Here’s another nugget from the “Did you know?” file:
The average driver length on the PGA Tour is about 45 inches.
That’s shorter than the off-the-rack standard, which is now a ridiculous 45.5 – 46 inches.
Do you really think you can handle a driver that’s longer than a tour pro’s?
Tom Wishon sure doesn’t. Here’s his take:
“If you buy into the premise that the longer the driver, the longer the drive, you have just bought into a load of malarkey and you’ll be destined to a constant fight with your #1 wood.”
(He makes an exception for smooth swingers with a well-timed release. I like to call those “professional golfers.”)
Wishon also notes that a longer shaft makes it harder to consistently strike the sweet spot – a costly mistake.
Miss the center by a mere half-inch and you’ll lose about 5% of your distance. A one-inch miss deducts 10%.
That’s doesn’t sound so bad, until you do the math: Subtract 10% from a 216-yard drive and you’re looking at just 194 yards… and a 5-iron approach instead of a 7-iron.
An extra-long shaft robs you of accuracy, too.
So why do the big brands keep stretching the driver?
Because on those rare occasions when the amateur times his swing just right, he actually will hit it farther with a longer shaft.
Sure, consistency suffers terribly. But hey, at least the manufacturer can claim a little yardage boost.