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Date Posted: 06:54:54 07/06/19 Sat
Author: Anthony Guidice (Guidice)
Subject: Variable Length Irons and the Almighty Buck

Single length irons are really pretty easy to get used to. Easier than eating in the British style with the fork in your left hand. Physically there isn't any difficulty - if you can swing a 7 iron you can use these easily. A beginning golfer immediately benefits. Teaching a more experienced golfer takes longer - he can't believe it will work.

(If you really want to know how stupid the variable length iron idea is, try using a variable length set after playing single length clubs for a little while. It will seem like absolute lunacy. Just pick up a 39" 3 iron and waggle it.}

Decades of conditioning have hypnotized us. Variable length iron sets exist so that manufacturers can sell thousands of sets off the rack. That's the reason. Somewhere in that set there are a few clubs that will fit you, whether you're 5'2" or 6'3". For the average sized person it's somewhere around a 7 iron. That's why we always hear "practice with your 7 iron." Harvey Penick said that . . . Most lesser "instructors" say that as well. Custom fitting variable length clubs? Ridiculous. It's impossible.

Most excellent golfers aren't engineers or physicists. They're athletes. The very best athletes may be so supremely coordinated that they can hit a 39-1/2" iron well, then pick up a 35" club and hit that well. I can't do that and I doubt you can either. A great athlete won't question the physics of golf equipment any more than the physics of a butterknife. But a clubmaker or an engineer or a physicist - if they play golf - will question it.

Eastman Kodak manufactured a product called "D-76" for years and made a fortune. D-76 was a black and white film developer. And it was terrible. It compressed high values into chalk. But unless you were an expert and tested different developers and printed the results, you'd never know. Kodak could always doubletalk their way around it. It's the same with golf. Struggling players swallow the "greater length = distance" doubletalk. Refusing to question the cash-rich golf companies, they lament, "Oh well, golf's just a complicated game . . . " Nonsense.

The major manufacturers lie to us. They're interested in the almighty buck, not your ball striking ability. Their equipment isn't necessarily bad, but it's limited. It's good mass-marketed product, designed to sell in quantity. But it's not designed to help you make consistent strikes with all your irons. Their strategy allows selling as much equipment as possible every year. And about 30% of their costs go towards marketing: TV and magazine ads, in store promo materials - and to Dustin Johnson's or Michelson's or Fowler's endorsement paycheck.

One last thing - even a supremely gifted athlete will score lower and strike the ball more consistently with single length irons. Why they might not use them is for the same reason other golfers hesitate: they don't want to admit they've been doing things terribly wrong - for years.

“All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident.” Arthur Schopenhauer

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[> Re: Variable Length Irons and the Almighty Buck -- Todd, 10:18:27 07/08/19 Mon

But would they have helped Tin Cup win the U.S. Open?

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