What About Equal Length Irons?

Kim Anders
Director of Instruction
John Jacobs Golf Schools and Academies Estrella del Mar Golf and Beach Resort
Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, AZ

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I had this article ready to go a month ago, but the salty air here at Estrella del Mar in Mazathlan, Mexico caused a fatal computer crash, so I am a month late with my reply. It seems my article 2 months ago, “One Swing for Every Club”, caused some confusion, or at the least conversation. I received more comments on this article than any I have done.   

So thanks to Jim in Mesa, Steve S., GolfinGranny, and others who emailed me, I have put together a combination of my responses to their requests for clarification of what I was talking about. Interestingly enough though, these three all mentioned Bryson DeChambeau and his equal length set of irons.

I happened to be a Tommy Armour Staff Professional when they introduced their equal length irons way back when. I was intrigued by the concept and even tried them on the range, and I think for 9 holes.  

Unfortunately, at that time I don’t think the company had fully figured out how to achieve good playability with the set. As I remember, I hit the long irons short and the short irons long.   

Currently, the longer the club is the lighter the head in order to make it feel the same, or at least similar, to the shorter clubs which have the heaviest heads. If the clubs are all the same length, the manufacturer will probably need to make all the heads about the same weight.  

This is relatively easy to fix, thanks to the technology we have. Some of this can be corrected by changing the incremental difference in lofts for each club. Currently, there is about 4 degrees loft change between each iron. Maybe this changes to 5 or 6 degrees on some of the set, I don’t know.  

Another consideration would be to change the composition of the club heads, whether through the material used (harder or softer), where weight is placed on the head, or utilizing a thinner face that will flex on longer (distance) irons to help propel the ball further, and so forth.

When the day comes that a set is produced AND there is a similar incremental distance progression between each club as we now have, I think it will be a great revolution to the game and a huge help to most players. I’ll probably have to get a set for myself!!

Now for the disclaimer....I cannot swear any of this information above is accurate. Although I did pretty well in my physics classes, I am by no means capable of speaking as an authority on the physics that goes into the construction of a club head or the shaft that goes in it.  

I know quite a bit about the golf swing and golf equipment. I have even used words like “Vectors”, “Momentum”, and “Inertia” when working with a technically minded student.  But normally these words are rarely heard coming out of my mouth!

I believe fundamentally and mechanically your “Stock” or standard swing should feel very similar with all the clubs.  

The game plan is the same. We don’t intentionally swing more upright with the shorter clubs or use a more sweeping arch with the longer clubs – it just happens because of the length of the shaft and the posture it causes us to have.  

So, don’t make the game more difficult than it already is.  The club is designed to help you – LET IT. Leave the club alone and focus on a couple of simple moves your coach has given you!

Kim Anders is a PGA Professional residing in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at jkanders4@gmail.com.