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Newer Player - I've Only Used Single Length Irons - Any Reason to Try Standard Irons?


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#1 Hit 'Em Straight

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 05:08 PM

Greetings all.  I’ve been playing for just over a year now and wanted to get some thoughts on switching to standard (variable) length irons from single length.

The concept of using irons of varying lengths didn’t seem intuitive to me, so I bought a single length set right from the start.   I use single length throughout my iron/wedges (4 iron thru LW).

I didn’t bother keeping score last summer and was over a 25 index on my first GHIN handicap card in the fall once I started keeping score.  I’m now down to about a 13, and continue to drop about a stroke a month.  But I can feel the scoring plateau coming soon.  

So my question is will the single length irons somehow hinder continued improvement?  I’d hate to regroup and use regular irons if there’s no upside.  But I don’t want to hit a self-created ceiling.  

It seems for the typical player the question is why would he/she bother switching to single length.  Guess mine is the opposite - is there any reason to switch to standard?  

For a little info that may be helpful - I play approximately 27 holes a week with no additional practice time.  My distances are tough to provide because they keep increasing as my swing improves.  But I’m short to maybe average distances at the moment.   As of now I hit my 50 wedge about 105-110 yds.  7 iron (35 degrees) about 130-135.  Driver 220 (but hit one 255 just yesterday).  

Cordially yours and thanks for your thoughts!


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#2 diggingestdog

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 05:28 PM

Welcome. My take:
There's no reason to assume it would impact scores in either direction. if you're comfortable and improving, I see no reason to switch. There are no inherent advantages or disadvantages to either; one isn't better than the other. There's also nothing wrong with trying something else, especially if in your mind you believe there's a ceiling.
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#3 NoTalentLefty

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 05:43 PM

View Postdiggingestdog, on 27 August 2017 - 05:28 PM, said:

Welcome. My take:
There's no reason to assume it would impact scores in either direction. if you're comfortable and improving, I see no reason to switch. There are no inherent advantages or disadvantages to either; one isn't better than the other. There's also nothing wrong with trying something else, especially if in your mind you believe there's a ceiling.

I  play the F7 SLs and agree with this post. What the SL did for me was alleviate my back pain. My HCI went down but believe that was caused more by swing changes not the club.
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#4 alfriday

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 07:41 PM

You will hit plateaus in the game.  Equipment changes are rarely the answer.

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#5 kobe882

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:16 PM

I think the question to ask yourself is do you have consistent distance gaps with all your clubs?
If the answer is yes, there is no reason to switch.
The problem with single length is if someones clubs all bunch up and they hit multiple clubs the same distance.

If u get good yardage gaps, u should be good


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#6 cgasucks

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 10:25 PM

Most OEMs don't make SL irons since they think it is a fad (remember square drivers?).  To me, there is nothing wrong with playing SL irons and you can game them until you get to single digit or even scratch.  But if you want to play blades, players CBs (forged or cast) or other GI or SGI clubs, variable length irons are the only choice.

Edited by cgasucks, 27 August 2017 - 10:27 PM.

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#7 Hit 'Em Straight

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 09:20 AM

Really appreciate the thoughts.

I do hit SL consistently and with good gaps (with both of the statements being relative to my handicap).

To get to this point, it’s been simply about not making terrible shots.  Just about anything serviceable will do when just breaking 90.  And I certainly feel that SL has helped in that regard.

But I can see that starting to hit more greens in regulation will be needed to make the next step.  So I think where I’m particularly curious is with the wedges.  I guess I just can’t help but wonder if it would be easier to find the middle of the green with a shorter implement in my hand.

But it looks like the general consensus is that it’s the player and not the equipment, and that there likely is no inherent impediment to scoring well in either SL or variable design.

I do like the simplicity of just having one set the same throughout my bag.  And I almost assuredly would be susceptible to doubt if I started tinkering (i.e., was that a bad swing or the club).

Perhaps just taking one of those 9 hole rounds a week and turning it into a pitching/chipping/putting session is the best path forward.

That’s also an interesting anecdote doubt SL alleviating back pain for NoTalentLefty.  I walk all of my rounds and use a push cart rather than carry for the specific reason that the limited medical literature appears to support that pushing is better for your back.

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#8 Bye

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 12:44 PM

View PostHit, on 28 August 2017 - 09:20 AM, said:

Really appreciate the thoughts.

I do hit SL consistently and with good gaps (with both of the statements being relative to my handicap).

To get to this point, it’s been simply about not making terrible shots.  Just about anything serviceable will do when just breaking 90.  And I certainly feel that SL has helped in that regard.

But I can see that starting to hit more greens in regulation will be needed to make the next step.  So I think where I’m particularly curious is with the wedges.  I guess I just can’t help but wonder if it would be easier to find the middle of the green with a shorter implement in my hand.

But it looks like the general consensus is that it’s the player and not the equipment, and that there likely is no inherent impediment to scoring well in either SL or variable design.

I do like the simplicity of just having one set the same throughout my bag.  And I almost assuredly would be susceptible to doubt if I started tinkering (i.e., was that a bad swing or the club).

Perhaps just taking one of those 9 hole rounds a week and turning it into a pitching/chipping/putting session is the best path forward.

That’s also an interesting anecdote doubt SL alleviating back pain for NoTalentLefty.  I walk all of my rounds and use a push cart rather than carry for the specific reason that the limited medical literature appears to support that pushing is better for your back.

I think you will find the wedges a bit easier to use, there may be a bit of a trade off though as the longer irons may be a bit harder to hit. But your score with the shorter clubs, more control = better scores.
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#9 rcain1us

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 02:00 PM

How long do you hit your 4 iron and what are you playing between that and driver, as short as you are you  must already be playing a lot of non SL clubs (hybrids, fairways, whatever).

As short as you are I would think SL is a hindrance to you playing with obscenely long wedges.

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#10 Hit 'Em Straight

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:03 PM

View Postrcain1us, on 28 August 2017 - 02:00 PM, said:

How long do you hit your 4 iron and what are you playing between that and driver, as short as you are you must already be playing a lot of non SL clubs (hybrids, fairways, whatever). As short as you are I would think SL is a hindrance to you playing with obscenely long wedges.

7 iron is 130-135 yards, which increases 10 yards per club.   So 4 iron is 160-165.  I have a 5 wood in between 4 iron and driver.  I hit my 5 wood about 180-190.  

As you can likely guess with those distances, it's not often that I'm on the green in regulation on longer holes.  And I also usually play a course that is about 6,000 yds, which leaves it with about 6 holes at just over 300 yds, which even for me is driver followed by wedge.  The end result of which is that I spend a good amount of time with a wedge in my hand.

I've been mixing in some pars, but the usual pattern is that I get on in one over and then two putt, which gets me to my usual score of just under 90.  


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#11 LaymanM

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:14 PM

Your gaps don't seem right from gap to 7 iron.

Can you list them for Gap, PW, 9, 8 and 7?
105-130/135 from gap to 7 seems way to close
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#12 Hit 'Em Straight

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:53 PM

 LaymanM, on 28 August 2017 - 04:14 PM, said:

Your gaps don't seem right from gap to 7 iron.

Can you list them for Gap, PW, 9, 8 and 7?
105-130/135 from gap to 7 seems way to close


There’s one less club in that part of my bag than you’re thinking.  The 50* is the PW.


4 iron (20*) – 160-165
5 iron (25*) – 150-155
6 iron (30*) – 140-145
7 iron (35*) – 130-135
8 iron (40*) – 120-125
9 iron (45*) – 110-115
PW   (*50) –  100-110 (bottom of this is more like 100 on a full swing than the 105 listed in original - but then again if I'm within 5 yds of my target on any swing I'm happy)
SW   (*55) – about 80 (there is a bigger gap between PW and SW than with my other clubs, even though the same 5* difference in loft.  perhaps the bounce plays into it)
LW   (*60) – have never used a full swing

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#13 LaymanM

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 05:18 PM

Gaps look great to me.

With your irons I would just try to pin point where you are missing the green?  Constantly short, maybe club up.  Look for any patterns.  Alignment issues, distance etc. Gaps look good.  Maybe add a hybrid between 5 wood and 4 iron.  

What I would do is start working on 100 and in.  Find your 3/4 and 1/2 swing distances starting with your PW.  3/4 swing is going to be more accurate than full SW.

Work on 3/4 and 1/2 swing distance for PW, SW and LW.  Get comfortable with those distances.   For instance MY 3/4 gap wedge (50 degrees) is a solid 100 yard for me and very easy to hit in the direction and distance I want.

Then from there just work on course management. Play to those comfortable distances as much as the course will allow.  You will hit more greens.  I don't think you need new irons.  You can certainly switch, I've never played single length.  They won't keep you from being scratch.  Confidence and repeatable distance/direction is key to any iron set.

Edited by LaymanM, 28 August 2017 - 05:19 PM.

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#14 alfriday

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 08:14 PM

There is an 11 degree difference in loft from the PW to SW.  The GW is in between them.  SW 56 degrees.  GW 50 degrees.  PW 45 degrees.

https://mygolfspy.co...e-f7-one-irons/

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#15 Hit 'Em Straight

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 08:39 PM

 LaymanM, on 28 August 2017 - 05:18 PM, said:

Gaps look great to me.

With your irons I would just try to pin point where you are missing the green?  Constantly short, maybe club up.  Look for any patterns.  Alignment issues, distance etc. Gaps look good.  Maybe add a hybrid between 5 wood and 4 iron.  

What I would do is start working on 100 and in.  Find your 3/4 and 1/2 swing distances starting with your PW.  3/4 swing is going to be more accurate than full SW.

Work on 3/4 and 1/2 swing distance for PW, SW and LW.  Get comfortable with those distances.   For instance MY 3/4 gap wedge (50 degrees) is a solid 100 yard for me and very easy to hit in the direction and distance I want.

Then from there just work on course management. Play to those comfortable distances as much as the course will allow.  You will hit more greens.  I don't think you need new irons.  You can certainly switch, I've never played single length.  They won't keep you from being scratch.  Confidence and repeatable distance/direction is key to any iron set.

Great stuff.  Thank you

I think you may be spot on with focusing on the less than full swing.  My distance control is generally on a wing and a prayer when less than full.  It would make sense to get some of those in between distances down stock so that I'm standing over the ball with some confidence.

My full swing misses tend to be directional rather than distance related, so working on my setup and alignment while warming up and being perhaps a bit more fastidious during the round on those issues seems a good idea too.  


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#16 Hit 'Em Straight

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 08:48 PM

 alfriday, on 28 August 2017 - 08:14 PM, said:

There is an 11 degree difference in loft from the PW to SW.  The GW is in between them.  SW 56 degrees.  GW 50 degrees.  PW 45 degrees.

https://mygolfspy.co...e-f7-one-irons/

I game a set from a different company.  But I just checked the current offering from that company and they've adjusted the gaps on their set.  I guess the unknown is whether that was the result of testing, responding to the market wanting those lofts, or simply a cash grab to charge extra for the set with the now one extra club.

New lofts in the current set (which I don't own):

4 – 20*
5 – 25*
6 – 30*
7 – 35*
8 – 39*
9 – 43*
PW – 47*
GW – 51*
SW – 55*
LW – 59*

Edited by Hit 'Em Straight, 28 August 2017 - 08:57 PM.


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#17 toomanymatts

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:59 AM

Just out of curiosity, which SLs are you using now?

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#18 PGATourDriven

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:51 AM

Coming from TL irons and switching to SL irons. I will never go back to TL irons. And for me personally I do not see a reason to switch back. I play the 1 iron pro line 3-lw and I have a 10 yard gapping with all my irons. I hit my 7 iron 170. I do have a problem launching the 4 iron and do not use the 3 iron. But I will work on that at the range. But for now I'm using a pinhawk SL 4 hybrid and that works great. My ball flight is higher with SL and my dispersion is tighter. I recommend sticking with SL irons. If it's not broken don't try and fix it.
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#19 lil'mike

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:44 AM

Would you get more distance in the longer irons like the 4 iron and 5 iron from a traditional length set?  

Seems like I have read somewhere that the SL long irons do not go as far since they are shorter in length.  I am not sure if that is true but I could see that!  I wold also think the wedges being longer would be harder to do finesse or short shots.

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#20 Hit 'Em Straight

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:45 AM

 toomanymatts, on 29 August 2017 - 12:59 AM, said:

Just out of curiosity, which SLs are you using now?


I have Pinhawk SL irons.  At the time, I wasn’t even sure that SL existed and was only able to locate two manufacturers by internet search.  I bought the significantly cheaper of the two.

https://www.valuegol...le-length-irons
https://www.1irongolf.com/

Notwithstanding this thread, I’ve been very happy with the clubs.  But I started to wonder whether SL was a crutch that facilitated early improvement, but would ultimately act as an impediment to continued improvement.

There seems to have been a proliferation of manufacturers making SL clubs in the interim.

On a digression, I wasn’t aware of the great variance in loft from company to company, which I’m assuming is not unique to single length.  For example,  a company I found this morning called GigaGolf makes a single length that has the same 5* spacing from 30* to 55*, but each clubs is labeled one off from the old Pinhawks I use.

Guess if I want to gain a full club length per club, I just need to change the names!

Same club, different name:

Pinhawk     Giga Degree
6 iron     7 iron     30
7 iron     8 iron     35
8 iron     9 iron     40
9 iron     PW    45
PW    GW    50


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#21 pinestreetgolf

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 10:25 AM

 lil, on 29 August 2017 - 09:44 AM, said:

Would you get more distance in the longer irons like the 4 iron and 5 iron from a traditional length set?  

Seems like I have read somewhere that the SL long irons do not go as far since they are shorter in length.  I am not sure if that is true but I could see that!  I wold also think the wedges being longer would be harder to do finesse or short shots.

Like everything in golf, it's player dependent. VL irons create more club head speed for almost everyone. However what matters is ball speed. If you struggle to hit the ball in the middle of the face, a shorter iron likely makes you longer (since less club head speed in the middle is usually better than more on the edge). If you hit the middle most of the time, you will likely lose distance since your just giving up club head speed to no purpose. There is a thread on here where one good player (rawdog I think) and a bad player both posted trackman data. The good player lost a huge amount of yards with a 5 and the bad player gained 10-15.  Before everyone starts yelling at me, it was by no means scientific
But it makes sense.

There are a lot of SL advocates on the board. I've tried it and I think it's silly (you still need your weight left with square path/face and the handle forward, which most players don't do with their 7 irons anyways) but apparently some have had huge success, at least in their own heads which is really all that matters.  

Further you can choke down. If you want a 37" 5 you can have one. I don't get it. Just hold it at the steel. You don't have to protect yourself from yourself by cutting it ahead of time. VL can become SL on literally every shot just choke down. Had a shot Saturday from the rough and hit a "SL" 6 iron. It was just choked down an inch. What's the point of lopping off the shaft?

But it's not a fad. It's fine. It just still requires you to be able to hit an iron well and it's not pixie dust. If you stink with VL you'll stink with SL and vice versa.

To the OP - you should try everything because trying golf stuff is fun. Only you know which is right for you, and it might be a mix.So yes is the answer, you should Try VL. I think it's 10x better. Some think it's worse. I'm sure some hate the J40 driver I play with and I don't like how the M2 looks at address. Just try stuff out!
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#22 rybo

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 05:06 PM

There is no good reason to switch to VL irons.  Your gaps are fine. I'm a + handicap former professional whose played this game for 35 years and I am loving my SL clubs. Have not thought of putting the VL clubs back in the bag since trying them. I'm longer with every club and more distance is about the last thing I need. Maybe make your wedges a 1/4" shorter. But other then that there is no reason to switch.

Pinestreet I have to ask what is your issue with SL clubs?  You comment on every SL post yet you've never tried an entire set of clubs.

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#23 oz dee cee

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 05:56 PM

You'd be crazy to change I reckon. Unless your gapping gets out of hand, which it currently isn't, stick with it.

The real advice for new golfers as hard as it is to do, is to practice more on short game and learn to love it.

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#24 lil'mike

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 06:13 PM

 pinestreetgolf, on 29 August 2017 - 10:25 AM, said:

 lil, on 29 August 2017 - 09:44 AM, said:

Would you get more distance in the longer irons like the 4 iron and 5 iron from a traditional length set?  

Seems like I have read somewhere that the SL long irons do not go as far since they are shorter in length.  I am not sure if that is true but I could see that!  I wold also think the wedges being longer would be harder to do finesse or short shots.

Like everything in golf, it's player dependent. VL irons create more club head speed for almost everyone. However what matters is ball speed. If you struggle to hit the ball in the middle of the face, a shorter iron likely makes you longer (since less club head speed in the middle is usually better than more on the edge). If you hit the middle most of the time, you will likely lose distance since your just giving up club head speed to no purpose. There is a thread on here where one good player (rawdog I think) and a bad player both posted trackman data. The good player lost a huge amount of yards with a 5 and the bad player gained 10-15.  Before everyone starts yelling at me, it was by no means scientific
But it makes sense.

There are a lot of SL advocates on the board. I've tried it and I think it's silly (you still need your weight left with square path/face and the handle forward, which most players don't do with their 7 irons anyways) but apparently some have had huge success, at least in their own heads which is really all that matters.  

Further you can choke down. If you want a 37" 5 you can have one. I don't get it. Just hold it at the steel. You don't have to protect yourself from yourself by cutting it ahead of time. VL can become SL on literally every shot just choke down. Had a shot Saturday from the rough and hit a "SL" 6 iron. It was just choked down an inch. What's the point of lopping off the shaft?

But it's not a fad. It's fine. It just still requires you to be able to hit an iron well and it's not pixie dust. If you stink with VL you'll stink with SL and vice versa.

To the OP - you should try everything because trying golf stuff is fun. Only you know which is right for you, and it might be a mix.So yes is the answer, you should Try VL. I think it's 10x better. Some think it's worse. I'm sure some hate the J40 driver I play with and I don't like how the M2 looks at address. Just try stuff out!

I understand all that about choking down and all.  I was just curious if folks that play the SL irons if they are short yardage wise with longer irons and I guess also wonder if they are longer with their shorter irons since they are longer than standard!

I am not bashing them, just trying to understand them and of course everyone plays what the want and what works for them.  Would I buy a set of them?  IDK at this point cause I never hit them so I don't know how they would compare to the VL irons I have.

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#25 pinestreetgolf

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:02 PM

 rybo, on 29 August 2017 - 05:06 PM, said:

There is no good reason to switch to VL irons.  Your gaps are fine. I'm a + handicap former professional whose played this game for 35 years and I am loving my SL clubs. Have not thought of putting the VL clubs back in the bag since trying them. I'm longer with every club and more distance is about the last thing I need. Maybe make your wedges a 1/4" shorter. But other then that there is no reason to switch.

Pinestreet I have to ask what is your issue with SL clubs?  You comment on every SL post yet you've never tried an entire set of clubs.

I comment on about a third of them, not all of them.

I have tried them.  They're fine.  In the other thread, I said I hadn't tried the Cobra SLs.  I tried a Pinhawk set on the cheap.

I say the same thing in every single thread - its player dependent.  They're might not be a reason for you at your plus cap clubhead speed to put them back in the bag, but to say categorically that SL > VL is silly just like its silly for me to say VL > SL.  Nobody has yet been able to explain to me why you can't just choke down on a VL club, but I suppose the lie and weight are off in that case.

I don't have "a problem with it".  There are a lot of posters who make absurd claims as a result of the switch.  For example, the 16 cap who said he hit a 19* SL 4 iron 200 "all the time" and that the "only mistake" he made with it is that sometimes it "goes too far".  There are numerous posts like this.

If people think SL is better, great!  SL makes sense.  But so does VL.  I typically only post when people talk in extremes (SL > VL for every player, VL > SL for every player), which I think are false.  

In order to hit a SL iron well you need neutral path and face, speed, your weight left, and forward shaft lean.
In order to hit a VL iron well you need neutral path and face, speed, your weight left, and forward shaft lean.

Some players will find one easier, some the other, but its unlikely to result in a radical difference in score.  In some it might, but in most it will result in a euphoric feeling that they are better without actually getting better.  SL doesn't exist on sidehill lies (the length changes).  SL doesn't exist in uphill or downhill lies really (it changes, not as much as sidehill, but some).

I also think it makes 10x more sense to SL one part of the bag (for example, 8-LW or 4-7) then the entire thing.  Typically a player is going to make better contact with a shorter club or he is going to get better gapping up top but not both (Some will, you might be one of them) but usually either the low irons or the wedges feel wierd.  As i've posted numerous times I play SL 9-LW and my 8 is extremely close (its a quarter inch longer but same head weight).  I don't like SL in my low irons, because I don't need it, I hit a big cut and I don't like hitting long irons that are short with this swing.

I feel the need to post because SL irons are *extremely* expensive.  I just bought some cool Lynx Predator irons for $75!  The cheapest SL set you'll find is about $288 and that's for one of those in1zone or pinhawk sets.  An OEM set is close to $1k.  I don't want a new player to think this is a shortcut / secret that doesn't require fundamental ball striking and drop coin like that on something based on people posting fairy tales.  That doesn't mean I'm "anti-SL".  I'm anti-nonsense and anti-shortcuts to good ball striking.  This will likely change with time, as the current sets will become old and become availible used cheap.  Once we can "try out" an old, *quality* OEM set of SL clubs (like the F7s) for $100 like we can VL, it'll be a lot different IMO, and a new player taking a flyer on them won't be that big a deal.

If a new player right now wants to check out a set of reputable company used, no offset blades because he read a WRX thread about how great blades are it can be done sub-$80 probably.  You can't do that with a nice set of OEM SLs for less than $650.

Edited by pinestreetgolf, 29 August 2017 - 09:13 PM.

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#26 bervin

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:28 PM

 pinestreetgolf, on 29 August 2017 - 09:02 PM, said:

 rybo, on 29 August 2017 - 05:06 PM, said:

There is no good reason to switch to VL irons.  Your gaps are fine. I'm a + handicap former professional whose played this game for 35 years and I am loving my SL clubs. Have not thought of putting the VL clubs back in the bag since trying them. I'm longer with every club and more distance is about the last thing I need. Maybe make your wedges a 1/4" shorter. But other then that there is no reason to switch.

Pinestreet I have to ask what is your issue with SL clubs?  You comment on every SL post yet you've never tried an entire set of clubs.

I comment on about a third of them, not all of them.

I have tried them.  They're fine.  In the other thread, I said I hadn't tried the Cobra SLs.  I tried a Pinhawk set on the cheap.

I say the same thing in every single thread - its player dependent.  They're might not be a reason for you at your plus cap clubhead speed to put them back in the bag, but to say categorically that SL > VL is silly just like its silly for me to say VL > SL.  Nobody has yet been able to explain to me why you can't just choke down on a VL club, but I suppose the lie and weight are off in that case.

I don't have "a problem with it".  There are a lot of posters who make absurd claims as a result of the switch.  For example, the 16 cap who said he hit a 19* SL 4 iron 200 "all the time" and that the "only mistake" he made with it is that sometimes it "goes too far".  There are numerous posts like this.

If people think SL is better, great!  SL makes sense.  But so does VL.  I typically only post when people talk in extremes (SL > VL for every player, VL > SL for every player), which I think are false.  

In order to hit a SL iron well you need neutral path and face, speed, your weight left, and forward shaft lean.
In order to hit a VL iron well you need neutral path and face, speed, your weight left, and forward shaft lean.


Some players will find one easier, some the other, but its unlikely to result in a radical difference in score.  In some it might, but in most it will result in a euphoric feeling that they are better without actually getting better.  SL doesn't exist on sidehill lies (the length changes).  SL doesn't exist in uphill or downhill lies really (it changes, not as much as sidehill, but some).

I also think it makes 10x more sense to SL one part of the bag (for example, 8-LW or 4-7) then the entire thing.  Typically a player is going to make better contact with a shorter club or he is going to get better gapping up top but not both (Some will, you might be one of them) but usually either the low irons or the wedges feel wierd.  As i've posted numerous times I play SL 9-LW and my 8 is extremely close (its a quarter inch longer but same head weight).  I don't like SL in my low irons, because I don't need it, I hit a big cut and I don't like hitting long irons that are short with this swing.

I feel the need to post because SL irons are *extremely* expensive.  I just bought some cool Lynx Predator irons for $75!  The cheapest SL set you'll find is about $288 and that's for one of those in1zone or pinhawk sets.  An OEM set is close to $1k.  I don't want a new player to think this is a shortcut / secret that doesn't require fundamental ball striking and drop coin like that on something based on people posting fairy tales.  That doesn't mean I'm "anti-SL".  I'm anti-nonsense and anti-shortcuts to good ball striking.  This will likely change with time, as the current sets will become old and become availible used cheap.  Once we can "try out" an old, *quality* OEM set of SL clubs (like the F7s) for $100 like we can VL, it'll be a lot different IMO, and a new player taking a flyer on them won't be that big a deal.

If a new player right now wants to check out a set of reputable company used, no offset blades because he read a WRX thread about how great blades are it can be done sub-$80 probably.  You can't do that with a nice set of OEM SLs for less than $650.

Every once in a while PSG will give us a good nugget that nobody can argue with! Lol

But in all seriousness to the OP, I have not tried SL sticks so I can't speak definitively on this.  I will say that it is somewhat telling (in my mind) that so few tour pros have made the switch from VL to SL - and that's even after DeChambeau has had some success.  My biggest issue with SL is theoretical (again, because I have not tried them myself), but the reason I have no desire to try is A: PSG is correct, they are not cheap and can be built using VL shafts, but includes a lot of work to get to the correct SW progression.  B: Distance loss in the long irons.  A shorter club will produce less clubhead speed which will lead to lower ball speeds which will lead to less distance.  Please understand, this is a shorthand approach to the physics of the swing arc.  I understand all of the variables associated with this on an individual and per swing level - but overall it remains true.  I only poke in with my 2 cents to answer your original question "Any reason to try standard irons?"  - I would say, yes it is definitely worth a shot!  You may really prefer VL irons after having tried them.

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#27 rybo

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 06:09 AM

You're comparing a 20+ year old set of Lynx clubs to current 2017 clubs and expect the cost to be the same, or even remotely close.  I was able to pick up locally a set of Cobra F7's that were supposedly used/like new for $450 and a brand new set (still in the wrappers) of Cobra Forged off ebay for $475.  Hardly what I would call 'extremely' expensive.  Both were well under the $650 threshold you mentioned. Go look on eBay right now and there are plenty of Cobra sets selling for $350-$450.  About normal for a 1st year set of clubs from any manufacturer.

As for absurd claims, it's a golf forum.  Maybe the only thing more absurd is the size of the fish everyone catches.  Take it with a grain of salt.  There are way more absurd claims about various VL irons being so great (Mizuno 900 Tours come to mind for me, some people loved them, I thought they felt hard even when hit perfectly).

Choking down on a VL long iron is not the same as hitting a proper SL long iron, or any SL club for that matter.  The head weights and shaft used in each are drastically different and they feel nothing alike.  The headweight issue is even more drastic in the wedges.

Two people have now posted in this thread who have never hit SL clubs.  This isn't a popularity contest, it's simply golf equipment.

Now from a new golfer perspective, a set of SL clubs makes a lot of sense.  Only have to learn one basic swing for all of the irons. The variables are greatly reduced with single length. Learning curve is greatly reduced.

And Pinestreet my offer to get together for a round of golf when you are in Naples still stands.

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#28 pinestreetgolf

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 08:14 AM

 rybo, on 30 August 2017 - 06:09 AM, said:

You're comparing a 20+ year old set of Lynx clubs to current 2017 clubs and expect the cost to be the same, or even remotely close.  I was able to pick up locally a set of Cobra F7's that were supposedly used/like new for $450 and a brand new set (still in the wrappers) of Cobra Forged off ebay for $475.  Hardly what I would call 'extremely' expensive.  Both were well under the $650 threshold you mentioned. Go look on eBay right now and there are plenty of Cobra sets selling for $350-$450.  About normal for a 1st year set of clubs from any manufacturer.

I'm not "comparing them and expect them to cost the same".  That would be silly, and I'm not sure how in the world you got that from reading my post.  My point, to *this OP*, is that taking a flyer and trying VL is 100% easier and cheaper than taking a flyer and trying SL.  When you go to SL, shaft choice and fit become insanely important.  Sure, you can get a set for $500 fit to somebody who is 5'5" and 300 pounds or 6'7" and 200 pounds and has shafts made in the former Yugoslavia, but to do SL "right" takes significant coin.

The point I was making is that it is MUCH easier to "check out" VL than SL, not to argue the Cobras should cost what the Lynx clubs do or be the same quality.  That would be stupid.  

 rybo, on 30 August 2017 - 06:09 AM, said:

As for absurd claims, it's a golf forum.  Maybe the only thing more absurd is the size of the fish everyone catches.  Take it with a grain of salt.  There are way more absurd claims about various VL irons being so great (Mizuno 900 Tours come to mind for me, some people loved them, I thought they felt hard even when hit perfectly).

I agree, absurd claims abound.  However, generally, since SL is so new, the claims with them tend to resonate more and we get people posting stuff behind them like "Really?!?!?!??!" rather than ignore them like we do with VL.  Sure, its a new thing, people are excited, I get it.  But some of the claims are so insane that I post to rebut them.  

You literally asked why I posted, and I told you.  Now you say "but its a golf forum, everyone does that".  Yep.  Which is why I post.  Because its a golf forum.

 rybo, on 30 August 2017 - 06:09 AM, said:

Two people have now posted in this thread who have never hit SL clubs.  This isn't a popularity contest, it's simply golf equipment.

Now from a new golfer perspective, a set of SL clubs makes a lot of sense.  Only have to learn one basic swing for all of the irons. The variables are greatly reduced with single length. Learning curve is greatly reduced.

Nobody said it was a "popularity contest" (what does that even mean?).  I also explicitly told you I did hit them and I play then in the top half.  Bervin was pointing out a simple truth - to be a good iron player you need to be a good iron player.  SL might be hugely helpful to a tiny percentage but by and large physics is physics and you can't cheat it.  You still need to have decent ball striking ability.

Telling the OP not to try VL is silly IMO.  It costs almost nothing and he can flip the set into a CPO trade or back to ebay and it will cost him like $10.  There is no downside at all.  And he might *gasp* like VL more than SL.

 rybo, on 30 August 2017 - 06:09 AM, said:

And Pinestreet my offer to get together for a round of golf when you are in Naples still stands.

I said last time you posted this I'd love to, and will likely be there fore either T-giving or X-mas.  Last time it sounded friendly, this time it sounded a little more of an aggressive invitation. :P  But I love meeting up and playing with WRXers either when I travel on business or when they come to NOLA, so a round would be great.  If you like picking out lanai's as targets, Naples golf is top notch!
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#29 Hit 'Em Straight

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 09:57 AM

 pinestreetgolf, on 29 August 2017 - 09:02 PM, said:

 rybo, on 29 August 2017 - 05:06 PM, said:

There is no good reason to switch to VL irons.  Your gaps are fine. I'm a + handicap former professional whose played this game for 35 years and I am loving my SL clubs. Have not thought of putting the VL clubs back in the bag since trying them. I'm longer with every club and more distance is about the last thing I need. Maybe make your wedges a 1/4" shorter. But other then that there is no reason to switch.

Pinestreet I have to ask what is your issue with SL clubs?  You comment on every SL post yet you've never tried an entire set of clubs.

I comment on about a third of them, not all of them.

I have tried them.  They're fine.  In the other thread, I said I hadn't tried the Cobra SLs.  I tried a Pinhawk set on the cheap.

I say the same thing in every single thread - its player dependent.  They're might not be a reason for you at your plus cap clubhead speed to put them back in the bag, but to say categorically that SL > VL is silly just like its silly for me to say VL > SL.  Nobody has yet been able to explain to me why you can't just choke down on a VL club, but I suppose the lie and weight are off in that case.

I don't have "a problem with it".  There are a lot of posters who make absurd claims as a result of the switch.  For example, the 16 cap who said he hit a 19* SL 4 iron 200 "all the time" and that the "only mistake" he made with it is that sometimes it "goes too far".  There are numerous posts like this.

If people think SL is better, great!  SL makes sense.  But so does VL.  I typically only post when people talk in extremes (SL > VL for every player, VL > SL for every player), which I think are false.  

In order to hit a SL iron well you need neutral path and face, speed, your weight left, and forward shaft lean.
In order to hit a VL iron well you need neutral path and face, speed, your weight left, and forward shaft lean.

Some players will find one easier, some the other, but its unlikely to result in a radical difference in score.  In some it might, but in most it will result in a euphoric feeling that they are better without actually getting better.  SL doesn't exist on sidehill lies (the length changes).  SL doesn't exist in uphill or downhill lies really (it changes, not as much as sidehill, but some).

I also think it makes 10x more sense to SL one part of the bag (for example, 8-LW or 4-7) then the entire thing.  Typically a player is going to make better contact with a shorter club or he is going to get better gapping up top but not both (Some will, you might be one of them) but usually either the low irons or the wedges feel wierd.  As i've posted numerous times I play SL 9-LW and my 8 is extremely close (its a quarter inch longer but same head weight).  I don't like SL in my low irons, because I don't need it, I hit a big cut and I don't like hitting long irons that are short with this swing.

I feel the need to post because SL irons are *extremely* expensive.  I just bought some cool Lynx Predator irons for $75!  The cheapest SL set you'll find is about $288 and that's for one of those in1zone or pinhawk sets.  An OEM set is close to $1k.  I don't want a new player to think this is a shortcut / secret that doesn't require fundamental ball striking and drop coin like that on something based on people posting fairy tales.  That doesn't mean I'm "anti-SL".  I'm anti-nonsense and anti-shortcuts to good ball striking.  This will likely change with time, as the current sets will become old and become availible used cheap.  Once we can "try out" an old, *quality* OEM set of SL clubs (like the F7s) for $100 like we can VL, it'll be a lot different IMO, and a new player taking a flyer on them won't be that big a deal.

If a new player right now wants to check out a set of reputable company used, no offset blades because he read a WRX thread about how great blades are it can be done sub-$80 probably.  You can't do that with a nice set of OEM SLs for less than $650.



Oh man  – if I hit my irons straight every time - let alone 200 yds and straight - I’d be playing to better than a 13.8 index and most assuredly would not be considering tinkering with my bag.  Unfortunately, that distance will presumably forever elude me.  But hitting it (relatively) straight every time is hopefully within my grasp.

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#30 Hit 'Em Straight

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 10:00 AM

After mulling over the feedback and further refining my thoughts in considering/responding, it seems my real concern is whether a 7-iron length wedge is an obstacle to continued development of my short game.

I’m largely comfortable with my full swings.  It’s once I get to the yardage that requires anything less than a full swing that I seem to really struggle.

I’m almost more comfortable 120 yards out knowing it’s a stock swing, rather than 60 yards out and needing to figure out how to make that swing.

But perhaps part of the comfort is the considerably lowered expectations on the longer shot.  I just want to hit the green from 120 and often succeed in doing so.  But it’s easy to shrug my shoulders on a miss and go make the bogey.

When I’m 60 yards out, I not only want to hit the green but also want to get it close.  And that’s just not happening at this stage of my game.

I think the game plan is to work on those in between wedge shots.  And to the extent I don’t see improvement (or just because I want to try something different), maybe mix some standard length wedges into the bag.


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