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Wednesday, November 28, 2012
New GolfWRX Column - Pettersson and the Long Driver
One of the interesting cases of 2012 was Carl Pettersson. Pettersson
switched from a standard-length driver of about 45 inches to a 47-inch long
driver. The idea, according to Pettersson, was to improve his launch conditions
and to hit the ball further.
According to fellow GolfWRX Featured Writer,
Tom Wishon, the average length of a driver on the PGA Tour is 44.5 inches.
Wishon said he uses a golfer’s body dimensions, such as height and
wrist-to-floor measurement, to properly fit the length of the driver for a
golfer. We know that Bubba Watson used a 44.75-inch driver and is listed at
6-foot 3-inches tall. While I do not know Pettersson’s measurements, he is
listed at 5-feet 11-inches tall on the PGA Tour’s website. I feel it is safe to
say that a 47-inch driver is an abnormally long driver for him and not what most
club fitters would recommend fitting him into.
The concept of a longer
driver shaft increasing distance off the tee is not new. In fact, long drive
competitors almost exclusively use longer driver shafts in order to hit the ball
further. Part of the reason for the ball going further has to do how the longer
shaft alters the geometry of the golf swing. The other part is physics. All
things being equal, the longer the driver shaft the lighter the club’s static
weight will be