Length of Shafts According to Height in Golf

Male golfer, low angle view

The right-sized golf clubs make the job of hitting the ball far and straight much easier for a golfer. In fact, if your club shaft length is too short or too long, expect to spend lots of time on the golf course in the rough, bunkers and water hazards, instead of the fairway. As club equipment guru Tom Wishon explains, the length, loft, and lie angle of your clubs are critical factors in determining how far and high your golf ball will fly. Wishon writes on his website, "The most important of these three is club length." Here's all the important things you need to know about figuring out your iron and driver shaft length.

How to chart your club length?

Tailor's tape

Alexander Hassenstein/Digital Vision/Getty Images

To determine the approximate length of clubs that are right for your height, you need to know how tall you are and how far your wrists hang from the floor. As Golf Components explains, you can obtain your wrist-to-floor measurement by standing on a hard, level surface in regular shoes or golf shoes. Relax your shoulders and let your arms hang down. Measure the distance from the point your hand meets your wrist to the floor.

What is a golf length chart?

A standard golf industry length chart, such as the one found at Honest Golfers, applies your wrist-to-floor measurement to your height to generally determine the length of the clubs that fit your golf swing best. For example, if you are 6-feet tall and your wrist-to-floor measurement is 35 inches, a standard length driver -- 44 inches for a steel shaft driver and 45 inches for a graphite shaft driver -- would be appropriate. If you are 5 feet 4 inches tall with a 35-inch wrist-to-floor measurement, the club should be one-quarter inch longer with a longer shaft. Either way, if you are tall you will have a shorter shaft and therefore a shorter club or putter. A shorter wrist to floor will also lead to a shorter golf club length and shorter driver.

Drivers and Other Clubs

Golf bag in a golf course.

Alexander Hassenstein/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Clubs other than drivers gradually get shorter -- if a 44-inch steel shaft driver is indicated by the chart, your 5-iron will measure 38 inches and sand wedge 35.5 inches. Graphite clubs are slightly longer than the average height and ideal shaft length of a steel club, with a standard driver at 45 inches, 5-iron at 38.5 inches and a sand wedge 36 inches. Standard club lengths for women are one inch shorter than for men. Whether these club lengths make sense is another question. Wishon notes that Tiger Woods generally plays a 43.5-inch driver because it's easier to control than a longer club. Wishon writes on his website: "Now if Tiger and the rest of his pals know they can't control a 45-inch long stick, what are the chances that you can?". This should serve as a warning for beginners to play with the correct club length.

Should you get fitted for clubs?

Woman golf player

Alexander Hassenstein/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The height and wrist measurement charts used to determine club length are a crude instrument because golf equipment isn’t solely based on a golfer’s height. Static fitting doesn't take into account your preferred shaft flex, posture, ball speed, club head speed, swing speed or a number of other factors. The best way to get precisely the right length clubs for your particular height requires a professional club custom fitting or dynamic fitting. As Paul John Newport explains in "The Wall Street Journal," club fitters can help both high-handicappers and low-handicappers and makes a golf game "less frustrating because well-fit clubs promote a more efficient swing."