With the success of Bryson DeChambeau at last week’s Northern Trust, the question of his unique single-length approach to his irons again jumps to the fore. Given that DeChambeau has more wins in the last 13 months than Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler combined—and he has joined elite territory, alongside Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in becoming just the fourth player ever to capture the U.S. Amateur and NCAA Championship, in addition to three PGA Tour events before they turn 25—his eccentric method might be his own, but it has certainly proven its merit. And so the question naturally exists: Can that method work for you, too?
Single-length has been hidden in the shadows of golf equipment for decades behind small companies like 1-Iron Golf and long forgotten sets of EQL irons from Tommy Armour Golf in the late 1980s. But it has emerged in recent years with multiple options from DeChambeau’s brand, Cobra, as well as Wishon Golf and Edel, the company that built DeChambeau’s irons when he won the U.S. Amateur back in 2015.
So if you think some of DeChambeau’s single-length logic might work for you, consider these issues:
Single-length’s greatest strength is consistency. One swing and one setup from 4-iron to pitching wedge means more efficient practice and greater ease in grooving a repeatable motion.
The latest single-length designs are tweaking head design, face technology and even shaft type within the set to improve the distance gaps and trajectories needed to make shots more playable.
The challenge for many average golfers trying to make the switch to single-length irons is distance, trajectory and distance control. Long irons tend to fly a little lower and carry a little shorter, and short irons might fly a little higher and longer.
Getting a fitting for single-length irons is a must, and it might be easier than in a traditional set. Certainly, the static measurements of lie angle and length can be more easily dialed in to your physical frame because you’ll only need one proper lie angle and length throughout the set. Still, making sure you’ve got the right distance gaps should be an important part of your process. Being comfortable with having the right fit for the 7-iron isn’t enough. You need to hit long and short irons in the set to see that you have playable distance gaps and trajectories.
At the very least, DeChambeau’s success should get you thinking about your set makeup and whether you’re seeing the right gaps through the bag. The answer might not be single-length, but it could be other choices at the long and middle sections of your set (fairway woods, hybrids, utility irons). Different clubs might get you the distance and trajectory a traditional variable-length iron set can’t.
DeChambeau is clearly happy with how he’s playing the game and that happiness traces back to confidence. “The No. 1 thing that makes me happy is seeing a golf ball go exactly the way I felt it should go,” he said immediately after his win at the Northern Trust. DeChambeau, who once called his first PGA Tour win in 2017: “the day the game changed,” believes that happiness has its roots in all his irons being the same length. Maybe the game hasn’t changed like he thought it would, but with each win, there’s certainly more to talk about.
Click here to shop DeChambeau's one-length irons at Golf Galaxy.