Since the new U.S. Amateur champion is using single length irons, is it time to recognize this concept has validity? Do you think manufacturers will now begin to consider offering a same-length line? Thanks for your thoughts.
I’m always interested in unusual equipment designs or swing methods. The reason? Because so very few of us ever have any REAL success with the conventional. That sounds harsh, but it’s true.
Moe Norman’s genius was in developing a grip and setup that he was able to repeat with ease. That said, most of Moe’s legend was developed on practice ranges and in clinics, where it is easy to repeat one’s setup. He had a number of tournament wins, but nearly all of them were in Canada (and I don’t mean that to be derogatory. I am a great admirer and student of Moe and his successors. His record is what it is).
We all know that it’s tough to get our game from the practice tee to the course, and that’s because the course (uneven lies and funky angles) makes repeating that address position difficult, when it’s so easy to repeat on the practice tee. Most shots are missed before we even draw the club away from the ball.
And that is why the single length clubs, and Bryson Dechambeau’s swing, are intriguing. If he has found a way to overcome the inconsistencies one has in setting up to the ball, the results may be quite interesting indeed.
Britt, I have the Armour catalogs from the 80s and 90s. The EQL was available from 1989 through 1994. Now, I have no idea how well it sold or how sound the concept is, but to say “it didn’t last long” just isn’t accurate.
I think back to the 70s and 80s and how one would occasionally see something offered as a “limited edition.” Everything today is a limited edition.
The single length concept is not new. Many years ago Tommy Armour did a set called the EQL. It didn’t last long. I think it’s something some folks might want to try, but I do not think it’s going main stream. If you take a look at the young man that is using them, he has a very unique approach to the golf swing. Single plane, very upright. The loft progressions and the lie progressions, as I understand it, are not conventional and unique to his approach. Loft progression is the main factor in trajectory and distance variations, but length also plays a role. Speaking for us, the expense to develop a set of heads with all the same head weights to accommodate this type of set would be risky. We do have the KE4 S irons that are weight adjustable and can be set up so that the head weights are closer together, but there would still be some progression. Like any other theory or method of building sets, if it works for someone, then go for it. I always go back to the fact that if it was a better way, every tour player would be doing it. To date, no tour player has employed this method, to my knowledge. This great young player may be the first and I guess time will tell if some company tries to market and sell it as a viable alternative to the conventional set with length progressions. I do believe there are some clubmakers that promote this, but again, we do not see it changing the way the industry as a whole designs and builds clubs.
Thanks, Britt. That’s my feeling, too. Unless this guy starts tearing up the Tour, (if he even goes on Tour) I think it’ll be just his own unique approach – maybe like Moe Norman was with his unique set up and swing.
Showing the EQL in the line for 5 years does not indicate it sold well for 5 years. All I know, and I was in the business then as well, is that it launched, saw some limited early sales, and seemed to fade away rather quickly, at least where I was. The few players that I knew that tried them did not keep them long. You are right on on the limited edition comment. Product cycles have definitely been shorter over the last decade. We have seen slightly fewer product releases this year over last and from what we are hearing, that trend will continue.