you optimize your drives, so you get the most distance without sacrificing accuracy. As long as you measure with the same degree of care and methodology that all clubmakers do, you can get the most out of your tee shots no matter what kind of clubhead you have attached.
How To Measure Driver Shaft Length
Measuring driver shaft length always starts with a flat horizontal surface. If the clubhead is connected, you cannot accurately measure the driver shaft length by leaning it against the wall. This will only give you a ballpark and should not be used as a confirmed shaft length.
Once your driver is lying flat on a table or workbench, identify the bottom of the heel and start there with your measuring tape, this is the “bottom of the bore.” The shaft length includes the part of the shaft that resides in the club head. This is where the adhesive is applied to ensure the shaft is securely fastened to the club head.
Extend your measuring tape along the driver shaft until the very top of the butt-end. If the shaft has a grip, you still measure to the top, as this part of the grip is very minimal.
Measuring driver length is the same process for all types of shafts, including men’s and ladies. The only difference is that a men’s standard driver shaft length is 45” and a women’s standard driver shaft length is 44”.
Importance of Driver Shaft Length
There’s a reason your driver is the longest club in your bag, and it’s not to give you the most relief when measuring two club lengths for a drop. This added length is there to help you produce the most distance possible.
Distance Vs. Length
The longer the shaft, the more power is created, which will translate into higher ball speeds and, thus, longer drivers. But as the length of your driver increases, so does the potential for mishits.
You will be standing further back from the ball, which can be a big difference between your irons and even your 3-wood. A longer shaft will also affect your tempo.
When you swing, you create centrifugal force to get your driver’s head to move fast through impact. As the shaft gets longer, the clubhead moves faster, but your body will actually turn slower.
This phenomenon can seriously affect the accuracy of your drives, which may not be worth the added distance on the few drives you connect with. Finding balance between shaft length for distance and shaft length for accuracy is vital.
Read Next: Do You Need A Longer Golf Club?
Driver Shaft Length Chart
|Height Of Golfer||Wrist To Floor||Recommended Driver Shaft Length|
|5′ 0″ – 5′ 2″||28.50″ to 33.50″||41.5″|
|5′ 2″ – 5′ 4″||30.00″ to 34.00″||42.0″|
|5′ 4″ – 5′ 6″||30.75″ to 35.25″||43.0″|
|5′ 6″ – 5′ 8″||32.00″ to 37.00″||43.5″|
|5′ 8″ – 5′ 10″||34.00″ to 39.00″||44.0″|
|5′ 10″ – 6′ 0″||35.25″ to 40.25″||44.5″|
|6′ 0″ – 6′ 2″||36.50″ to 41.25″||45.0″|
|6′ 2″ – 6′ 4″||38.00″ to 42.00″||45.5″|
|6′ 4″ – 6′ 6″||38.25″ to 43.50″||46.0″|
Can You Modify Your Current Shaft?
I love your enthusiasm. Having a hand in the building and construction your clubs adds a new layer of pride and admiration for this game. I love changing my grips or adding lead tape to my putter. It’s a great way to get dialed into your game.
Those modifications are totally fine for us amateurs to make but cutting a driver shaft should always be left to the professionals. In this case, ‘professional’ refers to clubmakers and experienced pro shop personnel.
Cutting down your driver affects more than just the length. You affect weight and flex as well;
Weight: Driver shafts weigh as little as 50g, so by taking off an entire inch or more, you will noticeably reduce its weight even more. Weight is specifically chosen to help with swing tempo and to create the most clubhead speed possible. This may cause your clubhead speed to increase but throw off your tempo, so you have trouble producing consistent strikes.
Flex: Reducing length will also wreak havoc with your scientifically designed shaft flex. No shaft is created to be cut down, so when you do this, it will create a stiffer flex shaft no matter what the flex is. To reduce these effects, the clubmaker will cut from the butt-end more often to try and preserve the kick point. The tip is usually made to be stiff, so if you cut that, it may be too stiff to use afterward.
We recommend you never cut your shaft. If you want a shorter shaft for your driver, don’t worry about how to measure the length of a driver shaft; simply visit your local pro to help determine what length is optimal for you. Then you can select one of the best driver shafts to optimize your tee shots.
What Do The Rules Say?
Length is the only characteristic governed by the rules of golf in both the USGA and the R&A rules. A driver (or any club other than putters) may not exceed the length of 48”. You may see long driver competitions where the players are using longer drivers, and that’s because those events are not governed by the USGA or R&A.
Material, flex, and thickness are all optimized by the scientists who work for big-name club manufacturers. There are no rules to implement these standard lengths because there don’t have to be. Having a thicker or thinner shaft is not beneficial. You can also make it as flexible or stiff as you like, as this does not create any unfair advantage to your fellow competitors.
What Is The Correct Shaft Length For A Driver?
The correct shaft length for a driver is 45” for men and 44” for women. All the most popular club manufacturers will build these standard lengths. If you want to measure driver shaft length, start at the hosel of your driver and measure all the way up to the top of the grip end.
How Long Is A Driver Shaft Without The Head?
The driver shaft without a head should be the same length as a driver shaft with the head if the measurement was done correctly. Knowing how to measure driver shaft length with a head is advantageous since it’s more common for shafts to be attached in the first place. If you work at a club repair shop, you would need to know how to measure driver shaft length without head, but the process is the same.
How Is Driver Length Calculated?
Driver length is calculated by measuring the distance between the butt-end of the driver and the tip end. You can determine this easily with a regular tape measure or measuring tape. You must start at the heel of the club to account for the bore length in the head, then measure all the way to the butt end. This attention to detail determines whether or not someone knows how to measure a driver’s length.
Will A Shorter Driver Help My Slice?
Yes, a shorter driver will help your slice, in theory. Shortening the club will help your body and clubhead get in sync much easier. A long driver requires a lot of hand-eye coordination and a much different swing tempo. Shortening your driver is not a guarantee to cure your slices, but it’s worth a try.
If you want to know how to measure driver shaft length with head, then it should be for educational purposes only and not so you can make modifications by yourself. If you do measure, start from the driver’s hosel and extend to the butt-end.
At the end of the day, driver golf shafts are highly scientific pieces of golf equipment that are already optimized from top to bottom. Knowing how to measure golf driver length doesn’t mean you should. Focus your efforts on making a good swing, and you’ll be hitting more fairways because of it.
Clint became the Head Teaching Professional at one of Toronto’s busiest golf academies and was featured on Canada’s National Golf TV program, “Score Golf Canada,” twice. He now tests and reviews golf equipment and gets to enjoy the game he loves whenever he wants while helping people lower their scores.