Driver length seems to be a hot topic. And the question is... is longer better?
To answer that question right away, we don’t think so. If you are a golf fan you may have seen the news recently that reigning PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker put a 42 inch Titleist 917D2 driver into play at the PGA Tour Events held recently in Hawaii. Why would he do that you might ask? Below was Jimmy's answer to GolfWRX.
"If you can hit one more fairway every other round, it's going to help you out immensely through the course of the year on the strokes gained deal."
Now, we don’t necessarily encourage you to go out right away and chop down your driver to 42 inches, but we do want to highlight something else that is important. A quick look at Mr. Walker’s bio page on PGATour.com will show that Jimmy is 6’2” inches tall and that he played last year with a 44 inch driver.
This is interesting because it means Jimmy played a whole season with a shorter driver before it really garnered any attention. The stock driver length of most manufacturers (TaylorMade, Callaway Ping, Cobra) these days is 45.5 inches or longer (Titleist is a notable exception with their standard length still being 45 inches).
This raises the immediate question, why is a relatively tall, obviously highly skilled player using a shorter than standard driver?
Guys who make their living playing golf need to have equipment that helps them perform. In Jimmy’s assessment of his own game, getting the ball in the fairway one more time over 2 rounds will help him perform better. This is a trend that we here at Dallas Golf support and have been discussing with customers during fitting sessions.
I firmly believe that shortening the length of your driver to 44.5 inches, or perhaps even shorter, will help your game. The first question customers always ask is, “will this cost me distance?” The answer is typically no. You most likely will not see any loss in distance because what you lose in terms of club head speed is made up for with more consistent contact on the true center of the club face - the sweet spot!
I believe there is great merit to the shorter driver trend. It will help golfers of all abilities hit the center of the club face more often, effectively gaining more control and perhaps even more distance.