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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 Director of the Richmond Hill Golf Learning Centre and a class A PGA teaching professional. Shawn Clement was a 2011 and 2015 Ontario PGA Teacher of the Year nominee and was also voted in the top 10 (tied with Martin Hall at No. 9) as most sought after teacher on the internet with 65 K subscribers on YouTube and 29 millions hits.

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

How-to Series: How to move your hips on the backswing

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Lucas Wald How To Series: How to move your hips on the backswing

This is the first installment in our How To Series — follow this plan to master the movements of the hips on the backswing!


Watch the series introduction here

This new series is all about helping you improve your golf swing quickly. We’re going to break the swing down into its component parts and give you specific practice direction — master these key elements of the swing and you’ll see improvement fast!

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How “long arms” at the top of the backswing can help you hit the ball farther

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One of the hardest things to do as we get older is to make a big shoulder turn with extended arms at the top. It’s the swing of a younger golfer! However, every one of us can add width at the top so we can hit it further, but few know how to actually do so. In this article, I will use MySwing 3D Motion Analysis to help you understand how beneficial long arms are at the top.

As you examine the swing of this particular player, you will notice that the lead arm is “soft” and the hands are close to this player’s head at the top. This is the classic narrow armswing to the top that most older players employ. And as we all know this position leaves yardage in the bag!

Now let’s look at the data so we can see what is actually happening…

At the top you can see that the shoulders have turned 100 degrees which is more than enough, but the arms look jammed and narrow at the top. Why?

The answer lies within the actions of the rear arm, the lead arm is only REACTING to the over-bending of the rear elbow. As you can see at the top the rear elbow is bent 60 degrees. In a perfect world, when the rear elbow is at 90 degrees (a right angle) or more, the lead arm will be mostly straight — depending on how you’re built.

Something to note…in this position the hands are just past the chest and the shoulders have turned almost 90 degrees. However, when this player finished his backswing, he added 30 more degrees of rear elbow bend and only 11 more degrees of shoulder turn! What this means is that for the last quarter of the backswing, all this player did is allow the hands to basically collapse to the top of the backswing. This move is less than efficient and will cause major issues in your downswing sequencing, as well as, your transitional action.

As stated when your trail elbow stays at 90 degrees or wider in route to the top, you will have a much straighter lead arm.

One last thing to note when comparing these two players is that this player two had a shorter backswing length but a BIGGER shoulder turn with WIDER arms at the top, giving this player a short compact motion that resembles Adam Scott — which seems to work for he and Butch!

Therefore, the thing to remember is that if your lead arm is soft at the top and your arms look crowded at the top, then you must fix the over-bending of the rear elbow on the backswing. And if you have wider arms you will have a more solid “package” to become a ballstriking machine!

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Champ or choker? 5 ways to keep from being the latter

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Golf can be a lonely game. Rarely in sports are you more on an island while battling fears, doubts, and inner demons in the effort not to choke — especially on the biggest stages. But even if we’ve never been a champ, or played in a major championship, we’ve all been there, battling those same demons, and that’s why most of us can relate so well with some of golf’s most infamous chokes.

The pinnacle of these ignoble events was likely on the final hole at Carnoustie, in the ‘99 British Open, when Jean Van de Velde gave up a three-shot lead in a tragic comedy of bad shots (and even worse judgment), a scene that saw him take off his shoes and socks and wade deep into the Barry Burn before finally coming to his senses. Van de Velde ultimately lost in a playoff to Paul Lawrie, earning his place in golfing infamy, but when it comes to choking away victory on the biggest stage, he certainly wasn’t alone.

In the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic Club, Arnold Palmer lost a seven-shot lead to Billy Casper on the final nine holes. Ed Sneed blew a five-shot lead on the final day of the ’79 Masters that was a three-shot lead with three to play by missing very short putts on each of the last three holes. Greg Norman’s infamous collapse at the 1996 Masters should be counted as well, when he threw away a six-shot lead with an atrocious 78 on the final day, allowing Nick Faldo to win.

And the champions of this generation haven’t proven immune either. Rory McIlroy coughed up a four-shot lead on the final day at Augusta in the 2011 Masters, ultimately carding an 80. And Dustin Johnson has a hat trick of tight-collar escapades in majors, losing the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by shooting a final-round 78 after starting with a three-shot lead, and the 2010 PGA by committing a rules violation when he had the lead on the final hole, and the 2015 U.S. Open to Jordan Spieth when he three-putted the final hole from just 15 feet. And speaking of Spieth, his final round collapse at Amen Corner on the back nine at the 2016 Masters, when he gave up a five-shot lead by going bogey-bogey-quadruple-bogey after putting two balls in the water at the dreaded 12th, is how that year’s event will forever be remembered.

Now golfers aren’t alone when it comes to choking. Athletes in nearly every sport fear it, suffer from it, and work their entire careers to avoid being associated with it. It wouldn’t be too far a stretch to say that a large percentage of athletes would rather be known as a cheat, a thief, and a liar before being known as a choker. Our sports culture reveres the clutch athlete, the player who can handle the biggest moments on the biggest stage and rise to the occasion time and again. And possibly because most of us can’t, we look up to those who can handle those pressure-packed situations like almost no other. And we cast aspersions upon those who can’t, labeling some who’ve done it even once as chokers, and those who have a habit of self-sabotage as choke artists. We are fascinated by those who can succeed in the spotlight, and, as sports fans, frustrated by those who wither when the lights are brightest. And the awareness of this is so pervasive that avoiding having to wear the choker label can arguably be in and of itself the greatest pressure.

As a result of this preoccupation with choking, scientists have studied it quite a bit. And some are finally beginning to identify its causes and how to avoid it. And while it sounds like a gross oversimplification, much of this study seems to conclude that choking ultimately comes down to simply this… Thinking too much. When athletes get nervous about their performance they stop doing whatever it is they do instinctively and essentially fall into the trap of trying not to make mistakes. They begin to desperately try and control whatever the necessary motions they need to make to a higher degree than normal and, in the process, the fluidity of those motions is lost along with their grace and talent.

Now that’s a layman’s description of what happens, but let’s use putting to explain what’s going on a little more scientifically. When people first learn to putt, they have numerous things to consider. They need to assess the break of the green, what line they will use, and at what speed they will need to roll the ball in order for it follow their intended path. They must also ensure their stroke is not only straight enough to send the ball upon the intended line, but the right size so that it rolls it at the intended speed. For a new golfer, this is more than challenging enough to require the majority of their focus and attention, and at first this necessary. By focusing on their stroke mechanics, as well as the other necessary elements they are trying accomplish, they can avoid mistakes and make better putts.

Once they’ve played for a while, though, and possess the requisite skill to putt, everything changes. Analyzing the stroke at this point is wasted mental energy as the brain almost automatically computes the necessary break and speed needed for a successful putt. Complex learned motor skills like putting are controlled by the cerebellum, and trying to consciously control these skills shifts control to the slower, more deliberate prefrontal cortex, causing a performance drop. If you look at the brain waves of athletes during performance, those of beginners tend to have erratic dips and spikes as well as wildly inconsistent rhythm, the neural signature of a mind engaging in conscious thought. By contrast, expert athletes’ minds look almost eerily serene, showcasing a mental tranquility that ignores disruption or interruption from the outside world, highlighting the fact that in optimal performance those who succeed essentially don’t think, they just do.

This is why studies show that experienced golfers who are forced to think about technique hit significantly worse shots. Once our technique is embedded we instead want to rely on the automatic brain. Conscious thought essentially erases years of practice, and this is what often happens when athletes start to choke. They begin to second-guess their skill, and the part of the brain that monitors their behavior begins to interfere with the types of actions that are normally made without thinking. Before long, performance spirals, as failures mount and increasing doubt about the ability to perform begin to rise.

So why are golfers so much more apt to choke than other athletes? Well, unlike most reactionary sports, we’ve unfortunately got a lot of available time to engage in all that unnecessary thinking. This means we have a proverbial minefield of potential mind-traps out there waiting for us to step on. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If we take cues from the available research, we can devise habits, routines, and strategies to help short-circuit the choking phenomenon, and potentially avoid becoming another Van de Velde the next time the chips are down.

  1. Practice Desired Outcome Focus – It’s essentially impossible (and a bad habit) to try and not do something. Telling yourself not to hit it left in the hazard, or to stay away from the bunker right is a really bad idea, and there are studies backing that up. Shift your focus instead to what your desired outcome is.
  2. Practice Positive Visualization – Positive visualization is a great tactic to use to avoid choking. Get in the habit of mentally rehearsing a positive image of the skill you want to perform, or better yet, a successful image of the shot you want to make like a high fade towards the tallest pine at the corner of the dogleg.
  3. Practice Implicit Learning – This is learning through observation, rather than the step-by-step instruction manual approach, and its practitioners have been observed in studies to be much less susceptible to choking than their overly analytical counterparts.
  4. Practice a Pre-Shot Routine – Players who have a disciplined performance routine that allows them to become engrossed in the process, shifting their mind away from too much outcome thinking, have also proven to be much less susceptible to choking.
  5. Embrace Distraction – Athletes asked to listen to sounds or words unrelated to the actions they are performing rarely show the type of drop-off in performance in high pressure situations than those who are actually focused on what they are doing. So, next time listen close to all those birds chirping, partners yakking, or clubs jangling with a welcoming ear, instead of an instinctive complaint.

While these practices can really help you start understanding what to do if you want to become an actual champ, learning a few lessons from the foibles of some of those would-be champs can be helpful as well. When Palmer melted down in ’66, it was because he got over-confident and began firing at pins in an attempt to break Ben Hogan’s Open scoring record. As things started to unravel, though, he got tight, surly, and uncharacteristically dour in the effort to get things under control.

When Norman’s bid for his first green jacket began to fall apart like the proverbial cheap suit, he too got tight, making one uncharacteristically poor decision (and swing) after another in attempt to get things under control. When Rory McIlroy collapsed, he approached the entire day of the final round differently then he did typically, thinking he needed to be more serious and stoic in his quest to nail down his first ever major and it backfired.

And for Van de Velde, the succession of agonizingly poor decisions, beginning essentially on the 18th tee of the final hole, was actually his attempt to not do anything different when common sense dictated he should have. When asked about it in an interview fifteen years later he said,

“What do you want me to say? I should have played it differently? I believe that…with what I do and the way that I do it, day in, day out… that I played it correctly. I hope that people learned that it’s a game and there’s bigger things in life. Winning with grace is pretty easy. Losing with it is a lot harder.”

Quite a profound statement form someone nearly unequally qualified in the game to make it. Bravo Jean. You may not have ended up a champ, but you certainly won’t find me calling you a choker.

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