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Golf tip of the week: Shorter is better

PHOTO PROVIDED A 44-inch driver seems to be the desired length for the majority of male golfers and 42 inches for the female golfers.

There is a misconception that a longer driver creates more distance. This is not true. A standard drivers length in the 1950s through the early 1980s was 43 inches.

By the mid-1980s, drivers were up to 50 inches.

Today, drivers’ lengths are 45-46 inches, with 48 inches being the USGA’s maximum allowed length. We in the custom club industry are proving that shorter is better for the majority of golfers. A 44-inch driver will actually go further and straighter than a longer driver.

The touring professionals are also utilizing shorter drivers, some as short as 43 1/2 inches.

To understand why a shorter driver is better, think of swinging a broomstick 5 feet long vs. a broomstick that is 3 feet long. The shorter broomstick will go faster, quicker and with less effort than the longer one.

The longer length driver increases leverage but takes much more work to build up clubhead speed. Clubhead speed will increase with the shorter driver plus be much more accurate.

Don’t forget to enjoy this great game called golf.

Rick Musselman, golf author and professional, owns Musselman’s Golf in Williamsport.

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