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Sports Biomech. 2008 Sep;7(3):322-32. doi: 10.1080/14763140802233249.

Influence of shaft length on golf driving performance.

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Biomechanics Research Unit, Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.


The aim of this study was to determine how shaft length affects golf driving performance. A range of drivers with lengths between 1.168 m and 1.270 m, representing lengths close to the 1.219 m limit imposed by R&A Rules Limited (2008), were assembled and evaluated. Clubhead and ball launch conditions and drive distance and accuracy were determined for seven category 1 golfers (handicaps 0.21 +/- 2.41) who performed shots on a purpose-built practice hole. As shaft length increased from 1.168 m to 1.270 m, initial ball velocity increased (+ 1.8 m/s, P < 0.01). Ball carry (+ 4.3 m, P = 0.152) also increased, although not significantly so. Furthermore, as shaft length increased, for all club comparisons there was no decrease in accuracy. Ball launch conditions of spin components and launch angle remained unaffected by shaft length. Launch angle increased (0.8 degree, F = 1.074, P = 0.362) as driver shaft length increased. Our results show that clubhead and ball velocity together with ball carry tended to increase with no loss of accuracy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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