My Year with Single Length Irons- Part 4: On the Course!

The day after I opened the irons, the forecast was mid 40s with some wind- great February golf weather. I was about the only person on the course that afternoon. It was 39 when I started but warmed into the mid forties by the middle of the round.  Too cold to get an accurate ideas of distances, so I didn’t really try.  I just wanted to hit the irons and convince myself that this wasn’t all a horrible mistake.

I started on the back 9 because I thought it might be a little warmer and slightly less windy. I decided to play from the forward tees and hit 5 irons off the tees so I could get some experience with the longest- er, I mean lowest lofted- iron in the set. I left my lob wedge at home so I would have to chip with the 37.25 inch sand wedge.  I decided soon into the round that if I was hitting less than a full shot with the sand wedge, it was OK to choke-up, and I did.

On the second 9 (front) I played from the white tees and used my driver.  I had no fairway woods, however, so I used 5 irons when I would have needed fairway woods or hybrids. I shot a 39-44.  This was not bad considering I have up 5 shots on the second 9 with lipped out putts or poor sand shots. (I couldn’t get used to hitting that long of a sand wedge from the bunker- kept hitting it fat.)  In general, I was hitting the 5 and 6 iron with a pretty good trajectory. I was worried they would be too low, but they weren’t. Above the 7 iron, I was hitting the ball much higher than normal.  This could be a problem, especially on windy days. But the irons felt very good when struck solidly.  Were the “longer” irons a bit more consistent than usual?  Maybe.  Were the “shorter” irons a tad less consistent?  Maybe.  The irons look very nice at address- not too clunky a topline as I feared with this substantial game-improvement iron. I started out hitting all the irons a bit left- probably the effects of the 3 degree upright lie.  A small adjustment on the takeaway took care of that.

It’s far to early to say anything definitive about distances, gapping, or consistency, but I came away feeling good and looking forward to continuing the experiment.


6 thoughts on “My Year with Single Length Irons- Part 4: On the Course!

  1. I am also giving single length irons a go. Well partially. I built a set (4-8), I can’t give up my shorter 9i and wedges. I’m gonna follow your blog and see how you do.


  2. Thanks for the reply, Patrick. Let me know how it goes. So far, using a longer 9 iron and pitching wedge hasn’t bothered me. The long sand wedge is a bit awkward, especially from bunkers. I’m happy I still have my normal length lob wedge, however. I would be interested in how the shorter length 4 iron is working for you as well as the gapping on your clubs. Which components did you use?


    • I used Maltby KE4 heads because the weight could be adjusted permanently. I got them all to 270 grams. Lies are set to to 62.5 degrees which is my 7 Iron number. Nippon NS Pro 8950 stiff 7 Iron shafts (37″). When I recently found the specs on the Cobras you have I see mine are very similar.
      I live in Western Canada so the outdoor ranges are 4 or 5 weeks away. Hit them at an indoor range and they felt better than expected but no numbers. I’m gonna get on a Trackman this weekend so I will have some numbers. I’m hoping for for similar distances that you are.
      The club I play at has a lot of “traditionalists” not open to anything new. So I hope they work. The idea of this setup just makes so much sense. We’ll see if we have similar challenges with these irons.


      • Hi Patrick,
        Yes, specs sound similar. I’m anxious to hear how these clubs work for you. One of the component makers would have let me get 2* up heads. I forget which one. It would have cost me a lot less to do that, but this was sort of an impulse buy for me. I keep a set at Carne Golf links in Ireland and if I stick with single length, I may build a set and bring them over there. I just returned from a 5 day trip to Isle of Palms and Kiawah island and will post soon about my experiences there. They were very positive.


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