42 Inch Driver Shaft — (the Pros and Cons)

42 inch driver shaft explained from the golf instructor coaches at tell me more golf instruction website

Golf is a challenging sport, and one of the reasons why it’s so difficult is the large number of clubs that the golfer needs to master.

The driver is the longest club in the bag, and because of that, many beginners struggle to hit it well consistently. One way to make it easier is to use a shorter shaft, which is why we’ve created this article where we will cover the pros and cons of the 42 inch driver shaft.

42 inch driver shaft explained from the golf instructor coaches at tell me more golf instruction website

The 42 Inch Driver Shaft Explained

A standard men’s driver shaft is between 45 and 45.75 inches long, which is much longer than all the other golf clubs in the bag. This long length makes the swing more difficult in plenty of ways, including a harder time hitting the sweet spot and squaring up the club face. That’s why the 42 inch driver shaft was introduced. 

The 42 inch driver shaft is around 3 inches shorter than a regular driver shaft and makes it about the same length as a 3 wood shaft.

According to the USGA, a driver should only not exceed 46 inches, and the 42 inch driver shaft is therefore totally legal for you to use in either casual or competitive golf.


Whether or not you should use a 42 inch driver shaft depends on many things, but most importantly your consistency, height, and handicap


If you’re a golfer struggling with consistency and looking to get a tighter dispersion out on the golf course, investing in a 42 inch shaft can be a great idea. The shorter driver shaft length will make it easier to square and hit the middle of the clubface.

This is why many golfers perform better and hit straighter shots with a fairway wood than their driver.


The length of the golf shaft that fits you the best depends heavily on your height. For example, if you’re five-foot-three, you have no reason to use a standard length shaft as you’ll have to grip down on the golf club. Gripping down the same distance every time can be challenging, which is why opting for a shorter driver is a wiser choice.


Your skill level should be a part of the consideration when considering using a 42 inch driver shaft. If you’re a scratch golfer who takes your game very seriously, getting a shorter driver might not be a good idea as you’ll most likely lose some distance on your drives. On the other hand, a high handicap golfer with a lower swing speed can benefit significantly from the more consistent strikes of a shorter shaft.. 

Before you shorten your driver shaft, we always recommend trying out an already shortened club, or at least gripping down significantly on your old club, to ensure that you’re not making a mistake that can’t be changed.


Does a 42 Inch Driver Shaft Make You Lose Distance?

Three main factors impact the golf ball’s distance: club head speed, smash factor, and spin rate.

One of the reasons why the driver is the longest-hitting golf club in the bag is the long shaft which generates a higher clubhead speed even though the swing speed might be the same.

When the shaft’s length is reduced, so is the clubhead speed, which will most likely make the ball travel shorter. However, that’s not the case if you can’t find the center of the clubface, as the smash factor and spin will be negatively affected instead.

Where Can I Buy a 40 or 42 Inch Driver Shaft?

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Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to buy stock 40 or 42 inch golf shafts because they are so much shorter than the standard length. Instead, you’ll probably have to shorten the shaft. While it’s possible to do this yourself, we recommend that you go to your local golf shop, so you don’t accidentally break anything.

One crucial thing to remember is that a shortened shaft will become stiffer. For example, a regular flex shaft that is shortened by 3 inches will now most likely be a stiff shaft. This might not be a big deal for some golfers, but if you’re a slower swinger this can really throw you off your game. 
So if you’re thinking about shortening down your shaft, consider investing in a new and perhaps looser shaft from a high-quality brand such as Project X.

Conclusion: Research by Tellmemoregolf.com

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The driver is a challenging club to use, but shortening down the shaft to 42 inches can be a great way to increase consistency and shoot lower scores as a result. While professionals on the PGA Tour might not play with short shafts, finding fairways is the most essential part of playing good golf as an amateur. 

Thank you for reading this article from TellMeMoreGolf.com – your informational golfing site.


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
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