Golf is about so much more than simply hitting balls across a green; strategic decisions made prior to even stepping onto the course can lead to victory. This is why careful consideration is a must when choosing the right golf clubs with which to fill your bag. While much attention is given to the head, the shaft length plays a significant role in your performance. Every inch is valuable in finding your optimal swing and making contact with the sweet spot. Before you just grab any old set of clubs make sure you do your homework.
4-Steps to Measuring
The practice of measuring requires four steps. First, you need a sturdy 48-inch straight edge. A tape measure is too flimsy for this exercise and a yardstick isn't long enough. While an un-warped piece of four-foot lumber would do the job, go with a 48-inch aluminum ruler.
Next, stand up the club to your address position with the sole of the club flat on the ground. Also make sure that both the heel and toe make contact with the floor. Don't worry if you don't typically address the ball this way, as this is simply for matching your club to your body. When measuring golf club length, make sure neither the toe nor the heel is elevated off the floor.
Now maneuver your straight edge (ruler or other tool) next to the club while it remains in that address position. You want the corner of the measuring device to touch the ground and to square it against the hosel (the part where the club head secures the shaft). The round tube will make it impossible to get the two perfectly flush, but get it as close as possible.
Take the measurement from the hosel all the way up to the bottom of the grip cap.
How to Use Your Measurements
What does it all mean? Well, an average steel-shafted driver is 44-inches, with one inch added in the case of a graphite driver. If you are a woman, the standard-sized club tends to be an inch shorter. If your ideal golf club shaft length varies at all from these numbers then you will need to keep that variable in mind when shopping for new clubs. Once you have the driver length, or if you deviate from the norm, you can apply that variable throughout your entire bag.
Another thing to take note of is that your shaft material. New lightweight composite materials have made it possible to play with longer clubs without losing control of the ball.
Don't Forget Your Putter
Choosing a putter is much simpler than deciding on a driver. Pick a length that feels comfortable and gives you confidence. Additionally, you may have heard that the PGA Tour has banned the so-called long putter and will discontinue its use in 2016. Not so! It has banned the practice of anchoring any putter against one's body when making the putting stroke. That means the long-shafted putters are still legal. Besides most people aren't going to be playing on the Tour, so feel free to use whatever you want.
Now this wasn't so hard, was it? Having the proper clubs will help you define your game and play to your best.