Driver Length | Standard Shaft Length and If It's Right For You
When hitting driver, we want to hit the ball as far as possible while keeping it in play.
Longer shafts typically lead to higher swing speeds and further drives, but at some point, an increase in distance no longer makes up for the loss in accuracy and consistency.
In this guide, we'll answer all the questions you have about driver lengths, including:
- What's the standard driver length?
- What length driver do the best club fitters recommend for most golfers?
- How long are PGA Professionals' drivers?
- How long should your driver be?
- Don't cut down a driver without making weight adjustments
- Making a case for a Driver and "2-Wood" in your bag
What's the Standard Driver Length
The standard driver length for men's clubs is 45.5" to 45.75" inches long. Because women tend to be shorter than men, the standard women's driver length is usually closer to 44".
Meanwhile, TaylorMade's SIM2 women's models are 43.75", and Callaway's women's EPIC drivers are 44.5".
As the size of driver's heads have increased over the years, so too have the length of their shafts. Thirty or more years ago, the standard shaft length for a driver was closer to what we see in 3-woods today, around 43 inches.
While the argument can be made that golf club manufacturers have pushed driver lengths too far so that they can advertise more distance, remember that clubs have gotten a lot more forgiving over the years.
What Length Driver Do the Best Club Fitters Recommend for Most Golfers?
In our experience getting fitted and what we've gathered talking to and researching what club fitters have to say about driver length, most of the best club fitters recommend drivers very close to the standard length for most golfers.
For example, the video below shows Ian Fraser of TXG Tour Experience Golf, one of the most well-respected club fitters in the industry, discussing how he fits most golfers at 45".
The average golfer will perform best with a driver at or near standard length. While exceptions are fairly rare, golfers who are significantly shorter or taller than average are most likely to benefit from a non-standard length shaft.
During a fitting, if all else has failed while attempting to build a driver a player can hit consistently, a fitter may then look at shortening the length of the club.
Golfers who are extremely consistent and accurate with standard length drivers may want to consider increasing their driver's length in search of more distance.
Keep in mind, golf clubs are limited to a max length of 48" under the rules of golf.
How Long Are PGA Tour Professionals' Drivers?
PGA Tour Professionals tend to play drivers between 44-46" in length. The vast majority of pros are in the 44.5" to 45.75" range from what we've been able to gather.
There are, of course, exceptions in both directions.
Rickie Fowler famously decided to go with just a 43.5" driver in 2017, a year in which he won the Honda Classic.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Phil Mickelson had a 5.5° 47.9" driver in his bag alongside a 10.5° "2-wood" when he won the PGA Championship. Bomber Bryson Dechambeau has had all of his success using a driver around standard length, but he's been talking a lot about experimenting with a 48" driver.
How Long Should Your Driver Be?
As we mentioned at the start of this article, the best driver for you has the optimal balance of distance and accuracy.
It's not useful hitting 300+ yard bombs if every shot is out of bounds. You also don't want a driver that hits every fairway but leaves you a 3-wood approach into every par-4 hole.
The best way to find the correct driver is to get fitted by a knowledgeable club fitter. A good club fitter will not only let you try out all the different driver heads and shafts they have available, but also let you try varying length shafts.
If you're interested in trying a different length driver shaft, we'd recommend bringing this up with your fitter at the start of your fitting session. It may be a good idea to start by trying standard length configurations, as whatever problems you have with your current driver may have nothing to do with shaft length.
As we'll explain in further detail below, when the length of a shaft is changed, the club's swing weight will quickly change. A club fitter not accounting for this is a huge red flag.
Don't Cut Down a Driver Without Making Weight Adjustments.
Many golfers wanting to try a shorter driver think they can simply have their shaft cut down, but this is not the case if you want it to feel anything like a normal driver.
When you add or remove inches from a driver shaft without making any other adjustments to balance the weight of the club, the swing weight will change.
It doesn't take much for a driver to feel drastically different. 1/2 inch adjustments to a club's shaft length will move the swing weight by about 3 points. Cut a couple of inches off your men's driver shaft without adding weight to the head and it could easily feel like swinging a ladies iron. Trust us; this sounds better than in practice, especially as a golfer accustomed to heavier swing weights.
Again, a good club fitter should adjust the weight in the head, shaft, and/or grip for an optimal swing weight if you're straying too far from a standard configuration.
Making a Case for a Driver and "2-Wood" In Your Bag
It's starting to become popular having both a Driver and a "2-wood" in the bag.
We're huge fans of this trend, especially for golfers who don't struggle with distance off the tee.
If you decide to go this route, we love pushing the limits of your driver. For example, you may want to try extreme shaft lengths (standard length or longer), lofts (fast swinging players with a good driver swing can experiment with as little as 6°), and tee height (tee the ball up higher and try to swing up on the ball more).
With this bag setup, we're happy to lose a bit of driver accuracy in favor of distance. With another good par-4 and par-5 tee club in the bag, you only need to use this club when there's minimal danger if you hit offline.
The "2-wood" in this setup will be more of a "fairway finder." The goal is to minimize distance lost compared to your standard driver configuration while significantly tightening the dispersion of your shots. This club will generally have a shorter shaft and more loft.
There are a lot of options for the "2-wood" in this setup.
- Another Driver - If you can devote two clubs to being only used as tee clubs, you could use a higher lofted and/or shorter shafted regular driver head as a "2-wood".
- Mini-Drivers - TaylorMade's "Original One Mini Driver" has a standard length of 43.75", and it has a smaller head (275CC) at lofts of 11.5° and 13.5°. The loft can be adjusted by 2°, allowing it to go as low as 9.5°. Compared to a standard driver head, many golfers will find the TaylorMade Mini to be playable off the ground (depending on the loft).
- 3-Wood W/ Loft Turned Down - The final option is a low lofted 3-wood. Many manufacturers make 3-woods with lofts as low as 13° that can be adjusted by an additional 2° lower.
We've covered a lot in this guide, but ultimately it's on you to test out different clubs and find out what's right for you.
While a shorter or longer than standard driver is likely worth giving a shot, we'd first recommend trying different options close to standard length when getting fitted for a driver.