Club Length Definitions
Formally, according to Equipment Rules for woods and irons, the measurement of club length is taken when the club is lying on a horizontal plane and the sole is set against a 60 degree plane. The length is defined as the distance from the point of the intersection between the two planes to the top of the grip. For putters, the measurement of length is taken from the top of the grip along the axis of the shaft or a straight line extension of it to the sole of the club. The total length of the club must be at least 18 inches (0.457 m). Simultaneously, except for putters, the length must not exceed 48 inches (1.219 m).
However, due to different lie angles of different clubs, there is the better definition for club fitting purposes. The length of the golf club is the distance from the butt to the point where the shaft would meets the ground, if the club were soled in a normal address (grooves parallel to the ground) and the shaft were extended to the ground.
For long clubs with a lie angle close to 60 degrees, the difference between the results in both measurements is insignificant. For short irons and wedges with lie angles of 64 degrees the difference is approx. 1/10 inch (2.5 mm).
Typical length of a golf club
The standard length of 5-iron (with a graphite shaft) is 38″ with ½” increments between 3-9 irons. It means 39” for 3-iron and 36” for 9-iron. Increments between wedges depend of individual preferences and usually are smaller – do not exceed ¼”.
The length of a driver and fairway woods is a different story. A longer driver allows more distance, but it is harder to control. Therefore a player can use the longest driver that he can control well. For some golfers that is 44”, for others it can be as long as 46”.
The calculator of the recommended length is available on the next page.
update: January 2022