When they first start playing the game, many golfers begin with either second-hand clubs or with a pre-packaged beginner set. It’s almost a tradition. The problem is that such clubs are seldom if ever, the right size. This brings us to asking how to size golf clubs.
When you first start learning the golf game, it’s important to learn correctly because, during the early stages of your development, you are training your muscle memory on how to swing the club and strike the golf ball.
Improper golf club lengths can lead to you forming bad habits and an incorrect swing technique.
Ensuring that your golf clubs are sized and “fitted” specifically for you is a pre-requisite if you want to learn how to golf the right way and give yourself a chance to improve at the game.
If you go into a club-fitter with your existing set, provided the clubs aren’t ancient, then the fitter should be able to take your measurements, look at your swing, and identify what size your shafts should be.
A good club fitter will also be able to adjust several other metrics that have an impact on your golf game, such as the lie angle of your club faces and the types of grips you’re using.
Often a club-fitter will be able to change out the shafts, and grips, in a single visit and having this service performed will undoubtedly take a few strokes off of your scorecard.
But what if you don’t have the time or there is no club-fitter nearby, or you are shopping for a used set and want to buy clubs that are the right size, to begin with, Let’s take a look and see how to size golf clubs.
Standard Club Sizing
Before we look at how to size golf clubs, it’s essential that we first discuss why golf club lengths are so important to begin with.
The average or “standard” set of adult golf clubs are well suited for players between 5’0” – 5’9” in height, So if you happen to be this height, then that’s fantastic.
If not, then we first need to know if your clubs are too long or too short. Think about the last time you hit some balls at the range or the last time you were out on a course. What sorts of difficulties were you having?
If Your Shafts are Too Long for You:
- You will need to stand up super straight to make contact.
- You won’t be able to strike the ball with proper technique.
- The golf ball will tend to hook way left from your target line.
- Your shafts will feel flimsy and weak, decreasing your confidence.
- You will often contact the golf ball from the toe of the club.
If Your Shafts are Too Short for You:
- Swing path will go from inside to outside.
- Your swing tempo will be way too fast through impact.
- You will need to bend over too much from your waist.
- You will notice that you have to bend your knees dramatically.
- The golf ball will frequently slice significantly off to the right.
- The ball will tend to contact the golf club in the heel.
Now that you’ve identified whether your clubs should be longer or shorter, here are the guidelines on how to size golf clubs based on your height. It’s important to remember that your height isn’t the only factor determining what your golf club lengths should be, but your height is by far the most critical piece of the equation.
Standard Height Chart for Club Sizing
Keep in mind that this information pertains specifically to your irons. Also, consider that a “standard” length is only going to be optimal assuming that the measurement from your wrist to the floor is around 33 – 36 inches. Sizing drivers, and putters is a different story entirely which we will get to soon enough.
1. 6’6” or taller add 2” to the length of a standard iron shaft.
2. 6’5” – 6’6” add 1.5” to the length of a standard iron shaft.
3. 6’3” – 6’5” add 1” to the length of a standard iron shaft.
4. 5’9” – 6’3” add 0.5” to the length of a standard iron shaft.
5. 5’0” – 5’9” Standard sizing should work for this range.
Generally speaking, the longer the shaft is on your driver, the more distance you will be able to get off the tee. That said, while increased yardages may sound like a big deal, using a driver that’s too long does come with the downsides discussed above, especially when wielded by a beginner or amateur golfer.
Most often, professional golfers on the PGA Tour, regardless of their height, will use a driver that’s exactly 44” long; however, a driver length of up to 48” is permissible in the rules for competitive play.
Sizing Your Putter
The putter you elect to play with should provide you with a sense of control and precision, so selecting the correct size is tremendously important.
However, the length of your putter doesn’t just depend on your height. Before buying a new or used putter, you also need to consider your style of play because personal technique is a massive factor in picking the right putter for your game and how you approach playing on the green.
All things considered, based on your posture and wrist-to-floor measurement, your putters’ length should typically be between 32” and 35”.
Getting Fitted for Golf Clubs
Considering how important it is to get the right fit on your clubs, it really is no surprise that club-fitters are an essential component of any decent pro shop or golf club retailer.
Even if you follow the chart above it is still possible to get a bad fit if you fail to take into account any of the numerous other details which can effect the optimal sizing for your clubs.
So, if you make the sound decision that you want to have your clubs professionally fitted for you then what is the process? and how does it work?
What Does a Club-Fitter Actually Do?
So, a reputable club-fitter should several things to ensure that your clubs are sized correctly for you as an individual golfer. The fitter should determine your exact height and record your wrist-to-floor and hand measurements.
Monitor your swing speed and take note of your general ball trajectory. They should then ask you to hit some balls with various clubs (generally a mid-iron.)
Getting To Know Your Swing
The fitter should be paying close attention to the personal habits you have going on within your golf swing, like how you are setting up, the degree to which you are bending your knees, your grip, posture, swing speed and numerous other factors.
Next, the fitter will usually apply some tape to your clubs’ underside to figure out where exactly you are making contact with the ground. That is, are you striking the golf ball from the heel, the toe, or the center.
The aim is to ground the club, with the tape, in the middle of the clubface. This exercise helps the club-fitter determine the proper lie angle for your clubs, which is critical in deciding the length your shafts need to be.
Given everything that goes into a club-fitting, and owing to the fact that getting fitted for your clubs can take strokes off your game immediately, I really recommend that if you are able to, you should entrust this task to a professional.
One Length Iron Sets
Recently, some club manufactures have begun to produce one-length irons sets. Such sets are becoming more and more popular, in part due to the success of Bryson Dechambeau, who is presently the golfer with the greatest average distance on the PGA Tour. These are sets where every iron and wedge is the same length as a standard 7-iron. But, don’t be under the impression that these sets are a miracle cure. There are clear pros and cons of using one length irons.
The Pro’s of One Length Irons
The learning curve can often overwhelm new golfers who are just learning to play the game. One of the more challenging aspects of golf is learning the various setup’s and stances for every single club in the bag. With a one-length iron set, golf can be easier to learn.
This is because almost every club will employ the same setup and swing plane, adding a ton of consistency. New golfers using these sets may have a much easier time hitting their long-irons due to the shorter shaft length.
The notoriously challenging 3 and 4 irons can be much easier to hit since the shaft is shorter than it would be with a traditionally sized set. This can inspire confidence and improve accuracy.
The Con’s of One Length Irons
Conversely, although the long irons may be easier to hit, the short irons may be harder to hit. This is because the short irons will have a longer shaft as compared with a traditionally sized set.
With the increased shaft length, there is more club to manage throughout the swing, and for beginners, this can be more difficult than with shorter irons or wedge sets.
Also, it’s worth noting that when you get used to hitting one length iron’s and wedges, you can have some real difficulty when it comes time to hit the driver or a fairway wood.
Because your muscle memory is so accustomed to swinging on the same swing plane, you may find that it’s incredibly challenging to adjust the much longer clubs in your bag.
Remember, your driver and fairway woods are still going to be the standard length, and I can assure you that you will not find a driver on earth that is the same length as your 7-iron.
If you decide to go for one length irons, make sure you put in the time on the range to practice adjusting your swing plane for your driver and fairway woods.
Conclusion How To Size Golf Clubs
All of the factors above are important if you want to know how to size golf clubs. You need to consider your height, swing plane, and average ball trajectory as well as your personal habits. For these reasons, you should, if you can, get fit for golf clubs by a professional club-fitter.
Ask the fitter if one-length irons might be a good option for you based on your swing and where you’re at in your development.
Having the correct golf club lengths for your individual, unique swing is one of the most critical components of playing well. So, size your clubs correctly and, most importantly, have fun out there.