Mention the word golf, and most people automatically imagine tall golfers with caps and long arms executing the perfect swing. However, unlike basketball, where the scoring net favors those blessed with long limbs, golf doesn’t necessarily require tall people. Sometimes, being a short golfer can work to your advantage once you master your strengths.
Look at the biggest names in golf currently, such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Patrick Cantlay, and you’ll notice none of them is that distinctively tall. Still, these pro golfers have managed to bag major titles and earn millions. Short people should not be intimidated into feeling that they stand a lower chance of succeeding at golf because a player like Tadd Fujikawa made it to the big leagues despite being slightly above five feet tall.
Here are some smart tips to help shorter golfers excel on the course:
- Stand further from the ball
One of the most incredible hacks for excelling at golf is having a good setup at address and proper alignment. Standing slightly further from the ball at set up for the shorter golfer is the magic trick that will feel natural for you and enable you to make accurate shots. Try this several times, and it will become repetitive and enhance your game for the long haul.
- Shorten your club’s shaft
Your golf club is your tool for the trade, and you want to ensure that it matches your physique in every aspect. Short golfers might be disadvantaged working with standard-length shafts, forcing them to stand too far from the ball, subsequently affecting their shot quality. Head down to your local golf retail store or club maker and have them shorten your shaft accordingly, ensuring that it doesn’t get too stiffened and give you difficulties hitting the ball.
- Widen your stance
One advantage of shorter golfers is having a lower center of gravity that enables them to effectively maintain balance through impact, leading to robust, consistent shots. To properly leverage this superpower, short golfers should widen their stance slightly, which gives the player a dose of power and confidence while hitting the ball. Every golfer should experiment to discover their ideal stance width, but the standard recommended width at address is having the feet shoulder-width apart.
- Adjust your club’s lie angle accordingly
Although we have already mentioned that shortening the shaft enables short golfers to stand naturally at address, the enhancement is only complete with fine-tuning the lie angle appropriately. Short golfers should adjust the lie angle downwards to enable the club head to sit flush with the turf. This process should be a piece of cake at your local pro shop, and afterward, you can enjoy consistent gameplay with your club.
- Go for a thinner grip
The feel and comfort of your club are significant determinants of the kind of gameplay you will be unleashing on the course. One crucial aspect in this regard is the grip size of the club. Ideally, the club is supposed to sit on the fingers and palm of your non-dominant hand (left hand for right-handed golfers). Short people tend to have less finger length, so shorter golfers should go for thinner grips. As the only point of contact between your body and the club, grip thickness is crucial as it determines how consistent your gameplay will be.
- Hit the draw
Although amateur golfers can have a tough time learning to hit a draw, it becomes easier with time as you hone your skills and improve your shot-taking abilities. Shorter golfers possess a natural advantage for hitting a draw since they tend to have horizontal or flatter swings, which promotes a left-to-right ball flight for left-handed golfers and a right-to-left ball flight for right-handed golfers. A draw from a shorter golfer has more power and distance than draws from their taller counterparts.
Being short is not an excuse for sucking at golf. Tadd Fujikawa made history as the youngest player to qualify for the 2006 U.S. Open at only 15 years. The following year, he made the cut for the PGA Tour at the Sony Open in Hawaii, aged 16. Fujikawa stands at only a mere 5 ft 1 in tall, but this has never stopped him from hitting the ball like the pro he is. You can shine in golf, even as a short player, by employing the hacks above and putting your best foot forward. Master your strengths and work hard to improve your abilities; you could be on your way to a major title in real time.