Most standard golf drivers are about 45 inches.
Although many people order custom length irons, there are very few who take the time to get properly fitted for a driver.
Most golfers try to work with the standard size driver to help get as much distance as possible.
One thing some players wonder is if choking down on the golf club can get you a bit more accuracy.
There are several things you should consider before deciding whether choking down the driver is a great solution for you.
Should I Choke Down on My Driver?
If you are currently playing with irons that are shorter than standard, then chances are you will need to choke down on your driver as well.
Choking down on the driver is going to help you have a club in your hand that better matches your height.
There are several other times, in addition to your height, when it may be worth choking down on the driver to get better results.
When you choke down on your driver, the ball flight might be lowered slightly.
The change won’t be significant, but with other adjustments to your swing, you can start to hit wind-cheater-type shots.
These shots will help you keep the ball cutting through the wind as opposed to getting up in the air and the ball getting away from you.
These wind-cheater-type shots generally require a shorter, more shallow golf swing and sometimes a stance that needs to be adjusted as well.
Playing in the wind is difficult, and if you have some shots outside of your regular full swing, you will have a significant advantage.
One of the key variables for golfers is dispersion.
Dispersion is essentially a measurement of how far apart your golf balls are from where they were intended to go.
If you set up a stick in the fairway 250 yards out and all of your drives land within three feet, your dispersion is very low.
If you then hit another ten drives and they are all within a thirty-yard circle of that stick, your dispersion is very high.
Golfers are always struggling to find that perfect balance between a low dispersion and lots of distance.
Sometimes there is a fine line that has to be found.
As players get better and their handicaps lower, they will learn important things about their golf game related to performance.
For instance, a golfer may be able to hit the driver 275 yards with high dispersion but 260 yards with low dispersion.
Sometimes just choking up a bit on the club can make a real difference.
A shorter golf club is more comfortable to swing.
This is partly what makes long irons and fairways and drivers harder to control.
The ball is further away from you, and it’s hard to control your body and the club to get the results that you need.
For some players, choking up on the club just an inch can mean the difference between a shot in the fairway or the rough.
Depending on the hole you are playing, the course you are playing, and whether it is a tournament or a leisurely round, then you may consider choking up on the club.
It’s important to remember that, for most golfers, choking up on the driver is going to mean you will lose a few yards of distance.
4. Ball Flight
The wind is not the only time you may want to consider your ball flight with a driver.
When you choke up on the golf club, you will lower the ball flight, but it should not affect the spin rates on the golf ball all that much.
If the spin rates stay the same and you have this lower, piercing ball flight, you will probably see that your shots get more roll.
The extra roll can be a good thing on a course where the turf is really hard or cut very short.
Sometimes the roll could help you hit the ball further than if the ball landed more softly.
Some golfers like to control ball flight when they have to hit a drive with some sidespin on it as well.
If you are trying to hit a low draw or a low fade, it is a bit easier if you try and choke up on the club for some added control.
What Is the Length of a Standard Driver?
A driver is typically 45 to 45.5 inches.
For golfers who compete in long drive competitions, the lengths will be much longer.
Women’s drivers are usually less than 45 inches.
What Happens If I Choke Down on My Irons?
Now that you have a better idea as to how your driver is going to be affected by choking up, it’s time to consider the irons as well.
The best way to think of this is that the longer the golf club, the more the effect it is going to have on your game when you choke up.
For instance, if you choke up on your sand wedge, you are probably not going to see that much of a difference.
When you choke up on a seven iron, you will probably see lower dispersion, lower ball flight, and a few fewer yards.
When you choke up on a four iron, you will see significantly less distance, increased control, and low ball flight.
These changes are made because of the changes in your swing and the impacts caused by choking up on the golf clubs.
Choking down on your irons could be a good idea if you are struggling for control in your game.
If you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of the distance to hit pins, then it really could make sense.
This is also partly what has brought up the concept of the one-length irons.
What Is the Theory Behind the One-Length Irons?
One-length irons are a complete set of clubs that are all made to be the same length as your seven iron.
The idea behind the one-length irons is that you will not need to adjust your stance, setup, and ball position for each club.
The loft will change on every club in your bag, and depending on some of the clubs, the sole size may vary as well.
For the most part, you will be able to stand the same way for each of your irons and be able to get much more consistent results.
Technically, your short irons are going to be longer than standard, but your long irons are going to be shorter than standard.
The most important thing here is consistency.
The clubs are all the same length, and it makes it much easier to repeat your swing from one hole to the next.
How Important Is Loft to Distance?
There is a great misconception that the lower you hit the golf ball, the further it will go.
Although a golf ball that rolls is better than one that plugs in the grass, the longer a ball stays in the air, the further it will fly.
Years ago, drivers started to get lower and lower in the loft.
Some players were trying to use 7.5 and 8 degrees of loft in their driver.
The idea was that they would be able to keep the ball lower and have it roll further.
With more advanced launch monitor technology, discoveries were made about spin and launch which significantly impacted the lofts with which drivers are produced.
Most companies will make drivers in 9.5, 10.5, and 11.5 degrees.
Many of these drivers are adjustable so you can get the loft down to 8.5 and up to 12.5 if you should need to.
If your primary reason to choke down on your driver is to lower the loft, pay close attention to the way spin and distance are affected.
If you have the ability to check your stats on a launch monitor, you should take a look and see how choking up on the driver is affecting your performance and ball flight.
Why Is a Driver So Hard to Hit?
The driver is the lowest loft club in the bag (aside from the putter).
When a club has less loft, it immediately becomes less forgiving.
The driver is also longer than the other clubs in your golf bag.
The extra length makes it much more difficult to swing the club fast and release it.
Most of the time, golfers struggle to manage a golfer when they are beginners.
As they spend more time around the game, they end up learning how to straighten the ball out, but it is not something that comes naturally to most.
This is precisely the reason many golfers are always looking for ways to make it easier to control a driver.
How Can I Hit More Accurate Drives Without Choking Up?
If you are looking for more accuracy off the tee, there are some other methods you can try instead of choking up on the golf club.
Another way is to tee the ball a little bit lower.
When you tee the ball lower, you will establish just a little bit more control over the flight and launch of your shot.
You will have to be sure not to tee the ball too low, or you could end up missing the sweet spot of the driver.
Sometimes teeing the ball lower will result in losing a few yards of distance.
Another way to make sure your drives are very accurate is to check your alignment and your target.
Many people look at a fairway and think it is plenty wide enough that they can swing away.
If you don’t pick a specific target, you can’t expect to hit a ball in the center of the fairway automatically.
Pick a specific target and try and hit the ball to this exact target.
Lastly, you can work on your balance to help you get some more accuracy.
Anytime you get yourself into a better physical condition, you will have the ability to hit the ball further and with more control.
Doing some golf-related exercises, practicing with a weighted club, and swinging with a medicine ball are all great ways to get better balance.
If you want to establish a bit more control with your driver, then you can choke up on it.
If you play with golf clubs that are shorter than standard, you should be choking up on your driver to begin with.
Since a driver is so long and has a low loft, it is not a forgiving golf club.
Making the driver just an inch shorter by choking down on the club is going to give you more accuracy.
This accuracy will potentially result in a couple fewer yards, but it may be worth it for some players.