I was going to wait for a while before I published another post on my new Cobra F7 One length irons, but reader John asked me a couple of days ago if I had any updates. So here is an update.
After returning from Kiawah Island, I have played 5 rounds here at the Pete Dye River Course outside of my home in Radford, Virginia. Scores were 76-76-76-81-85 and my index has gone from 7.2 to 6.7. Nothing to complain about there. The 85 was a round where I decided to chip with the Cobra sand wedge (7 iron length- though I choked up for less than full shots). I think that cost me a few up and downs. On the other hand, I used the sand wedge out of a little pot punker on the 18th hole to a back pin and put it within a foot of the hole for a happy ending par.
The irons remain a little more consistent than my old set and continue to please with the intangibles- meaning I feel good hitting them and like how they feel and how they fly. I don’t regret buying them and I hope I continue to get my index down to around 3 or 4 by late Autumn. I switch back the the regular tees in April and that usually helps my index as the course rating is harder by 2.6 strokes.
At some point I need to give some more empirical observations on distances for each club. So far, I will just repeat what I have suggested in other posts. I expect summer yardages to be 100 yards for the sand wedge and 150 yards for the 8 iron. That is just slightly longer (5 yards) than my Adams XTDs that I gamed before the Cobras. My anecdotal observations so far suggest gaps are OK between these clubs, but I really don’t know that for sure. I just know that I usually feel comfortable choosing a club and knowing the distance. In fact, I have grown comfortable with these clubs faster than I usually do when I switch irons- which is fairly frequently as my friends will attest to enthusiastically.
I guess my advice to other golfers at the moment would be that if these single length clubs appeal to you, don’t be afraid to try them. They are nice clubs that look and feel good. in my experience, they are not miracle workers- they don’t play the game for you. But you already know that. But neither are they a disappointment. Quite the contrary. They are lots of fun to play and talk about. I would love to hear from other single length irons users about their experiences.
5 thoughts on “My Year with Single Length Irons- Part 5: Continuing Positive Experiences”
I see things are going well with the clubs. I’m kind of feeling the opposite as you. So far I have only hit my one length irons on a trackman. Distance and gaps look okay, maybe not as long as I hoped for, but misses look like they could not cause big problems. They are just shorter shots. Do you experience this on the course? I really need to see ball fly. Just seems somehow less spectacular.
Launch angles are better than I expected. I would like to know your thoughts on this.
So far, launch angles are good but I don’t really know what all that means and don’t use Trackman or any other launch monitor usually to practice. In fact, I rarely practice at all. I just mean the trajectory of the irons look good. Distances are fine so far for me, but I think part of that is a small swing change I made just before I got the Cobras where I add a little extra shoulder turn at the top of my swing. This seems to be generating higher clubhead speeds with both my driver and my irons. So I can’t say that these irons are any longer than my last set. Maybe I’ll take my two 8 irons out some afternoon and compare them. So much of golf is mental. Because I am pretty happy with my iron game right now (still need to improve consistency), I feel good about the Cobras. Let me know what you think when you finally get them on the course.
It’s good to read about a low-handicap player doing well with single length irons — anecdotally, it seems that the interest so far in single length clubs is directly proportional to a golfer’s handicap. I have reviewed both the Cobra cast one length irons and the Cobra forged one length irons. While I found some serious technical issues with the forged set, I’m having a hard time deciding to list the cast set on eBay 🙂 For now, I’m sticking with the Pinhawk set since I hit them equally as well as the Cobras. Question: as a low-handicap golfer, what do you think is the primary hurdle for other low-handicap golfers to try single length irons? It seems that this group of golfers is the first and most vocal proponents of labeling single length irons as a ‘gimmick.’
Thanks for the e-mail. I checked out your website and it’s very interesting. I like your willingness to try unconventional things. At the age of 64, I find trying new things is what keeps golf fun for me. I too have considered ditching my driver but have never quite found the nerve. Plus I find when I try hitting my three wood more often from the tee, it starts getting inconsistent as well!
My handicap has been rising lately, but mostly thanks to a poor short game. I tried the Cobra one length 60 degree (forged) wedge but wasn’t very happy with it- not great from tight lies for me. I don’t love the 55 degree wedge either, but am trying to make friends with it. I added a conventional 64 degree Callaway wedge for finesse shots around the green and it is working well. I also re-added my old Srixon hybrids to my bag and the current mix has yielded me 4 scores in a row in the 70s. So I am hopeful that i can bring my handicap back down from 8 to around 5 by the end of the summer.
As for your question about low handicap golfers… I think most of them are quite set in their ways and I agree they see single length irons as gimmicks. I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon unless Bryson starts winning multiple majors. Having said that, it is ridiculous for them to label something a gimmick that they haven’t even tried. The problem is you need to give single length a long term test drive or it won’t work. And lower handicap golfers don’t have that sort of patience. They KNOW they can play well with their conventional clubs, so why try to re-learn something else? I think the marketing focus should be with pros and golf shops who try to get new or high handicap golfers into single length sets as a way forward for them. If they get better with them, they will likely stick with them.
I would be happy to hear any of your thoughts about these comments and will bookmark your site to see how your experiments are going.
How has the summer gone with the Cobras? I have been altering mine to get the swing weights and feel right. I think next year I will just buy a set of Cobras or Sterlings instead of trying to invent the wheel here. It has been a good club building experience for me at the least. Club Championship this weekend. Hope all is well.