Sterling Irons® Single Length Set

Sterling-Irons-setSterling Irons® Single Length Set

A Unique Set Design to be Built to One Length for all Clubs to Deliver a Perfect Match of all Elements of Swing Feel for shot consistency.


  • If you are interested in the Sterling Irons® single length clubs please use the Find a Clubfitter form to find and contact a clubfitter near you, or visit
  • Single length construction ensures all possible elements of swing feel are identical for each club in the set – same MOI, same total weight, same headweight, same balance point – to offer the chance for improved shot consistency
  • Identical length and lie allow the golfer to use the same stance, same posture, same swing plane forimproved shot consistency
  • Optional high COR #5 hybrid with high COR #4, 5, 6, and 7 irons offer proper distance for the low loft clubs at the shorter single length. Other single length sets may lose distance with the low loft clubs
  • Conventional cast carbon steel in the #8 to gap wedge with 5* loft increments blend with the high COR design of the low loft clubheads to off er proper distance gaps and proper
    distance with the high loft clubs. Other single length sets may generate too much distance with the high loft clubs
  • Available in a #5 hybrid or #5 iron to match the player’s desire and ability, with #6 to 9, PW and Gap Wedge and Sand Wedge
  • Sterling Irons® Single Length clubs can be built to 36.5”, 36.75 or 37” length for each club as fit by the Clubmaker for the golfer’s comfort and preference. Contrasts with most other single length sets being created for a 37.5” length – which can generate too much distance with the high loft irons
  • Intended to be custom fit with any Wishon Golf S2S iron shaft model and flex to meet the swing speed, transition/tempo and release point of the golfer.
  • Sterling Irons® hybrid uses standard iron shaft (.370)
  • The #4 iron should only be used by golfers with a #5 iron clubhead speed of 85mph or higher to be able to make the club generate the proper trajectory and height to be able to carry the ball further than the #5 iron
  • Available in RH (#5 Hybrid, 4-9, PW, GW, SW) & LH (5-SW); New Blade Wedges (LW, SW) available in RH only

For complete information on the technical benefits of single length set construction, we offer this complete Q&A about single length iron set technology.

Tom talks about the Sterling Irons® Single Length Set

Ratings and Reviews

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Rating: 3.8/5 (756 votes cast)

Sterling Irons® Single Length Set, 3.8 out of 5 based on 756 ratings


  1. Hey Tom. I’m up in Canada and would love to try your one length irons. Can I purchase or demp some? I am a lefty, do you make them in lefty? Would love a set one day 4-SW. What are my options? Thank you very much.

    • DALLAS

      We do offer the Sterling Irons in left hand, in the #5 iron through SW. There is no #5 hybrid or #4 iron or Lob wedge in the left hand version I am sorry to tell you. That’s simply because those heads are the least in demand in the Sterling set and no left hand model has ever generated more than 8% of the order demand as its right hand version. So the numbers for us to do the tooling dies and minimum inventory production of the #4, #5 hyb and LW are unfortunately just not there to allow that to happen.

      But don’t think of the set makeup of a single length set the same way you do with a conventional lengths set. Many people who can hit a 4 iron high enough in a conventional length to make the club carry a club longer than the 5 iron cannot do that with a single length set. The reason is because the length of the 4 iron in the single length set is a lot shorter than it is in a conventional lengths iron set. Normal conventional length of a 4 iron is 38.5″. In the Sterling set the standard length of the irons is 36.5″. That 2″ difference drops the clubhead speed by around 4 to 7 mph, depending on the golfer’s swing characteristics. So to try to hit a 4 iron with 4-7mph less clubhead speed means the golfer needs to have a clubhead speed to begin with of at least 85mph with his present 7 or 8 iron. Without that much speed it is not wise to try to use a 4 iron in the single length set and instead the golfer should opt for a hybrid of 20* loft at a length of between 38-38.5″ in its place. In the end, the majority of golfers with a 7 iron clubhead speed under 85mph will have one less iron in their single length set than they do in their conventional irons set, because of this fact that the low number irons are shorter in the single length set for control and consistency. Hope this helps and thanks so much for your interest,


    • I’m in Canada and had my leftie set made by Dan at Dan’s Custom Golf in Hampton Ontario. Love them… Can’t see me changing irons for a loooong time.

    • Jeffrey
      That’s great to hear but even better to hear that you chose to work with Dan for your fitting needs. He is truly one of the best in the field and I am very pleased that he chooses to work with some of my designs in his fitting work for golfers. Good for you, and the very best to you in this great game,


    • Thanks so much Tom. All of that makes sense yes. I suppose I could get a 4 hybrid in place of a 4 iron. Now I have a question you may or may not want to answer, as it deals with one of your competitors. I was looking into the Pinhawks as a single length club option. Their price point is much cheaper, but what would I be getting for that price? IS the technology up to par. As far as I can tell all the clubheads weight the same at approx 272g, and that’s it. Some guy in Edmonton has the heads and I am actually going to go check them out this week.
      I would love your honest opinion on them. I will also mention that on their website they do actually mention your clubs as an alternative and recommend if you do not buy from them then purchase from Sterling as you guys are one the leading edge of one length. Thank you again for the interaction.


    • Dallas

      Sure thing I don’t mind commenting on the differences between the Pinhawks and the Sterling irons. The reason the price is so different first of all is because the Pinhawks are one piece investment cast stainless steel iron heads with a common polish and tumble finish. That’s the lowest cost type of iron head in the golf industry today. The Sterling #4, 5, 6, 7 irons are a 2 piece investment cast carbon steel head with a high strength steel high COR face plate welded to the body, after which the heads are nickel chromium plated. The Sterling #8 to LW heads are a one piece inv cast carbon steel head with NICr plating to finish the heads. Those head construction types are the most expensive in the golf industry for an iron.

      Performance wise I can list the differences. 1) The Pinhawks used to be made to a single length of 37.5″ which is a 6 iron length. I do not know if they changed that recently or in the past couple of years since I designed and intro’d the Sterling irons. A 6 iron length makes it a little more difficult to adapt to the 9, PW, SW in the set because the 6 iron length makes them about 2″ longer than conventional wedge lengths. It would be easier to hit the high number irons and wedges farther than you need because of this much longer length. 2) I did the Sterling irons based on an 8 iron length because most people hit an 8 iron more consistently than they do a 6 iron, and because an 8 iron length makes the wedges only an inch longer than what they are in a conventional set. So that allows the wedges to be easier to adapt to and less likely to hit the shot farther than you wish to.

      3) The only possible downside of an 8 iron length is that it means the very low loft irons are harder to hit high to fly and carry unless you have a higher clubhead speed. I did offset some of this by designing the Sterling #4, 5, 6, 7 irons with a high COR face to add more ball speed to help get the shot height and carry distance up. But if you do not have a clubhead speed with your current 7 iron of 85mph or higher, we would not recommend you try to use the #4 iron in the set. And if your 7 iron clubhead speed is under 75mph, do not include a 5 iron in your set. With the Pinhawk #4 iron at a 6 iron length, you probably could hit that iron ok if your 7 iron speed is 80mph or higher. And with the Pinhawk 5 iron you probably would be able to hit it high enough to be happy with it at a 6 iron length if your current 7 iron speed is over 70mph. But again, 6 iron length is more difficult to be consistent with than an 8 iron length and 6 iron length makes the wedges harder to get used to for accuracy control and distance control.

      Also the Pinhawk heads are not made with a weight bore inside the head so it is more difficult to achieve a wider range of swingweight for whatever shaft weight and grip size and length you might need. All the Sterling heads have a weight bore to allow weight to be added during assembly so that it is possible to achieve a wider range of swingweights for different custom shaft weight and grip weight and length requirements. In addition bending the Sterling irons for custom loft and lie fitting needs is easier because the heads are carbon steel. Pinhawks are harder to bend for custom loft and lie because they are cast stainless steel.

      That pretty much covers the differences in the two models so I hope this helps,

    • Dallas,
      Here is my personal experience on the Pinhawks vs the Sterlings since I have owned them both.
      The Pinhawks are cheaper but can only be played at 37- 37 1/2 inches but not any shorter because they get too light.They also don’t have a very good feel to them.
      The Sterlings are more expensive but what I did was I ordered the 6 iron loft two degrees strong at 25 degrees and my 7 iron 1 degree strong at 30 degrees so it saved me a few bucks from needing a 5 iron.
      Now all my irons are exactly 5 degrees apart in loft.
      (lofts are at 25,30,35,40,45,50,55)Only needed 7 clubs instead of 8.
      I found that the sterling were much easier to hit at 36 1/2 than the Pinhawks were at 37-37 1/2 and the Sterlings feel great.The 6 and 7 iron have a high COR which gives it a pinging sound and just feel like it gives the shorter length club more zip.The 8-SW are all forged which give them a very soft and muted feel.
      In my opinion the Sterlings are the best clubs ever made and I think the old adage “you get what you pay for” isn’t always true but it surely is true with the Sterlings.

    • Thank you Tom. Perfect analysis. I’m going to try and see the Pinhawks, but honestly i am leaning towards the Sterlings. I just need to find someone in Canada who sells them at Canadian currency. I could order through your website, but that is US currency I am assuming?

      And Ed, thank you for the comparison of the two. I always figured that the Sterlings would just feel better. I play a lot so I may as well invest in something that is the best. Thanks again

    • DALLAS

      Just so there is no confusion, Wishon Golf clubheads, shafts and grips are sold by Diamond Golf International to custom clubmakers worldwide for them to use in their custom fitting work for the golfers they serve in their respective areas. We do not sell fully finished clubs as we are a wholesale supplier of my designs to the custom clubmaker community. Golfers obtain custom fit Wishon designs by contacting a certified custom clubmaker with whom they can meet and work to be custom fit for the model and clubs they wish to play. To see if there is a clubfitter in reasonable proximity to where you live, you can go to our home page and click on the FIND A CLUBFITTER link found at the top of the page. There you can input your location and the clubmakers who are closest to you will be displayed. I hope this helps but if I am wrongly directing you please let me know so I can help further. Thanks so much for your interest, really.


    • Tom, first off thank you as always for your continued support of my work. You can be sure that when customers come to me looking for quality and playability – the Wishon heads are a go to product.

      Dallas, not sure where in Canada you are but if you are southern ON, then I would love to meet with you, do a fitting, and get you started on a set of Sterling SL clubs – the best IMO. Yes a single club can be built if that is your goal – to test.

    • DAN

      The thanks are all to you for your long time commitment to doing nothing but the highest level of work for your golfers. Ever since I had the chance to meet you many years ago at a clubmaker convention when you were first getting into your TLT fitting system I have known that you are a definite step above the level of the vast majority of clubmakers in the field. For that you should be commended and I have nothing but the highest respect for the work you do in this great field.

    • Again, thank you so much for your time and effort responding to me. It is really appreciated. I have figured out Diamond Golf International distributes the club heads and such. I looked for someone in Edmonton who deals with starlings and have not found anyone.

      Dan I did come across your website in my searches and was going to contact you here soon. Unfortunately I am all the way in Edmonton. I was going to ask if you ever fitted someone not in person? I was curious if that was possible? It might be? I know my swing pretty well and stuff. I did find someone here who deals with Hireko golf and the Pinhawks Single Length. He is making me a couple of lefty demo clubs. So i can see if I like them or not? I’m looking forward to hitting them, in the simulator of course (-26 today). I did ask him if he could or knew of someone who could get some sterling iron heads. He mentioned how it may be a possibility.

      Just more in my journey of finding some new clubs to help my game. I will say I am learning so much about clubs and shafts and grips and club making. Watching so many youtube videos by Mr Wishon, Tom you explain things so well and its a treat listening to golf club intricacies. Have a great evening guys.

    • DALLAS

      One of our customers that does do a pretty darn good job of fitting the Sterling Irons on line is at I am aware that they have done a very good job assessing the golfer’s swing and playing characteristics to offer a good recommendation for the length, lie, shaft model, shaft flex and trim, swingweight, set makeup and grip size for the Sterling Irons. I am also aware that Edmonton is pretty much devoid for good, experienced clubfitters and I am sorry it is that way because that’s a big city with enough golfers to support a decent clubfitter I should think. So you might think about checking out to see if you feel good about working with them.

      Thanks again,

    • “The 8-SW are all forged which give them a very soft and muted feel.”

      is Ed right when he says this?

    • MIKE

      ALL of the Sterling iron head bodies are investment cast from 8620 carbon steel. Not forged. So the hardness of the carbon steel in the Sterling heads is the same as the carbon steel used in a forging but the method of manufacture is casting not forging. The #4, 5, 6, 7 are 2-piece construction with the cast 8620 body with the high COR thin HS300 high strength steel faces. The #8-LW are one piece cast 8620. For an iron with as deep of a cavity as the Sterling #8 to LW, first, that deep of a cavity back cannot be forged and two, there really would be no perceptable difference in the performance or feel of the #8-LW heads if they were forged vs cast because of the deep cavity back and the lofts being over 35*. So called forged feel can only be perceived when the ball is compressed more against the face. Once loft gets over 35* the impact is so much more of a sliding, glancing blow and not an inward compression of the ball.

      Hope this helps and thanks for your interest,


    • Tom
      Yes Edmonton is surprisingly void of this service. There is the box store Golf Tec, but these box stores I don’t know if they actually care. Haha. Maybe I should get into club fitting and making. I did just purchase the Modern Guide to Golf Clubmaking by Jeff Summitt for curiosity purposes. Lots of information in that.
      Ok i wont bother you anymore unless I have a pressing question i would like you to answer. Thank you.

    • Dallas
      I had a little smile when you said you bought the Modern Guide to Clubmaking. I was president of Dynacraft Golf Products from 86 to 93 and wrote the original Modern Guide to Clubmaking in 87, with the 2nd edition done in 90. ( Dynacraft owned the copyrights on all the books I wrote for them so when I left the company in 93 to go to Golfsmith, they just re printed the book with Jeff Summit’s name as the author when they kept selling it. Then Hireko bought Dynacraft and Jeff was about the only one of my former employees who went along with the buy out to work for Hireko. I am sure he’s re written parts or most of it by now since the years have gone by but it was a chuckle for me to read that your search for info took you pretty much back in my direction again !! HA ! Good luck and have fun and when you do have questions you know where to find me!


    • Haha Tom, that is amazing that you wrote that book. Glad I could bring a smile to your face, even if it was inadvertent. Wonderful information in there. I am trying to get someone to send me just the Sterling iron heads. I am confident in my swing knowledge to fit the correct shaft and grip, maybe even lie angle. I’ve contacted a few guys who deal with the Sterlings, and I’m waiting to hear back from them. I hope this is a possibility. I did get a couple of Pinhawk demos made up and they appear to be a bit big and clunky for me.

  2. Hey there TOM, how are you? I hope all is well with you and your new year is off to a great start!

    I wanted to ask you your opinion with an idea that popped into my head a couple weeks back. Recently I had purchased a 775HS #2 and I am REALLY looking forward to testing that once we’re able to get back out the course here.

    The idea I had was what about using a Sterling 4I, with loft bent to 17 degrees (or even 16 degrees if needed) and adding 1″ to my current 37.5″ 4I-LW Sterling setup. I was this could be an alternative to my driving iron? I use 37.5″ set due to my 10-finger grip.

    If I could get setup the HI-COR Sterling 4I at 38.5″, 2-2.5″ less than that of the hybrid (or typical Driving Iron) length, I thought I could hopefully get the best of both worlds (comparable distance but potentially better consistency/accuracy/shot control due to the shorter length)?

    I can’t see making this any longer than 38.5″ as even with my thicker jumbo grip option anything longer would make it really tough to keep under a D3.

    Also, I do tend to prefer the look of an iron (vs a hybrid) at address, so that would be another benefit as well. Am I just wishing this to be a valid option for me?

    As always, thanks SO MUCH for your help and support TOM!

    Jake 🙂

    • JAKE

      Thanks so much for your kind words of greeting – thanks very much ! The problem with trying to build a Sterling #4 iron to any length longer than 37″ will be the swingweight. All of the Sterling iron heads are designed to weigh 274g with the usual +/-3g tolerance. A typical 4 iron at 38.5″ length would have a spec headweight of 246g again with the usual +/-3g tolerance. There is no possible way the 4 iron could be built into a club of a length anywhere close to 38.5″ and still be reasonably swingable. The best bet for a club to have above the Sterling 5 iron for golfers with an iron clubhead speed under 85mph would be a hybrid of 21 to 22* made to a length not shorter than 38″ tp not longer than 39″ so the distance gap to the Sterling 5 iron can be suitable. Or if you prefer irons to use a different normal weight #4 iron head so you could build it 38.5″. And then you would test hit it against the 5 iron to determine what loft that conventional 4 iron needs to be to achieve a proper distance gap up from the 5 iron.


    • Hey there TOM… THANK YOU for your reply and your feedback… it is GREATLY appreciated! 🙂

      I guess I was hoping (or maybe praying) that it would work out for me. A thought of too good to be true did pass through my mind, lol. Because of the extra (40g+) weight in the clubhead, I did worry about swingweight too.

      I was hoping a much lighter shaft (+ extra grip weightz) could help manipulate the SW a bit. I use an older 114g graphite shaft (Matrix Ozik Program 130 S+ Flex) for my 4I-LW Sterlings (just over D1 using with a weight plug and 105-107g grip setup). For my proposed 17 degree 4I Driving Iron setup, I was thinking about using a 95g Program 95 or even a 80-85g Program F15 shaft. With some crude calculations I was thinking/hoping I could get: 38.5″ D1 (40″ 95g shaft); or a 39″ D2.5 (40″ 80g shaft) *both using a 277g head/ferrule/epoxy average setup, and 107g grip, and tipped to S+ as well.

      But, even if these possible setups get me to those swingweights, are you thinking that the overall weight of the club will just become an issue for me and should not be tried?

      I’m not sure why I keep (mentally) pushing for this Driving Iron setup with the Sterling 4I. I finally got a hold of an awesome 775HS #2 as well as a great looking 590DIH #2 setup. I just REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LOVE the feel (and ting sound) of my HI-COR Sterlings and was hoping to make this work as well.

      I may just be a little too stubborn (backed with a bit too much OCD) to wake me up 🙁

      Thanks again TOM,

      Jake 🙂

    • JAKE

      Let me try to help by explaining the relationships between swingweight and head weight, shaft weight and length. Then you’ll have a better idea why this is not going to be possible. The Sterling Iron single length head weights are all 274g. The 775-2 hybrid is 232g. To make that 2 hybrid at the same length as the Sterling Irons you’d need to add 42g to the head. That just can’t be done. 2 grams of head weight is 1 swingweight point so if you made the 2 hybrid the same length as the sterling irons with the same shaft, the swingweight would be some 21 points lighter – like D0 vs A9. You would not feel the head if you did that.

      In changing shafts in a club, you typically drop 1 swingweight point for each 8 grams of shaft weight you drop. For each inch you make a club longer the swingweight increases by 6 points. So even if you used a 40 gram iron shaft in the Sterling #4 iron head when trying to make the iron longer at say 38″, you would not get close to what you want. The move up from 36.5 to 38″ would push the swingweight up 9 points. To offset that you would need a shaft that weighed some 72 grams less and that is not going to happen.

      There is just no way you can make the Sterling 4 iron that long nor any way you can make the 775-2 hybrid that short, given their existing spec headweights. Sorry about that but you’d need separate heads custom made to specific different weights and that can’t happen either. (Unless you want to pay $5000 for the new production die and commit to a minumum order of 200 heads to satisfy the production foundry’s requirements !!!)

    • Thanks SO MUCH for your detailed explanation TOM. I do admit I did have to read it (3) times to get everything to penetrate my thick skull, haha.

      With everything you’ve said, I guess I’ll update my 2019 bag setup with the 3W/4W 950HC and 775HS #2 to go along with my 919thi Driver and 4W-SW Sterlings.

      I am bummed that the 4I couldn’t work as a Driving Iron alternative… I guess I just never thought you could EVER give me bad news TOM, lol.

      Thanks again for all your valued support!

      Jake 🙂

    • JAKE

      Thanks for your understanding. I guess I think of it as truthful information before I accept that it could be bad information !!

      TOM ;>)

  3. Hi Tom,
    I have 13deg 919THI 43″” and Sterlings 4i-GW 37″” long.
    From what i can see from your catalogue, to bridge the gap between 13 and 19 degree’s there is – 16.5 950-4 HC FW, 16.5 929-4 HS FW, 16.5 356-4 PF FW and 16 730-1 CL. What would you suggest would be the best fit between and what length should it be?
    thanks rob.

    • ROB:

      Keep in mind that loft is not the only thing you need to be considering to find a club or clubs that fit into the gap between your Sterling #4 iron at 37″ and the 919-13 driver. You most likely could use a 18* to 19* loft fairway wood and make it 40 to 41″ and it would generate enough distance over the #4 iron because its length would be considerably longer which would be generating more clubhead speed to give you enough distance gap up from the #4 iron ar 37″. Then if you did that you could think about the other wood being 16* at 1″ longer than whatever you make this 18-19* wood to be.


  4. Hey Tom, I´m looking for an honest opinion about a possible fitting from your brand.

    I´m following this site for quite some time now (I also posted a question about the Sterlings some time ago) and since then I´m really impressed with your thorough answers here. Possibly the best customer service I´ve seen for a long time.

    I´m thinking about a complete fitting (Driver, 3 Wood, 3-9 Iron, PW, GW, SW, LW) with Mike McFadden here in Germany sometime next year. You spoke in the highest terms about him and I heard good things from several other sources, too.

    Problem is… I´m a lefty. I know about and understand your 8% threshold for left handed clubs, so no Sterling 4-iron, LW and so on. Which of course is completely reasonable and understandable, especially for a smaller brand.

    The question is: With limited options in left handed clubs from your brand: Should I still get fitted with your clubs from Mike McFadden or would it be more reasonable to move to another fitter (with the more mainstream brands with more left handed options)?

    A complete fitting is not a small investment for me and if I´m going to do it it should be the best possible solution and decision for the next 5 years plus.

    I´d really like to reward your customer service here and I also heard nothing but good things about you. From pretty much everyone on the internet, especially those who know a thing or two about golf and golf clubs. But of course it also has to be the best decision for me and my future golf “career”.

    I´m also not so sure how a combination of left handed Sterling 5-GW with a different (and different length) 4 and 3 iron attached to the longer and a different SW and LW attached to the shorter end would look like and if it even makes sense.

    Possibly important additional info:
    I´m not a hybrid fan. The only woods will be the Driver and the 3 Wood. But it´s important that my longest iron will still go at least 220 yards (200 meters and above, like my 4 iron does now), so that I don´t have to use the Driver and 3 Wood very often. 200 yards wouldn´t be enough with a new 3 or 4 iron. I´d be forced to hit 3 Wood or Driver too often.

    Age 35, playing since 2013
    Hcp: 5,2
    Solid classic “swing fundamentals”, looks quite good, no monumental changes planned
    Goal: Get down to Hcp 1-3 in the next years
    Driver Speed: 103-110 mph
    Normal body proportions, nothing weird
    Current Irons: 2013 Taylormade Rocketbladez, 3-SW, unfitted
    LW: 60 degree Cleveland from 2014, unfitted
    Driver: Taylormade RBZ Stage 2 from 2015 or so, unfitted
    Everything in steel, stiff and standard length

    Keep inspiring!

    • PETER

      Thanks so much for taking your time to develop an interest in what we try to do within the world of golf clubs. I appreciate that very much and am so pleased that our actions and work has impressed you. That’s a nice feeling for us to have and thank you for that.

      Seriously, I would rather you be fit by Mike in whatever brand and model works the best for you that may not be any of my designs than to have you go to a lesser fitter for any models of clubs. I’ll be the first to tell you that the fit is more important than the brand. Sure, I know my models are good, but so are a lot of other companies’ offerings. TO pass on having Mike fit you would be a mistake because fitters of his level, knowledge and experience are quite rare in the game today.

      I am sure like most clubmakers Mike can fit you into whatever brand and model of clubs that you are attracted to that are available in left hand. The best thing I can tell you is to call Mike and talk to him about this. Be right upfront about it. Tell him that you realize my left hand options are limited and ask him if he would fit you in a set of some other brand and model so you can get exactly what you want in the model but still have it fit by someone as good as him.

      Hope this helps,

  5. An update on the SW and LW:

    I’ve played Sterlings for 2 years now and have never looked back. I’m thrilled with the single-length concept, and yes, that includes longer high-lofted irons and wedges. But I struggled with the SW and LW. Not for full- and partial-length swings, and not even when gripping down for certain shots. But I still struggle with lobs and pitches.

    The length of these clubs makes them lie pretty flat. That means one needs to stand a bit farther from the ball than one normally would for a traditional sand shot or lob. Gripping down a bit helps and doesn’t change the lie too much. However, doing that AND opening the clubface really brings the toe into play. Again, standing farther back helps, but feels odd.

    I went back to my traditional SW and LW for a while, but I’d really prefer to play the Sterlings. (I posted earlier in the year about this issue.) I like taking full swings with these clubs because they feel exactly the same as the rest of the set (naturally), but I’m concerned about this trade-off when I need to open the clubface. Any thoughts?

  6. Hey Tom,

    Thank you for designing such a great set of irons. It’s been 2.5 years and my handicap has gone from 28 to 14. So no complaints. My swing speed has gone up tremendously in the last 2 years and I’m exploring new shafts.

    I’ve got a few that I like. I play my Sterlings at 37 inches but can’t decide if I tip trim my irons for a 7 iron or 8 iron. Aren’t the sterling iron head weight the weight of a traditional 8 iron?

    You’re advice would be very appreciated.

    Thank you and best wishes.

    Rishi A. – Toronto Canada

    • RISHI

      Thank you so much for your kind comments about the Sterling Irons. It really was a fun design to create since I had never done a single length iron before this. The spec weight of the Sterling heads is 274g with a normal usual +/-3g tolerance that in reality is more like +/-2. 274g has been my normal 8 iron headweight in iron sets because along with the weight bore in the hosel 274g covers more of the bases for allowing normal swingweight ranges for the widest range of shaft weights. When you pick a head weight you have to look at what is the heaviest shaft that might be used – so you have to set up the weight so with a heavier shaft like our Stepless (120g) the starting swingweight won’t be over D1. Then when using the lighter shafts the starting swingweight is of course lower but the heads all have a weight bore to add up to 9 grams when needed.

      In the end, no, 274g can’t cover every combination of shaft weight, grip weight, length to end up with a normal range of swingweight. But the 274 of the Sterlings + the weight bore does pretty well to cover a lot of possible assembly circumstances. However, it is the length that dictates the tip trim. Hence if you make all the irons to be an 8 iron length of 36.5, you tip[ trim all shafts for an 8 iron installation. If you go with 37″ then you tip trim all the shafts for a 7 iron installation.

      Hope this helps, and thanks again so much for your support,

    • Tom:

      Awesome as always. Just a quick question. I don’t know much about tipping irons, so if I get this wrong, apologies. I recently saw a video of a clubmaker fashioning a set of one-lengths. He had the usual challenge of adding or dropping weight from the heads (they had removable screws–hint, hint) and bending the lie angles. But when it came to shafts, he mentioned the idea of putting in the same shaft into each iron and, thus, trimming them all the same way. But he also mentioned putting in the shafts for each corresponding iron, tip trimming them for each numbered iron, then cutting them on the butt end to a single length. If I haven’t confused the situation too much, what do you think about that approach? (I have Sterling 4I-SW, all with identical 8-iron shafts.)

    • RICH

      Thanks much for both your posts ! I’ll address both in my response here. In the very early testing of the Sterling Irons, we experimented with different shaft trims in an effort to help increase shot height and carry distance with the low loft irons. As you well know, a 19* and 23* loft iron at 36.5″ are tough to hit high to fly when the clubhead speed is not at the threshold level for that to happen. And no matter what, changes in tip trim did nothing to help, at least nothing from a visible standpoint. In the end I looked at this and decided that a very big benefit to single length in the first place is to have EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT in each iron be IDENTICAL so that swing feel is identical for each club as a way to help improve shot consistency.

      If you start changing shaft flex/bend profile in some of the shafts you break from this matter of EVERYTHING being identical in a single length set. And at the end of the day, a softer tip section or even softer flex in an iron only increases shot height for players who, 1) have a higher clubhead speed to make the softer tip/flex bend more forward coming into impact, 2) have a LATE release to even make the shaft bend forward at impact to begin with, 3) have a higher ball speed to make the ball keep flying UP to a higher trajectory on the launch angle it was hit to have. So this matter of using a softer shaft in the lower lofts of single length to help improve shot height and carry distance is only going to work for higher speed players with a later release move. And those players won’t have that much of an issue to begin with. What you need help for is the avg player or player with a 7 iron clubhead speed under 75-77mph. And the only help you give him is to advise him not to use the 4 iron and probably not the 5 iron because no matter what he does not have the speed to generate the height to make these low loft irons fly and carry far enough to be happy with them.

      As such the proper way to build Sterling or ANY single length set is with identical shafts in each head.

      You know I have played the Sterlings in my own bag now for about 2 years. At first I too did not like the 36.5″ SW. I was ok with the PW and GW because most of the time I use those irons are for full swing shots. But with the SW I dumped the Sterling SW and went back to my old trusty model I had used for 15 yrs at 35.5″. Then one day I just picked up the Sterling SW again and started to hit it and long story short, never went back. Now I can’t stand to play with a 35-35.5″ wedge, it just feels way too short to me.

      And the other thing that I have learned from my own set is that SW’s never need to be D4, D5, D6 swingweight as they have always been by tradition. As it should be in a single length set, my SW is the same swingweight as all the other irons. I have never had a problem with that, ever. Mainly because when you make a SW to be an inch or inch and a half longer than what you had before, the MOI of the club from the longer length is now higher than what the MOIof a 35.5 SW would be at a D4-5 swingweight. So from a pure weight FEEL standpoint, the longer length single length SW does not feel light when its swing weight is the same as the rest of the irons. So now I am of a mind that the old traditional way of making SW’s to be short and heavy is not right and more golfers should give it a try to have longer length wedges at normal swingweights.

      Thanks so much for your support and the very best to you Rich in this great game !


  7. 3 THINGS
    Hi Tom… I’m Niki from Zurich, Switzerland.

    1st thing:
    I play STERLING SINGLE LENGHT IRONS Lob-Wedge to 5 iron at 36 INCH.
    Befor i was playing normal lenght TW 771 CSI irons and would have never hit a 5 Iron to attack the Green from bad side-hill lie or under trees or whatever difficult lie you can immagine. With single lenght irons i found myself attacking greens from nearly any lie, … just because this clubs feel saver and much easyer at short 8 iron lenght. GREAT CONCEPT TOM !!

    2nd thing:
    Short chipping arround the Green with (6i,7i,8i,9i whatever) STERLING Irons is just perfect because of short Shaft. I’m so convinced about the Single Lenght concept that I bought a 8 Iron lenght 36.5inch Hybrid !!! Not loosing distance. Great and easy to play… and i even found myself using it for chipping around the Green. GREAT !!

    3rd thing:
    As you see i’m a believer in Single Lengt Golfclubs because my much better Golfgame is proofing it to me. NOW i’m wondering if I could build a short **40 Inch Fairwaywood** Nr.3 with about 14 or 15 Degrees of Loft. My driver is 42.5 and it plays beautyfull. I understand that i need to put much weight into the Head and reduce maybe Grip weight and maybe a bit heavier shaft to get D2 Swingweight.

    QUESTION: Can i use the 929HS FW Head to build a short 40inch Fairwaywood ? Which Model would be best? Tom, how about producing and offering Single lenght Fairwaywoods from your Company Wishon ????

    • Hello Niki

      Thank you very much for taking the time to stop by and share your experience with the Sterling Irons. We truly appreciate that and we are very pleased to hear that you like the single length iron in the way that we created and designed it. Being able to design the new models is extremely enjoyable but in all honesty it really is more fun for me to be able to actually hear that you like the irons and you are enjoying the game a little more because of that!

      For the shorter length fairway wood, the 929HS heads to have two weight bores, one in the hosel and one on the toe side of the sole which between them can allow you to add as much as 18 grams. It is then possible if you fill up both weight bores to then use a 9 gram tip weight in the shaft to be able to add a full total of 27 grams to the head. And the additional 9 gram tip weight won’t really harm the center of gravity location because you would have added 9 grams to the toe side weight bore to offset the CG changing effect of the additional 9g in the tip of the shaft. With a total of 27 grams added to the head you could use a 65g shaft with a 50g grip and make the 929 5 wood to be 40″ and end up with a swingweight of D0 – D1.

      If you do not wish to add that additional 9g to the tip of the shaft so the total weight added to the head is 18g, then you would need to make the length of this example 5 wood to be 40.5″ to be able to get to a D0-D1 swingweight.

      I have studied trying to come up with a good way to do a complete single length fairway wood AND hybrid family of clubs but there are some problems that prevent it from being done the way I first wanted to. If I use a shorter length such as 39″ so the control and consistency of the fairway woods is improved, that short of a length won’t allow the golfer to achieve a high enough clubhead speed with the 3w and 4w to be able to get as much distance as he would using a conventional 42 to 43″ length for the 3w and 4w. Few golfers would be happy with single length woods they hit shorter than their previous woods.

      Then if I make the single length to be say, 41″ to get some of the clubhead speed back for the 3w and 4w, that length is too long for the 9 wood or 3 and 4 hybrids and the control and consistency would not be as good. So in reality the solution is probably to have one separate single length of say 41″ for the woods and then a separate 38-39″ single length for a #2, 3, 4, 5 hybrid. And I am not sure I like the idea of having three separate lengths in the set, one for the woods, one for the hybrids and then one for the irons.

      So I am still thinking about this,

    • Hi Niki, I am also based in Zurich playing sterling irons. Want to meet at adlisberg range?

  8. Absolutely LOVE my new Sterling Irons. I love the way they feel, I love the way they look, and I love the way they perform. Eleven out of ten.

  9. i have posted here in the past but seeing I am finishing up on my 3 summer of playing the Sterling irons I thought I would give an update to all of those that are thinking of giving SL irons a try. My game has continued to improve and I cannot think of a reason to go back to VL irons. I always laugh when I hear all of the nay sayers that haven’t given them a try. I’ll admit, they are probably not for everyone, but they really simplified the game for me and I feel like I can get away without practicing as much and still have a good feel for my swing since so much of the set up is the same.

    I am 53 yrs old now, have played all of my life, and have been a 8-12 HC most of my life. I have gotten down to a 6 as of late and I only play about 25 – 30 rounds a year. Now if I have time to practice, I mostly putt and chip vs banging irons and drivers for hours. I also took yours and my local fitters advise and went to a shorter driver (44.25″), a Wishon 4W and Hybrid, both 1″ short, to gain control. I am 6′ 4″ and all of these decisions combined have really improved my consistency in the game.

    I would like to add a 5 iron and a LW to my set, are there any suppliers that will custom make up just two clubs? My club filter can no longer order through the new supplier because he just doesn’t do enough volume anymore and I am trying to find another avenue.

    Great clubs, thanks!

    • KEN

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write and post your comment on your experience with the Sterling Irons. We really appreciate that very much and we are very pleased to hear the irons are performing well for you and that you are playing better and enjoying the game more !! Good for you ! You can order any additional Sterling Irons for your needs through . They are an authorized re seller of my designs through their own direct sales website business. You would need to input on the order through what the length, shaft, lie angle, swingweight, grip and grip size you need to match the other Sterling Irons.

      Thanks very much and the very best to you in this great game !

    • When you go single length, it’s hard to go back. On a recent trip where I chose not to bring my clubs, I ended up playing a couple of rounds (one at Pasatiempo – what a fabulous course!) with borrowed conventional clubs of good quality. It drove me crazy trying to make consistent contact. Long irons were often hit high on the face so they came up way short, and I had to force myself to stay down on wedges. It was so annoying having to think about which club was in hand. Being back with my Sterlings (4I – LW) is such a relief!

  10. Hello Tom,

    Is the “New” Sterling LW available in left hand at all? I’ve had such great success with my Sterling set, shooting my best rounds in years, I’d like to complete the bag. I don’t really see any other LH Wishon wedge options for a 60*.

    Thanks for a great design!

    • Jeffrey

      I am sorry but we have not tooled the Lob Wedge in left hand. Our ability to offer a model in left hand depends on the demand in RH. In my entire career, never have I seen a left hand model reach more than 8% of the demand it does in RH. Sadly with the costs of tooling and inventory I have to keep that in mind when considering what we’ll do in LH. And the LH lob wedge demand in the RH Sterling is just not there to justify doing it in LH. Sorry about that but I am very pleased to hear that you have been playing well and enjoying the game more with your Sterling Irons !! Thanks for sharing that!


    • Hello Tom,

      I was wondering if it was necessary to have some Stepless shafts for the Sterlings ?

      Almost all shafts have a progression in weight from 3i – PW of 1g or 2g per shaft meaning the 3i shaft is 8g or so lighter than the PW shaft.

      this would not work in a single length set ?

    • MATT

      You have to remember, when you talk about the shafts in a single length set, because all of the irons are the same length, the shafts are identical with zero difference other than what happens from normal +/- tolerances in the making of the shafts. All shafts in a single length set would weigh the same and have the same exact bend profile. There would be no progression of stiffness or weight as there is or can be in shafts that are in conventional sets made to different incremental lengths. If you make a set of Sterling Irons to all be 36.5″ in length, because that is a normal 8 iron length, you would tip trim and install every shaft in each different Sterling Iron with the same exact 8 iron tip trim and then measure and cut from the butt so all the irons would be 36.5″ in length. You would then have a full set of 8-irons but with the difference being of course the lofts change from iron to iron.

      You would not want to try to do a progressive weight or progressive stiffness in a set of shafts for single length irons. DOing that would destroy some of the factors in the irons that are identical in every iron. The whole reason single length even exists is to say that in such a set, every iron is perfectly identical for every single aspect that controls swing feel – same length, same shaft weight, same total weight, same bend profile, same swingweight, same balance point and same moment of inertia for every club. This is how a golfer has the potential to benefit from improved consistency in the irons because every iron is the same in every possible way, other than for the lofts. If you go changing the shafts in weight or in bend profile, you break away from some of these things that are supposed to remain identical among every iron.


    • Jeffrey

      I had an idea I shared with Tom recently which he was not opposed to – you can have Sterling Irons bend a SW to close to LW loft. The only issue is you will have is two clubs that say SW on the bottom. But you can probably fill in the writing on one with a marker and you will know which is SW and which is LW. Just a suggestion I am contemplating as well.

  11. Tom,
    Little over a year ago Moe Hickey fitted me for a set of 5-GW Sterlings. Then recently Moe fitted me for 3-5 318 hybrids. Add to that an offset 919 driver and 2 925 offset fairway woods. I’m 74 and hitting pretty much in the 80’s. Your Sterlings have given me the ability to play well again. Moe has also fitted 2 other members of my golf group with drivers, Hybrids and another set of Sterlings. Great clubs, great fitter!

    • JEFF

      Thanks SO MUCH for letting us know how well you like the work that Moe did for you. Moe is no stranger to professional fitting and you did the right thing to find him and work with him. And thanks for doing so well with the sticks that your friends made the move to work with him as well ! I appreciate that very much ! The very best to you in this great game !


  12. Tom,

    Just wondering the same thing a previous poster had asked. I’m working with your Sterling irons (4-LW), KBS Tour 90 shafts, and Golfsmith Tour Wrap midsize grips cut to 37 inches. Absolutely love them! Only problem is the 4-5 irons are tough. Trajectory is way off (crazy low). My swing speed matches your recommendations as I’m a fairly long hitter (5-iron 195 yard carry with standard irons) to be able to hit these irons effectively. I was going to try and tip trim the 4-7 irons to standard trim length (kinda soft stepping for extra height without changing total length) then trim the 8-LW using 8 iron trim specs then butt trim all to 37 inches. I figure it can’t hurt! Do you see any potential problems with my theory? Also, need to bend them 2 degrees up but apprehensive about bending cast irons (bent many forged irons in the past with no problems). Any feedback would be appreciated and keep turning out great products!!!

    • JAMIE
      I do have a huge amount of experience from the hit testing part of the development with the Sterling Irons so let me try to see if I can help. In our testing the only ways we found a player with adequate clubhead speed fighting the 4 and 5 irons were, 1) he had a steeper angle of attack than normal for the irons – usual with a 7 iron length as you made them would be around -2 to -3* downward. Since all the Sterling Irons are to be played from the same ball position, if you do have a little steeper A of A, you would be delofting the 4 and 5 to a point that it is negating the ability of your speed to elevate the shot to fly and carry. BTW, I personally have a steeper A of A and I fight the #4 iron so I don’t use it. I use a hybrid instead.

      2) In our testing we found several players who would look at the straighter low loft face of the #4 and 5 and just begin to swing harder which caused all sorts of shot problems. So there is a definite psychological side of this to see that low of a loft and feel that short of a length and swing harder or change ball position to try to counter it. In our testing we found for some with this problem, we had them hit balls where they switched from 8 iron to 5 iron, 8 iron to 5 iron, one shot with each while mentally telling themselves to just swing the 5 like the 8, to imagine the 5 was the 8. That helped some.

      In the end, the clubhead speed with these two lower loft irons is definitely slower than it would be for the same numbered irons in a conventional length set. For some players the difference between 37″ and 38.5″ (usual 4 iron) is around a 4-5mph drop. For others it can be as much as 7-8mph depending on their swing characteristics and release move. In the end what we found was that whatever was the golfer’s reasonably successful lowest number iron in their conventional set, the lowest number iron in their Sterling set would usually be one digit higher. With the replacement club being a hybrid of more normal iron length for the loft on the hybrid. And the benefit then being for the Sterling Irons kept in the set makeup, all those are being swung with the same identical feel for potentially better shot consistency.

      Hope this helps,

  13. Hello Tom,

    I just received my set of sterling one lengths, left hand 5-gw…but they are in a 36.25 shaft length. My wrist to floor is 35 inches, and I’m 6 ft tall. While I’m sure get a fitting is the obvious answer, my two questions are (1) what differences would 1/4 of an inch make, assuming i can hit the sweet spot? I assume its just a little club head speed, and (2) are these shafts counter weighted? As in would getting my heads re shafted or even adding 1/2 inch extensions effect swing weights or is all the science in the heads themselves?

    • Mr King

      When you say 36.25″ shaft length, we take that to mean the club length. Technically in clubmaking, shaft length means the length of the shaft itself when removed from the head. I must say that most of the iron length fitting guidelines published would not put a person of 6′ height and 35″ wrist to floor into a length that is 1/4″ shorter than standard but perhaps you have a more crouched down/bent over posture over the ball such that the slight decrease from standard length becomes a little more comfortable for you? At the same time, 1/4″ is a very small increment and would be un noticeable to most golfers if no one told them their irons were 1/4″ under standard length. It’s so small that most golfers would not see any difference in clubhead speed between std and -1/4″ under for the length of their irons. Half inch is where things like that start to make their presence known.

      Length fitting in single length is important for one main reason – golfer comfort over the ball from address to impact. If you find your set up feels comfortable and you are not having to make any additional effort to “get down” to the ball, and if you find you can stay down properly through impact with no extra effort, then the length is fine. If you fight any of these things, then adding length would be advisable, by starting out by adding the length to 2 of the irons to start so you get some chance to hit shots and reflect on your comfort during the swing before you do all of the irons. Doing this with extensions is just fine – to re shaft the irons only for the purpose of adding 1/4 or 1/2″ of length would be a waste.


  14. Hey Tom,

    I´m a lefty from Germany who´s interested in the single length irons. My fitter would be Mike McFadden.

    I have 3 questions:

    Will there ever be a left handed 4 iron? I got plenty of club head speed and play my current 4 iron often from the tee (210-240 yards) instead of driver. But I suspect the Sterling 5 iron could be a litte short for that. I´m not a big hybrid or 3 and 5 wood fan so my only wood is the driver.

    Any plans on a new version of the Sterling Irons? With DeChambeau´s latest victory and promising future there´s probably gonna be a lot more people who will recognize that single length irons just make a lot of sense.

    What do you think about the concept of “double length irons”: 4-8 iron at 8 iron length and 9-LW at for example GW length? Seems reasonable to me but would love your perspective on this.

    Thank you very much and keep up the amazing work you do!

    • Peter

      Thanks very much for taking your time to post your questions. We truly appreciate having the chance to answer your questions and offer as much help as possible. First of all, YOU MADE THE BEST DECISION POSSIBLE for your game by choosing to work with Mike McFadden. Mike is without question one of the ten best clubfitters in the world, and I am not exaggerating when I say that. Put ALL OF YOUR CONFIDENCE in Mike and I assure you that you will be happy with the results.

      I am sorry but there will likely never be a left hand 4 iron in the Sterling set makeup. This is sadly where the business side of clubhead design steps into dictate the decision. Never in my 32 yrs of designing clubheads have I ever seen a left hand version of a model sell more than 8% of the units it does in right hand. Then add to that the fact that the 4 iron is by far the least used head in the set and you have a very tough situation to ever hope for the investment in the dies and production inventory minimum quantity to add up to make it so we could do a left hand #4 iron.

      I do not as yet have any plans to design a new single length iron model. I am happy with the current model and feel that it will serve the primary market for a long time, or for as long as people realize that single length can be of benefit to a lot of golfers. The primary market for single length appears to mainly be golfers between 7 or 8 hdcp up to 30+ hdcp. We have not seen very many low handicap players go with a single length set and that is understandable. For one, very good players are already fairly consistent to very consistent with the irons. They don’t see that much benefit to going through the work to convert to a single length design. And for the other, low handicap players tend to be much more traditional in their opinion about equipment and would be less likely to make such a big change to a single length set.

      I think there are MANY ways that golfers can approach the length of their irons. But I do not really believe that I would be in favor of the double length as you describe it unless the golfer has tried single length and has found that the one problem he has is a feeling that the single length 9 to SW are just too long for him to achieve his highest level of consistency with those clubs. Yes, it can take some golfers a little time to get used to the 9-SW being longer than they were in a conventional set. But I am finding now that single length has been out for a while that many golfers do get used to this and once they do, they like it better than when these irons were shorter.

      I know that I am in that category. When I first began to play the Sterling IRons, I did have some problems with distance control with the SW. For a month or two I did go back to my old 35.5″ sand wedge. But then I began to feel odd about bending over more with that SW so I switched back to the 36.5″ SW that is part of the Sterling set. And now I can’t imagine using a shorter length SW. If I need to grip down for a short chip shot, I can do that. but I am more comfortable over the ball for 3/4 and full swing shots and more able to maintain my spine angle through the ball with the 36.5″ sand wedge.

      Where I think modifying the single length concept can work is for the golfers who do not have enough clubhead speed to hit the 4, 5 or 6 iron at an 8 iron length. If you go 8 iron length from the 8 iron down to the SW but then go with 1/4″ increments longer from the 8 up to the 7 to the 6 to the 5 to the 4, you can gain some clubhead speed from the 1/4″ increments upward in the set. You do need to MOI match these longer irons to the MOI of the 8 to SW so that they still have the same swing feel.

      I hope this helps and thank you again for your interest. Please do have fun working with Mike and be sure to say HI to him for me !!


  15. OK so I totally know the correct answer to this is ‘go get fitted’, however, as I live in Vietnam, that is not really an option. I don’t even know of anyone who has the heads, let alone all the shafts and general knowhow required so I am kinda limited to the online boys.

    I have noted that a lot of the reviews and comments around the place have talked about ball-flight issues. I have played a couple rounds with loaner SL sets (Cobra and Gigagolf) and my own experience was similar. Head high 5 irons, and wedges that descended from orbit, covered in snow and autographed by a nice cosmonaut named Volvik.

    I know that the Sterlings manage this with high COR on the longer irons, but I am wondering if playing around with the shaft tipping would assist further. I have previously used Wishon 752s shafted in FST90 tipped to a stiffish-R. Pretty happy with those.

    So – would having a shaft tipped so that the longer irons were soft-stepped to play ‘a little bouncier’ and the shorter irons hard-stepped to play a little stiffer help to get the wedges up and ensure that Mr. Volvik’s shuttle is safe from flying balls? Or would there be other consequences that I am not thinking of (gapping? others?)


      From all of my experience in the development, testing and continued observation of golfers with single length sets, I believe in all honesty that you would be better off thinking about a set of irons made to either 1/4″ increments, 5/16″ increments or even 3/8″ increments. The reason you hit the low number irons too low is because you do not have enough clubhead speed with those shorter low loft irons to make the ball fly high enough to carry properly. Nothing can overcome that other than to go longer with those clubs. Yes, doing those heads with a high COR face as I did with the Sterling can help, but most definitely the Sterling irons have very specific clubhead speed thresholds to be able to get the #4 and #5 irons to perform right. If the golfer can’t swing the Sterling Irons at 85mph or higher (about a 165+ carry distance with a normal loft 7 iron) they should not use the 4 iron. And if they do not have a clubhead speed with the irons of 77-78mph they should not try to use the 5 iron.

      Now as to the problem of hitting the high number irons and wedges too high, I can’t comment on that without seeing the single length head design AND without seeing your impact position with these clubs. Too high with those irons and wedges can be from, 1) the single length is too long, meaning 37″ or 37.5″; 2) you have a bit of an early release with these clubs which adds loft to them at impact to cause the high flight.

      Changing the stiffness of the shaft or stiffness of the tip section is not going to make very much difference. Believe me we tried this over and over during the development phase as a way to try to get more height from the 4 and 5 irons for golfers who were not quite up to the threshold clubhead speeds and it never worked.

      In 2 + yrs of selling the Sterling Irons, we have definitely heard about golfers who do not have enough clubhead speed, still try the 4 and 5 irons, and find they hit them too low to gain full carry distance. Once they understand this and switch to more normal iron length hybrids they are happy. But we simply have not heard that people have hit the wedges too high. Maybe that can be explained by things that we are not able to see since we are not there watching all the golfers hit the Sterling Irons. But quite honestly I just have not heard that about the high number irons going too high.

      Not sure if I helped you much but if you wish to keep discussing this, we are more than happy to help with as much information as we can.


    • thank you so much Tom for the advice. I am chatting with a builder in the US at present and will discuss exactly this with him.

  16. Hello Tom,

    I play 4-LW and love them.

    I’m a year into starting golf, stronger and more efficient than when I started so I’m looking to reshaft.

    I currently play Sterlings with Nippon 950GH S flex at 36.75″ They feel quite soft now. So I’m looking at Pro Modus 3 120 S flex, S300, Project X etc. Basically heavier and stiffer shafts.

    My question is:

    Is there a reason why I can’t reshaft Sterlings to 37.25, or 37.5? I’d like the extra distance, and I’m now going to stop the set at PW or GW as I prefer to play my newly purchased Micro Groove HM wedges at standard SW and length.

    Thanks in advance,


    • Matthew

      The Sterling Irons are all designed and manufactured to a finished head weight of 274 grams. Each head has a special weight addition chamber at the bottom of the hosel which can accept up to a maximum of 9 grams of additional weight. The 274g head weight + 9g additional weight capability allows the irons to be custom made to lengths from 36 to 37.25 with shafts from 55g to 120g with grips weighing from 46 to 56 grams and still be able to come out within a reasonable range of swingweight. Now for sure, if the golfer wants 37.25 with the heaviest shaft and the lightest grip, the lowest swingweight possible is going to be around D4 or so. Likewise of the golfer wanted 36″ with the lightest shaft and heaviest grip the highest swingweight possible is going to be in the mid C-range. So there is a definite limit in terms of what the final swingweight can be based on the length + shaft weight + grip weight.

      With a 120g shaft, depending on the weight of the grips you use, you would be ending up with a swingweight that will be higher than what you have now, in all likelihood. And if you do not like or if your tempo does not do well with a higher swingweight, then that could be a problem. Hope this helps but for sure I am here to help with any questions you may have.

  17. i have 2 sets of stirling irons and live in the netherlands

    I want to try a lie angle of 68 or even 70 degrees
    How do i bend them that much
    do i have to heat them to say 800 degr C
    Can you give me an advice

    Looking foreword to you answer

    • Martien:

      An experienced clubmaker with a lot of bending experience can bend the #8, 9, P, G, S and L heads to that much of an upright lie angle because these heads are one piece all carbon steel construction. However, the #4, 5, 6, 7 iron heads will be VERY DIFFICULT to try to bend that much upright and I do NOT recommend trying to do that. The reason for the difference is because of the fact the #4, 5, 6, 7 heads are made with a high strength steel face to increase the COR of the face of the heads for more ball speed. The heat treatment procedure required to make the face material be of the correct strength for its thin-ness has the side effect of decreasing the ductility of the body of the head and the hosel. Nothing can be done to prevent that effect on the hosel to reduce the bendability because the faces have to be special heat treated. There is no possible way to only heat treat the faces because the whole head is put into the heat treatment oven.

      I really do not recommend heating the hosel or any iron to enable it to be bent easier. And I definitely would not recommend doing this to the Sterling #4, 5, 6, 7 because it could have a negative effect on the faces. Heating the hosel to 800C would be too much heat. By the time the hosel would be softer the faces, or a portion of the face closer to the hosel could have changed its mechanical property. In addition if you heat the hosel to 500C to soften it enough to bend, the hosel and surrouding areas of the head could be scorched and darkened from the high heat. Only if you had a very skilled clubmaker who could heat a little while, then try to bend, heat carefully some more, then try to bend – and do this slowly would this be something to try. But there would always be the chance of breaking the hosel when you are trying to bend it to as much as 68 to 70*.

      If you are interested in trying the Single Plane swing technique, try it first on one of the 8, 9, P, G or S irons that will be easier to bend. Then you can play with that for a long enough time to determine if the single plane swing might be something you want to do.


    • Tom, I didn’t find them too hard to bend. I play my set at 67.5°, so 4.5° upright, and I was a using a Scotland machine – no heating needed at all.

    • With proper experience and the right equipment they can be bent 4 to 5 degs from spec. But not that many clubmakers or people who build clubs have all that much experience to do this so that is why we always talk more conservatively about bending to extremes.

  18. Hi Tom

    I’ve had my Sterlings for nearly 2 years now and thought I would share my “journey” as it’s been quite interesting for me.

    I had the 560MC irons (which I loved) and with those I had a 50, 54 and 58 wedge, then a 19 and 16 fairway wood at the other end

    The first thing I discovered was that my old 50 deg was similar enough in distance to the Sterling GW, so I dropped it from the bag.

    At around the same time, I also got a 18 deg 365pf fairway and a 14 deg 919 FD to replace my woods. What I found to my surprise was that I hit the 365pf WAY further than my old 19 deg, and even further than the 16 deg. This was great in one sense, but even though the Sterlings were half a club longer, I now had too much gap from 5 iron to the wood.

    So what I did was to get a 929HS 7 wood (21 deg), and a 949MC 4 wood (16.5 deg). I was able to keep the 919FD in the bag after dropping my old wedge. So I ended up with 3 fairways of 14, 16.5 and 21 degs, all different models. But they work because I prefer the deeper face 949 for a 4 wood, and a shallower face for the 7 wood, so it’s perfect

    Finally, I decided that the Sterling 5 hybrid might be a bit easier (especially as I get older) so bought that to replace the 5 iron. At first I wasn’t in love the look of it at address (which is one reason I didn’t buy it initially), but persisted with it and I now really like it.

    I can use the 919FD for shorter / tighter par 4’s (and also when feel brave and really want to go all out on a par 5 from the fairway). The 949 is my go-to club for long fairway shots, and occasionally off the tee. The 929HS 7 wood is REALLY good and easy to hit, and it’s perfectly spaced with the Sterling 5 hybrid, which is just that bit easier than the 5 iron for me.

    It’s taken a few tweaks but I think I have eventually arrived at the ideal set up. I’m loving the Sterlings and all three fairway woods (not to mention the 919 Thi Driver which I’ve had since 2011 and will keep it until it falls apart)

    Also kudos to Ronnie Barnett who is still a great club maker in his 80’s!

    Keep up the good work!

  19. Hi again Tom,
    A few quick questions:
    -What’s your opinion of groove sharpening tools? I’ve had my Sterling’s since the fall of 2016 & while still okay, I know the day is coming when they won’t be as sharp as I’d like.
    -Paired with my Sterlings, is a 929HS 16.5º 4 wood which I love. Sadly, it’s acquired a few small chips in the metallic black paint which I would like to fix. I was thinking about trying to match an automotive touch up to the color. Am I on the right track here?
    -On that same club, the white fill paint in the stripes on its sole has started to come out a bit, what do you recommend I use to touch it up? I like to keep my equipment looking its best.
    Thanks for any help.

    • KEVIN

      I am 1 million % against the use of groove sharpening tools. Not only will you do damage to the groove profile to render it non conforming but it’s not all that uncommon for a person using this tool to cut themselves pretty badly. The sharpener does not run smoothly or easily across a groove and so when you apply force to get it to cut, it can easily jump out of the groove and pose the potential of cutting yourself. Besides, spin DOES NOT NOT NOT COME FROM THE GROOVES. Spin comes from the roughness of the flat areas of the face between the grooves. The grooves serve a function to channel a LITTLE BIT of moisture away from the interaction between the face and surface of the ball to reduce the potential for a flyer shot. That’s all they do. NOT SPIN.

      Touch ups with black automotive paint are about the only way you can cover a chip in the paint. Use 400 or 600 grit sand paper on the area you plan to paint as a means to help adhesion of the paint. Apply it as best you can and try to “feather it” lightly into the surrounding areas of black paint on the head which are intact so you reduce the severity of a paint line between old paint and fresh. Even still you will see a little edge where the edge of the chip is. That just can’t be resolved unless the whole head is re finished.

      Paint fill is done with normal enamel paints. You clean the engraving with a sharp pointed object and if other paint comes out that is OK. Then you brush the paint over the line to fill it. While the paint is wet you take a soft tissue dampened only with mineral spirts and GENTLY rub down the line to remove the excess paint on the sole while leaving the paint in the groove line. Do not push down hard with the damp solvent wipe or it will remove the paint from the line. Then let dry overnight.

      Hope this helps and thanks so much for your interest,

    • Thank you very much Tom. I continue to get questions & compliments on my clubs & my increased consistency since their purchase!

    • Thanks Tom for your extensive reply
      I will not bend de shorter irons because than i have to different swings ..
      I have a separate 7 iron, in future i will find a way to experiment,
      Me and my ife are really fanatic believers of the concept .
      Thanks for all your work on this project.

  20. Sterling Irons are awesome ! I highly recommend them to anyone interested in the concept of single length irons.
    I just got them last spring and they have helped me greatly!
    5/5 stars for sure!!!
    Thanks Tom!

  21. Tom,
    Are there any published specs of the Sterlingw showing dimensions of the clubhead,similar to the ones for the 771 irons?

    • TARIQ

      Yes for sure, specs for every model in the product line are published on the page for each model on our website under DESIGNS. For the Sterling Irons, go here – – and then scroll down until you see the boxes of photos and spec chart that you can click on to enlarge and read. Dims are there in the full specs charts.


  22. Hi Tom!

    A happy Sterling owner here!!

    I have the Sterling from LW to 4iron and I am very happy.

    I am loking to complete my bag with a Wishon Hybrid and Wood but I would love them to be as short as posible.

    I am thinking about:

    – 775 HS with 18* loft
    – 929 HS with 18* loft

    Would it make sense?

    I do not use the fairway a lot but need it for 2 par 3 at my Course which are 190 and 200 meters each. If I can have a very easy fairway Wood I might use it more from the fairway.

    If this set up does make sense, what would be the shortest length you would recommend to cut the shafts?

    By the way, the shafts would be a S2S Red in both cases.

    Thank you very much in advance and best regards!

    • Hi Luis

      There are two things for you to consider to decide between an 18* loft hybrid or 18* loft wood. First is your own personal preference for the shape of the head – if you like the smaller size of the hybrid then go with that. If you like the slightly larger size of the fwy wood, go with that. 2) if you choose the wood, because of the weight of the fwy wood head , the length would likely have to be 1″ longer than the length of the hybrid of the same loft. But if your irons are 36.5″ long, I would recommend if you do the 18* hybrid the length would not be longer than 39″ so you have good control. If you do the 18* loft wood, then I would recommend the length to not be shorter than 40″.

  23. Tom,
    What are the specs for the traditional sand and lob wedge that were added to the sterling set?
    Thank you,

    • Jarrod

      Sure thing, happy to help and thanks for your interest ! New Sterling SW is 56* loft and LW is 60*. Std Lie for both is 63* but since they are one piece carbon steel construction they can easily be bent +/-4* in any direction. Head weight for both is 274g +/-3g, offset is 2mm. Both are designed with a zero bounce heel so when the faces are opened, the leading edge won’t rise up hardly at all which is good for cut shots from tight lies. Primary bounce (center to tie area of sole) on the SW is 12* and 8* on the LW. Both are designed with a traditional SW/LW face profile.


  24. Dear Tom.
    I already wrote to you several time and I enjoy so much my Sterling Irons. So , several people came to consider SLI Sterling Iron instead of their conventional sets.
    So they were fitted by André and then , there are about a bench of 10 new enthusiast golfers (and a lady) playing a Sterling set with different kinds of fitting.
    I am her to ask you a question about one of my friends playing Sterling Irons (André made he fitting & set) from 4 iron to SW
    Before that he played a Callaway Legacy set, we test them on André’s Trackman , the majority of the trajectories went to left and about at 191 yards with a 5 iron.
    So with the Sterling 5 iron it was straigth and several distances to 218 yds (carry) and 242 total
    This guy is struggling with his woods , and that cause troubles on the score cards due to distance out of the fairways.
    His club speed with his 5 Sterling Iron (so with every club of the set, that’s so logical) IS 101 MPH
    So he would ask you two things :
    1°) do you intend to build a 3 or 2 Sterling iron, or a driving iron as a Sterling, in the future
    2°) if not, do you think it could be possible to order and play a 4 Sterling iron with a lower loft in order to build a 3 one ? Is it playable for him ?

    thank you for your kindness and your great job
    kindest regards

    • Mr. Malcor:

      I would suspect that a major reason your friend is struggling with the woods and driver is because they are too long for him now. If he were to have Andre fit him for a driver and fairway woods, I am sure the result would be satisfactory to the golfer because Andre truly knows the benefit of fitting golfers with shorter lengths in the driver and woods. I would recommend he do this rather than to have Andre try to bend a #4 iron down to only 15 or 16* loft. Bending the 4 iron that much would increase the offset very visibly and it would also remove all the bounce from the sole. That could cause more of a chance to hit “fat shots” with the iron. I am sorry but we will not design a new iron for the Sterling set that would be of a lower loft than the 4 iron. Your friend is unique in that he has a 101mph speed with the irons. Not more than a fraction of 1% of all golfers can do that. So there would be no market for an iron of less loft than the Sterling #4.

      Your friend would be very happy I am sure to have Andre fit him for clubs above the #4 iron that he can hit more consistently and still hit long enough to be happy.


    • Dear Tom,
      Thank you very much for jour very celver and nice advice about the opportunity to bend a lower loft on the # 4, it was obviously not necessary
      We share a game during a tournament last Saturday, he won the trophy despite he had no wood in the bag.
      The most amazing distance was on the 10 th hole in Belle Dune 5North West of France, rather tough course) during the tournament, he over drive us with his 4 Sterling iron with a 286 yards shot off the tee (45 yards away from my 919 F/D 14° shot). Even the wind was behind it was so amazing.
      The more clever thing he has to order is a Sterling LW… He agreed
      So thank you again and congratulation for the great job you did over the years
      kindest regards

  25. Hello Tom,

    Navin’s here. Do you have any plan to design another version of the Sterling with less offset, says like the normal muscle back head because, to me and some of my customers, we prefer the head with less offset. Also if you can in-cooperate with the design of the 565MC for the #4 – #7 heads to make them thinner ( I think thinner iron head is cooler) and do not have to sacrifice the forgiveness, it would be awesome.

    • NAVIN

      Thanks very much for your post and your comments and suggestions ! Right now I do not know if I will do a 2nd generation Sterling Irons design or not. I simply do not yet have a strong feeling one way or the other as to whether single length can remain a strong, viable alternative to conventional irons in the minds of enough golfers to make it worth having as a permanent part of the product line. I think it should be because I have learned SO MUCH about single length performance as a result of my work in doing the Sterling Irons. But what I think and what the vast majority of golfers think might be two different things. So I am waiting and watching to just see where the interest level goes for modern single length iron design.

      And as to the offset, I did a PROGRESSIVE offset on the Sterling Irons, same as I have done on most game improvement irons I have designed in my career. It is not really that much offset on the lower loft irons, at least when you compare it to the offset of a game improvement Ping or Callaway iron model. And to be honest with you, while any golfer from scratch to beginner could play them if fit properly, I designed the Sterling Irons mainly for the golfers from around 8 and up in handicap, not really for the scratch to always under 80 players. So the things you ask about are traditionally things that go with low handicap players’ preferences in irons.


  26. Hello TOM, how are you?

    I am hoping (praying actually) that you can help me find a reseller for your 6g/9g hosel weights.

    I know you don’t sell anything directly anymore but I wondered if you could point me in the direction of someone that could supply them for me?

    I have had some dealings w/ 3 Wishon certified fitters/clubmakers to date. One Sterling fitter stated he would only continue to work with me if I purchased his graphite shaft options (which added another $750 to the build cost), one does not use your bore weights at all any longer (but did offer an option for adding up to 5g, but I do need just a bit more weight), and the final guy I simply can’t send any business to due to an awful fitting experience.

    I can’t find ANY tip weights that will fit my specific shaft. I’ve tried many options, even the .335 tip weights made for graphite shafts, but no luck due to the OD of the tip opening in my shafts being too small. Also, I’m looking to to use a weight plug for use in a #2 775HS head I am going to buy, which I’ll buy from the 2nd gentleman referenced above.

    Please, I am DYING to finalize my Sterling Irons build with my graphite shafts and your (6g/9g) bore weights are my last option.

    Thanks in advance for your help and support,


    • JAKE

      Very good and thank you for asking. All of my product line including all the small parts are available from Diamond Golf International. They took over everything related to my product line as of Oct 1, 2016. While it might seem impossible to buy from a company in the UK, they did put through some fabulous shipping rates for US and Canadian clubmakers. Orders over $500 ship 2-3 day air for no shipping charge. Orders from $300-$499 ship by 2-3 day air for a $10 flat fee. Orders from $100 to $299 ship 2-3 day air for a $20 flat fee. Under $100 they charge $30. So if you could figure out anything more you need than just the weights to get the order to $100, then $20 for shipping by 2-3 day air is not too bad.

      I know of no other companies that sell these same hosel bore weights to go into the weight bore in all my head models. I think I recall at one time that GolfWorks had stocked a cylindrical shaped weight that could be used in my weight bores, but I do not know if they still do. Other than that you would want to try to contact other clubmakers to ask if they might send you a few from their stock. You can dig into the FIND A CLUBFITTER search tool on to find contact numbers for clubmakers. Might have to contact several but if all you need are weight plugs so ordering from Diamond is not possible for you to do, then contacting other clubmakers is about your only bet. let me know how you fare.


    • You might try weight putty. Used for pinewood derby cars, fishing lures, etc. Moldable into any shape.

      While we’re on the topic of adapting common items to golf club uses – hex bolts make dandy shaft butt counterweights. And angle grinders- with a 1/16″ metal cutting wheel – make short work of shaft cutting.

    • THANK YOU for your reply TOM, I appreciate it. I have put in a enquiry into DGI. But, since I am just learning the trade and not really ‘in business’ as of yet, I will have to do what you had suggested and reach out to other, more established, builders to see if we can partner on future orders.

      THANKFULLY a mutual friend from this board reached out to me and offered a one-time chance to pick up some of the 6g/9g weights with his next order. I won’t mention his name to protect his privacy, unless of course he doesn’t mind that I do?

      I woke up this morning with (2) thoughts about my post. First, was SO HAPPY that I am finally going to be able to build my Sterling Irons, with golf just around the corner here. I’ve never been more excited about a set of golf clubs in my life (and I am an awful club junky, lol).

      But also had the thought that even though it resulted in a great help, that I’m now looking back and realize that my eagerness to find a solution blinded me to the fact this was not really the place to make such a request. You have so many Sterling Irons fitters in your organization and I shouldn’t have put you in a position that would ask you to single out any direct contacts like that. For that, I do apologize TOM.

      I do want to thank you again for your help and support. Maybe the enquiry put into DGI turns into something after all…? I also want to thank our mutual discussion board friend again (probably for the 15th time and driving him nuts, lol, as I was so excited last night). I appreciate the willingness to help a fellow Sterling Irons enthusiast in his time of need.

      Jake 🙂

    • Thanks Mitch, I appreciate the tip about using the weight putty… that’s a GREAT idea! I will test using that option as well after my friend helps me with the Wishon weights. Hex bolts too, wow, never would’ve thought of that. You need to setup some clubmaking workshops… I’m in! 🙂

  27. Hi Tom, appreciate all your work and feedback on single length irons. I pulled the trigger on sterlings last year and love them. My question is regarding Cobra Golfs approach with the F8 One length in which they have modified the lie angles for each iron in the set. What are your thoughts on this ? Is there any benefit to this ? Thanks! -Bob

    • BOB

      Thanks for your appreciation ! I am always happy to help with the best information I can offer. I was not really aware that Cobra had established different lie angles on the heads in their single length sets. But in thinking about that, it makes no sense to me. The whole idea of single length is to make each iron absolutely identical so the only thing that changes from iron to iron is the loft to create the different distances. If the length of each iron is to be say, the same as your 8 iron, then the thought process is that each iron is supposed to be exactly like your 8 iron (except the loft) so you set up and swing each iron the same to be able to have the potential to increase swing repeatability and shot consistency. It should be no different than if you went to the range and hit only your 8 iron (or 7 iron, whatever the single length ends up being) for every shot. From that you get better consistency.

      Having different lies makes no sense if each iron is the same length and if each iron is supposed to be used with the same ball position, same stance, same posture.


  28. Hi Tom,

    Would it be posible to apply some kind of product to the Sterling Traditional Shape Wedges so they rust over the time?

    I love RAW wedges and I love the Sterling wedges so I would love the Sterling wedges to rust…

    I have read that it depends on the amount of carbon that the Steel has… Some say that it can be done by putting the heads on cocacola or in wáter with vinegar…

    Could you please help me?

    Apologies for trying to “modify” one of your desings…

    • LUIS

      Not very likely as all of the Sterling iron heads are nickel chromium electroplated over the 8620 carbon steel body. So you would have to acid strip remove the plating completely to get the carbon steel to oxidize. And no problems, I never have any issues with anyone modifying anything on one of my designs!!


    • Hi Tom,
      Regarding the stripping of the nickel/chromium plating I assume you use hydrochloric acid. That would probably ok on the wedges to #8i. But what’s about the #7-4i as they have the faces welded to the body?
      Also, the clubs should come out lighter. Can you estimate by how much and can you recommend a procedure for the stripping?
      Kind regards

    • Daniel

      I no longer have the actual chemicals for stripping nickel chrome electroplating memorized. It’s been a long time since I worked closely with a plating company and knew all that stuff. These days as a designer it is unnecessary to know that stuff because that is between the clubhead production factory and their specific plating sub contractor. But with the Sterling irons I can tell you that the high strength steel faces of the #4-7 are welded to the carbon steel body before plating. Then the whole head is NiCr plated. So the stripping of the old plating will not harm the high strength steel alloy or the welding. And yes when you strip the plating you do lose weight, but it is a different amount of weight that will be lost in the lower loft vs middle loft vs higher loft heads. This is because the surface area of the higher loft irons is greater than the middle loft irons which is greater than the surface area of the lower loft heads. You can see this easily when you just look at the SIZE of the heads. The larger the head, the more plating goes on it. But the difference is small – if I remember right the weight of the plating on the Sterling PW is 2g heaver than on the #4 and 5 irons. For stripping you need to contact a competent electroplating company because that is most certainly their domain. But you do NOT want to try to do something like that yourself.


  29. This is my final post (of three) regarding the new Sterling Sand and Lob Wedges.

    Standing over each shot (full, pitch, chip, or sand), you’ve got a decision to make involving three variables–which wedge, where to grip it, and open or square blade. In other words, for each wedge you can choose to grip down the shaft or swing full-length. You can also decide to square the face or open it. But you cannot do both. At least I can’t.

    Taking full swings from the fairway with either wedge is pretty simple-completely like every other Sterling iron in the bag. No difference.

    Chipping and pitching leaves you a choice: grip down or at the end. Both work; it depends on you. This is no different from gripping down on any iron in the bag. I’ve noticed however that, as expected, the ball flies farther gripping it at the end. When you’re doing your chipping ratios–how much in the air and how much roll–you’ll need to take that into account. Still, hitting chips and pitches with a square face is not any more complicated than doing it with full swings.

    Which leave opening up the face. This is necessary for most (but not all) sand shots, as well as many pitches/flops. This is a big deal to me, and it gave me the most trouble. But I think I’ve settled on something.

    When you open up the face, the more-upright lie angle (remember, it’s the same as an 8-iron) becomes troublesome. I’ve hit some sand shots and flop shots with the face open, but the only ones that were consistently successful were when I held it at the end of the club. Gripping down increased the lie angle even further–shorter, standing closer to the ball, more upright. Much too much to get the club to pass under the ball. I bladed everything–sand, greenside flops, everything.

    I hit some sand shots with the blade open while gripping it at the end and it was effective–although it looked a little funny. But gripping down was impossible.

    Can I live with hitting sand and flop shots with Sand and Lob wedges this long? I think so. But will it be better than traditional wedges? I don’t know. The advantages are all in the full swing feeling like every other full iron swing. The trade-offs for this are what I said above about opening the club face. Now that using these clubs is possible, I can move on to whether they’re optimal, whether the trade-off is worth it. That will take a lot longer.

    • You have things slightly backwards – the wedges at 8-iron length actually have a FLATTER lie angle, not more upright. A normal LW is more upright than an 8 iron, but the Sterling LW made at 8-iron length is flatter than a regular LW. Also, when you grip down on the club you make the lie angle of the club flatter, not more upright. The swing plane will become more upright due to the shorter shaft and the ball setting closer to your body, but the lie angle of the club actually becomes flatter.

      But this is true for any traditional set as well, gripping down on any club changes the swing plane and lie angle from what they would be when held at the end of the club. If you can choke down and open the face with a traditional wedge and hit good shots, I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do the same with the Sterlings.

    • Do you struggle with sand shots with your conventional wedges? All the variables you talk choking up/opening the face/ etc. are things you also have to do with a conventional wedge.
      The lie angle on your wedge would actually be LESS upright than your conventional wedge, which could be an issue if your lie angles aren’t correct to begin with. The toe would be slightly down, but from an 8 iron to a wedge your looking at a maximum of 1 degree difference in lie so I’d have to chalk it up to technique vs club.
      If you are thinking so hard about where to hold the club, what it looks like, etc. you’re aren’t likely in the right mindset to hit a good shot with any club. In golf you rarely hit the same stock shot time and time again inside your full swing swing shot. You have to adjust and hit different shots, no different that the single lengths, if you need to hit lower, higher, cuts, fades, you still have to adapt by choking up, opening the face, etc. One swing for all clubs only works for stock swings not manipulated shots. I’ve had no issues adjusting to the new sterling wedges, in fact I like them better than any conventional wedge I’ve played, I didn’t like the original very much but it was more visual that performance. Maybe meet with a fitter and talk about how you use the wedges for shots other than full swing, it could be your lie angle is a bit off causing the toe to dig more than it should. Best of luck!

    • I DO have it backwards. It’s a weakness of mine. Yes, the LW is more upright than the 8I. But the dynamic is still the same. Choking down makes it flatter, causing the toe to drag into the turf or sand.

      No, I don’t have a problem playing from sand or with conventional wedges.

      Yes, these clubs were professionally fit, as have been all my irons for the last 20 years. The lie angles are correct for me and identical to the 8-iron in all my previous sets.

      Hitting a choked-down wedge with an 8-iron lie creates toe drag that isn’t there when choking down on a conventional wedge. I have to think the 4 degrees (or so) difference in lie angle from this LW to a conventional LW has something to do with it.

      Anyway, these are preliminary observations. YMMV, as will mine over time.

    • If you play your irons standard (granted there isn’t really a “standard”) but lets say standard 8 iron is 63.5 degree lie angle, a standard matching wedge is typically 64 degrees. So your wedges if they run a conventional progression would only have been at most I’d say .5 to 1 degree more upright than the 8 iron which would be hard for most people to even notice. So your sterling wedges at most if build to your convention 8 iron, would only be .5 degrees flatter than your convention wedge if fitted properly but also longer so dynamically would play more upright. But even choking up to the same length as your conventional wedge you shouldn’t see any noticeable difference in lie angle between your conventional wedge and the sterling, unless your fitter changed your lie angles drastically. Maybe get the wedge double checked for proper lie angle, it could easily be off a degree or two from the other clubs.

  30. Tom,

    I need a little more launch in my 4 iron. I currently game X100 in my sl irons. I’ve them btw. Any shaft ideas. I have plenty of ss 96-100 mph with the 4 iron

    • RALPH

      If your swing speed with the irons is 96-100mph and you hit the 4 iron low, then the reason has to be because you have a more downward angle of attack into the ball. The more steeply we swing the club down into the ball, the more we lower the loft at the moment of impact which in turn keeps the launch angle and the resulting shot trajectory low. It’s possible a change to a softer shaft or softer tip shaft can help you a little since you do have a higher than normal speed. But if you did that, you would then have to live with the fact that you might feel the softer flex/tip bend more which may possibly be disconcerting to you if you do have a very refined sense of feel for the bending action of the shaft coming into the ball.

      The only other option would be to play the ball more forward just with this 4 iron to see if that helps. Moving the ball forward and still keeping your head behind the ball at impact can reduce the amount of how downward your angle of attack is and could help with shot height.

      Hope this helps

  31. Hey Tom random fitting question for ya. I have a player thats 5’10 and has a wrist to floor of only 30″. Crazy long arms. Hes a scratch golfer and currently plays titleist MB 710’s I built him a few years back at -1 inch, standard lie and swing weights at only C7 so basically womens standard but that’s what feel he liked best. He’s interested in the Sterlings but where his current 8 iron is 35.5 inches that’d be a whole inch shorter than recommended build at 36.5, his wedges are all 34.5 so matching sterling wedges would be 2 inches longer than his current set up. If I built at 36.5 I’d be building his whole set to his current 6 iron length which when swinging a demo he felt they were way to long and he couldn’t be on top of the ball in his normal posture and compress it like he’d want to. Question is would it be possible to build a usable set at 35.5-35.75 in length? He currently hits his 40 degree lofted 8 iron muscle back at 35.5 inches length about 175 yards carry so swing speed is not an issue at that length. He prefers lighter swing weight so that shouldnt be a big issue, Id assume the flight might be a bit too low for the 5 iron but then again his speed is well over 85 mph even at the 35.5 length. Any concerns or issues you’d see with something like that?

    • KOURT

      Good questions you pose and it’s good to have the chance to comment about this for you and any others who may trip across this. Plain and simple, you do have options in this single length fitting for your golfer with the long arms and you are definitely thinking correctly about these options. The only possible downside to choosing the 35.5″ length is the effect of that shorter length on the golfer’s clubhead speed and how that affects the success of the Sterling #5 and 6 iron in the set. If the golfer has an iron swing speed of 75mph or less, AND, if he has his sights set on having a 5 iron in the set, this is where your logic of doing the set based on his 6 iron length of 36.5″ can help a little. On the other hand if he has a higher than avg swing speed such as over 80mph with the irons, then you could do the 35.5″ length and with it possibly get a better shot at improving on center shot consistency than would happen at 36.5″.

      But if he is not a very good player and if he also is not that high in swing speed (75mph or under), this is where you have a decision to make. In such a case it would likely be better to do the length at 35.5 so you get a little help in the shot consistency aspect, but to NOT have a 5 iron in the set. That 23* loft #5 iron does usually require an iron speed of over 75mph to get the ball elevated high enough to enable the 5 iron to carry longer than the 6 iron. So going a little longer helps with the swing speed but it brings the chance of not helping the on center shot consistency at the same time. Hence why I would say if he is not that good and his speed is not over 75mph, skip the 5 iron in the set and do the set at the 35.5″ length. On the other hand if he is not that great but does have a higher speed, you can still do the 35.5″ length but possibly then do the 5 iron in the set.

      Hope this helps but if you need more info, don’t hesitate to ask,

    • I have a customer who does well with Sterlings at 35.5″. We tried him at several different lengths and 35.5 was the clear winner. He’s not a great golfer – just learning – but he has outstanding athletic ability. He was a professional windsurfer in his younger days. He can hit the Sterling 4I farther than some of my friends can hit a driver, and it goes plenty high.

      Sterlings are SO versatile. You can push the length past the recommended limits in either direction if you need to, and you don’t run into problems at the end of the set.

  32. This is the second of two posts regarding my first impressions of the new SW and LW. The first post was about hitting them on the range. Today, I got to “field test” them on the course for a bit.

    I really enjoyed hitting them with full swings. It was an extension of the rest of the set and a very positive experience.

    Using them around the greens for chipping was a breeze. I hit shots both from the end of the clubs and from choking down on the grip. No troubles with each–even though they’re quite a bit longer than my traditional SW and LW. I liked the extra flexibility of going with a full length or choking down.

    Opening the blade was another matter, though, for both green-side pitches and bunker shots. Simply put, it looked strange. This is due to the lie angle being equal to an 8-iron set up. I was worried I couldn’t get the blade flat enough to blast out (bunker) or lob high (green-side). But the offset didn’t prove to be much of an obstacle to either in actual play. It looked like I was trying to get out of a bunker with a laid-open 8 iron (in terms of lie angle), but the loft angle did all the work–and did so as you would expect.

    I tried bunker shots both from the end of the clubs and from choking down. It’s still inconclusive. I’d love to hear others’ experiences with these clubs!

    • RICH

      Well I guess I can chime in with comments about playing the wedges since I do play the Sterling Irons through the SW. I do not use the LW because in any of my previous sets I just never used a LW and was comfortable hitting all shots I needed around the green with a SW.

      When I first switched to the Sterling Irons, I already had my mind made up I was going to retain my old SW because it had been with me for over 15 yrs and I was very comfortable and familiar with it. Then when I designed the new traditional SW I had one of those “aw what the heck” moments and built one to my same Sterling Iron specs. For the first week or two I wanted to not like it (perhaps my old SW was talking to me!) but what hit me pretty soon was that I felt more comfortable with a more upright posture than I had with the old shorter SW. Within 2 weeks I was used to the distance with it for any types of shots. As far as bunker shots or cut shots I never once had any issues with the length being longer than my old SW by an inch. I had adjusted my posture by that time so it never felt long to me in the sand or for any finesse shot with the face wide open. Now it feels normal to me.

      What this whole experience did to me as a clubhead designer since 1986 was to put a real ?-mark in my head about why did SW’s evolve to be so heavy in swingweight. Forever and ever it seems, SW heads have been designed to a 300 gram headweight so when assembled with a typical steel shaft at their normal shorter length, the swingweight would be D4 to D6. OK, sure I know the usual story on this was to have the higher swingweight/headweight to help the head get through the sand. It came to me that in my entire career, this was one aspect of head design I had never even thought to question. Until I had several months of experience playing my 36.5″ Sterling SW with a swingweight of D1 and final headweight of around 282g (I use a graphite shaft in my irons and wedges). In no way do I feel for my playing needs or feel that this longer lighter SW is light in anyway to a point of causing any problems. It feels normal to me now. And as a funny thing, when I got the test prototypes for the new 2018 PCF Micro Pro wedges, (these are traditional weights for normal lengths) when I was the first to hit test them, the SW just felt heavy to me.

      I would say in the end what this whole experience with the Sterling single length SW has taught me is to never just forget to question why on things. I do see a potential for golfers with back problems to use longer wedges if they are not into using a single length set. And I also see no problems with using wedges at lower swingweights than what has been typical – or at least trying it out. keep in mind when you increase the length of the SW over what it is in a normal build, you are automatically increasing the MOI of the club a lot. So at a normal swingweight that longer length of the SW is in essence preventing it from feeling too light compared to what you were used to with a normal SW.


    • Hey there Mitch, thanks for your reply. It was nice to hear from you again and I appreciate your feedback. The shafts came from the factory already tip trimmed for the 8I at 37.5″ length (all are the same, 10x for 4I-LW). I’ll be using a shim to work the .355 into the .370 tip. I will use Tom’s suggestions to figure out adjusted swingweight since it seems I’ll need to cut off an extra 1″+ off the butt end to keep the length at 37.5″ for the set.

      I am actually going to have a (.370 tip) steel shaft set put together as well, as I prefer the stability I get with steel. However, I am having some severe tendonitis issues this year in my right elbow. Because of this I need to test a graphite set as well. I got an AMAZING deal on a closeout of these .355 shafts that I HAVE to try out… with my elbow pain and that pricing, I just couldn’t pass it up.

      BTW, I will be using ProSoft inserts in the steel shaft set, along with the thick grips, to help absorb more vibrations and cut down on some issues there. Have you had any experience with those?

      Thanks again Mitch!

      Jake 🙂

    • Hi Tom & Rich
      I owned the first shape (design) of the Sterling SW and it was a great improvement in my game regarding distance on FW when the ball is at 83 yds (75m) from the pin.
      I played a Microgroove LW 60° added to my set.
      So I was waiting for a LW… Last year I bought a SW and a LW with the new “blade” shape,
      First I do love the new design, and the LW help me (as the SW) to easily get a constant distance (66 yds /60 m) avoiding error on tough holes on my country club golf course (especially on 12Th).
      Before ,I got a pair of Cleveland wedges, nice clubs but it was more difficult to get a constant average distance on full shots.
      Those Sterling “blade” wedges give me more confidence by hitting the ball always on the middle of my stance.
      The flexibility of a 8 iron is great, and the sensation is still the same. I get the S2S S steal shaft on them
      When you are used to these clubs, you can hit several different shots, from fairway or roughs, so the new LW is the club I use the most during a round ‘especially when I miss the green with “longer” irons).
      With traditional irons the shots had often a left side trajectory(I am right handed), with the Serling ones I can be straighter. So the average compared shots(stats with Game Golf GPS) are better.
      In the bunkers, it is more confortable to me (I am 67 y old), not better than a traditional wedge, but easier to find a correct posture to me even I have to improve my game in bunkers shots.
      Even I liked my past wedges I prefer the Sterling ones (from PW to LW) that offer to me confidence, constant average distance, more accurate shots and pleasure (fitted in Le Pecq near St GERMAIN en Laye FRANCE by Golfnswing)

    • Hi Jake,

      It sounds like your set with graphite shafts will end up pretty similar to mine. I play Sterlings at 37.5″ with S2S White shafts. The major difference is that your Steelfiber i95 shafts are a bit heavier than my S2S.

      I use super oversize grips, not because of any joint problems, but because they work well with my large hands and low-wrist-action swing.

      I reshafted a friend’s set of irons with SensiCore inserts some years ago. It’s unclear whether or not he could tell the difference. He was not experiencing any pain at the time, so perhaps he was not the best test case.

      For most golfers – pretty much anyone with a handicap over 5 – you can balance Sterlings to within the golfer’s setup repeatability simply by adding weight to the lighter heads until they weigh the same as heaviest one. The heads come from the factory labeled with their actual weights. In the ten or so Sterling sets I have built, the weights ranged from 272g to 276.5g.

      You can get as fancy as you want and account for the shaft weight variance, and even for the grip weight variance if you want to go nuts (until you regrip at which point that becomes moot). I would be astonished if any non-elite golfer would save any strokes as a result.

  33. Hey Tom, how are you?

    I was talking with a Wishon builder about my Sterling Irons and he let me know that with the shaft installation he would be cutting off 1.5″-1.7″ off the shaft in order for the finished club to meet the finished length. The shaft in question for that is the SteelFiber i95.

    Would this be true with all of the heads, that there is a 1.5″-ish section of the shaft that doesn’t go flush into the iron heads?

    I was thinking about testing a .355 shaft that was already pre-cut to 8I length. I wasn’t sure if this meant it would now be 1.5″ or so longer than expected at the butt end? If so, this would mean that the swingweight would be different than expected since we would need to remove the extra length which results in a lighter shaft at the same finished length…?

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Jake 🙂

    • JAKE

      From the way you worded and asked your question, I am not really sure how to answer you so let’s try it this way. First, it is NEVER EVER a good idea to fully trim a shaft from both the tip AND the butt to install in a clubhead. There are little +/- tolerances in the hosel length and in the bore depth of every clubhead ever made that can cause a fully pre cut shaft to end up not being the right playing length when installed.

      Therefore you should ONLY do shaft installation this way – 1) tip trim the shaft as per the trimming instructions for the shaft for the head number into which it will be installed. 2) Abrade the tip properly for good epoxy adhesion. 3) install the ferrule so at least 3/4″ of the shaft protrudes from the base of the ferrule. 4) Put the shaft into the head dry, hold the ferrule tight against the top of the hosel with one hand on the head, the other hand on the shaft about 2″ below the ferrule. SLAM the butt of the shaft on a hard surface floor while holding the ferrule tight to the hosel until you feel the tip of the shaft seated against the bottom of the bore. 5) Now you can measure for the playing length you wish to have. Put the mark for the butt cut on the shaft about 1/8″ less than the length you want to allow for the thickness of the end cap of the grip. 6) Butt trim the shaft. 7) Determine how much grip tape you need to install on the butt end of the shaft to have the grip end up being the right length. Install the tape on the butt end before you epoxy the shaft in the head. 8) take one grip of the model you plan to use and cut it lengthwise all the way from mouth to the end cap. You will use this Slit-Grip to put on the butt end DRY so you can pre determine how much weight you may or may not need to add to the head to achieve the final swingweight you are looking for. Slide on the grip dry so the butt end of the shaft is fully seated against the end of the grip. Put the head on the tip end so the hosel is butted against the bottom of the ferrule WITH NO EPOXY. Now put this dry fit club on a swingweight scale to determine the initial swingweight. Note what swingweight you need for the finished club. Subtract that from the initial swingweight. Multiply by 2 to know the grams weight you need to add to the head. E.G. – If the initial swingweight is C8 and you want a final swingweight of D0, then D0-C8 = 2 swingweight points. 2 pts x 2g = 4 grams to add to the head to get to the final swingweight when the club is built and the grip is installed. 9) I assume you will have some of the hosel bore weights that we sell to go with our clubheads. Mix the shafting epoxy properly. Drop a healthy dab of epoxy into the weight bore. Drop the wight plug into the weight bore and push it fully down with a thin rod/dowell/bamboo skewer. Now put spoxy into the bore swabbing it around to fully coat all inside surfaces of the bore. Put epoxy on the shaft tip. Install the shaft with a circular motion to make sure epoxy gets fully between the shaft tip and inside walls of the hosel. 10) wipe the excess epoxy that oozed out between the bottom of the ferrule and top of the hosel. Align the logo on the shaft properly and set the club UPRIGHT to dry. 11) Next day you can clean up the ferrule as per your preferred method and install the grip. And aside from an inspection to clean up any smears on the shaft, you are done.

      Please believe me that it can be a big mistake to try to pre trim both ends of the shaft, This above method of installation is tried and true and free of any mistakes.

      Hope this helps,

    • Note that Sterling irons are designed for .370 “unitized” shafts, not .355 “taper tip” ones. Steelfiber i95 is available in both tip configurations. The trimming that your builder is talking about is probably for the purpose of establishing flex (tip trim) and overall length (butt trim), not for the purpose of making the shaft diameter correct for the hosel.

      A set of 0.355 taper tip shafts is not suitable for use with Single Length clubs, since such sets are designed for graduated lengths.

    • THANK YOU TOM for your very thorough reply, it is greatly appreciated. I do apologize for the confusion with my question, I had a few ideas jumbling around in my head and that doesn’t help, lol. The shafts I am referring to came factory trimmed for the 8I and are 37.5″ long. I guess the shafts were made with a Thru Bore in mind, I don’t know? I wasn’t looking to trim the butt end at all, unless needed after installing the head/ferrule to meet the 37.5″ length (my optimal length from a recent fitting).

      I guess I was worried that if I needed to have an extra 1-1.5″ cut off the butt end that I would need to add a little weight to the head end to make up for the change in swingweight… which isn’t aproblem at all, just wanted to know all that beforehand (to help soothe the OCD in me). I really appreciate the tips with the split grip & the head/dry ferrule to help gauge a better idea on weight as well as the details with building. That’s GOLD right there!

      Thanks Tom… it helps a great deal!

      Jake 🙂

      P.S. BTW, very pumped about the 318RS Hybrid news!

    • JAKE:

      The shafts you get from a shaft company are what are called Raw Length shafts and are not made to be a through bore installation shaft. Taper tip shafts (0.355″ tip) are almost always made so there is a different raw length shaft for each head in the set. And raw length shafts are always longer than the standard playing length for the iron head number into which they are to be installed. The shaft companies do this so there is plenty of shaft for when the installation is to be done at lengths longer than standard. So in your case you will tip trim nothing from all these shafts before installation. Then all the clubs would be measured for playing length, marked and cut from the butt one club at a time.

      It is never a good idea to pre trim the butt ends all the same for a set of shafts because of the +/- tolerances for hosel length and bore depth present on every set of irons ever made. You can abrade all the tips at the same time but I strongly recommend that you dry fit all the shafts in the iron heads and Sharpie mark the number of the iron up on the butt end of each shaft. Then install the ferrules, slam the shaft tip down into the bore and then measure and mark the butt ends one at a time for the playing length. You’ll find that due to differences in the hosel length and bore depth within the usual +/- tolerance that the cut shaft lengths are going to be ever so slightly different from club to club, but the final playing lengths will be the same. Having the Sharpie pen number of each iron on the butt end of the shaft means you won’t mix up what shaft goes in what iron head and everything will come out right.

      You will have to cut a decent bit off the butt of each shaft but that is totally normal. A 37.5″ raw length shaft when stuck into a Sterling Iron head will have a raw uncut playing length of around 39″. That’s because club playing length is measured from the GROUND up to the end of the grip. Each Sterling iron head is designed with a spec of 1.5″ for the distance from the bottom of the shafting bore to the ground when the iron is in the correct lie position with the center of the sole touching the ground. So if you are looking for a final playing length of 36.5″ for each iron, you will be butt trimming in the area of around 2.5″ from each shaft, of course depending on what each iron head’s hosel length and bore depth are within the normal +/- tolerance, which by the way are both +/-1mm.

      Do be careful in shimming up these 0.355 taper tip shafts in the 0.370″ parallel bore of the iron heads. Take it slow and easy to be sure your shim(s) are done right so there is no slop of the shaft in the hosel.

      Hope this helps again,

    • TOM:

      Thanks for your follow-up Tom, I appreciate it. I’m grateful for the suggestions regarding the taper tips and assembly. I will be sure to use caution when approaching the taper tips and the shims. It is going to be more of a test for an option to the steel shafted Sterling Irons set I am having built. I have pretty bad tendonitis in the right arm so I may end up needing to use graphite for a couple years.

      All your feedback on this site is so helpful and you continue to be such a valued resource with questions regarding your amazing designs.

      Thanks again Tom!

  34. Sand and Lob Wedges (Part 1)

    I purchased my Sterlings just over a year ago and have had them in the bag ever since. (I have several posts in this thread describing my experiences, so I won’t go into detail here).

    When considering SL irons, I posed a question about why single-length? Why not go SL for the lower-numbered irons, taking advantage of their shorter length, and variable for the higher-lofted irons and wedges–taking advantage of THEIR shorter lengths. I reasoned that you’d get the best of both worlds. That was, in a word, wrong.

    Tom noted that a keen advantage to SL irons is in grooving a single swing. I bought that on faith and it sure turned out to be right. It wasn’t long at all before the 9I-GW felt utterly normal in my hands and during my swing. But I remained convinced that such a long shaft in a sand or lob wedge would not be a good idea, so I stayed with my conventional clubs there. Until now.

    When Tom re-designed the SW and added a LW, I thought now would be the time to try them. They arrived today. (I bought them online instead of through my very-far-away clubfitter; I’m very familiar with my specs, so it was a breeze.) Off to the range.

    The rain is coming down in buckets here in Virginia today, so I was limited to the covered stalls and mats. First impressions: easy to swing in an oh-so-familiar way. Also, they’re about 5 yards longer than traditional SW and LW. Finally, they go high. Still, there’s more testing to come.

    First, I want to get them outside and into the sand. I use these wedges mostly around the green for pitches and chips, but I can’t avoid the occasional sand shot. I wonder what it will be like to blast these? Second, I want to get them on the launch monitor. I’m very interested in knowing launch apex (height) and spin rates compared to my traditional irons. But the truest test will be on the course. Sadly, the weather is not cooperating!

    Other impressions: The ordering process was easy and fast, especially if you know your specs. I ordered them on Tuesday, they shipped Friday, and arrived (USPS) this morning (Saturday). Awesome! Also, I wish there were choices for bounce angles. I could use a bit more in the SW (11 degrees) and LW (8 degrees). But this may turn out to be a distinction without a real distance. Also, this is a small company and can’t likely make a variety of choices available, each of which would not sell enough to make it worthwhile.

    See you next time!

  35. Hi Tom!!

    Very excited to hear a new Hybrid design is coming!!

    When would the 318RS be available for purchase? I have not seen it yet and already want one!!!

    A 19º loft in 38 inches to be my perfect combo to the Sterling!!

    Additionally, something funny is happening to me with the Sterling: I love all of them (5 to LW) and I am happy with my 919 THI driver as I hit it from a tee. What I am starting to feel quite un-confortable is with my 4wood…

    The more I use my single length, the more estrange seems the 4 wood…

    Bear in my that my only NON Wishon club is the Cobra One Length Hybrid (19º and 37 inches). And this is due only to the lack of a Sterling 4 Hybrid!!! 🙂

    All the best and thank you for bringing this concept to me and simplifying my golf soooooo much!!!!

    • Luis

      I am not completely sure of the release date of the new 318RS hybrids because the people at Diamond Golf handle that stuff. I just do the design work !! I think they should have it ready to offer in middle March. That would be my best guess on availability.

      And thanks so much for your interest and your support. We really do appreciate that !

    • Tom,
      Can the new hybrid be built single length by adding weights as you said some club builders have done with your current hybrid?

    • Phillip:

      YEs, the new 318RS hybrids do have two weight bores, just like the other hybrids and fwy woods we offer. So that allows the addition of up to 18g of weight to each head when necessary to get you to the final swingweight you want for the length, shaft weight and grip weight you are using. If you need more headweight than that, like in the case of making the hybrids much shorter in length, you could use a shaft tip weight up to 9g. Yes that would mean there would be 18g in the heel area of the head (9g from the weight bore + 9g from a tip weight) but if there is 9g in the sole weight bore, that offsets 9 of the grams in the heel side so the center of gravity is not affected negatively at all. So in all you could theoretically get as much as 27g more into the head which means you have a very wide range of length options you can achieve with these hybrids.


  36. I see in these notes you write “In all my iron designs over the past many years, I have always designed the sets so all heads have the same blade length…”

    Just wishing to confirm this – so I conclude the blade length on the Sterlings is 82 mm?

    • BRENT

      I need to clarify that statement a bit. What I mean is that all the iron heads of the same name/model will have the same blade length from 2 iron (if there is one) through AW. I do not mean that every iron model I have ever designed was done with an 82mm blade length. I’ve done some with as short of a blade as 78mm and way back in the 80s I did one called the Widebody where the blade length was (yes I am not kidding) 90mm. The Sterling #4 to GW are 82mm blade length. But I did not do the traditional SW and LW in the Sterling set with 82mm blade length. Those being a very traditional tear drop profile shape are shorter at 80mm. The traditional nature of the design plus the fact it had to weigh 274 grams and have a traditional sole width necessitated the blade length reduction.


  37. Tom
    Love the Sterlings. Thank you !! Curious if you have any new clubs in the line up coming in 2018

    • PAT

      Thanks for taking the time to let us know you like the single length Sterling Irons. We’re all happy to hear that ! For 2018 I was a little lazy since it was the first full year of my switch into semi retirement !! So I only designed a new family of wedges (PCF Micro Pro), a new line of hybrids (318RS) and worked on a new fitting connector system for the clubmakers to use in their test club work when they fit people. For 2019 I sort of seem to have a lot more on the design plate that I need to keep up on which will include several new things of significance.

      Thanks so much for your interest and your support !

  38. Hi Tom,

    A extremelly happy Sterling owner here! Thanks a lot!!!!

    I have two questions: one personal and the other one for me! hehehe

    1. Do you play the Sterling? If affirmative, I would love to here your personal opinion.

    2. I am considering including the new sterling traditional wedges. From the rough and fairway I have no doubt they will perform superbly. My only concern would be getting out of the sand… I have search the internet for personals opinions but have not found much… From your knowledge and experience, could you please tell us the advantages and disadvantages of these wedges to be uses from green-side bunkers???

    Green side bunker are one of the things that harms my rounds the most…

    Thank you in advance!!

    • LUIS

      I am pleased to hear that you like the Sterling Irons ! To answer your questions, 1) Yes, I do personally play the Sterling irons in a set makeup of #5 iron to SW. It was by accident that this happened. Back in late 2015 I had completed the final testing on the design and was pleased with the final results. During the final testing stages I just happened to put a set of the Sterling irons into my own golf bag that had been built to specs that were close to what I would play. Then the winter came and there was no golf here. In January 2016 my wife and I were going on a vacation for a week to Mexico for some sun and some golf. I had been very busy before this trip so my wife had taken care of packing the golf clubs. She did not think to look in my bag and so she packed my bag that had the sterling irons.

      When we got to Mexico I discovered that I did not have my old set, which was a set of the 560MC forged cavity back irons. This was a set I had played since 2008. BUt of course there was nothing I could do about it, so I went ahead and played the three rounds of vacation golf with the Sterling Irons. To make a long story short, the Sterling Irons have remained in my bag since then.

      2) I do have the new traditional SW in my set. I do really like this wedge better than the original SW just because it looks more like what a SW should look like to me. The reason I designed the original SW to be similar to the shape of the other Sterling IRons was just because I thought with this set being single length with every iron to be the same, I felt that maybe it would help that concept to have the SW look like the profile of the other irons. Not long after we introduced the Sterling Irons, I changed my mind and decided to re design the SW to be more traditional, and to add on a LW that would also have this same traditional design shape.


    • Tom,

      Your story about your “accidental” switch to the Sterling irons is very similar to mine! I too previously played the 560MC irons since about 2007-08, and as a club builder I am obviously always trying new things and tinkering with my bag setup. But those 560MC’s were such great clubs, that even after 8+ years of playing with them I still hadn’t found anything that I hit better than them.

      When the Sterlings came out I was obviously anxious to try them out since it would be my first experience with single length clubs. And to be able to give my customers fair and honest feedback in terms of what they should expect when switching from traditional length irons to single length, I figured I should build myself a full set made to the exact same specs as my 560MC’s so I could do a true apples to apples comparison. Same shafts, grips, length, MOI, even the same crazy lie (4.5° upright), everything 100% identical.

      I made the poor choice of taking the Sterlings to play a round with before even putting in any range time with them. Needless to say, that was one of the worst rounds I had shot in probably 5+ years. I was frustrated beyond belief because of all the positive things I had read about SL clubs, and I couldn’t understand why they weren’t working for me. So after the round I went to the range to try and work some things out (which I never do). I could hit the 7-9 irons great, and they actually felt and performed really close to the 560MC’s which really surprised me, but I couldn’t hit anything else solid to save my life. I was consistently topping my lower-lofted irons, and hotting hosel-rockets with my wedges. After hitting probably 100+ balls I just gave up.

      After that frustrating experience, I decided to head to GolfWRX where there was a long ongoing discussion about SL clubs and specifically the Sterlings, and as I was reading that thread one thing hit me like a ton of bricks – I was still swinging the Sterlings how I was used to swinging my traditional length clubs! I was playing my 5-6 irons a little further forward in my stance, and the wedges a little further back in my stance (and probably crowding them at a bit as well). And of course, I hit them just as poorly as if I were to play my 7 or 8 iron way forward in my stance or far back and crowded.

      I immediately headed straight to the range, laid down some alignment rods, and hit 5-6 good solid shots with the 7 iron. I then grabbed the 5 iron and leaned it against my left leg as I set up and got ready to hit another shot with my 7, and just before I took my swing I swapped out the 7 for the 5 and swung – PERFECT!! I almost got goosebumps. LOL. I then hit another 10-15 pretty solid shots. I then did the same thing with the AW, setting up with the 7-iron and then swapping it out for the AW just before hitting – and SURPRISE, no hosel rocket, in fact I drew it slightly to the left. The rest of that range session went so well that I planned another round for the next day, and that round ended up being one of the best rounds of my life!

      I haven’t played a single round with the 560MC’s since. 🙂

      Oh, and I too carry a traditional length SW which I use exclusively for greenside stuff (bunker shots, chipping, etc). But I also have the Sterling SW & LW in my bag at 8-iron length because I like being able to take a full swing from the fairway with the Sterling wedges and have them feel just like the rest of the set.

    • The traditional Sterling wedges are just fine from bunkers. I like them better from sand than conventional length, because the longer length means I don’t have to crouch as much to get into position. That’s especially helpful when the ball is below your feet.

      I use the Sterling LW when I have to get the ball up quickly over a lip, the SW for longer bunker shots, and there are a couple of greenside bunkers on our course where I use the Sterling GW to pick the ball cleanly for a chip from the bunker.

  39. Tom:
    I am a big fan of the single length irons. The only problem I am facing is that I cannot seem to launch the 4 iron. I have a 90 mph club head speed with the irons. The 4 iron takes off and stays low and does not get the distance gap it requires. Is this something that you would say is common?

    • CODY

      Thanks for taking your time to stop by and ask about your situation with the Sterling #4 iron. If the device used to measure your clubhead speed is for sure totally accurate, it is unusual that at 90mph you would not be able to get the ball up to fly with the 4 iron. The only way that could really happen is if with the 90mph speed you happened to have a much more steep and downward angle of attack on your downswing. One way you’d know if that was the case is that you would hit the other irons a little lower than other people with about the same speed. A steep downward A of A is when you arrive at impact with the hands well in front of the ball with the shaft then leaning a lot forward. This has the result of de lofting the clubhead which in turn lowers the ball flight. It may not show up that much with higher lofts in the irons but when you get down to as low of a loft as the 4 iron has, it then reaches a point that the shot becomes more like a line drive. BUt if you do have a for sure 90mph speed with the irons, you should be hitting your 7 iron for example about 185-190 yds at sea level as a guideline. If you are not getting that distance with the 7 iron then the device recording your speed is not accurate and the reason for the low 4 iron would be that your speed is not then high enough to elevate the 19* of the 4 iron. We had always seen in testing and development that it required 85mph with not more than a -2* downward angle of attack to sufficiently elevate the 4 iron to carry and fly farther than the 5 iron.



  40. Any thoughts on adding an updated Gap wedge to match the new sterling sand wedge and lob wedge design? I know several players that would love to add a more versatile gap wedge to their bag if it was available (including myself) I played with traditional wedges until you released the updated Sw and Lw and they seriously have become my absolute favorite wedges of all time and would love to add a similar GW because I use my 50 degree for a lot of less than full shots.

    • KOURT

      In hindsight I probably should have done all three wedges when I decided to re design the SW and add on a LW. But that didn’t happen mainly because from all my years designing sets of irons, it always seemed that the GW which was a part of the iron set sold almost as many units as did the PW. Which told me more people seemed to think about the GW as a part of the iron set and did not start to think about matching the GW to the SW and LW. Also, sales of my wedge series designs which always do include a GW matching to the SW and LW shows that of the three, the GW is ordered far less than the SW. So that too tells me more people think of using a GW that matches the PW and irons than to have one as a part of a standalone design. And third, this past year really saw a drop in the demand for single length, mainly because single length in 2016 had so much media attention that it sort of burned out the market a little bit. Once the media had their thing with talking about single length all through 2016, they stopped writing much about it in 2017. And that caused the demand to go down from what it was. It still sells as well or better than any of the other conventional iron set models, but not like 2016. So I will think about it, maybe look at it more seriously once the inventory of the current GW drops way down to where the current GW could be discontinued to be replaced by one that matches to the new SW and LW.

      Thanks much,

  41. Hi Tom,

    I am a happy owner of the Sterling (GW to 5)! i am just trying to increase my swing speed from 80 to 85 to be able to use the 4 iron but in the meanwhile… Have you thought about designing a 4 Hybrid for the Sterling?
    you have the 5 Hybrid and the 4 iron but no 4 Hybrid.
    I would buy a 4 Hybrid right away if you design one!
    The idea just come to my mind because I have seen that Cobra has launched the One length Hybrids (25*/22*/19*).

    • LUIS

      Originally I had prototyped a 19* #4 hybrid for the Sterling Iron set. It was as with all of the Sterling heads, intended to be built to the same single length as the rest of the irons in the set. I suspect that the Cobra single length hybrids are made longer than they make their single length irons. If so, then that additional length gives them the clubhead speed necessary to hit a lower loft head high enough to gain full distance.

      Since our initial standard for the single length was to be an 8 iron length of 36.5″, that meant that even in the #4 hybrid, it required a clubhead speed of well over 80mph to effectively hit the #4 hybrid high enough to ensure it could carry farther than the #5. When you look at all the players with an iron speed approaching 85mph, you find that more of these players would favor an iron over a hybrid. To players with higher speeds, having a hybrid seems to give them a sense of not being as good as other golfers – an ego problem. So I felt that if we did offer the #4 hybrid, for the few golfers who would have a high enough clubhead speed to be able to use the #4, more of them would opt for the iron than the hybrid. Hence I chose to restrict the hybrid to the #5.

      Hope this helps, thanks again !!

    • I am very happy with the Sterling 4I even though my swing speed, on paper, is marginal for it. I don’t hit it very high, but I get good rollout, and it’s great for when you have to punch under branches. I have never found a hybrid that I like as well as the Sterling 4I.

      If you aren’t getting enough distance from a Sterling 4, you might try making it a bit longer than the rest of the set. It would be too head-heavy with the same shaft, but you can fudge that with a lighter weight shaft of similar flex. The lie angle will be a smidge too upright, but Sterlings are easily adjusted for lie.

      Obviously, you lose the “purity of single length” by doing this, but since “single length all the way through driver” doesn’t seem to be viable, there has to be a transition somewhere. Starting the transition by fudging a Sterling 4I might work for you.

  42. Hi Tom
    I have a set of 771 irons 4-AW and find them great irons. I use a 56 and 60 wedge around the green only.
    I find the shorter irons 8-AW harder to use for full shots as it is getting less easy to bend and rotate my back with age. My 7 iron club head speed is 85mph+ apparently.
    My question is, would a half set of sterling irons be able to blend into my set from 8-AW with 4-7 iron remaining as 771’s.


    • Steve:

      Yes for sure, it is possible to combine single length with conventional variable length irons together into one set. Most logical thing to do would be to determine what is the highest number iron in your 771 set with which you do not notice any discomfort in setting up to the ball. And then choose that length to make the irons above that in number with the Sterling iron heads, all built with the same shaft and swingweight as you have in the other 771’s. Thanks much for your interest,

  43. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for designing what is, possibly, one of the best sets of irons that the industry has seen in a very long time. These are game changing.

    As you can tell I play these irons and am very, very happy with their performance.

    Other than the huge marketing budgets of the major OEM’s I cannot understand why anyone who is looking for a new set of irons does not look very seriously at the Sterlings.

    If I was advising anyone who was just about to take up the game these would be the first irons I would recommend and for existing players these irons are a great set.

    Whilst on the range last week, for the first time ever, I played from the next bay to another player using a set of Sterlings. As you can imagine the conversation was all about the Sterlings.

    Hopefully this is the first of many encounters with the enlightened Sterling users.

    Thanks for the clubs and thanks for your honesty and openness.


    • PETER

      Many thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with and opinion of the Sterling Irons. It has been a very interesting experience myself with these in being able to hear that a whole lot of golfers who have tried them, do like them very much and see them as a definite game changer for their play. For a designer that is always the height of enjoyment, to be able to know that something you created is bringing more enjoyment to people when they play this great game. Thanks SO MUCH and here’s to a long and enjoyable experience with the Sterling Irons for you !!

      TOM ;>)

    • Hello Tom,
      I wanted to ask Mitch Bradley if he would share his carry distances throughout his set, as well as his length and shaft choices. I have a similar clubhead speed, and am curious.

    • Hi this is Mitch. I will supply the requested info but I want to put it in context. I play everyday on a course that is very windy so, while I know my club choices very well for the actual course conditions, I’m not entirely sure of the “carry distances in no wind conditions”. That said, here’s what I use as my nominal no-wind total distances – carry plus roll – in yards:
      LW:60, SW:85y, GW:100, PW:114, 9I:127, 8I:140, 7I:155, 6:167, 5:180, 4I:190. Below the 7I it’s mostly carry; above that I depend on rollout. Courses with long forced carries don’t suit my game. I expect that if I measured under controlled conditions, the numbers would come out somewhat different, but those number get me into the ballpark.
      My shafts are S2S White S flex, overall length 37.5″, with 108g super oversize grips. I use a 10-finger grip; if I used an overlapping grip I might have gone with 37″. 37.5″ is the 8I length from my previous set of variable length clubs. I have been playing that length, with shafts of similar feel to S2S white, for a long time.
      Sterlings rock!

  44. Why aren’t there any manufacturer building a two length set? I would propose a 2-6 in a compact hybrid at a 4 iron length and a 7-PW (or further on down) in a 9 iron length. Drop the fairway woods, and you would be left with just three or four club lengths to practice (driver, hybrids & short irons, maybe shorter wedges in you prefer).

    With the 5-gap single length sets you will still need a collection of hybrids or fairway woods in your bag. That would leave at least 6 lengths to practice. Seems to miss an opportunity to take full advantage of the same length shaft concept.

    • ALLEN

      It is certainly possible to create a two length set of irons as you describe. And in doing so it could address the matter of some golfers not getting enough clubhead speed to make the #4 and sometimes #5 irons perform better. The main reason companies have not done that is because they realize it could be a difficult task to convince enough golfers of the viability of a 2 length set to be able to make the launch of such a model successful. These days when a big company intros a new iron model, due to the cost of all the marketing and development and inventory, the new model would have to sell no less than 50,000 sets to make the project achieve financial success. I can tell you most companies would be a bit scared at the possibility of trying to convince that many golfers that a 2 length set is best.

      The other potential downside to a two length set vs a one length set is that in the 2 length set you lose the key features that make a one length set possibly better. A very key part of the single length set is the fact that when you make all the irons to the same length, you automatically ensure that every single possible element that affects swing feel is identical in each iron. Same length means same shaft weight, same flex and bend profile, same total weight, same head weight, same swingweight, same moment of inertia, same balance point. In single length every single thing that has anything to do with what you feel when you swing the club back and through is identical.

      Not that way when you start changing lengths of the clubs within a set. Even with two lengths you cannot have the same exact shaft flex and bend profile, the same total weight the same swingweight, or same balance point. And then comes the other potential benefit of single length, that being able to use the same stance, same posture, same ball position, same swing plane – everything the same in the swing as well. All of this is really the one main reason that single length even exists and it is quite able to help a very good percentage of golfers gain shot consistency with the irons.

      What has to happen with a single length set is that the golfer has to 1) figure out what is the lowest number iron in the single length set he still can hit high and far enough to get its full distance at its shorter length; 2) what clubs must come just above that lowest number single length iron. These things are not difficult to do but in most cases, golfers will find that their set makeup will have one fewer iron than they had before and likely one more hybrid than they had before. Where golfers have had a #4 to gap wedge with a separate SW, with the single length Sterlings at any rate, they would likely be in a #5 iron to SW and then above the #5 would come a 20-21* hybrid at 38.5 to 39″ length and above that probably a 40-41″ long #5 wood of 17-18* loft. Then if they were a good player, probably a 3w before the driver and if they are an average player, to go to the driver right from the 5 wood.

      But do be aware that it can be possible to create a single length concept with hybrids above the #5 in the Sterling set. One could do a 21* hybrid, then an 18* hybrid both at 39″. And beyond that there might be one fwy wood and then the driver. For a total of 5 lengths. believe me, I have tested it a lot and it is simply not possible to create a single length fwy wood AND hybrid set to go with a single length iron set. You just can’t find one length that can be long enough to create enough clubhead speed for the 3w and 4w while also not being too long for the 3hybrid and 4 hybrid above that Sterling 5 iron. And you can never go shorter than 42.5″ for the driver for an average male golfer without robbing him of on center hit distance, which most golfers just won’t accept.

      So at the very best, from my work I can see that it is possible to get a golfer into 4 different lengths, but not likely less than that – Driver then 1 or 2 fwy woods of the same length, then 1 or 2 hybrids of the same length, then 8 irons of the same length. Anyway that is where I am at with this after all the work I have had fun doing in this area over the past 3 yrs.


    • Not exactly the same concept but I’ve “adjusted” my Sterlings so that the longer irons (5-8) are 36.75, then 9-GW 36.25, and SW/LW 36. As far as the feel and swing weight I’ve used some good ol led tape to get them where I want.

      I feel for me this works out very well since the type of situation I use the clubs is slightly different. With the longer clubs it’s about getting them on the green and not being that worried about being close, mainly full swing. For 9-GW it’s about getting close to the pin and I typically like a little more open stance and feel the slightly shorter shaft gives me just added control. And finally the SW/LW are more about finesse and green side shots so going slightly shorter there also gives me the best comfort level.

      I even play my std length set from 9 up in the same way as described, being slightly taller this just gives me a better comfort over the ball (I think e.g. Shawn Clement also has a similar approach which confirmed I might not be completely off the mark).

      Also went to a mid-sized grip. With these tweaks I love the set even more and it will be hard to push these from the top spot in my bag.

    • I think you can get it to three total lengths. One for 4-LW (9 clubs), another for a hybrid (or, in my case, a driving iron), and another for the 3-wood and driver (43.5″)

      I don’t quite do this. I have 5:
      –SW and LW (conventional)
      — 4-PW (Sterling)
      — Driving Iron
      — 3 Wood
      — Driver

      Why not the SW and LW? I’m not sure, really. I’ll think about it over the winter. I was mainly concerned about hitting from greenside bunkers.

      Why not the driver and 3-wood? I tried it, hitting a 43.5 driver. But the drop-off for me wasn’t worth it. (I don’t have any trouble hitting it on the screws most of the time.) But I think most golfers would benefit from a shorter driver instead of those 45.5″ fishing poles they’re sold. Shorter distances on pure hits, sure, but many, many more pure hits would help make up for that.

      Five for me (for now), four seems likely and three is feasible.

      Now, about that Sterling putter….

    • Wow, what a wonderful lively & thoughtful message board! That has to be a credit to you,Tom due to the in-depth responses you offer the regular guy.

      Rich and Tomas, thanks for your examples, it reminds me that a golf set needs to be both fit for the golfer and the golfer needs to find their own way to a certain extent, cookie cutter won’t work. So i’ll share my set up too:

      I am a bit taller (6’3″) and played +1 inches in a variable length set. My single length set came in at 37.5″, which feels like an eight iron to me. I don’t experience any of the issues others have voiced about the PW being too long or flying excessively high. I lost about a half a club length vs the variable length set. I am perfectly ok with that as irons are about consistent distance, not total distance.

      I kept my lob and sand wedge at 36.5, as the have been for years. I am not using a gap wedge. Instead I am trying out the idea of using the single length irons as pitching wedges to fill the gap in increments. My full PW goes 130 yards, so I am training myself to hit a partial shot with the 7 iron to 120 yards. The same swing with the 8,9 & PW each give me a bit shorter distance to fill the gap. I did need to move the ball a ½ inch forward of center in my stance to get the decent angle steep enough to hold the greens with the 7 iron.

      In the absence of an readily avaliable manufactured hybrid set of a single length I’ve made my own. I picked up a set of hybrid that have adjustable weights. I simply cut the shafts to 40″ and adjusted the weight on each club to reach the same swing weight throughout the set. I am still working out the distances, but currently I have a 5 iron and a 5 hybrid, both at the same loft, but they seem to carry to a 10-15 yards difference due to the extra length in the hybrid.

      I potentially have room for a 3 wood, depending of the number of Hybrids I put in the bag. I’ve been making changed to my iron and hybrid swing, mainly to shorten the back swing. I haven’t practiced with the 3 wood in quite some time. I used to smash the 3 wood pretty well, but pulled it out yesterday and could not hit a single good shot, it was awful really, all tops, double crosses or massive fat shots. I could get that swing back into shape, I am sure of it, but do I need to? Would the limited practice time be better utilized with out that one club.

      Thus I have four lengths to practice; driver, hybrids, Irons & wedges. I’ll do lose a bit to the lack of 3 wood, but i am far from a par golfer. so I am not dreaming of reaching those par 5s in two. Three good 5-iron shots will get me there in regulation. I think my scoring will be better if i focus on consistency. I’ll add the fairway wood back in the bag once i get confident in the other clubs.

      One last detail; for each club type I have a different grip, same diameter, just a different feel. This is intended to give me a subtle physical reminder of which club i am swinging.

  45. Hello Mr. Wishon, thanks so much for taking the time to offer support here for the Sterling Irons. It is GREATLY appreciated.

    I am having a Wishon certified club fitter/reseller set me up with a 4-SW (gonna bend the GW and SW like Jaacob Bowden). I wanted to inquire about a hybrid replacement for the 3I (and possibly 2I replacement as well since I prefer hybrids over fairway woods).

    I have seen some relies here (read through this entire page a few times) but was still unsure about the right way to go.

    I am using a 10 finger grip and having the irons set to 37.5″ with graphite shafts. I have hybrid heads (w/ maraging steel face). My problem was that I also use a thicker grip (minimum 85-90g). Because of this, it’s hard to get swingweight enough to where the club doesn’t feel too light w/o keeping it longer than needed.

    I was wondering what you feel could be the shortest length I could use in hopes to have a good distance gap from the 2H/3H/4I?

    My driver swing speed is around 110mph, if that helps open up/close out some options that you may think would work for me.

    Thanks in advance Mr Wishon,


    P.S. I have never been more excited to get new golf clubs in my entire life!!!

    • JAKE

      Please, it’s just “Tom”. Mr. Wishon was my father and my grandfather and I am just Tom !! OK, based on your 110mph driver speed, you should have plenty enough speed with the irons at 37.5″ length to hit the 19* loft of the #4 iron in the Sterling set so the height is good and the carry is what it should be, beyond that of the #5 iron. Above that #4 iron I would say to start slow, one club at a time so you can see what the real distance difference is going to be from the #4 iron up to the next club, and then where that distance is relative to your driver. I assume you are not using a 3w (?) since you say you do not like woods?? At any rate, if this/these clubs above the #4 iron have to be hybrids, your options for loft are more than likely going to limit your selection on how or whether you can do this only with a hybrid.

      Here’s what I mean. Most companies’ #2 hybrid heads are going to be made with a loft of 18*. I can’t say I know of a current hybrid model with less than 18* loft today. Years back I had a very different head model which was a combo of a wood and hybrid in which I did heads down to 16* loft but that model was discontinued years ago. So if you used an 18* loft hybrid and did it at say, 39 to even 40″ in length, even though there is only 1* difference in loft between it and the Sterling #4 iron at 19*, the fact that the length of the 18* hybrid would be 1.5″ to 2.5″ longer than the 4 iron should increase your clubhead speed above the #4 iron so the distance gap should be ok and useable.

      Where you would be with the distance of a 39 or 40″ long 18* loft hybrid vs your driver would be the next thing to check on. More than likely you would have room for a club in between that hybrid and your driver. But since there may not be any hybrid heads out there with a loft under 18*, you’d more than likely have to be looking at a fwy wood with say, 16* loft that you’d have built to 42″ to be the club in between this 18* hybrid and your driver.

      Hope this helps and thanks so much for your interest,

    • I get pretty good gapping with a Sterling 4I at 37.5″, an 18 degree hybrid at 39″, and a 13 degree 3W at 41″. I would probably use a 15 degree 3W if it weren’t so windy here. My driver swing speed is 95-100.

    • Thank SO MUCH for your reply Tom, and wow that was FAST! I appreciate your feedback and suggestions a great deal.

      The hybrids heads that I have are for a 19 degree #3 Hybrid and a 16 degree #2 hybrid. I was going to see how well the #2 hybrid worked out before using it as a 3W replacement or not.

      With what you had said about the length, it would be a good idea to test the 2.5″ difference since the loft of the #3 hybrid and the Sterling 4I are the same.

      I am hoping that the club fitter can work out that length without running into any issues with SW/MOI matching with a 90g grip assembly included.

      I guess if that works out then I can test the #2 hybrid and the 3W next to see what will stay in the bag… then I can actually get the full 4I through LW setup in the Sterling Irons.

      I am having my driver cut down to 44.5″ after reading many of your comments on that subject. I do have a late release and medium tempo, otherwise I would go down to 44″ length.

      Thanks again Tom, I greatly appreciate it. I hope you have a HAPPY (AND SAFE) NEW YEAR!


    • THANK YOU for your reply Mitch! I appreciate hearing from someone that had the same gapping issues.

      I am glad to hear that you were able to find the right gapping with just a 1.5″ difference in length. Also, I was looking to test a 13 degree 3W as well.

      What type of grip setup do you have? Iasl because I don’t know how my fitter could get down to (or even pretty close to) a 41″ 3W without adding tons of weight on the head end. I use a 90g setup that, I am told, causes issues trying to keep the length shorter. But… now I am very intrigued.

      I would LOVE to be able to setup the 3 hybrid per Tom’s suggestions, with a 41-42″ 3W and then my 44.5″ Driver (and go with 4I-LW).

      BTW, have you seen a better looking, feeling and responsive driver than the 919thi? God, no… that is a beautiful piece of golfing weaponry!!!

      Thanks again Mitch,


    • Hi Jake – you asked about my grip setup. I use 108g super oversize grips on all my clubs. I don’t worry much about swingweight. I use a low-wrist-cock 10-finger-grip swing. In my experience, that style is less sensitive to club weight distribution than more-wristy styles, because the forearms and club are moving as a single unit. The release timing is less critical.

      The shafts on my Sterling irons are Wishon S2S white S flex, 69g when cut to length. The shaft on my 18 degree hybrid is a Steelfiber i80 S flex which is about 80g cut. I didn’t plan the hybrid specs; I just kept trying shafts until I found a combination that I could hit straight.

      I’m a big fan of experimenting. I used to design video equipment for golf swing analysis and clubfitting, during which time I studied the fitting systems of most of the major club manufacturers. Despite all I have learned about the math and theory, I still find that you don’t really know how a club will perform in you hands until you play several rounds with it. That’s why I never sell a set of clubs until I have given the customer time to try out some test clubs in actual play.

    • I use a 10 finger grip as well, with less wrist action as possible. I didn’t realize that this style could be less sensitive to weight distribution. It does make sense though as I have a few clubs that range from a high B swingweight to irons that are mid-high D. While I can feel the weight differently, my overall swing doesn’t seem to be affected a great deal. Thanks for that insight there, I appreciate it. I’ve been worrying about weighting issues lately with regards to my upcoming Sterling Irons set, since I don’t know too much experience with it.

      I had a Sterling Irons and Hybrids fitting done at Spargo Golf that didn’t go as expected. I went in expecting to get a few details (Optimal lie angle, MOI #’s for both which was most important for me after checking out Tom’s articles/videos, and Flightscope report stats). After a few emails I did get a Flightscope report. But it had clubs I didn’t hit, clubs I did hit but w/ distances I have never hit in my life (9I shots of 182-185 yards off mats, come on now, not on my best skulled shots, lol). After a couple more emails I did get a 2667 MOI for the irons, which my new Sterling Irons fitter says should put me in a high C swingweight range (my grip is 90-92g). That was a pretty big difference than the D5+ w/ my current gamers. I have since asked for the MOI for the hybrids (even though I only hit 4 hybrid shots total) but have never heard back. Eh, well. I’ll stop there. While I admit I wasn’t happy with the particular service I had received, and other than giving you basis for my lagging doubts, I don’t want to bad mouth a nationally recognized club fitter that does have a lot of happy customers.

      Since you know your stuff, I wanted to ask you. Is it possible to get an accurate MOI for your irons/hybrids (they suggested 41″ length) without using the actual grip setup? I did bring in my actual grip/setup but they opted not to use it, instead using a finished grip that weighed about 20g less. I was hoping that this wouldn’t end up with me needing a different MOI match with the actual club specs using my larger grip….?

      When I read your first reply I thought your name sounded familiar. I initially chalked it up to being that I must’ve just remembered it from responses you had given here (I have read this page a few times). But, then I thought… are you the same Mitch Bradley from Honu Putters? I had been researching sidesaddle putters and that product caught my eye.

      Thanks again Mitch,


    • Hi Jake,

      Yes, Honu Putters R Us, and that is somewhat related to Sterling irons. Switching to Sterlings improved my iron play to the extent that putting became the glaring weakness in my game. The quest to fix my putting led me to the Honu design. I personally use a forearm lock/open stance putting setup, but the vast majority of Honus that I have sold have been for a conventional setup. A well-balanced putter with great face feel and rollout works for any putting style, once properly fitted. If you want to chat about putters please feel free to contact me via the contact form on my web site.

      Regarding your MOI question: For MOI, I use a spreadsheet of my own design. I normally calculate around an axis 4″ from the butt end, which approximates the rotation point between the two hands. MOI measuring machines like the Auditor measure at the butt end of the club. I can configure my spreadsheet for either axis. With the Auditor-style butt-end calculation, I get 2660 kg-cm2 for my 37.5″ Sterlings with S2S White shafts. That’s without the grip. The 108g grip adds 33 kg-cm2; a 90g grip would add 28 kg-cm2. It scales linearly with weight, so a 60g grip would be 19 kg-cm2.

      Redoing the calculations with the 4″-from-butt fulcrum point, the grip-less number drops to 2100 kg-cm2 – but that number is not comparable to butt-end numbers. The grip adder falls to about 10 kg-cm2 – an insignificant amount. That’s consistent with my belief that the grip mass contributes little to the release feel – the mass is too close to the between-hands fulcrum to matter. The grip diameter, though, is a big component of the feel because it affects which part of your hands – fingers vs palms – apply the torque, plus it changes the tension in the forearm muscles that close the fingers.

      My 16 degree hybrid (which is actually 39.5″, not 39″ as I said before), calculates out to 2540 kg-cm2 using the butt-end method. That’s a bit off compared to the 2660 iron number, but if you do the calculations 4″ from the butt, the hybrid comes out to 2025 vs 2100 for the irons. It would take an extra 10g or about a half inch to make up the difference.

      When I’m MOI matching a set, I don’t pay much attention to the absolute value of the MOI. Instead I use other fitting techniques to find a club that feels good to the player, then I work out its MOI and make the other clubs match that.

      Building golf clubs is not difficult, and the tools for entry-level work are inexpensive. Why not learn to do it yourself? You can practice on old clubs that you can scavenge for free. Every golf course has a pile of junk clubs.

    • Thanks for your reply Mitch. Good to hear that’s you. I am definitely considering the Honu Putter. I really like the look (very unique, and gorgeous) and the research and development info on your site is very intriguing as well. Once I have been able to get the Sterling Irons completed, and the rest of the bag updated, I will be sure to contact you through your site to talk further about that.

      I am glad to see (on your site) that you’re a Kuykendall enthusiast as well… as am I. So much so that now I will usually not listen to ANYONE give me any golf tips unless they’re familiar with Jack’s teachings/methods. I’d love to talk to you further about that as well (off this site of course). Between mastery of JK’s methods, using Wishon’s 919thi driver and Sterling Irons, and adapting to Sidesaddle putting… I believe you can become a highly efficient golfer, faster.

      I REALLY appreciate your MOI info. Although, even after reading it a 1/2 dozen times, I am continuously reminded of how clueless I am with all that… damn you’re smart! I would LOVE to be able to start assembling my own clubs. That is something I was planning on looking into by the end of 2019, maybe taking some workshops or something. The part about the feel, with regards to the grip, concerned me with my fitting since there wasn’t anything close to my grip used when the MOI was generated for me. Also, I really don’t remember feeling “oh, this is the club for me” at any time during the fitting. I only remember LOVING the way the 5I felt when I hit it, and the spring like effect off the ball… that was great!

      Thanks again Mitch, your valuable feedback is greatly appreciated!


  46. Tom,

    I’m very comfortable with my current (variable) length irons right up to/including my 8-iron (which is 40-degrees, 37 inches, and carries 145 yards). However, due to my height (6’ 3”), my posture/comfort is not good on the 9-LW (4-degree increments, 44-60 degrees).

    My question: what specific Sterling irons should I order to cover my 9-LW, knowing that the Sterling lofts are different from my VL clubs?


    • RAY
      There is no question that if you had the 9 to LW at 37″ like your 8 iron that you should experience much more comfort over the ball without the feeling you have to bend over or crouch more in your set up position. That part would be easy to accommodate with the Sterling Irons.

      The loft matter would be trickier because compared to modern loft “standards” today, you are playing with a fairly high/weak lofted 8 iron at 40*. The vast majority of game improvement irons on the market over the past 3-4 yrs have an 8 iron loft of between 35-37*. Even today’s forged muscleback irons are made with lofts a little stronger than what you have now.

      Because of this, I designed the lofts on the Sterling Irons so people converting from modern loft variable length sets would not lose any distance and also so the wedges would not be uncomfortably longer than what they are used to now.

      That means the loft of the Sterling 8 iron is 35*, then the 9 iron is 40*, the PW is 45*, GW is 50, SW is 55* and LW is 60*. The 5* loft gap is there to make up for the fact all the lengths are the same and not variably moving shorter.

      So there is no question in my mind that you would hit the Sterling irons from slightly longer in the wedges to at least a half club longer to possibly even a full club longer for the 8, 7, 6 and 5 irons than what you have now based on a 40* #8 iron loft and assuming a 4* loft change up and down from there.

      I might add that we have not yet heard any complaint from a golfer saying they are disappointed they hit the Sterling Irons a little longer than what they had. Getting used to the new distances has not seemed to be a problem because the distance gaps are fine.

      Hope this helps,

  47. Hi Tom
    I’ve been fitted with the Sterling Irons 8 iron length
    There the best clubs I’ve ever used
    Mike Melvin fitted them for me and done a great job
    I hit every club well apart from the 4 iron it’s hit and miss when hit well it’s long
    I told Mike about this and he put a straight edge on the face he noticed than it’s not flat like the other clubs is it ment to be like this

    • Steve

      Many thanks for taking your time to stop in and share your experience with the Sterling Irons !! We’re very pleased to hear that you like the new irons and that the clubs are working well for your game !! Best wishes for continued enjoyment !!


  48. Hi Tom
    I am a user off your single length clubs. What do you think about after 5 or 6 sterling use the 335 hybrid to build further.
    I am asking becuse i am a Lefty.Can not see the 335 on your website
    Not in your design or in retired models or in the Wishon catalog 2017.
    Are they out of production ? Hope you can read this. Has not wrote in English at least 30 years

    • ULFIE

      Thanks very much for your post and your use of the Sterling Irons in your bag. We appreciate that support very much. I am sorry that we cannot do more for expanding the left hand clubhead model offerings more than what we have. It’s so sadly just a story of supply and demand – for a smaller boutique engineering company as we are, we just do not have the demand volume to increase the model offerings in left hand.

      Above the Sterling # 5 iron, we would recommend the model 775HS #3 hybrid built to a length of not shorter than 38″ and not longer than 39″. This is a 21″ loft high COR hybrid that will function very well as the club above the #5 iron in the bag.

      Hope this helps,

  49. I know you mentioned in the past you are working on a type of single length fairway wood/ hybrid addition to the sterling’s. Any more info on the progress there? Is this something that could be released 2018? I’m wanting to get add a 2 and 3 hybrid to my set and wondering if I should wait for the single lengths to release or not.
    Also has there been any requests for an updated gw that matches the new sw and lw? I absolutely love the new sw and lw with the traditional shape and since I hit a lot of different shots with the gw it would be great to see that match the shape of the new sw and lw.
    Thanks for a great product!!

    • KOURT

      My apologies but the single length wood project was not successful so I dropped the concept for now. After loads of work and testing I could not find a length for the woods that could be long enough to prevent a loss of distance with the 3w and even 4w while also being short enough to really enhance shot consistency. A shorter length like 39″ was fabulous for control and accuracy and consistency but too many golfers lost too much clubhead speed with the 3w and 4w compared to what speed they could get with their conventional length 3w or 4w. And since distance is so important to so many, you just can’t ignore this and hope the improvement in accuracy and consistency would offset the pain of losing distance. And then if you go up to say 41″ to get that clubhead speed back, now you have a situation where the higher loft woods are too long and begin to suffer from accuracy and consistency.

      So for now the woods concept is done and won’t happen. But I am messing around with trying to do a single length hybrid design instead or as an alternative. I think I can cover distances up to say what a 5w at normal length would generate for golfers and then of course covering the needs of the clubs below that and leading up to the #5 iron #6 iron or even #7 iron would be easy. It seems that no matter what that a 3w or for many golfers, a 4w just cannot be part of a single length set that also includes a 5w, 7w and 9w.

      For now, you can achieve a single length hybrid set with our 775HS because these heads all are made with two weight bores. So you could add as much as 18g to the heads plus a tip weight in the shaft of up to as much as 9g for a grand total of 27g of possible weight addition to get to a normal swingweight if the hybrids are made shorter. Plus with the bendable hosel the 775’s can be bent to make all of their lies the same too. There is a clubmaker in Canada who has been doing single length custom hybrids for his golfers for 3 yrs using the 775’s.


    • Hello Tom,
      I am enjoying my Sterling’s tremendously! Great clubs!
      I have a friend who is planning to be fit in January with the Sterlings. Regarding doing the 775HS single length. How would you determine which length to use? Can you achieve proper gapping with a 3 degree loft change and same length?

    • Philip:

      My general guideline for the hybrids as single length is to first look at the length you are using for the Sterling Irons and begin by adding 2″. So if your Sterling length were 36.5″, the starting point for single length hybrids would be 38.5″. Then you can think about other factors to come up with adjustments one way or the other to achieve your final length. For example, if you are a higher speed player (Sterling swing speed is 80mph or more) and if you feel you have had any accuracy issues with your fwy woods or hybrids then drop down to having the single length hybrids be +1.5″ longer than your Sterling Irons. If on the other hand you are under 80mph for your Sterling Irons swing speed and if making sure you get enough distance is a real priority, then if you have no accuracy problems, go with a length of +2.5″ over the Sterling Irons. Other wise stay with +2″ over the Sterling Irons length.

      For loft gaps, that too is dictated by swing speed. If you are 80mph or higher with the Sterling Irons now, then 3* gap will be fine between the hybrids. If you are under 80mph but over 65mph, then a 4* gap would work better. And if you are under 65mph then a 5* loft gap would be what you want to go with.

      Hope this helps,

  50. Dear Tom,
    can you bend an 785HF #3 head from 60° to 63° lie angle, ream the bore to .370 and add roughly 35g of weight to make it an #4 Sterling hybrid?

    • daniel:

      Sorry but that just cannot be done. The 785’s were designed well before I came up with the idea for how to make a hybrid and fwy wood with a bendable hosel. So the hosel of the 785 is cast with the body from 17-4 stainless which for all intents and purposes on a hybrid is unbendable. Perhaps a person with superior experience could bend it 1*, maybe they could shock it into 2*. But not 3*. And then the addition of 35 grams would require drilling a hole through the sole into the open cavity of the head to inject a LOT of sticky glue to make up that much mass. Not easy to do in other words. So that’s what you would be facing to try to do that.


    • Thanks for the swift reply, Tom. Just out of curiosity, in the past you offered the 915F/H as an hybrid/fwy. Could one ream out the hosel of an 950HC to .370?

    • Daniel

      Yes, the hosels of the 950 or 929 woods could be reamed out to accept a 0.370″ parallel tip shaft. It would require having a proper hosel clamping fixture and a decent slow speed drill press with proper reamer but it can be done.


  51. Hello Mr Wishon.

    I’ve just been fitted for a set of Sterling irons at 8 iron length. (5,6,7,8,9,PW,GW,SW,LW)By Richard Kempton of Simply Golf, Kent, UK.

    Thank you for a brilliant design.

    I started playing golf in May this year, I’m 40yrs old, and playing at 14 handicap at the moment.

    Richard assessed me, then made me 2 trial clubs (5, PW) to go and play with. Three rounds later, and lot’s of range practice, I knew I needed the set. I don’t use a driver yet due to lack of consistency and confidence, so I always tee’d off with the 5 iron, and used it for long second shots. I instantly saved about 2-4 shots over a round by using the Sterling and not risking a wood, or regular length 3 iron. Long and straight every time to 185-ish yds.

    The Sterling irons are so easy to swing, go straight, and look really classy. The 8 iron goes like a rocket off the face to 150 yds. Also, for the first time, I played shot after shot with the SW and GW without thinning (My main error) and even popped a few flop-like shots up high with the LW with the blade open.

    I normally have no pitching game, but the SW was pitching nicely out to 50-75yds. It was as if I had always been able to. So another weakness in my game instantly improved.

    I have niggling back issues, upper and lower, and the longer length in the wedges feels so much more natural for me being a bit more upright.

    I’m not exaggerating to say that the GW/SW/LW outperform and outclass my two Titleist Vokeys SM6s. They aren’t even in the same league. Both are destined for resale now, so can join the rest of the obsolete clubs that will contribute to my future Wishon putter and driver fund!

    What a difference fitting makes.

    Sorry if this sounded a tad gushing, but I’m really pleased.

    Thanks very much.

    All the best.



      Gushing is good !!! HA! Actually, had you only posted the very first sentance, I would have been able to fill in the blanks for the rest of your message because Richard is without question, one of the very best if not THE very best clubfitter on planet Earth. I kid you not in saying that because I have known Richard since the 1980s in clubmaking and have had the pleasure of an ongoing technical discussion friendship with him ever since. So while I am very pleased to hear that you like the Sterling Irons, I am most pleased that you were able to find Richard and decide to work with him. He’s a superb credit to what custom clubmaking and clubfitting is and should be all about.

      As well, let me congratulate you on such a fantastic start to your entry into the game. To be a 14 after starting the game in May is remarkable. Few golfers who start in their 40s could ever play that well so soon. May I offer my sincere wishes for your continued success and enjoyment of this great game !!

      Thanks so much,

  52. Dear Tom, I‘n over 50 and in my third golf season. I switched from a standard iron set to Sterling Single length early this year and my iron play has improved a lot. A few weeks ago I even dropped my 60 and 56 Wedge and replaced them with the Sterling Blade Wedges and from the first moment they both were incredible easy to play. So now my favourite clubs in the bag are all Sterlings from LW to i6, altough I struggle a little with the i5 and i4 from the fairway. They work really great from the tee – i4 around 180 yards, but from the fairway the i4 often shoots not further than the i6. My question: Should I switch to the 5hybrid? If so, does it make sense to bend the loft of the hybrid down to 21 degree? Thanks again for these great set of irons!

    • Karl

      Good to hear you are progressing well in your third year in the game and that the Sterling irons are helping you to enjoy the game a little more. Thanks for sharing that with us. The reason you find you hit the 4 and 5 lower and not as high as the other irons is because of the effect of the shorter single length on the clubhead speed and ball speed you can generate with the irons. With all the irons being one length that means the low loft irons in the Sterling set are shorter than they are in a conventional set. This brings about a little lower clubhead speed due to the shorter length, which in turn means a little lower ball speed than what can be generated with the longer length that these numbered irons are in a conventional set. Being able to generate a high flight on the 4 iron requires a clubhead speed of around 85mph and higher. Being able to do the same with the 5 iron requires a clubhead speed of around 78mph or higher.

      So if you are lower than 78-79mph with your swing speed, a change to the 5 hybrid would help a tiny bit but only if you were around 75-77 mph. If you are under 75mph then no, the thing to do would be to have a hybrid made for you with 23-24* loft and made to a length of 38″. That would give you a little more speed to get that low of a loft sufficiently airborne to fly and carry farther than you presently hit the Sterling #5 iron. For the 4 iron, if you choose to use it more off the tee, that will work fine because the lower flight will help generate more roll for decent total distance. But if you wish to use the #4 to hit shots into greens, that would always be tough with a swing speed under 85mph. If you did wish to change away from that 4 iron, the alternative would be a hybrid with 20-21* loft at a length of 38.5 to 39″ – or a 7 wood with 21-22 loft made to a length not longer than 40″ and not shorter than 39″.


  53. Hello Tom, what are the best possible smash factors for each of the single length irons? If I understand it correctly the clubhead speed of all single length irons are nearly the same and the smash factor must be a little lower for the short irons and a little higher for the long ones compared to a regular iron set?

    • Steffen

      Yes, the smash factor will drop progressively down through the set because of two reasons – 1) the change from high COR face in the #7 iron to a normal COR one piece construction in the 8 through wedges, 2) just the increase of loft down through the set from iron to iron decreases the amount that the ball camn compress into the face. As loft increases even with a high COR face, you lose a little smash factor because the ball begins to slide more up the face and not compress into it as the loft increases.

      So with the 4 iron hit dead center the smash factor should be around 1.47-48 and that will drop a little bit down to a smash factor of around 1.42-44 for the 7 iron. The with the 8 iron it drops to around 1.35 and will drop progressively down to around 1.28 for the SW. These are averages since there are variables involved with the smash factor, mainly where on the face the impact occurs as well as what is the angle of attack of the clubhead coming down into the ball versus what that does to the loft at impact.

      Hope this helps,

    • Steffen

      Yes, the smash factor will drop progressively down through the set because of two reasons – 1) the change from high COR face in the #7 iron to a normal COR one piece construction in the 8 through wedges, 2) just the increase of loft down through the set from iron to iron decreases the amount that the ball camn compress into the face. As loft increases even with a high COR face, you lose a little smash factor because the ball begins to slide more up the face and not compress into it as the loft increases.

      So with the 4 iron hit dead center the smash factor should be around 1.47-48 and that will drop a little bit down to a smash factor of around 1.42-44 for the 7 iron. The with the 8 iron it drops to around 1.35 and will drop progressively down to around 1.28 for the SW. These are averages since there are variables involved with the smash factor, mainly where on the face the impact occurs as well as what is the angle of attack of the clubhead coming down into the ball versus what that does to the loft at impact.

      Hope this helps,

  54. Hi Tom. I am 53 year old weekend golfer. I was fitted with a set of Sterling Irons by in Aug 2016 by a fitter John Schiavone from Rocket Science golf in NY. He fitted me with a set of #5- sand wedge with 36 ½ in S2S Black 85 stiff shaft. I must confess there were times I would switch back to my Taylormade Speed blade irons when I was playing poorly. But eventually I would go back to the Sterling irons where I feel the most comfortable using the same swing for every club. It did take some playing time to get over the awkwardness of the longer sand wedge, but it’s no longer an issue for me now. Prior to last weekend, I played several rounds of golf. Once again I find myself having a difficult time making good contact with the ball. I was going to switch back to my Taylormade Speed blade, but I decided not to. Instead I contacted the local PGA instructor Adam Aronson who I have taken lessons in the past with. Within the few min into the lesson, he was able identified the cause of the issue and had me make a slight adjustment in my backswing. The big test is to take the Sterling irons and my new backswing to the golf course and see who well I do. I must say these irons are fantastic. I do not carry any woods or hybrid when I play. It’s strictly all irons. My best drive from the tee box with my #5 iron last Sunday was 217 yards with my current Z-Star golf ball. My best shot with my #7 iron was 189 yards. If anyone who are hesitant to buy a set of Sterling irons, because you are afraid the long irons will not go as far as your tradition set, don’t be afraid. . If you make good contact, the ball will fly.

    Best regards,


    • ANDY

      Thanks very much for taking the time to stop by and share your experiences with the Sterling Irons. It’s great to hear that you gave it some time, got a little help and then found that the irons do perform well for you. Best of all I was really glad to hear you worked with John – I always liked his clubmaking business name of “Rocket Science Golf” because you may have found out from him that John really was a real rocket scientist !! He’s good, he REALLY cares and you did the right thing finding him and choosing to work with him.

      Best wishes in this great game,

  55. Hi Tom, I been playing a set of the Sterling irons for a short while now and love them. I’ve been very impressed with the distances I get with the 4 and 5 irons, it still seems strange to see the ball travel that distance given the club length. I was wondering why the iron set has a progressive offset, I would have thought all the irons would have the same offset given they are the same length. Can you provide the technical reason why they were designed this way? When hitting the set, I do notice that difference and tend to draw the lower irons more.

    • GREG:

      I’m pleased to hear that you like the irons and that you are happy with the performance and the distances, especially with the low loft irons. I did the progressive offset for a couple of reasons. First as a little bit to help get the ball up a little more with the low loft irons. I knew with the lower lofts being much shorter than the same lofts are in a conventional set that some players could use a little more help with that. The other reason is because I knew many of the average players who might play the set would be used to seeing some offset on the irons in their conventional set. That being the case, the amount of offset on the low loft irons is not nearly as much as what offset iron models have these days. fully offset iron models these days have 10mm of offset while the max on the Sterlings with the #4 and 5 is like half of that.


  56. Tom,

    I want to tell my story of the Sterling irons so that others don’t make the mistake I did regarding “Brand Name” clubs.

    About a year ago I was fitted and purchased the Sterling irons and was becoming comfortable and starting to really like them. Soon after, Cobra came out with their King F7 One Length irons. Me being the new golf club equipment addict, I decided to purchase the King F7 One Length irons. I did not like the King F7 irons so swapped my Sterling shafts to the King F7 irons. I liked the King F7 irons a little better but not to the degree I liked the Sterling irons. I ended up reshafting the Sterling heads with the identical shafts as originally purchased and am very happy with the Sterling irons. I can hit many types of shots which I could not do with the King F7.

    It was a costly mistake to purchase the Cobra King F7 irons because they were a “Brand Name”. The Sterling irons are far superior and a better club. My only reprieve is that I satisfied my curiosity albeit, at a high cost.

    Many kudos to you Tom Wishon, for making such an excellent club with the Sterling irons!

    A very happy user of the Sterling irons!!!

    Robert N.

    • ROBERT

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience with the Sterling Irons and the Cobra ONE irons. I’m sorry this cost you the price of both the new Cobra set and the re shaft work, but it is at least nice to know that in the end you got the clubs that are helping you to enjoy this great game a little more !! It is an honor for me to be able to have been a career club designer and I am so pleased to hear that you like the irons after having given them a very serious comparative test against the Cobra irons !! Best wishes to you in this great game,

  57. Dear Tom
    I hope your are doing fine !
    Could you please let us know (about) if the Sterling sets is a success, I think so (I own one from 5 i to LW, I am so happy with)
    How many sets you send to the club makers
    Maybe this question could look indiscreet and I would be not ad if you do not want to answer
    The reason is the opposition from people I meet when I am talking about my set and its benefit to me…
    They say it is not a success so it does not work, and o me it is a silly reaction

    best wishes

    • DOM
      Thank you for taking your time to write and ask for a little more information. I am very familiar with your reason for asking for help and information. Consumer golfers tend to believe that if a golf club model is not heavily advertised and is not used frequently on the world’s professional tours that it must be a poor model. I have had to live with this lack of respect for my design work for my entire career. And yes, it is difficult to overcome the prejudice of golfers who are so influenced by the marketing campaigns of the big golf companies.

      Because I have only believed in custom fitting, my club models are only sold by custom clubmakers who will custom make the club models for the golfers who come to them for help. My club models are not sold through any of the big retail stores or pro shops because those places only sell clubs off the shelf and are not involved in real, professional custom fitting or custom clubmaking. So that means the sales volume of my club models has always been much smaller than the sales volume of the big companies. I can tell you that since the Sterling IRons were introduced in April 2016, over ten thousand sets have been sold to golfers. If you want to see some of the comments from golfers who have bought the sets, I recommend two places to go. 1) go to and click on the link on the home page for TESTIMONIALS. These are all honest and unsolicited comments from golfers. 2) go to and do a search for STERLNG SINGLE LENGTH IRONS. There you will see forum threads with all sorts of comments about the irons.

      And if you allow me to step away from my more introverted personality for a moment, you can always tell the doubting golfers about me and my experience. My career overview is found on under the link for ABOUT WISHON GOLF. I have written ten books and over 300 technical articles about club performance technology. My books are used to teach golf club technology and fitting technology to the members in training for the British PGA, the Swedish PGA, the German PGA. So the PGA organizations in Europe do think that I know more about golf club technology than any other person. I have also designed over 350 different clubhead models in my career which is more than any other single person in the history of golf. Among my designs are many technical engineering firsts including the first high COR fairway woods, first high COR hybrids, first high COR irons, the first adjustable hosel sleeve for woods, and many more. These technical design firsts can be seen on as well.

      But in the end, the proof for the Sterling Irons performance is in how you are able to show golfers that you play better and that you are happy with the irons. If they choose to not listen to any of this information from you, then you just have to turn away and realize they are uninformed and will live their lives with the belief of “do not confuse me with the facts.


    • Dear Tom
      Thank you so much !
      I agreewith you on every word you wrote
      They are so silly, but I d not want to accept silly words and rubish from them so it is why I ask you this indiscreet question
      The Sterling set is so great, I do enjoy my set and it helps me a lot even I plaid some blades and sone others set in my “carrer”
      thank you so much
      André told me he will visit you in a while
      Have a very nice day
      Kindest regards

  58. Hi Tom, I’m going to install some new shaft to my Sterlings and have a question related to that. My current playing length is 37″ so would you recommend trimming the shafts based on a 7 or 8-iron length (or a happy in between)? Probably we are talking about very subtle differences but thought to ask anyway if you have some general guidelines for this. Thanks as always.

    • TOMAS
      it is a subtle difference but the norm for building the set to a length of 37″ would be to tip trim the shafts all to be a 7 iron tip trim for the shafts you have. If you trimmed them for an 8 iron but made them all to be 37″ in length, the shafts would end up being 1/4 flex stiffer than the norm. So it is a small difference, but the correct way would be to follow the 7 iron tip trim for all the shafts, then install and cut to 37″ playing length. Remember also that the lies may need to be adjusted to be 1* flatter than they are now for your 8 iron length.


  59. Hi Tom. I would like to go to oversized / non tapered grips for my sterlings. Have played them since last August. My clubmaker said they have to be less than 50 grams when clubs were built…. any suggestions on what and where to find a set? Ty. Paul

    • PAUL
      I believe if you head to you will find what you are looking for. I know they make the non tapered shape grips but I do not know if they make them pre molded to different sizes. If not, then you can achieve the oversize grip by using successive layers of masking tape on the shaft, over which you then install the grips.


    • One trick that works very well is to overwrap grips with tennis racket overgrip tape. I particularly like Yonex Super Grap. It has a great feel, is not very expensive, and can easily be unwrapped and replaced when it gets worn. You can adjust the overall taper by changing the distance between the turns. You can even change a tapered grip into a non-tapered one – use wide turn spacing at the butt end and gradually decrease the spacing as you go down. They cost about $1.50 each in dozen packs, even less in 30-packs.
      If you want to really upsize the grips, either use multiple layers of tennis overwrap, or use bicycle handlebar tape.

  60. Tom, I’m wondering whether any particular type of shaft works better in the Sterling Irons. I am considering either a lightweight steel (90-95g) or possibly even lighter graphite. I’m 65 years old and tried switching to regular flex in my last set, but I just don’t feel like I have the same control as I have with stiff. It’s really a feel thing more than any hard data. I switched out my current (Cobra) irons to Nippon Steel NS950 stiff from the original TT Lite regulars and like them much more, but the SL thing intrigues me. There may be something to be gained from a lighter (but still stiff) graphite shaft. Or maybe not. Interested to hear your thoughts.

    • MARK

      There is no such thing as a shaft that works better with any specific clubhead design. Shafts are chosen on the basis of how well they match the swing characteristics of the golfer, in particular the golfer’s clubhead speed + downswing tempo + point of wrist hinge release + golfer strength + the golfer’s personal preference for feel of the shaft during the swing. A shaft that is found to fit a golfer well will work the same in any set of irons you choose to play, as long as the installation of the shaft is normalized for any differences in the head model’s hosel length and bore depth. It is also eminently possible for a clubmaker to order the NS950 shafts and use them in the assembly of a Sterling single length set. In doing so, all the irons would play from a shaft standpoint exactly as does the 7 or 8 iron does in your Cobra irons with the NS950’s. Once a shaft is found that performs well for a golfer, the single length concept then stands on its own performance wise, separate from the shaft’s performance – meaning the concepts of same length meaning same stance, same ball position, same posture/spine angle, same total weight, same head weight feel, same balance point, same moment of inertia for each iron.

      Hope this helps,

    • So beyond tip trimming of the shafts I am going to try, what is the actual cut length required for these heads in a standard 8-iron length? I would like to have all the prep done before the heads arrive. Also, what is the ferrule OD? Thanks.

    • MARK

      It is never advisable to try to have all shafts for a set pre cut both from the butt and the tip because there will always be a small +/- tolerance for the bore depth in every set of irons ever made. That’s why the very best clubmakers know they have to do the tip cuts first, then install ferrules and install the shafts to bottom out in the hosels before you then measure to cut from the butt to achieve the final playing lengths for each iron. The top of the hosel of all Sterling irons are made to an OD of 13.2mm, however here again there is a small +/- tolerance for every iron’s hosel OD as well. But if you buy ferrules that have a bottom OD of 13.2mm and an ID for a 0.370″ parallel iron shaft you won’t have any problems.


  61. In a recent 3-club (players only allowed to use 3 clubs for the entire round) at our course, the top three places were won by people using a Sterling iron as their intermediate-distance club.

  62. Hi Tom

    Short question from Denmark; since higher weight will slow down peripheral speed of any object connected to a center (i.e. heavy club heads like forged iron club heads etc. will slow down club head speed), why doesn’t anyone produce 4-SW “irons” in more lightweight materials (e.g. kevlar, alu-kevlar combos etc.)? Analogue is found in the composite wings of a wind power mill/generator, lightweight flywheels on racing cars etc. Less mass to be rotated equals higher velocity for the same power applied. Drivers and woods are already made in composite materials, so what’s the reason? Even though the MOI is perfectly balanced for an Iron, lowest possible weight should always result in increased speed and, thus, be favored. Or am I missing out something?
    By the way; I’ve had my SSL’s for about six months now and they are amazing…my game is gradually improving…great concept and great to have someone challenging the established industry with scientifically based facts.

    Best regards, Thomas/Denmark

    • THOMAS
      Thanks so much for taking the time to write with your question AND THANK YOU for letting us know that you like the performance of the Sterling single length irons !! We’re very pleased to hear that.

      Let me start to answer your question by first saying that the combination of total weight + the head weight ratio to the rest of the club’s weight are two EXTREMELY IMPORTANT fitting factors that have a very significant effect on how well any golfer hits the ball. In a very general sense, strong people with very aggressive swings typically hit the ball better with heavier clubs that have a heavier head weight feel during the swing. And conversely in a very general sense, people with a low level of strength and who have a very smooth/passive swing tempo tend to hit the ball better with clubs that are lighter in total weight and sometimes also lighter in the head weight feel.

      No matter what, the clubheads have to be made to a somewhat narrow range in mass even when you factor in this heavy head feel to lighter head feel. This is because a lot of what determines how heavy or light the head feels during the swing has to do with the LENGTH and the SHAFT WEIGHT of the clubs. So for example, for adult golfers, the driver headweight has to exist between a range of around 185 grams and 210 grams. At the range in lengths that a properly fit driver must be in this game for all the different golfers, a driver head weight less than 185 grams is going to end up making the golf club feel TOO HEAD LIGHT for even a lot of golfers with below avg strength and with very passive/smooth swings.

      The same is true for all of the other clubheads in a set of clubs. There is a definite limit for how light a clubhead can be before it just becomes too light to be able to offer enough head weight feel during the swing to enable the golfer to achieve proper swing tempo consistency and shot consistency. For every golfer there is a point at which if the head does not exhibit enough of a feeling of mass at the end of the shaft, the golfer’s tempo can be very inconsistent and his on center hits with the clubs will suffer greatly.

      Therefore, all of these very light weight materials are not really needed for the purpose of making clubheads to the proper size but to lighter weight (mass). In shafts, yes, very definitely it is important to use very lightweight/very strong materials because very light weight shafts are very important for a large number of golfers who need a lighter total weight in their clubs. But again, because clubs have to be made to a series of lengths that are within a somewhat narrow range, and because there has to be enough of a feeling of mass at the end of the shaft to prompt golfers to achieve a reasonably consistent swing tempo, the head weights cannot be too light.

      I hope this helps and thanks for what was a very good question,

    • Regarding lighter-weight iron heads, keep in mind that accuracy – control of both direction and distance – is more important than raw distance for irons. People learning golf are often obsessed with distance, but the people who can really score spend much more time dialing-in their accuracy. If you learn accuracy through precise ball striking, good distance happens almost automatically. A center strike with an aligned club path, at a moderate clubhead speed, will go farther in a useful direction than a mishit at a phenomenal clubhead speed.

    • In addition to what Tom mentioned about the importance of the feel & balance of a golf club and its compnents, keep in mind that the amount of energy transferred into the golf ball is not only dependent on the speed at which the club is swung, but also on how much mass the clubhead has. These two things together make up the clubheads kinetic energy. The formula is Ek=1/2MV², or in other words kinetic energy equals 1/2 of the mass x the velocity squared. If you have an ultralight head that allows you to swing the club say 10mph faster, but it’s necessary to make it 20% lighter to accomplish that, you aren’t going to gain much (if any). Let’s say you swing 80mph with a 250g head, the kinetic energy of that head at impact is 1/2(250×80^2) = 800,000. If you reduce the weight of the head by 20% (200g) and increase the swing speed to 90mph, the energy at the point of impact is now 1/2(200x90²) = 810,000 only a 1.25% increase in energy! So even though you’re swinging 10mph faster, the head isn’t going to have any more kinetic energy at the point of impact and therefore the ball isn’t going to go any farther.

  63. I’m Niki from Zurich – Switzerland. Playing your 771 CSI Irons since 2 years. (Love them – GW-4 Iron + 3 Iron 590DIH). I got fitted and therefore I know that i have long arms for my height. My 8 Irion lenght is 36 Inch. It is one of my best clubs in my bag.

    QUESTION: I understand that you offer 36,5 Inch Set. Can i build a Set of Sterling single lenght Irons on 36 Inch? Do I need to change weight of club if I want to go 36 Inch ? What do I have to know if i build a 36 Inch Sterling Iron Set. Thanks for your help.

    • Hello Niki from Switzerland !
      It should be possible to use the Sterling Irons to make the set to all be 36″ in length. There can be some restrictions there because it depends on what the shaft weight, the grip weight and what your final desired swingweight needs to be in the clubs. Swingweight would be the same as you have it now for your 36″ #8 iron in the 771CSI set – think of it this way. . . . you would want to have your Sterling irons all be the same as your current 771CSI #8 iron. So whatever its shaft weight, shaft flex, grip model, grip weight, lie angle and swingweight are right now would be what you make all the Sterling irons to be when each one is 36″ in length just like your current 8 iron. Thanks so much for your interest,

    • 36″ definitely works. I have built Sterling sets from 36″ up to 38″. Typically I go with heavier steel shafts in the short lengths and ultra-lightweight graphite shafts in the scary-long lengths, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. I have one highly-skilled female customer who is playing Sterlings at 36″ with S2S White graphite shafts – and a highly-athletic male customer with 36″ Sterlings in full-weight steel.

      If you have a clubmaker who is willing to work with you, you don’t have to guess. Just have him build a few test clubs with different shafts and lengths, see which works the best for you, then reshaft everything to the winning shaft. That approach is easy with Sterlings because you can put one test shaft in the PW, another in the 9I, and a third in the 8I; you don’t need, say, 3 identical 8I heads for the test.

      I use this technique extensively. I take my best shot at an initial fitting, then give the customer the chance to test that and a few “nearby” variants in actual play. It is pretty common that the customer will “settle in” to a slightly different fitting than the initial one.

      Shafts are not expensive, and the ones you “pull” can be reused for another test build later.

  64. Hi Tom,

    With regards to the 4i, 5i, 5h Sterling situation would it be possible to either bend or hand select a 5h to match the 4i spec in order to have two hybrids rather than two irons at the bottom end of the set?

    I currently use the Sterling 5h which I must admit is one of the best clubs I’ve ever had the pleasure of hitting.
    I use it from distances of about 160 upto approximately 185 yards. It’s a little cracker for around the greens and I also use it for knocking the ball out from under trees ets.

    If I was a low handicapper using a traditional set I would still like to have a little club like this in the bag it is just so versatile.

    • PETER

      It is not really feasible or desired to try to bend the hosel of a hybrid to try to change the loft of the head. This is a bit of a complicated explanation as to why so I have to ask you to bear with me as I try to make this clear and easy to understand. With an iron, we golfers are always taught to PLACE the iron in a square face position to the ball and target when we address the ball. When you always set the iron down with the leading edge square to the target, a bend of the hosel in the direction toward the target will increase loft while a bend in the direction away from the target will lower the loft.

      With the driver, fwy woods and hybrids, the sole of all these heads is very wide compared to any iron. As such, we golfers are most typically taught to SOLE the head on the ground when we address the ball. We rest the head on its sole on the ground as a natural part of setting up to hit a shot with a driver, woods or hybrids. When you do that, a bend of the hosel toward or away from the target will change the FACE ANGLE of the driver/wood/hybrid to be more open or more closed while the loft remains the same.

      Now if you do bend a driver/wood/hybrid and then you turn the head so it is positioned square to the target, then you will change the loft same as with an iron. But if you do this, you have to HOLD THE HEAD A LITTLE BIT OFF THE GROUND WITH THE FACE SQUARE. If you drop the head to rest its sole on the ground, that bend turns back into a face angle change, with no loft change.

      Now with a driver, some golfers can get used to hovering the head off the ground with the face turned square to hit the ball, because the ball is on a tee peg. But with the woods and hybrids where the ball is on the ground, hovering the head off the ground while holding the face square is a much more dodgy proposition for being able to hit the ball properly. Some golfers can do that, most will struggle with it.

      FYI I am finalizing the design for a set of Sterling Woods/Hybrids right now. I am slow with it, dragged my feet a bit more than I should, but I am pretty well set in my head as to how this will be done. It will include a 3w, 5w, 3 hybrid and 4 hybrid that will be able to be built to optional lengths of 40, 40.5 or 41 inches as the golfer prefers or needs for various distance or control reasons. No golfer would have all 4 of the clubs. Higher speed players would do a 3w and 3h, avg to slower speed players would be put into a 5w and 4h as the two clubs that will be between the Sterling #5 iron/#5 hybrid and the driver. I think the 4h would be a very nice addition above the #5 hybrid. But we’ll see as this moves on. Hope this helps and thanks so much for your continued interest,

    • Hi Tom,

      I just read your reply to Peter where you talked about your plans for adding a fairway wood and another hybrid to the Sterling Single Length offerings. I recently had a set of Sterlings, 5 Hybrid to SW, built by Joe Toomey of Elite Custom Golf. I’ve been very happy with the entire set but I have to admit the 5H has become my favorite club to hit. That wasn’t the case the first time I hit a demo club. However, I got better with it and now it outperforms my old 5 iron going away.

      I would put in an order for a 4H and a 5W today, if they were available. If you are trying to poll the interest in offering those additions to the line, count me in. Can you offer any more details on the specs you have in mind? Would the fairway wood and hybrid be built to the same length? Would the head weight, lie angle, bore diameter, etc be similar to each other? Anything you want to share would be appreciated.


    • PAUL:

      Yes for sure, happy to help with some information. I am now thinking about the Sterling Woods as being able to be made to any length from 40″ to 41″. The choice would depend on several things – the clubhead speed of the golfer, the ability of the golfer, the need or not for help with more accuracy, etc. There would be 4 different heads designed for this, but no one golfer would buy and use all 4. These would be done in basically two pairs of options – the higher speed players with a driver speed >100mph could go with the 15* and 19* woods made to 40 ot 40.5″ while the medium speed players under 100mph but over 85mph could go with the 17* and 21* woods, made to a length of 41″ so they get enough speed help to elevate the shot with the 17* wood. head shapes would progress from a normal fwy wood shape and size on the 15* head, then slightly less wide down to almost a hybrid looking shape on the 21* head.

      Hope this helps, and thanks so much for your interest,

  65. Hi Tom
    It’s coming up to my one year anniversary with the Sterlings, so I thought I would do an update of my personal findings.

    When I got them (end Sept 2016) I was 9 handicap. From mid-Oct to mid-Nov I dropped to 7 handicap, which wasn’t a co-incidence.

    In March our club had the “5 day champs” (for 5 day members and other categories outside of full members, and this comp is for us). So it’s not the main event but still quite big and was lucky enough to win it. I have since been referred to as the “Bryson deChambeau” of Westlake.

    I am currently playing off 5.6, which is my lowest ever. So as you can see they are working for me.

    Some of my observations:

    1. Long irons were immediately easier with no real adjustment needed.

    2. Short irons (PW & GW) were initially harder to get used to. My problem I think was that I’d try to hit them too hard (a mental thing). Now (as you have suggested) I trust them, and the wedges are great. I think it’s called “patience”?

    3. Long iron ball flight is a bit lower, but also straighter for me (not sure if those things are related?). It’s windy in Cape Town so it actually helps. Again if you accept it and trust it, the results are good.

    So all in all, I’m loving the clubs.

    The questions I have are about the hybrids. Two questions really;

    1. There is now a 4 iron but no hybrid. I understand the logic – that a player with sufficient swing speed would most likely prefer an iron, plus tooling costs of a club that won’t sell much – but for me it would make sense (being on the “cusp” between the 5 iron and 5 hybrid). Had a 4 hybrid been available, I would almost certainly have gone for it (and maybe gone for a 5 hybrid instead of the iron). I’d say my +/- 85 mph 5 iron swing speed is somewhere around average, so wouldn’t there be quite a lot of golfers in the same boat who couldn’t handle the 4 iron but would buy the 4 hybrid?

    2. For players with slower swings, would it not make sense to offer a 6 hybrid? Rather than them having to only go with 7 iron up, then supplement with traditional length hybrids, they could in theory add a Sterling 6 hybrid (and maybe even the 5 hybrid too)?

    In both cases, you’d be giving players the chance to add more single length clubs to their set, thus enhancing the benefits.

    Are you likely to start making the 4 and / or 6 hybrid in future, or does it not really make sense from a numbers point of view?

    Anyway, I’m stoked with the clubs so thanks again

    • FRAZER

      Thanks so much for your one year anniversary summation of your experience with the Sterling Irons. It’s great to hear that the clubs continue to do well for you and that you are pleased with the ongoing performance ! You do have a good point about including a 6 hybrid because there are some players with sub 70mph iron speeds who would likely benefit more from that than the 6 iron. I’ll think about that but it is tough because any add on of a model needs to have demand and as things have evolved over the first 18 months of the Sterling irons, the #5 hybrid is pretty small in demand. With it were different and wish more would think about the #5 H because for many it would be better than the iron. Undoubtedly the #6 hybrid would be less.

      On the other end of the spectrum I think I have finally decided how I want to do the Sterling woods. No way I can mess around with any lower lofts that would be a part of an 8 iron length set of irons. The Sterling Woods thing took a while for me to figure out because I just could not get comfortable with a combination of what length and what lofts. But I think I am ok with that now – only problem is that it took me all season to figure out so now that it is August, an intro of the Sterling Woods may not happen until next summer some time. Hopefully sooner though. Thanks again for your interest and for sure, the very best to you in this great game !


    • Hi Tom

      Thanks for the as-always quick and informative reply. Not bad for a retiree 🙂

      I thought you might say that about the 6 hybrid. Makes sense.

      But I hadn’t thought that you’d do single length woods. THAT is appealing and quite pertinent because I had a related experience with the 915 f/h that I bought. We tried a few things with flex, weight and I still couldn’t elevate it enough. In the end I swapped out the shaft basically for a longer one, which made a big difference and now it’s back in the bag.

      I’ve got a bit of a gap from my 5 iron to the 5 wood, so I think I might be one of the first in line when you do get the single length woods going. Can’t wait!

      thanks again

    • Tom, Like Fraser, I have had my sterlings for over a year. Ross in Chilliwack built my set and they were the first set he sold.
      My scores dropped 2 strokes per nine on the average. ( nine hole course)
      The wedges are dialed in and are great.
      Accuracy accounts for my stroke reduction.
      Best clubs I have ever owned. I do have the five hybrid and would not part with it.

  66. Hi Tom,

    I am wondering what you would consider to be the “average” numbers achievable on say trackman with the 4 iron at around an 85mph swing speed. Open question – I know – as the numbers all depend on lots of other factors. But I was just wondering what you would consider the ideal numbers to be with the Sterling 4 iron. As even at 85-86mph swing speed, I struggle to get around 2600 rpm backspin. Launch is around 15-16 degrees and descent angle is only around 34 degrees with a peak height of about 22 yards. No complaints on carry distance at around 200 yards. The problem is the amount of roll out that I get which is on average 16-17 yards of roll due to the low ball flight and descent angle.

    I’m using the Wishon S2S stepless stiff flex shaft – green sticker with red ends.

    I’d like to get more backspin and a greater height and steeper descent angle.

    I’m working with Craig at PnP Golf in Canberra (Australia) at the moment. But was also wondering what your opinion is and what I should be expecting in regards to the 4 iron ball flight and roll out etc.

    • MATT

      Sure thing and happy to help. During the development and testing phase, for a speed of 85-86mph with the 19* loft #4 iron we would see a launch angle of 14-15*, ball speed of 127mph, spin of 3650 (avg), carry of 206-210 and a max height of 30 yds. BUT. . . . I must say that there were most definitely golfers with a mid 80s speed who were all over the place with height/carry/spin with the 4 iron. What we found as we dug into this more was that these guys were mentally worried about how short the iron of that low of a loft felt to them that they were doing things in their swing to try to “help the ball up”. And the more they tried to help the ball fly higher, the worse the results.

      In the end, we found that when the golfers with plenty of speed were able to just relax and think about making a swing with an 8 iron instead of a 4 iron ,the results became better for height, spin and carry. I can testify to this because I was one of the “test subjects” that had this happen and it took me a little while to just mentally be able to forget about the low loft I was staring at behind the ball and to just swing like I had the actual 8 iron in my hands. The more the test subjects like me were able to do this, the better it became. At the same time, we also noted that being able to consistently turn through the shot before the club AND to stay behind the shot were critical for shot height with the 4 iron in the Sterling set. Here again when the golfer went after the shot aggressively and happened to move around or ahead of the ball, the shot always flew low.

      Hope this helps,

    • Thanks Tom.

      Just wondering what the angle of attack might be and spin loft? I’m wondering if my angle of attack might be the issue. I struggle to create spin with all the sterling clubs in reality, but more so with the 4 iron. But for example, even my 6 iron , the best j can get us around 4500rpm, ball height and decent angle is 45 degrees, but roll out still has me hitting greens and rolling off the back at times.

      My angle of attack is between 7 to 8 degrees down and I tend to deloft the club head as well with hands forward at around 7 degrees average as well. So wondering if my spin loft numbers are maybe not high enough.

    • MATT

      Well IMO you just nailed the reason for the less than stellar performance you report with the 4 iron. No way that or even any longer length low loft iron is going to get up to fly and spin with a -7* or more angle of attack. I really do not pay any attention to spin loft – in any launch monitor analysis I look more at the ball speed, smash factor, launch angle and angle of attack and then watch the flight shape very carefully so I really do not pay much attention to the recorded outputs of spin. You are definitely going to have to shallow out that A of A before you’ll like what you see with the 4 iron. But at least you now know for sure and have something to work on. Sometimes it just comes down to not enough speed and when that is the cause, that’s a much tougher one to overcome.


  67. Hi Tom..

    Well I finally did it…. listed my traditional irons FOR SALE on my local golf site and I’m now fully committed to the Sterlings. I wasn’t able to get along with the 5 iron due to a lack of swing speed so I’ve added in some hybrids to cover off the lofts of the 4/5/6 irons.

    My previous set was retrofit by Dan Connolly (Dans Custom Golf in Canada) using his TLT fitting method. That worked VERY well for me so I asked Dan to build my Sterlings using those specs (slightly longer then 36.5″) and I couldn’t be happier.

    What started as an experiment became my full time set of gamers and my scores have been on the decline thanks to the quality and consistency of these irons and Dan’s skills.

    I know lefties don’t always get the full compliment of clubs available but THANK YOU for bringing this design out for us. Now… I just need you to tool up the new traditional Sterling lob wedge please! 🙂

    Thanks Tom…


    • Thanks very much to you Jeff for letting us know how well the irons are performing for you ! The new Sterling SW is all done and tooling completed in left hand. It is just a matter now of Diamond Golf working their way through the inventory of the original left hand SW so they can order the new one to have it take over as the only SW offered.

      Thanks again and best wishes to you in this great game !

  68. As a minimalist golfer,I walk and carry my bag and only play 6 clubs.
    I use the Sterling 5 iron and 7 iron,a Nike bladed 9 iron and pitching wedge and a Titleist driver and putter.
    Using this setup this season I have reduced my handicap from a 9 HC to a
    4 HC in 4 months and I owe all that to the Sterling irons.
    On my course those irons are absolute gold and used all the time.
    They will never come out of my bag! lol
    Thank you for making such outstanding irons.

    • ED

      And what a perfect example to prove the old adage of “less is more” can apply to golf as well !! Thanks for sharing that and for sure, we are very pleased to hear about your success in the game with the minimalist set makeup ! A change from 9 to 4 is really remarkable – far harder to do that than a drop from say 19 to 14. Congratulations on the improvement ! There is nothing like the smile and good feeling when you know you are not just playing better here or there but playing better almost all the time !

      Best wishes to you in this great game,

  69. Over the past week I delivered Sterling iron sets to Maui’s best amateur woman and to a female junior who won last year’s state championship in her age group. So far their comments are overwhelmingly positive. We shall see how they fare in competition over the next year.

    • Mitch

      Well done ! And thanks so much for sharing that information with all of us ! I’d be curious how two players like this got interested enough in single length to go so far as to play it. So often top tournament players do not deviate from a strong line of traditionalism and peer commentary when it comes to their own equipment.

      Thanks much

    • Those two top players are both members of my club with whom I have developed a rapport and credibility.

      The adult woman was fighting with her short iron accuracy and I pointed out that her lie angle was off. She had always played with off-the-rack clubs (unbendable Callaways)! I made a test club to fix the lie angle, which solved the problem. Then I mentioned my own good results with single length. We tried different shaft and length combinations with clubs at both ends of the range until she liked the result, then she committed. The fitting ended up at 36″ with S2S White R flex, tipped at 2″ to push the flex a bit softer.

      I have been helping the junior girl – and her younger sister who, at 9 years old, recently won a tournament against 12-year-olds – with equipment for awhile. The younger sister is small and left handed so her parents were always having trouble getting appropriate clubs for her. She had a horribly mismatched hodgepodge of hand-me-down and bargain-bin irons. I fixed them at very low cost by judicious shaft fiddling, which gave me a lot of cred with the parents. The older sister recently outgrew a set of irons and the parents were considering a hand-me-down set from an older junior girl. I convinced them that she deserves a custom-fitted set. Considering the amount they spend on travel to tournaments, they should not skimp on clubs – then I gave them a good price.

      In both cases, we waited until a big lull in the tournament schedule before deploying the single length sets. In advance of that, I took a lot of time with the fittings, with numerous test clubs over several weeks.

      The girl’s father, doing due diligence, asked her teaching pro about the sanity of the single length thing. The pro, to her credit, said “try it and see”.

    • The top amateur woman is really liking her Sterling set but the junior is having trouble getting used to the single length. She likes the feel of the Sterling heads though. Can you recommend another Wishon head that will have similar feel to the Sterlings, for conventional length progression?

    • MITCH

      It may be that she just does not have the clubhead speed for the loft of the 5 iron and even possibly the 6 iron. When the player’s mid iron clubhead speed is not over 75mph, the 5 iron becomes dodgy for achieving full height and carry at an 8 iron length. When the speed drops in the 60’s, then the 6 iron can be a lower flying shot that struggles to carry longer than the 7 iron. But as far as same impact feel, that would be the 771CSI – the Sterling 4, 5, 6, 7 are the same exact construction as the 771 – carbon steel body with HS300 variable thickness high strength steel face.


    • Thanks, I’ll try her on 771CSI. I didn’t build her a Sterling 5 because of the speed consideration – although she does have a decent swing speed and a nice launch angle in general. I think the problem is mostly psychological. She said it just seems weird to not use different swings for different irons. At the level she plays, it’s probably best to optimize for confidence.

    • Hello Tom!
      I am hoping to be fitted for the Sterlings by Tim Brantley within the next two weeks. I am left handed, and have a few questions.I am now 62, 9 handicap, new Foresight Sports GC Quad launch monitor numbers show
      85 mph+ for my 36.5 inch 9 iron and 87+ for my 37 inch 8 iron. Swing path 3-5 degrees in to out.
      1. Length decision. I have a 35.5″ wrist to floor. I have played standard length, both have played mostly 1/2 ” long the past 6 years with custom fit clubs. Any advice on using 36.5, 36.75, or 37 inches?
      2. Are you still playing the Sterlings? How did you decide on 36.75? What length do you play in an incremental set?
      3. Since you do not offer the 4 iron or lob wedge in left hand, should I consider an additional 5 iron and sand wedge to be hand selected and loft adjusted to create two more clubs?
      4. Any graphite shaft recommendations? I tend to flight the ball pretty high already.

    • PHILIP

      Thanks so much for your interest and for the questions. I am always happy to help !! Sorry I have not included a 4 iron in the LH version – with your iron speeds, you do have the speed to be able to have the #4 iron in the Sterling set and have it perform properly in terms of potential shot height and carry distance over and above the 5 iron. I would not under any circumstance recommend bending a 5 iron into a 4 iron loft. That would be a 4* drop in loft and that would increase the offset by a very visible amount that would make the head look odd in the playing position. Also it would turn the sole angle down into more of a scoop/digger sole effect so if you had a normal -1 to -3* downward angle of attack, you would experience a fat shot here and there. Sorry but the club above the 5 iron will either have to be a more normal length 4 iron/3 iron (watch the loft vs the Sterling 5 iron loft if you do that) or a hybrid of 20* or so, made to a length not shorter than 38″. It’s just not that possible to use a conventional 4 iron for a single length build because you would have to add so much weight to the head that the method of adding that much weight just does not exist in a practical manner.

      With a 35.5″ w to f you are on the edge between 36.5 and 37″. I always think that it is best to go shorter but only IF YOU CAN BE SURE OF THAT LENGTH BEING COMFORTABLE OVER THE BALL AND THROUGH IMPACT TOO. If you even sense that you feel you are having to bend over more than you like or crouch down more than you wish you would have to, then you have to go with the longer length. I chose my initial 36.75″ length on that very basis. But since then, I have found that I really am ok with comfort over the ball and more importantly, I can still maintain a proper spine angle through impact with the 36.5″ length. In my old incremental length set, I was using an MOI match with 3/8″ length increments from the 5 iron down and up both. So the 5 was 38, the 6 was 37 5/8, the 7 was 37 1/4 and so on.

      Hard to really recommend a shaft without knowing your swing tempo, transition force, and point of release during the downswing to go with the clubhead speed. High ball hitting with irons is pretty much ALWAYS a product of flipping the hands through impact rather than being able to keep a little bit of forward shaft lean at the moment of impact. if in fact your high ball flight with the irons is from the clubhead slightly passing the hands at impact, then there is no shaft change that will bring the ball down noticeably before it becomes way too stiff feeling.


    • Hello again Tom!
      Thanks so much for your advice. Tim Brantley had the Sterling heads in today(Wednesday, ordered last Friday), and we have a fitting session this Friday. I have a couple of follow up questions. Again, I am Left handed.
      1. I play your 775 HS 3 hybrid built at 40 inches. I am concerned about too much between it and the 5 iron. Can the 5 iron loft be adjusted a degree or two stronger if necessary? Should I consider shortening the 3H? Is there an approximation of how much distance would be gained by strengthening the loft of the iron or distance reduced by shortening the hybrid?
      2. Re Sand wedge. Your spec chart shows only the old design offered in Left Handed. Is this accurate? Are there plans to offer the new design left handed in the future?
      3. Could a second sand wedge be adjusted to 58 or 59 degrees to create a lob wedge?
      Thanks again! I can’t wait to take these to the course!

    • Philip:

      First off, I am pleased to hear you are working with Tim Brantley – he’s very good and you won’t find anyone better in the Dallas area. Let me see if I can help you with some answers to your questions. The 3 hybrid should be 21* loft and you state a length of 40″. If Tim makes the irons to an 8 iron length that means the 5 iron should be 23* at 36.5″. Both are high COR heads so that part is pretty equal. Even though the loft diff is only 2*, the fact the 3 hybrid is 3.5″ longer should mean you swing the hybrid about 5 to 6 mph faster than the irons. I would suggest you just go for a few weeks to see exactly what the distance gap is between the 3h and 5i BASED ON SOLID GOOD ON CENTER HITS. From that you could cut the hybrid down to 39″. I had designed the 775’s to be based on a std iron length which would be 39″ for the #3 so it will be possible to reduce it to that length to lower the clubhead speed difference between the two clubs.

      I have tooled up the new version of the SW for left hand. It is not yet in production to be delivered to Diamond Golf because we/they need to work their way through the inventory of the first, original SW model before the new SW heads can come into the warehouse. Not sure how long that will be by I would guess they may be pointing toward very early 2018 for the switch over to the new SW. With either the old or the new SW, it can be bent easily to 58, 59, 60 to create a lob wedge. The only thing to have to get used to is the fact that when bending the loft higher by 2, 3, 4* you will see the leading edge look a little like it is slightly ahead of the hosel. That just automatically happens when you bend loft higher on any iron or wedge. But it is better than when you bend loft lower which increases the offset.

      Hope this helps and thanks so much for your support and interest !!

  70. Dear Tom
    one again I can tell that the Sterling Irons sets are the best improvement for this great game
    I am a poor bogey player (16 hcp) but I could send to André little bunch of golfers ready to go forward in a better game
    Last Saturday I help a tall young fellow to be fitted by André in Paris (le PECQ) so, he went to consider the Sterling compared to his “good” but standard set from the rack.
    It was a pity to know it is only a 18 handicaper !
    This guy is very powerful and strong (114 mph / driver speed)so you could see a little part of his fitting report (we were there for 3 & half hours)
    the results are amazing


    How stupid they are those who denied that can work better for average golfer even for better golfers
    Thank you Tom , great job once again !

  71. I have recently received my Sterling lob wedge to complete my set from 4I to LW. I was a little concerned about giving up my old, familiar lob wedge, but I shouldn’t have worried. I acclimated to the Sterling lob wedge quickly and have hit some great shots with it in only a couple of rounds. It is much lighter than my old wedge and gives me much better feel.

    I also wanted to comment that I have recently reduced the lengths of my driver, 3 wood and 3 hybrid. These are all Taylor-Made R15’s. I reduced my driver to 44″, lmy 3 wood to 42″ and my 3 hybrid to 40″. I believe it has helped my accuracy and hasn’t really had much of an impact on distance. I am particularly hitting the 3 wood exceefingly well. I wish I hit my driver as well! Thanks for the advice on shortening these clubs.

    • BOB

      Thanks for taking the time to stop in and to share your experiences with your new LW and your step into shorter length woods. Here you are preaching to the choir when it comes to shorter length in drivers and woods – I first mentioned that in a 1997 book I wrote on clubfitting ! We wish that tons more golfers could know what you now know, that these standard lengths offered by all the big companies are not helping the vast majority of golfers. And thanks for letting us know that the new LW is working well for you. That’s music to our ears !! Thanks again and the very best to you in this great game !

  72. Sterling irons have been a great success so far for me. I have never been able to hit 5,6 irons more confidently with good results. I also can play around with ball positions with PW and GW to have different distances and trajectory with one clear view in mind that the shots will never come short! Which is a great confident in the shot making given where I play, most of the golf courses are designed with couple of bunkers to protect the front and both sides of the greens.

    One question: Are you coming out with the single length woods soon, Tom? I am convinced with the single length concept and will try the woods if you come out with them.

    • Thang

      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and share your experiences with the Sterling irons with us !! It’s truly GREAT for me as a designer to get the chance to hear that the irons are really helping and making the game more fun to play ! Your technique with the changing ball positions with the wedges is smart golf and I am very pleased to hear you have been experimenting within the single length concept to make it work even better for you and your game.

      I have been working on the single length woods, but how I plan to do this is as a combination of fairway woods and hybrids that all would be one length. Some people think woods and hybrids need to be in two separate length categories – I understand their logic but that puts one more length into the full set and I think it can be done with one length for all the woods and hybrids so the final set would be one length for the irons and one length for the woods/hybrids. One thing though – it will not include a driver because the driver has to stand on its own as a single club made to achieve the most distance while also hopefully offering decent accuracy to go with that. If you make the driver too short, such as would happen if you bring the driver in with the single length woods/hybrids, you would lose too much distance. yes, you’d hit it more accurately, but when it comes to the driver, most golfers are not going to be happy giving up 20-30 yds to be able to hit more fairways. So I will always advocate for the driver to be separate from the woods/hybrids and hopefully never to be any shorter for male golfers than 43″ and not any longer than 44″. That’s a very good length for keeping enough distance while offering better accuracy than what the big golf companies make with their 45-46″ driver lengths. Maybe spring 2018 for the single length woods/hybrids.

      Thanks again and the very best to you in this great game,

  73. Tom, can you comment on the face treatment and the score lines of the new Sterling wedges? In terms of spin numbers, will the new Sterling wedges more like the PCF micro tour or the micro groove HM? Also, an image would be really helpful. Thanks Daniel

    • Daniel:

      The face blasting on the new Sterling wedges is the same as it is on all the other Sterling Irons – a silicon glass bead blasting treatment. The scorelines are the same as on the other Sterling irons – a conventional USGA approved 0.8mm wide groove. There is no milling on the face of the new Sterling wedges as there is on the PCF and HM Series standalone wedge models. it is a conventional line and face finish to match the rest of the set of Sterling Irons.



    • DANE

      Since June of this year we do have the Sterling single length iron head models in left hand from the #5 iron to SW. All the custom clubmakers who work with my designs can get them because they are in stock.

      Thanks for your interest,

  75. Dear Tom
    I bought a LW 60° Sterling, in order to get a complete set (5 to SW, one of the first used in France )
    So André sent me the club a weak ago, I discover a great design and it is much more playable than any LW I owned before, even the microgroove HM is wonderful.
    As my Sterling set is my better set ever, it is nice to get the whole range of them
    As my Sterling SW is a little bit “tired” (the sand of my home course is rough) I order a new Sterling SW built with the new design , as the LW
    you made a great job ! ‘as usual)
    sorry for my poor English

    • Thank you Dom and we are very pleased to hear that you like the new LW to go with your Sterling irons. Once again I applaud you for going to work with Andre in Le Pecq. He truly is one of the best clubmaker clubfitters in the whole world !!

      Best regards to you in this great game,

  76. I switched from 771s (gave them to my brother, he loves them) to Sterlings about 3 months back. John Gamble in Charlotte built them for me with the Wishon Superlites. After a bit of a learning curve, I’m hitting the ball better than I ever have in my 25 years of playing. This morning I shot a 74, the low round of my life by 4 strokes. It was a ball striking 74, not a putting 74 as I took 31 putts. One of the deepest pleasures of golf for me has always been striking quality iron shots. These clubs have dramatically increased the percentage of quality iron shots I hit, which of course has also significantly increased the amount of confidence I feel standing over the ball. Gapping, distance, feel, everything about these clubs is working wonderfully for me. Thanks for making them.

    • BARRY

      Wow, the thanks are to YOU for having chosen to change to the Sterling Irons AND for having found John to work with for your fitting needs. Geez, I have known John in this side of the equipment business for a long time and each time I hear of someone going to work with him for their equipment needs, I feel good because I know he is one of the best there is in the whole country. Good for you, I am very pleased to hear of your success and I thank you so much for taking the time to stop by the website and share your experiences in your comment !!! That really makes me feel good !!

      Best wishes to you in this great game for many more quality iron shots and decent scores !

  77. I built a set ò Sterling myself with Steelfiber 70g, R flex. before this, I was playing a set of cavity forged irons with Nipon Steel 950 R flex. I soft step 5, 6, 7 a club and also trim them 1.4 inch longer than the rest. All are D2 in term of SW.

    6 to 9 perform fantastic which give me about a club longer than my previous set. 5 gives me good distance but a bit erratic in term of shot dispersion. I think after getting used to it, that would be OK. During my second game with the set, I started playing around with ball positions with PW and GW that was really fun in term of give me different distance gaps and heights of the shots.
    One important thing is the clubs do have nice gaps of distance between them and I do hit each club much, much more consistent now.

    I love this set, Tom. I think it will stay in my bag for a long long time!

  78. Just love my new Sterling set! I was fitted a few months ago by one of your recommended fitters Rick Cantor out of Stoughton, MA. Both Rick and your single length club design are fantastic. I do hit each iron about 10-15 yards longer than my older Ping G10 irons, but the largest benefit for me has been the reduced shot dispersion. I have never stood over a shot from 200 yards away and felt this much confidence that I am either going to be on the green or within 5-10 yards of it. For an amateur who has played for the last 28 years with an 11-14 handicap, there is just not a whole lot more I can ask for. Thank you Tom!

    • Andy you could NOT have made my day any better and I thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and let us know how your experience has been with the new irons !! You know, many people think that the most fun I get in my “work” is from the process of thinking up the designs and then designing and handling the development. While that is fun, it really is not nearly as good as when I get the chance to read a comment such as you were so kind to post today !! So, thanks for making my day better !!! And the very best to you in this great game,

  79. Hello!

    Any update on when the new Sterling SW and LW will be available? Heard it was going to be earlier this month.

    • Austin

      The new SW and new LW in the Sterling Irons set are in stock and being shipped to fill orders now from the warehouse at Diamond Golf International, Ltd. Clubmakers who had these on order are just beginning to receive the shipments.


    • My new Sterling SW and LW heads arrived today – I built the clubs immediately and headed to the course to try them. TW has worked his magic again. The sole profiles are very nice. Nice width – neither too wide nor too narrow, with just enough relief in all the right places. Chipping with the new SW is a joy. I holed my first on-course chip for a birdie, then set up another birdie with a 60 yard pitch to 4 feet. I practiced some with the LW and I like the feel and workability, but I don’t yet have it fully calibrated. I like the way it spins the ball, even though it doesn’t have any special face treatment.

      The new Sterling SW is heads and shoulders above the original one. It is so much better that it might be worthwhile to retire the old design when the stock is depleted. The old design had a tendency to grab the turf on full shots, its lack of sole radiusing required great care on chips to ensure clean contact, and it was marginal from sand. The new one “just works” in all those scenarios.

    • Tom,

      I do not see them anywhere on the website. Here on the product page it shows the specs but that is all that I can find. Is there somewhere special that I need to look to find them, or are they only available to certain customers at this time?



    • Bill

      The Sterling Irons have been up on our website since early last year. They are all in stock and available to custom clubmakers from Diamond Golf via toll free 1-844-552-3437 or You can find the full model page here – . For reference, all of the clubhead models can be found by clicking on the DESIGNS tab at the top of the home page. The Sterling Irons are under IRON SETS under that pull down tab. Hope this helps and thanks so much for your interest,

    • I think he means that the new wedges are not yet on the ordering page at . To get mine, I had to email Diamond directly and ask to be on the preorder list. It was a little bit of a hassle because three different people replied to my email with slightly different misunderstandings of what I was asking. When the order did go through, payment had to be arranged separately from the automated website process. I’m sure it will all be taken care of in time, but for now the process is cumbersome.

      I’m looking forward to buying more; my tests of the new design convince me that I should to swap out the SW for many of my customers.

    • Ahhhhhhhh. . . . thank you for enlightening me on this ! I just sent a notice to Diamond to tell them about this and to ask them to get these up on the shop site. Thanks for clearing that up – I don’t get involved in the stuff like this since Diamond took over my product line but I can push the buttons to make it happen !


    • Mitch, Thanks for updating your experiences with the new clubs. I too have really been struggling with the SW, to the point that I carry my old, Callaway Diablo SW in addition to the Sterling. After reading your notes, I’ve placed my orders for the new clubs. Can’t wait to give them a swing and finally retire my old clubs!

    • The Sterling LW is starting to settle in. I got up and down from very trick spot with it. Previously I was carrying a single-length LW from a different supplier; compared to it the Sterling LW spins the ball better and the ball comes off the face with more control. That said, I was getting pretty good with that other LW, using trajectory rather than spin to get the result I wanted.

      The new SW is continuing its run; I had another chip-in with it yesterday. It’s quite predictable.

  80. Hi Tom,

    I am left handed and I love the idea of these irons but I am having trouble finding a place where I can test these Irons and get fitted. Do you have any suggestions?

    • ROBERT

      Thanks very much for your interest ! All of my designs are available only through independent custom clubmakers. To find a custom clubmaker in your area, please take a moment to go to our website again and click on the link either at the very top or the middle of the home page for the FIND A CLUBFITTER search tool. Once there, put in your city/town/state/zip and the clubmakers who are closest to your location will be displayed. We do not have screened clubmakers everywhere, but hopefully there will be one or more in reasonable proximity to your location that you can contact to find out if they can work with you to demo the new irons.

      Thanks again and the very best to you in this great game,

    • Just got my left handed sterling irons and LOVE THEM. Got 5-gw and hit them about 1 club father than my old set. Thanks tom for making them left handed.

  81. Hi, Tom. Have been looking at the Sterling irons and talking with my local clubfitter about them (Tom Miller at AA Golf in Raleigh, NC), and have a question. I am a Senior golfer that does not generate much clubhead speed (70-75 MPH driver) and currently play irons that do not give me a great deal of forgiveness. I typically only use 6i-PW, with conventional wedges for close in work. I was looking at the 771 csi irons to address my main need…forgiveness on off-center hits. Added distance would certainly be a bonus. I saw Tom’s set of Sterlings and loved the clubhead look and design, so now am torn between the two heads. From a forgiveness standpoint, would one be much better than the other?? I presently use a forged cavity back head, so I know either will be better than that!! Appreciate any thoughts. Thanks in advance!
    Bob Jordan
    Raleigh, NC

    • BOB

      Thanks very much for taking the time to stop by and ask for some help. I’m always glad to help in anyway I can. First things first – you did the right thing in finding Tom to work with him for ANY of your equipment needs. He’s as good as there is among clubmakers and since I have spent 30+ yrs working with and teaching clubmakers, I know what I am talking about there! So, do trust him because he can offer you some good advice and analysis to help you. I’ll be glad to offer my comments on your question, but do ask Tom for his input on this as well because he’ll be the one who sees you swing and hit shots and that is very important for offering the best recommendations.

      IMO, one of the most critical parts of your iron fitting will be the set makeup, meaning how many irons you should have vs how many hybrids or high loft woods – and where that break from your last hybrid or wood to your first iron should be. With the industry’s obsession to sell irons on the basis of distance, loft angles on all the head numbers has continued to drop lower. What that does is give us all a false sense of achievement when we hit a higher number iron into the green while at the same time, rendering more of the low number irons as unhittable. So please do have Tom work on advising you what your iron set should consist of, whether that should be a #5 to wedges, #6 to wedges or even a #7 to wedges and then getting hybrids at the right length to blend in above that lowest loft iron you can hit well enough and consistently enough to be your first iron.

      As to the 771 vs Sterlings, there are considerations to think about there. With your clubhead speed, I have to believe you would not want to have a #5 iron in the Sterling set, were you to go with that design. If the sterling set were made with all irons at an 8 iron length, that 5 iron in the Sterling set will be 1.5″ shorter than the 5 iron you have now. That will further lower your clubhead speed which will make it tough to get that 23* loft head to hit the ball high enough to make that shot carry farther than the 6 iron. So if you go with Sterling, you won’t have as many irons and you will need/want to have hybrids or high loft woods above that Sterling #6 iron. In that case, the 6 iron and 7 iron in the Sterling do have the same exact variable thickness face as do all of the 771CSI irons. So for the off center hits with those irons, you will get the same performance in either set. Sterling’s #8 to wedges do not have the variable thickness face. They have a decently high MOI so there is still good off center hit performance.

      If you went with the 771’s, you probably would do a #5 iron in the set because of course the 771’s are a conventional incremental length design so that 5 and 6 and 7 iron in the 771 would be longer than they would be in the Sterling single length set. From that you’d get a little more speed. And also because the conventional set’s 5, 6, 7 irons are longer in length than Sterling, those loft angles on the 771 iron heads are more traditional which also helps in getting the ball up to fly and carry. With 771 you do have the high COR face with variable thickness face all the way through the set. So you would have the highest level of off center hit forgiveness for all the heads. Because of the lofts, you probably would hit the Sterlings a little longer per each iron head number though. And of course with Sterling, the one other thing you get is the real potential for better consistency and more on center hits just because each iron is identical in length and swing feel.

      In the end, I might lean toward Sterling in #6 to the gap wedge and definitely with a light graphite shaft with the right swingweight for your tempo and strength – that will be Tom’s job to determine those things. Above the 6 iron would come either a 23-24* hybrid made to a length that is not less than 1.5″ longer than the length of the Sterling irons. Then above that could come a 7 wood made to around 40″ so it would not be too long – again, Tom needs to be your guide for the length of these clubs above the irons.

      Thanks again and best wishes to you in this great game, and I hope this helps. Be sure to say HI to Tom when you see him,

      The other TOM !! HA!

    • Thanks for the thoughts, Tom. The 5 iron was never under consideration, as all my iron sets are 6-PW/Gw. And I don’t use the 6 that often. Was by to see the “other Tom” today, and we are working on the issues. Given that I typically use my 7-Wedges set up most frequently, could I use a “shorter than tradition” length hybrid as my next club?? What loft would you recommend? After that I will probably go to a 7 wood. Tom M and I have been working together for a couple of years now and he know my swing/game well, so I’m sure we can figure it out. Leaning toward conventional lengths, since it does not seem I would gain much with my iron “set” starting at 7 iron. Thanks again for your response!!
      Bob Jordan

    • Bob
      If you go with the Sterling irons in a #7 to wedges set makeup all at a 36.5″ #8 iron length, then above the 7 iron in the set could be a hybrid of 26-27* loft at a length of around 37.5″ to possibly 38″, but not longer than that. Above that hybrid then could be a hybrid of 23-24* loft at a length of around 38 to 38.5″. Or if you prefer fwy woods to hybrids, instead of this 23-24* hybrid you could use a 24-25* #9 wood made to be not less than 39″ in length. The added length of the 9 wood is why the loft can be higher than if you did a hybrid in its place.


    • Regarding learning toward conventional if you are starting at 7 iron: Single-length noticeably improved my accuracy with wedges. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I attribute it to several factors. The posture is always comfortable and relaxed – no need to bend down more and thus add tension, and those embarrassing sporadic “skulls” are virtually eliminated. The setup – particularly the shoulder angle and eye position – is always the same, so “on-target” has only one “look”. I can now tell exactly where I am aimed, whereas before it seemed a little vague.

      Until you try single length, you will always wonder “what if”. After you try it, you won’t even dream of going back.

  82. Hi Tom, have enjoyed playing the Sterlings for almost one year now and have to say these have exceeded my expectations in terms of both performance and build quality. You have managed to create tremendous value for your customers with this design.

    I play the set in 5i – GW / SW (keep alternating between my Vokey and the Sterling SW) and my only worry is that the wedges tend to have quite a high trajectory (playing @37) and can especially in windy conditions be a little tricky to control.

    What would your thoughts be on a) putting in a different shaft for PW – SW that would promote a slightly lower flight (preferably of same or similar weight) and / or b) cutting down the PW – SW somewhat for increased control?


    • Tomas

      Thanks very much for sharing your experience with the new Sterling irons. We’re very pleased to hear that you like them ! Most players find that installing a stiffer shaft won’t decrease the shot height by all that much. However, there have been a few players who have seen enough of a decrease in the height of the shot when using a much stiffer shaft in the wedges to be happy with it. It is the added length that is causing the higher shot pattern because the longer length of the wedges in your 37″ set makes them about 1.5″ longer than they are in a normal set of different lengths. I would recommend that you only change ONE of the wedges to a much stiffer shaft as an experiment to see if it works well enough for you. That way if it does not drop the shot height that much, you would have only changed one of the shafts. If that happens, then you could drop the length down a little bit.


    • I cut all my Sterling wedges and even my 9 iron down to 36 inches and have no problem at all.It does affect the feel a very small amount but it doesn’t bother me at all or affect their performance.
      I also have my 5 iron at 37 inches with a 115 gram shaft and my 6,7 and 8 irons at 36 1/2 inches with 125 gram shafts.
      The 9 iron and wedges are also 125 gram shafts.
      I love this set up because the longest iron I have is 37 inches and the shortest is 36 inches.It is so much easier to stay consistent since there are only two very similar setup positions.
      I play the ball in the middle for all the irons except the 5 iron in which I play one ball forward.
      It also gives me better distance gaps between clubs because I was overlapping my distances with the 5 and 6 irons and also my 8 and 9 irons.
      Like Tom said try it out with only one wedge first to see if it affects your performance.
      If you don’t like them feeling a bit different you could also change to heavier shafts and or add shaft weights.
      Anyway that is my experience with the Sterlings and I love them the way I built them and these will be the last irons I ever buy.

  83. please tell me who will build me sand wedge, 2 degrees up, stiff steel shaft(115-120) 274 swing weight, cut to 8 iron length, black velvet medium feel grip.
    gene duvall

    • GENE
      Thanks very much for your interest. All of my designs are available through independent custom clubmakers, not through any of the traditional retail outlets that sell clubs off the rack. You can check to see if there is a good clubmaker in reasonable proximity to your location by heading to the FIND A CLUBFITTER search tool on our website. Just go back to and look right in the very middle of the home page for FIND A CLUBFITTER. Click, input your location and the clubmakers closest to you are listed. If there is one close enough to you, call him and tell him what you are seeking and the clubmaker can take it from there to set up a time to meet with you to get this done to your satisfaction.

      Thanks again and the very best to you in this great game,

    • thank you

  84. Was fitted for my Sterlings 5-SW last fall. At that time we filled the gap to my new 929 4w witha 775 4H. Played it at the end of last year until last week. Monday I went back to Gary Cottrell for a driver fitting & asked about the 4 iron as I like the idea of keeping as much of my bag as possible one length. After a bit of testing, Gary thought it might be a good fit & said it would be ready Saturday. I asked if he could get finished by Wednesday as my league is Thursday & he did. Last night on the 176 yard 2nd hole of Rammler GC, I got my first hole-in-one with that 4 iron picked up the night before! I’m 51 & have been playing since I was 14 & my Sterlings are by far my favorite set of all time …. & not just because of the ace (but that didn’t hurt). Thanks so much Tom!
    PS. Can’t wait for my backordered lob wedge to arrive to complete my set.

    • KEVIN

      WOW, I should tell you that you’re the first that we have heard of who has gotten an ACE with one of the 4 irons in the Sterling set !! How nice is that ! We’re very pleased that you took the time to stop in and let us know about your superb shot !! The new SW and new LW for the Sterling set are slated to be in stock by June 12-13 so it is not all that much longer until they show up in Gary’s shop for him to build to join its new friends in your bag !! Thanks again for letting us know and the very best to you in this great game !
      TOM ;>)

  85. I built a set of Sterling and I have a question. I cut all of the shafts the same length and when installed the 5 hybrid is about .5 inch shorter than the irons. Then after looking at a picture of the set made on this web page, it appears that the hosel is shorter than that of the irons.

    Does the shaft sit lower/extend closer to the ground, than the irons? If so, should I cut the shaft different for the hybrid than that of the irons?



    • JOHN
      As a point of instruction in club assembly, you never pre cut the shafts from both ends before you test build the set. In this case there is a difference in the distance from the bottom of the bore to the ground in the 5 hybrid vs the other irons in the set. So in all cases of assembly when a hybrid is part of a matching iron set, you always have to calculate or reference the distance from the bottom of the bore to the ground before determining the final TIP trim on the shafts so that all the shafts end up with the same tip section length. Then once you have all shafts properly tip trimmed, you then DRY INSTALL the shafts with no epoxy to bottom out in the bores, then you mark them for the desired playing length. Then you can cut the butt ends for length.

      In the case of the Sterling #5 hybrid, you will tip trim 1/2″ LESS than you tip trim for the irons so that the tip section lengths are the same in the hybrid and in all irons. Then you dry install the shafts in the hosels, measure and mark for the desired playing length, and then you can cut from the butt for the length. Doing this will make all the playing lengths of the hybrid + all irons to be the same.


  86. My one-year anniversary of using Sterling irons is coming up soon. I love these clubs more every time I use them. Yesterday I hit 8 out of 9 greens in regulation and the one I missed was on the fringe. I’m currently playing 4I through LW at single length (the LW is from a different vendor while I wait for Tom’s to become available).

    I have done bake-offs between my Sterlings w/S2S white shafts versus various high-end irons from Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, etc. The Sterlings win, feel-wise, every time.

    • MITCH

      Music to our ears, that is music to our ears with a mile wide smile to be able to hear your comments about the continued performance of the Sterling irons !!!!


  87. Hi TOM… Just spoke with Diamond UK about the left handed Sterlings. They mentioned they will only be 5-PW.. I just wanted to confirm there would be no LH gap wedge. I was under the impression there was.


    • JEFF

      There IS a gap wedge in the left hand Sterling irons. There is no #4 iron or #5 hybrid though in left hand. So the available set makeup is the #5 iron to SW (8 clubheads). And then in around July, the new SW which we intro in June for RH will be available in LH. This new SW is designed to have the same traditional tear drop profile shape that everyone is so used to in all the different kinds of standalone wedge families like Vokey, Cleveland, my PCF and HM Series and many others.


  88. Hi Tom, any update on when the new SW and LW will be available?


    • Austin

      In right hand, the first production run of the new SW and LW in the Sterling model will ship on or about June 5, which makes it available for sale around June 12-13.

      Thanks much,

  89. Hi Tom,

    Wanted to get your thoughts on something. Playing the Sterlings in 5-PW and the Micro PCF wedges in 52, 56, and 60. was using the Sterling GW but didn’t like the length on it. Playing really well with them, just shot -4 in my city tourney but looking to fix a few things. My weakness is definitely my full shot wedge game. I love the single length clubs for my longer irons and want to try to implement them in my shorter clubs but at a shorter length. Excited about the new Sterling wedges coming out and thinking of the following build:

    Using the Sterling PW, GW and than two new Sterling wedges when they come out, add 9 gram tip weights to them, bend them to a 64 lie angle and build them all at the same length but shorter. Probably 35.75″ (play the Sterlings at 36.5″). Theoretically this could give me the consistency of the single length in my wedge game while giving me more control and touch with the shorter length. See any reason why this wouldn’t work? If you think it would work would I want to tip these shafts the same or more than what I did with my other Sterling clubs?

    • AUSTIN

      Most certainly there are other options for the wedges within a set of single length irons. If the golfer first tries the single length wedges and has any hesitation or discomfort with them being longer than his previous wedges, then it is fine to experiment with a little shorter length on the wedges to see if that works better. I would do this gradually from the bottom up, starting with the SW at that 35.75″ length but leaving the PW and GW at the single length since the PW and GW are more often used for full swing shots by most players than is the SW. Then if you want to experiment with the GW at that slightly shorter length, do that next to see how that works. What I would recommend to try to get these shorter length wedges to match as well as possible to the other single length irons would be to measure the MOI of the single length numbered irons, then duplicate that same MOI in the wedges at their shorter length by adding weight to the head to get the MOI of the shorter wedges up to that of the single length numbered irons.

      A big benefit of single length is that every element controlling the swing feel of each club is identical. and this does include the MOI of the clubs. So measuring the MOI of the single length numbered irons and then adding head weight to duplicate that MOI in the shorter length wedges could still help these shorter wedges swing more closely to the other irons, even tho they are shorter.


    • Thanks Tom,

      Totally understand and am benefiting from the single length clubs. Just thinking that maybe creating a make up with two single lengths with the same MOI would help me as the longer wedges didn’t work and I’m not as consistent as a like with my current wedges that are different but traditional lengths.
      Thanks again!

    • For MOI matching, I found a comment on Golfwrx from almost a decade ago where you stated that for every 3/8″ you shorten a club you should add 1/2 swingweight points to match their MOI and visa/versa for lengthing. Has that formula stood the test of time in your mind?

      Thanks again for all your help!

    • AUSTIN:
      That is ONLY a beginning guideline for golfers to start with when shortening clubs and wondering what to do with the swingweight. From that beginning point, you then have to do your own experimentation to hit shots, see how the headweight feels as either too light, too heavy or about right – and then adjust up or down from there. So that means it is best to start with ONE club only to shorten, add some weight, hit shots, reflect on the feel of the head, hit more shots, see if you wish to add a little more or what. In general though, we find that the more the club is shortened, the less tendency there is to have to get back to exactly the same swingweight the club had before at its original longer length.


  90. I would like to share the results of an experiment I did yesterday. I’m building a Sterling set for a very good female player (the best amateur woman on the island). We’re dialing in her specs through a series of test clubs. Yesterday’s test club – a 6I at 36″ – happened to be the same length as the 8 iron of a good male player that I often play with, so I asked him to compare it to his existing Mizuno 6I at 37″. Whenever we got to 6I distance he dropped a few balls and hit them with both 6I’s. He got the same distance with both clubs, across a variety of approaches in different directions of a strong wind. He liked the lively feel of the Sterling face. The shaft stiffness and lie angle of the Sterling club were wrong for him, so he had directional issues exactly as expected, but the distance was spot on.

  91. I am a brand new golfer, and as such a blank slate with no preformed bad habits. I am so glad I stumbled on to one-length before going for my first fitting. (Male, age 45, 6 feet, ectomorph, long arms, long legs).

    1. How important is it that I decide before going to fitting if I’m going to practice single plane swing or two plane swing. Does this affect shaft length?

    2. I read you picked 8 iron length (36.5) to make the transition to wedges easier. Since I’m a blank slate, is that still the case? Another way to ask it, is length factor a relative or an absolute factor. Relative meaning relative for an experienced golfer to make smooth transition in the wedges, or absolute to a standard length that just works best within your system. Bryson is 6’1″ and uses 37.5 length and I’m wondering if your thoughts are that the choice was born out of relative factor, than I’m safe with 37-38??.

    Those are my two big questions, but I’m curious to know if you envision the next evolution to be two lengths in irons.

    • MARCUS

      PLEASE UNDERSTAND – the use of a single length set of irons DOES NOT require you to use a single plane swing technique. In addition, pursuing a single plane swing technique does not require you to use single length irons to do that. The two things are completely unrelated. When Moe Normal first began to teach single plane swing technique, he always used conventional incremental length irons and never once voiced any support of the use of single length irons to go with a single plane swing. If you want to follow a single plane swing technique, you can use either a single length or incremental length set of irons. Does not matter. But you will want to be fit to the irons for all the key fitting specs, which is what a trained, experienced custom clubfitter is for.

      I chose an 8 iron length as the standard basis for the Sterling iron set for two main reasons. 1) all previous single length sets had been made to a 6 iron length of 37.5″. An 8 iron length being 1″ shorter will almost always make the irons easier to hit on center more often and more consistently, which is one of the key benefits of a single length set to begin with – greater shot consistency. 2) An 8 iron length means the wedges will not be that much longer than what the golfer has been used to in his conventional set. a 6 iron length means the wedges will be at least 2″ or more longer than the golfer has been used to. For most golfers, asking them to use wedges which are 2″+ longer than they were used to is too difficult to do to achieve good distance control with good accuracy. An 8 iron length makes this much easier to accomplish.

      Bryson evolved to use the 6 iron length for his set because at the time he thought to convert to a single length set, 6 iron length was all that anyone had ever tried or used in a single length set. Also, using a 6 iron length helped to prevent as much distance loss in the low number irons. None of the other single length sets knew how to make the low number irons with a high COR face to help make up for a possible loss of distance from the length being shorter than what the golfer had been using in the low number irons. We do because we invented the whole technology of high COR iron faces in 2000.

      As a beginner, if you want to use the single plane swing, I would recommend that you begin by getting only TWO irons at 37.5″ length – a 6 iron and a PW so you can try that length with your technique to see if you can master the skill of being able to use that length for your wedges. From there you can always go shorter in length to see if you can find the one length that helps you learn the swing technique while still having decent control with the wedges. Then you can decide what to do about a final purchase of irons later on.

      Hope this helps,

    • Thanks Tom for the reply. I totally get that one-length and single plane are independent. My question is about going in for a fitting. My understanding is the lie for single plane setup is different than a lie for more common two plane? If my understanding is correct from looking at analysis videos, then it seems important to my hack mind that swing style choice should be sorted out before going into a fitting, no?

      In regards to your comment about testing, I’m not terribly concerned about that since I’m a blank slate I’ll just imprint on the first clubs I get. I’m ‘all in’ for the one-length concept and like what I’ve read here about your clubs compared to the other two options. Just concerned about showing up at a fitting with setup stance not sorted out (1 plane or 2 plane). (Currently working on my own best standing still golf athletic stance. I haven’t been on a golf course in 20 years but my hardcore golfing neighbor thinks I’m lying. Just careful slow swing practice in the yard and lots of youtube swing analysis videos).

    • MARCUS

      Yes, for sure, the lie angle for a single plane swing technique is typically a lot more upright than it would be for a conventional swing motion. You’d need to rely on the guidance of your single plane instructor for what that lie angle should be. There is no measurement thing that can be used to determine this. It has to be a case of the instructor getting you into the right posture, hands position, set up for how he is teaching you the single plane technique, then determining what the lie should be. I can tell you that the standard lie for all Sterling iron heads is 63* – we can bend to as much as +4* or 67* but not any more upright than that. If you go with a single plane motion in your training, you would want to tell this to your instructor as he/she works to figure out your best lie angle for the irons.


  92. Hi Tom!

    Do i have to do any changing of my swingweight if i putt on JumboMax XL ( 120gr )grip on my Sterling Irons?

    I love my Sterling
    best regards from Sweden

    • THOMAS

      There is not one single correct answer for your question. You should begin by installing the large grip on ONE of the irons only and doing nothing to the head weight. Try that single iron for at least 3 to 4 different days of hitting balls over a 1-2 week period of time to see how the head feels during the swing. What you want to determine is if you can feel the weight in the head enough to still be able to achieve good swing tempo, swing timing and swing rhythm when you hit shots. If the head weight is too low, you will probably find that your swing tempo gets a little too fast or that you have a habit of beginning the downswing too soon and your swing timing is not so good. The main point is that when you use a very heavy grip, you cannot use swingweight anymore as a reference for how much weight should be in the head. If you tried to add weight to the head to restore the original swingweight with that heavy of a grip, I guarantee you that the club would swing too heavy for you. So you have to take one of the irons, re grip it, and just go out and hit shots to determine if you can feel the head enough during the swing to maintain a good sense of timing and tempo and rhythm in your swing. Then once you find the right solution for if you add weight or not to the head, you then can do the rest of the clubs to match.

      Hope this helps and thanks so much for your enthusiasm !!

    • Hi Thomas,
      I hope that you don’t mind me butting in to your conversation with Tom.
      I have been on the journey that you are just beginning with your clubs and the JumboMax grips.
      I started by having a Jumbomax grip fitted to my Driver.
      We started by adding too much weight but having found the correct amount I Noe love the feel of this club.
      With regards to the Sterling Irons I had my test clubs built with a standard jumbo grip.
      When I had the full set built I had them built to the test clubs weight and then swapped the test clubs over to Jumbomax.
      I had been suffering from arthritis in my hands and also from golfers elbow.
      Since having the JumboMax fitted I suffer from almost no pain in my hands and the golfers elbow does not bother me at all.
      Since I had the grips fitted a number of other club members gave enquired about these grips, have tried my clubs and are now going to fit these grips to their clubs.
      With regards to the Sterling Irons I cannot recommend them too highly. They take little or no getting use to and just inspire confidence.
      I really hope that you find the correct fit for you and that you enjoy playing with them as much as I do.

  93. Hi Tom,
    I purchased a set of 771 CSI’s in 2015 and can happily say that they were the best irons that I had played. I also use a Wishon F/D, 5 wood and a pair of W/S wedges what a great set of clubs.
    Unfortunately (possibly) for me I then heard the whispers about the new single length irons.
    I had to try this concept and now play the 5h, 6 iron to G/W as well as the aforementioned wedges and woods.
    I thought that the 771’s were good. Well the Sterlings are just superb.
    Whilst using your designed clubs my handicap has reduced from 22 to 13.8. That’s nothing much, some would say, but for an overweight, out of condition 56 year old who has been playing the game, on and off for 30+ years I pretty pleased.
    Whilst not all of the improvement is down to the Wishon Clubs, I have after all started to take the game seriously at last, I don’t believe that I could have achieved this improvement without using your clubs.
    I do believe that in the Sterlings you have created a club that can help most players to improve their performance and enjoyment of the game. As stated before they are superb and they really do make the game easier.
    Thanks very much Tom. It is my pleasure to be associated with the Wishon brand and I will recommend them to anyone that will listen to me.
    The only thin that is a little disappointing about the Sterlings is that they do not feature the Wishon name prominently enough. I’m proud to play these irons and would like everyone to see them in my bag.
    Thanks once again for your work.

    • PETER
      Thanks so much for sharing your experience in the switch from the 771’s to the Sterlings ! That’s really fun for me to hear that you like the new single length irons so much and that all together with your hard work in the game your play has improved so much ! Congratulations to you on your big drop in your handicap !! And thanks for your kind words about the Wishon name on the heads – HA, I try to keep that stuff more low key !! But it is there on the hosel which is kind of a tradition with naming on the irons and wedges I do.

      Thanks again and the VERY best to you in this great game !!

  94. Hi Tom,

    I have a set of Sterling Irons 5h through SW. I have never been able to hit a hybrid but this 5H I hit pure almost every time. Now, my issue – What Hybrid or Fairway wood do I need after the 5H? I feel like there is this big gap for me especially because I rarely hit a 3W off the deck. My Sterlings are 36.5″, my WTF is 34.5 and I am 5’11”. I have searched the comments but I get way too confused so I thought I would reach out to you directly. I hit my Sterlings pretty well and I mainly went to these because I wanted consistency and the concept made sense to me. I know I am not a good enough golfer for a 4I but I have always had one in the past. The 5H gave me some hope that I could hit a hybrid-or at least yours. Any advice would help, especially shaft length and Hybrid or wood. I appreciate your time.


    • ROB

      Thanks for taking the time to come and ask for some help. Above the 5H in the Sterling set, we would recommend a hybrid of 20* to 21* loft built to a length that is not shorter than 38″. The combination of this hybrid being 1.5″ longer than your Sterling 5H means there is more clubhead speed so you only need about a 2* change in loft above the 23* loft of the Sterling 5H to get a proper distance gap up from the 5H. Were you to get a hybrid that was 4* lower in loft than the 5H, that would be too much distance gap up from the 5H. So do the 20-21* hybrid at 38″, then above that you really could go into a 5 wood of say, 18* loft and hopefully at a length not much longer than 41″. Above that if you have a higher clubhead speed such as >95-100mph with the driver, you could do a 42″ #3 wood at 15-16* loft and then the driver. If your clubhead speed with the driver is under 90mph, then go from the 18* 5 wood to the driver and you will be fine.

      Hope this helps and thanks so much for your interest,

  95. Tom,
    What is the bounce on the current Sterling SW? I just got fitted and ordered a set 5 – SW…without knowing there is a new SW coming out. Is the current one able to be opened with a zero degree bounce?? What about the new one and LW? I know this is a preference thing, but how are people using the SW out of the sand, adapting a new stance with the longer club, or choking down and using their existing stance. I will give the longer shaft/stance a try..just not sure how it will work…and I know that is an impossible question for you to answer as everyone is different…just wondering what you have been seeing. Thanks.

    • KEVIN

      The bounce sole angle on the current Sterling SW is a straight 12*. The new SW and new LW will both be designed as more traditional profile wedges, ala the shapes I used on my HM Series wedge family and not too far from what is used on the Vokeys and Clevelands as well. Those new wedges are being designed with the zero bounce heel to go with a 12* bounce on the SW and 8* bounce on the LW. Looking at hopefully early June to have these new wedges ready to ship. There is kind of a split in use of the current Sterling SW. In this first full year of watching the sales and fitting use, we tend to see that some of the low hdcp players are opting to keep their current SW and go with the Sterlings in the 4 to GW or 5-GW set makeup, depending on their clubhead speed. Not all of them, but some.

      Among the players from say 7 to 20 something hdcp, they are tending to use the Sterling SW. Technique has been split as well with some gripping down for shots from sand so they can match a stance/set up position they are comfortable with from the past, while others do grip back on the club and just accommodate that length with their stance and set up. It’s not much of a change from the norm since a single length SW at an 8 iron length is only going to be around 1″ longer than what normal conventional SW lengths are running these days.


  96. I am getting ready to buy a set of the Sterling irons, but not sure which wedges to play. How would I decide between 1) my current Titleist Vokeys bought last year; reshaft these? 2) buy the Sterling wedges as part of the set, to match other irons or 3) I like the look and technology of the Micro-Groove HM wedges. What factors should I consider? I will be working with FS Golf in Gilbertsville, PA. Frank really seems to understand the technology and evolution of designs. Thanks – Tom G.

    • TOM

      Thanks very much for your time and your interest ! Now that the Sterling irons have been on the market for about a year, I’m beginning to be able to see the trends and habits that golfers are following with regard to how they do their set makeups with the Sterling irons. In general, I can tell that the better the player, the more tendency there is for them to keep using their existing sand wedge and to do the single length irons down to the gap wedge. With many of the players from say, 8 on up, the trend is to go with the Sterling SW. I believe the reason is because better players often come upon a SW that they get used to sort of like a pair of old comfortable shoes. For some players, the SW is a very personal club, one they evolve into liking as they hit all manner of different shots with it over many years – chips, pitches, sand, rough, cut shots, 1/4 shots, half shots, 3/4 shots and full shots. All of those different uses with different speeds and different swings tends to build the story to support staying with the old SW if it is a favorite club for the player. But if the SW is not an old friend per se, then going with the SW as a part of the single length is not a bad way to go.

      The other side of this is the length – some golfers just feel better about hitting all those different SW shots I described with a length that is shorter than the 8 iron or 7 iron length of the Sterling single length irons. Some players will set up into their comfortable SW stance and set up with a Sterling length iron and just find they feel the SW is too long for their comfort.

      But I Will tell you that we are about 2 months away from releasing a brand new Sterling SW and a new LW to go with it. I decided to give the golfers an option with the SW at least in terms of the shape of the head. First generation Sterling SW was designed to look like the profile shape of the rest of the irons in the set. I realized that many golfers use what we call, standlone wedges ala the Vokey or Cleveland or the PCF’s you are referring to from my design work in wedges. Those wedges all are designed with more of what we call a round or tear drop shape profile that is totally different than the profile look of the 8, 9, PW, gap wedge in iron sets. So I designed the new Sterling SW and LW to be a shape like the PCF or HM Series wedges in my product line to give single length players an option for their SW and LW that is much more like what they probably have been playing.

      However, the new Sterling SW and LW will not have a milled face nor will they have the micro grooves. So that means the PCF should spin the ball more than the new Sterling wedges, if that is a big draw of the PCF’s in your mind. In the end, it is your decision but I tend to think that you might be more comfortable going to the gap wedge with the single length and then going with the SW as a separate entity.


  97. Finally had a set made and had first range visit today. Just wanted to say how great they felt. Going to take a few more sessions to get fully comfortable but you can tell the quality right away. You da man, Tom.

    • Thanks very much Todd and we’re very pleased to hear the initial results are positive. May this continue to get better and better for you !!!


  98. Hi Tom!
    I’m sure that a lot of folks are going to buy your single length sets.
    My question is about the lie angles on the sets if you are trying to adopt a “new” single plane type of swing as demonstrated by Bryson Dechambeau.
    In a recent video he said that he tries to emulate an impact position throughout his single plane swing. It’s obviously been pretty effective.
    But his setup is very upright and he says that his lie angle is 72 degrees!
    That is 10 degrees more UPright than a regular 7 iron.

    How does he do it?
    Could you bend a Sterling forged 7 iron to 72 degrees?
    I thought that most forged irons could only be bent up to 4 degrees.

    How can the single length Sterling irons be adapted for a more “upright” single PLANE type swing?

    Many thanks!!

    • SatZ

      Bryson’s irons had to be specially designed and tooled to be able to result in a very upright lie angle for his swing technique. No iron made to a standard range of lie angles could ever be bent that much upright without damaging the hosel severely, if not breaking it off. I did not design the Sterling irons to correspond to that much of an upright lie. We can get +/-4* from them when necessary for an actual fitting, but not more than that, ever. So if the golfer needs a more upright lie to accommodate a single plane swing technique, he cannot do that with the Sterling irons. There is a lot of confusion about the relationship of single length irons to a single plane swing. The two are completely unrelated. When Moe Norman began to teach his single plane swing technique, he taught it to be done with conventional incremental length irons, not single length. Bryson was really the first to combine the two unrelated concepts of single length with single plane. But in no way does a golfer interested in single length need to pursue a single plane swing technique. Thanks very much for your interest,


    • Tom, I’m so glad you made those comments because that is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of single length clubs!! People think that just because Bryson has a single plane swing with an extremely upright lie angle, and uses JumboMax grips, that all single length sets need to be built that same way. NO! NO! AND NO!! As you pointed out, those two things (single length & single plane) are completely and totally unrelated. As a fitter I’ve found that one of the biggest objections I’ve had to overcome with customers who inquire about SL irons is that they tell me they don’t know if they want to spend time to learn a new swing. I reply by asking them how they hit their current 8 iron, and the answer is usually “pretty well”. Then I tell them that with a SL set all they need to do is use the same swing they use with their current 8-iron – and swing every iron in the set just like that. No new swing needed. It’s that simple! Think of it as nothing more than a set of 8-irons that go different distances. In fact, if each club had a spot where you could customize it with a medallion for each golfer showing the yardage for that club rather than a club #, I think that would make things even more simple. Then people wouldn’t think of it in terms of 5-iron, 7-iron, 9-iron, etc, and having to “change their swing” from their previous set. Instead they would just look at it as a 170-yard club, 150-yard club, 130-yard club…and just swing them all the same without thinking about what number it is.

    • Great post James, and thanks very much for taking your time to share your comments. I really like the way you describe the single length set as nothing more than a set of 8 irons that all go different distances. That’s a very good way to explain it to the golfers who know nothing to very little about single length as a viable alternative to a conventional lengths set. Thanks very much !!!

    • I have been using a single plane swing for years, with a conventional-to-a-hair-flat plane. Sterling irons work superbly, letting me use the same single plane across the irons.

      The choice of plane – upright or flat or whatever – is dictated by your body geometry and flexibility. There is no need to “go upright” to use a single plane technique. The best plane for you is whatever lets you move comfortably, in balance, with the least stress on your hips and spine. Trying to force a particular plane just adds stress which robs you of consistency, power, and accuracy, and increases the likelihood of injury.

      Sterling irons are more adaptable to different people than anything I have ever built with before. There are two contributing factors. First, they bend well. Second, since they are all the same, you don’t run into problems at one end of the set if you have to push the length one way or the other.

      Find your “easy” swing plane and Go Sterling!

    • Tom,
      I have the sterlings in 5-sw and absolutely love them.
      I was wondering if anyone has these irons set at a length of 36″ instead of 36.5″ or 37″.
      When I choke up on them I seem to get better trajectory and accuracy even with the 5 iron.

    • ED:

      Many thanks and GREAT to hear that you like the Sterling irons !! Two things would dictate whether you could be ok with going a little shorter with the irons. 1) what’s your clubhead speed – if you go shorter by 1/2″, you probably would lose 1-2mph of clubhead speed. Maybe that makes the low number single length irons a little more difficult to hit high enough to fly far enough, maybe it doesn’t. Each golfer would need to try this out with one of the low number irons to see the effect if they go shorter. 2) your comfort – perhaps you might sense that 36.5″ is a little too long for whatever reasons and causes you to fidget in various ways when you set up to hit shots. perhaps you do grip down to make the length more comfortable, or perhaps you can’t assume the same posture that you are most comfortable with. If so, then doing it a little shorter could help.

      And in the end, there is nothing wrong with gripping down forever with the irons as long as the grip size feels large enough and comfortable. Because grips are tapered in shape, as you grip down you are effectively decreasing the size of the grips as you hold the irons. So perhaps you go with a larger grip, and then when you grip down it does not feel as small. But if this is something that never bothers you when you grip down, forget about it, continue to grip down and don’t worry about it.


  99. Hi Tom,
    I purchased a set of Sterling Irons last fall and love the fit, finish and feel of the clubs. However, I’m really struggling with clubhead speed and fear that I ended up with too heavy a swingweight so I ran a test last night.

    Using a radar head speed measurer, I took a series of full iron swings with the Sterling and my old D0 Callaway Diablo Edge iron, both the same length clubs.
    My average speed with the Sterling was only 72 mph. With the Diablo, it was 80 – a huge difference. I was wondering why my shots were a club or two further with my old irons.

    Is there anything I can do now to improve the situation? I’m going to one of your custom builders today to get fitted for one of your 919 drivers and am going to ask him, but was hoping to get your thoughts as well.

    Thanks for all the great education you’ve done for the industry!

    • If the lengths are EXACTLY the same, then the only things that could be accounting for the clubhead speed difference would be either the total weight or the swingweight or both together. The total weight is the sum of the weights of the head, shaft and grip. The shaft weight is the #1 more influential element controlling the total weight. So if the shaft weight in the Sterlings is heavier, that increases the total weight. In general, the heavier the total weight, and the heavier the swingweight, the slower the golfer would swing the club IF THOSE WEIGHTS ARE A BAD FIT TO THE GOLFER’S SWING. Some people do better with heavier weighting in clubs, many do not.


  100. Hi Tom,

    I am considering a purchase from eBay on sterling irons. The seller has said they are authentic but I wanted to confirm with you all if there was a serial number or a way to determine so I don’t get fooled here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • BOB

      No way to tell. I don’t use serial numbers on the heads I design and produce. That’s because we sell the heads as components for clubmakers to custom make the sets for golfers. Because the clubmakers order all varieties of set makeups from #3 to AW down to every other head for the sets they create, there is no way we can know how to apply serial numbers so we don’t end up with odds and ends for heads. Big companies who only make standard off the rack non custom sets do that because they can pre make all the sets with the same number of heads in each set. But because Wishon Golf is so small compared to other bigly marketed companies, the chance of someone having counterfeited one of my designs is up there at the same odds as winning a lottery. So I am pretty sure what you see on Ebay would be genuine.

  101. Have the spiralock-threaded Sterling heads materialized? I’d really like to build up a Sterling-specific fitting kit. Is Diamond stocking any threaded heads ?

    • Mitch

      With the help of a very smart machinist, I have been working on a replacement connector system for the Spiralock/Your Fit connectors. This system will be able to work with any of the existing heads that people had threaded for use with the SP/YF connectors and it will work with any head with a plain hosel of 0.335″ (driver/wood/hybrid) or 0.370″ (iron/hybrid/wedge). And it will be less expensive than the SP/YF connectors. Diamond Golf has samples of these now to inspect and make a decision as to whether they want to proceed to offer these to the clubmakers this spring.


    • Thanks! I just emailed the folks at Diamond to add my support to say that I’d love to see this happen.

    • HA! That’ll probably help, for sure !! Your action reminded me of a funny story from back in the 90s when I was working for Golfsmith and heading up their component division. At the time, the company was furiously growing and expanding their retail store and retail catalog venture, which I had virtually nothing to do with. One of my long time friends in the industry is Jesse Ortiz, son of the founder of the former Orlimar Golf Company. Jesse was working for his Dad and had come up with the idea to do an infomercial for this new shallow face fwy wood he had come up with called the Tri-Metal. The infomercial BOOMED and took Orlimar from virtual anonymity to being a big company, almost overnight. Jesse realized to sustain their infomercial sales, they needed to have their products in all the retail stores. Knowing I was a VP with Golfsmith, Jesse called me to ask if I could intercede with the Golfsmith retail guys to get his stuff in all their stores.

      I went to the retail VP and one of the co owners of Golfsmith to present the case for Jesse. They both told me if they got requests for a product, then they would put it in the stores and catalog. So I told Jesse to get 10-12 of his friends to all call Golfsmith on different days to ask for Orlimar clubs. He did, and son of a gun, two weeks later the retail VP ordered his purchasing mgr to set up orders for Orlimar clubs for all the stores !! And you know, Jesse never paid me a commission on that !!! HA ! Just shows you it does not take a lot of squeaking of the wheel to get the grease !!

  102. Hi M.Wishon

    Looking for information about the new Sterling #4 iron.
    I read in the AGCP forum that this new Iron will fit more golfer with a 85 mph swing speed because of the low loft. Is that correct and are we talking about #5 iron swing speed or driver swing speed.
    Thank you for your products. ‘my customer love it ans so do I.

    • probably 5 iron. I swing 110 with a driver and was surprised when I got on any iron that I was around 80 mph. I wondered why all us stiff shaft guys are not playing regular shafts at those speeds

    • Derek
      80mph for even a #5 iron clubhead speed at a 5 iron length of 38″ is most certainly high enough for being able to use most of the S flex shafts that are made in the golf industry. However, golfer preference for the feel of the shaft is of supreme importance when it comes to making the right choice for the shaft flex. In fact I am still around 78-80mph for my own iron speed and I have been playing R flex shafts for a couple of years simply because I do get the feeling sometimes that the impact feel with an S flex can feel just a slight bit stiff and I personally dislike that feeling from years of ball striking experience.


    • Denis
      I am talking about the clubhead speed with a 7 or 8 iron, not the speed with a driver or even a 5 iron of normal 38″ length.

    • Hi Tom
      I love the new Serling series.They work great with the players that are shorter the 5’8 . I built him the 5hybrid,5iron- PW and 52,56,60 PCF micro tour . The Wedges worked out great at the single length minus 1/4 from the length of 5-pw.
      He would like a 4 iron now is there one for sterling series yet?

    • Bryce:

      That’s great to hear about your success with the Sterling irons. But do keep in mind they are not just for players of shorter height. Not at all. Yes, the 4 iron has been available for a few months now. But do be careful in terms of who you fit into the 4 iron because with its lower loft, it needs a clubhead speed with the irons of not less than 82-83mph to generate the ball speed and spin to get it to fly and carry to a distance greater than the 5 iron. It’s great to know that people play with my designs, but I never, ever want anyone to play any of my designs that they do not have the capability to hit properly.


  103. I’ve been playing these for about 2 months now, and I posted some initial impressions in this thread. Here’s an update:

    At first, I struggled with the wedges (PW and GW). They just didn’t go as far as the other clubs, proportionately. I even strengthened the lofts by 1 degree–unnecessary, as I learned. The real culprit: psychology. I discovered I was backing off the hit on these clubs because of their length. True, only one inch longer, but it felt like a lot more. But once I began to groove them, they’re fine. (They launch a lot higher, which can be problematic in the wind.)

    The lower-lofted irons were fun to hit, but I kept blocking the 4-iron. What I found was that I was gripping this club at the very end–farther, really, with the butt of the grip being in the palm of my hand. Not good, and totally unnecessary. Again, blame psychology, as I was compensating for the short shaft I was looking at, despite the fact that a well-struck 4I flew just fine. A little low, but not so much that it mattered to a 7-handicap like me.

    Finally, there was the sound of the high-COR irons (4-7). Frankly, I liked it! When you hit it pure, it sounds like a cocktail glass ‘clinking.’ I wish they all sounded like that. Weird, huh?

    And today? The wedges are fine and gap correctly. My other gaps remain fine. My carry distances are just short of my previous, conventional set (2016 Ping G), but are good enough. Settling in with these irons allowed me to fix a couple of compensating moves I’d been making, and now I’m smashing them like I’d want. I’m still not convinced I’d want to hit the SW out of a bunker, but I’ll keep an open mind for those who try it and like it.

    So what about performance? My misses–especially with the low-lofts–are way, way better. Overall, my iron accuracy is better. Grooving one iron swing has been great, too. I don’t have hybrids; above the Sterlings (4-GW) I have a Ping 3-iron, a 3-wood, and a driver. So grooving my iron swing has allowed me to spend more time in practice on those other clubs (plus my SW and LW). Nice. I’ve also picked off two bad, recurring habits (hooding the club and aiming out to the right) working together in a bad way. Why? Because I could focus on one swing for a long time. Again, nice.

    The typical trade-off in going with one-length irons is you get to hit shorter low-number clubs in return for having to hit longer “scoring” clubs. Well, the wedges are just 1″ longer; you can learn to hit them (I did). And the benefit of hitting 4-7-irons that are shorter is nothing shot of amazing. Finally, you get to groove a swing, something I didn’t even care about, nor thought mattered. Well, I do and it does. So there.

    My wife is returning to golf after a total knee replacement. I’m going to get her fit with a set of Ping Rhapsody irons. I think I’ll trade in my perfectly fine Ping G irons when I do. I’m not looking back. This is the real deal.

  104. Hi Tom,
    Just enquiring if the release date of May for left hand version is still on track, or, could it possibly be a little earlier?

    • SHANE

      Thanks so much for your interest, but the date for completion of the first production run of the left hand Sterling irons is still set up as of now for completion in mid May. I just did do the final inspection and checks on the last pre-production sets of the left hand model last week. So with production taking a minimum of 75 days, that puts us on a schedule for mid May, and that is if nothing in the form of a glitch or delay happens between now and then. But I do thank you very much and hope this can be ok for you.


    • Hi Tom,

      I have been playing your Sterlings since last April and love them, thank you again for helping me enjoy the game more. I need a 56 degree and 60 degree wedge, should I get your HM Series and make them to my length of my Sterlings, or wait until April (I Think) for the new ones to come out for the Sterling set ?

    • BARRY

      Thanks very much !! It looks like the new Sterling SW and LW will be ready to go in mid to later May, sorry that it did not get done in time for April.

  105. I think you designed them perfectly. Great forgiveness combined with single length makes the game much easier which in turn lowers scores which is what we all need. I love the sterlings and will play them until you design something better Haha. I am looking forward to what you have in store for the long end of the bag. I play the 4 iron but would love to have seen a hybrid released with it but I understand the economics of not doing it right now and hope that sales go well enough that you can further add to the collection. Thanks again Tom.

  106. I could see where he was coming from when he said he didn’t like the looks. I was playing the Ben hogan ft worth 15 blades before switching to the sterlings. The hogans were probably to best looking club I’ve playing in my opinion. Obviously the sterlings looked larger and clunkier than the hogans. It took me about a week of playing the sterlings to forget the look of the hogans and to really love the look of the sterlings. So comparing them to a traditional muscle back obviously they look different but not bad by any means. And a year later the sterlings are still in my bag so that says it all.

    • KOURT
      In a perfect world where we would have much larger sales and marketing, I would have designed a second single length model to contrast to the Sterling set as you see it. In this sense, single length is no different than conventional length – you should have different models for different player types just as has been done with conventional length irons forever. Super game improvement, game improvement, classic traditional, etc. But to do multiple models within the one concept of single length requires a lot of sales to make that be successful for each model version. Maybe someday there could be a Sterling traditional set, but for it to be an 8 iron length, which I do think is so much better, the traditional low loft heads are still going to have to be designed with a high COR face to get the distance at that 8 iron length. And I suspect many of the real traditionalists won’t like that. So at this point, I am very pleased with how Sterling is working, both from a sales and most definitely from a performance standpoint. I thought about this the other day and I think in my 31 yrs of designing clubhead models, the Sterling could be the very best iron overall that I have ever done.


    • Yesterday a couple of club members accosted me in the parking lot and started asking about single length irons. I grabbed a couple of Sterlings from my car and showed them. Both people commented that the liked the looks, especially the topline profile. So TW is definitely doing something right. I’m pretty sure that one of them will buy a set. I think I have sold 10 sets of Sterlings since they came out, and my real business is making handmade bamboo putters, not irons.

    • I agree what Tom and Kourt wrote… I still own my Slazenger Supremo (the heads are the same as Seve played in the past) with a TT DG steel shaft, they are “more blade irons” than today blades, sharper, thinner, with smaller faces than upddate blades
      a very smooth forged steel and very good feeling (when you are able to hit the ball on their very center)so there are a lot of marks on them due to the soft steel
      but, I do not sse the difference on feeling if I am honest, they are much more tough to hit, and they have very nice blade looking on my bag and behind the ball BUT I think the Sterling are at the same level of beauty (in another way) but much more appreciated when playing the ball, on feelings, results, facilities , game improvements etc….you made a very great job Tom, and I can appreciate to its higher points, if my golf game is bad its only due to a very poor swing or a wrong strategy, I am sure of it because they forgive many mistakes.
      thanks to you

  107. Tom thanks again for all of your time spent answering questions and educating us in this great game. I’ve read all I can find that you’ve written about muscle back irons vs game improve irons. I know there are plenty of myths about muscle backs being more accurate or consistent than cavity backs and I’ve read all your articles dismissing these claims. One thing I haven’t found is any info regarding workability. Why is it that people believe blades are more “workable” than cavity backs, and is this claim valid? I can’t imagine why that would be the case but I’d like to know your educated response on the subject. I think my sterlings are the most “workable” clubs I’ve ever owned mainly due to the ability of set up ease. For example a back of the stance low draw with a conventional 5 iron vs a conventional wedge are extremely different positions due to the shaft length variable Where the sterlings a low draw position is the same for every club.

    • KOURT

      I’ve always been one in my field to not believe any of these claims that some people believe muscleback irons to be able to “work the ball” more effectively or better than a game improvement iron. We do have to separate one small type of game improvement iron from this, that being the thin face, high COR game improvement iron. While you can still work the ball with such an iron, the thin face does change the feeling of impact so much over a thick face iron that many people will be confused and think the feel difference is meaning they are not working the ball the same way.

      But if you have a normal >3mm thick cast stainless steel cavity back face and a much thicker cast or forged muscleback iron, from all my work and observations as long as the offset and loft are the same in the two irons, the workability is the same and there is no advantage for the muscleback. To people who react to that with a “don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up” , I tend to use this explanation: Think about how many tour players use a cavity back iron – at last count it was around half of the PGA Tour. Do you really think that all these guys would use a cavity back iron if they could not hit an intentional draw, fade, high or low shot when they needed to ? Tour players work the ball frequently when they play. If there really were an advantage to the muscleback, I tend to think that you’d see everyone out there playing a muscleback iron. But they don’t and they still work the ball just fine.

      People sometimes confuse the MOI of an iron with workability. They think that an iron has to have a low MOI (muscleback) to be able to work the ball better. POint is, the MOI of a head never even comes into the picture until you hit the ball off center. If you hit every shot on center, there would be no need to engineer a higher MOI into some iron models. You cannot work the ball unless you hit the shot ON CENTER. And if you hit the shot on center, workability is the same for a cavity vs muscleback, provided the offset and loft is the same on both heads.


    • Tom,

      A couple clarification questions:

      “Workability” (if that’s a thing) is about club path and face angle at impact. If you have a square face and a slightly inside-to-out path, you’ll draw it a little. That should be the same for a game improvement or a blade. The only thing that gives me pause is the possibility that a high-MOI iron head would be more difficult to control with the fine muscle movements of your hands. High MOI heads resist twisting at impact, but they also resist twisting in the swing (at least on paper). Maybe great golfers have fine tuned their swing so well that the additional head MOI makes it more difficult to feel the exact face angle through the impact zone? (I’m really reaching here)

      The part of your reply that I’m questioning is the idea that you have to hit the ball in the center of the face to work it. If I mishit the shot slightly with an in-to-out club path, it’ll still draw. The shot might come up a bit short, but it’ll still draw, right? Will it draw less? Did I misunderstand your statement?

      And half of PGA tour players DO use muscleback clubs… so why do they stick with them if they could mitigate their mishits by switching to a small cavity back with no downside?

    • BRENT
      Yes, you are really reaching there in the first paragraph. When you talk about a high MOI head, that MOI which dictates how much the head twists in response to an off center hit is an MOI that HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR HANDS ON THE GRIP OR YOUR RELEASE OF THE CLUB. The MOI that controls off center hit twisting is the MOI about a vertical axis through the center of gravity of the head. That is an axis of rotation that has hnothing to do with the hands on the grip, it only is “activated” when the head hits the ball off center. There is one other MOI of a clubhead which is defined about the axis of the center of the hosel bore. This is the one that could relate to the hands on the grip because the shaft is right on that axis of rotation. Theoretically this MOI about the centerline of the hosel bore could be affected by the size/blade length of the head. Longer blade providing more resistance to rotating the club than shorter blade length. BUT in terms of REAL RESISTANCE TO THIS ROTATION, the differences in iron head size are so insignificant to this MOI that it really is a non issue. Only if you had an iron that had a blade length approaching a hockey stick would this MOI about the bore have an effect on the golfer’s release.

      On your other point, as a player you cannot possibly count an off center hit as a way to work the ball because that shot shape that comes from hitting the ball off center is a shot shape you cannot count on for a specific amount of draw (or fade on the other side of the head). If you try to work the ball and hit the shot off center, you just blew up your intended shot and the ball could end up where you did not intend it to. You can only count or compare workability for shots hit on center. Also not all players use the same swing technique to work the ball. For a draw you may try to swing more inside out, while others strengthen the grip and use their same swing, while others change ball position and others try to have a different hand position at impact to open or close the face slightly.

      What they all have to have in common to work is the shot has to be hit on center to then see ONLY the effect of whatever the swing/grip/release change in the swing resulted in for the worked shot. So you are right in saying that workability will always have everything to do with your swing change, a little to do with the face design and nothing to do with the head’s weight distribution design.


    • OK, fair point. You have to move the CG of the head (toward the heel or toe) to impact how the face closes throughout the swing. I know you’ve done a lot of testing on this front and have concluded that you have to move it a LOT to really make noticeable changes in ball flight. A higher MOI of the head isn’t changing the CG of the head. I concede that point.

      On my other point, I think we’re saying the same thing in slightly different way. I wasn’t saying that you’d TRY to hit it off center to work the ball… I’m saying that it doesn’t matter if you hit it off center. That if I have a square face and an inside out swing, that it’ll draw whether I hit it in the center or not. It seems reasonable that a blade and a GI iron will draw the ball the same amount if both clubs strike the ball with a square face and 1 deg inside out path.

      If those same 2 clubs with the same swing were both struck 1/2″ off center, then they’d both still draw the same amount, but the GI iron shot would go further than the blade.

      The other examples of ways to work the ball are ultimately only altering those 2 variables (path and face angle). Strengthening the grip would impact the face angle at impact… a 1 deg inside out path with a club that’s now 2 deg closed at impact would result in a 3 deg face-to-path angle which would increase the draw. I don’t see that any of those would impact a blade any differently than a GI iron.

      So I’m agreeing… no difference that I see in terms of “workability”. Might just be a confidence factor and the ever-elusive “feel”. Though I’ve never understood how a tiny little head with a super skinny top line inspired any confidence. It has always struck me as opposite. “How am I possibly supposed to hit a good shot with this tiny little thing?”. It would be like playing tennis with a badminton racket. Doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Brent

      Back in the 1980s, former Australian tour pro David Graham wrote a book about golf equipment. Boy was that proof that tour players should stick to using them and not discussing them ! Anyway, in his book Graham extolled the virtues of muscleback irons and denigrated what back then were the relatively new deep cavity back forgiving irons that were coming on strong in the game. His belief was that in playing a small unforgiving head golfers would get better, sooner because they would know they had to make better swings to hit it on center to make the shot play right ! I read that and laughed – “ok, David, like you think that if I have a larger game improvement model that I don’t try my hardest on every shot to hit the ball on center ??!!” From that I remember doing talks at seminars referring to the “Parris Island/David Graham boot camp approach to clubhead selection – it has to hurt to be right !”. Many of us, try as we might, just can’t make consistent swings like tour pros can !

  108. Shame about the looks. Would have bought a set if they looked better at my feet. Shame, I really liked everything else about them.

    • I would be interested to hear what you did not like about the look of the Sterling irons. Since their introduction last April, we truly have had more complements on the looks and cosmetics of this model than any other iron I have designed for many years.


    • it is only a matter of taste
      I find them pretty nice and handsome as someone took an extra care to every aspect of those great clubs, esthetic as well.
      I love them even on their look !
      I think I know about who is the Master of this achievement (sorry for my poor English)
      Everyone to his taste, that’s all !

    • I agree. Everyone to their own taste. Some prefer the players blade look and don’t like anything else. I love the look of the sterling irons, the shape, design and craftsmanship. No unnecessary “bling” badging like other OEM cavity back irons. I like the finish as well, without all the unnecessary chrome like other clubs.

    • Yes, aesthetics are really in the eye of the beholder. I personally think my Sterling irons are some of the prettiest, sharpest looking clubs I’ve ever owned, but that’s me. There is no way that everyone can be satisfied with looks just as everyone has a different opinion on performance.

    • Thank you Bob, much appreciated ! Your comment highlighted the fact that in my career, I was always the one who had to make all the decisions for the concept, design, and cosmetics. So when it is not so great in the eyes or mind of the beholder, I am the one to toss under the bus! Once in a while years ago I used to think it would be better to have committees of people to decide on the things like the name or cosmetics so if it looked like crap, they could get the heat !! But then I realized that having all that autonomy in my work as I always have had is a better way to go in the end! Thanks again and the very best to you in this great game !

  109. Hi Tom,

    I got fitted up for a set of Sterling irons and they are just fantastic. I have had Callaway, Mizuno, Cobra irons in the past and been fitted for all.

    But with my previous irons, I always struggled with the 4 and 5 irons.

    The Sterling irons have brought back the fun to my game – they are more accurate, more forgiving and longer. I’m hitting the 5 irons out to a 170metre carry distance – which is around 189 yards. I’ve never been able to do this with a 5 iron, but can now land the ball on greens at that distance at least 7 out of 10 attempts.

    I’ve now ordered a 4 iron as well.

    My son, who is not far of being a scratch player, took my new Sterling irons out yesterday for a game and thought that same thing I did. Much easier to hit than his current Mizuno Mp15’s. His “bad shots” still hit the green. He said he just needs to get used to the hotter face on the 5-6-7 irons for when he does a chip and run shot around the green as he was getting more carry and run than with the Mizuno irons. Still scored well at 3 over par.

    He’s going to have a few more games with my clubs, but looks like he is going to want to be fitted for his own set from 4 iron to PW.

    By the way, your Mid Sized Wishon grips are great. Beautiful feel and very nice in the hands – I’ll be sticking to these grips as well.

    • MATT:

      Thanks so very much for taking the time to stop by and share your comments and experience with the new Sterling irons. I can assure you that there are not very many things better than being able to read and enjoy what you wrote about your results with the new irons ! I just knew we were onto something a little better when we decided to do this based on a shorter length than what anyone had tried before with a single length set. Yes, the high COR face of the low loft irons makes it work, but the key to this is really in the fact that most all of us can hit an 8 iron length more on center more of the time than we can lengths that are longer.

      Thanks so much again and the very best to you and your son in this great game !

  110. Hey Tom will the new sw and lw have the micro grooves and the knockdown grind like the hm wedges? If they will I know many that would add them to their bags. If not you really should consider adding that stuff last minute because your hm wedge is literally the most versatile wedge I’ve ever played and would love to have a wedge that versatile that would match the sterlings.

    • KOURT

      The new Sterling SW and LW will match the scoreline configuration of the other irons and wedges in the set. It will have the zero bounce heel grind that is on both our PCF and HM series wedges but it will not have the center sole knock down grind that is on the HM wedges now.


  111. Thumbs up for the Sterling 4!

    With my iron swing speed in the high 70’s, I was afraid that it wouldn’t work for me, but it’s great. I get 180-ish (carry + roll) with the Sterling 5 and mid 190s with the 4, so the gapping is just what I want. The ball flight is just fine. I’m not going to throw it over a close-in bunker, but I can find a way to get it there.

    One of my customers, with a somewhat lower swing speed than me, is happy with his 4 too.

    The 4 hybrid is now out of my bag. Anywhere inside of 200, I’m now holding an easy-to-hit, accurate Sterling.

  112. Hi Tom,

    I live in Australia and have been very interested in your Sterling clubs, reading everything I could find about them as well as all the video reviews on Youtube. In fact, I am getting fitted this weekend for a set. My son is also very interested in the Sterling irons and will be testing the clubs with me this weekend when I am getting fitted for them.

    My son is low single figure handicapper and aims to become good enough to be a Professional Golfer, working in the golf industry. Be that as a Teaching Professional or on tour. He has learned how to build his own clubs, from the Wishon fitter we are seeing this weekend as well as becoming qualified in many other aspects such as fitness, nutrition etc and working with psychologists.

    He currently uses Mizuno MP15 irons and as such he was wondering if you were going to design and release a Pro set of SL irons in the similar vein as the MP15’s being a muscle/slight cavity back style from 4 iron down to the wedges. His swing speed with the 7 iron is around 95mph. So according to your advice that a 85mph swing speed for a 4 iron is needed, I don’t think swing speed would be an issue with using a single length 4 iron or maybe even a 3 iron?

    Anyway, just thought I would ask if a Pro set was on the drawing board, and if so, when would a release date be? If not, then I guess it will depend if he likes the current design or not. Though, he would prefer to go with your Sterling irons as from all reports, the Cobra one length irons seem to have issues with distance gapping from 6 iron to 5 iron to 4 iron, whereas your design – well, no one it seem has complained about distance gapping with the sterling irons.


    • MATT:
      Thanks very much for your communication and for your interest in our company and the Sterling single length irons. We’re very pleased that you have done the research and decided to be fit with a set of the irons. We’ll be very interested to hear how you like them when you get a chance to get used to them and hit balls and play a few rounds.

      I understand the market for a more traditional set of single length heads. If you have lots of money, the wise thing is to start right out with a separate design for traditional lower hdcp/higher clubhead speed players as well as a set for the game improvement market. Cobra did that of course. We’re not quite in that league financially or in terms of awareness and following so when I did the Sterling irons, I knew right from the get go that it had to be a set that could work well for a wide range of players. No question that there are some super good players who had been using a very traditional forged carbon steel iron who have tried and now play with the Sterlings. But I certainly understand as a player myself and a designer for over 30 yrs that there can be a need, though small, for a fully traditional version. One thing that really limits the demand or success for such a model is the fact that with no help in the low loft irons such as a high COR face to bring back lost ball speed due to the shorter length, a traditional single length set can ONLY be used by someone with much higher than normal clubhead speed, such as your son has.

      For us, I have to see that this recent increase in awareness and interest in single length will last and not fade out if deChambeau happens to not turn into the player everyone and Cobra thought he could be. If there is genuine staying power in the market for single length, then perhaps I may create a traditional version. BUt that won’t happen this year and more than likely won’t be in 2018 either because to be ready for a 2018 release, I need to be working on the design now. Sorry about that, we’re just a small specialty engineering company with a small following of astute players and clubmakers so we can’t jump into other parts of the pool as quickly as the big guys.

      Thanks so much again for your interest,

  113. Hi Tom

    I’ve had my Sterling since September and have worked on the basis that they travel roughly the same distance as the next longest club of my previous 560MC’s (e.g. 8i Sterling = 7 iron 560’s). However I haven’t tested this and wasn’t sure. I did have an inkling that the GW was relatively shorter.

    So I had a gap test today and got these results:


    It was only based on about 5 or 6 shots each, but we removed the real bad ones (there were a few) to get a decent representation. As you can see, the gaps are pretty consistent. That was quite a good thing for me to find out, and supports the theory that the loft gapping of the set is pretty spot on.

    What I did find was that my current wedge set of 50-54-58 was too close, with my 50 deg going only about 4 or 5m less than the Sterling GW. So what we did was to bend the wedges 2 deg weak and give a better gap there.

    What was also interesting was that I tended to hit the GW, PW and 9i with an ever so slight pull (say 5m) left, but hit the 6i and 5i with a noticeable (not extreme) fade ((5-10m). We concluded that I was probably sub-consciously opening the face a little on the long irons, maybe to protect against a horrid low pull and also possibly to make sure I got elevation on the shot. I guess the “same swing for all irons” concept hasn’t quite embedded itself in my head yet, but as you have said before, it takes a little while to adapt.

    Anyway, I thought people might find those gapping results interesting


  114. any update on left handed release?!?!?!?

    • RALPH

      This week I should see the final final pre production sample sets for final inspection and checks. If everything is OK, then a production order can be placed and if so, we maybe should see these by mid May. So the thing to do is to cross your fingers in the hope that the final pre production sets are good with no changes or corrections required !!

      Thanks so much for your interest,

  115. Tom, last winter I was fitted for a complete set of Wishon clubs by Jim at Von’s Golf and I can tell you that I have never hit the ball better….especially the 771 CSI irons he built me. Flash forward to today and I want to get a set of Sterling Irons, but sadly Jim is retiring (happy for Jim). Jim was a very intuitive fitter but never told me my specs. Is there anyway or anyone who I can send my 8 iron to and have them duplicate these specs into a Sterling iron set? My 771 CSI 8 iron is real magic wand and it would be great if the length, lie, swing weight and grip size could be duplicated in my Sterling set. Thanks.

    • MATT:
      Yes, I heard that Jim was retiring. Jim and I go way back together. We were both PGA asst pros at the Peach Tree CC outside of Sacramento way back in the 70s and I do think it was my influence of already being a serious club repair person that triggered Jim into learning the skills and focusing on equipment in the last part of his golf career. Since Jim and I are about the same age, I am also retired although mine is a SEMI retirement – I do a lot of work with my Sterling single length design which includes fitting and building sets for a couple of direct sales clubmaker accounts. So you could send me your 8 iron and I can measure all the specs so they could be duplicated in a set of Sterling irons that I would be glad to make for you myself. If that works for you, you can send the 8 iron to me at 251 Horse Thief Lane – Durango, CO 81301. And for any correspondence you may need related to that or anything else, use .

      Thanks very much,

    • Thanks for the response below, Tom. I’ll commit the funds and send it to you in the next week of so. Not wanting to let my own misconceptions about who I am as a golfer muddy the waters, I deliberately asked Jim not to tell me what he set me up with. This worked out pretty well until now, when knowing the specs would have been helpful. Never thought Jim would retire on me. 🙂

    • Matt
      And if you want, I can keep the specs of the 8 iron mute so you won’t know what they are and what the single length irons would be built to have. Your choice on that, all you have to do is include the instructions on a note with the 8 iron.

  116. Good Day Tom,

    My name is Alfred Rheeder from South Africa. I am currently a 4 handicap. I played collegiate golf in the USA for 2 years – albeit over twenty year ago! I hardly play during the year due to work commitments, but I endeavour hard to “catch” up during our summer holidays. I have been using the Sterling Irons and the the 919 driver with the JumboMax medium tour sized grips for the last 4 months (summer). I have been a “traditionalist” at large but have literally jumped ship! I would like to provide you with some feedback.

    1) I got used to the irons very quickly and I have had very positive results with them. They are great.

    2) The distance gapping is spot-on. I have the same or marginally longer than average iron shot lengths compared to my Ping S56 irons. I do struggle with the consistency of my distance control when hitting PW – SW. Enough practice will take care of that. I am eagerly awaiting the 4 iron I ordered!

    3)The 919 driver (44.5 inches) is awesome. Noticeable and measurably longer than the Ping G30. The correct fitment has lead to an increased in my avg. smash factor.

    Everyone I have played with tried the irons. Occasionally the only adverse feedback I got resolved around the sound and feel of the High COR 5-7 irons. I personally got used to it very quickly. However I always fiddle and I recently inserted / wedged I type of dense rubber at the back of the clubs without detracting on the look of the clubs. Since then I have not heard any negative comment again. In fact I personally adore the 5-7 even more! A type of insert that alter the “cling” sound and decrease the “vibrational” / hot feel might be something to consider in the future.

    Thanks for quality products and fitment. Least of all I want to commend you for the factual / ethical marketing. It is a fact that in most cases it will not lead to extraordinary financial wealth….. Every time I see the TV ads for the new Taylormade M driver or Callaway Epic drivers I cringe……. Then again I live in “dark” Africa and I might not be aware of changed driver/wood COR and volume regulations….. 🙂

    Lastly Tom, I would like to make use of the opportunity to wish you all the best for the future (after all the recent changes).

    PS I followed Rory Mcllroy on the Friday at the recent South African Open that was played in Johannesburg . To my surprise I spotted two up and coming South African youngsters blasting 919 Wishon’s of the tee..


    • Alfred

      Wow, how nice it is that you took the time to let me know about your experience with my models. That’s really nice, no its more than that. Thank you. I can also assure you that you are right in that one’s wealth and remuneration is not proportional to the level of honesty and integrity that I try hard to offer to people who just want to know the facts about golf clubs and how they work and how golfers need to buy their clubs to get the most from what they bring to their efforts to play this great game. You know, when I was a kid and dreamed of working in some way in golf, I used to watch the British Open and wonder if I would ever be able to experience the international side of the game. And I must say that some of my best experiences are being able to make friends in golf who are all over the world from different areas/cultures and we all have this thing in common we love the game and we are hooked on its equipment. It’s one of the most enjoyable things in my work and I thank you so much for taking the time to dig us up and display faith in what we do such that you play one of my designs. Best wishes to you in this great game!


  117. I see there is a 4 iron in the Stirling single length clubs. Will there be a 4 hybrid the same as the 5 hybrid. If there is a 4 hybrid will it still require an 85 mph swing speed to work correctly

    • DAVID
      No there will not be a 4 hybrid, only a 4 iron. The reason is because since the 4 iron requires an 85mph clubhead speed with the iron to properly elevate it to carry properly, we feel that golfers with that much speed are not going to be golfers who would prefer a hybrid over an iron of the same loft. So no 4 hybrid is going to be done.

    • Hello Tom!
      Any update on when the left hand version will be available?

    • Hi Philip:

      Thanks for your continued interest in us for getting the LH version of the Sterlings done. The final pre production inspection samples are due to me @Feb 10. If all OK, then add 75 days from there to get to the ship date to us. So if all happens to plan, early May would be the best we can do. Not as soon as many would like, but there is still a lot of golf after May !

      Thanks much,

  118. Hi Tom,
    Happy New Year!
    I have a junior girl golfer, 12yrs old, Height=157cm, wrist to floor (Left)=77.5cm measured wearing flat sole shoes on hard surface, right hand golfer, Weight 42kg, 7 iron carry=100m, Driver 12 Loft carry=160m, plays off 3.9 handicap. Would you recommend your Sterling Irons® Single Length Irons for her? If so 5H to SW set? rather than 4Iron to SW set. Shorter length irons than the standard? Would it benefit her game for more consistency? What shaft from your product do you recommend to reduce the weight of the irons? Thank you!

  119. Tom, I’m a club maker in Adelaide, Australia and purchased Sterling 5-SW sometime back, you may remember my posts referring to using TT XP95 S300 #7 taper tips shafts and tip cutting 1/2″ and making to 36.5″.

    My thinking behind purchasing the Sterling iron set was to assist in my recovery from my FULL SWING YIPS affliction, I thought as with my current Callaway Apex forged irons, as the iron length got shorter, I had to better chance of getting the club/swing started rather than club bouncing uncontrollably along the ground for up to 12 inches, it wasn’t pretty and I had to walk away from the game I loved for periods of 3 months to get my anxiety levels to subside/reduce.

    Anyway, I gamed the Sterling irons for a few rounds but as my Senior Pennant match play season was about to start, I thought it was better if I stuck with Apex Forged.

    I’m nearing the end of my yips recovery, maybe a few months away but am still intrigued how your Sterling Single Length iron set can help me further to recover.

    You see, for my recovery, I actually changed my setup routine so that it had NO PAUSES, it’s all synchronised and has specific steps, but honestly, with 2 practice swings from behind the ball, then walking in from the side and just swinging has greatly improved my ball striking and now hitting the ball better and longer than ever before, down to 5.8 h’cap and can still drop more.

    My routine is now all about letting the mind and body find it’s optimal position next to the ball, I suppose my body is auto compensating as the length of the shaft increases or decreases to find the ball position.

    With your Sterling iron set, I could just walk-in exactly the same with each iron no matter of the #. When I initially gamed your Sterling’s, I was sub-conscientiously changing the ball position and really struggled hitting the #5 and #6 irons, hitting tops and thin strikes for obvious reasons.

    When I tried hitting the Sterling’s on the range a few weeks back with my new routine, I suspect my mind/body were automatically picking the same ball position for all irons as I was hitting much cleaner and hitting same/similar distances as my Apex, maybe Sterling’s were a tad longer and flushed.

    So Tom, thank you so much in my recovery, I haven’t used the Sterling’s much but they MADE MY THINK ABOUT THE CONCEPT OF THE STERLING’S which in turn improved my setup routine.

  120. Tom, I’m intrigued by the single length concept. I wonder if this might address the drop-off in my distances? I currently play Mizuno MP-53 on GD X100 stepped up 1″. from LW (100 carry) to 8i (150 carry), I’m gapped nicely in consistent 10yd steps – but then the gaps start to compress and become less predictable, topping out at 180 if I pure my 4i. By chance, is there a club fitter you’d recommend in the SF Bay Area who might have a set to swing? Many thanks!

    • RYAN
      Forgive me I am out of the office as I answer your comment and question so I do not have full access to everything I do at the office. If you do to the FIND A CLUBFITTER search tool on (it’s right in the middle of the home page) and you input SanFrancisco you will see two guys in particular that I know very well and can assure you either one will do a superb job in your fitting analysis. One is Michael Clark in Berkeley and the other is Stan Morovia at the McInnis Park driving range on Smith Road off 101 in the San Rafael area. You’ll see their contact numbers when you read the page for a SF search on the locator. Both are really good so whoever is closer to you is probably the one to call and set something up. Call first to ask about Sterling demos – I do not have the information as to who does and does not have demos of whichever model because all the clubmakers are independent – they have no ties to us or any company so they make their own decisions for what models/companies they wish to stock and work with. Bet that you will hit the same number irons in Sterling longer than your current irons because lofts are staggered differently in the Sterling to do our best to ensure proper distance gaps between irons which for most players the irons do that fine.


  121. I acquired my Sterling irons (5 through SW) in October and have played about seven rounds with them. I absolutely LOVE the feel and the way the ball just jumps off the club face, especially with the lower lofts. I hit my Sterling 5 iron every bit as far, if not a little further than my conventional 5 iron. The distance gaps are good, but it does take a bit of a mental adjustment to put the ball in the same position for every club. I cannot wait to play a full season with them and I am really excited to get the lob wedge and the four iron too. I keep annoying the guys at Clubmaster about getting those two clubs to me as soon as they are available.

    • Bob:

      Wow, what a nice comment for me to be able to read! You mentioned just about every point that a golfer who is on the fence about going with a set that could be a question in a golfer’s about “could this be for me?” And from my standpoint as the design guy, you hit about every point in your comments I tried to aim at in my work. How nice and thanks so much for your support and interest and enthusiasm. Best wishes to you in this great game !

  122. For the 3 different length options do you use 3 different weighted heads in order to ensure the swing weight remains constant? The reason Iask is that I have the opportunity to get a set second hand but built to the shortest of the 3 spec lengths but as I am using +1″ irons normally being 6’4″ I don’t want to go ahead if the clubs at the longer length will be very heavy – I did a quick check and the irons seem to be about the same length as my Callaway Apex graphite shafted irons at +1″

    • Thank you David for your interest. Much appreciated for sure. The spec weight of the Sterling heads is 274g with a small plus/minus tolerance. Every head is made with a weight bore at the bottom of the shaft bore to allow the clubmaker to final tweak the headweight to achieve pretty much whatever swingweight he needs to make the clubs to fit the golfer. That’s the custom part that has to come along with the choice of either a 36.5, 36.75 or 37 inch playing length. No question, with the weight bore it will allow the clubs to be fit and made to about 90% of all golfer fitting requirements. If 37.5 were more comfortable to you and if your shaft of choice were a 120g steel, the swingweight will come out a little higher. BUt depending on your tempo and “golf strength” as we call it, the swt that may come from a 37.5 length + 120g shaft might not be an issue for you. Hope this helps a little and thanks again for your interest.

  123. Sterling vs. In1Zone shootout – no contest. I bought a few In1Zone single-length heads, thinking it would be nice to have a value-priced option for people who are put off by the price of premium clubs. I built them with graphite shafts that I know well, having played with them on my own set for years, to the same specs as my personal Sterling set. I hit about 50 shots on the range, using my (soft) game ball, not range rocks. After a few shots I was able to hit reasonably good shots, but they never felt good. I really wanted to like the In1Zones, but I just didn’t. I had to stop hitting them because my hands were hurting. Even flushed shots didn’t feel right, nothing like the pure feel of Sterling heads. I had to spend the next half hour hitting a Sterling to erase the terrible feel from my hands. Design and metallurgy matters. TW is the master.

    • MITCH

      Ahhhh, what a nice comment for me to have the chance to read !! Thanks for putting the Sterling irons to the test so you could have the chance to know and then be able to tell golfers exactly what you found. That’s nice to hear !


    • This is interesting. I have been very intrigued by the Sterlings since release however I only picked up some 560MC’s 2 years ago. My OH wouldn’t let me spend another lump of our savings on new clubs so I also went with some budget single length in the Pinhawks.

      Really enjoying the concept and playing well with them but now my intrigue is stoked again! If Sterlings play nice I might need to get myself a fitting ASAP!

  124. I noticed in one of your responses tha you mentioned there was a new SW and LW in the works targeted for April. What is the difference between the current SW and the new one? Thanks for your time in responding in this thread.

    • TREY

      The current SW in the Sterling set is designed with a face profile shape that looks like the other irons from the 8, 9, PW, GW. The new wedges will have a more traditional SW/LW face profile shape such as what you see on all the standalone wedge models like the Cleveland, Vokey or our HM Series and PCF wedges.


  125. Awwwwwwwwwright!

    Before I purchased a set of Sterlings (4-GW), I was skeptical about the high-loft irons. I liked the idea of the shorter low-lofted irons, but I wondered if I’d lose something hitting such long wedges, especially. Then, after getting them, I really struggled with the PW and particularly the GW. I was accurate enough, but I was hitting them short….SHORT. I even strengthened the lofts by a degree on the GW and PW. But….

    It turns out that my skepticism was NOT ‘proven’ by the results. Instead, it was CAUSING them. After getting in the groove with the Sterlings, I wondered why I was still struggling with the wedges. But as I played and practiced, I got much better at putting the SAME swing on every club. Boom! The wedges fell right in line. (It helped with the fade I was unintentionally putting on the 4-iron, too.)

    Give these some time. Once you develop consistency, they’ll perform for you throughout the set. Seriously.

  126. Hello Tom,
    I’m playing the Sterling irons since December. The 4 iron -PW. I think I’m the first here in Germany who play the 4 iron and it is really unbelievable to hit the irons with 36.5 shaft as far as my old clubs with 0.25+ lenght. Thank you very much for the great clubs!

    • VOLKER

      Thank you VERY MUCH for taking the time to write and tell us about your experience with your new Sterling irons. We really do appreciate that and I must tell you, as the designer it is a BIG PLEASURE for me to be able to know that you like the irons and they are helping you enjoy this great game a little more. Thank you so much for letting me have a big smile on my face as I think about you feeling good about playing with these new clubs !!


  127. What is the lowest loft 5 hybrid available in the sterling set from the hand select service.

    • Kourt
      It is possible once in a while to find one at 21* loft.

  128. Hi Tom, as ever loving the work!

    I noticed that ‘normal’ iron sets tend to increase in swingweight towards wedge end of the bag. Is this because club makers can not match swingweight in a variable length set or is it done on purpose? Also, do the Sterling irons mirror this same trend, or is swingweight constant throughout?

    Many Thanks

    • BEN

      Normal or conventional iron sets do NOT typically increase in swingweight down through the set. Only one golf company to my knowledge has offered ONE model made that way. Ping began to offer a progressive swingweight set in 2016 which was their attempt to try to simulate what happens when a custom clubmaker makes a set in which all irons in the set are matched to the same Moment of Inertia. MOI matched iron sets has been exclusively the domain of more advanced custom clubmakers. And if you take a true MOI matched set and put each club on the swingweight scale, their swingweight does gradually progress upward from low to high numbers in the set. No other companies do this as the norm has always been to make each iron have the same swingweight.

      This is a very long matter to explain but I shall try to do it as concisely as I can. In a set that is made so each iron is a different length, the ONLY way you can achieve a match of each club having the same MOI is to make them progress slightly upward in swingweight. But when you make a single length set, now you can have each club end up with the same MOI by having the same swingweight. The fact that the irons all are the same length eliminates the need for swingweights to increase through the set. So when you have a single length set in which all irons are the same length, same shaft weight, same headweight, same grip weight, same balance point, they AUTOMATICALLY under the laws of physics end up with the same MOI.

      Progressive swingweight is the only way you can achieve MOI matching when all the irons are made to different incremental lengths. Single length means you automatically achieve an MOI match when the swingweights (headweights) are all the same for all the single length clubs in the set.

      Hope this helps,

  129. Tom,

    I am getting ready to buy the Sterling set of clubs. This will be the set make up if I go with the standard set.
    Driver 10.5
    3 Wood 15

    5 hybrid 23
    6 iron 27
    7 iron 31
    8 iron 35
    9 Iron 40
    PW 45
    GW 50
    SW 55

    My concern is the gap between the 3 wood and the 5 Hybrid. I do not swing fast enough to go with the 4 iron. I was thing about going out and buying a regular hybrid but it would change the whole same swing idea. I had a question for you first. If my swing is 75 MPH with all the clubs and I bought a second 5 Hybrid and had it bent to the 19 degrees would it still give me the gaping i would need?

    • TOM

      Sounds to me like the club I would put in there between the 15* 3-wood and the 5 hybrid in the Sterlings would be a 19 to 20* fairway wood at a length of around 40″. That would either be a weak 5w or a stronger 7w head. You do NOT want to mess around with trying to bend a second 5 hybrid and make it at the same single length as the other irons. Your 75mph speed is not high enough to properly elevate a 19* head built to a 7 or 8 iron length. That short of a length for that low of a low requires at least an 85mph speed to elevate the shot enough to get it to fly and carry as far as you want to be longer than the 5 hybrid.


  130. Tom…. is the Sterling hybrid based on another of your previous designs or is it something entirely new? I believe I read previously you suggested it be built 1 inch longer then the set? So at 37.5″.

    Thanks Tom.

    • JEFF

      The #5 hybrid in the Sterling single length set is based on the shape of our high COR hybrid models called the 775HS. But because the headweight of the 5 hybrid is 274g, same as all the other Sterling irons, we piled up all that extra weight on the sole to be able to lower the center of gravity more to help get the ball up to fly at that single length. And I have never advocated the 5 hybrid in the Sterling set to be any different length than all the rest of the irons in the single length set. That’s why the head weight of the hybrid is the same as every other clubhead in the Sterling set makeup. The whole benefit of single length is . . . . ONE LENGTH FOR ALL THE CLUBS IN THE STERLING SET. With one length, you get the same shaft weight, same total weight, same headweight/swingweight, same flex/bend profile, same balance point, same MOI, same stance, same posture, same everything. That is the key to single length being able to potentially improve shot consistency and greens hit in regulation. If you deviate from that with a different length, you make that club not match perfectly to the rest in the set.


    • Awesome! May have read that on another hybrid design. Thanks Tom.

  131. Tom Wishon,

    I had a local fitter fit me for the one length sterlings. If i order them on the website it only gives me the option for the S2S Shaft. Does it matter if I do a shaft that is not a S2S?

    • TIM

      Thanks very much for your interest ! When working with the custom clubmakers, you could ask for any shaft you want that fits you and the clubmaker can order the shafts and install them in the irons. All sales of the Sterling single length irons made through are fit and built with one of the several different S2S Shaft to Swing custom designed shafts that I designed. is not a part of Wishon Golf in any way. It is an independent venture that chose to offer a custom fitting option for the Sterling irons but exclusively with the different shafts that I design. If there is a different shaft you prefer in the irons, then by all means do work with the custom clubmaker to get the irons made to your satisfaction.

      Thanks again,

    • The club fitter recommended Aerotech Steelfiber shafts for my clubs. Also the last question would be before I buy a set would be (Is there going to be a new design of the clubs in 2017)

    • TIM
      The Sterling irons will remain the same for 2017 as they are now. I will be bringing out the left hand version and I do have an optional alternative SW and LW that will have a more traditional shape ala any of the standalone wedges like our PCF/HM or like the Vokey, Cleveland, etc. But these new wedges will have the same back design as the current wedges. They are just an option for the players who prefer their wedges to be of a more traditional round/tear drop profile.


  132. Hi Tom,

    I am just at the start of my journey from standard length to single length irons.

    Running parallel to this journey I am experimenting with super jumbo grips.

    The standard weight of the Junbomax grips is 0.28lbs.

    I have had the, midsize grip on my Driver (played at 43 inches plus added lead tape for the swingweight) replaced with a jumbomax grip.

    In order to keep the swingweight the same another significant amount of lead tape has been added to the sole of the club.

    Having played the club the ball flight appears to be higher than previously. A result, I would guess, of the amount of extra weight added to the sole of the club. The distance the ball flew was similar to that previously gained.

    Would it be feasible to remove some of the extra weight, from the clubhead, in order to possibly increase clubhead speed or will this just make the club out of balance and unhittable.

    This process leads to the main question:

    The clubhead that I have had made up as trials are the 5h and PW. These have both been made up with a Normal jumbo grip, Avon Chamois, Whishon White Shaft in Reg and to my 7i length.

    Would it be possible to replace the current grips with the Jumbomax grip?
    How much weight would I have to add to equalise the swingweight?
    What effect to playability would adding little extra weight to the clubhead?

    • PETER

      When you use an EXTREMELY HEAVY grip such as one of the Jumbo Max grips, you really cannot use the club’s previous swingweight with a normal weight grip as the guideline for what the swingweight should be with the very heavy grip. If you do, you experience what you have so far – too much head weight which in turn brings about much more of a bending influence on the shaft which means too high of a dynamic loft at impact from too much forward shaft bending. When using such a heavy grip, you really are out there on a “deserted island all by yourself”, to use a phrase. In other words, you have to experiment with headweight to find whatever amount of weight addition ends up feeling like enough heft out there on the end of the shaft, but not so much that it brings about too much shaft bending. Right now with the current club, you should just start removing lead tape and hitting shots to see if you can get to a point that you remove as much as possible without the head starting to feel too head light. forget what actual swingweight that ends up being because with that heavy grip, the actual swingweight measurement is irrelevant. You need to just look for a headweight FEEL that to you and your senses feels like enough headweight but not too much and not too little.


    • I have been using 107g super sized grips on my Sterlings since day one. I like the “DTG Super Oversize Grip” from Two of my Sterling customers chose the gigantic grips too, and liked them so much that they had me regrip all their clubs with them. For me, there is no problem at all with head feel. The weight of a grip is so close to the center of rotation that its effect on the moment of inertia is minimized.

    • Thanks Tom,

      This is just what I needed to find out.

      Is it the same for below.

      The clubhead that I have had made up as trials are the 5h and PW. These have both been made up with a Normal jumbo grip, Avon Chamois, Whishon White Shaft in Reg and to my 7i length.
      Would it be possible to replace the current grips with the Jumbomax grip?
      How much weight would I have to add to equalise the swingweight?
      What effect to playability would adding little extra weight to the clubhead?

    • PETER
      Any clubmaker should be able to remove the Chamois grips and install the JumboMax grips with no problems whatsoever. I cannot tell you precisely how much weight would need to be added to equalize the swingweight because I don’t know the weight of the JumbMax grip – they make several different sizes and each one has a different weight. Also you have +/- production tolerances in the final weight of every grip to deal with. In general though, a 4 gram addition of weight on the grip end causes the swingweight to drop by 1 swingweight point. So you need to subtract the weight of the Chamois grip from the weight of the JumboMax grip, then divide by 4, then multiply that by 2 and that gives you a general idea of the grams you need to add to the head to get back to the original swingweight.

      BUT . . . . I doubt seriously if you want to get this back to the original swingweight you had before. I am pretty sure you would find that to be extremely heavy feeling. So what you need to do is to start with one of the irons only. Install the JumboMax grip. Get a roll of lead tape and head to the driving range. Hit shots and add some weight after each 2-3 hits until you get to the point that you feel that the head weight feel during the swing is too heavy. Then remove some weight and go at least a week or 10 days of hitting shots on the range and on course to see if you are ok with the headweight feel at that point. If not, keep experimenting with the weight on the head until you are comfortable with it. Then take a swingweight reading and make the other irons the same after the have the JumboMax grips installed.


    • Tom,
      Thanks very much for your answer.
      Every time I send you an enquiry I am always amazed that you can find the time to answer the question and that you are so open with your answers.
      I listened to a clip of a radio show that you contributed to recently. The show was discussing the single length concept and you were described as the most knowledgable man regarding golf club design, building and fitting in the world.
      For you to take the time to educate the general golf world as you do is just staggering.
      I cannot believe that any other CEO of a golf club manufacturer would bother to answer questions about their equipment as you do about yours.
      On behalf of all of the golfers out there, that are benefiting from your knowledge, I would like to thank you for your honesty and wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2017.
      I promise that I will not bother you again in 2016 with my mundane drivel but I can’t promise that I won’t question you again in the new year.

    • Peter

      HA! It’s always been a priority for me to respond in as much detail as I feel I need to fully explain my answer because I know just how difficult to impossible it is for golfers to get good, truthful and helpful information about golf equipment. DECADES AGO I made a promise that because I struggled so much with finding answers to my questions that if I ever learned all this stuff, I would always take the time to help anyone who wanted to know the ins and outs of equipment. Plus, since I am semi retired now, that makes it even easier (and fun to do!!)

      Thanks for YOUR interest and the very best to you in this great game,

    • Hi Tom,

      Following on from our previous conversation regarding Jumbomax grips.
      I have now fitted these grips to my Driver, F/D, 7 iron, 55* and 60* widesole.
      We have had to add some weight to the driver but all of the other clubs are playing very well with no added weight at all.
      It is going to be an interesting journey.

    • Peter
      Indeed, and do have fun as you experiment with your equipment !

  133. Dear Tom,

    Owning a sterling set from André Thaon , 5 to SW, I was quite amazing to discover how they are comfortable to hit and so straight.
    The main benefits are the fact I can hit fades with confidence (I could not control them with my Mizu JPX 850 forged) and draws as well, with a rather good control…
    I own an Hybrid as well, but I have to practice it more.
    the other benefit is the comfort, it is obvious with “short” irons (I own a 37″ set, but I am tall)
    The more amazing is with “short” irons 9 to SW, with very good gaps and easy shots around greens even on chipping , flops etc… I was my main interrogation about (not on distance with “long” irons)
    at the begining I it too far with GW and SW, but now it is ok
    So I would be very happy if you intend to design a new Sterling lob wedge…
    great job anyway


      Thank you very much for taking the time to come to our site to share your experience with the Sterling single length irons. We’re very pleased to hear that the set is performing well for you ! But since you did work with Andre for the fitting and custom clubmaking of the set, I am not surprised at all to hear that you like the clubs. Andre is in my opinion one of the ten best clubfitters in the whole world, and I do mean that.

      We will be introducing a brand new Sterling sand wedge and lob wedge in the spring of 2017, hopefully around April. Andre will have those new models for the Sterling set as soon as they are available. Thank you again for your interest and your support and we wish you the very best in this great game !


  134. Dear Tom
    Owning a sterling set from André Thaon , 5 to SW, I was quite amazing to discover how they are comfortable to hit and so straight.
    The main benefits are the fact I can hit fades with confidenc 5i could not with my JPW 850 forged) and draws as well, with a rather good control…
    I own an Hybrid as well, but I have to parctice it more.
    the other benefit is the comfort, it is obvious with “short” irons (I own a 37″ set, but I am tall)
    The more amazing is with “short” irons 9 to SW, with very good gaps and easy shots around greens even on chipping , flops etc… I was my main interrogation about (not on distance with “long” irons)
    So I would be very happy if you intend to design a new Sterling lob wedge…


  135. I think, for me, the wedges are a mix of two problems. I’m sure I back off a bit with them, so I’ll have to get over that. But I also think–especially for the gap wedge–there was too much distance between them. Although it was hard to gauge today, it appears I now have them at both the right distances and the right gaps. We’ll see.

    Carry distances:


    So, the gapping is fine. The distances are comparable to other clubs I’ve played, and the quality of my misses with the low-numbered clubs is better. The only downside is dialing in my swing on the wedges. When I make a full turn with good tempo, it flies as it should. But there’s something about standing over the ball with what feels like an 8-iron, yet with only 120 or so to carry.

    The 4- and 5-iron definitely fly lower, but I didn’t have any trouble getting them to stop. The wedges seemed to fly higher, but they didn’t really balloon. Finally, the high-COR irons have a distinct to them at impact. Noticeable, but not as loud as TaylorMade Speedblades. Less so with a tour ball than with a range ball, of course.

  136. Hi Tom,

    Last year I was fitted for, purchased and have been playing with a set of 771csi’s that I truly believe are the best irons that I have ever had the pleasure of using.
    During this period my handicap has reduced from 22 to 16.
    In the normal cycle of things I would have stuck to these irons until they were completely worn out because I like them so much.
    Unfortunately you have created a complete dilemma for me that I am certain is going to cause me problems going forwards.
    In designing the Sterling irons you have created an intriguing situation that I find myself having to explore.
    With that in mind I ordered a Sterling 5h as a demo club.
    I had it built to the exact specification of my 771 7 iron.
    My theory for this is A. I have only a moderate swing speed sub 80mph for my 6 iron and B. I love the feeling of control that the 7 iron length gives me.
    I can’t remember what length my current 7 iron but it was custom fit and I love the club.
    I received my new Sterling on Friday of last week and the first chance that I had to hit it was during my pre round warm up on Saturday.
    I must say that I quite liked the club and looked forwards to using it in my round.
    During the round I hit the club a number of times and was totally convinced that this club was staying in the bag come what may.
    I hit the club longer than the old 4h that it was replacing and due to the much shorter shaft was far mor confident and able to be much more aggressive through the ball with this new club.
    On Monday I took the Sterling with me for a lesson on the range.
    In the no consequence environment of the range I was able to see what the Sterling was capable of and WOW.
    My teaching pro said that this club was almost easy enough to hit to be called cheating and this could soon be the club that I want to hit as often as possible.
    When asked buy my club pro, who had built the club, asked me how I had “got on” with the Sterling I immediately ordered a PW to the same specification.
    What a great start to my trial

    • PETER

      Thanks very much for taking your time to come on over and share your experience with having created a Sterling 5 hybrid at your current 7 iron length. Being able to hear that you like the club is really a thrill for me to have as the designer of the models !! I am pleased to hear you like it so much and also happy to know that your teaching pro felt this is a real benefit for your game too !! Thanks so much and the very best to you in this great game!


  137. Tom,

    I love my sterling irons and I am really ready to add that 4I to my bag. When will it be available to order? I order it through sterling Irons like the rest of my set or directly from you? Also, either way, will you be able to reference the specs from my original 5-SW order to match the 4I to my set?



    • Thanks Doug, great to hear that you love the irons !! We just did begin to receive the first production of the new #4 iron heads. will be adding this to their website offering options sometime this week, I anticipate. So if you wished to add the 4 iron you can contact them and ask for it to be done. And yes, we do have the build specs from our work for that we can follow to make the 4 iron.

      Thanks very much,

  138. Got ’em today. Hit em. Played 9 holes (par 3 course). Observations:

    Set: 4I-GW with stiff shafts and stretched grips, bent 1 degree up.

    Looks: Very nice. Even though the small-numbered irons are constructed differently than are the large-numbered irons, they look like one set. You have to look very closely to see any difference–or look at the label. They look great at setup with not-too-much offset (way less than my Ping G irons).

    Feel: They feel soft for a cast club. The lower-numbered irons have a distinct ‘click’ to them at impact, but no more than my TM RSi1 irons. No real noticeable difference in feel between the ‘soft’ clubs and the ‘high COR’ clubs.

    Play: Oh, yeah. There’s something cool about looking at a 5I distance with a club a short as your 8I. But….there’s a mental aspect of this that needs to be watched. I found myself backing off the PW and GW a bit when, in fact, I should hit them with the exact same swing. The club feels too long when looking at the short distances covered by the wedges. I’m hoping this will improve.

    Distance: Every bit as long as my other two sets.

    Height/Spin: Launch angles seemed okay, except the wedges seemed high. I hit a high ball with too much spin, so I’m hoping the 4-7 irons will help that. I also hope the wedges don’t balloon, but it’s too early to tell.

    Gaps: Hard to say this early, but they seem fine. I was getting predictable distances from each club, so I think the gapping is fine. My 8I swing speed is 88mph, so the 5i didn’t present any problems. I didn’t hit the 4I on the course and couldn’t really tell on the range, so I’m not sure if I’m seeing a gap between it and the 5I. It goes lower, certainly.

    Conclusion: Two reasons for playing these irons, each with a (potential) cost. First, there’s the opportunity to hit ‘long’ iron with a short shaft.That’s definitely real here, and it’s cool. But it also means hitting ‘short’ irons and wedges with a longer shaft. I’m not convinced of that one yet, and I stayed away from the SW for that reason. Second, you play these because you want to groove a consistent swing with your irons. The offset is whether or not you can get the right distances. Well, I didn’t put much capital into the swing-grooving dynamic, but I’m not so sure now. It sure felt nice to swing it the same way every time, and the gaps seemed both real and sufficient.

    Great work, Tom!

    • Used the simulator for an hour today to check gaps.

      (Note: as long as the simulator is reliable–it posts the same results for the same swings and records relative distances between clubs–it works. It doesn’t have to be valid–where the sim results are comparable to on-course outcomes. This sim seemed about 1/2 club short using either conventional or Sterling irons.)

      Gaps were good, 10-12 yards between clubs, including the scary 4-iron. Amazing to hit a 4-iron to a comparable distance using an 8-iron shaft. But….

      The wedges were hard. Both the PW and the GW were really weak. I thought it might be attributable to a mental thing–backing off because of the relatively long shaft. But no, I really couldn’t get them out there. The PW was carrying about 20y less than the 9-iron–unacceptable. The GW was carrying another 15 yards less than that. So I bent them both strong–easy to bend!–and they performed better. But it’s weird to have a PW with the length of an 8-iron and the loft between a 9-iron and a PW. The GW was really short, too. I have to think it’s because the soft metal has a low COR, but I can’t prove that.

      As for distances, I’m getting comparable distances to my Ping G set across the board (now that I’ve bent the wedges 2 degrees stronger). But the quality of the strike is way, way better already.

      One other thing. I had a tendency towards hitting the 4-iron right. I wasn’t sure if I was blocking it or not. I wasn’t slicing it. I think I was setting up open, compensating for the really strong loft on what still looks and feels like an 8-iron! When I realized it and got the clubface lined up down the target line, boom.

      I don’t know if these clubs are anyone’s idea of a panacea, but they perform as advertised. I’m still dubious of the length of the wedges, though. That’s going to take some getting used to.

  139. I might have missed it, but is there going to be a 4 hybrid or just the 4 iron?

    • JR:

      Only a 4 iron, not a 4 hybrid. The reason is because I felt that first of all, to be able to hit the #4 even in a hybrid to achieve proper trajectory so the shot would fly farther than the 5 iron will require a clubhead speed of 85mph or more with a 36.5″ to 37″ length iron. I felt that the vast majority of golfers who could do that, and who would want a #4 for their Sterling set would prefer the iron over the hybrid.


    • Tom, thanks for the reply. I have been getting 178-180 from the 5i which leaves me about a 20 yd. gap to my adams hybrid. Would bending the 5h 4 degrees be an experiment worth trying? The thinking is to keep the single length concept as much as possible.

    • JR

      It’s a long explanation that is best made in person to show you the reason, but you cannot bend any hybrid, fwy wood or driver to change its loft. You can bend the hosel to change face angle and lie angle, but not loft. You can do a bend with an iron to change loft because we golfers always hold the iron square to the target whenever we set up to the shot. With the hybrid, wood or driver, their wide sole means that most typically we rest the head on its sole when we address the ball. if you do a bend with a hyb/wood or driver and then sole the head, that bend turns into a face angle change so the head will now sit open or closed. The only way you can do a bend on a hyb/fwy/driver and have it change loft is if you always HOLD THE HEAD SQUARE BEHIND THE BALL AND YOU NEVER SOLE THE HEAD ON THE GROUND. That’s not a good idea to do because when turning the head square, the sole is not parallel to the ground anymore. So you have to sort of hover the sole off the ground while also holding the face square. Not the best thing for shot consistency.

      Therefore, the solution to your situation is to be fit for or find a hybrid that has its loft halfway in between the loft of your Adams hybrid and the Sterling 5 iron, and have its length made to be around 38″ so it is longer than the Sterlings but shorter than your Adams. Do that and you’ll fill that gap. Now if you have a clubhead speed of 85mph or higher with the 5 iron, you could use one of the new Sterling 4 irons that is just now starting to ship to clubmakers.

      Hope this helps, thanks so much for your interest and support,

  140. Tom,
    Can you recommend a fitter in the Dallas TX area?

    • Happy to do so Ken. There are two who are outstanding in the DFW area, both with a lot of experience. I know them both personally so whoever you choose to work with, say HI to him for me !

      Plano Custom Golf
      Dave Murray
      Plano, TX

      The Golf Station
      Tim Brantley
      Hurst, TX

      Thanks much and hope this helps,

  141. Hi Tom,
    Recently I bought a complete new set Sterling Irons I5 tot SW. I really hit them well and i’m very pleased with it. I took a little time to get used to the sound.
    Now i have all the clubs the same with the same shaft length i noticed that i becomes more en more difficult for me to hit my normal fairway woods and Driver. My question is do you have a suggestion to complete the Sterling Irons set with a hybrid and driver that are complementary to my Stirling Iron Set so the huge difference in length is easier to bridge ? ? I hope to hear from you.

    • MARK:
      Yes for sure. And the need to go with a shorter driver/woods is not so much a product of the Sterling single length irons’ effect as much as it is the simple fact that all of these clubs sold off the rack in pro shops and retail golf stores are just too long for the vast majority of golfers. If your driver is off the rack and 45-46″ in length, and if you are not a sub 8 hdcp with a super smooth tempo, then you should never try to use a driver of more than 44″ length. If you are fast in tempo and hdcp above 12-14, then it should not be longer than 43.5″. Fairway woods follow in accordance to that. Most off the rack 3w’s are 43.5″ which is too long for most golfers to hit consistently off the deck. So if you go with a 44″ driver, then if you have a 3w it should not be longer than 42.5″, 5w at 41.5″. If you are above 12-14 hdcp and with an avg to faster tempo, then the 3w should not be longer than 42 and the 5w not longer than 41″.

      Hope this helps,

    • Hi Tom, Thanks for your answer about the sterling irons etc. Do you have a hybrid 4 in your product range that can be build at the same length and spec’s as my Sterling Set ? I have Sterling SW to I5 and i would like a hybrid 3 or 4 for some extra distance but only if the lenght is te same. My Sterling Iron 5 goes about 190 meters. On the Sterling website i could only find the Hybrid 5.
      Thanks in advance.

      Mark van Nunen

    • MARK:
      My pleasure for sure to help. I am sorry but we do not have a #4 hybrid in the actual Sterling product line. In our testing we found that the 19* loft required for the #4 would require a minimum clubhead speed of 85mph to properly elevate the shot to carry the ball farther than the #5 iron or #5 hybrid. We just felt that among golfers with an 85mph and higher iron speed, they would prefer to have the #4 iron and not a hybrid for that club. So we tooled the set to a 5 hybrid and then just recently we brought out a 4 iron for those with much higher clubhead speed who wanted a single length #4 to go with their set. Since you get 190 meters from the 5 iron, you certainly have enough clubhead speed to hit the Sterling 4 iron, in my opinion. Thanks very much and hope this helps,

    • Hi Tom,
      Thanks for your answer. Is it already possible to order a Sterling Iron 4 with the same spec’s that i ordered for my complete Sterling Set ? and if yes how / where can i order this club ?
      thanks again.
      Mark van Nunen

    • MARK
      Contact the person or company that you ordered the other Sterling irons from and ask them to have the 4 iron made up to match the specs of your current irons. if you got the clubs from a custom clubmaker, you can call him to ask him to order the 4 iron head and shaft and grip and make the iron to match all the specs of the other Sterling irons he made for you. If you ordered the irons through, you can contact them to order the 4 iron and they will have all the specs of your irons from which the 4 iron can be made to perfectly match the set.

      Thanks very much,

  142. Tom,

    Thanks for answering our questions! You last recommended to have a swing speed of at least 85 mph before considering the 4 iron. I found some PGA tour average stats from trackman (, and the average tour player 8 iron swing speed is 87 mph. This would mean in order to be recommended for the sterling 4 iron, you would basically need a tour player swing speed? Your the best! Can’t wait for my Christmas set!

    • TREY
      If the player were say, 81-84mph and had a really late release and also had the ability to always stay well behind the shot through impact, he could elevate the 4 iron of the Sterling set. But since these are much more advanced swing characteristics, that’s why we put that 85mph threshold on the 4 iron. Always in my 31 yrs of designing clubheads I have tried to do as much to tell golfers what they should NOT be trying to play as much as I have told them what to play for their swing characteristics.


  143. Tom,

    I have a set of Sterling irons (5-SW) and like them quite a bit. Everyone is asking about a 4-iron, and I’m glad that will be out soon. However, I’m interested in a lob wedge. Any plans to make one? My current lob wedge is quite the odd duck amongst the single length Sterlings.


    • CRAIG
      The first shipment of the 4 irons will be at Diamond Golf for distribution on or about Dec 1. How many they have on back order waiting for these heads is something I do not know. But they will begin to arrive to be shipped very soon. We will be cautioning golfers to NOT think about adding a 4 iron to their Sterling set unless their clubhead speed with the rest of the Sterling irons is at least 85mph. This is simply because a 19* loft iron at 36.5″ or 37″ in length requires that much clubhead speed to properly elevate the ball to the shot trajectory that the golfer would want to have with the club. I am designing a LW right now to add to the set. That one might make it to be available around April or May.

      Thanks much,

  144. How forgiving is the head on the sterling irons ? I have a set of 560MC, which is decent forgiveness not as much as my TM Aeroburners.

    • TAI
      You need to remember that there are two different head model design constructions within the Sterling set. The #4, 5, 6, 7 are a thin, variable thickness high COR face design so they are very forgiving because of the variable thickness face design being able to increase face flexing for both on and off center hits more than is possible with a conventional thick face design. The Sterling #8, 9, PW, GW and Sw are all a one piece carbon steel design but they are a deep cavity back. So these irons in the set would be more like the 560 for off center hit forgiveness. At the same time you also have to realize that when it comes to irons of more loft than 40*, no iron has much off center forgiveness because at that much loft, the face is tilted back so much that impact with the ball does not result in as much force into the face as it does sliding of the ball up the face.


  145. Hi Tom.

    The changes you mentioned to wedges… will those be coming out with the left handed clubs in the Spring? Any other club updates coming with the leftie release?



    • JEFF

      If I get off my duff here and get those new wedge designs done they will ! Otherwise the LH version will start the same way as the RH did and the standalone wedge shapes will come a little later. I can’t lie – being in semi retirement now means I move slower !! HA !


  146. Took the plunge! I went to my local clubfitter, hit a few 5I and 8I shots, compared them to the TM RSi 1 I was hitting, and placed an order. I asked that he wait until the 4I is available, and ordered 4I-GW, steel, stiff, 1 degree upright, stretched grip.

    The results on the indoor hitting were interesting. The 8I performed comparably; surprising since the TM is supposed to be a pretty hot face. But the real treat was the 5I. Man, oh, man, is it HOT. I was hitting it 15 yards farther with tighter dispersion.

    Two things I could not try out: first, how consistency might improve over time hitting these. Sill have a driver, 3W, and driving iron in the bag, plus SW and LW. But I’m hoping to see a bit of improvement. Second, because he didn’t have the “shorter” clubs available, I didn’t get to see if the longer 9I, PW, and GW were going to be a bother. I guess I find out, though.

    Looking forward to hitting them!

    • Did you notice a difference in peak height between the sterling 4i and your conventional 4i? I saw a review regarding the Cobra single length irons about the peak height of the 4i being considerably lower than a conventional 4i.

    • TREY

      You have to understand that when you have an iron that is both shorter and lower in loft than the same number iron is in a conventional incremental length set, it is going to take a higher clubhead speed to be able to elevate the ball more. Let me explain with examples so I can be more clear.

      In a conventional set, most 4 irons are going to be 38.5″ long and depending on the model, the 4 iron will have a loft anywhere from 20 to 23*. In the Cobra set, their 4 iron I believe is 19* loft at 37.25″ length. In the Sterling set, the new 4 iron to come will be 19* loft with a high COR face. Depending on the fitting, the single length of the Sterling could be 36.5″ to 37″ in length.

      Your clubhead speed with a 38.5″ iron length will probably be around 4 to 6 mph higher than it will be with an iron length of 37.25″ to 36.5″. With that slower swing speed with the 37.25 or 36.5″ long single length 4 iron, you won’t get as much ball speed and you won’t get as much spin as you will with the higher swing speed of a 38.5″ length. So for a golfer to get the same trajectory with a 37.25 or 36.5″ long single length 4 iron as he does with a 38.5″ long 4 iron, the golfer has to have a higher clubhead speed.

      We know from our testing that in order to hit the ball high with our Sterling #4 iron at 19* with its high COR face at 36.5″ length, the golfer must have a clubhead speed of not less than 85mph. It’s going to be the same if not higher for the Cobra 4 iron because their 4 iron does not have as high of a COR as does the Sterling #4 iron.

      Golfers who are interested in single length irons are going to have to understand that if they do not have a clubhead speed with the iron that is above 85mph, then they better not buy the 4 iron and they better start their iron set with the 5 iron. Then for the clubs above the 5 iron, they will have to shift their thinking on set makeup to get a hybrid that is at least 3-4* lower in loft than the single length 5 iron, but which is at least 38″ to 39″ in length so they get the clubhead speed back that they lost from using the shorter single length for all the other irons.

      It’s nothing to worry about thinking that anything is “wrong” with the single length sets. When you make all the irons the same length to be able to gain consistency and identical swing feel, you have a trade off at the upper end of the set to possibly change your set makeup from what it was before unless you do have a higher than average clubhead speed.


    • Trey Farmigoni:

      Did you notice a difference in peak height between the sterling 4i and your conventional 4i?


      I didn’t hit the 4I; it’s not available yet. I hit the 5I, and a concern of mine is that it is both lower-flying and lower-spinning. But it also carried about 15 yards farther than my conventional 5I. I was swinging it at 88mph; I don’t anticipate trouble hitting the 4I. But….

      I’m very concerned about gapping, so I’m going to check carry distances very carefully on a monitor/simulator, then tweak lofts accordingly. Again, concerned about hitting them too low, too far, with too little spin. We’ll see.

  147. Any update on the 4I? When can I order one?

    • TONY

      It will be in stock by around Dec 10. You can order through Diamond Golf International who now handle all sales of Wishon Golf designs at 1-844-552-3437 (toll free) or at .

      Thank you,

  148. After several months with Sterling irons, I put them to the test in our club championship last week. I ended up with the lowest net score and third lowest gross – behind the state champion and a former pro who passed me by draining a hundred feet of putts in the last nine holes.

    All of my playing partners over the three day tournament remarked on the quality of my iron play.

    • MITCH

      Wow, that is great to hear that the new irons are performing so well for you !! Very tough to beat 100′ of putts in 9 holes, for sure !! Very well done and thanks so much for sharing this with us all !


  149. I too am a SL Sterling iron satisfied customer. I have been playing most of the season with mine (6-SW) and my HC has gone from 10.5 down to currently a 6.7. I too have had more rounds in the 70s than I have had over the last five years, including a 72, 74, 75 and 76. Prior to this year my low score was a 78 and I would usually shot 78 or a 79 2x a year, with other scores scattered in the 80s and 90s. I also went to slightly shorter shafts in my driver, 4w, and my two hybrids and my consistency has improved across the board. I am tall and I really like playing the sw, gw, and pw at an extended length. My sw is the highest lofted club I carry and I choke down on it for those 30-60 yard pitches. Overall I just like the simplicity of the idea, same stance, same swing plane, same weight, good results!

    • KEN
      Thanks very much for taking your time to visit and share your experiences with the new Sterling irons you have. That’s great to hear tht the difference has shown up in a definite improvement in score ! We’re so pleased we have had the chance to hear many experiences such as yours because it’s a big thrill to have created this new version of a single length set and then be able to sit back and hear how much the golfers like it.

      Thanks again and the very best to you in this great game !

    • Dear Tom,
      I already ordered a LH Sterling set to Arnaud Maurin in France, as soon as it will be available…
      Really looking forward !!!
      Thanks a lot for this.

    • Thank you very much Jean-Charles !! I’m not just pleased to hear that you may be one of the first to have a left hand set of the Sterling irons, but I am very happy to hear that you are working with Arnaud for your custom fitting needs ! He’s very good, and he is even more enthusiastic about being the very best clubfitter he can possibly be, so he can help golfers get the right equipment that will allow them to play to the best of their ability. I can tell you the left hand tooling dies are being made right now. That’s a bit of a longer process but we really hope to have the left hand heads ready to offer by middle Spring.

      Thanks again, and the very best to you in this great game !!


  150. Hi Tom,

    I eventually bought a set of Sterlings in September after quite a lot of thought. I had been playing the 560MC’s for about 5 years and was very happy, however the intrigue of the Sterlings took over. Sounds not unlike your story in a way!

    So how have they performed? Well, before I bought them, I was playing off 9 and a quick look at my scoring tells me that my average score this year up to then had been 79.9.

    I shot 82 the first time I used them, and since then my scores have been as follows: 76, 76, 77, 71, 78, 73, 77, 77, 76, 77. So just under 76 on average. My handicap has gone down to 7 (with a brief visit to 6!).

    Obviously it’s not all about the irons. I have been playing more golf than usual, and the rest of my game has probably tightened up. However I’ve definitely felt an improvement with my iron play.

    In terms of the subjective side, I would say that the most significant benefit for me is that the long irons are way easier to hit. I have found the 5, 6 and 7 quite a lot easier. I also love the sound of the high COR face. I want to call it a ‘ping’ but someone used that idea already :-). I considered the 5 hybrid but went for the 5 irons and my 85mph 5 iron speed seems to be plenty to cope with it.

    In terms of the other main benefit – one identical swing for all irons – for me this is secondary. One reason is that I have found that I tend to use a SLIGHTLY different swing for short and long irons, even with same length clubs. I put it a SHADE further forward and swing a little more ‘up’ with the long irons in order to maximise height/carry. Furthermore, I tend to find that I sometimes swing a little different if the shot calls for it (fade / draw / low / high etc). Over time I might find that I do indeed develop a single swing, but overall I think the benefit of “easier to hit long irons” is definitely the primary one.

    I have found the distance gapping to be pretty consistent compared to my old clubs. Bearing in mind that the Sterlings are roughly 1 club stronger, this is what I have found:

    Old Set Sterling
    4 hybrid= 175m 5i= 170m
    560MC 5i= 160m 6i= 160m
    560MC 6i= 150m 7i= 150m
    560MC 7i= 140m 8i= 140m
    560MC 8i= 130m 9i= 130m
    560MC 9i= 120m PW= 117m
    560MC PW= 110m GW= 105m

    In other words, the mid irons are roughly the same. My Sterling 5 iron probably goes a little shorter than my older 23 deg hybrid, however that hybrid is 3” longer so that makes sense. The Sterling GW is half a club shorter than my 560PW. But that’s fine now that I am used to it, it’s just really a question of getting used to your distances, as with any new clubs.

    Like some other customers have said, I found the PW and especially the GW (I didn’t buy a SW) a little harder to get used to. I think this was probably mental, as I probably knew that they didn’t go quite as far as my old clubs did, and was trying to hit it too hard. If I just hit them without over-thinking, they generally go fine.

    What I would say to people who may not get along with the long length PW and GW is that I think it would be perfectly fine to buy the 9 iron down to the 5 iron in Sterlings, and then use a conventional PW, GW. I think the 771 CSI PW and GW would blend in well. I know that this idea negates the benefit of one swing somewhat, but like I said, for me this was secondary to the benefit of having shorter long irons. It would probably be a very confusing concept to try and sell (“single length long irons then graduated short irons”), but it makes sense to me. If a customer was battling with the longer length PW and GW then I would certainly not rule that out as a solution.

    Anyway, all told I’m very happy with the new clubs. I’ve had quite a few comments on course, and know of at least one other person at my course in Cape Town who has bought a set.

    Thanks for another great job and I hope the Sterlings continue to do well for you.

  151. Tom,

    What is the difference between the Sterling Irons and the Cobra F7 One irons?


  152. I am wondering if anyone has had the experience of hitting the Sterling 5Hybrid farther than the 5iron. I was fit here in Wi. by one of wishon’s fitters/club makers on a Foresight GC2 w/ HMT launch monitor and the data showed the 5H carring about 12 yds farther than the 5i. My SS is 75 mph I was using the same steel shaft at 37″ club length and the same ball. This would be a good thing for me if it actually happens in the real world as it would fill a yardage gap nicely. So wondering if this has happened to anyone when hitting balls at the range or when playing.


    • Hi Dan: I have a similar swing speed and own both the 5i and the 5 hybrid. My set is 8 iron length and yours is 7 iron length. I hit the 5 hybrid consistently higher and further than the 5 iron. I think this demonstrates that for our swing speed, it’s hard to hit the 5 iron high enough to get the expected carry distance. A lot of club fitters decide where a person should use hybrids by finding where the gap just isn’t sufficient. For me, I hit the Wishon 6 iron about the same as the Wishon 5 iron. That’s why i stopped playing 5 iron and moved to the 5 hybrid.

    • Thanks very much for your input on this Harry. Without question, when the length of all the irons is the same and it is shorter than some of the lengths in a conventional set, the clubhead speed with the shorter length is going to be a little less than the clubhead speed with the longer lengths. In turn, that brings about a little less ball speed and spin which if enough, can act to prevent shots with the low loft irons from flying as high and as far. But you did the right thing in realizing that if you hit the 5 and 6 irons the same or very close to the same distance, that is an indication of what I just explained so there needs to be a move either to the little bit higher flying hybrid or even to just have the single length set stop at the 6 iron and go with conventional length hybrids above that. Thanks much !

  153. Hi, I’m really interested in these! Is there a fitter near Reno, NV (or northern CA) that you would recommend?

    • Michael:

      Thanks very much for your interest, we appreciate that very much. I am sorry to say that for unknown reasons, there are no clubfitters we can recommend in either the Reno or the Sacramento areas. The closest good fitters to you would be in the SF Bay area. If you do have a chance to travel to the Bay Area at some time in the future, please let us know and we can offer a very good recommendation for someone to work with to be custom fit. The other alternative is – this is a direct sales and direct fitting site created to offer golfers a custom fit set of the Sterling irons if they are not convenient to a clubfitter. We support this website by doing the fitting analysis from the questions posed for the golfers, and we do the custom builds on the sets so they are made accurately. This site also allows the player to input his own specs if in fact he is sure of what he wants. Thanks very much,


  154. I just unsubscribed from the blog “No Laying Up” due to their ignorant and closed minded assertion that Cobra is bringing out SL irons that “1,000s of golfers will be wasting their money and not improve their game!” For a sassy website that purports to be on the cutting edge, that is “establishment” thinking and criticism without even antecdotal foundation. Sassy but uninformed!

  155. Dear Tom,

    I must say, this set is TRUELY AMAZING.
    I am so satisfied with the sterling single length.
    i’m a customer from all the way here in Korea..(although i’m originally from california)
    thought I should share my experiences with single length iron tests and sterling set for potential buyers.

    i’ve been tryin to create my own set with regular irons (cutting down 5/6/7 to 8 irongs..used stronger lofted clubs on longer irons (TD rsi 1, etc) my old set looked like this.. 5/6/7/8 irons on all 36.5 inch length (with lead tape), 9/p/gap would be regular lengths (shorter and equal to 36 inch)

    downside to this was that for 5/6 cutting more than 1 inch resulted in distancing gapping issue..therefore i ended up swinging harder on my longer clubs (resulting in less accurate contact)

    and for shorter irons (9/p/gap): i’ve been practicing alot on 36.5 length lately, and fairly got good at it..but when I switched to shorter (36inch, 35.75, 35.5 inches for 9 and below irons)..I had really bad pull to left on these shots since my form and swing got so use to 36.5 (my upperbody angle, arm angles, swing plane..etc)
    it didn’t work out..also swing weight felt significantly different for 5/6 vs. 9/p since I couldn’t fully make up for the swing weight loss on longer irons due to cutting down)..

    so ended up purchasing sterling length:
    awesome, my swing speed and swing plane for 5/6 vs. 9/p/gap wedges were exactly the same.. and my directional issue has been solved since I was able to use the same swing speed and swing plane, same ball spot, stance.

    truely amazing. sincerely thank you to Tom Wishon from Korea.

    downside for me was the shipping cost and import duty…which was around 90 USD for shipping, and $250 for import duty!..but it is still worth it.

    also i’m feeling the short irons are not as forgiving as the leading game improvement irons from OEM. (distance loss on mishits)
    the mid/shorter irons seem more like the better player irons..
    maybe if this set goes success, you guys may consider making a super game improvement or game improvement sterling sets?

    also, i bought the 5 hybrid instead of iron, there is distance gap issue between 5 hybrid vs. 6 iron. (based on numerous test on trackman, my 5 hybrid distance is at 180meter ~ 190meter, my 6 iron is at 160meter~165meter..remaining clubs have distance gapping of average 10 meter all the way down to gap and sand wegde..maybe 5 iron would better suit me at my swing speed?

    but still, this set is definitely worth the money i spent, and i sold all my previous iron sets, and will only be using this set.
    my confidence and quality of my shot on irons have jumped up significantly..never had the thought of equipment = increase performance…but sterling set really did it for me.

    thank you once again.

    ps: i’ve customized my loft settings so i can utilize 56 degree wedge for short games. (only 50%~75% swing)

    9 iron at 39 degree
    p iron at 44 degree
    gap iron at 48 degree
    sand iron at 52 degree
    my own 56 degree wedge (taylor made atv)
    i wanted that 4 degree gap on shorter irons to be used for full swing shots..which is working great for me on distance gaps.

  156. Tom, I recently had the opportunity to work with one of the golf digest top 10 instructors in the US who I get to see a few times per year. We had some discussion about single length irons. He felt like an advantage of a traditional length set was that they would promote a steeper angle of attack for the shorter “short” irons where the club face first hits dimples lower on the ball, and a more shallow angle of attack for the longer “long” irons. I don’t think he had personally ever used single length clubs. Certainly, for me, there have been lots of gains in using a set of irons that allow me the same setup position and swing plane. Do you think there are any losses or downsides of having the same swing plane with all irons? I’m always interested in your thoughts. Regards, Harry

    • (Not Tom’s thoughts, but my own experience as a low single digit handicap who plays every day and coaches people of all abilities.)

      I have been playing Sterlings since they first came out and my own iron play has been getting better and better. There is absolutely no issue with ball flight on the shorter irons. My short irons – indeed all of them – are dramatically more accurate than before.

      I have made several sets for friends and they all say they love them.

      A couple of my friends are scary tall. I have been able to fit them well with Sterlings built to extra extra long, with lightweight shafts. Their posture and comfort is dramatically better. With conventional short irons they had to bend over so much that their back was in a dangerous configuration, and I couldn’t lengthen them enough without making them too heavy.

      Regarding the angle of attack: Maybe, just maybe, if you are an outstanding player with great flexibility and a perfectly repeatable swing, you might be able to benefit from a little more attack angle. But it is more likely, for everybody else, that a steeper attack will result in more fat shots. Ball position is extremely critical with a steep attack. Most players, even good ones, fight with getting the ball position right, and having different length irons compounds the problem.

  157. Dear Tom,

    Question on SWING WEIGHT:

    On your website, we have the possibility to choose the swing weight.

    The “Mens standard” swing weight indicated on your site is “D1” meaning that it would feels lighter in the head than my current D3.5 (TM Burner 2.0).

    Would I feel a big difference if I choose the “D1” swing weight rather than a “D3.5” ?

    Thank you and hope I can try my new set before the winter comes, LOL.



    • is not owned by Wishon Golf. It is an independent, direct sales website venture that simply sells the Sterling single length sets of irons to golfers. The head weight feel of a particular swingweight depends on the shaft weight. D1 with a very light shaft is not the same head weight feel as D1 with a much heavier weight shaft. Typically though, a club with a D3.5 swingweight will feel head heavy compare to a club with a D1 swingweight. Usually it would be enough that if you are above average in strength AND if you also have a more aggressive swing tempo, a D1 could feel too head light and could make you have some issues with controlling your tempo and timing and rhythm in the swing. But this is all based on the assumption that the D3.5 you have now is just right for your strength and tempo and never feels too head heavy at times when you play or practice.

  158. Hi Tom,

    Just wanted to confirm that you are still planning to introduce a lefties set of the same length irons as my custom fitter has informed me that currently it is not available to us lefties. If the lefties set is still in the works I want to wait to make those my irons.

    Keep up the great work.

    • Michael
      Yes, the left hand version of the Sterling single length irons will happen. The making of the tooling dies will commence very soon so we can try to release it in the spring.

      Thanks so much for your interest,

  159. I had assumed that with a traditional set makeup, half the distance gap between irons comes from the 1/2″ shaft length increments and the other half is the loft difference of 4 deg. So that in “theory” if a golfers iron distance gaps is 10 yards, then changing the loft of a single iron by 2 deg would result in a 2.5 yard difference.

    So I am intrigued that with the single length irons, the loft gaps are only 5 degrees, That suggests the distance gaps are affected by loft more than length?

    • MARK:

      In reality, 85% of the distance between any two irons comes from the loft difference on the head, 15% from the length difference. This was not known until around 15 yrs ago. This is why single length can work as a viable alternative to conventional lengths. BUT. . . there still is that 15% from length so this is why Sterling is designed with high COR faces in the low loft numbers but then can transition back to a carbon steel one piece construction for the higher loft irons to wedges.


  160. On the specs sheet does sole angle refer to bounce?

  161. Hi Tom.
    I’m writing from Poland!!! Yes Your SL Sterling Wishon set of clubs is present in this part of the Europe and i”m happy owner and user of them. They are awsome, user friendly, nice and smooth.
    simply “killers”….

  162. Single length irons keep gaining traction, here’s another article posted on yesterday: And their popularity will only continue to grow now that Bryson secured his Tour card for next year.

    By the way Tom, best of luck to you in your “new” endeavor! When I first heard the news I was devastated, until I learned that you would be staying on to help with the technical side of things. I just hope you know how much everyone in the fitting/clubmaking industry appreciate everything that you have brought to the table throughout your career – with the pinnacle (in my opinion) being your latest creation in the Sterling irons. They are truly a masterpiece in design and engineering. I played the 560MC irons since their inception, and even as a club fitter who has access to just about every other club component on the market and who is constantly trying/tinkering with different things, I never did find anything to knock those 560’s out of the bag – until the Sterlings arrived. After just two rounds with the Sterlings the 560’s went into the garage cabinet, and now I see these easily staying in my bag for another 8+ years. In fact, my ENTIRE bag is now Wishon (aside from the putter) – 919THI driver, 929HS 4W, 775HS 3-4 Hybrids, Sterling 5-PW+AW+SW+LW (SW bent to 60) – and I have never before in my life played all the same brand. But every one of your clubs have rightfully earned their spot in my bag, and they’re there for the long haul. I have a feeling they’ll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands when that day comes. 🙂

    • If I am not mistaken, they used the same heads in the test. We know that you can not make a SL set from Standard Heads and get the same results of a SL set of heads. I think the only valid comparison would be to do the test, head to head against Sterling Irons.

  163. Hello!

    I heard there is a 4 iron in the works…excited! Is it the same as the 5-7 in terms of materials used and the tech behind it or is it unique to the rest of the set because of the lower loft? What is the loft going to be?

    • Austin

      Yes, the final work on the 4 iron tooling and sample testing is done. We’re going to try to have inventory for the 4 iron to be ready to go in the late winter. It is the same construction and design as the #5, 6, 7 – 19* loft with the same HS 300 high strength steel thin face and carbon steel body. We are going to caution clubmakers and golfers to not use this iron unless the clubhead speed is over 80mph with the other Sterling irons because of the lower loft.

      Thanks much,

  164. Latest Golf Digest online equipment ‘zine has a good article about DeChambeau, single length club, and Sterling irons:

    Very good press!

    • THANK YOU ED !! Agreed, this was nice to read. Now I know why Stachura emailed me yesterday afternoon to ask a bunch of questions about single length irons.


  165. Bryson D wins at finals and gets his tour card with single length technology!!

    Let’s get those left handed sterlings out soon!!!

    • RALPH
      Yes I am sure he was VERY pleased and feels that a big load is off the shoulders with this win, and with it, getting his full PGA Tour card. Left hand version of Sterling will be done over the winter so we can intro it in the spring.

      Thanks much !!

  166. Love my irons. Played 18 holes right out of the box. No practice to get use to them. I hit the same them the distance or a touch longer than my Ping I custom irons. I can’t get the 4 iron in my bag soon enough. Tom, get me that 4 iron. Pretty Please!!!

    • DOUG

      Thanks very much for taking the time to share your experience with the new Sterling irons !! The testing on the 4 iron is done, we’re looking at around January for it to be in stock and ready to go. Left hand comes after that, lob wedge after that.

      Thanks again !

  167. Hi Tom, I have taken delivery of of my Stirling irons approx 3 weeks ago and find them amazing! They go slightly longer and just as high as my previous set,my consistency with my 6/5 irons is also much better. I am looking forward to the release of the *4 – will this be iron only or also in a hybrid?.
    Thanks again for all the hard work you have put into these

    • PHIL
      Thanks so much to YOU for your interest and for letting us know how well you like the new Sterling irons ! As the designer that is music to my ears to have the chance to know that you like the irons so much !! Final testing is done on the 4 iron and I would say we should have inventory around January or so, maybe February. It will be an iron, not a hybrid. reason being that the 4 iron is going to require a clubhead speed of over 80mph to properly elevate the shot at that shorter length and at that loft. So I figured those over 80mph are going to prefer an iron over a hybrid for a #4.

      Thanks very much !!

  168. Hi Tom, I am based in Switzerland but was able to get the single length irons, and I am super happy. I have the normal 5 iron and it goes around 187 yards consistently. However, especially with thicker grips, I start fading them sometimes too strong, but my body adjusted and I moved the ball back to the middle or slightly left of middle and it solves the problem.

    Is there a possibility to get a 4 iron/hybrid also? That would be helpful as there as all single hcp. players like me will have a gapping problem.

    cheers from Zurich

    • KLAUS

      We’re very pleased to hear that you like the new Sterling irons you have !! We will be introducing a #4 iron in the very late winter to early spring of 2017. Final tooling on the dies is about done, the early prototypes tested well, so it will be added to the Sterling set makeup.

      Thank you !