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.
Q and A pertaining to the concept and performance of Single Length sets of irons.
What is the Reason a Golfer Might Consider 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 offer some help.
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.
Are Single Length Irons Better for Average to Less Skilled Golfers?
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.
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.
Can a Conventional Set be Converted into a Set of Single Length Irons?
It is completely impractical to alter an existing iron set to the Single Length concept.
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.
Should I Consider Buying a Set of Single Length Irons?
The major changes made in the design of the Wishon Sterling Irons® Single Length clubheads, coupled with our understanding now of the concepts of proper fitting of Single Length sets, we feel it is a possible way for a very high percentage of golfers to gain a moderate improvement in swing and shot consistency.
We know from 2 years of development work that the Sterling Irons® Single Length set does 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 feel for every club.
• Sterling Irons® #5 is offered in an option between high COR hybrid and high COR iron for different player types.
• Sterling Irons® #5, 6, 7 irons are all high COR face, variable thickness face design, with low CG and slightly stronger lofts to ensure no loss of distance for these clubs compared to their longer length in a conventional set.
• Sterling Irons® #8 through SW are all one piece cast carbon steel body cavity back irons made in 5° loft increments to also ensure not hitting the ball too far for these clubs compared to their slightly shorter lengths in a conventional set.
• Sterling Irons® Single Length is designed to be built to the golfer’s choice of either 37” (Std #7 iron) or 36.5” (Std #8 iron) or in between. These are shorter lengths than other single length sets by intent to offer better shot consistency and a higher percentage of on center hits for each club. With the high COR #5, 6, 7 the shorter single length of the Sterling Irons® won’t result in a loss of distance compared to the golfer’s #5, 6, 7 irons in a conventional length set.
• All of the Sterling Irons® clubheads are bendable for lie and loft by +/- 2°. Not only is this critical for proper lie angle fitting for every golfer, it is also a way to tweak the distances and distance gaps between irons. Golfers come in a variety of different clubhead speeds and angles of attack into the ball.