Sterling Irons Single Length Irons Review

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50 Words or Less

Sterling Irons utilize the single-length iron concept to promote consistent ball striking.  Quality players irons with good looks and feel.

Introduction

The concept of single length iron sets is nothing new.  It’s been alive in the back page classified ads of golf magazines for years.  This summer, however, one golfer – Bryson Dechambeau – made the concept hot.  Now you can find single length iron sets like Sterling Irons from premium makers like Tom Wishon.

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Looks

Though Sterling Irons are single length, they are actually two different types of irons in one set – a conventional cast steel set (Soft Steel) in the 8-SW and a High COR design in the 5-7.  This difference is first noticeable in the look at address – the short irons (particularly the wedges) are a bit boxier than the long irons.

Overall, this is a good looking set of players clubs with modest offset and fairly thin top lines and soles.

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Sound & Feel

The difference between the Soft Steel and High COR Sterling Irons continues in the sound and feel.  The Soft Steel short irons have a prototypical players iron feel – fairly soft with good responsiveness and feedback.  The High COR  irons are substantially louder at impact with a metallic sound that some describe as a “ping.”  As more of a traditionalist, I’ll say that I don’t love the sound, but I will acknowledge that it feels hot, and the ball speed numbers showed me that it’s not just a feeling.

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Performance

Overall, these are very solid game improvement irons, particularly the High COR clubs.  There is decent forgiveness in the Soft Steel irons, but the High COR irons are really easy to hit.  They launch higher and the ball speed was crazy.  To boot, these irons really want to go straight.  That’s not to say you can’t shape shots or flight the ball, but my stock swing was producing laser-straight shots time after time.

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Do Single Length Irons Work?

For those who aren’t familiar with the idea of single length irons, the sales pitch is this: golf would be easier if every iron was the same length because your set up and swing could be identical whether you’re hitting a gap wedge or a 5I.  In designing the Sterling Irons, Tom Wishon and Jaacob Bowden took that a step further and matched the MOI, total weight, head weight, and swing weight so that every club feels identical.

One unique thing about Sterling Irons is their shorter length.  Where many single length sets are designed around a 6I or 7I, Sterling Irons are generally between 36.5″ and 37″ like an 9I or 8I.  My set was built to 36.5″, and this made the 5I feel so short that it was like cheating.  My consistency with the long irons absolutely improved because of the shorter shafts.

The main question with single length irons is with regard to distance gapping.  “Common sense” tells us that if all the clubs are the same length, you won’t get the proper gaps between your irons.  To find out if this was true, I tested Sterling Irons on a launch monitor in an indoor, controlled environment with new, premium golf balls.  My carry distance gaps from club to club, starting at 5I, were as follows: 9 yards, 8 yards, 6 yards, 12 yards, 11 yards, 12 yards, and 12 yards.  So, with one exception (which could easily be chalked up to the user), Sterling Irons provided the same 8-12 yard gaps between irons as my conventional set.  Even if that 6 yard gap proves to be durable, a quick tweak of the loft would get everything back in line.

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Conclusion

If you’re ready to take the leap into single length irons, Sterling Irons are a fine choice.  By combining the concepts of single-length irons and a combo set, Sterling Irons has made a set that’s truly easy to use from 5I through the wedges.  You can order Sterling Irons direct through their website HERE by filling out a short questionnaire or you can find a Tom Wishon fitter HERE.
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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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7 Comments

  1. Mat great review . It looks like they use oversize grips so this would be a plus for me.

  2. Matt,

    Love the site! (You and Bill do a fantastic job).

    I think single length irons have a lot of merit but I feel that the Sterling irons miss the mark.

    At 37 or 36.5″ the clubs are like a 7 or 8 iron. (Not an 8 or 9, typo on your part?)

    Your clubs are 36.5″…so an 8 iron length.

    Merging your results with the Sterling specs:

    5-6 iron/9 yd/high cor/4* (loft seperation)
    6-7 iron/8 yd/high cor/4*
    7-8 iron/6 yd/high cor/4*
    8-9 iron/12 yd/5*
    9-pw/11 yd/5*
    Pw-gw/12 yd/5*
    Gw-sw/12 yd/5*

    Therefore the results show that the ‘high COR’ is nothing more than marketing (just like one of the myth articles points out) and that there should be a 5* loft seperation in the lower loft clubs (something that Wishon has promoted for years…oddly enough).

    The clubs miss the mark in my opinion…

    • A four degree loft separation is fine for higher swing speeds.
      That is why Wishon recommends getting fitted because they may adjust the loft to five or six degrees between clubs to get the proper gapping.
      These clubs hit all the marks in my opinion.

    • Hit them. You’ll have a change of heart.

  3. Pingback: A Single Length Iron Pioneer - Plugged In Golf

  4. Are there any short drivers as well? Matched length

    • Matt Saternus

      Chuck,

      There are not matching woods from Sterling, but a good club builder could make something shorter than average for you.

      Matt

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