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GreenDoor

My Experience with Single-Length Irons

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Since I started playing golf just over 10 years ago, I have never been able to shoot regularly below 90.  My biggest issue was with iron consistency.  With a GIR% of only 11.1, I only ever found the green by sheer luck.  After reading many of the great articles on this site about some of the myths between modern club design versus modern marketing, I began to wonder if there might be something I was missing.  So, being the inquisitive physics geek that I am, I started researching the history of golf club design and stumbled completely by accident upon a small company in Toledo called 1 Iron Golf.  Essentially, they build iron sets all to one length; whichever length that best fits you based on your unique physiology.  Apparently this is what used to be done before turn-of-the-century manufactures learned they could sell more iron sets if they removed the need for everyone to get fit to one shaft length.  It was way more economical to make a set of varying lengths so everyone who bought a set would find at least one club that they could really hit.  Well, at the very least, I now knew why I hit my 8 iron so much better than all my other irons.

 

I have no brand loyalty whatsoever, a true club ho, always looking for just what works.  But even I am only willing to tinker so much.   I really was reluctant to try something that seemed to make so much sense from a physics perspective, yet had absolutely no fairway-cred that I could find.  But I ended up ordering a used set at my build specs (cheaper, cuz I am cheap).  I have to admit at the beginning, it was not a smooth transition as I never would stick with them for longer than a week or two before chickening out and going back to a more modern set makeup.  My biggest concern were with the long-iron distances.  I always felt like I was losing too much distance compared to a traditional length 3, 4, and 5 iron. 

 

Finally, the little voice won out and I decided to play them for three months to give them a fair shot.  Well, that three turned into the last 14 months.  Since going mostly full time to single length irons, my handicap has dropped from 19.1 last April to 11.7; my GIR from 11.1 % to 55.6%.  Oh, and those long iron distances, are now about 5 yards longer than my older/traditional set.  And my iron spacing is 12-14 yards per club (3i-205, 4i-192, 5i-180, 6i-167, 7i-155, 8i-142, 9i-128, PW-115, SW-103).  Before this set, I didn't have real gaps between my irons that I could rely on. 

 

The hardest part about moving to these irons, honestly, was having faith that they would actually work.  Trust in what you are doing is hard when it is something so different from what everyone else is doing.  There are probably hundreds of experts out there that would tell me that my 3 iron has to be 3 inches longer than my pitching wedge; maybe, maybe not. 

 

So there I am, becoming a bit more comfortable with my progress when, out of the blue, a small gift of reassurance finally arrived (because as you know, a club ho is never really, really sure;-).   Another physics geek, this time some guy from SMU who found what I had found, took the idea of one length irons to the top of the 2015 NCAA Men's Championships.  I checked the specs of Bryson's Edel irons and he built them to very similar weight and lie specs as the folks at 1 Iron Golf.  Maybe I wasn't so crazy after all.

 

Bottom line is I honestly feel there may be something to this idea that is worth exploring, especially if your struggle with iron consistency like I once did.   At the moment, I don't know who else other than 1 Iron is building single length golf sets, but I would love to see other companies investigate this idea.  I know some have attempted it in the past, but this idea requires very specific tolerances head-to-head regarding variables like head-weight and lie angle. 

 

So that's my story so far, but I get the feeling I am just getting warmed up; I shot a 76 just last week for my lowest round ever.  I would love to hear your experiences or thoughts on this idea. 

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It's intriguing actually.  Is there no difference in length between your irons?  How many irons do you bag?  What is the length?  Are the wedges a different length?

 

Again very interesting.

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So, they all have the same lie angle designed for the length specified?  Interesting.  I can see a length somewhere between the 3i and 9i since we are only talking 1.5 inches either way.  But playing with wedges that are 6i length would be extremely difficult for me since I choke down on them for most shots anyway.

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I remember seeing a video clip of Bryson Dechambeau's bag a few months back and I thought- "typical physics major." Then I saw a video clip of him practicing. I thought my god- this kid is in an Iron Byron! Everyone who thought he was nuts with his superjumboflowmax grips and putter that has heel hang can go stick it where the sun don't shine because that kid can flat out play!

 

If you have enough athletic ability, you can play golf. If you have enough time to dedicate to it you will be good. This kid seems to have simplified the amount of time needed to get better!

 

One posture, one setup, one swing, and essentially with one club. See if you can pull up his range session from last week with the flighttracker. I don't think I could shoot a sniper rifle that straight! 

 

You'll never be the longest player with this method, but you may be the most accurate.

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On doing that set up the iron has to be forged or cast differently from the get go and Green Door as a physics major can probably explain it better than I can. I fully understand the concept but can not explain it. I did some research on it a few years back because technical stuff like that intriques me. I like thinking outside the box. I myself do some things on my stuff that can be radical to some folks standards. My tendencies are to modify older tried and true stuff. As far as Bryson's Edel irons there was a WITB on WRX with his clubs in them and I found it to be overall interesting. Never be afraid to experiment sometimes it works sometimes it don't. I have 2 staff bags full of experimental clubs that I have built that did not work out. Remember every piece of golf equipment good or bad started as an idea

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I remember seeing a video clip of Bryson Dechambeau's bag a few months back and I thought- "typical physics major." Then I saw a video clip of him practicing. I thought my god- this kid is in an Iron Byron! Everyone who thought he was nuts with his superjumboflowmax grips and putter that has heel hang can go stick it where the sun don't shine because that kid can flat out play!

 

If you have enough athletic ability, you can play golf. If you have enough time to dedicate to it you will be good. This kid seems to have simplified the amount of time needed to get better!

 

One posture, one setup, one swing, and essentially with one club. See if you can pull up his range session from last week with the flighttracker. I don't think I could shoot a sniper rifle that straight! 

 

You'll never be the longest player with this method, but you may be the most accurate.

 

You won't be the shortest hitter on tour with this method either!

 

Single-axis swing like Moe Norman.  Now I have to root for the kid!

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Very interesting read! When I was looking for my first set of fitted irons I had thought about getting fitted with a fitter who build his irons off the true length technology. The concept to me made sense but I decided not to do it because I couldn't find any useful reviews of the system. But I think I may take the plunge for the next set.

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I'm still reasonably flexible for 60+, but single length irons seem like they'd be less stressful on the body.

 

I'm not sure I'd want my wedges or woods at the same length as my irons, but the concept is interesting.

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I'm still reasonably flexible for 60+, but single length irons seem like they'd be less stressful on the body.

 

I'm not sure I'd want my wedges or wodds at the same length as my irons, but the concept is interesting.

I actually play all my wedges the same length from pw-60. It definitely made it nice for full wedge shots.

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I will post more details in the morning, but I play 3 - SW at the length of my 8 iron. I will post all the lofts tomorrow, but the 3 iron is 19 degrees. I do still play a standard lob wedge, but may eventually switch that too. The 1 Iron site has a ton of historical and club engineering data and I was able to corroborate most of it on other sites. My woods and hybrids are standard length.

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I will post more details in the morning, but I play 3 - SW at the length of my 8 iron. I will post all the lofts tomorrow, but the 3 iron is 19 degrees. I do still play a standard lob wedge, but may eventually switch that too. The 1 Iron site has a ton of historical and club engineering data and I was able to corroborate most of it on other sites. My woods and hybrids are standard length.

Jumbo Max grips? What are the lie angles?

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I saw the video of Bryson Dechambeau's bag. All of the irons including wedges are 37.5 inches, except for the TM 2 driving iron which was a standard length. He also had an Aeroburner 3W and SLDR driver at what looked like standard lengths.

 

Bryson averaged 301 off the tee in the St. Jude tournament.

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Unfortunately, I don't have Bryson's driving average of 301; he has me beat by about 40 yards.  And I don't have his Iron-Byronesque swing either; my swing is fairly traditional.  But I do use a standard 45" driver, 43" 3 wood, and 41" hybrid (17 degrees); only my core iron set is all the length of a typical 8 iron.  The clubs from One Iron do come standard with jumbo grips, but I replaced them with standard grips after a few weeks.

 

The makeup of their standard set is as follows: 3i - 19 degrees, 4i - 23, 5i - 27, 6i - 31, 7i - 35, 8i - 39, 9i - 43, PW - 47, GW - 51, SW - 55, and LW - 59 degrees.  The club head lie angles are all 63.5 degrees, the bounce all 3 degrees (except for SW which has 6), the offset all 3.175mm, and the head weights all 273 grams.  I know they make a pro-level set which has slightly lighter head weights and one degree less bounce, but I have never hit those. 

 

As for wedges, I only play their PW and SW as the gapping worked out well for me.  I don't find their SW to be any longer or harder to hit than a standard SW as I have experimented with both on the course and on the range.  I only keep my standard LW because it gives me a different bounce option than is offered with this set.

 

So in all honesty, I have probably stunted my game over the years by moving from set to set, usually through ebay, knowing I could just sell it if it didn't work out.  Hell, I even got 'fit' at one of the box stores a few times, but nothing took hold.  In this case, it took a lot of self-convincing to order a set with One Iron because I knew I would not be able to trade them in if they were lousy.  I know if you buy new, they give you 30 days to try them out, but I really don't think that is long enough to see if this would work for you.  Physiologically, it makes absolute sense, but in my case, what I think or expect can color my judgment regardless of data (damn you, quantum wave-particle duality principle;-)

 

And Big Stu is right, you can't simply cut down your current irons because each of your specific irons is manufactured to different weights and lie angles.  Bryson essentially replicated the work the One Iron guys had done with his Edel irons; the One Irons are all manufactured/cast in the same weight/lie configurations but at different lofts.  Once I got comfortable with these irons, I was able to just about replicate what One Iron had published regarding quality of hit and loft being way more influential on ball flight and distance than the extra half inch you typically get per iron.  Of course, you don't need me to verify that; just look at Bryson's growing body of work.

 

And I do wish other companies would get on board with this trend.  I like One Iron for what they are doing, but have never found their club heads all that attractive.  I would also like more options regarding shafts and offset as well.  Maybe I could try Edel if I could get a good price and there wasn't too much lead tape involved.

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Just went on that 1 iron golf website and there's a couple things that I feel almost instantly deter me from purchasing.

 

#1 iron looks- they look as cheap as a wal-mart bag in the box special. I'm talking everything about them screams cheap.

 

#2 iron model/design- they post a MPF ad that is from over 10 years old. Have they not redesigned or tweaked their irons at all in 10-12 years? They compare their clubs to Ping G2 and TaylorMade Rac HT's... C'mon! How many sets of irons have been released since then?

 

Hopefully they're ready to strike while the "iron" is hot because there's no time like the present to pray on the golfing population! Golfers will buy anything if the timing is right and I think it is for this product!

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Just went on that 1 iron golf website and there's a couple things that I feel almost instantly deter me from purchasing.

 

#1 iron looks- they look as cheap as a wal-mart bag in the box special. I'm talking everything about them screams cheap.

 

#2 iron model/design- they post a MPF ad that is from over 10 years old. Have they not redesigned or tweaked their irons at all in 10-12 years? They compare their clubs to Ping G2 and TaylorMade Rac HT's... C'mon! How many sets of irons have been released since then?

 

Hopefully they're ready to strike while the "iron" is hot because there's no time like the present to pray on the golfing population! Golfers will buy anything if the timing is right and I think it is for this product!

Totally agree on their design and looks....yuk.

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"Maybe I could try Edel if I could get a good price and there wasn't too much lead tape involved."

 

Heck, if you're committed to the concept, that's really the way to go.  There'd definitly be no lead tape involved and the customization options are pretty well unlimited.  Since Edel's already built Bryson's irons to his specs, they obviously have the experience to built to the design and specs for you.

 

It would be worth the cost, as you'll be purchasing a "forever set" of clubs.

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100% agree with WB here. If I was as confident in the method as OP id fly to Edel and have them custom make me a set!

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