Occam’s razor (also Ockham’s razor or Ocham’s razor) is the problem-solving principle that the simplest solution tends to be the right one. “When presented with competing hypotheses to solve a problem, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions”.
When presented with the challenge of how to formulate an instructional curriculum for physically or mentally challenged golfers, we quickly realized that coming up with a program that made it easier for challenged players to be introduced to the game or improve their existing game, would entail moving away from traditional methods and focusing on simple and logical concepts.
What is the single biggest challenge for vision or physically challenged golfers? Putting the club head on the ball consistently! With traditionally designed golf clubs, you have thirteen lengths, thirteen different lies, and thirteen different weights….ergo thirteen different swing planes. Does that make sense if you’re trying to have the fewest assumptions? Of course not. Therefore, why not create a two plane system that allows the challenged golfer to only master two swings, irons/hybrids and woods? Traditional logic enforces the notion that variable length irons are correct and that smart people before us deciphered the most accurate way to play the game. Yet, few have questioned the reason why our clubs variate in length. In golf terms, a set of clubs that allows the player to maintain a single ball position, swing plane, and rhythm rate would provide the logical explanation to achieve optimal performance. All with a club that has singularity of length, weight, bounce, shaft weight, and shaft flex to optimize the simplicity of repeating your ideal swing.
Over the past 10 years, single length clubs have advanced from a curiosity to a major manufacturer offering. Single length irons are being offered by Cobra, Edel, and a couple of component builders. Single length woods and hybrids are offered by Cobra, 1Iron and Pinhawk. On the high end, Edel offers custom fit irons (only) that are unique in that the emphasis is on the custom shaft design. From the Edel website: “Pre-Loaded for fiber tension according to flex, weight and shaft profile. Each single length iron shaft combines strategically positioned variable kick and balance points with gradient torque and frequency progression. Optimizing launch conditions independent of clubhead loft, insuring the golfer of an optimal fit option throughout a set of single length irons. Paderson Kinetixx Loaded Single Length iron shafts are an innovative three (3) shaft constant weight design. Long, Mid and Short shaft profiles are designed to harmonize trajectory and optimize distance gapping in all corresponding lofts.Mirroring performance of the mid irons, long irons are finally easy to hit and more forgiving. Flying higher and longer with more spin and increased ball speed as compared to conventionally built sets of irons having longer playing lengths and lighter head weights. The shorter iron profile generates precise distance and target control accuracy; optimizing launch conditions and playability as never before seen in a set of irons.”. Learn more about these clubs here at http://edelgolf.com. On the low end, Pinhawk offers a solid game improvement club with customized lengths (+/- 1/4”, 1/2” increments), multiple shafts, grips, and lie adjustment to fit just about any player. You can buy components or completely assembled clubs at a very reasonable price (assembled are $49 per club). In addition, other than 1Iron, Pinhawk is the only one to offer single length fairway woods and hybrids. Overall, a pretty strong lineup and in our opinion, a great place for the cost conscious who are looking to get into the SL game. You can find more information at http://www.pinhawkgolf.com. While Sterling and 1Iron both have had positive reviews, if you’re looking for a major brand with the reputation and development prowess to match, you really can’t go wrong with Cobra. Both the F7, F8 and now King SZ, single length irons are strong contenders for best single length system. With the recent success of Bryson DeChambeau, rest assured that Cobra will continue to innovate with the new features to increase their market share. The great thing about Cobra is that you can build your own custom setup with multiple shafts, grips, lengths and club setup at no extra cost over retail. Also, Cobra is now offering SL Hybrids that can replace your 3,4,5, even 6 iron with a club that is not only easier to hit, but with the lower CG gives you the ability to get more height on your mid-long iron clubs (common complaint among first time SL users). Overall, we feel that Cobra is the best place to start your SL experience from a solid company and at a very reasonable price. You can find more information at http://www.cobragolf.com.
Occam’s Razor….it’s with this principle that TeeItUp is entering into the sight and physically challenged golf world to provide instruction, tools, and opportunities for both challenged youth and adult golfers of all ages, with our new program “You Don’t Have to See It, 2TeeItUp©”. Most importantly, we will have a decided focus on sight and physically challenged youth to introduce them to the game and the values of golf, which in itself will allow us to continue our mission to bring new golfers of all abilities to the game. Stay tuned for Edition 2 of our four part series, Using Technology to Improve Your Game.