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 need 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 at 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 usual recommendation for the width of your stance is shoulder width. Tall golfers should take a narrower stance.

During the swing itself, the only thing that need 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 six-and-a-half feet tall.

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19 thoughts on “Tips for Tall Golfers”

  1. I continue to come back to your site when my stance gets too wide. Like you, I’m 6’6” and struggle with keeping my stance narrow. I also struggle with tempo. The slower my tempo, the longer, and straighter, I hit it. I’m a low single digit, but when I get wide at all, I feel like I have no business on the course.

    1. Paul,
      I have a narrow stance too, and my relative lack of flexibility prevents me from taking a wider one. As for tempo, it can get away from you very easily. I remind myself constantly to start the club down at the same speed I took it up, and when I do that, it all works out.

      Bob.

    2. I constantly slice the ball off the tee. Im 6′ 2″ and have always felt my height was a disadvantage than my 5’9″ buddies. I have power but haven’t been able to exploit it as yet.

      1. Pete,
        It has taken me a while to think about a reply. A slice has to be diagnosed by a pro on the spot, but if you are slicing only with your driver, may I make this suggestion, based on my experience. Coming into the ball, I would fire my body in an effort to generate more power. What this did was get my body way ahead of my hands, which then did not have time square up the clubface. The rest was a monster push-slice that nonetheless always found the fairway–the neighboring one. Try swinging your driver like it is a 8-iron for a while. You might lose some distance, but you will get the feel for what you have to do to meet the ball squarely. After a while you can be bombing it without seeming like you are putting that much effort into the drive. Distance is built into the club. Just put a swing on it and stay out of its way.

        I hope this helps.

        Bob.

  2. I know its old post but at 6’8″ I feel y’alls pain. I can score low 80s or 100. It all depends on what the lower body wants to do that day.

    1. Same here, at 6’9″ having a quiet lower body produces more consistent shots, less pushes and pulls. I have to work on slowing my swing now and see what happens.

    1. Well, you’re pretty much stuck because the club isn’t any longer. I suppose you could just ignore the issue (which I do) or pretend you’re 5’9″ tall or be glad you’re not 6’9″.

  3. I am tall and find it easier to gain clubhead speed through and after impact with a narrow stance

    1. Hi, I’m a mere 6ft 5 but have struggled forever to get a consistent swing. When you say narrow stance, how narrow ?

      Thanks,Drew

  4. I’m a 6’6″ golfer. I have a difficult time turning my shoulders. I tend to rock or tilt them back and through. This causes a push or slice. Any suggestions on how I can make a better shoulder turn? Thanks

    1. Ken,

      I would suggest paying more attention to how the club is supposed to move. The club rests on the ground at a particular angle at address. That angle defines the plane it moves in going back and coming forward again. If your make your goal to swing the shaft along that plane, your shoulders will adjust to the requirements of that demand.

      Bob.

  5. I’m 6’3” and bend a little at my knees and poke my rear end out. It puts me in a “linebackers” position at address. I find I make better contact with the ball an stay down until the finish.

  6. Great article, has helped me out a lot as a 6’3” golfer. Curious to get your thoughts on if the taller stance drives the need for longer or more upright shafts than what is normally recommended? Thanks!

    1. Your driver should be fitted just like all your other clubs. Shaft length and lie angle are part of that fitting.

  7. Curious to get your thoughts on swing weights for taller golfers. I’ve been fitted for irons at +1″, 3 deg up, which should roughly add 6 points to the SW, putting me at around D7. Is it unusual that this doesn’t feel all that heavy for me? Perhaps it has to do with having that slower tempo that you elude to above. Thanks!

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