How I learned to stop worrying and love single-length irons
I've been one of the biggest detractors of SL on this forum, pretty consistently. I will play them this season. I wanted to share what I learned and why I think you should try them.
First, I made a mistake I am constantly on others for making. I thought all-or-none. The whole "same stance, same swing, same plane" thing isn't true. However, I decided that since one of them wasn't true (if the lie changes, it all changes) then none of it was true. That was dumb. Its about 80% true, and that is a lot. What i mean by that is that I struggle with ball position. Now I don't. The club always feels the same, so you always just sort of start lining up the same all the time. Its hard to describe, exactly. When my ball position creeps back I start to get stuck. Now it doesn't creep back. I grab the club, and the address position feels natural and easy.
Second, I made the mistake of thinking yardage gaps have to be consistent to be useful. They don't. As my SL set tends towards its extremes, my gaps get larger. My 5 iron isn't 10 yards behind my 6. But I know how far it is behind my six and i know i hit the center more often, so effectively, because I get much better contact, my gap is much more consistent even though it is smaller.
Third, I learned to hit a hybrid. I play them through 4 iron. I cannot get a SL 4 iron off the ground consistently, but my gaggle of G30 hybrids from 2nd swing is fantastic.
Fourth, I kept my PM Grind for in and around the green complex.
Fifth, it makes practice MUCH more effective. Swap them out all the time. Hit a 6, hit a SW, hit a 9, hit a 7, rapid fire.
It took me a long time to get used to them, but the two massive pros are the setup/stance and practice. You set up the same way almost instinctively and that is HUGE. I also feel like I get a ton more out of practice AND that my practice feels like the course a lot more.
There are some drawbacks. I found three specialty shots I had to add clubs at top and bottom to pull off:
1. A short-game only club, like a PM Grind.
2. Where the last SL doesn't get airborne anymore. I used 3 hybrids below it. They hit middles of greens.
3. Ground balls - I can't punch out nearly as well with a SL 5 as a CB 3 or 4. I've learned to use my driver on this shot.
If you are thinking about something new for irons and have some cash I would recommend trying SL. It grew on me. I was wrong about it. The key is to stick with it. Just throw them in the bag for two months and when practicing switch up irons constantly - do NOT just bang one iron with an SL set.
Finally, either get fit or play with lie angle alot. Mine are +3 up and I'm only 6'. Feel great, dead even dirt line. But since they are all the same, they better be right.
Just my thoughts on SL. They'll be in my bag for the May - Sept. tournaments. I would highly recommend 1. ignoring my earlier posts on them and 2. trying them.
Ping G30 Hybrids 2 17*, 3 19*, 4 22* TFC 419 Stiff
Pinhawk SL 5-SW +3 Up Apollo Stiff 115
PM Grind 64*