The Tall Truth

Here’s a great article I found on a few months ago.

Forty years ago, being tall was viewed as a big disadvantage on the PGA Tour because players didn’t have access to club-fitting systems; they had to adjust to their clubs. Players had to manufacture a swing to create the preferred trajectory or ball flight they desired. Nowadays, manufacturers can accommodate the swings of all players, whether they stand 5-foot-8 or 6-foot-4, like this weekend’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am champion Dustin Johnson.

Players such as Johnson, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson now hold an advantage because of their height, especially off the tee, since they can make the clubhead travel on a longer, wider arc. Since it travels a greater distance, there’s more time to make the club go faster. That’s why Johnson is able to generate ball speeds of 190 miles per hour.

Most tall golfers I know can’t dream of producing that kind of clubhead speed and power because they’re not properly fitted for their clubs. In most cases, they’re buying their clubs off the rack. Tall people everywhere: If you want to hit longer shots with greater consistency then you MUST go see your local PGA professional and get fit for a set of clubs (and that includes your driver!). The second you have to accommodate the club to your height and swing, you lose your advantage.

When you address the ball, you should be able to stand tall with your back relatively straight and your arms relaxed, hanging under your shoulders. If you find that you have to bend over a lot to reach the ball, or your arms are outstretched and stiff, then your clubs are too short for you. Once you’re fit into a set of clubs that suits your height and swing, then you’ll be able to get that extra width and distance you’ve been expecting.


3 Replies to “The Tall Truth”
  • Official Golf Guide
    March 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I would think a tall person with the right fitted clubs would be able to produce a swing with tremendous power.

  • Frankie C
    May 10, 2009 at 11:37 am

    I’m going to take the time to write to all of the top golf teachers (or as many as possible before the back nines of Tiger’s and Lorena’s bids to win their respective tournaments from 5 shots back) to ask this question.

    As far as I know, my Over The Top Golf swing is the only method available that teaches you how to swing over the top correctly instead of trying to fix the renowned swing flaw.

    It has been said that 80% of all golfers swing from over the top and most instructors concede that they always will.

    As no golf instructor is willing to admit that they really can’t help these (mostly) 15-35 handicappers, what, from a practical standpoint, can you do for them?

    Frankie C
    Over The Top Golf

  • Jack Rogers
    June 9, 2009 at 11:16 am

    There is a fitting system for taller golfers and those with lower back problems. It advocates a more athletic, dynamic set-up position. More like your natural position with what is now standard for drivers. Makes a lot of sense. The driver has gone from a 43″ standard to 46″. Result: flatter swing, bigger arc, more club head speed = more distance.
    Irons standards however have not changed over the years other than to bump up the lofts. Average human height over the last 100 years has increased quite dramatically but iron length standard have remained the same. Fitting systems for irons just make the spec more upright for taller golfers and when the club cannot be made anymore up they add some length. This forces a taller golfer to play with much heavier clubs that must be swung on a more upright plane to be effective. In most instances this will not be the natural plane for the player. To generate the best results every golfers plane should be his/her channel of least resistance. That swing channel that generates the most power with the least amount of resistance. Everyone’s musculature differs, so must the swing plane. Take a look at as far as I know these are the only people who have adddressed this problem. It makes sense.

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