Dechambeau’s First Masters

Legend
With three rounds of even par 72, and one round of 77  Dechambeau completed his first Masters tied for 21st. place.  His score of +5 was good enough to earn him low amateur honours .
Pictured below are the irons he ended up playing at the Masters.
DeCambeau Masters irons 1 (1)

Many amateurs would not be caught dead playing with a set of irons that look like the irons Bryson Dechambeau used at the Masters this week.

Granted, they are not the prettiest irons I’ve ever seen but more and more I’m coming to the realization that appearance is far less important than performance.

For many of us who are interested in the single length iron and single plane swing concepts, the Master finally provided us with an opportunity to have a good look at Bryson’s clubs and more importantly, his swing.

I still marvel at how accurately, and how far he is able to hit the ball with such and upright swing.  I’ve included links to a number of videos from the Masters that display his swing action from different angles.  Make particular note of his right arm to shaft position even with his longer clubs.  They provide and excellent example of the single plane swing setup.

 

Here are some links to video’s of Dechambeau at the Masters

http://www.masters.com/en_US/watch/2016-04-08/zlkp_a_a4yvtfvx2ul6uknp25eag8ohf.html?promo=vod_players

http://www.masters.com/en_US/watch/2016-04-10/rzryq9caarnpc9ckhawciiy_xcbcwupc.html?promo=vod_players

http://www.masters.com/en_US/watch/2016/r4_47959_18.html?promo=vod_players

http://www.masters.com/en_US/watch/2016/r3_47959_10.html?promo=vod_players

http://www.masters.com/en_US/watch/2016/r3_47959_8.html?promo=vod_players

http://www.masters.com/en_US/watch/2016/r2_47959_15.html?promo=vod_players

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My new set of Pinhawk single length irons

While researching and writing the recent posts about single length irons, I was also busy on the other side of the equation assembling and experimenting with a set of single length irons.

As the saying goes ‘the proof is in the pudding’ so I have attempted to put the theory into practice.

This is what my new set looks like.

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As indicated earlier, I decided to go with Pinhawk heads, which are specifically designed for single length iron sets.  The set consists of ten clubs, from flop wedge to 4-hybrid.  The heads are cast stainless steel, cavity back,  made with 431 steel which is a little softer and more bendable than the 17-4 steel used by most major OEM manufacturers.  The heads throughout the set from flop wedge to 4-hybrid each weigh 272 grams (+/- 1) and have a lie angle of 62.5 degrees.

I experimented with various lengths ranging from 35 to 37.5 inches.  I eventually ended up with 37 1/16.  If you are wondering about the 1/16 of an inch,  it has no significance.  What happened was that as I experimented with different club lengths, hitting them at the Golf Dome, there was  one particular iron that I was hitting most consistently.  When I measured it precisely it was 37 1/16 inches in length so I just built the entire set to match that club.

At a length of 37 1/16 inches and using a 70 gram graphite shaft and a 50 gram grip the swing weight comes in at D1.

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The table below indicates the off-the-rack specifications of the Pinhawk heads I am using.  I suspect that some minor loft adjustments may be required to ensure proper ‘gap’ distances between clubs.

 

Pinhawk Iron Set
Club 4 5 6 7 8 9 PW GW SW LW
Loft 20° 25° 30° 35° 39° 43° 47° 51° 55° 59°
Lie 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5°
Weight (grams) 272 272 272 272 272 272 272 272 272 272
Offset (mm) 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Source:  Value Golf

 

I have already done some lie adjustments on a few of the irons to promote a more upright swing plane.  A few of the irons have been bent as much as 2.5 degrees without any breakage.

The final lofts and lies will not be arrived at until the clubs are tested in ‘on course’ conditions.

Below are links to the series of posts previously written on the topic of Single Length Clubs.

Who are Homer Kelley and Bryson DeChambeau

Standard length and loft for irons

Single length golf clubs

Advantages and disadvantages of single length irons

The effect of club length on swing speed and distance

The effect of loft on carry distance

Unless something miraculous or untoward happens in the next few months at the Dome I won’t write another post about these clubs until the grass is green and the birds are singing again.

Fore!

 

Who are Homer Kelley and Bryson Dechambeau

When it comes of finances and politics I am conservative by nature, however when it comes to golf I’m willing to try almost anything.

Some years ago I picked up a copy of Homer Kelley’s book The Golfing Machine.

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When I read it for the first time I realized it would have been helpful if I had a PhD in physics.  I had a difficult time grasping some of the material in the book so I put it one the shelf for a while.

Last spring my interest in the book was renewed.  I watched Bryson DeChambeau win the NCAA Individual  Championship, and then follow it up with a win at the US Amateur, a feat accomplished only by Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore.  I realized I needed to consult Homer Kelley’s book again.

I realized that DeChambeau’s swing incorporated many of the key principles espoused by Kelley.

Kelley’s book is to say the least, very technical.  It discusses in great detail the mechanical aspects of the golf swing from a scientific perspective, using physics and geometry as the basis for building a perfect machine like golf swing.

When I watch DeChambeau swing a golf club I see aspects of Homer Kelley’s theories  as well as  some of the principles of  Natural Golf as practiced by Moe Norman come together in perfect unity.

Click here for a short video of DeChambeau’s swing.  There is also a  video where DeChambeau talks about his clubs and demonstrates his swing and a swing training device he uses.

His clubs look like this

Bryson-Single-Length-Irons

Like Moe, DeChambeau uses a single plane swing.  However, he has taken it several steps further than Moe did by executing that swing using a set to specially designed irons that are all the same length.

To say that I am looking forward to see DeChambeau play professional golf is an understatement.

He may well be poised to take ball striking to a whole new level.

Update January 15, 2016    Dechambeau hires an agent and is looking at equipment sponsors

 

How Many Sets of Golf Clubs Do You Have

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A few of my ‘extra’ clubs

 

For those who have golfed with me over the years this will come as no surprise. One of the things I really enjoy is either changing out my entire set of clubs, or at least of few of the clubs in my set with great frequency.

Why you may ask?  When you play as much golf as I do you need to do things that stimulate continued interest and concentration and changing clubs does that for me.

As well, there are times when I configure my set in keeping with the course that I will be playing.  For example, if I’m playing at Wildewood, which is a relatively short (6048 yards) course that has a lot of trees and ball positioning off the tee is of prime importance, I might opt for a low lofted (13 degree) 3 wood to use for tee shots on some of the shorter and narrow par 4’s.  I might also remove one of the longer hybrids and substitute an additional wedge.  At times I will even remove my regular driver from the bag and use a 12 degree ‘mini driver’ for accuracy purposes.

When playing a longer course such as Bridges where distance is more important and lack of accuracy is not as severely punished I might again remove my regular driver and replace it with a longer driver with an overall length of 47 and 7/8 inches to add distance off the tee.   I might also pull out one of the wedges and add a low lofted (17 degree) hybrid.

Other times I might simply swap out my entire set of irons either just for a change or to compensate for some temporary anomaly in my swing.  If for example I go through a phase where I’m drawing my irons I may use a set of forward progressed irons that tend to promote a slight fade, or conversely if I’m fading the ball I made used a set of irons with a slight offset to promote a straighter ball flight.

At times my swing may get out of whack and if I find I’m hitting a lot of fat (club makes contact with the ground behind the ball) shots or when the course conditions are wet and sloppy I’ll revert back to a set of irons that consist entirely of hybrids.

On other days when I’m just feeling adventurous I may bring out a set of irons that are all the same length, with heads that all have the same weight.  This type of club allows you to position the ball identically for each club as the only thing that changes from club to club is the loft angle.  This means you are able to use exactly the same swing with each club.

So how many sets of clubs to I have, well right now I have 5 sets of irons and an assortment of drivers an fairway wood in different combinations of loft and shaft length, a descent collection of hybrids in different lofts, an assortment of wedges and a few putters.

This array of clubs allows me to configure different set of clubs to suit my game, the course I’m playing or just the mood I happen to be in.

Does anyone else do this?