Cutting down driver

16/11/2010 at 11:11

Doany of you cut down your driver? over the last few years I have felt i dont swing my driver as well as the rest of my clubs, which i put down to the ever increasing head sizes and longer shafts.

So i have just bought a 460cc driver with a traditional pear shaped look from adress (which just looks a lot better to my eye) and i have cut an inch off down to 44.75"

 I havent even tried swinging iot yet but wondered if anybody else does this.

16/11/2010 at 11:25

Thought about doing this recently but was advised against it by my club pro. He claimed that cutting a driver down will completely change the flex characteristics. Although this makes some sense it doesn't explain why the shaft manufacturers themselves supply instructions on where/how much to cut down by.

I ended up changing the shaft (very easy in an R9) and I'm loving the results. For the record the new shaft is about 1" shorter in the driver than the TM stock shaft. I doubt that this makes too much difference as I can match that by gripping down slightly anyway.

I also tried my 3 wood shaft in the driver (both R9 so can just swap them over in seconds). This is quite a bit shorter (3-4"). Only tried it out on the practice ground and it was very easy to hit. Swapped it back as when it came down to it I would rather hit my 3 wood if that's the shot that I was looking for.

With regards to your driver, I would be surprised if it has made an critical difference to the shaft dynamics, so if it feels better (more control) then hopefully it will go well for you.

Edited: 16/11/2010 at 11:44
16/11/2010 at 11:38

I use a 44" driver shaft as well. Both my drivers have bespoke shafts in and were made up. It's not that expensive my Pro charged me £15 to do it, the cost comes from the shaft and obtaining the head. If you have a head you like then look for a shaft and get it cut - most shafts you buy separately are comparable, if not better than manufacturers shafts - allegedly.

I don't know what the difference in carry would be as head speed will be higher with a longer shaft, but I can say that accuracy is improved, and I would rather be in play more often than not.

16/11/2010 at 14:02
My driver is 43.5" and gives me more consistent results than a longer driver. Tiger Woods has used a 43.5" driver to win most of his Major titles and the average driver length on the PGA Tour is 44.5".
16/11/2010 at 14:23
Have any of you found it plays / feels different except for being easier to find the sweet spot?
16/11/2010 at 14:39
nope - my shafts have a swing speed window of 95-105mph which is pretty broad so they play fine.
16/11/2010 at 16:00

Mark Roe always had an inch and a half taken off hit Driver shafts, which gave him the exact amount of control and distance he was looking for.

For the Amateur, if you played with a shorter shaft and hit it well, you would not notice any obvious difference in distance.......having tried it myself!

16/11/2010 at 16:29

Changing the length by butt trimming should not affect the flex characteristics as this is what most shaft manufacturers expect you to do.

Tip trimming can affect the shaft flex as many shafts are 'flexed' by doing exactly that. Generally the more you tip trim the stiffer the shaft becomes with these types of shafts.

17/11/2010 at 18:24
Hit the shorter driver for the first time today and it felt great just how I wanted it to. Cheers guys.
17/11/2010 at 18:31
It seems reading this thread that most do not really understand the concepts of cutting a shaft. It is normal to cut shafts for several reasons, however you will SIGNIFICANTLY alter the charachtersitics of the club.

Manufacturers of shafts give "tip trimming instructions" - this is so the shaft can be used with a variety of club heads lengths etc. Tip trimming alters the flex of the shaft, for example most manufacturers would not tip trim a driver shaft, but advise 1/2 inch tip trimming for a 3 wood and 1 inch tip trim for a five wood. This is if you wanted the shaft to play true to flex. If you put a shaft tip trimmed for a 3 wood in a driver it would play much stiffer than in a 3 wood. This is due to the heavier head of the three would loads the shaft more. If you put a driver shaft in a three wood without tip trimming it would play softer to flex, so a "stiiff" may play nearer "regular" if left untipped.

Butt trimming will not alter the playing charachteristics of the shaft, but will alter the swingweight. every half inch of butt trimming will reduce the swingweight by about 2-3 swingweights. If you trim an inch off your regular 45 inch driver with D5 swingweight you will end up with maybe a C9, or in other words a ladies club !! The clubhead will not load the shaft properly and you have an underperforming club.

So what to do if you want a shorter driver? By all means trim the butt end of the club, but put the weight back in the club. You do this by adding 2 grammes of weight to the club head for each swingweight you need to gain. In the example given where you trimmed an inch you would need to add around 12 grammes to the head. Does not sound like a lot but it is. You can hot melt glue into the head, add lead tape of if a taylormade driver add to the weights.

Most people do see a slight improvement in accuracy with a shorter driver, without losing distance provided swingweight is maintained. Hope this helps !!
Edited: 17/11/2010 at 18:35
17/11/2010 at 19:06
Thanks for a comprehensive Geldap.  
17/11/2010 at 19:11
Yes I had read similar before that's why i was curious as to how it would play but it didn't feel any lighter
17/11/2010 at 19:22
Mine was shortened, hot melted and reweighted two years ago, and I haven't been able to find a better driver yet Long enough, consistent...damn it.
18/11/2010 at 08:46

I once had to take 7" off my shaft when doing some Butt trimming.

She made me fold it in half!

18/11/2010 at 10:06
Yes I had read similar before that's why i was curious as to how it would play but it didn't feel any lighter

Previously mentioned person (MR) when playing on the euro tour did not add weight to the club when reducing the length by 1.5".   When using this Club myself, it did feel slightly shorter, and easier to control, but my distance was the same.

18/11/2010 at 12:57
Paul L 11 wrote (see)

Does that mean i am a poof?

No fancying the same sex means your a poof.

Swing weight doesn't affect distance it's a feel thing.

18/11/2010 at 13:24
Paul L 11 wrote (see)
The clubhead will not load the shaft properly and you have an underperforming club.
I haven't heard that before either.  Can any other clubmakers confirm that?
Edited: 18/11/2010 at 13:24
18/11/2010 at 15:15

swingweight is actually not a weight but a balance point. and over the yrs there have been different companies using different fulcrum scales to measure it. - so i could easily make a 6ft long club make it weigh some 30lbs and swingweight it at D2 -but i doubt anyone could play with it ----- the head weight shaft weight grip weight and the length are all relative even the lie angle will change the measured sw --- in drivers many of the top companies use 202 to 206 gm heads and make them 45 3/4 in length to purposely increase the MOI which also has the added effect of increasing the swing weight ----- in a ladies club the headweights shaft weights and gripweights will all be lighter -- inc the s weight ---------------------- even changing grips can change the s w by as many as 3 points which then changes the overall dynamic feel of the club ---------------------------- it really boils down to - whatever works - regardless of what the sw balance numbers say

18/11/2010 at 15:42

Geldap is right in saying there will be a variance in swingweight when butt trimming a driver.

However, we are talking about a weight that is relatively insignificant and would not be noticed by most people even if 2" was taken off. To suggest that 1/2" removed from the butt would affect performance at all, is a load of balderdash - most of us don't grip with such precision each time we play a shot and would be within 1/2" short or long of the alleged optimum anyway.

What concerns me more is the suggestion that we should re-weight the head in some way.  This was OK in the days when drivers were solid wood, or aluminium.

Now most modern heads are very carefully designed, within allowed tolerances. The L4V that I use pushes the boundaries on Moment Of Inertia, Centre Of Gravity, Coefficient Of Restitution and overall size . . . any tampering with the head itself, with gobs of lead tape, would potentially render it illegal, as it would on many other equivalent heads.

Also, if the weight is placed in areas where it was not designed to be, it will affect the performance - far more than the percieved weight of a fag packet in its apparent heft (swingweight).

. . . and swingweighting is just a way of matching a set of clubs to the preferred heft of a user, be it a poof or a gorilla. On its own it does not affect performance - swingspeed does.

There is no defined correct swingweight for any given club, be it a driver or a sand iron - and certainly not for a putter. There is a collective agreement in manufacture that historically assumes males will generally prefer around D2.

18/11/2010 at 16:38
Interesting thread, I use the driving range at Pachesham in Surrey. Mark Roe is frequently there and last week he was advising some guy to cut an inch off his driver, more control, more likely to hit the sweet spot and therefore more consistent driving. Also you will probably hit the sweet spot more often and hence not really notice much loss of distance.

Seems to make sense to me.