How to Measure Driver Length: The Complete Guide

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Having the proper shaft length for your height, posture, and setup is important if you’re looking to maximize distance and precision off the tee.

If your driver is too long, it can be hard to control and find the sweet spot. Too short, and you might be leaving distance on the table — resulting in long approach shots.

In this article, I’ll show you precisely how to measure driver length.

Ready? Let’s get into it!

How to Measure Driver Length

To measure your driver’s length, you’ll need a 48-inch aluminum ruler used for golf club fitting, your driver, along with a pen or marker to indicate the total length.

It’s worth noting, there are a number of potential mistakes to be made when measuring a driver. If you’re not careful, these can throw the results off by an inch or more.

Follow our step-by-step guide below, so you can learn how to measure driver length.

driver shaft length

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Chances are, you don’t have a tabletop measuring device that most club fitters use!

If that’s the case, look for a ruler that is about 48 inches long.

PRO TIP: Avoid using a tape measure. Since these are flexible rather than rigid, they can produce inaccurate measurements.

Step 2: Setup the Driver

Then, set the driver in position as though you’re setting up for a shot.

The length of the driver is measured when it’s set in a playing position. By contrast, you won’t get an accurate measurement with the club resting on a table.

So, hold the club at about a 45-degree angle as if you’re set up to hit a shot. With the club set in this position, the sole of the driver should be resting on the ground.

Step 3: Put the Ruler in Position

Next, it’s time to hold the ruler against the driver.

With the driver in the natural setup position, hold the ruler so that the “zero” end is touching the ground immediately behind the heel of the driver.

The ruler should run directly up the length of the shaft, parallel to each other.

Step 4: Read the Measurement

Where the butt end of the grip meets the ruler, you’ll find the total driver length.

Typically, the length of a driver will be within the 44 to 46-inch region.

Check out the video below by Elite Fit Golf, which shows how to measure driver length:

How Do I Know What Driver Length I Need?

Now that you’ve learned how to measure driver length, there’s a good chance you’re curious as to which driver length you need.

When choosing driver length, club fitters will consider two things:

  • Static measurements
  • Dynamic measurements

Height is a static measurement. If you’re a shorter golfer (less than 5’7″) a 44-inch driver might be ideal. If you’re 6’2″, a 45.5-inch driver would be better suited.

That said, some shorter golfers like myself have plenty of club head speed. If I can square up a longer driver with enough clubhead speed, I’ll gain more distance.

This is an example of a more dynamic measurement. Put simply, the characteristics of my individual golf swing dictate that a longer driver is a better fit for me. 

Ultimately, a player’s height, posture, and swing characteristics should all be considered when identifying the correct driver length.

But most importantly, you should feel comfortable over the ball. This will give you the ability to swing with confidence, finding the center of the clubface.

how do i know what driver length i need

Can I Adjust the Length of My Driver?

Driver length is adjustable — you can extend or take off material from the shaft.

However, this task is often best left to professional golf club fitters.

Essentially, when you change the length of a driver shaft, you’re also changing the stiffness of the shaft along with the swing weight of the club. 

With flex and weight changes, there will be noticeable impacts on ball flight.

“Generally speaking, a driver shaft that’s too stiff will cause shots to launch too low, with too little spin and low peak heights. A shaft that’s too weak, on the other hand, may cause shots to spin too much, fly too high, and widen dispersion patterns.”

Andrew Tursky via Golf.com

The bottom line here is that the length of a driver can be adjusted, but it should be done as part of a golf club fitting with a professional. In addition, make sure to keep the total length under 46 inches as per the USGA Equipment Rules.

adjusting driver length

What If My Driver Isn’t the Correct Length?

The specifications of your driver will affect the distance you can hit your tee shots, but driver length also has a significant impact.

An improper driver length can cause the following issues: 

  • Less distance: A shorter driver means the club head travels less distance in the swing arc, which can result in a lower club head speed. However, this can be a benefit, making it easier to find the sweet spot. Hence, some players choose to play with a 3 wood shaft in their driver for improved accuracy.
  • Reduced accuracy: When a club is too short or long, the head of the driver will rest at an awkward angle at address, resulting in an improper lie angle. This can cause problems with the consistency of your strike and increases dispersion.
problems with an incorrect driver length

Driver Length FAQs

Here are some common questions when learning how to measure driver length:

What is a Standard Driver Length?

Simply put, the standard driver shaft length is 45 inches for a male golfer and 44 inches for a female golfer.

When you purchase a new golf driver, you can look and see what the standard is for that manufacturer. Sometimes standard can be 44.5 inches, depending on the technology the manufacturer uses when making the club.

How Long is Rory McIlroy’s Driver?

Rory McIlroy uses a driver length that is 44 inches.

Rory is not the tallest of the professional golfers on the circuit, but he is known for his long-distance drives and incredible power.

Golfers must find a match where distance and dispersion both make sense for them. 

How Do I Know If My Driver Is Too Short?

If your driver is too short, you will likely feel too hunched over in your stance.

This can cause you to hit shots off the toe, and potentially notice effects on your ball flight, like decreases in distance and even trajectory.

Get the proper wrist-to-floor measurement in order to know if your driver is too short. 

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Britt's passion for golf began at age 7, and she's been playing for over 30 years. A Division I College Athlete with a +1 handicap, she's also a former PGA Teaching Professional. Now a business owner and published author, Britt's love for the game continues to inspire golfers of all levels, as she shares her insights and expertise.