Did you know that 1 Iron Golf has been the leader in single-length golf club design for more than 20 years? On the December 8 episode of the Stick and Hack Show, Adam and Mike talked to Matt Lake, Director of Operations at 1 Iron Golf, the world’s oldest and largest single-length club manufacturer.  

The following excerpt has been edited for space. Check out the full interview here.

S/H: For 30 years you guys have been selling single-length irons. Then one day Bryson DeChambeau shows up in the golf world and says, “Hey, I’m gonna use the same length clubs from now on.” And people are like, “This is so revolutionary. Oh my God, incredible!” He made it cool all of a sudden. Does that annoy you or are you OK with it?

Matt Lake: Oh no, not annoying at all. In fact, what’s great about it is it’s not really so much of an uphill battle, you know, anytime you go against anything conventional, certainly golf clubs or in any business, you’re always going to run into those struggles — “Well, if it’s so great, why doesn’t everybody do it?” kind of thing. And so it’s always been an uphill battle. Our website is an encyclopedia devoted to single-length golf. From a very high level to very deep into the physics of the golf swing because you kind of have to give way more information to people in order for it not to be such an uphill battle. Once you peel back and look at it from a 500-foot view, it really makes sense.

S/H: What are some of the negatives that people believe about single-length clubs that are either not true or misleading?

Matt: The biggest one is shaft length. Shaft length in iron play, they believe that it has something to do with distance, but it doesn’t. You had mentioned earlier about Bryson DeChambeau’s driver. That’s a different art and a different plane. So, certainly, that long shaft in that arch and plane is going to result in increased distance, but it doesn’t with iron play whatsoever. So that is a common misconception, that shaft length has something to do with distance, and it really doesn’t. We get that question quite a bit and really, the answer is quite simple. Distance in iron play is swing speed, solid center ball contact, and the loft angle of the club. Those are really the three metrics to distance, and shaft length just doesn’t really have a part in it at all. 

S/H: With all of the irons being the same length, a golfer can theoretically use the same setup and exact same swing for every club, but there’s no need to move the ball forward or backward in your stance, and it’s supposed to be easier. Do I have that right? Is golf easier with your clubs?

Matt: It really doesn’t make anything easy, but it does remove a lot of the questions. When you have the same setup, the same swing plane, the same ball position, and really where it helps too is on the driving range. With our clubs, they’re all exactly the same with the exception of a precise 4-degree loft angle progression for exact distance gapping of 10 yards between clubs. Most hacks just assume the distance between their seven and eight irons is 10 yards, but that’s usually not the case. It really takes away a lot of guesswork. 

S/H: Everybody has a unique swing and some have a lot going on. Can this theory (single-length irons) help every type of golfer? Or do you guys see where there are specific types of golfers that this helps more? 

Matt: It’s really a broad range. It seems like the better you are at something, the more skeptical you are about change. One of the great things is when a golfer does do that (try single-length irons), a scratch golfer, you know it’s free to try for 30 days and I can send it back if I don’t like them. And they’re like, “Your clubs greatly improved my game.” We even have guys in their 100s playing our clubs in tournaments. We love to hear those kinds of stories because it has greatly improved their game. It’s really about making the game fun.

S/H: Could you custom make me a set of clubs to turn my hackness into stickness overnight?

Matt: I wouldn’t say overnight. As with anything else, you have to acclimate to it. We’d love to be able to say that! Sometimes it is overnight, other times it’s about removing ingrained bad habits of conventional play. You’ll have a great idea within 30 days if they’re going to work for you.  

Listen to the full episode to find out everything there is to know about single-length irons before you decide to give them a try. And stick around to the end of the episode to hear the guys play In or Out with popular TV characters. Has Matt Lake really never seen an episode of FRIENDS!?