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Chapter 3: Single-Length Golf Clubs

As we have seen in chapter 1, accuracy is determined by consistency.  The three factors affecting consistency that are in our control are:

  1. Shot pattern
  2. Golf ball
  3. Golf clubs.

Achieving a consistent shot pattern is done through practice.  Using the same type and brand of golf ball takes care of the second consistency factor.  What about the third factor, golf clubs?  From the previous chapter it would seem that there is no consistency in golf clubs, and this is true, at least in regards to current golf club design.      

Ask yourself this question, “Out of ten #7 iron shots how many would you hit solidly?”  Now ask yourself the same question but substitute a #3 iron in place of the #7 iron.  You will probably come up with two very different answers regardless of your skill level.  The fact is that the longer the club, the harder it is to hit.  It seems ridiculous that we would play a game of accuracy with inconsistent equipment.

Distance.  We are led to believe that longer golf clubs produce greater swing speeds on a linear scale and thus more distance.  This is the logic used in the concept of a 0.5” increase in length between irons throughout a standard set of golf clubs.  My testing showed that the only static factor that results in the increased distance between irons within a set is the difference in the loft angle of the club heads.  There is absolutely no measurable difference in swing speed for a 0.5” incremental shaft length increase.  The only effect of the standard 0.5” length increase between the irons and the fairway woods is to make each successively longer club harder to hit.

Accuracy.  In accuracy tests I found that the short irons did not out-perform the mid irons.  As a matter of fact, on average the most accurate iron was a properly fitted #7 iron (bear in mind that very few golfers have ever played a properly fitted #7 iron).  The lie angle and club length of a properly fitted #7 iron (based upon a golfer’s wrist-to-floor measurement), best utilizes the muscular and skeletal functions of the human body when making a golf swing – not too upright so as to constrict the body’s natural movement, and not too flat so as to require a longer shaft and standing further from the ball at address.  It is important to note that the further you stand from the ball at address the less likely you are to hit a solid shot, and accuracy demands solid ball contact. 

The results of my testing are illustrated in the chart below.

It is apparent that the longer the golf club, the less consistent solid ball contact is achieved.  It is also apparent that the extreme upright swing plane produced by the shorter irons restricts the natural movement of the body and inhibits the golfer from achieving desired accuracy and distance.

There are certain relationships that cannot be ignored in the design of golf clubs.  One is that there is a direct relationship between golf club length and power, which is due to the flatter swing plane required as club length increases.  The flatter the swing plane, the more the larger muscle groups of the back become involved in the swing thus increasing power.  However, there is an inverse relationship between golf club length and solid ball contact.  Consequently, as club length increases, power increases but solid ball contact decreases which results in lost distance and poor accuracy.  There is, however, an optimum club length where both power and solid ball contact are optimized, and this is the length we employ in the One Iron Golf System.  This club length is determined for the individual golfer based upon their wrist-to-floor measurement and can vary quite a bit between golfers.  For illustrative purposes the diagram below uses a 36.5” club length.   

This optimum club length, in conjunction with the appropriate club head lie angle and other specifications, produces the ideal in golf club playability as well as maximizing a golfer’s power and control.  

​What is this “Perfect” club length?

The determination of the perfect golf club length involved a three part analysis:

  1. Golf swing mechanics.
  2. The determination of a swing plane where muscle, tendon, and joint functions are optimized for power and control.This optimum swing plane would determine the correct lie angle of the club head and the ideal corresponding club length based on the individual golfer.
  3. Interviews with golfers of all skill levels.

After a complete analysis of the first two, the one “perfect” swing plane and corresponding club head lie angle for both the irons and woods was determined.  Based upon the club head lie angle the proper club length for the individual golfer could be factored using their wrist-to-floor measurement.

During the third part of the analysis where the golfers were asked to identify their favorite iron the answers ranged from their #9 iron to their #5 iron.  However, after taking their wrist-to-floor measurement and then measuring the irons that they considered their favorite we found that in over 97% of the cases their favorite met our previously determined “perfect”.  In the other 3% we found that the lie angles of their irons were so far off as to negate any comparison.

The correlation between the mechanical/skeletal analysis and the golfer’s interview analysis proved that our previously determined “perfect” club head lie angle and corresponding club length for the irons and the woods placed the golfer’s body in an address/swing posture to maximize power and close enough to the golf ball to ensure consistent solid ball contact.

It should be noted that the results of our testing showed that the ideal club length and lie angle for an iron was that of a properly fitted short/mid iron.  That being said, it is unrealistic for a golfer to compare that to their current irons, as the chances that their current irons are properly fitted are extremely low. 

Another consideration that we tested is eye coordination.  The closer you are to the ball, and hence, the more upright the swing plane, the greater the eye coordination for aiming.  In addition, the closer you stand to the ball, the greater the chance for consistent solid ball contact.  Now obviously, you do not want power without accuracy, and you do not want accuracy without power.  What we did was to perform test after test using various club lengths and associated lie angles in order to verify the results of our three-part testing in determining the ideal combination that would optimize these two desired elements.  After hundreds of tests with golfers of varying skill levels we found that the lie angle and associated length of a properly fitted #8 iron produced this optimization across the board.

In virtually all of the cases when we fitted the golfers with 1 Iron single-length golf clubs they stated that the lengths and lie angles were perfect for them and felt extremely comfortable. 

In the case of woods, the overwhelming favorite was the length and lie angle of a properly fitted #7 wood.

​Consistency

The results of our testing over the years has proven that playing single length irons and woods leads to the development of a consistent and powerful swing that will truly maximize the potential of any golfer:

A Single Length for all the irons and a Single Length for all the fairway woods within a set.  All of the irons within a set are the same length as are all of the fairway woods, proper club length being based upon the wrist-to-floor measurement of the individual golfer.  For all intents and purposes this is a set of golf clubs composed of a single iron and a single wood, each having numerous loft angles.

Does this equate to consistency?  Yes.

One lie angle for all the irons and one lie angle for all the woods within a set.  All of the irons within a set have the same lie angle, as do all of the woods.  This ensures the ideal address/swing posture with every club in the bag.

Does this equate to consistency? Yes.

One weight for all irons and one weight for all the woods within a set.  All of the irons within a set of clubs and all of the woods within a set of clubs weigh the same.  Not only do they weigh the same, but the weight distribution over the entire length of the club is identical.  The result is the only truly swing-weight and Moment of Inertia (MOI) matched set of irons and woods in the golf industry.

Does this equate to consistency? Yes.

The following table shows the specifications for a set of 1 Iron single-length irons:

One loft progression between irons and woods.  Of great importance, you will notice that in a set of1 Iron single-length irons there exists the same 4.0º degree of incremental loft change between successive irons and woods.  This ensures that using the same swing throughout the set will produce the same yardage gap between successive clubs.

Does this equate to consistency? Yes.

One address/swing posture and swing plane.  In the One Iron Golf System there exists only one ideal address/swing posture and swing plane.  The swing with the #3 iron is the same as that for the PW.

Does this equate to consistency?  Yes.

One ball position for all irons and fairway woods.  Using a conventional set of golf clubs we are taught to move the ball incrementally forward in our stance with each successively longer golf club.  Practically speaking, you could be using thirteen different ball positions throughout a set of conventional clubs.  In the One Iron Golf System you use a single ball position at address with all of your irons and fairway woods, and this ball position is in the center of a shoulder width stance.

Does this equate to consistency?  Yes.

The One Iron Golf System defines consistency throughout a set of golf clubs:

  • Single-length irons.
  • Single-length woods.
  • One lie angle for the irons and one for the woods.
  • One constant loft angle progression.
  • One weight and Moment of Inertia.
  • One address/swing posture and swing plane.
  • One ball position.

The most forgiving irons I’ve ever played in my life.  No more strolls in the woods for me after switching to your single length irons.

Jim - NC

I haven’t been able to hit a “long iron” effectively in fifteen years.  Now I'm hitting my one length #3 and #4 irons like I was born with them in my hands.

Fred - Germany

I tested a couple of other brands of single length golf clubs but they felt clunky to me and did not perform well.  However, after playing your 1 Iron - single length irons for only four rounds I'm completely sold.

Jake - The Villages, FL

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