Yes, height does matter when choosing your golf clubs, it is not the only factor that should be considered though.
Choosing the right golf clubs is not as straightforward as it first appears. For accuracy, your height, swing, wrist-to-floor measurement (WTF), and your Lie (the angle of space that exists between the center of the golf club shaft and the ground) should all be accounted for.
This helpful guide will explain in detail exactly what you need to know before purchasing golf clubs.
Why Does Height Matter for Golf Clubs?
Height is an important factor because your height generally affects your wrist-to-floor measurement.
Height and swing affect your potential clubhead speed, and longer shafts mean longer levers which increases your clubhead speed. The faster the speed the further the golf ball will travel. Whilst at times this might be desirable, there are just as many instances when it is not.
Therefore your height, plus swing and WTF measurement are essential for controlling the energy transfer from the clubhead to the ball.
Height measurements are perhaps more important for casual golf players than for regular hobbyists and professionals. Selecting a golf club according to your height alone is easy, and the most common method for those who play the sport only occasionally and just for fun.
However, for professionals and more serious players, using a golf club that is not made according to your WTF measurement, swing and Lie can affect your game.
Does Height Give You an Advantage in Golf?
It may appear at first that height gives you an advantage when playing golf, but in fact, it does not. This is because of the other factors involved in choosing your golf club.
How does height matter for golf clubs? Taller golf players do have the potential to send the ball farther due to their increased strength and body mass, as well as their swing plane and Lie.
Your golf clubs influence all these factors, so the size of your club should always be in relation to your height.
Disadvantages of Height
Some notable disadvantages of being tall. Remember this does not mean you will suffer from all these, just keep them in mind.
Taller golf players tend to have a greater swing plane than shorter players, some having swing planes that can vary by as much as a foot.
The swing plane is the ideal gradient of which a golf player angles his or her shots, and it can affect the trajectory and direction of where your golf ball will go.
Greater variation in your swing plane gradient, the more unpredictable the shot. Therefore you should have the appropriate club offset this.
A stable lower body is essential for improving your golf swing. Anchoring yourself firmly and correctly leads to more accurate shots.
Taller players have a longer foot to knee and knee to hip length. This extra length makes the players’ stance less stable than shorter players.
Additionally, taller players that have legs that are disproportionate to the torso, can also experience poorer balance control during their swing.
Having a club that is too light or too short can interfere further with your ability to stabilize.
Stress on the Lower Back
Lower back issues are more common in taller players than in shorter players and can affect setup and balance during their game.
Taller golfers tend to have slightly less flexible muscles in their legs, this is due to increased length, strength, and density in comparison to shorter players.
Due to the repetitive movement of golf, over time the reduced flexibility can cause lower spine misalignment, and pinching of the nerves. This is why taller golfers often experience lower back complaints, and the discomfort can interfere with performance quality.
Having a golf club that is too short will make symptoms worse and offset your game.
Advantages of Height
With all this being said, being tall does not mean you should hang up your golf clubs just yet. As in any sport, your physical make-up has both advantages and disadvantages, which ultimately level the playing field.
Taller golfers tend to have a long drive and can send the ball roughly 1.5 yards further than shorter players. This is due to longer limbs and the increased width of their swing.
Maximize this advantage by having correctly sized golf clubs.
Similarly to drive, the advantage of long levers is that taller players can create more distance with their shots.
That is not to say that there aren’t some shorter players that can really drive it home, but taller players with longer levers can send the ball further without having to throw their hands or body into the shot if they have the correct club.
How Long Should My Golf Clubs Be For My Height?
It is not necessarily height that is an issue when selecting your golf clubs, but your wrist-to-floor measurement (WTF). This is perhaps the most crucial element for professional golf players, and taller golfers tend to have a longer WTF measurement than shorter players.
The average WTF measurement is around 48.9% of your height. Generally, golfing organizations use this percentage as a standard measure when creating their sizing charts.
Your local golfing course or organization will stock clubs according to the following scale:
However, it is important to note that not everyone falls within the average. Your arm length could fall either side of what is considered the average, and you can accidentally purchase the wrong golf club.
If you have longer arms in comparison to your legs or vice versa, this can have a big impact on the length of the golf club you require.
So do not assume that because you are taller than average, that you will necessarily need a longer than average golf club.
How Do I Get Fitted For a Golf Club?
Getting fitted for a golf club is simple. You can either do it yourself or you can visit a local golfing store or size-fitter.
If you wish to do it yourself, all you have to do is follow these simple steps and calculate your required golf club length according to the results:
Simply stand as straight as possible and measure yourself from head to toe, you do not need to be in your golf stance.
The result will help you choose not only the length but also the correct angle for your clubs.
In your straight stance, ask someone to measure the distance between your wrist and the floor.
Be sure to measure from just above the wrist crease, not the base of your palm.
For a more accurate result, visit a store and allow a size-fitter to see you swing your regular clubs, or try a variety of clubs if you do not yet own a set.
The fitter will be able to identify any inconsistencies with your stance and match them up to your measurements for a better result.
Now hopefully you fully understand the importance of club height relative to your height. Save yourself potential future pain in your body and wallet and just do things right from the beginning. No need to handicap yourself further with subpar clubs.
Looking to go out and get custom fitted for clubs? Check out this video that gives you key questions you should ask yourself to ensure you get exactly what is going to work for you the best.
- Why Does Height Matter for Golf Clubs?
- Does Height Give You an Advantage in Golf?
- How Long Should My Golf Clubs Be For My Height?
- How Do I Get Fitted For a Golf Club?