Shortened Driver?

04/01/2004 at 15:17
I read somewhere on here the other day that one of you guys had taken 1" off their driver. I cant seem to find the topic right now, so if someone could let me know how they got on it would be much appreciated. I ahve been thinking about this for a while since I am only 5'6" tall and I am using a 45" driver.

James
05/01/2004 at 23:38
Come on guys, I am beginning to think that I dreamed it!


James
06/01/2004 at 08:45
James, I believe the person you want to hear from (Alan Taylor) may be on holiday at the moment.
I'm sure he will reply when he gets back.
06/01/2004 at 08:47
James,

Are you planning on trimming down the length yourself? Be careful. You will alter the flex/swingweight/kick point of your driver, and may end up with something you hate. The shaft is probably has the most influence on the performance of your driver. There are some club makers web sites out there that discuss what happens when trimming butts and tips of shafts.

Never tried it on my own clubs. I would be interested to hear the results you get?

Ian
06/01/2004 at 10:21
James,

Rather counter intuitively shortening shaft length will generally make the shaft play more flexible as opposed to stiffer. There will be some loss in weight but it should not really be noticeable if you are going to trim the butt by 1 inch. There is no reason why you could not Butt trim yourself and re-grip (preferably with a heavier grip to compensate), if you are comfortable with a ‘slightly’ more flexible shaft.

If you are looking to re-shaft, you may want to consider a good steel shaft, where the ‘normal’ playing length will be shorter anyway. Additionally steel is generally easier to control and you should end up more consistent off the tee.
06/01/2004 at 18:52
I believe 1" from the butt will have no real effect except that it might lighten the swing weight a notch or two as I understand the differences in swing weight are quite small.

I cut 1" of the butt end of my Callaway C4 and feel much more in control of the club than before; it also appears to be more accurate, although that may not be solely due to reduction in shaft length. I did try to hold down the shaft but this did not feel right.

Don't forget that some manufacturers (notably Ping) custom fit and shorter shafts are one of the options - and they do this simply by cutting off from the butt end - there are no special lengths, most come in at 46" and are then trimmed to length.
06/01/2004 at 18:57
Thanks guys, I will wait for Alan to return from his hols for more advice. It just seems to me that while most of us will have our irons custom fitted, nearly all of us will buy a driver "off the shelf".


James
06/01/2004 at 19:07
Just found this on the Golfsmith.com clubmaker forum; a reply from the techies to a user wanting to shorten his Graphite Design YS6:

"Shortening the club by trimming from the butt won’t really change the flex but it can make the shaft feel stiffer. If you normally play your driver at 44” then I suggest you trim the club to this length and see how the flex feels. My guess is it will feel much better and your ball striking will also improve.

Mark Ehly "
06/01/2004 at 20:51
Must admit that I am tempted to trim down the shaft of my TM300 to get a bit more accuracy. And if adds a little to the stiffness of then so much the better.

You know this link could be full of innuendo if we aren't careful

Ooh Matron!
06/01/2004 at 20:56
Took 2" off an xro3 and both accuracy and length are better.had it done by clubmaker who adjusted the swingweight as he said without it club might still be wayward.
08/01/2004 at 22:19
With out doubt, the majority of golfers with play better golf with a shorter driver. Most golfers should not have a driver longer than 44” or 44½” but most shop bought drivers are least 46”. The vast majority of my customers report greater consistency and confidence, whilst a lot report an increase in distance as they are hitting the "sweet spot" more regularly.
As far as swingweight is concerned - that is always a personal factor and can only be determined by trial and error. For some people the reduced swingweight of the shortened driver is actually beneficial, whilst for others it needs to be restored or even increased.
The one thing to bear in mind, as Ian mentioned, the shaft is the most important part of the golf club. Butts trimming with have NO detrimental (or permanent) effects on the shaft. If for some reason, the person did not like the shortened driver the length can be replaced and the original playing characteristics reinstated.
10/01/2004 at 16:29
Well, I took the plunge and took just over 1" off my Deep Red II driver. It should have been exactly 1" but my measuring wasnt quite as accurate as it should have been!

The Results......

At first I absolutely HATED it, I was spraying shots everywhere! But after a few sessions down the range I have got used to having the head at the angle it was designed for and all seems to be well. I feel that my accuracy has improved and I have lost little if any distance. My inital problems were probably caused by me trying to hit the ball as hard as I could to make up for any percieved loss of distance.

I am playing tomorrow so I will let you know how it performs on the course.

James
10/01/2004 at 16:54
I've reported this before but I made two steps when altering my driver; 1. reduced the length from 45 to 44inches and 2. replaced the Prolite graphite shaft for a Rifle steel lite shaft.

On my first outing with Keith in the North hit about 7 out of every 10 fairways, now though as I've got used to it 7 out of 10 is a bad day. All this with absolutely no loss of distance.

The work was carried out by Graham Tonge in Frodsham who is currently installing shafts in my new clubs from SMT.

My suggestion, forget trying to crush a ball down the fairway only to find it leaks too far left or right, get it on the short stuff a reasonable distance toward the green.

For this have a driver shafted with a shaft matched to your tempo and fitted by a pro, forget the swing flex rating. If a lady rated shaft suits you then go with it, swing within yourself and consider shortening the overall length of the club.
11/01/2004 at 20:38
Played my first round as a mamber at Trent lock in Nottingham today, also first round with "new" shortened driver. In total I missed 2 fairways all afternoon and those I hit were with much straighter shots, even in a 20mph wind!


James
13/01/2004 at 09:10
James, sorry for the delay in replying but Keith was right - I've been away.

I trimmed 1" of my Mizuno Blue Fire, Exsar Platinum shafted driver having read a number of items on whether stock driver shafts were too long for a lot of players.
David Doyle's input to another thread convinced me that it might be worth trying in an attempt to get more control.

I have now been using the shortened driver for about three or four months and can reiterate, that for me, the transformation was spot on.
The driver is now extremely reliable mainly because I seem to have more control over the head. Whereas before I could lose the ball left or right without knowing why, now if I hit a crap drive (much less frequently) I can adjust accordingly.
Partly I think this is down to a reduced swingweight and maybe the change in lie has also helped but whatever, a good decision for me.
13/01/2004 at 21:53
I am happier with my new "short" driver, and seem to be more consistent. The only drawback is that I sometimes try and hit the cover off the ball to make up for any percieved lack of distance. This usually ends up as a slice and as soon as I have hit it I know what has caused it. It seems that there are a lot of us out there with clubs that are just not suited to our physical builds.

James
13/01/2004 at 22:37
James,

The occasional lack of control may not be your fault entirely. As I said earlier, it is my opinion that a shortened driver will play 'slightly' more flexible. This is because you will tend to swing a lighter club faster, causing the shaft to flex more. The answer to this is to add weight (lead tape/plug)or to reshaft with a heavier shaft that compensates for the reduced swingweight. From your previous posts, you appear to have a rather aggresive downswing - a heavier shaft will probably suit your swing better if this is the case. Steel shafts are highly under rated and you may want to consider a reshaft. A good steel shaft will cost 10-15 pounds to buy + fitting charges.
16/01/2004 at 20:06
Darth,

After a couple of sessions at the range I am getting more used to the weight and length of the club and feel more confident after each session. As a comparison I tried a friends R580 and found it very long and heavy to swing. I think as long as I don't get too agressive with it I will continue to improve. I also found that weakening my grip a touch allowed me to swing through the ball more as oppoesed to hitting at it. I appreciate what you are saying about reshafting with steel, but I have a Deep Red fatshaft driver, surely this would complicate the problem?

I will report back again after my round on sunday.


James
18/01/2004 at 19:44
Ok, Next update.......

Missed 2 fairways again (different 2 this time). On the range before my round I couldnt hit a decent drive if my life depended on it! But after a cup of tea and a quick bacon buttie all seemed to be fine and I had a good round.


James
18/01/2004 at 20:29
How do you measure the length of the driver?
Do you just put the toe of the head on the floor, make the shaft perpendicular to the floor and measure the distance from end of grip to the floor?
If so then mine is 46" and that can't be right as I'm only 5'10" tall.
Patrick