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Bryson DeChambeau — winner of the 2015 U.S. Amateur and NCAA Men’s Individual Golf Championships and recently turned professional — plays with a unique set of irons and wedges that all measure the same length.

In my video, I review Sterling Irons from Tom Wishon and Jaacob Bowden that are designed to also measure one length throughout the set.

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Mark Crossfield has been coaching golf for more than 20 years, and has enjoyed shaping the digital golf world with fresh, original and educated videos. Basically, I am that guy from YouTube. You can connect with Mark on Periscope (4golfonline) and Snapchat (AskGolfGuru), as well through the social media accounts linked below.

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Diogenes

    May 4, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Just tried two Pinhawks (20 and 25 degrees numbered #4 and #5) for two rounds now and like them very much so far. Cannot confirm the reported low ballflight. They behave like a regular #3 and #4 iron which corresponds to the loft. Still struggeling with the 20 degrees iron played from the fairway but the 25 degrees works already great! Hit it much more consistently compared to my regular #4 and even #5 iron. Cannot complain about the distance as well. The shafts are 36,5 inches (FST 115 stiff) and the lie is 63,5 degrees (one upright). I was not looking for a single length set but replacing the longer irons definately makes sense to me! 🙂

  2. Warwick b

    Jun 20, 2016 at 3:36 am

    It’s a shame they aren’t available for lefties

  3. Warwick b

    Jun 20, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Shame they aren’t available for lefties

  4. Scott

    Jun 15, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Great review of a very interesting concept. It is great to see what a better player things of something unique.

  5. Ally

    Jun 15, 2016 at 6:15 am

    Mark great review on tom wishons sterlings. I myself had a set of conventional irons build to SI. And they performed great the short irons were very accurate we did have a bit of adjusting to do with the 4&5 irons the trajectory was too low and it was loosing distance. We ended up increasing loft and now all is fine. Did notice though that on the 4&5 irons i did need to have at least 80mph swing speed.. Overall i really believe the concept works. Cheers

  6. Tour Pro

    Jun 9, 2016 at 6:22 am

    30 years a bit of a stretch to be calling it a fad

  7. leon

    Jun 7, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    The single length concept is fine. But just don’t understand why people (especially golfer) always try (and hope or beg) to find an instant cure to their swing.

    If you cannot handle the 4,5 or 6 iron, try the hybrids, they are much easier to hit and launch high and straight. Or just make the 4,5 and 6 have the same length. If you cannot take care of 7,8,9 and P, sorry, dude. You really need to work on your swing, seriously.

    Use the same length for 5-SW may sound intriguing for some people, but you still need to deal with the different lengths of your driver, fairway wood and hybrid. So why bothers?

    I guess 95% of people who would like to try the single length irons, have some challenges to hit the 4 and 5 or even the 6 iron. Just use the hybrids or hybrid-iron combo set (should be around $200-$300) rather than spending $1000 and look like a sucker.

    • Mike

      Jun 15, 2016 at 4:35 am

      The single length concept is AWESOME! I (was) a 1 HCP and can hit the 3 and 4 irons as well. But i definitely hit the 7 iron much more solid then my 4 iron.
      i now playing a single length set and hit the 4 as solid as my 7, or 9, or P. I loosed 5 yards. So who cares about 5 yards if you hit them MUCH better? I also use a hybrid and a driver. So i have 3 lengths in my bag. And thats pretty easy to handle.
      Sure, this is not for every one. But it makes the game a lot easier. Droped to +HCP this season…and this looks definitely not like a sucker! The + on the scorecard looks SEXY 😉

      • Tony

        Feb 28, 2017 at 11:01 am

        Would love to know more. I have been racking my brain on the single length concept. I’m a 3 handicap. There are 3 distinct versions and concepts of the single length out there with Cobra, Wishon and 1Iron Golf. How deep did you look into this and what advantages and disadvantages did you run into while trying to decide. I’m 5’7″ 8 iron 152 yds. thanks for your response

  8. Tom

    Jun 7, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Say this Crossfield chap has a good looking swing.

  9. tlmck

    Jun 7, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Given the cost of Sterlings and lack of local demos, I may just build a set of PinHawks when they become available again. I have an unused set of TT Command shafts in the closet that need something to do. Not unhappy with my Speedblades, but just another curious engineer.

  10. farmer

    Jun 7, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    I would like to see the results of a real round. The concept is very interesting, but for me, chipping and pitching with a 7 iron length wedge would be difficult. The idea makes sense, and it may be THE NEXT BIG THING.

    • Brown

      Jun 8, 2016 at 3:37 am

      Well why not just watch Dechambeau do it on the Tour then, silly

  11. Matty

    Jun 7, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Few things:
    1) Shouldn’t the offset be constant throughout the set? According to the specs, the offset is not the same throughout the set unlike the Pinhawk irons.

    2) Mizuno’s current wedges are single length at 35.25 inches, so at least that is a good place to start in terms of single-lengthening the wedges.

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jun 7, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Historically, the low-lofted irons in single length sets would fly too low and the high-lofted irons would fly too high. The progressive offset slightly helps address this by moving the center of gravity forward and backward from head to head. This combined with some other built-in features help achieve similar peak shots heights throughout the set.

  12. Frank Xavier

    Jun 7, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Great commentary. It is an excellent demonstration of the viability of SLI’s. Mark does mention the possible benefits of single length to the new/beginner several times with the caveat that he never had the adjustment problem. I like to see golf as a staged learning process with the objective being to make arriving at the earliest and highest possible competency level the main objective. This approach tends to move new golfers to become much more enthusiastic about the game rather than less. Single length clubs when combined with systematic instruction will likely increase beginner and new golfer competency. Only systematic, quantitative data can definitely prove this point and as we know this information does not exist.

    I would go sofar as to suggest that standard SLI’s could easily be regarded as the beginning golfers friend; and upon reaching the 10 handicap level, graduation could occur to either longer clubs or SLI’s which have had the heads tweaked to achieve higher performance. Serious golf enthusiast’s especially those in the single digit handicap category commonly forget that 98% of golfers will never achieve a single digit handicap.

  13. Steve

    Jun 7, 2016 at 9:16 am

    They appear to be very accurate as well.

  14. Large Chris

    Jun 7, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Definitely interesting but worth a closer look at the numbers. The short irons seem to work very well, they address the main issue single length (I’ve tried the Pinhawks) has had, by lowering the peak height to a fairly uniform level (making them less hot off the face), and getting the gapping correct.
    However, only 19 yards difference is covering the 5 – 7 irons, and the peak height of the 5 iron has dropped down to 26 yards from 30, without any more spin, which suggests the loss of a few mph due to the shorter shaft is reducing ball speed and compromising distance too much, I would think Crosssfield is realistically 10 yards down on a standard modern 5 iron.

    • Mat

      Jun 7, 2016 at 5:11 am

      And that is what I’ve found as well. I’ve actually been tinkering with a 4-iron at 24, and then going to 6 at 29. Those pinhawks are 5º between all of them, but they don’t have the material differences. I’ve actually found that the long irons don’t get high enough, and that’s what causes gap crowding. This of course is based on my experience with “regular” heads. I think this really drives home the point that 8-iron and down is all about dialing in your distances, but some really do need that length at the top of the irons. My other set is 8i-58º within 1/8″ of an inch… all at D9. Then it’s standard 1/2″ steps. It isn’t as easy to hit, but the long iron problems don’t exist.

      Most second shots are within 150 yards, so all the better to get the 7/8iron and down the same.

    • Steve

      Jun 7, 2016 at 7:24 am

      The 5 & 7 numbers are a bit skewed by a mishit 5 and a shot wit the 7 that was 5 yards longer than the other 2. Also, the 7 iron was the only one with a peak height of 30. I suspect a larger sample would normalize the distances.

  15. snowman0157

    Jun 6, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Totally makes sense. If you don’t need different lengths and lies to create the proper distance gaps, then why introduce those variables? I was always intrigued by the old Tommy Armour EQL irons. I predict these will sell Big and a create a wave of SLI players.

  16. Adam

    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Title in the video says “sinle length”

  17. Jim

    Jun 6, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    This is hardly a fad. Moe Norman played SLI clubs and is one of the greatest golfers of all time. The truth is on the wall…SLI clubs can be very beneficial to anyone out there, just have to find a set.

    • kyle

      Jun 6, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Moe didn’t use single length clubs during his actual playing career, just later on when he endorsed the natural golf stuff.

      That being said, SLI are probably a good option for some golfers.

    • es

      Jun 6, 2016 at 11:53 pm

      Moe Norman one of the greatest of all time? Maybe a great Canadian player or maybe a great ball striker… he could probably middle a 48inch 7 iron, not the ideal SLI user trying to find consistency…
      But SLI does have a great new ambassador – the Great in his own mind and future web.com player Bryson DeChambeau. Have not seen such celebration for a player yet to secure a PGA tour card with only 1 top 20 finish and 4 missed cuts in a row.

      • Credentials

        Jun 9, 2016 at 3:00 pm

        DeChambeau was the NCAA champ and US Amateur Champ in the same year. Not too many of those guys here on earth…. or elsewhere.

  18. mhendon

    Jun 6, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Lol nice post… So true!

  19. Mat

    Jun 6, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    SLI is a great concept. I’ve posted on here plenty of times that I think almost every golfer would be better suited by a 1/4″ gapping or SLI. The hard part is that the lofts and ball apex get a bit funky when you take standard clubs and make them SLI. I think the hardest part about transitioning to SLI isn’t the equipment; it’s the mentality that irons are for exact distances, and not following the “distance iron” marketing. When you see guys hit their 6 iron 210 on the PGA, you get guys who want that same thing, and you end up with loft-jacking. If you can shed all of that baggage, and embrace that your irons are intended to get you an exact distance, things get better very quickly.

    • Jim

      Jun 6, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      Totally agree. I would think that 3/8″ would be far better than 1/2″ as well. I’m currently working to setup clubs using 1/4″ increments because the clubs will be far more consistent up and down the set.

  20. john

    Jun 6, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    i can hear a vlog coming, come on mark!

  21. John

    Jun 6, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Love the reviews. These are very interesting to me. Wish there was a test set around here or I knew someone that had them to try out.

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Equipment

TaylorMade SIM and SIM Max driver review

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New for 2020, TaylorMade has launched the new SIM driver family. First the lower spinning SIM then a more forgiving higher spinning SIM Max and a SIM Max D head to help draw the ball for those that need it.

We have seen the tour players using all three of the SIM drivers.

Technical Details

The SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D drivers from TaylorMade feature an asymmetric sole shape as well as a redesigned Inertia Generator. The asymmetric sole shape of the drivers is designed to reduce drag while providing faster clubhead speed, with the redesigned Inertia Generator redistributing weight at the very low-and-back portion of the club in a bid to provide improved forgiveness.

The SIM Max D clubhead contains a heel-bias internal weight with a topline masking to make the clubhead look more open at address to help golfers who struggle with a right-miss.

Other features of the SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D drivers includes a speed injected twist face, inverted cone technology, a thru-slot speed pocket, multi-material construction and an adjustable loft sleeve.

Exclusive to the SIM driver is sliding weight technology which allows face angle and flight bias preferences of up to +/-2° loft change and up to +/-20 yards of draw-fade bias.

(Top Left to Right) 2020 TM SIM Max & 2019 TM M6, (Bottom Left to Right) 2020 TM SIM & 2019 TM M5

Reviews

Here are the individual reviews from GolfWRXers’ trip to The Kingdom.

Tester: Rob “osubuckeyes691

I’ll start by saying this. SIM is very good. It’s not a magical 30 yards like everyone is talking about here. That comes from being properly fit. But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have.

My current set up is a Callaway Epic Flash SZ Double Diamond with a Fuji Ventus Black 6x. LOW LOW LOW combo…and I still hit it high haha. I live in the low to mid 170s ball speed with spin sometimes getting up to 2700 2800. Drives I hit well, spin around 2100. My miss is a big push slice.

But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have. -Rob

I ended up being fit in to a SIM 9* with the new KBS Tour Driven 70 Category 5. This shaft is super interesting. It’s really hard for me to describe but it has feel, and a lot of it. Spin dropped to about 2400 on my miss right and really, that’s what I was hoping would happen. I wanted something that when I missed, wouldn’t lose me 30 yards. We put the weight in the heel and it really did help straighten out the miss. Huge advantage for me. I knew as someone who swings 120ish I wasn’t going to pick up 20 yards. I wanted to reduce my miss and that’s exactly what SIM was able to do for me.  Here is a link to his post in the forums.

Tester: Will “fillwelix

For my driver fitting, I was with Perry, who was a blast to get to work with. I started by hitting my gamer on Trackman, talking with Perry about what my misses usually are, and what I wanted to get out of the fitting.

I usually don’t have a problem with distance so I told him the biggest thing I was looking for was a tighter dispersion. I don’t have the trackman numbers yet but with my gamer, I was averaging about 110 club head speed, 160-something ball speed, 270-275 carry, 285-290 total. Launching a bit too high but spin was okay.

The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. -Will

We tried the 10.5 SIM in a Ventus Black 6x, and he gave me a couple tips in my setup, because my AOA was something like 4 or 5 degrees up. The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. Carrying 295-300, total of 315-320. One shot carried the fence of the driving range at The Kingdom.

Spent some time going through different shafts to see if there was an improvement, played with weights, etc. but the best numbers were with the 10.5 SIM with Ventus Black 6x and the weight all the way in the toe, because my miss is usually left. Here is a link to his post in the forums.

Tester: Nick “n_rones

I started off with my fittings working with Joe. After some warmup we started with the drivers. Coming in I was playing a Srixon Z785 with a Hzrdus black 6.5 70 gram shaft at 45 inches.

I’m a really tough fit because I have an unusual swing and hit down on the ball heavily with every club. My AOA with the driver was between 5 and 7 down which is pretty nuts I always knew I hit down on it but not that much. I’m still waiting on the trackman date to be emailed to me but with my own driver I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 109 swing speed with a launch angle of 4 degrees and 4000 spin (Ridiculous I know right).

I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. -Nick

His main goal for me was to get launch up and spin down. The first club he handed me was the Sim 10.5 turned up to 11.25 with a Graphite design IZ 7x. Instantly my launch angle increased and spin dropped. We then went through a few other shafts like graphite design ad di 7x. We came back to the IZ and with a quick change in tee height we ended up where we wanted. We knew with my angle of attack we were never going to get me to super low spin and high launch we just wanted to get it to a manageable number.

By the end of the fit I was hitting the sim with the iz under 3k spin with a couple down at 2500 and 9 degree launch increasing my carry from the 244 range up to the 260-265 range on good swings and we neutralized my cut massively. I was fortunate enough to finish my fit while other guys were still busy so we went right into the build shop and he built me my driver on the spot and gave me a super cool kingdom exclusive headcover. I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. Most of that is me never being through a proper fitting before but a big factor was I was able to get into the sim head with high loft but it was a great spin killing head for me. Here is a link to his post in the forums.

Tester: “jimbonecrusher”

I am one that gained a good bit of ball speed from getting fit for the SIM driver. My gamer is a Titleist 915D3 9.5* with a Rogue Silver 70X. I wasn’t fit for the driver as I just bought the parts off of the BST. I always felt that I lost yardage due to high spin. The Trackman didn’t lie as I was getting 166mph ball speed and 3000 rpm of spin on well-struck shots. Where this posed a problem was when I was off-center, the ball would be a high right spinner that would lose a lot of distance. 

Where I saw great gains was in dispersion. TwistFace just flat out works. Toe shots came back to closer to center, and heal shots faded right back towards center. I also didn’t lose as much yardage. I did pick up about five mph in ball speed. There are a plethora of reasons for this gain and the resulting 20 yard gain in ball flight.

Some could attribute the gain to almost 30 feet of height in ball flight. It could also be because there was 300 less RPM, or over a degree increase in launch angle. Either way, it has proven to me that getting fit by a knowledgeable fitter is crucial. This is the first time that I have been fit for a driver. All the expectations of mine going into this fitting have been met.

The SIM is forgiving. The SIM is aerodynamically superior to what I have been playing. The SIM just flat out performs for me because it doesn’t balloon, it is forgiving on mishits with good direction and ball speed, and it reduced my spin rate. – 

The sounds of the SIM line is amazing. The solid “thwack” sound it makes at contact is extremely welcoming. Gone are the days of high pitched aluminum baseball bat sounds. Now, some sounds just sound perfect to me. Johnny Wunder posted a video on Instagram of me hitting a driver, and you can hear the sound. Here is a link to his post in the forums.

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Equipment

Building the perfect half set

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Beyond physically putting clubs together, one of my favorite games to play is trying to build the ideal half set, and taking it out for some testing on the course. The goal is to see how few clubs I can play with before it becomes a detriment to my game and my scoring—while still having fun trying to hit all kinds of creative shots along the way

Many golfers have, at some point, played the “three-club challenge” (three including a putter), but that often becomes an exercise in caution and course management instead of what many would consider a usual round of golf. Although from the conversations I’ve had with golfers about trying out an extremely reduced set, the consensus generally ends up at, “I shot one of my best scores in a long time.”

I’m not sure how that sentiment potentially relates to handicap or not, but one way or the other, it’s a great way to lighten the load and have some fun thinking differently about your shots.

My ideal half set consists of 7-8 clubs including a putter, but in some cases, I will take it all the way down to 5-6. I love having the option to play with a full set and most times do, but I have gone weeks playing only with my half set and don’t see a noticeable variation in my scoring.

It actually makes me question why I carry a full set and in the grand scheme of golf. I think it would be one of the most entertaining experiments to have a PGA Tour event where players are limited to seven clubs. It would have the potential to make gearheads and the general fan engage in an interesting conversation.

Whatever way you choose to build your set, this is a quick start guide to play your best half set golf.

Thinking Your way Through Building a Half Set

  • The Putter: This is the one club that probably isn’t going anywhere (unless you are a virtuoso putting with a bellied wedge). You are going to be using this club on every hole, and depending on your comfort level hitting certain shots, you might end up using it further off the green than normal—cheers to the imagination! Build out from here, because shots inside 100 yards are still going to take up the majority of strokes on your card, and your putter is going to save you shots.
  • The “Wedge”: Remember that it wasn’t until the last generation of golfers that players started using a lob wedge. Tom Watson famously never put one in the bag and only carried up to a 56-degree. The ideal loft to start your set with is 52-54 degrees, because you can still hit shots out of the sand if needed, and it’s a great club to still hit full shots with—something that many golfers struggle to do with a lob wedge.
  • Your “Go-To” Shot: I think most golfers agree that trying to get more out of a club distance-wise often ends with less than great results. This is why as you go through your set and start to pick clubs, it’s important to think about your favorite go-to shots. You want to do everything you can to avoid standing over a ball trying to manipulate a club because you don’t have “that distance” in the bag. This is hugely important when you realize that close to 90 percent of hazards are placed in front of the green or target areas and being able to get over comfortably should be priority number one.
  • Know Your Iron Lofts:  Most modern sets have 4-5 degrees between each club, but as you get to the longer irons, even towards the middle of the set (7-iron to 5-iron) loft gaps can get smaller quickly, and for some this can equal a diminishing point of return on distance gapping. Don’t just grab every other iron, take a few minutes to think about the carry distance of each club, because that’s going to be important.
  • A Driver is Still Important: We all cant be Henrik Stenson with a 12-degree 3-wood we hit 300 yards. Unless you have plans to go truly minimalist, keeping a driver in the bag is a good idea. It is the largest and most forgiving club off the tee and will help put you into places that will make second shots a lot easier.
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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying are the top-3 underrated blade head designs circa 2005

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@jfp2112

GolfWRXers have been discussing the top-3 underrated blade head designs circa 2005 after forum member ‘8620’ created a thread with a desire to “build a set that starts with a ‘retro’ blade head, that incorporates a modern shaft (Nippon Modus Pro 130)”. Our members have weighed in on the subject, with some inspired by ‘8620’ to follow suit in his project.

Here are what our members are saying on the subject, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below,

  • Gopher68: “Bridgestone J33 blades.”
  • BCULAW: “Mizuno MP67. Awesome blade that never really caught on due to the popularity of its predecessor (MP33) and its sister offering (MP32). Also, the small ‘cut muscle’ gives it a bit of an old school vibe like the old Wilson bullet backs.”
  • Golfingfanatic: “OG Nike Forged Blades.”
  • cardoustie: “Bridgestone MB’s, love my J15’s.”
  • OldTomMorris: “I’ve got a set of mp-37 irons that I am putting TT DG AMT white S300 shafts in right now. Curious to see if I can keep the short irons lower than my current set of irons.”
  • Rapidcat: “This interests me as I played Mizuno SPL blades for a decade and still have the heads in very good condition, thinking about a reshaft for them to have some fun.”

Entire Thread: “Top-3 underrated blade head designs circa 2005”

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