Single Length Iron Sets – Our Test

Dereks Set2 CropSingle length iron sets have come and gone in golf over the last 50 years but Bryson DeChambeau is making another statement for this unique approach.  Bryson is definitely a “student of the game” and plays extremely well with the set he has built for himself.  Now, heading into the Masters, Cobra is building him a set for competition.  As a club fitter and club builder, this is not a difficult build but it would be a lot easier if there were heads available in a constant weight.  There is a long thread on GolfWRX that you can read and see a lot of different approaches to this concept as well as a thread on Tom Wishon’s approach.

As we build the clubs to a constant length, we like to keep the flex of the shaft and the swing weight constant as well.  This gives each club a consistent feel.  Club head manufacturers currently make club head weights heavier as the club length gets shorter to create a consistent swing weight.  The normal progression is 7 grams.  So, a 4 iron can weigh roughly 244 grams while a sand wedge will weigh approximately 300 grams.  There are several other challenges in building a set like this.  First, which length do you choose?  The most common length is 37.5″.  Then, what lofts and lie angles do you choose to achieve consistent distance and shot dispersion?  Well, rather than leave this all to others, our master club builder, Derek,  decided to take on the challenge himself.  Below is his journey.

“A couple months ago I read an article on the reigning US Amateur Champion, Bryson DeChambeau.  The article talked about his physics history and his approach to the game of golf.  Everyone has a correct swing plane was something he mentioned and to achieve that correct swing plane he built a special set of consistent length golf clubs.
 
Consistent length clubs are not a new concept. Though I’m not aware of any other Professional or highly touted amateur using them in competition.  So you have a set of clubs all the same length, same swing weight and same flex. One consistent swing all through the bag…
 
I found this idea intriguing so I set off to build my own set of consistent length clubs.  Not necessarily to prove or disprove any theory but to see; A if I could do it, and B if I could hit them.
 
After doing a little research I came to the conclusion that a decent set of forged Irons would be the best and easiest way to start my experiment.  Forged irons are softer than cast clubs, both easier to bend and drill.  I would need all the club heads to weigh the same, 270 grams.
 
I found a good set of Edel irons on ebay and used a set of Titleist SM4 wedges I had at home.  After pulling all the heads and weighing them I decided to build my set to my 7 iron specs.
 
36.75″ Length
270 gram head weight
D2 swing weight
307 CPM or 5.75 Flex
 
The weight differences in heads looked like this:
 
4. 252.1
5. 257.5
6. 264.4
7. 271.8
8. 278.4
9. 286.8
 
PW. 293.2
GW. 294.7
SW. 300.4
LW. 306.4
 
I rounded down the weight of my 7 just to make things easier with drilling the heavier clubs and adding weight to the lighter ones.
 
So I had a range of 18 grams to add with lead tape to the 4 iron and 36 grams to remove from my LW…  Personally, unless you have a good set up with a drill press, I would take the heads that need weight removed to a shop.  I tried to put the drill through my hand… Be careful!  Plus the metal gets really hot which is not good either.
 
I tried to be as precise as possible removing weight.  The sole of the wedges has a lot of extra material that can be removed without damaging the functionality of the club head.  Between drilling and grinding the soles I was able to get the 8 iron through LW down to 270 grams.  For the 4-6 irons I used high density lead tape which allowed me to use a smaller amount.  Again I tried to keep the overall playability of the club in mind so whether drilling or adding tape I tried to be consistent where I put weight or removed it.  I didn’t want one to be toe heavy and the next heavy in the heel.
 
Once finished I had a set of club heads that all weighed with in 0.5 grams of each other nothing lighter then 269.5 grams nor heavier then 270 grams.
 
For shafts I used KBS C-Taper parallel S flex in the 4-8 irons and KBS C-Taper Lite X flex in the 9-LW.  KBS C-Taper is a little heavier and stiffer in the tip which I wanted to reduce spin in my 4-8.  But after completion I don’t think I would have had a issue using one or the other through out the entire set.
 
After the set was build I bent the clubs to the following:
 
4. 21 degree loft, 62 degree lie
5. 25 degree loft, 62 degree lie
6. 30 degree loft, 62 degree lie
7. 34 degree loft, 62 degree lie
8. 38 degree loft, 62 degree lie
9. 42 degree loft, 62 degree lie
 
PW. 46 degree loft, 62 degree lie
GW. 50 degree loft, 62 degree lie
SW. 54 degree loft, 63 degree lie
LW. 58 degree loft, 63 degree lie
 
 
There is still some tweaking going on with the lofts so I have appropriate distance gaps but over all it was very close to my normal set of clubs.  I did adjust my SW and LW.  Chipping or pitch shots were difficult, either it was my swing or the fact I possibly removed more weight from the heel then I did the toe of these clubs The face was always wide open hitting shots.  So I made them a little stronger and a little more upright.  After the adjustment it felt a lot more natural.  Or it could have just been mental!
 
 
So in conclusion I’m very happy and impressed with this set of clubs.  I can really feel my self making one swing on the same plain every time.  I am a very average golfer who struggles with consistency and for me I believe that a set of clubs like this will help me improve my game”.
Now, we are going to do some more testing internally on TrackMan to get an accurate picture of the distance gaps and take a look at swing plane and launch conditions.  The journey continues!
Dan Sueltz

 

  • Vic Man Do

    I would like to test those.

  • Steve Grantowitz

    The overall concept makes sense, at least to me, but I wonder if a higher swing speed is a necessary component to make it work. Otherwise, we are assuming the same swing speed will produce a 165 7-I and a 210 4-I without the added arc of a longer shaft? That part is harder for me to grasp – but then I’m not a physicist. Looking forward to hearing your results with regard to feel and on-course distance consistency.

  • Vic..be happy to have you test these out. Give us a call or send me an email and we will get you set up. Steve, yes all of the things we have researched lead us to believe this concept is better for stronger players, but we would like to experiment with lighter shafts to see if that makes a difference. Looking forward to our tests.