Do Tall People Always Need Longer Clubs or Short People Shorter Clubs?

Posted by on Aug 17, 2012 in Clubfitting, Tips | 12 comments

There are certain assumptions that golfers often make about their equipment.  Associating height with club length is one such assumption that quite often is wrong.  The reason is because many tall people have long arms and a lot of short people have normal length arms.

When we take our stance to hit a golf ball, it is the combination of our height AND our arm length that initially determines what club length is required to ensure that we are comfortable over the ball.  But there is a lot more to advising the proper club length than one’s height and arm length.  Our posture and whether we set up more erect or more bent over is another factor that contributes to the decision for how long our clubs need to be.

However, most important in the length decision for any golfer is an evaluation of certain swing characteristics of the golfer.  There is an old saying in Clubfitting that goes like this, “the longer the length of the clubs, the more difficult they will be to control and the harder they will be to hit consistently on the center of the face.”

When fitting club length, the goal of any experienced clubfitter is to fit each golfer with the longest club length that they can control and hit on center with the highest level of consistency.

And therein lies the rub, as the old Bard used to say!  Because properly fit clubs have to be long enough to offer enough comfort so the golfer is neither bending over or crouching too much, yet not too long to cause problems with hitting the ball as consistently on center as possible, it takes an experienced custom clubfitter to know just how to find that perfect balance when fitting golfers for the best length.

At Wishon Golf, we teach clubmakers to START the process by taking a measurement of the golfers’ distance from the wrist to the floor and comparing that measurement to a chart of initial starting lengths that we have developed from ongoing research with golfers over many years.  Again – this is a STARTING POINT ONLY for length fitting and in no way represents the final length of the clubs.

Tom Wishon Golf Technology®
Wrist To Floor Measurement for Initial Club Lengths
Wrist to Floor Driver Length 5-iron Lenth
27″ to 29″ 42″ 36 1/2″
29+” to 32″ 42 3/4 37
32+” to 34″ 43 1/2 37 1/2
34+” to 36″ 44 38
36+” to 37″ 44 1/4 38 1/4
37+” to 38″ 44 1/2 38 1/2
38+” to 39″ 44 3/4 38 3/4
39+” to 40″ 45 39
40+” to 41″ 45 1/4″ 39 1/4
41+” to 42″ 45 1/2″ 39 1/2
over 42″ 46 and up 39 3/4 and up

After that, the clubfitters are taught to evaluate the following golfer and swing elements:  1) swing path;  2) downswing transition force and downswing tempo;  3) point of the wrist-cock release on the downswing;  4) overall golfer athletic ability.

In general, if the golfer has a more outside in the swing path, a more forceful transition and/or faster swing tempo, an earlier release and is less athletically coordinated, the final lengths will never be longer than what the lengths indicated by the wrist to floor measurement chart.

But if the golfer has an inside out to square swing path, a smooth transition, smoother tempo, midway to late release and is reasonably well coordinated, these are all characteristics which indicate the golfer could control a longer length than indicated by the wrist to floor starting point for length fitting.

At Wishon Golf, it is all about teaching clubmakers to evaluate the swing characteristics of the golfer to make sure the clubs FIT properly to the abilities of each golfer.


  1. Hi Tom,Got the book .can you please explain how do I measure “Driver,5 iron Lengths” as shown in Table 11 page 22.
    Thanks Wally

    • Wally

      I am sorry but which book are you referring to? I looked in 4 of my books and in all those, there is no Table 11 on page 22. So if you do not mind responding to tell me which book you are talking about, I can then tell you what you want to know.


  2. Hi tom

    Was fitted for the 575 att tee view in Stockholm sweden a few weeks ago. Amazing club head i must say. My wrist to floor measurment are 41″ without shoes and im really cant deside if i shuold have +2 inch. I have played standard lenght until last fall when I lengthen my current set. I have a smooth tempo, athletic build and hit the ball solid. I feel when hiting +2 my tempo and posture gets better. The downside is and might become? with the shorter clubs the control and aim. Is it common to use same lenght incresment thru the set? Even in the wedges? 2+ gives better posture and tempo then standard, but where goes it the other way?

    • Gustav:
      First of all, I am glad to hear that you worked with Tee View AB for your clubs. Leif and Conny are both very experienced clubfitters and they are among the very best in the whole of the golf business. After many years of clubfitting research, I believe that one of the very best ways to know if the lengths of the clubs are right for a golfer is whether they can maintain their posture and comfort in the swing, and whether they can experience a consistent repeating swing tempo, timing and rhythm when swinging the clubs. The only time that longer clubs generates more problems with accuracy and impact location is when the lengths do not fit the golfer’s size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics.

      Yes it is true that for MOST golfers, going with a length of +2″ longer than standard does usually result in less shot consistency. But in your case, by experimenting with these +2″ overlength clubs, you have found that the length seems to help you gain better swing tempo, timing and consistency. In your case, if you went with +3″ or only +1″, you probably would not experience a more comfortable posture and more consistent tempo. So even though OTHER GOLFERS could not play as well with +2″ longer clubs, they do seem from what you say that they do work best for you.

      So as the old saying goes, “If it is not broken, do not try to fix it.”


  3. Thanks for quick anser! Talked to Conny today and he told me the same as you did! I dont doubt hes knowledge at all, his just fantastic. Just wanted a second opinion from the guy himself.I have been to four fitters last 3 years and everyone has given me different “recipe”.. and it makes me wounder.. Golf is not the sport of compromisse in my opinion… I value truth, honor and craftmanship.
    I have played + 2 since last fall and I really wanted to get it right this time. I want to break par all the time and dont want to blame your clubs for not doing it Tom:) I place my order this weekend. Cheers!

    • JENS

      That is nice to hear that you have spoken with Conny and that you feel good about the fitting work that he can do for you. I have many nice memories from several trips I have made to Sweden since 2006 to deliver clubfitting seminars for the Swedish PGA. One of these was hosted by Conny and Leif in the Stockholm area and we had a very good time. Leif was our tour guide to see all of the wonderful history of Stockholm and he even took us what he said was the one and only Mexican restaurant in Stockholm for dinner one night!

      Thank you again and the very best wishes to you in this great game!!


  4. I truly seem to go along with every little thing that is composed in “Do Tall People Always Need
    Longer Clubs or Short People Shorter Clubs? | Tom Wishon Golf Technology”.

    I am grateful for all of the actual information.Thanks for your time,

    • Stephaine

      Thanks so much for your interest in clubfitting information. We really do appreciate that very much. For sure, if you have ANY questions about any area related to golf club performance, do please let us know and we would be glad to address any of your interested topics about golf clubs in the future.


  5. 6″3 38 wrist to floor. Fitter says go 1 inch longer on my new Staff fg forged irons. Normally play an inch over but hit the standard length well and confidence in 3 4 irons. Thinking I may just go 3/4 over in length. Any thoughts. 6 handicapper good iron player but found tighter dispersment with the standard lofts

    • NEIL
      We see a W to F as +3/4″ over so your fitter is pretty darn close to what we see after years of digging into this in part of our fitting work. What you might want to think about is whether you want to go with normal half inch increments between irons vs 3/8″ increments. Here’s some things to think about as to whether this could be something you want to do or not. With your present, previous sets that may have been an inch over, if you have ever felt that you had to bend over more or crouch a little more to be totally comfortable over the ball and during the swing with your 7, 8, 9, PW in the set, then this is an indication that the 3/8″ increments would be better than half inch. or if you have had situations where you pull the ball more often than you wish with the high loft irons, that too is an indicator for the 3/8″ increments possibly being better. but if neither of these have been any issue with a set that was +1″ or +3/4″ over, then stay with the half inch increments.


  6. Appreciate the feedback. When hitting 7,8,9 and pw I definitely had to crouch a little more with standard clubs. My old set of FG,s were an inch over but when looking at the bottom of the clubs after an hour on the range, the marking from the mats were favoring the toe area. I had them bent up 2 degrees which seems to give me more of a draw although a draw is my natural shot. I never found ball striking with my irons before having them bent an issue. I could draw and fade balls at will. I never liked the clubs being bent upright so with this new set, I am leaving them alone. It’s hard to find a good fitter out here but easy to find a million opinions on what I should do with my irons. I appreciate your feedback and have to utmost respect of what you do. I wonder if I should one day get fitted professionally or just be happy with how I normally play.

    • Neil:
      If you are a good player with pretty good swing characteristics that you can REPEAT with reasonable consistency, and if you are happy with the way you hit the ball land happy with your primary ball flight shape, then play with the clubs you have and enjoy the game. But if you are seriously into the game and if you have any areas about your play that you are not 100% happy with or have doubts about, or if you ever question whether there is something that could be improved in your shot shape, shot consistency, shot distance, then hunting for a GOOD, EXPERIENCED clubfitter with which to work can either, 1) bring about some of these possible areas of improvement, or 2) make you realize that you are just fine with the clubs you have so you remove any doubts.

      It certainly can be a little different with different golfers in each level of ability, but basically, those who shoot in the mid to low 70s are good enough that they pretty much can try out different club combinations/specs and know themselves without a doubt whether the club fits or could be better. but as the score increases, and especially for golfers who shoot mid 80s to over 100 who play with clubs they bought off the rack, there is no question that a proper fitting analysis from a very GOOD clubfitter will bring about improvement.

      A big part of the reason that avg players benefit more from proper fitting than do good players is because so many of the standard specs in the off the rack clubs are such that they make the game more difficult for the avg player – things like driver and fwy lengths being too long, iron lofts being too low to make several of the irons in a typical set more difficult to hit, total weight/swingweight not being well matched to the golfer’s swing tempo/force/strength so they struggle with shot consistency, etc.

      Hope this helps,

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