Can Golf Clubs Be Shortened? What You Need To Know

The length of your club’s shaft will depend on your height and the crouch you take in your stance. Most of the clubs you buy comes with a standard length, relative to each club. But because golfers differ in height and arm length, sometimes the length of the shaft needs to be adjusted.

This begs the question, can golf clubs be shortened?

Can Golf Clubs Be Shortened?

Yes, golf clubs can be shortened using a shaft cutter or chop saw. The grips are first removed, then the shaft is clamped in a vise making it easier and faster to cut. Once that’s finish, cut along the intended cutting line and reinstall the new grips.

You have to be careful though when cutting the steel shaft. Keep an eye on it and make sure it stays on the intended cutting line, otherwise you could be wasting a whole golf club.

The Effects Of Shortening A Golf Club

If you are going to shorten your shaft then you need to know the effects of doing so.

Generally, the more length you cut from the shaft is the lighter and stiffer it gets. Research shows that for every half inch removed from the shaft, you will lose three swingweight points.

So not only will the staff be stiffer, but the swing weight will be adjusted. Cutting the shaft shorter will reduce the flex of your club. Shortening the club too much will cause it to become extra stiff.

What Happens To Distance?

Some people may think that shortening your clubs lose distance, but this isn’t entirely true. The fact is that a golfer’s swing speed increases whenever the shaft is shortened which provides more control over the ball’s flight. With a longer shaft, the swing speed decreases, thereby decreasing the distance that the golf ball travels.

However, not everything is black and white. Though the swing speed increases with a shorter length shaft, you may lose out on distance if the shaft is too stiff as a result of cutting it too short. Your average distance will remain low.

Determining The Cut Of The Shaft

If you are going to shorten the golf club whether to gain more swing speed, accuracy or control, the first thing you need to do is to decide how much you are going to take off.

This part is very critical and you may need the help of a professional club fitter. Nevertheless, there are generally three factors to determine the length of the shaft. This includes:

  1. Overall height (static)
  2. Wrist-to-floor measurement (static)
  3. In-swing considerations (dynamic)

The table below shows the club length adjustments for your overall height and wrist-to-floor measurement

OVERALL HEIGHT WRIST-TO-FLOOR MEASUREMENT GOLF CLUB LENGTH ADJUSTMENTS
under 4’10” under 25 inches minus 2″
4’10” to 5″ 25 to 27 inches minus 1-1/2″
5’0″ to 5’2″ 27 to 29 inches minus 1″
5’2″ to 5’4″ 29 to 34 inches minus 1/2″
5’4″ to 5’7″ 32 to 34 inches minus 1/4″

This table is for shorter golfers under 5 foot 7 inches. The shorter you are is the shorter the club. Once you’ve determined the club length adjustment from the chart above, subtract the amount from the standard length of your golf club you wish to shorten to get the new length of your shaft.

Again, I highly stress that you seek a professional fitter when adjusting club length as other factors like skill level and physical limitations must be considered when cutting. However, once you feel confident with your new length, proceed to the next step…

How To Shorten Your Golf Club?

This process involves three steps.

  1. Removing the grip
  2. Cutting the shaft
  3. Reinstall new grip

1. Removing The Grip

The grips need to be removed from the top of the club so that cutting can take place. Follow these steps:

1. To remove the grip, place the club in a vise clamp or hold the shaft firmly with your arm pinning the club to your body.  The vise clamp is the best clamp to use because it prevents the shaft from damaging.

2.  Using a utility knife, slice the grip length-wise all the way up to the end of the grip using a firm and fluid motion. Cut away from yourself to stay safe.

3. The rubber at the end of the grip should cut through, but if it doesn’t, just peel the grip from the opening to the end and pull the grip off the club.

4. Remove the tape from the shaft. You may need to use a hair dryer or heat gun to help peel off the tape. Older grips tend to be more difficult to come off. In that case, you can pick and scrape it off. Just be careful not to scratch the shaft.

5. Since it is tape, you’ll often see a sticky area remaining. You can use any adhesive remover like Goof-off to rub off the residue from the shaft. Pain thinner and mineral spirits are another great option.

2. Cutting The Shaft

The tools you need is a yard stick (measuring stick), marker, chop saw, and grinder/buffer. The first thing you need is to mark off your measurement.

1. Lay the club so that it is sitting leveled on the floor and up against the measuring stick.

2. Mark the new length of the club using a sharpie or any marking tool. Once you have the mark, you are ready to make your cut. However, It’s always a smart choice to re-measure it just to make sure.

3. Now it’s time for cutting. Place the shaft inside the holder of the chop saw to begin your cut. Make sure that the mark is lined up to where the blade is going to touch. Take into account the width of the blade, being aware of this will help you line up the blade with your mark perfectly

4. Turn the saw on and cut right through. Pull out the shaft from the holder.

can golf clubs be shortened

5. Smooth the end of the shaft with a grinder or buffer so that the grip goes on smoothly and you don’t get cut.

3. Reinstalling New Grips

The last step is to install the new grips to your golf shaft.

1. Secure the shaft near the tip of the grip using a vise. Ensure that you are using a protective rubber vise clamp so that you don’t cause any damage to the shaft.

2. Hold the new grip parallel to the shaft to determine how much area needs to be covered by the tape. Apply the tape by wrapping in a spiral formation from the top of the shaft to the point where the bottom of the grip will be on the shaft. You want to do this if the tape is 3/4 inches.

3. Clean with mineral spirits by pouring the solvent into the grip, ensuring that you cover the vent hole with your finger. Once that’s finished, shake to cover the entire inside of the grip ensuring that you close the open end of the grip with your hand.

4. Pour any excess amount of the solvent over the entire length of the two-sided tape.

5. Place or push the grip over the end of the shaft entirely. The grip butt should be against the shaft butt.

6. Align the grip with the pattern square of the clubface within seconds of applying the grip. Allow grip to dry.

Related Post: Can golf clubs be lengthened?

Final Verdict

Shortening golf clubs can turn out advantageous for some players. You will notice an increase in swing speed, accuracy and control over your golf shot. However, you should not cut the shaft too short because that will make you stand bent over and you’ll also have the tendency to push the ball a lot.