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Using detailed testing with the GC Quad from Foresight, I compared the Wishon and Cobra one-length irons with my Ping iblades Have a look and see for yourself!

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Shawn Clement is the new Director of Development at the Royal Quebec Golf Academy in Quebec City, Canada and a class A PGA teaching professional. Shawn was a 2011 and 2015 Ontario PGA Teacher of the Year nominee while Directing at the Richmond Hill Golf Learning Centre. He was also voted in the top 10 (tied with Martin Hall at No. 9) as most sought after teacher on the internet in 2016 with 83 000 subscribers on YouTube and 36 millions natural views. Shawn has been writing for numerous publications since 2001 including Golf Tips Magazine and Score Golf Magazine. He also appeared of the Golf Channel’s Academy Live in July 2001 with Jerry Foltz and Mike Ritz. Shawn Clement has the distinction of being one of the only professionals fit by Ping’s Tour fitting centre where he was fitted with left and right handed clubs including 2 drivers with 115 plus miles per hour and 300 plus yard drives from both sides.

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Ken

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    LOL, I love that any positive review of SL clubs is combatted with a negative comment by those that just can’t believe there could be another way to play the game, having to hold on to “the way we all do it is the only right way”. Who cares, play whatever gets the ball in the hole in the least number of strokes and quit trying to disprove everything to make yourselves feel better.

    I am now a 6 handicap, down from a 10-11, playing Sterling SL irons going on my third summer. My misses are much less severe and I can’t tell you how many GIR I have hit with my 6 iron at 185-190 yards. Best thing, is that I can take off a few weeks and when I come back out to play, my game doesn’t drop off. I hardly practice anything except my chipping / pitching and putting anymore as IMO the SL irons has simplified may set up and has improved my ball striking. I had my set made up with graphite shafts, MOI spec’d, 6-SW, 2 deg up. Same weight, length, lie, MOI, through out the set. YMMV…..

    • ogo

      Sep 26, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      So you have five irons (6-SW) at single shaft length. What about the remaining eight clubs? Are they all different shaft lengths… and nine different swings?

      • Ken

        Sep 26, 2018 at 11:09 pm

        See, there you go, having to get a dig in on 9 different swings vs possibly accepting the fact that some has success with SL irons. There are no absolutes in life, play how you want to play. I’m not selling anything here.

        I play 11 clubs. Driver (44.25”), 4w 42”, 21 degree hybrid at 39”, putter and my (7) irons. I Found playing my longer clubs a little shorter than std has given me improved accuracy.

        Most people that carry 14 can’t hit half of them consistently lol.

  2. Results

    Sep 22, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    “Here are the results.” There are literally no results except “I love my 3-iron.” Cmon guys, numbers. This is like one of your 70 min podcasts with 5 seconds of actual material. So, are you going post results?

  3. oppie

    Sep 22, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    I can play both types of clubs because I have control of my swing regardless of club length and lie. If you can’t control variable length clubs it’s unlikely you can control so-called single length irons. If you can’t compensate for length and lie, it’s likely you don’t have any golf swing eye-hand coordination.

  4. Steve Cantwell

    Sep 22, 2018 at 2:04 am

    How about just simply learning to hit a decent shot that can be repeated. If a guy can’t break 100 with a traditional set up, He isn’t going to break 100 with this single length set. Someone else however will benefit with his money in their pocket.

    • Brent

      Sep 22, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Couldn’t disagree more. “simply learn to hit a decent shot that can be repeated” Millions of golfers have been trying that for decades. What’s the harm in trying a slightly different club.

      • oppie

        Sep 22, 2018 at 3:17 pm

        Simple test: — Play a round only with a 5/7/9-iron combination and adjust for distance by gripping down or reducing your backswing and clubhead speed. Use hybrids for sub-4-iron play. Wedges are essential the same.

  5. Ty

    Sep 21, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    That was “nutted” haha I like this guy! Back swing is kind of ugly but he obviously Gets the job done . I am now anxious to try the shorter length on my longer irons . Great video .

  6. Robb Houle

    Sep 21, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    I have been using “dual length” irons since 1999. 8-W are Wedge length and 4-7 are 7 iron length. Only have to be able to hit 2 clubs to be consistent.

    I play in the Midwest where due to weather it is hard to get out and play 3-4 month out of the year. I play at a 7 handicap but thanks to my irons I can go 4 months without playing and come back and never be worse than a 9.

    • ogo

      Sep 22, 2018 at 5:38 pm

      What was your handicap level before you switched to the dual length irons? Most ‘golfers’ can’t hit one club consistently. To blame it on the multi-length irons is just a feeble excuse… blame the clubs not the duffer.

      • Robb Houle

        Sep 24, 2018 at 3:55 pm

        My handicap before was probably in the 14-15 range. Read an article about Bryson that had a good explanation. It referenced Occam’s razor theory. Which is the problem-solving principle that says the simplest solution tends to be the right one.

        If golf was just now being invented would the easiest solution be 14 different clubs each one at a different length?

        • shane

          Sep 24, 2018 at 11:17 pm

          They are NOT 14 different golf clubs; they are a progressive set of clubs that are matched to distances and trajectories. If single length were the standard somebody would invent progressive length clubs.

          • Robb Houle

            Sep 25, 2018 at 8:21 am

            A set of 14 progressive clubs are ABSOLUTELY 14 different clubs. They are different length, loft and lie. Which is the definition of “different”

            I am not arguing that single length should be the standard. I was giving an example where a version of non-traditional progressive length worked for me.

            What it comes down to is that you need 14 clubs in your bag that can fill yardage gaps and go the direction you think they are going to go.

  7. Bob the Gopher

    Sep 21, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    I just snagged a set of the Wishon Sterling irons. Best golf purchase I’ve made in a long time. Standing over the 5-7i feels like cheating. Never been more consistent from 200 yards out. The biggest adjustment you have to be prepared for is the mental aspect. If you can consistently put a smooth swing on these, they are absolutely phenomenal. I recommend to anyone who struggles with the irons.

    • oppie

      Sep 21, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      Anyone who struggles with irons will not solve their swing problems with single length irons… believe it…!!!

    • A. Commoner

      Sep 21, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      Ridiculous fabrication.

  8. Ken singer

    Sep 21, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Great video. I tried the single length Wilson irons. ( wishon makes great products ) Yet, I found that I was hitting my 5 hybrid and4 hybrid better then the 5 and 4 single length irons. I think this goes back to club speed ( not sure) and even though the 5 and 4 iron are shorter, they still have the loft of typicial 4 and 5. I would have liked to seen more of a comparison. Of single length vs those of us who use hybrids. Thanks Ken singer

    • christian

      Sep 21, 2018 at 7:23 pm

      Your issue is iron vs hybrid and not with single length. Most average non-pro golfers hit their hybrids better than their long irons.

      • Ken singer

        Sep 22, 2018 at 9:18 am

        I agree ( Christian) about hybrid vs iron. Yet more and more pros are using hybrids. Second many recreational golfers with low handicaps are using hybrids. In the single length set wishon made, he includes hybrids at the 4 and 5 length clubs. If you talk to Tom wishon he says that his single length clubs were made more for the recreational golfer ( yet Bryce d has turned this upside down ) What I’m saying in my experience with the single length clubs ( which I tried out about a year ago) is that loft is more important then length of a club in hitting consistent shots , and once you get up to long irons hybrids are easier to hit.

  9. Spitfisher

    Sep 21, 2018 at 11:17 am

    I could see the possibility of 3 different lengths over the set of 7-8 irons being marketed. Including gap. I just don’t believe the single length is for better players period, people that are looking for something to improve their game , have at it

    Personally develop a swing or lessons and you won’t need single length. Ignore lofts and club heads. If you hit a 6 hybrid as far as a well struct 4 or 5 iron go for it. Most people should not even carry a 4 iron and some not a 5 iron.

    Deschambau should not be used as testimony to this theory. He has a unique swing perhaps only to himself and one only has to see that his clubs are 12-14 degrees upright with baseball bat size grips.

    • Equs Golf

      Sep 21, 2018 at 11:58 am

      http://www.equsgolf.com

      The new EQUS series of irons highlight traits of both traditional length and single length golf clubs. Using matched combinations in three progressive lengths, this concept is designed to improve consistency, ball striking ability and therefore, performance for golfers of all levels.

      This concept allows golfers to easily transition to the single length concept without changing their current swing or giving up standard grips, lies or the traditional lengths found in long, mid and short irons.

      • stevet

        Sep 22, 2018 at 3:02 pm

        Mr. Lytle(?): Viewed your website and read your US Patent Application (20180185718). Congratulation on bringing your product to market.
        Could you further clarify your advertisment or claims for static “swingweight” (1st MOI) and dynamic “MOI” matching (2nd MOI) for your clubs? Thanks.

        • EQUS Golf

          Sep 24, 2018 at 11:52 pm

          EQUS golf irons are MOI (Moment of Inertia) matched for each combination in each set. The result is a progressive swing weight, constant within each individual combination, and progressive in subsequent combinations.

          MOI is the force necessary to initiate the motion of a stationary object about an axis. In EQUS irons the axis is both the center of gravity of the club head and the pendulum created by the entire club. EQUS clubs utilize both of these matched forces to improve consistency within any given combination.

          • ogo

            Sep 26, 2018 at 3:25 pm

            You have 3 sets of irons with different lengths and 3 different swings. Why not a true single length for all the irons and only one swing?

    • Bruce

      Sep 21, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      Sounds like you made your decision before watching the video.

  10. Mike

    Sep 21, 2018 at 12:54 am

    Interesting video. I have considered the single length clubs at one time but was afraid of the longer irons having distance issues. Granted with today’s lofts, I would probably only use a 5 iron on down but still worried about the 5 and 6 iron distances.

    Do the companies make them at whatever length you want or is the standard a 7 or 8 iron? I thought Cobra was based on a 7 iron but could be wrong!

  11. steve

    Sep 20, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Shawn… I notice in your swing… you turn your head back twice at Address… and your backswing comes to a virtual stop/pause at the Top. Your hips rotate quite a lot and your X-factor to your shoulder turn is small, but you unwind smooth and powerful. Your legs are active… 😉

    • Leo Vincent

      Sep 22, 2018 at 12:22 am

      Doubt the guy in the video can break 80

      • steve

        Sep 22, 2018 at 3:05 pm

        All that counts is proper desired impact results… style is secondary.

  12. ogo

    Sep 20, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    WOW!!!! Single length irons from PING??!!!
    And the empty cavity back Sterlings sound more pingy than elastomer filled iBlades??!!!

    • Bruce

      Sep 21, 2018 at 3:56 pm

      Pings were his variable length and used as a standard.
      Single length from Stirling and Cobra

  13. Tom

    Sep 20, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Uhhh….Tommy Armour golf had this one length iron concept back in the mid 1980’s…they called it EQL….nothing new here.

  14. gunmetal

    Sep 20, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Cool vid. Hopefully the rest of the companies take note of the benefits that most golfers in the world would see.

    • steve

      Sep 20, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      Any competent golf like Shawn can compensate and adjust their swing with any make of club. The results may be different but the performance is standard.

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Instruction

Walters: Avoid these 3 big chipping mistakes!

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Chipping causes nightmares for so many amateur golfers. This s mainly due to three core mistakes. In this video, I talk about what those mistakes are, and, more importantly, how to avoid them.

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The Wedge Guy: The importance of a pre-shot routine

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I believe one of the big differences between better recreational golfers and those not so good—and also between the tour professionals and those that can’t quite “get there”—is the consistency of their pre-shot routines. It is really easy to dismiss something that happens before the ball is even struck as irrelevant, but I strongly urge you to reconsider if you think this way.

To have a set routine to follow religiously before every shot gives you the best chance to execute the shot the way you intend. To do otherwise just leaves too much to chance. Indulge me here and I’ll offer you some proof.

It’s been a while back now, but I still remember an interesting account on this subject that used the final round of the 1996 Masters—when Nick Faldo passed a collapsing Norman—as his statistical proof. This particular analyst reviewed the entire telecast of that final round and timed the routine of both players for every shot. What he discovered was that Norman got quicker and less consistent in his pre-shot routine throughout his round, while Faldo maintained his same, methodical approach to every shot, not varying by more than a second or so. I think that is pretty insightful stuff.

A lot of time has passed since then, but all competitive tour professionals pay very close attention to their pre-shot routines these days. I urge you to watch them as they go through the motions before each shot. And notice that most of them “start over” if they get distracted during that process.

While I do not think it is practical for recreational golfers to go into such laborious detail for every shot, let me offer some suggestions as to how a repeatable pre-shot routine should work.

The first thing is to get a good feel for the shot, and by that, I mean a very clear picture in your mind of how it will fly, land and roll; I also think it’s realistic to have a different routine for full shots, chips and pitches and putts. They are all very different challenges, of course, and as you get closer to the hole, your focus needs to be more on the feel of the shot than the mechanics of the swing, in my opinion.

To begin, I think the best starting point is from behind the ball, setting up in your “mind’s eye” the film-clip of the shot you are about to hit. See the flight and path it will take. As you do this, you might waggle the club back and forth to get a feel of the club in your hands and “feel” the swing that will produce that shot path for you. Your exact routine can start when you see that shot clearly, and begin your approach the ball to execute the shot. From that “trigger point”, you should do the exact same things, at the exact same pace, each and every time.

For me (if I’m “on”), I’ll step from that behind-the-shot position, and set the club behind the ball to get my alignment. Then I step into my stance and ball position, not looking at the target, but being precise not to change the alignment of the clubhead–I’m setting my body up to that established reference. Once set, I take a look at the target to ensure that I feel aligned properly, and take my grip on the club. Then I do a mental check of grip pressure, hover the club off the ground a bit to ensure it stays light, and then start my backswing, with my only swing thought being to feel the end of the backswing.

That’s when I’m “on,” of course. But as a recreational player, I know that the vast majority of my worst shots and rounds happen when I depart from that routine.

This is something that you can and should work on at the range. Don’t just practice your swing, but how you approach each shot. Heck, you can even do that at home in your backyard. So, guys and ladies, there’s my $0.02 on the pre-shot routine. What do you have to add?

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6 reasons why golfers struggle with back pain: Part 1

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This article is co-written with Marnus Marais. Since 2011, Marnus has worked with some of the world’s best players on both the PGA Tour and European Tour, helping them to maintain optimal health and peak physical performance. His current stable of players includes Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, and Louis Oosthuizen, amongst others.

You find more information on Marnus and his work at marnusmarais.com

 

Back pain is by far the most common complaint among regular golfers. It is estimated that up to 35 percent of amateur golfers endure lower back injuries. And in our experience working with tour players, the prevalence is even higher in the professional ranks! 

Back pain can affect our ball striking and short game, diminish our enjoyment of the game, or even stop us playing altogether. It can make us feel anxious about playing (and making the pain worse) and just generally disappointed with current performance falling way short of our expectations. 

There is certainly no shortage of information on the topic of back pain, and with myriad back pain products and supplement options available, confusion about the best path to pain-free golf is one of the main reasons we don’t actually do anything effective to alleviate our suffering! 

We aim to present in this article an easy-to-digest explanation of the common causes of back pain, alongside some simple and practical ways to address the underlying issues. 

The recommendations we make in this article are generic in nature but effective in many of the low back pain cases we have worked with. However, pain can be complex and very specific to the individual. You should seek the personalized advice of a medical or exercise professional before undertaking any form of remedial exercise.

Reason 1 – Lack of mobility in 2 key areas

Certain areas in the body need to be more stable, and others need to be more mobile. The lumbar spine falls into the stable category, partly due to its limited capacity for rotation and lateral flexion (side bending). We know the unnatural golf swing movement imparts both rotational and side bending forces on the spine, so it’s an area we need to keep stable and protected. 

In order to avoid excessive low back rotation in life and especially in the golf swing, it’s very important that we try to maximize the range of movement in other areas, most notably the joints above and below the low back, where the majority of rotation in the golf swing should take place:

Area 1 – Hips

We need sufficient range of movement to turn into, and out of, both hips. For example, if we can’t turn and load into our lead hip due to a lack of internal rotation mobility, we tend to compensate with excessive rotation and side-bending in the lower back.

Suggested Exercises – Hip Mobility

Foam roll glutes, you can also use a spiky ball

90 90 hip mobility drills, fantastic for taking the hips through that all important internal rotation range

90 90 Glute Stretch – great for tight glutes / hips

Area 2 – Thoracic Spine (mid to upper back)

Having sufficient rotation in our thoracic spine to both left and the right is extremely important. The thoracic spine has significantly greater rotational capabilities compared to the lumbar spine (low back). If we maximise our mobility here, we can help protect the lower back, along with the cervical spine (neck).

Suggested Exercises – Thoracic Mobility

Foam rolling mid / upper back

 

Cat / Camel – working the T-Spine through flexion and extension

 

Reach backs – working that all important T-Spine rotation

Reason 2 – Alignment and Muscle Imbalances

Imagine a car with wheel alignment issues; front wheels facing to the right and back wheels facing to the left. Not only will the tires wear out unevenly and quickly, but other areas of the car will experience more torque, load or strain and would have to work harder. The same thing happens to the lower back when we have body alignment issues above and/or below.

For example, if we have short/tight/overactive hip flexors (muscles at the front of the hips that bend our knee to our chest) on one side of the body; very common amongst golfers with low back pain. This would rotate the pelvis forward on one side, which can create a knock-on effect of imbalance throughout the body.

If the pelvis rotates in one direction, the shoulders naturally have to rotate in the opposite direction in order to maintain balance. Our low back is subsequently caught in the middle, and placed under more load, stress and strain. This imbalance can cause the low back to bend and rotate further, and more unevenly, especially in the already complex rotation and side bending context of the golf swing!

Below is a pelvic alignment technique that can help those with the afore mentioned imbalance

Reason 3 – Posture

Posture can be described as the proper alignment of the spine, with the aim of establishing three natural curves (low back, mid/upper back and neck).

 

The 3 major spinal curves – 1-Cervical, 2 – Thoracic, 3 – Lumbar

Modern lifestyles and the associated muscle imbalances have pushed and pulled our spines away from those three natural curves, and this had a damaging effect on our spinal health. Our backs are designed to function optimally from the neutral illustrated above, and the further we get away from it, the more stress we put on our protective spinal structures. 

Aside from promotion of pain, poor posture also does terrible things for our golf swings; reducing range of motion in key areas (hips, mid back and shoulders) and creating inefficiencies in our swing action, to give us a double whammy of back pain causes.

Fortunately, re-establishing good posture is really simple and you can combine the information and exercises featured in the videos below with the mobility exercises featured in the Reason 1 section above. The equipment used in the videos is the GravityFit TPro – a favorite of ours for teaching and training posture with both elite and recreational players.

 

In the next installment of this article, we will cover reasons 4, 5 and 6 why golfers suffer from back pain – 4) Warming Up (or lack thereof!), 5) Core Strength and 6) Swing Faults.

 

If you would like to see how either Nick or Marnus can help with your golfing back pain, then check out the resources below:

Marnus Marais – marnusmarais.com

Nick Randall – golffitpro.net

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