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Often times an invention comes along that makes you wonder why no one ever thought of it before. Such is the case with the EQL clubs designed by the Tommy Armour Golf Company.

The new line of clubs, called the EQL One Swing Design, are clubs of one standard length for the irons and the woods. The irons are 37 inches long, the length of a standard 6-iron, while the woods are all 41 inches, the length of a normal 5-wood. Normal irons range from 35 to 39 inches and woods from 39 to 43."Actually, a lot of people have thought of it, but no one ever carried it through," said Al Counsell, a Tommy Armour spokesman who was in town to demonstrate the clubs last week. "We were the first company to test it and we found out the concept did indeed work."

The whole idea behind the equal length club is to allow players to memorize just one swing. A golfer with standard clubs must learn a sweeping motion for long irons, hitting down on the ball for short irons, etc., and must stand a different length away from the ball for each club.

"If a person can develop a repeating swing, they can hit more shots, more solid," said Counsell.

The Tommy Armour Company first became involved in the one-length design after company president Bob MacNally played a round of golf with PGA Touring pro Bruce Lietzke six years ago. After the round in which MacNally had his problems, Lietzke suggested that he would be all right if could just use a 6-iron all the time. That got MacNally thinking and he asked the company to make him a special set of clubs all the length of a 6-iron.

Nothing was done until late in 1986 when a couple of pros from Florida came to Tommy Armour with the same idea and the company decided to test the product. But after a patent search, company officials were horrified to learn that someone named Jack Nix had been granted a patent for one length clubs. However, Tommy Armour officials were able to buy the patent rights and went ahead with the production of the clubs.

The clubs are available for sale now, but if you're interested in getting some EQLs, be prepared to pay well for them. They're comparable to a top of the line club such as Ping.


PLAYOFF FEVER: In the last three local professional tournaments the winner has been decided by a playoff. Last week at the Provo Open, Boise's Jeff Thomsen had to go three extra holes to defeat Wayne Fisher. The week before at Tri City, Kim Thompson needed an extra hole to beat Bruce Brockbank. And the week before that Mack Christensen and Thomsen tied for first and went four holes before darkness halted play and they split the first and second money.