Interview with David Lake – 1 Iron Golf

A few weeks ago I started blogging about my experience with Single Length irons in my golf bag.  I’ve also been looking into the history of how they have developed and as part of that, I came across 1 Iron Golf.  These guys have been in the single length golf game consistently longer than anyone else.

Although the idea isn’t new, its great to see a company committed to it.  Their president David Lake agreed to answer some questions I had about single length golf but then went one step further than just replying to a few questions, he wrote a whole article about, about well everything!    Simply, all that is left for me to do is to welcome Mr David Lake, President of 1 Iron Golf to my blog.

Hello David, thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions.  Let’s get straight to it!   What’s your golfing history?

David Lake (left).

I have always been an avid golfer and have continuously worked on my game to improve.  Whereas when I began I was shooting in the high 90’s, after a couple of years I was shooting in the low 70’s which is where I currently am.  I will say that if I could not play single-length irons I would give up the game entirely.  The difference it has made is simply stunning.

When did you first come across the idea of Single Length Irons?

I spent many years in golf club design for most of the top name brands at the time (early 80’s and 90’s).  In 1997, after I had proven my concept, I started 1 Iron Golf, Inc.  Up until January of this year we were the only game in town and, believe me, it was an uphill battle for the past twenty years to convince an audience who had been inundated with golf marketing hype all of their lives that there was a better way.  It may be coincidence, but a B. DeChambeau bought a set of our irons back in 2010 (a rather rare surname).

I developed our single length concept in 1994 (it just made common sense).  The only difference between successive irons within a set being a 4º loft angle progression.  My experience showed conclusively that shaft length had little or no affect on distance other than to make each successively longer iron harder to hit consistently, whereas the 4º loft angle progression ensured an equal yardage gap between clubs. You can read my conclusions here:  Insight on Distance

After many trials and errors in the initial design I found that a 63.5º clubhead lie angle for all of the irons was the ideal for iron play.  This lie angle in conjunction with properly fitted club length forced the golfer into the ideal swing posture and swing plane.  This was verified by hundreds of golfers including touring pros prior to production in 1997 and has been proven by many thousands of our customers world-wide since.
Shafting was another very important point of my research and testing. We only offer our steel shafts in 1 Iron Golf clubs (manufactured for us by True Temper).  The design of our golf shafts in combination with our proprietary Shaft Optimization Process produces a perfectly balanced golf club (all other brands use stock shafts with no balance criteria whatsoever).  Once this perfect balance is achieved the concept of shaft flex disappears and the golf club will perform at its peak performance level regardless of swing speed or strength.  You can liken it to a precisely balanced bull whip where there is a perfect transfer of power along its length from the butt to the tip regardless of the strength of the person using it. Our golf clubs are played by professional golfers and long-drive champions with extremely high swing speeds and played by senior men and women golfers with very low swing speeds.  In either case the golfer will realize their optimum distance, trajectory, and control/accuracy.  The results of our studies and testing over the past twenty years have shown that our shafting method produces the highest level of performance for any golfer.  Also, we are the only golf club manufacturer to perform shaft flex plane orientation as part of our proprietary Shaft Optimization Process.  If a golf club is shafted without regard to its inherent flex plane the shaft will try and rotate around its axis to a position of stability during the swing which creates an oscillation of the shaft and club-head.  This oscillation results in the club-head literally wobbling through impact.  When the shaft is correctly oriented in respect to its inherent flex plane it will resist twisting to any other position when placed under load and will remain stable through impact.  It is as if the club-head is riding on rails through the impact.

What about one-Length woods?

Fairway woods, like, irons, are a natural for single-length play with obvious differences in play from the irons.  All club lengths and club-head lie angles should be the same within each functional grouping of golf clubs.  What you have to bear in mind is that there is a distinct difference in design function between irons, fairway woods, and drivers.  An iron is designed to pinch the ball against the turf using a down and through type of swing which requires an upright swing plane and a descending swing arc into the ball. On the other hand, fairway woods are designed to sweep the ball from the turf which requires a flatter swing plane and, hence, a longer club length than an iron.  A driver is designed to sweep a ball that is teed up 1″ to 2″ off the ground which requires an even flatter swing plane than a fairway wood and, hence, a longer club length than the other woods within a set.  While all other golf brands have seen huge reductions in sales over the past eight years and many have gone out of business, our sales have grown 25% or more every single year for the past 20 years.  1 Iron Golf will be around for many years to come and will certainly outlast any current competitors in the single-length market.

While all other golf brands have seen huge reductions in sales over the past eight years and many have gone out of business, our sales have grown 25% or more every single year for the past 20 years.  1 Iron Golf will be around for many years to come and will certainly outlast any current competitors in the single-length market.

Finally, do you have any tips for golfers new to the Single Length concept (like me).

The best instruction I can provide for single-length play is shown on the Playing page of our website.

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