The temptation for a tall player to buy extra-long clubs is a great one. He feels that since he is standing farther from the ball than the average golfer he should also use clubs that are longer than normal. I do not agree with this analysis. Because of the naturally longer arc of his swing, a tall golfer using an unusually long club will be putting too much stress on his ability to control such a big swing. After all, the farther you stand from the ball the harder it is to hit. The most effective club adjustment that can be made is not in the length of the shaft but in the club's degree of uprightness. The taller a man is, the steeper the angle at which the shaft should enter the club head. With clubs that are the conventional length, but more upright, the tall player will be able to place the sole of the club head flat on the ground, as it should be, and still stand close enough to the ball to control the shot.
Conversely, a short golfer should not try to use short clubs but should, instead, try a set designed for a flatter swing. This enables him to put the ball farther away from him and thus increase the arc of his swing. Gary Player, who is only 5 feet 7, actually uses a shaft one inch longer than most of the pros on the tour. He finds that this extra shaft length regains the distance his small size tends to cost him, yet does not affect his accuracy. Gary is able to maintain his straightness—granting his excellent swing—because the extra length of his club does not make the arc of his swing too big.