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How to Tell If Your Golf Clubs are Too Long or Too Short

Using the correct length of golf clubs will prove beneficial for your game. The way in which the correct length has an impact on your swing, and ability to play even normal shots, is something you cannot dispute.

But there’s often a problem.

The problem is so many people do end up playing with the wrong length of club. New players will have no idea as to whether or not their clubs are the correct length as you cannot simply go on feel alone.

So, how do you know if this is the case? Well, we have several steps you can follow that will help you to determine if your clubs are the perfect length for you. But first, let’s explain why this is so important.

How the Wrong Length Impacts Your Swing

Clubs improperly fitted for you and your posture will lead to a multitude of issues with your swing, balance, and posture. Ultimately, your shots could fire off in all directions, and there is little chance of you getting the maximum out of your power or ability.

The list of things that may go wrong is both extensive and scary. For example, the wrong length could lead to one of, or several of, the following -

  • Too much height on the shot

  • Your hit your shots either thin or fat on a regular basis

  • Slicing is a major problem

  • Weight balance is incorrect, throwing off your shot

  • Your back swing remains flat

  • You feel as if you need to reach for your shot

  • You feel hunched up on your shot

  • Your hands effectively come off the end of the club

  • Your hands are too far down the shaft

  • Your swing feels compressed or too out of control

Each one of those points listed above spells bad news for your shot. You have no chance of controlling where that ball will go, and your game will suffer a great deal as a direct result.

How to Tell If The Clubs are Too Long

So, how do you know if your clubs are actually too long? Well, you have several ways of telling, and it’s quick and easy to do.

1.Measure them

The easiest way is to measure them, and you need little in the way of equipment to do this. 

First, measure the length of the club. Then, take your own height with a focus on the distance from wrist to floor. This should immediately tell you if the clubs in your bag are even remotely close to the correct length.

It’s important to ignore your overall height. Some tall people have shorter arms than you expect, and the opposite also applies to shorter people. It’s the wrist to floor measurement that’s the key.

After getting that measurement, consider how it compares to the standard length of clubs. You will then become aware of whether or not there’s any need to have them adjusted in any way.

2.Your posture

Your posture will also tell you a significant amount about the length of your clubs. 

If the clubs are too long, then you will automatically stand more upright when taking your shot. This creates an unnatural posture and has a negative impact on your swing. 

But not only will it affect your swing, it also increases the chances of you developing an injury due to the pressure it puts on your back, shoulders and neck.

With an upright posture, your weight is generally pushed back to your heels. This affects your balance, and with poor balance comes poor confidence in your entire shot.

So, if you feel somewhat unsteady throughout the motion of your swing, then the swing itself is not always the cause, and you should perhaps look at the length of your clubs instead.

3.Your takeaway

Let’s look at the takeaway aspect as this can provide another potential sign that those clubs may not fit.

If a club is too long, you may have this feeling that the club is obstructing you in some sense. This feeling means you have an issue with the takeaway aspect and believe there is simply not enough space.

The outcome is a tendency to push the club on more of an outside path in an attempt to get the club away from your body to create that sense of increased space. 

But that causes its own problems.

A club that fits you perfectly allows you to take the club back in a smooth, more natural line and to do so without you encountering any problems.

An outside-inside swing is one of the most common errors in the game leading to wayward shots. This is further exacerbated when you struggle to control a shot in the first place, so this type of swing will only make matters worse.

4.The ball flight

We mentioned the trajectory earlier on, but let’s look at it in more detail.

When a club is too long, there is a greater chance of you creating too much height on your shots, so you will also lose distance at the same time. 

Of course, a number of swing issues will also lead to too much height, and while it may not come across as the obvious cause, quickly measuring your clubs to see if you have something too long could help provide a quick solution.

One reason why the ball may gain too much height is due to that weight distribution. If your weight is on the back foot, you will tend to get under the ball more and this will result in too much height.

5.The club seems too heavy

This one may sound strange, but a club that is too long may also appear too heavy for you. 

This happens due to the weight distribution and balance of the club. If it is too long, this balance is ultimately thrown out of sync, and that’s not good.

A club that feels too heavy becomes difficult to manage. It puts added pressure on your shots, and the outcome is often for you to lose some distance. 

This will also lead to your swing becoming compromised. 

6.You use the toe too much

Finally, if you notice your shots ping off the toe on a regular basis, then it may indicate the club is too long. This is due to you struggling to line up perfectly with the ball, and this issue is then enhanced by the difficulties with both stance and posture.

The wrong length of club makes it harder to get closer to the ball. Also, if we know the club is too long, we seek to compensate by physically standing back. Ultimately, this leads to us using the toe of the club leading to less control and power through the shot.

As you can see, we have several signs to watch out for when it comes to clubs that are too long, but what about the opposite when they are too short?

How to Tell If The Clubs are Too Short

As with clubs that are too long, we have several signs that the clubs you are using end up too short. So, how can you tell?

1.Measure them

Just like before, you need to measure them. Take that measurement of both the club as well as from your wrist height to the floor and see how they compare.

2.The swing

When talking about the swing here, we mainly mean the swing path. 

When your club is too short, it pushes you away from the club or it feels too close to your body. Due to this, you tend to swing the club through more of an inside path. 

The problem here is this inside swing leads to a whole host of issues with your shot. You tend to hook the ball while the chances of a mis-hit will also increase. 

An inexperienced golfer will have a greater chance of losing control of their shot and where the ball will head. Ultimately, the chances of your shot finding trouble, and missing the fairway completely, will increase.

3.Your posture

Your posture will also suffer when clubs are too short. 

The tendency is that your stance will lead to you being all hunched over. This problem is due to the shorter club leading to you effectively having to reach for the ball. Reaching for the ball puts you in an unnatural position, and it becomes impossible for that to then help your swing.

This reaching will change your spine angle. This leads to issues with the rotation during your swing as well as it changing how your weight is ultimately distributed.

Here, as you find yourself reaching for the ball, your weight moves to your toes. This creates the feeling of falling over, or at least the potential for that, and this leads to tension in your swing. There’s every chance your shot will feel crushed along with a reduction in power.

Both of these issues will lead to major problems with not only the swing, but also with the ball itself.

4.Your tempo becomes too fast

But then there’s the tempo connected to your shot. A shorter club leads to an ability to swing it faster than before, so that increases the tempo. While that would normally mean more power, that’s not always a good thing.

A faster tempo results in less consistency since most people cannot maintain control. Your swing becomes erratic, so your ability to understand where the shot is heading is then compromised. 

Controlling tempo leads to a smooth swing. It leads to less turning of the club throughout the motion. It increases your ability to hit that sweet spot while not resulting in increased trajectory due to your swing being out of sorts.

But that’s the problem. People think higher tempo is amazing for your game. For most players, that’s not the case and your clubs will lie at the root of the problem. 

5.The distance

When clubs come up short, then so does the distance you can achieve. This comes across as a contradiction when you think the increased speed should lead to the opposite.

However, it’s all to do with each point mentioned above regarding short clubs. When you have these various points all combined, it leads to the distance being negatively affected and, as a result, your entire game.

What You Need to Do

So, what do you need to do in order to counteract these problems? 

Well, measuring the club length, as well as that wrist to floor height is key. If you feel uncertain as to what to do, then check in with the pro at your local club. They will help and can then point you toward the changes that need made from a club perspective.

Then, if your clubs need changed, take your new measurement and search for clubs to that length. Remember the length varies depending on the club in your bag, but that’s why you need that wrist height measurement to make life easier. 

Also, keep in mind there is not always a need to purchase new clubs. There is the option to either extend current clubs or cut their length to make sure they fit your stand and height perfectly. 

Once again, this is something you can discuss with the local pro and get their advice on the best course of action for your game. It may even be the case that other aspects of the club work against your game, so a complete change to something brand-new may help.

The improvement to your game will astound you. This even applies when the difference appears minimal to some. Even a club that is half an inch too long or short has major implications for your entire game.

You will find it easier to create the most natural swing for your game. You will not over-extend yourself, or the opposite, leading to a smooth swing that isn’t forced into that outside or inside path.

If you find your game is not progressing in the manner it should, then the length of your clubs may lie at the root of the entire issue. So, get that measuring tape out, and check those lengths to see if the answer lies in your equipment instead of your game.

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