Josh’s Tips & Tricks: Driver Length

Golf | 18 September, 2023


Hello golfers, welcome to this week’s tips & tricks. This week we’re going to look at a way you can potentially increase your distance off the tee and the amount of fairways you hit. The amount of distance you get with your driver is determined by numerous factors but the most important are clubhead speed and ball speed. Clubhead speed is how fast the clubhead itself travels and ball speed is then the speed at which the ball comes off the clubface. To maximise ball speed we need to find as close to the middle of the clubface as possible. If you miss the middle of the clubface ball speed drops and so does the distance the ball travels. The direction will also be impacted by strike location. Finding the correct length of driver can help so lets take a look.

Driver Length

Standard Length

The average driver length on tour is roughly 44.75 inches, give or take half inch each way. There are certain players on tour who like to experiment with longer (and shorter) shafts. Bryson and Phil are the two guys who come to mind with their max length drivers. They belive that finding max clubhead speed is everything so will try to push the limits as far as they will go. More recently Justin Thomas has put in a longer driver shaft in the bag to try and make holes shorter.

One thing to note here is that these guys hit a lot of balls every day and are the best in the world at finding the middle of the clubface. Their average driver length is roughly an inch shorter than what is offered as standard for most manufacturers at retail. This seems to make little to no sense to me considering most club golfers struggle to find the middle of the clubface at all with their longest club. Most people will have a point in their bag where their confidence starts to drop. For some people it may be a 6 iron, someone else a 5 wood, lots of people their driver. Making a driver shorter can potentially increase the likelihood of finding the middle of the clubface.

Shorter Shafts

Lots of manufacturers are now offering shorter shafts as part of their fitting kit. Some shaft manufacturers make their shafts shorter as standard to help players find the middle of the clubface. If you struggle to find the middle of the clubface with a driver there is the option to make it shorter. This for some people can actually increase driver distance because of the strike. A good example of this was Tony Finau. He went half inch shorter in his driver and went from 180 mph to 183 mph ball speed with more consistent centre face contact. He is a very tall man and a great driver of the ball. If a shorter shaft has worked for him it could work for you too.

Get Fitted

Next time you’re on the driving range practice holding your driver at the bottom of the grip. This will make it about an inch or two shorter than standard (depending on where you normally hold it). Get some face stickers or some dry shampoo to spray on the face and see if your strike consistency improves. Alternatively come and see me for a lesson or fitting and I’ll sort you out.


The best players on tour are the straightest and longest drivers of the ball. They make courses shorter for themselves so go in with shorter clubs giving them more accuracy. Most club golfers don’t hit it far enough or straight enough from the tee. Therefore everyone should be doing whatever they can to improve their ball speed and direction. If you want your current driver cut down we offer that service here at Windmill. Driver fitting also includes getting the correct length of shaft.

If you would like to book a lesson or a custom fit use the link below.


Catch you soon.