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Forum Thread of the Day: “How I learned to stop worrying and love single length irons”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from pinestreetgolf who shared his experience using single length irons. In pinestreetgolf’s excellent and thorough write-up, he explains just how single length irons worked for him, despite his previous suspects, and why he feels others should considering making the move to single length clubs in the future.

“First, I made a mistake I am constantly on others for making. I thought all-or-none. The whole “same stance, same swing, same plane” thing isn’t true. However, I decided that since one of them wasn’t true (if the lie changes, it all changes), then none of it was true. That was dumb. It’s about 80% true, and that is a lot. What I mean by that is that I struggle with ball position. Now I don’t. The club always feels the same, so you always just sort of start lining up the same all the time. It’s hard to describe, exactly. When my ball position creeps back, I start to get stuck. Now it doesn’t creep back. I grab the club, and the address position feels natural and easy.

Second, I made the mistake of thinking yardage gaps have to be consistent to be useful. They don’t. As my SL set tends towards its extremes, my gaps get larger. My 5 iron isn’t 10 yards behind my 6. But I know how far it is behind my six and I know I hit the center more often, so effectively, because I get much better contact, my gap is much more consistent even though it is smaller.

Third, I learned to hit a hybrid. I play them through 4 iron. I cannot get a SL 4 iron off the ground consistently, but my gaggle of G30 hybrids from the 2nd swing is fantastic.

Fourth, I kept my PM Grind for in and around the green complex.
Fifth, it makes practice MUCH more effective. Swap them out all the time. Hit a 6, hit a SW, hit a 9, hit a 7, rapid fire.

It took me a long time to get used to them, but the two massive pros are the setup/stance and practice. You set up the same way almost instinctively, and that is HUGE. I also feel like I get a ton more out of practice AND that my practice feels like the course a lot more.

There are some drawbacks. I found three specialty shots I had to add clubs at top and bottom to pull off:
1. A short-game only club, like a PM Grind.
2. Where the last SL doesn’t get airborne anymore. I used 3 hybrids below it. They hit middles of greens.
3. Ground balls – I can’t punch out nearly as well with a SL 5 as a CB 3 or 4. I’ve learned to use my driver on this shot.

If you are thinking about something new for irons and have some cash, I would recommend trying SL. It grew on me. I was wrong about it. The key is to stick with it. Just throw them in the bag for two months and when practicing switch up irons constantly – do NOT just bang one iron with an SL set.

Finally, either get fit or play with lie angle a lot. Mine are +3 up, and I’m only 6′. Feel great, dead even dirt line. But since they are all the same, they better be right. Just my thoughts on SL. They’ll be in my bag for the May – Sept. tournaments. I would highly recommend 1. ignoring my earlier posts on them and 2. trying them.”

Here are what a few of our members have said in response to pinestreetgolf’s post, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • snowman9000: “Some people get hung up on thinking that they aren’t supposed to have a shorter wedge. I kept one, no big deal. As to hybrids, that’s no biggie either. I mean, it’d be great if we could get good results with 13 clubs the same length, but that’s just not possible. Having SL irons is a huge simplification of the game, regardless of the rest of the bag.”
  • ChrisLC40: “OP I love how you summed everything up. I made the switch a little over two years ago and have made huge improvements. At times I think about going back to variable length irons because of the offerings, but OL is so repeatable, and I feel I may go backwards and need to relearn some things.”
  • LONGBALL777: “Welcome to the Dark Side!”

Entire Thread: “How I learned to stop worrying and love single length irons”

 

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. retired04

    Apr 27, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Am 72 and been a single digit since I was 15 (yes, from shorter tees now). As attractive as some of the new club offerings are each year, I am actually afraid to give up my Cobra single length irons (6I-gap wedge). Until your give them an honest try, you will never know the confidence that comes with same ball position, same swing positions, same feel, same overall weight and swing weight(my irons-1/4″ long with extra tape under the 2G white grip-are exactly D2 and +/- 2 grams overall weight through the set). My set is a little odd-F8 one length 8I-Gap and the black TEC one length 6 and 7 (couldn’t stand the goofy “distance” grooves in the F8 6 and 7 irons-one bounced to many over the green with no ball spin-somehow Cobra missed the memo that golf is a point A to point B game with irons). Yes, definitely get fitted for lie angle and you will not believe the difference single length makes.

  2. beachguy

    Apr 27, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Definitely not a gimmick but not earth-shattering either.
    99.999999% of people aren’t golfing to get on the PGA tour so the key is having fun and people able to strike the ball nicely; seeking perfection is a waste of time.
    If you can’t strike the ball nicely, you need lessons, not OL clubs.
    Once you learn to strike a nice ball, if you work on short game and putting you will have a lot of fun on the course.

  3. Benny

    Apr 27, 2019 at 7:30 am

    Love it and love the idea. Just don’t think I could do it. I will say David’s idea abve is exactly what I have thought about. Most golfers have a hard time with the longer irons. Make they all the same as a 7-6i. You will need their lie’s adjusted but should add to much more consistancy. Does our swing speed really change with a 3i vrs a 7i? Or is it so slight that being closer to the ball is more important?

  4. David

    Apr 26, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    i believe SL irons is slowly gaining traction. its here to stay for a number of people.

    Can someone explain to me why u couldn’t mesh SL iron concept with current config irons. could u have 2-7 irons same length for greater control then step down 8-SW irons per normal. why not have driver 3W same length for grester control. i understand the lie and consistent ball position of the SL irons is different to std length irons of today.

    anyway i think SL irons and observing some of the best tour pro’s who are mixing and matching their clubs so why not us. we can have some fun too playing what we like. yipee for Golf.

  5. Chauncey Gardner

    Apr 26, 2019 at 9:05 am

    I had read of single length irons years before Bryson came on the scene. I had my Cleveland TA-3’ all standardized to my 7 iron. The first thing I noticed was how high I now hit the ball. Distances were about the same. My aching back was alleviated. Negatives are making the adjustments to chipping or pitching. Gotta choke down. Happy I did it after two seasons.

    • Robert Dicks

      Apr 27, 2019 at 12:25 am

      Peter Sellers appreciates the salute, Chauncey.

  6. Ken

    Apr 25, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Have been playing Wishon Sterlings for 3 years now and I am convert, 5-LW. I do choke down on the GW-LW IF I am hitting a chip or pitch, otherwise same swing, ball position, etc on 3/4 to full shots. No question about it, my ball striking consistency has improved while simplifying any practice I do with irons. Probably not for everyone, but it is also not a “gimmick” that a lot of forum members like to state while bashing the idea on the topic.

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Low handicapper switching to game improvement irons”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from jasonTel3 – a low handicap player who plays blades but who has had his head turned by game improvement irons. According to jasonTel3, every ball was hit straight when testing out a set of Ping G400’s at a simulator, and he’s been asking fellow members for advice on whether he should make the move to GI’s.

Here are a few posts from the thread discussing jasonTel3’s conundrum, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • balls_deep: “My first thought is to say don’t do it.. but then if you’ve hit them, liked them, and the numbers were right, it could be a good option. A friend I play with uses G400 and they have too much offset for my liking. I also don’t like that you can see the cavity on the 4 and 5 iron. Top line is actually very nice for a SGI iron. I just read the Ping Blueprint article on Golf Digest where they were talking about how some players hit small heads better. I definitely fall into that category. That said, I just ordered a set of i210 to try as I had really good luck with the i200 and should never have sold them. Have you tried the newer I series? IMO it’s GI help in a players look with an acceptable sole width. Long story short though – if you felt comfortable and the fit was right, why not try them? If you don’t work the ball a ton, I don’t see any issue with it. High and straight is a good way to go!”
  • hammergolf: “I’ve been playing Ping G25’s for 6 years. Still can’t find anything I like better. I can hit any shot I need to whether it’s my stock draw, fade, high, or low. And when I hit it a little thin, or on the toe, it still lands on the green. My thought is why play golf with a club that will punish you for mishit when you can play one that will help you.”
  • azone: “Everyone has an opinion, and here is mine. If you are/have been a good ball striker with a sound mental game, your mind will keep writing checks your body may not be able to cash as you get older or don’t practice enough. Those “ugly” forgiving irons look beautiful when a miss ends up on the green, and you are putting– not in rough or deep in a short side bunker. Those irons won’t be AS ACCURATE as, say, a blade, BUT if you aren’t as dependable as in the past, your results will be better. I used to keep two sets of blueprinted irons; blades for practice and CB for play. I play with guys that have cashed checks playing…and they don’t care how ugly the iron is.”
  • Jut: “As a decent player (and ball striker) and a sweeper/picker (I could hit off of a green and not take any landscape with me), I’ve found much success with the F9s (which, with the wide sole, are very similar to the G410 irons). In the past 4 years I’ve gone from Mizuno MP-68 to Callaway Apex CF16 to Ping i500 (a brief and bad experience) to the Cobra F9’s. For what it’s worth, the Cobras have been the best of the bunch by far.”

Entire Thread: “Low handicap going to game improvement irons”

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WRX Spotlight: Stitch headcovers

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Product: Stitch headcovers

Pitch: From Stitch: “Your game should match your style. At Stitch, we aim to merchandise our line of products so you can easily put together items that not only match your bag and what is it in it, but also match your style and personality. We want to make it easy for you to have a unique and color-coordinated golf bag. We have designed unique products that have defined color schemes so that choosing which items to put in your bag becomes easier. We aim to provide you with various looks, mixing and matching our head covers to give you confidence that the purchase you make for your bag will take you to the course in style. Let us help you dress your game.”

Our Take On Stitch Headcovers

Stitch is a relatively new company – founded in 2012. The company initially only created premium headcovers but has grown into so much more, with all sorts of golfing accessories now on offer on their site StitchGolf.com. Their bags, in particular, are now some of the most popular amongst golfers, with the quality and uniqueness provided leading multiple Tour players to sport them in tournament play.

That sign of quality in the bags bodes well for what the company was founded on – their headcovers. Stitch provides both leather and knit headcovers in a variety of designs that do as good a job as any in covering the needs of all golfers.

Stitch describes the companies Monte Carlo headcover as being their “classic, timeless design”, and for those looking for that vintage style to add to their set up then they can’t go wrong with this headcover. A mainstay in the likes of multiple tour winner Paul Casey’s bag, the Monte Carlo headcover, as with all of the companies leather covers, is hand-crafted from 100% leather and is both water and stain resistant. The cover comes in four color codes: Black, White, Navy and Red, and at $68 is the most affordable of all their leather headcovers.

Other options in the leather department range from their intricately designed Camo cover which comes in a multiple color design, as well as Stitch’s tribute to “The King”, through their Arnold Palmer headcover.

The AP cover comes in a minimalist black with white stripes for a classic feel, but it also comes in a white color code decorated with red, white and yellow stripes which, for myself at least, looks even more alluring. Part of an exclusive collection, the only issue with the AP cover is that only those located in the U.S. are currently eligible to get their hands on one. But for those in the states, the company is now offering a set of three AP leather covers for $128 instead of $298 should you use the code APLEATHERS on their site.

From their Tour Racer, USA, Shamrock and Bonesman editions, Stitch provides a great choice when it comes to their leather covers, and as previously mentioned, all are hand-crafted from 100% leather, water and stain resistant and will assure an excellent fit on your clubs.

Stitch also provides knit headcovers which contain not only excellent designs but also the same quality which has gone into their leather covers. All of the companies knit covers are made from Techno Wool, which is 100% acrylic and designed in order for your clubs to stay entirely dry. Another feature of the knit covers from Stitch is their smart fit design which ensures all of the covers retain their shape over a long period, as well as providing for a cover that will reliably stay on your club.

The knit covers from Stitch cost $68 ($72 for the limited AP cover), and there are currently seven different designs available to choose from over at StitchGolf.com. The leather covers are, unsurprisingly, a little pricier, but still very affordable, ranging from $68-$98. The covers deliver in both style and performance, and for a relatively new company, it speaks volumes that the likes of Jim Furyk, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau and many more tour pros are now sporting the company’s creations.

 

 

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Equipment

Bettinardi signs Jason Kokrak (he’ll play custom Tour Department DASS BB8 Triplane putter)

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Bettinardi Golf has announced Jason Kokrak as the latest player to join the companies Tour staff, and the Canadian will play the companies custom Tour Department DASS (Double-Aged Stainless Steel) BB8 Triplane putter.

Kokrak began using the Tour Department DASS BB8 Triplane putter which features Bettinardi’s  F.I.T. Face Milling at the Honda Classic back in February. Since then, the 34-year-old has risen over 40 places in the Official World Golf Ranking up to 65th, and he has also leapt 30 spots in this season’s strokes gained: putting category in the same period.

Speaking on the new partnership, Kokrak praised the “quality, touch, and feel of the putter” from Bettinardi.

“Since switching to a Bettinardi putter earlier this year, I have been so impressed with the quality, touch, and feel of the putter. Bettinardi has the ability to craft anything I want from a solid block of metal, all milled in the USA. This was a big confidence boost to my putting and I look forward to a great partnership.”

Speaking on the addition of Kokrak to the companies tour staff, Robert Bettinardi, President and Founder of Bettinardi Golf stated

“Since switching to a Bettinardi putter earlier this year, I have been so impressed with the quality, touch, and feel of the putter. Bettinardi has the ability to craft anything I want from a solid block of metal, all milled in the USA. This was a big confidence boost to my putting and I look forward to a great partnership.”

Kokrak will next tee it up at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Course next month after finishing T23 at last week’s PGA Championship.

 

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