SINGLE LENGTH Q & A
The concept of making each iron in a set the same length is not new. Eric Cook’s Iso-Vibe Golf Company in Canada began offering single length sets of irons to the North American golf market in 1986. Perhaps the best known introduction of a single length set of golf clubs was the former Tommy Armour Golf Company’s release of their EQL single length woods and irons in 1989. Since that time, a handful of lesser known, under-marketed companies have offered single length sets of irons, mainly through an on line direct-to-golfer offering.
The concept of single length irons received a huge boost in general awareness from the publicity of amateur golfer Bryson deChambeau’s victories in both the USA National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and US Amateur championships in 2015 using a single length set of irons. Bryson deChambeau became only the 5th player to achieve this very prestigious amateur championship “double” in the same year, something that had only been done by Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore. All of a sudden a larger number of golfers became aware of single length irons and with it, a serious level of curiosity whether a Single Length set could be a viable change to make in their own equipment.
As is the case with any new and different golf equipment concept that gains awareness and attention, there are a lot of questions as well as a bit of misinformation and misunderstanding concerning single length sets of irons.
As the leader in golf equipment performance research, Tom Wishon Golf Technology is pleased to once again offer the most truthful, factual and understandable information to help golfers understand the concept of Single Length set design with the below set of frequently asked questions regarding the subject.
WHAT IS THE REASON A GOLFER MIGHT CONSIDER MAKING A CHANGE FROM NORMAL INCREMENTAL LENGTH IRONS TO A SINGLE LENGTH SET OF IRONS?
The technical basis behind the creation of a set of single length irons is to say that if all the clubs have the same length, the same total weight, the same headweight, and the same balance point it will enable the golfer to use the same stance, posture, spine angle, swing plane – the same everything in the swing. As such, the single length approach has a chance to offer a higher level of swing repeatability and shot consistency for each of the clubs in the set.
At the same time, it must be said that many golfers have achieved very good swing and shot consistency using irons built to normal incremental lengths which are very accurately custom fit to their size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics. However, if a golfer has suffered from chronic or occasional shot inconsistency, converting to a single length concept could result in improvement in shot consistency and on-center impacts to result in more greens hit in regulation and better ‘missed shots’.
WHAT IS THE TECHNICAL EXPLANATION TO SUPPORT AN ARGUMENT ABOUT SINGLE LENGTH IRONS BEING BETTER FOR A GOLFER THAN CONVENTIONAL INCREMENTAL LENGTH IRONS?
In a single length set of irons, every club is made so that everything that has anything to do with swing feel is the same in each club – same length, same shaft weight, same total weight, same head weight, same swingweight, same balance point, same MOI, same swing feel and the same shaft stiffness/bend profile design. The only element that is different and changes within a set of single length clubs are the loft angles, to enable the single length clubs to each hit the ball different distances.
Normal incremental length sets of irons cannot duplicate that many different fitting elements. While it is possible to build incremental length sets of irons to all be matched to the same MOI, each club will be different in total weight, head weight, swingweight, balance point and swing feel.
As such, the technical reason for creating a single length set of irons is to offer the golfer a chance for improvement in swing repeatability, swing consistency and shot consistency because every club is as perfectly matched for every possible aspect that has anything to do with swing feel.
WHY DID SETS OF IRONS EVOLVE TO BE MADE TO DIFFERENT LENGTHS?
The purpose of a set of irons is to have each iron hit the ball a specific different distance with equal distance gaps between clubs through the set. That enables a golfer to choose an appropriate club for the different distances golfers will find themselves from the greens when playing a round of golf.
Early club designers learned there were a number of things in the design of irons that would cause each club to hit the ball a different distance. First is a different loft angle on each iron, with the spacing in degrees of loft the same between each iron. Second is a progression of different lengths so the golfer’s clubhead speed would intentionally change to coordinate with the different lofts to hit the ball a different distance with each iron.
More recently, research into shot performance has shown that the distance between the different irons in a set comes 85-90% from the loft angle change from club to club, and 10-15% from the length change from club to club through the set. As such, length change within a set of irons is much less important for a distance difference between irons than are the differences in the loft angles through the set. This opens the door for a single length set to be a viable alternative to the conventional incremental length set.
WHY HAVE SO FEW OF THE BIG GOLF COMPANIES CREATED AND OFFERED A SET OF SINGLE LENGTH CLUBS?
Chiefly because of a lack of confidence that such a different type of set could garner enough demand to justify the cost of development and marketing to be able to last for 2 or more years in the market. When Tommy Armour Golf offered their single length EQL model, it did not exactly show much in the way of longer term success for the costs associated with its development and promotion. For a major brand golf company to be successful introducing a new set of irons, a multi-million dollar marketing campaign must be created to generate a demand that has to result in selling 25,000 or more sets or else the entire development of the model was a waste of time and money. At present, few of the major brand golf companies wish to take the risk.
Golf has always been a game steeped with traditions. Golfers as a whole have demonstrated a general and consistent tendency to not deviate too far outside the norm of such traditions in the game.
This is also true when it comes to certain aspects related to golf clubs. It has been proven over and over that developments in the design, shape and concept of golf clubs have to remain within a narrow range of change – if you go too far outside the box of tradition, golfers will reject such changes and will simply refuse to purchase the clubs if they are considered to be “too different”.
Most of the golf companies have believed that a single length set of golf clubs would push things too far in the minds of most golfers so the sets would not be able to sell in a high enough volume to justify the cost of development, inventory and marketing.
WHAT ABOUT SINGLE LENGTH CLUBS FOR TALL OR SHORT PLAYERS? SUCH PLAYERS REGULARLY ARE FIT FOR “OVERLENGTH” OR “UNDERLENGTH” IRONS IN CONVENTIONAL IRON SETS. WHAT ABOUT “OVERLENGTH” OR “UNDERLENGTH” IN SINGLE LENGTH SETS?
That’s a very interesting point in Single Length set fitting. Think about it this way, using the following example. Let’s say you have two golfers and after a fitting analysis for a conventional set of irons, it is determined that Golfer A needs his lengths to be +1” over standard, while Golfer B is best fit into a standard length set. That means the 5 iron in Golfer A’s set would be 39” while the 5 iron in Golfer B’s set would be 38”.
But let’s say that both Golfers become aware of the Single Length concept and express an interest to be fit into such a set. And let’s also say that the Single Length set both see is offered in a “standard” single length of 37”. Does Golfer A need his Single Length set to be 38” since he was advised to use a +1” over standard length in his conventional set of irons?
Probably not, and here’s why. In Golfer A’s conventional set of irons, 37” is the length of his +1” over length #9 iron. While in Golfer B’s conventional iron set, 37” is the length of his standard length #7 iron. Thus it could be said that the 37” single length would be a proper fit for either golfer, even though in a conventional set Golfer A measured to need +1” longer than standard.
In the end, there may be an occasional situation in which a golfer who needs a longer length in a conventional iron set may need the length of a Single Length set to be a bit longer than the length range the set was designed to follow. However, we do urge clubmakers to try to keep all golfers within this range between 36.5 and 37 inches for purposes of more successfully fitting the golfer to a suitable total weight + headweight feel in the clubs. But in the end if the golfer has a specific preference for a certain single length for his irons, comfort does rule. We do not recommend the irons be built to a length greater than 38” if possible.
IF THE CLUBS ARE ALL TO BE MADE TO ONE LENGTH AND ONE LIE ANGLE, WHAT IS THERE FOR GOLFERS TO BE CUSTOM FIT IN A SET OF SINGLE LENGTH IRONS?
Every one of the key fitting specifications in any set of irons, that’s what – the lofts, lies, shaft flex, shaft bend profile, shaft weight, total weight, headweight feel (swingweight or MOI), grip style and grip size. Not only that, but it is possible that some golfers could be more comfortable with a slightly different single length than other golfers. In short, even though the lengths of each iron will be the same, what that length should be as well as each one of the other key fitting specifications should be custom fit and custom built for each golfer.
Single length does NOT mean “one size fits all” in the manner of the way big golf companies sell their clubs in standard form, off the rack. Single length sets still need to be properly custom fit to each golfer based on their size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics for the best single length and lie along with the right shaft weight, shaft flex, shaft bend profile, swingweight/MOI, set makeup and grip size/style.
ARE SINGLE LENGTH IRONS BETTER FOR AVERAGE TO LESS SKILLED GOLFERS OR ARE THEY VIABLE FOR GOOD PLAYERS AS WELL?
During the time between the mid 1980s and mid 2010s when only a few isolated companies offered single length sets of irons, most people were led to believe that single length irons were more aimed at average to less skilled golfers. It can be said that Bryson deChambeau’s success in winning the NCAA and US Amateur in the same year (2015) followed by 5 wins on the PGA Tour and well over $10 million in earnings from 2017 to 2019 has pretty much blown that thought out of the water.
As with normal sets of irons aimed at average vs good players, the main differences fall in the areas of traditional vs game improvement iron HEAD designs, coupled with fitting differences in the shafts, total weight, swingweight (headweight feel), lie and grip size/style. Most companies that offer Single Length irons are not likely to offer multiple clubhead models as they do with conventional length iron models unless the demand for such a delineation in Single Length head model were to become large enough to justify a better player version to contrast to the game improvement version.
WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE IN USING A SET OF SINGLE LENGTH IRONS VS A SET OF CONVENTIONAL INCREMENTAL LENGTH IRONS?
There are three primary areas in which previous Single Length irons have fallen short of the performance golfers are used to with their conventional incremental length iron sets.
Depending on the single length chosen, the golfer may lose enough clubhead speed with the lower loft irons to cause a loss of distance for the lower number irons in a Single Length set vs in a conventional length set.
Also depending on the single length chosen, the golfer may find that shot distances with the high loft irons and wedges are longer than the golfer was used to in the conventional length set. This could happen if the single length is more than 1” longer than the length of the high loft irons/wedges in the conventional set.
Following from both #1 and #2 above, the distance gaps between each single length iron could be compressed, shorter than what the golfer was used to with the conventional set of irons.
It must be noted that the main reason these problems have occurred with previous Single Length iron sets are because the sets were made with conventional steel clubheads with the same lofts and 4* loft gaps used in conventional iron sets, coupled with a single length that was >1” shorter than the low loft iron lengths and >1” longer than the high loft iron lengths in the golfer’s conventional set. In other words, by customizing the length, the lofts and loft gaps, and the clubhead design, it is possible for a modern Single Length set to overcome these previous problems that have been seen with other or previous Single Length sets.
CAN A CONVENTIONAL SET OF INCREMENTAL LENGTH IRONS BE CONVERTED INTO A SET OF SINGLE LENGTH IRONS?
Not without either a lot of lead tape on the lower loft heads and a lot of grinding of weight off the higher loft heads in the conventional set. Not to mention the potential difficulty of bending the lie angle of some of the heads to the required lie for the golfer for the one single length chosen. For all intents and purposes, it is just not feasible to build a single length set from an existing incremental length set of irons.
In a Single Length set, all the clubheads must be designed and manufactured to be the same exact headweight AND with the same lie angle. This is a requirement for the Single Length clubs to all end up with the same total weight, same swing weight, same head weight feel and same balance point – the elements that ensure each club exhibits the same swing feel.
Golfers who are interested in a Single Length set are going to have to test hit clubs properly engineered and manufactured for assembly as a Single Length set to be able to try the concept. It is completely impractical to alter an existing iron set to the Single Length concept.
WHAT ABOUT WOODS OR HYBRIDS? CAN A SINGLE LENGTH SET OF WOODS AND HYBRIDS ALSO BE A VIABLE CHANGE FOR A GOLFER TO MAKE WITH HIS OR HER EQUIPMENT?
Absolutely. But the hybrid and wood heads have to be designed with different head weight than what is normal for conventional hybrid and fairway wood head designs so they can be built to a single length and still be able to achieve a normal range of swingweight or MOI for proper weight feel for the golfer. It is not possible to adapt a hybrid or fairway wood head designed for conventional lengths to be used for a single length option.
Because hybrids were originally conceived to be an easier to hit alternative to low loft irons, it is best to think of the hybrids as being a part of the set of irons. In terms of single length fitting and performance this means single length hybrids should be the same length as the single length irons so every club from the lowest loft hybrid to each of the wedges will be identical for every element that contributes to swing repeatability and swing feel – same length, same lie, same shaft, same shaft flex/bend profile, same total weight, same headweight/swingweight, same MOI, same balance point – so the golfer can use the same stance, posture, spine angle and swing plane to have the best chance to achieve an improved level of shot consistency and swing repeatability.
Fairway woods on the other hand cannot be built and played at the same single length as the hybrids and irons. If this were done the golfer would never be able to achieve the same distance with woods made to the same single length as the hybrids/irons because that length would be so much shorter than normal fairway wood lengths that it will bring about a significant drop in clubhead speed and shot distance.
When fairway woods are built to be played at a single length, that one length will need to be longer than the single length irons but shorter than the normal lengths for most fairway woods. Based on a rough industry standard length of 43″ for the 3-wood, Wishon Golf recommends that the length for single length fairway woods should be between 40-41″ for men, 39-40″ for women.
In a single length set of woods the golfer will not typically play a full set of #3, 4, 5, 7 fairway woods. For golfers with a driver clubhead speed of 95mph or higher, we recommend the set makeup for the single length woods be #3 and 5, followed by a single length hybrid/iron set makeup of #4h, 5h/5i, 6i, 7i, 8i, 9i, P, G, S. The choice of 5 hybrid vs 5 iron is also made on the basis of clubhead speed. If the player has an 8 iron clubhead speed above 75mph he can usually play the 5-iron as the first iron in the set. If the 8 iron speed is under 75 but above 70mph we recommend the 4 and 5 hybrids, with the first iron being the 6 iron. Under 70mph we feel the player will do better with #5, 6 hybrids, 7 iron to SW and no 4 hybrid.
For golfers with a driver clubhead speed under 95mph, we advise the single length wood set makeup be the 4w/7w, followed by a single length hybrid/iron set makeup of #5h, 6h/6i, 7i, 8i, 9i, P, G, S. The choice of 6 hybrid vs 6 iron is also made on the basis of clubhead speed. If the player has an 8 iron clubhead speed above 70mph he can usually play the 6-iron as the first iron in the set. If the 8 iron speed is under 70mph we recommend the 5 and 6 hybrids, with the first iron being the 7 iron.
WHY HAVEN’T OTHER TOURNAMENT GOLFERS BEGUN TO CHANGE TO SINGLE LENGTH IRONS SINCE BRYSON DECHAMBEAU’S SUCCESS ON THE PGA TOUR ?
If you think normal amateur golfers cling to tradition and resist change, just wait until you take a look into that trait among tour pros and very serious competitive amateurs. Shoot, there are still a lot of those players clinging to a muscleback blade in their irons!
But one can never say never. Even though Bryson deChambeau is a top ranked touring professional, among other pros the concept of single length irons is likely seen as being too much of a change to have to get used to. Touring pros achieve shot consistency over years of practice coupled with an inherent swing talent. To make a change to a single length set after decades of playing conventional incremental length irons would be too difficult or too much of a challenge to get to the point of consistency and confidence for the vast majority of pros.
This is why after years of observing and guiding clubmakers in the fitting of single length irons, we are convinced the real benefit of single length is for regular golfers in a range from beginner to high single digit handicap players. Single length offers a better chance for improved swing repeatability and better shot consistency for more greens hit and better misses with the irons. Players from beginner to high single digit handicap tend to have more of a problem with swing repeatability and shot consistency than low single digit handicap golfers.
SHOULD I SERIOUSLY CONSIDER BUYING A SET OF SINGLE LENGTH IRONS?
We’re a little prejudiced at Wishon Golf because we feel the major changes we have made in the latest single length design of the new EQ1-NX irons, coupled with our depth of understanding of the concepts of proper fitting of Single Length sets, make it a possibility for a very high percentage of golfers to gain a significant improvement in swing and shot consistency.
We know from 6 years of single length iron development that the Wishon Golf EQ1-NX Single Length irons have all the requirements to deliver a seamless transition for shot distance with each club compared to a conventional set, while at the same time offering the main benefit of the Single Length concept of identical swing motion and feel for every club.
Just had my dad build me a set of single length irons. I lost a leg and screwed up my right wrist in a motorcycle crash about a decade ago and figured that getting back into golf would be better if I went single length. Years ago, I found better success hitting everything from the center of my stance. I really like the single lengths. I am much more consistent and hit straighter for sure. Was wanting to get a single length driver. I noticed that the SINGLE LENGTH drivers all have much longer shafts than the irons just like… Read more »
ALAN MAny thanks for taking the time to let us know your situation and to ask for a little help. I’m really pleased to hear that you are doing well with the single length irons. For your play, I do agree that the single length makes more sense from the standpoint of making every club have the same identical playing specs so you don’t have to mess around with different postures, ball position, swing plane, etc. When it comes to the woods and driver, because the main goal of these clubs is to create more distance than the irons, that… Read more »
This past fall, I demo’d the Cobra Forge Tec One irons at a Cobra fitting day, and the shaft that fit me best was the KBS Taper Lite Steel Shaft (Stiff) at 100g weight. With your left handed EQ1 irons coming out, what similar shaft would you recommend, as I would like to go with your irons. Thanks. – David
David You realize that we sell our designs as components to custom clubmakers around the world. So there is no such thing as a specific shaft to go with any of our clubhead design models. We’ve only been all about custom fitting, never standard off the rack. Normally I would have said that our S2S Superlite steel iron shaft would be a good fit for you, what with the KBS Taper Lite Steel being a good fit for you. But thanks to Covid we lost the factory that made the Superlite (and the Stepless too) so it is going to… Read more »
I have a slow swing speed. Never been fitted for clubs or analyzed professionally for swing speed, but compared to others that I golf with my swing speed is much slower. I tend to choke down on all my clubs. It just feels better. I am right handed. While hitting the driver, my straightest drives come with my trail hand index finger almost touching the shaft. With my 8 iron, my index finger is about 1″ up from the shaft. My question is; Am I achieving some of the benefits of single length clubs by choking down?
DAVID Thanks for your interest and let’s see if we can help you a little. The reason you are seeing success from gripping down is because shorter length is always easier to control and hit more on center shots with. But it can and does lower your clubhead speed because shorter length reduces angular acceleration and that reduces the clubhead velocity, especially when you grip down on the driver as much as you say you are. So the ideal situation would be to work with a good fitter who can work with you on test clubs to find that point… Read more »
Hi, I’ve been playing Sterling irons for a couple of years now. It’s time to check the loft & lie angles. When the builder built the clubs, he was having a hard time trying to figure which gauge to use for each iron on his machine, during the gapping session. I know some of the lie angles need to be adjusted, based on the marker range ball test. So my question is, how do you adjust the loft & lie angle on the machine when the lie angles are the same. I think one of the problems he was having… Read more »
RONALD I am not sure from the description what kind of Loft and Lie machine the clubmaker had, but it has been my experience for a VERY LONG TIME that you cannot trust the actual measurement capability of a LL machine to do a truly accurate measurement of the loft or the lie. Those measurements need to be done on a separate clubhead specs measurement machine like this ( http://www.golfmechanix.com/co/items.aspx?Pdts=01 ) – it does not have to be the expensive one at the top of that link page, but for ACCURACY, loft and lie need to be measured separately from… Read more »
Ah, yep, that’s where the problem was. His machine, although expensive at $1500 according to him, does exactly what you said. I didn’t realize it at the time that that was what he was having difficulty with. Trying to figure out the difference of what the machine was assuming should be different for each club.
Thanks for the reply Tom
What yardage difference will you see from going with a 37″ length over a 36.5″?
Thank you for the comment.
Yardage difference is difficult to quantify, your swing speed obviously pays a part, so a faster swing speed could show a larger gap. If your swing speed is slower the yardage distance could only be a couple of yards, this distance yardage gap will also depend on club loft and how cleanly you contact the ball.
I hope that helps.
Hi, Tom. I’m building two EQ1-NX Fairway Woods (3W & 5W) as part of a full set of single length clubs that includes EQ1-NX Irons (6 thru LW) and Hybrids (4H & 5H). I’m building the EQ1-NX Fairway Woods to 40 inches in club length. Should I add weight to the 5W head (weighs 205 grams) to match the weight of the 3W head (weights 215 grams; 10 grams heavier) and then add equal amounts of weight to each head to achieve my target swingweight (D1)? Or, do I not worry about making the 5W the same starting weight and… Read more »
Tom is currently away so I have asked our master clubmaker Doug Holmes to answer this question for you:
Thanks for the email. It’s just as easy to add the necessary amount of weight to each head to achieve the swingweight you want. Thanks again and enjoy the single length clubs.
Hope this helps,
Since EQ1-NX irons are to be trimmed to the base 8 iron, do you also tip trim the EQ1-NX hybrid shafts to an 8 hybrid length?
JIM I set up the EQ1 hybrids so that if they are being made the same length as the single length irons, they could be built with either one of the hybrid shafts or the same shaft being used in the irons. If the hybrids are reamed out to accept the same iron shaft being used in the irons, the tip trim would be the same as per each iron. The other option was to use one of the 0.335 hybrid shafts. My rule of thumb for this is if the golfer has a higher than avg clubhead speed (>75mph… Read more »
Does the tip trimming apply also to the irons…
Tip trim to 5 iron and butt trim to length
Tip trim to 6 iron and butt trim to length
Justin In single length assembly, think of it as making a full set of all 8 irons. Or if you use a 7 iron length, think of it as making a set of all 7 irons. With the only difference between each club being the loft on the head on the end of the shaft. So if you determine that an 8 iron length is best for you or the golfer, once you choose the right shaft for the player, you tip trim ALL of the shafts for ALL of the clubs as per the tip trim amount for the… Read more »
Any idea when/if the LH version of the new EQ1-NX irons will be available?
Steve The LH version of the EQ1-NX irons and hybrids and woods is all done as far as the tooling and development side. Unfortunately due to the incredibly severe backlog of demand on ALL of the clubhead production factories, we won’t see the first order of the left hand heads arrive until fall at the very best. Yes, I know, that sounds ridiculous. Normal lead times for production orders for heads is 60-90 days. Right now it is (cough, cough) 7 months lead time and threatening to go to 8 months! 225 days from when we place an order with… Read more »
Thanks for the info. These are definitely frustrating times. Stay safe.
Just to understand, if I were to order a set of EQ1-NX RH irons now, they would be delivered in 60-90 days? Thanks
RANDY I am sorry but I cannot tell you the answer to that question. My work for Diamond Golf is as a consultant living in the USA doing the clubhead design, shaft design and technical support like answering questions on this comments section of the website. I do not have access to know the inventory information or receipt of production orders information to know what the status of an order for any product might be. There is no question that every clubhead production factory in the world is seriously backlogged with orders from their company customers for each company’s head… Read more »
OK, thanks Tom. I understand.
After 2 months with the EQ1-NX irons (replacing the Sterlings): Still a 1/2 club longer. I’m not sure if that’s attributable to the head or the fact that I switched to lighter, graphite shafts (78g). My steel shafts in the Sterlings were 115g. I do know I had to monkey around with different swing weights to get the right feel. I started at D1.5, but they just felt too light, so I put a lighter grip on and brought them up to D3. This, combined with the lighter static weight, feels right. The reduced offset doesn’t matter to me, but… Read more »
As far as I can see these irons are not forged. I have a set of Srixon forged i-506 irons which I love but am coming back to the game after a while out and am looking at single length. My worry is that these irons will lose the feel and the ability to manufacture shots even if I gain consistency elsewhere. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Tom
TOM There is no truth to the belief that forged irons can work the ball better. That is an absolute myth. The impact FEEL can certainly be different with the forged iron if it is forged from a soft carbon steel and the weight distribution is a blade muscleback vs a head that is made in a deep cavity back or thin face or hollow body construction. That is certainly true and can fool people into thinking that the impact vibration feel is related to working the ball, which it is not. Working the ball requires the player to hit… Read more »
I think the myth comes from the days when forged clubs were blades; perimeter-weighted irons were cast. Thus, off-center “glancing blows” were more likely to curve (unintentionally) with blades. This unintentional curving from off-center hits is mitigated a bit with perimeter weighting. Less-capable players then assumed the “curvier” clubs were easier to work. But as Tom notes, purposeful fades and draws are created from solid hits with a clubface oriented other than square. (An on-center hit is not improved by perimeter weighting, nor is it diminished by a blade.) Since the introduction of the first forged cavity-backed club–the Hogan Edge–about… Read more »
Very well said, that’s a VERY good explanation! Not just less capable but most golfers began to believe that a “curvier” club would mean that it would be easier to elicit an intentional fade or draw. But I do very much like that association assumption you made.
Longer. They’re a half-club longer and more forgiving, especially on the toe.
Oh, and they’re really forgiving on thin shots. Not necessarily “big thin,” but a groove or two low.
Hi Tom, Just looking for your thoughts on another single length iron manufacturers claim that he has the perfect one size fits all head and shaft step up, based on the players wrist to floor measurement. His idea is that the players previous ill fitting clubs have meant the player has had to manipulate his swing to get the ill fitting clubs to perform correctly thus ingraining bad habits. He feels that with the correct lie angle 63 degree and his shaft, the player is forced to start swinging the club correctly. His articles seem pretty convincing to someone who… Read more »
Peter That is a literal crock of manure uttered by someone who knows nothing about the differences in golfer size and swing characteristics and who is looking for a spin comment to justify the fact he cannot or will not offer proper custom fitting for the clubs he wants to sell to make money. Shoot, just from the standpoint of LIE FITTING alone you cannot say that. You can’t force all golfers into the same posture and stance to accommodate one 63* lie angle when golfers range from 5′ nothing to 6 foot and a lot with arm lengths that… Read more »
This is like a guy selling suits off the rack and telling customers they have to change to fit the suit. Silly. I have been fitted for at least 15 different sets of irons over the past 30 years (but only one–Sterling–in the past 4). In every fitting I’ve been 2 degree upright. No amount of shape-shifting or posturing will change the fact that I’m a bit tall with arms that are a bit short. There is NO advantage to a particular lie angle, provided it fits the player. None. I can imagine that, if taken to an extreme (like… Read more »
Thanks for the feedback could tell you were fired up with the question.Don’t know your email but I live in Ireland. Cheers Peter
Thanks for letting me know. I will have the good folks at Diamond Golf check on who they know to be good fitters in Ireland and contact you with their names and addresses. THey know the good fitters on your side of the pond, I know them over here! Watch for that in the next couple days.
The crew at Diamond golf gave me contant details for Kevin at Golftek in Galway Ireland, Met up with Kevin today for my EQI-NX fitting 4,7 wood 4,5 Hybrid and full Iron set. Pick up in 2 weeks. Soon will be a card carrying member of the single length concept.
I Have been playing one length for 5 years now and want to re-shaft my current heads but want to know is it just the standed “7iron” length shafts? are the shafts all tipped to a 7 iron spec or do they have different kick, flex points for different irons?
Cant seem to find any info
AJ Thanks much for your interest and very happy to help with all the information you seek. Single length irons are like having a full set of the same exact iron with the one exception being that each iron has a different loft to generate the different carry distances you need in the game. That also means each shaft is identical in all aspects – same tip trim from the same raw shaft, same length, same weight, same flex, same bend profile, same bend point, etc. The idea of single length is to deliver for the golfer a set of… Read more »
Tom, I am still playing your 515 7W with a 41” interfexx shaft but was wondering if your 365 head or the 929 might be a higher smash factor or is your EQ1 fairway higher? Looking for 5-10 more yards if possible? Have been using the shorter shaft for years and love the accuracy. Would appreciate your input, do like the 515 deeper face to get ball out of long rough.
Nope, that original 515 was as close to the COR limit as is possible. I even had to reel the faces back a smidge because the first test samples of that model were over the COR limit. A number of the succeeding fwy models have been about the same but none are higher in COR than those original 515s.
I feel certain there has got to be a big distance transition between the last single length iron say a 45d PW and the next specialty wedge, due to the length change and most golfers swing their wedges differently. One solution will probably be adding another wedge in the gap.
Would it be smart to do single length up to 7 iron, and then 8 iron up progressive lengths?
MARK Way back in 2015 when I was finishing up the work in the development of my first single length iron, the Sterling irons, after all the hit testing was done I had a chance to play a good bit myself with a set I had fit and built to my specs for single length. This was the first time I had ever actually played for a few months only with a single length iron set. While I had certainly been part of the hit testing, I had not played as much as I did with a single length set… Read more »
Not really. The whole idea behind the concept is to groove a single swing for your irons. The more you get away from that….the more you get away from that. Using single-length irons seems to have two benefits and one detriment. But in practice the detriment isn’t true. The benefits are supposed to be (a) a single set up and swing for your irons and (b) short lengths for the lower-numbered clubs, rendering them more accurate (if gapping can be maintained). These are definitely true. The downside is supposed to be that your wedges are longer and, hypothetically, less accurate.… Read more »
Tom, I am already a Sterling SL user and am keen on having the EQ1 irons as an upgrade. I am quite happy with my Wishon shaft (S Flex at 77 grams / white) – will these same shafts work for the EQ1?
SANDY Yes the same shafts will work in either set. Now if you are asking whether you can just pull the shafts from the Sterling irons and install them in the EQ1 heads and have everything come out the same exact length and specs as before, that is never a recommended thing to do because of the little +/- tolerances in hosel length + bore depth that always exist between different sets of irons. No matter what if you just pull the shafts from the Sterlings and install them into the EQ1s you would see little variations in length and… Read more »
Tom, received your new book Cap’n Clubmaker on monday and I couldn’t put it down. Finished it last night and your writing style reminded me of the casual chats we had when I would finish my sales calls (eyewear rep) in Durango and would talk golf and club making. I didn’t realize I was chatting to such a celebrity. Any club makers even a hobby builder like me will find your new book entertaining and informative.
Why the new single length? Keeping the TW line new and fresh?
GARY I am very pleased to hear you liked the book. It was fun to have those trips back down memory lane to think about all those experiences that I have had over the course of all these years I have been doing this. Just curious, what stories did you like the best in part 1? Yes, it was partly keeping the line fresh with a new face. But also, I don’t think other than the 919 and maybe a handful of others there has ever been a head model I designed that after it was all done I wanted… Read more »
Have to be about Steve Miller, love rock and roll and all of his music. Retired and love listening to apple tunes as I pass the day doing domestic chores as my wife works. Also liked Payne’s with his humor, a player who left this planet way too soon. Stay safe Tom.
ps Hi Mary Ellen!
Thanks Gary!! Yes for sure those days at the old Mill Valley GC were a lot of fun and the Boris Jones Open certainly went down as perhaps the most unique 15 hole golf tournament ever played!! And Payne was a really good guy – the part I didn’t share was that I missed my chance to be a part of Jake Trout – just before his fateful flight we’d been talking about music and when I shared that I was a drummer, he was excited because their present drummer was not a golfer because they’d not found anyone with… Read more »
Tom, really like the looks of the new EQ1-NX irons. Most, if not all other hollow body models on the market have some sort foam filler in the body. It looks like the EQ 1 does not. Just curious why you didn’t go down that path. I’m not sure what purpose the foam would have other than dampening the sound.
Being LH I was sorry to hear I have to wait another year to try them.
Thanks for your time.
Steve Yes we too thought that if this would have been a normal year in golf that we would have tooled up the LH about now for a fall release. But there is no normal now and a new one will have to be determined over the next many months. Anyway, I chose not to fill the hollow cavity because, a) all hit testing showed that the sound was just fine without it. Unlike many other hollow irons, I created various areas of mass inside the cavity which were all part of the work done to move the CG from… Read more »
Steve – I have the same LH curse – but I have been waiting for a couple years already – bought a set of Cobras to scratch the itch, but I do not love them – thanks, Tom, for getting on this — so Steve and I will be ready when you are….
When will Tom start designing around 70-74 degree lie angles vs the standard 62. I think a few of us would like to play with
clubs designed for true single length with one plane. Or can existing iron heads be modified ?
JOE Thanks for taking the time to stop by to ask your question. I am happy to answer even though I believe my answer is not going to thrill you. Standard spec lie for the single length iron heads is 63 to me because that with the +/-3 to 4* bending capability of the designs will allow for well over 90% of all golfers to be properly fit for lie. There are so very, very few who need/want a lie over 67* and especially over 70* that a design line like mine just could never find it a valid business… Read more »
Can I have these clubs made with Graphite shafts?
TIM It is important that you understand clearly how Wishon Golf designs are built and bought. Only certified custom clubmakers offer Wishon Golf designs and they do it on the basis of one set at a time for one golfer at a time with everything custom fit and custom built from scratch. That means each golfer who works with a custom clubmaker to be fit with any Wishon clubs will get whatever specs and whatever shaft the fitter with the golfer’s agreement deems to be right to match the golfer’s combination of size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics. If… Read more »
I have been playing with various graphite for the past 20 years in various iron sets. When Nunchuk shafts came on market ( circa 2011-12) I switched to them ( driver first then FW/ hybrids then full irons as they were released). Then, and when I made the conversion to Sterling Single Iron by Wishon four years ago I had my club fitter switch out the shafts for the Nunchuk ( single shaft that is butt trimmed throughout the iron set ) and was the perfect complement as they are all the same weight, flex dynamics, etc. that I had… Read more »
Do the single length Sterling club heads have the same MOI? What is that consistent MOI?
RENE Your question first requires a little clarification to be sure of WHICH TYPE OF MOI you are referring to. In golf equipment there are several different MOIs for a clubhead and for an assembled golf club so I need to be sure I address the one you are thinking about. Basically it boils down to two different MOI’s, one being the MOI of the clubhead that describes the ability of the head to resist twisting when you hit a shot off center. Two being the MOI of the whole golf club as you put the club in motion to… Read more »
Hello Tom, I’m,Ike my 6 iron a lot . I know you have concerns regarding the lower irons going to far at 6 Itonlength. But can I get them built that way (6iron)
BRITTON Your clubmaker should be able to build the irons to a 6 iron length. If the shaft is a lighter weight graphite the clubmaker should not have any real issues building the irons to have a normal range of swingweight. But if the irons were made with a steel shaft of more than 110g, the ending swingweight at 6 iron length could end up a little high. As such you may want to start by having one and better yet, two of the irons made to a 6 iron swingweight – likely a 6 iron and a PW or… Read more »
Hi Tom, really tempted by one lenght concept, start to play golf late and really struggle to get consistency, to simplify things I’m thinking to move. Question is are those heads correct for a high handicap golfers or are better for mid-low hcp player ?
Stefano In truth single length could be for any golfer from tour player to beginner. But after working with my single length model for 4 yrs I would say that it’s best to fit a golfer from beginner to say, 6, 8, 10 handicap with single length and not try to push it on anyone under 6. The reason is mainly because players under 6 already are pretty darn consistent with their irons so the main benefit of swing consistency from iron to iron is not that big of a deal to a really good player as it will be… Read more »
Does this mean that you can return Strrling clubsets even if used for 2 weeks on a course. The only SL clubmaker I know will do that is “One Iron”.
RICK The return policy for finished assembled sets of clubs is not our call, it’s the clubmaker or retailer you got the clubs from who determines the return policy on the clubs you buy. We’re the creators and distributors of the heads and shafts and grips as components to the custom clubmakers who in turn, fit, build and retail the finished clubs to you. If the finished clubs do not perform up to your satisfaction, you;d take up that matter with the clubmaker or place you bought the finished clubs. We step in when there is something wrong with the… Read more »
For my set of sterling irons if I choose to go with a length of 37 inches do I tip trim for an 8 iron and butt trim to my desired final length or do I tip trim for a seven iron and butt trim to my desired 37 inch length? Thanks.
Since the base length of the Sterling irons is an 8 iron length, the 37″ length you choose is considered +1/2″ over length so that means you tip trim for the 8 iron trim on the shaft, then install and cut to 37″ from the butt.
Tom, thanks for your prompt reply. After I sent my question I happened to find other similar inquiries from 2 years ago and your response ( example below) would indicate that for a length of 37″ I should tip trim every shaft per the tip trim for the 7i for the shaft model being used. Has further research into this issue changed the appropriate recommendation/choice of tip trim? The tip trim for EVERY shaft in the single length set is to be the same, based on what the tip trim is for the shaft of choice for that one length… Read more »
JOE Thanks for asking. One of the things about single length is that no one really knew much of anything about rules of the road for it until it had the chance to go more into the mainstream than it had ever done. I confess that the past 6 yrs since I began first working on the Sterling iron design have been a really interesting learning experience for all the many little things that are different about single length vs conventional length. In the big picture, what we’re talking about as to whether to use a 7 or 8 iron… Read more »
Tom, thanks for your explanation of your change in view on this topic as it assists me in making a decision on shaft trim going forward as I add to my 6i -8i with the 9, PW and GW as well as making a shaft change. Also I was wondering if your one length hybrids are on course for introduction Spring 2020?
Again thanks for your assistance!!
JOE Happy to help anyway we can with information. The new hybrid model will be a combination design in that with the increased head weight addition capability they will have, they will be able to be fit and built to either conventional hybrid lengths or to single length if desired, as well as any lengths in between for custom fitting purposes. And there will be a new fairway wood design created the same way, able to be fit and built to conventional wood lengths or to their own single length option between 40 and 41″. We’re looking at spring 2020… Read more »
Tom, I am looking at building a set of Sterling Irons at 37-1/4 inches which I am comfortable with in variable length clubs. In order to reach (or reasonably close) a swing weight of D2 with my preferred shaft which is 97 grams (approx 83 grams when cut to length) i want to maintain the 37-1/4 inch length. Being 3/4 inch over the 36.5 inch 8 iron length can you tell me the the approximate change in flex if any. Also taking into account that 1/2 inch change in tip trim is not a significant change in flex I’m thinking… Read more »
RAY Thanks for all the information you provided as it makes it a little easier to comment. Depending on which shaft model it is and whether it is graphite or steel, a 3/4″ increase in length coupled with an 8 iron tip trim to start with should not cause you any issues with the shaft being too flexible due to the added length. At 67 mph I assume your downswing move is not overly aggressive so if you followed an 8 iron tip trim for the shafts and then cut for length from the butt to 37-1/4″, then you should… Read more »