Tips for Tall Golfers Revised

Being a tall golfer means that much of standard golf instruction needs to be modified. I’m 6’6″ tall, and while this has never seemed like a handicap, I do have to approach the golf swing differently than shorter golfers do.

Start with equipment. You should have your clubs fitted. Off the rack ain’t gonna work. They might have to be longer and get bent a few degrees upright.

During the setup, you will have a narrow stance. The traditional separation of your feet is to place you insteps as far apart as the width of your shoulders. This might be too far apart for you.

A tall golfer must stand as tall as he can.* Do not bend over and reach for the ball. By bending over too much, shown below, you create angles in your swing that make it difficult to maneuver the club effortlessly, but still full of power.

To stand taller, as shown below, 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, especially your abdomen, does not collapse. Your back should be as 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.

Your swing is primarily a hands and arms swing. It should be easy for them to carry your body around to a ninety degree angle from address. The elbows should stay close together in their address relationship throughout the swing to keep the swing from becoming too loose.

Your swing is going to be more upright, feeling like it starts back and up from the ball instead of back and around.

Because your swing is longer, it takes more time. Let it. Do not rush it, especially the forward swing. A slower tempo will allow all of its parts to come together in their proper time.

There is a tendency for a tall golfer to slide the lower body through through impact rather than turn. This leads to pushing the ball because your arms are blocked from swinging the clubhead straight toward the target.

To counteract that tendency, begin the forward swing with a turn of your hips, followed by the swing of your arms, as two separate movements.

Pay extra attention to 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.

In general, tall golfers have swings that appear graceful, flowing, and effortless. I get compliments on the appearance of my swing almost every time out. We get the same job done with much less effort. Enjoy it.

*I’m using the male pronoun given the likelihood that few of my female readers are six-and-a-half feet tall.

5 thoughts on “Tips for Tall Golfers Revised”

  1. 6’4″ golfer here that has been trying and failing when incorporating YouTube tips. After months of this back and forth torture, it just hit me today to see if there are guides dedicated to taller golfers.

    I love your article and am curious if you have any additional tall golfer content whether it be written or a video.


    1. Justin,
      There is more that I could have put into the article, but they are technical points that get us into the weeds pretty fast. Much of that is contained in the book, Advanced Golf, by Vivien Saunders. Golf Magazine’s Tips from the Teaching Pros has a section devoted to swing adjustments that players with different body builds should make.

      The main thing is to slow down. Tall golfers have a larger distance to move through. We need more time to for the right things to happen.

  2. Thanks for this. I’m 6’6” and coming back to golf after about 10 years. It’s s chance to revisit my swing again. I really struggle with getting shaft lean at impact, rotating my body through impact and keeping the swing smooth (and ultimately powerful.) I’m going to try a few things tube suggested, appreciate it.

  3. Great article.

    I’m about to start taking golfing up again (gave up 3 yrs a go due to frustration).

    As a 20 yr old, close to your height of 6’6, what advice can you give me from buying/choosing the cheapest clubs I can get to actually trying to master this game of golf.

    PS I work at a golf course so I am able to play for free and use the facilities whenever I desire.

    1. By “cheap” I hope you mean inexpensive. You need to have high quality equipment from the start to get good at this game. Buy a set of irons and a few “woods”, and wedges off eBay. You will need to have them retro-fitted, which the pro shop should be able to do for you, as well as recommend which ones to buy. Be a nice guy and buy your putter from your pro shop. Take lessons, practice, play a lot, and after about a year, if golf is really what you want to do, buy a new set of clubs through your pro shop.

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