Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tips for Tall Golfers

I would guess that golf is playable for people up to about six feet tall. After that, problems arise that need special solutions. I'm 6'6" tall, and while this has never seemed like a handicap, I do have to approach the golf swing differently than standard instruction would have me do.

While your height does not always mean your clubs ned to be modified, it does mean you should have your clubs fitted to be sure. They might have to be longer and get bent a few degrees upright.

Most of the problems can be solved during the setup. The first thing a tall golfer must do is stand as tall as he can.* By bending over too much, you create angles in your swing that make it difficult to maneuver the club effortlessly, but still full of power.

By standing taller, you will have to stand closer to the ball. The way to stand taller is to elevate your hip it the same time you bend over from it. Bend over, but not down. When you bend your torso forward it should feel like your backside is coming up.

Make sure your upper body does not collapse, either. Your back should be a straight in the address position as it is when you stand upright. Your head can fall forward, but only enough that your neck does not feel rigid.

The position of your hands is extremely important. If they are too low, your swing will be rounder than it should, carrying the club too far behind you and bringing it back into the ball too far from the inside. Also, the left wrist will be forced backward into a severely cupped position which alters clubface alignment.

To find the height at which your hands should be held, stand upright with the club in both hands and let the weight of the clubhead pull the shaft downwards to a natural stopping position. Now bend from the waist until the clubhead touches the ground. At once, you have found the correct ball position and the proper height for your hands.

When you swing back from this position, you will take the club up higher, your left wrist will stay in the same orientation, and you will be able to swing down easily into the ball.

The usual recommendation for the width of your stance is shoulder width. To get a proper hip turn, your stance should be narrower.

During the swing itself, the only thing that needs extra attention is balance. It will be easier for a tall golfer to get out of balance while swinging a golf club than someone who is not altitudinally gifted.

Also during the swing, do not rush. Your tempo can be slower than the shorter golfer, both to help you keep in balance, and because your longer swing arc gives you more time to build up the same amount of clubhead speed.

*I'm using the male pronoun given the likelihood that few of my female readers are over six feet tall.

My new book, The Golfing Self, is now available at www.therecreationalgolfer.com. It will change everything about the way you play.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hello there! I'm glad to have visited this page and found this topic interesting. I had wished I were not too tall to take a swing. My driver are too short for my 6'9" friend, he has to stoop.

    If you got more interesting tips in mind, please let us know. You've been good sharing these good ideas to us, very practical and worthy for sharing. Thanks a lot!