Single Length Irons...not so crazy at all
Every year golf equipment manufacturers develop products that are going to help us hit it further and straighter and they are going to lower our scores by 5 shots. But more often than not, these products look, feel and sound like something that we have seen or used before. It is not very common to see anything radically different amongst new equipment now, but the 2016/17 season brought us something very special.
Coming off the back of an NCAA Championship and U.S Amateur Championship winning season that had only been achieved before by 4 others (Nicklaus, Mickleson, Woods & Moore), Bryson Dechambeau came bursting onto the scene as he begun life as a professional. His stellar play put him right under the spotlight initially but it was his equipment that was getting most of the attention, his irons were all the same length.
Having been portrayed in the media as a ‘wacky scientist’ who floated his golf balls in epsom salt and measured everything he did to the nearest millimetre, the idea of single length irons was just brushed off as another crazy concept of his. It wasn’t until he was sat down and interviewed about his setup that it became quite clear that there was very good reasoning for having all the irons in a set the same length. However, it isn’t the first time single length irons have been a ‘thing’, here’s a quick bit of background before we go into their benefits.
First seen: Bobby Jones was seen to be using single length irons at one point in his career.
First made: Iso-Vibe Golf offered a set of single length irons for the first time in 1986.
First commercial set: 1Iron Golf (1997)
First seen on tour: Edel Golf SLS01 (Bryson Dechambeau)
The most highlighted benefits to having single length clubs are consistency and accuracy. Due to each club effectively being ‘the same’ with just a different loft and weight, you are able to produce the same swing from the same setup making it very easy to create the perfect repeatable action. Because of this, there are now a few brands that now offer single length iron sets including world-renowned master club maker Tom Wishon and his company Wishon Golf.
What sets Wishon apart from the other manufacturers is the time and detail gone into making sure everything about the Wishon Sterling Single Length Irons is 100% correct. With the irons being all the same length, it is vital that the loft, lie angle and weight of the club head is spot on otherwise you will likely find inconsistent gapping between clubs, inconsistent weighting and misdirection’ed shots (3 key reasons why we DO want single length clubs!)
With such a substantially radical difference to a ‘normal’ set of irons we spent many hours testing the single length irons when they arrived with us. Nobody in the PG team had tried single length clubs before and were all very sceptical of the idea but were quickly proven wrong after just a few hits.
It is a very surreal situation when you sit a pitching wedge behind the ball but address it like it's your 7iron, but after a few swings it feels great. During the swing it feels like the ball may travel a little further than your standard pitching wedge but to your amazement you will see the loft do the work, and we can confirm it does in fact fly similarly to a ‘standard’ wedge. As we worked our way up through the set the benefits were quickly becoming apparent as no adjustments had to be made each time you change clubs. Therefore, if you struggle repeating an action then single length irons will certainly benefit you.
We recently fitted and built a set of Wishon Sterling Single Length Irons for a senior player who struggled with consistency and did not like hitting his long irons. Through trial and error it quickly became clear that 36.5” (8 iron length) matched his posture and set up and he felt comfortable about repeating the action from that position. We then built a set of 6-SW with a 5 hybrid all at 36.5” and the results have been brilliant.
The idea of having irons all the same length is an unusual concept, but we all agreed that if we had grown up using single length irons then trying clubs of different length would have the same effect. It will take a little bit of getting used to but once comfortable, there can be great benefits to the set-up.
If you are interested in trying the Wishon Single Length Irons do not hesitate to get in touch here.