Trend or Fad: Single Length Irons
Irons

Trend or Fad: Single Length Irons

Trend or Fad: Single Length Irons

It’s easy to overthink a problem, but sometimes the simplest answer is also the most effective. So, if you struggle to hit your irons consistently, you could take lessons, read instructional books from the who’s who of teachers, practice more, try a couple of different brands, or, you could remove a bunch of variables and play them all at the same length.

It’s the kind of solution which almost seems too obvious, resigning one to mutter, “why didn’t I think of that?”

The idea isn’t new. Ben Hogan’s set of MacGregor’s circa 1953 was more or less a single-length concept. Over time variable length became the standard, but this is golf where eventually everything old is new again, and so single length irons are making a comeback of sorts.

The current market is more receptive, due in part to the recent success of Bryson DeChambeau, who used a set of Edel single length irons on his way to becoming the 5th player in history to win both an individual NCAA championship and US Amateur Championship in the same year. After signing with Cobra in spring of 2016, DeChambeau had the company’s single length irons in the bag when he claimed his first professional victory at the Web.com Tour’s, DAP Championship. That victory earned him his PGA Tour card.

A Rejuvenated Trend or Short-Lived Comeback?

Is the re-emergence of single length irons a fad or can we expect it to stick around and perhaps even grow in popularity? That depends in large part on whether or not real golfers see real benefits from the change. Even if traditionalists – and that includes a substantial chunk of the better player demographic – struggle to embrace a simpler approach to the game, the modern single length iron is probably more than a fad. That said, nobody, including the people designing the clubs, is certain how the technology will evolve, or even what’s going to happen next.

Many Problems, Many Solutions

Designing a set of single length irons is an engineering exercise that requires mitigating the numerous and varied issues associated with making the concept work. On paper, the positives are overwhelming. When every club is built to the same length (most built at a 7 or 8 iron length), the golfer needs only one setup, one ball position and only one swing for every club. In theory, this should make it easier for a player to make consistent contact.

Paper and reality don’t always align perfectly.

Because every club is the length of a typical 7 or 8 iron – the single length long irons (3, 4,5) are comparatively shorter than their variable length counterparts, while the short irons (9, PW, GW, SW) are longer. Using standard head weights, the pitching wedge would swing like a sledgehammer, and the 3 iron would feel like the driver from your kid’s junior set. And that’s before we even consider ball flight.

To get consistent yardage gaps between irons, every facet of the club needs to be considered and tweaked to optimize performance.

The challenges presented by single length irons are universally accepted, but surprise, surprise, there’s little agreement on the right answer. As with any organic process, it’s just that – a process. Evolution, as it always is, is ongoing. There’s little reason to believe that the answers offered in the first-generation products will be final.

swingplane

As single length irons slowly re-enter the consumer consciousness, there are three OEM’s – Edel, Wishon, and Cobra – who are taking the lead and defining the current market. Let’s take a closer look at what each company brings to the market, and the unique approach each takes to single length.

Edel Golf

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David Edel believes so strongly in the single length concept that he’s dedicated a significant amount of capital to the effort. Other OEM’s are more or less using 7 or 8 iron shafts throughout the entire set, but because Edel pairs each club with a particular shaft, “you can’t just buy a bunch of 7 iron shafts and go with it.” For a small OEM that is in the process of stocking and distributing 150 fitting carts, there’s an enormous financial burden associated with building the inventory of shafts, heads, and weights necessary to stock accounts. It’s a risky proposition given the uncertainty of the single length market. Orders may come in, or they may not.

It’s a bit like sending out 500 invites to your wedding without an RSVP and waiting to see who shows up. That said, Edel is optimistic.

If I didn’t believe in this 100%, I wouldn’t be doing it, but if this doesn’t work out, it could crush us. – David Edel

Edel’s confidence in single length irons is partially rooted in his experience with Bryson DeChambeau, which started during Bryson’s time at SMU. Because Bryson has won at the highest levels of amateur and professional golf, hold the PGA Tour, it’s understandable why Edel and others see this technology as offering tangible benefit for a wide-range of players.

More than a conventional set of irons, single-length requires an expert fitter. David feels the term tailor is more appropriate than fitting. Anyone can get fit for a suit at Men’s Warehouse, but a truly bespoke experience comes at the hands of a skilled tailor, who not only understands all of the possible variables but can manipulate them in a way which gives the customer a quantifiably better end product.

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Regarding construction, the SLS-01 starts with a forged hollow-body clubhead with a variable thickness face and progressive internal cavities. The CG (Center of Gravity) sits directly in the middle of the clubface and the sole width, grind and bounce angle are, according to Edel, optimal.

A soft thermoplastic polymer fills the hollow body which results in improved sound, feel and energy transfer. It also pushes some weight toward the perimeter of the head which increases forgiveness. Finally, Edel’s interchangeable head-weights make it easy to match MOI throughout the set.

Then there’s the shaft. Edel has partnered with Paderson Kinetixx to create a series of proprietary shafts specific to the single length concept. My first thought was “Why Paderson?… Why not go with a more known brand like Aerotech or UST (Recoil)?”

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Well, the reason Aerotech doesn’t have patents on its shafts is because of Paderson, which has more patents than every other shaft company combined. That’s a boatload of intellectual property that, frankly, other companies can’t access. Paderson produces roughly 3 million shafts per year, and because the technology and raw materials are proprietary, it can better control cost and quality. The only other major shaft manufacturer who can make the same farm to table claim is Mitsubishi Rayon. Given Paderson’s capabilities and Edel’s deserved reputation as a premium fitter, the lack of shaft options is a bit curious.

Edel has more knobs and dials to play around with, but does it matter to the end user? For Edel the answer is unequivocally YES.  “The other guys haven’t addressed the issues the way we have,” asserts Edel. Compared to Cobra and Wishon, Edel feels its platform has more credibility because they’ve been doing it longer and are willingly less bound by the final price point. At $245/club, they’re nearly twice the cost of Cobra’s Forged offering, and some potential customers will be turned off by that.

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Moreover, Edel believes those entering the single length market need to do a better job fitting players. The rub here is how you define better, and not everyone agrees Edel’s approach is the best.

Kirk Oguri, a Golf Digest Top 100 Clubfitter with extensive single-length fitting experience that I spoke with, feels players are best served by relying on CG (center of gravity) location and COR to manipulate flight and distance. That’s where Edel misses the mark.

They designed a single length set with all matching CG locations, and with the same Paderson shaft,” he said.  Their shafts have a progressive kick point to try to compensate for the lack of CG location and COR change in heads. – Kirk Oguri, Golf Digest Top 100 Fitter, Pete’s Golf

As with most debates inside the equipment industry, bright minds disagree, and given Edel’s past success with fitting-intensive products, it’s hard to knock the approach.

Wishon

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Tom Wishon’s industry pedigree is well-documented. He’s a respected source on nearly all equipment topics, and he recently partnered with professional golfer Jaacob Bowden to create the Sterling single-length irons.

Like their competitors, the goal for Bowden and Wishon was to create a functional set of irons which leveraged the benefits of single length, and “looked cool.”

In contrast to the Edel SLS-01 irons, Sterling uses the same proprietary Wishon (steel or graphite) shaft in each iron while relying on changes in COR and offset to produce optimal flight in longer irons.

Specifically, the 5-7 irons use thinner-faced HS 300 steel to boost ball speeds. The top end of the set is cast from 8620 carbon steel. Wishon cautions against companies like Cobra who use 17-4 stainless to create hi-cor heads. Wishon believes the material isn’t strong enough to support faces thin enough to generate the ball speed necessary to overcome the distance challenges associated with single length long irons.

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To protect against too low launch and spin, Wishon increased offset in the long irons to move the COG farther back, which helps players launch the ball higher and, all things equal, farther.

Another distinction in the Sterling approach is that the set is built to standard 8 iron length, not 7 iron like Edel and Cobra. While each set can be altered to the player’s preferred specs, starting with a shorter club, in Wishon’s experience, makes the adjustment to longer short irons easier, while making the entire set easier to hit in general.

Admittedly, the Sterling irons are targeted at the middle 75% of golfers, most of whom struggle hitting their irons consistently and don’t have the swing speed to create optimal launch conditions with anything with less loft than a 6 iron.

Wishon has long been a vocal proponent of custom club fitting and has authored a variety of books and columns on that topic. Even so, Wishon particularly emphasizes the importance of working with a fitter who can fit single length and understands the compensations necessary to optimize performance.

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While not as expensive as the Edel set, the cost for Sterling irons ($117/club in steel and $143/club graphite) is on par with Cobra, and keeping prices in-line with the majority of iron sets on the market is part of the Sterling strategy.

Wishon has been around long enough that he doesn’t get too excited about the hot product du jour, which is why he hasn’t piled all of his chips in the single length basket. That said, Wishon is convinced there’s a real benefit in single length, particularly for golfers who have never been able to find a repeatable iron swing or are just taking up the game.

COBRA

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Cobra is currently the only large OEM in the single length conversation, and that means its dynamics are different. Cobra is the most visible of the three brands and, with Bryson DeChambeau, they have the only player on the PGA Tour currently using a single length set.

For what it’s worth, at least one reputable fitter believes Cobra is also the closest to nailing the formula. According to Kirk Oguri, 2016 MET PGA Teacher of the Year and Golf Digest Top 100 Clubfitter, “Cobra has it (right) with the F7, but wrong with Forged One. The F7 uses the same designated shafts for the length regardless of the loft. Forged One uses different shafts based on the number on the sole. That changes the stepping of each shaft, which, in my opinion, adds a variable compared to utilizing the same exact shaft for each iron.”

Regardless, if early sales figures are any indication, the proof is already showing up in the pudding. Tom Olsavsky, VP of R&D for Cobra, says that year over year the F7 is selling well. “Both the one length and variable length are great irons, and performance-wise, we’d put the F7 series up against anything.”

Once Cobra signed DeChambeau, it was inevitable a single length set would come to market in short order. What we didn’t know was that Cobra would create two sets; the F7 ONE and the Forged ONE.

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The primary differences between the two sets is the standard ONE Length has more offset, a thicker overall profile and is available in both RH and LH. It’s your pretty standard game-improvement vs. player’s irons story, but for a more thorough comparison, see our introductory piece from the fall.

It’s not like Olsavsky and his design team had years to ponder, test and refine numerous designs. Bryson signed with Cobra in April and by June decisions about the 2107 lineup had to be made. That’s not a lot of lead time, especially considering the unknowns surrounding the market’s potential response. It’s the absolute definition of a crapshoot.

When you have some inkling where things are headed, R&D often runs several years ahead of retail. Olsavsky admits this product launched with a bit more uncertainty.

Cobra’s initial unease has subsided, and the company expects to sell 3-4 times more ONE Length irons (both models) than initially forecasted. Regardless of whether initial projections were cautiously conservative, 400% suggests the market is receptive to Cobra’s approach to single length.

Unlike Sterling and Edel, Cobra is readily available at your local big box store. For the time being, Cobra is the only large brand with a one length set, meaning that unless you specifically seek out Edel or Sterling, Cobra has a virtual monopoly on this segment of the market.

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While that’s unquestionably positive from the standpoint of exposure and potential sales, it’s not without its caveats. There’s nearly universal agreement that fitting for single length requires a bit more precision and knowledge. This places a significant burden on what’s generally a weakness in a volume sales operation. Poorly fit irons come with the risk of turning golfers off of the single length iron concept, and Cobra clubs in general.

While the long-term viability of the modern single length iron remains uncertain, the shaft industry insiders I spoke with told me that they are exploring in earnest both steel and graphite shafts specific to single length irons. To a degree, this validates the Edel approach, while suggesting others may be exploring the single length market.

It’s also in-line with Olsavsky’s thinking.

“Sometimes (changing) shafts helps. Sometimes it doesn’t… Bryson plays the same shafts throughout his set, and really, it’s about getting optimal performance for the player. That may be graphite or it might not.”

It’s reasonable to think 30%-40% of golfers could benefit from single length irons and even if only a fraction of those went on to purchase a set, that’s a potentially significant number. DeChambeau’s signing accelerated Cobra’s entry into the market, but if more single length options materialize in the market, Cobra’s early entry has given it a pronounced head start.

FINAL THOUGHTS

On balance, this single length/one length concept is geared at higher handicap and beginning golfers who struggle with iron consistency. Sterling and Cobra ONE are better suited for those with less experience or less refined iron play, while Edel’s SLS-01-01 and Cobra’s ONE Forged are viable options for more established players.

There’s also a group of players whom no one is talking about – the former decent player with a job, family, and kids who doesn’t have enough time to practice contingent. I won’t be surprised to see this segment embrace the single length concept, and do it quickly.

It’s simply a matter of finding the approach that works.

Edel has a fixed CG in each clubhead and manipulates ball flight primarily by adjustments in shaft (kickpoint) and head-weight. Sterling uses a progressive offset (more in longer irons) and CG to increase distance in long irons and maintain consistent yardage gaps throughout the set.

Cobra does a bit of both, with the Forged ONE more in line with the Edel SLS-01-01 and the F7 ONE more comparable to the Sterling.

That’s where the market is today. Where it’s headed is anyone’s guess. In talking with several experienced fitters and others inside the industry, here’s what my inner Nostradamus thinks will happen.

If single-length proves to be a viable product, mainstream shaft companies will find a way to develop a shaft (or series of shafts) specifically designed to meet the unique demands of single length. Single length performance will almost certainly advance because of it. When the next generation of single length launches, I expect shaft specific technology to be a key selling point.

It seems likely that another major OEM will jump into the fray. Whether that’s TaylorMade, PING, Callaway, or all of the above, remains to be seen.

If the science behind single length was good in 1953 and is good now –  it will still be good ten years from now. The question is, will consumers get far enough out of their own way to give it a try?

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Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris is a self-diagnosed equipment and golf junkie with a penchant for top-shelf ice cream. When he's not coaching the local high school team, he's probably on the range or trying to keep up with his wife and seven beautiful daughters. Chris is based out of Fort Collins, CO and his neighbors believe long brown boxes are simply part of his porch decor. "Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different."

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

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      Kenstl

      5 years ago

      I have been playing Sterling SL irons for 3 years. Player for 35 years (54), generailly a 5-10 HC over the years, played Mizuno’s for ever. I love the SL club concept. I have broken 80 many more times with SL clubs every year than I ever did in the past. Best of all is that I feel I do not need practice on the full swing as much and when I do not get a chance to practice, I pick up a consistent swing / game quicker on the irons when I do get out and play. When I do have time to practice, I now spend it on the driver and putter vs feeling like I need to hit my short, mid end long irons in practice. I hope other mfg’s get in to the game so that there are more choices in the market some day, but I think the 3 major offerings in the this article are all really good options. If you try it, do it for a year and commit to it! You won’t notice many of the intangible benefits until you do.

      Reply

      Martien Schwencke

      5 years ago

      Bryson Dechambeau plays his Cobras with a lie angle of 72 degrees
      There are no clubs on the market you can bend to that degree
      As long as we have to play a flatter plane we will miss something. The one plane swing is the other part of Dechambeau his success .. When will it be possible the try this as well?

      Reply

      Mike

      6 years ago

      I know this article is a year old, but wanted to share my experience with Cobra One Length. I really liked the concept, and went to Club Champion to get fitted. I couldn’t get comfortable with the “shorter” irons, so I opted to stay with variable length in my 8 and 9 irons. I really liked the Cobra Forged, but found I was getting better distance and gapping with the F7 in the longer irons. So I ended up with a mixed bag:
      I match the PW with my Cleveland Wedges, so I effectively have one-length in my wedges at 60,55,50,45 degrees.
      9 and 8 irons are Cobra Forged variable length
      7 and 6 irons are Cobra Forged One Length
      5 and 4 irons are Cobra F7 One Length

      That gives me the traditional length I am comfortable with in the 7-9, and gives me the benefit I was looking for (shorter clubs, better consistency) in the 4-6 irons.

      The other key was tweaking the lofts on the 4 and 5 to get the right distance gaps. The F7 irons were going further than the Forged, so we ended up adding loft to the 4 and 5. That ended up with shorter carry distance (but better gaps) and a little higher trajectory and spin.

      In my opinion a lot of us can improve consistency by using shorter club lengths. I felt like the longer length in the 8-PW was actually going to reduce my consistency, but the shorter length in the 4-6 worked well for me. Now I can’t wait to try the new hybrids!

      Reply

      Jutta Jordans

      7 years ago

      There is another, even larger group of golfers that nobody is talking about when single length irons are concerned and that is female golfers. None of the above mentioned companies has even tried to come up with a way to make the single length concept work for a typical female player with her considerably lower swing speed.

      Given that most manufacturers move away from longer irons for female players altogether (it gets more and more difficult to find a stock set of ladies clubs that even offers a 5 iron … everybody expects you to play hybrids for anything longer than a 6) having a ladies one length iron set seems to be next to impossible. Unless you want to move to hybrids (and longer shafts) from the six iron onward (which takes the single length idea a bit ad absurdum to start with).

      So I see the difficulties with this, but I still would have liked any of the manufacturers to at least acknowledge that there are female golfers out there who might be interested in the concept.

      Reply

      Turtle

      7 years ago

      I’m an 18 handicapper and have been playing the Cobra F7s for about a month. Too early to tell if they impact scoring, mostly bc they don’t do anything for my three putting. That being said, my confidence with the long irons is way up and I’ve hit some shots that surprised the heck out of me. Still adjusting to new distances, but on the upside I hit my approaches long rather than short last weekend.

      Reply

      Wes Bailey

      7 years ago

      I am wondering what the effect of single length will be for players who have bad backs? The ability to adjust your swing plane that doesn’t put as much pressure on the back while allowing for current swing weights could be a life saver for many golfers

      Reply

      Geo Golfx

      7 years ago

      From 1989, the Tommy Armour EQL. And the Patent https://www.google.com/patents/US3984103

      Reply

      Mitchell S

      7 years ago

      I have played Mizuno irons for 20+ years. I love the stability of the Mizuno irons, but increasingly notice as I have gotten older (I just turned 63) that I do not generate enough clubhead speed to hit the ball high enough or stop it quickly enough to play golf courses with firm and fast bent grass greens.

      A friend introduced me to his custom Equs irons and I hit them. Almost immediately, any discomfort from hitting a 5 or 6 iron that was a different length from my Mizunos went out the window. Instead of the typical mid-flight shot that I hit with my Mizunos, I began hitting higher shots and it felt like the ball was exploding off the spot where the clubface intersected with the turf.

      I then researched the irons and realized that the lofts on the 5, 6, 8 and 9 irons were slightly greater but that I didn’t lose any distance because of the increased length of those shafts – between a half inch and inch longer. This is really the brilliance of the design. It allows for greater clubhead speed and greater loft to combine to hit better shots that stop closer to the pin. The more I hit the irons, the more I felt like I could hit them even higher and more accurately.

      I had been skeptical of the single length club approach. I am basically a feel player and if I close my eyes and you put a 4 iron in my hand, I feel like my body knows what swing I need to make, based on the feedback from the length and weight of the club. But Equs has a blended approach — slightly different lengths withe a few of the clubs, but familiar length with the scoring clubs. Great balance on the irons, with progressive offsets and weight. They are game improvement clubs that a feel player can use and greatly enjoy….especially those of us who have lost some of our speed and need a little help launching it higher.

      Reply

      Jo

      7 years ago

      I’ve hit the Edel irons. They are amazing. I’ve never been able to hit long irons but, with with the shaft shown above, I was hitting a 2 iron (never seen one before) 220 with a lovely flight. I’ve tried the Cobras and the gapping just didn’t work. With the Edel, they’ve nailed the flight and gapping perfectly. That said, I would not want a full set of single length irons: although the pitching wedge was a great distance and trajectory, I’m not sure I’d like a longer handle on my scoring clubs. So my conclusion is that I would love a hybrid set – Edel SS0101 from 4 to 7 iron, then normal Edels the rest of the way. I wonder whether they’ve thought about this as an option?

      Reply

      dave

      7 years ago

      I have concluded the exact same thing. i owned the sterlings and convinced i hit the 4-6 better than any set yet 8-pw while hitting the ball solid lacked any kind of scoring control. im a 3hcp with high swing speed to be fair, i probably dont fit the mold of the target audience for this set.

      Reply

      Dwyer

      7 years ago

      If Bryson, is any indication I’d say Cobra, better peddle this inventory quickly this puppy is DOA!

      Reply

      Bruce

      7 years ago

      The discussion is not about Bryson. Single length irons, or single length from 2 through 7 is a technically good idea. This concept matches club MOI, swing weight (which is really simply a marketing myth that should have died long ago) and club weight. Once you match single length irons you use the same setup, ball position, swing and you have the same feel for all long iron shots. No more 3 or 4 iron that stays in your bag because you cannot hit it. This can be a much simpler golf swing and help novices play better to enjoy the game.
      Quite simply, the single length concept is correct science: like it or not, it is the right answer.

      Reply

      Steve

      7 years ago

      Bruce nailed it. I tested the new Equs Golf “split set” clubs with incremental single length irons and was super impressed. Besides being great looking forged irons, they performed exceptionally well and you are able to fine tune your swing in a couple of practice sessions. Could be the wave of the future. Check them out.

      Reply

      Scott Macleod

      7 years ago

      i have a favourite club, its length & weight seem to fit my swing perfectly….. so why cant i replicate this with other clubs and let the loft of the club do the work on the distance it should travel? If i had a bucket of dollars i’d try this out.

      Reply

      Paul Kraus

      7 years ago

      Get some clubs MOI matched to your favourite club.

      Reply

      Bruce

      7 years ago

      You can – that is the essence of single length clubs. I do the same using parts from hirekogolf.com. See comments to Baba below. Cost is about $30 per club – hardly a bucket full. Prophet CB iron heads, FST 115 stepped shaft, Pure grip, use Tungsten (W chemical symbol) powder mixed with epoxy to add weight.
      Select your favorite club, look up head weight from the Prophet CB iron heads, make longer irons (lower number than your favorite) by adding weight (W powder + Epoxy) to the undercut of the iron head. The weight of the longer iron heads MUST equal the head weight of your favorite. You can do the fabrication of have a club repair do it.
      I assume you can hit irons shorter than your favorite.

      Reply

      Eric MacKinnon

      7 years ago

      My set of single lengths was built by Bobby Lopez (PGA). My back is doing remarkably better playing to the 7-iron length and losing the progressive lowering of my upper body as I move down in clubs. For me, and others like me with back issues, this may be a more realistic option than another new shiny standard set of irons.

      Reply

      Alex

      7 years ago

      Holding out getting fit for a new set of irons. Hoping some of the major manufacturers take some of these ideas to release a set with smaller gapping. Would much rather see a 1.75-2 inch gap between the gap wedge and 4 iron. Think a lot of people could still get the benefits of a more consistent iron swing with not as drastic engineering needed to keep appropriate gaps/ball flight.

      Reply

      Dan C

      7 years ago

      I recently hit the Cobra F7 One 8 iron. I hit about 20 balls and I can honestly say I mishit only about 3 of the 20. The club felt great, the ball jumped off the face and my length and accuracy were much better. They also had a nice feel , not harsh at all. I think I’m going to wait till the next generation to see what improvements Cobra makes before buying. I still have another year at least left in my 588 MT.

      Reply

      ryebread

      7 years ago

      Some quick thoughts:
      – Not sure if they’re a fad or here to stay. I think we’ll figure that out in the next year or so and whether people who bought them keep them.
      – I do think that better and lighter shafts, thinner faces, better materials, and the use of launch monitors to help OEMs build, etc. make this concept more viable than it was in the 1950s, or again in the late 80’s.
      – Cobra’s sales suggest that there’s interest out there. That’s over 1/2 the job of an OEM — to create interest in the product.
      – With the Wishons, has anyone tried his optional 5H as opposed to the 5 iron? It would seem like that would help put more weight low and back to help with launch and those gapping issues.
      – I’ve not seen a hybrid iron setup that is one length. I think the ideal set for the target market in question (beginners, higher handicappers, older players, or people whose game has slipped but just want to have some fun) would be a set of heads like Cleveland made with the Hibore-Altitude lines, but with specs for one length. Every head would look slightly different, but this would probably most help with CG manipulation. Sirxon, if you are out there and listening, you have a market here.
      – If I were releasing these as an OEM, I’d make the “direct to consumer” market on them easier. They should be able to make a set with easily bendable hosels and then provide online guidance to self fit into the lie angles. They’d be delivered to the users fairly close, but could also be “corrected” later if needed. The target market for these isn’t going to “go get fit.” The target market wants a direct to consumer experience and wants to just get out and get playing.

      Reply

      dave

      7 years ago

      owned the sterlings. there was no gaping issues with the lower irons for myself. the cobras that i tested did bunch up. i could see a low ball hitter having an issue with the 4 iron, but my buddy had no problem with the 5 iron his driver goes about 240 tops…

      Reply

      Ryebread

      7 years ago

      Thanks Dave! Your buddy and I hit the driver about the same, so that is good news.

      Pinhawk manufactures hybrid iron single length clubs that you may want to check out. http://www.pinhawkgolf.com/slig

      Reply

      Adam Bray

      7 years ago

      All the people calling them a gimmick are the same guys rushing out to buy the newest M1 driver, PXG irons and shafting them with whatever Phil Mickelson plays. Single length are not going anywhere. They are here to stay. People who actually play them know why. Everyone else, your approach shot went into the woods. I’ll go wait for you on the green.

      Reply

      WahooDave

      7 years ago

      Bobby Jones won the grand slam playing single length irons. Now I am in no way saying I or any of us are as good as Bobby Jones however, if it was good enough to win the grand slam its good enough.
      I hit the Edel LSL-01 irons at the show and I was 12 yards longer compared to my current variable length set and my dispersion was tight. Cant wait for my new set of Edel irons

      Reply

      Bill Plagianakos

      7 years ago

      Testing the Cobra irons has shown that you gain length on the 8 and 9 irons but lose distance with the 4 and 5.

      Reply

      Harvey

      7 years ago

      I have the Cobra single length clubs and I agree with your post. The single length 4i doesn’t go 205 yards for me like my 22 degree hybrid did, but what I lost in yards I gained in accuracy and consistency. Knowing where my ball goes is more valuable to me than distance.

      Reply

      Victor Scott

      7 years ago

      This concept has been around a long time. Nothing new.

      Reply

      Kenny Duff

      7 years ago

      Neither, they have always been around, they are not popular enough to be either a trend or a fad, there are just more suckers trying to sell them.

      Reply

      Judd Man

      7 years ago

      I want more people in the game just get moving when your playing. People take to long to hit the damn ball. Play ready golf. I feel single length irons would work but I have not tried them.

      Reply

      Dean Elson

      7 years ago

      Too nice, such a good looking design ?

      Reply

      Michael Elson

      7 years ago

      Interesting. How nice are those Edel irons ?

      Reply

      Eric Freie

      7 years ago

      I think it’s a good idea. Anything to help you have more fun and play better golf. I’ve hit the Cobra Ones, and they work. Not the clubs for me though. I like my standard length Ping G’s. My buddy however, is a 1 handicap, and uses a mixed set and threw in the 5 iron Cobra One recently.

      Reply

      Donald Brenda Stage

      7 years ago

      Interesting I was debating trying the exact same thing but the 5 , 6 and maybe the 7, and then make my lob wedge the same as my sand wedge.

      Reply

      Eric Freie

      7 years ago

      My friend I believe has the 4 iron too. He would have the 3 but Cobra doesn’t make it. He plays the TM PSI Tour forged 6-PW and Callaway MD3 forged wedges

      Reply

      Baba

      7 years ago

      Very intriguing ..

      I play to a 12. Play with 6i to pw, sw, lw.

      Have always been inconsistent with the 3,4 and 5.

      So I play with Adams red, 6hyb, 5hyb and 2hyb.

      I doubt if there are too many of single length irons around here in India.

      But theoretically they sound perfect for a guy like me.

      I can hit my 6i and below very consistently. But just have a mental block with the longer irons.

      Just a thought , what if the irons till the 7 (or till the 8) are dialed in at same length , but maybe go back to traditional lengths for 9 and pw.
      And sw/lw would anyway be traditional lengths.

      Seems to make perfect sense.

      Wish I could try them.

      Reply

      Bruce

      7 years ago

      I do precisely what Baba suggests and have used them quite successfully for the past 18 months. 7i through LW are conventional length and 3i through 6i are equal to the 7i. I fabricated the clubs purchasing conventional iron heads and adding weight to the 6i – 3i to make the heads equal to the 7i. Club length for 6i-3i equals the 7i. Will NEVER go back.

      Reply

      Baba

      7 years ago

      Has it drastically helped you. ..
      Have you tried the mainstream irons or only the customised that you have done.

      Bruce

      7 years ago

      Yes, the single length for long irons dramatically simplifies the game.
      I started experimenting with single length because it makes sense based on science: I am a mechanical engineer, worked in R&D for my working career. I did not want to spend $$$$$, so I fabricated what I needed AND found I developed EXACTLY what was right for me. Briefly, here is what I do.
      Cost is about $30 per club – not many $. hirekogolf.com for parts: Prophet CB iron heads, FST 115 stepped shaft, Pure grip, use Tungsten (W chemical symbol) powder mixed with epoxy to add weight.
      Select your favorite club, look up head weight from the Prophet CB iron heads, make longer irons (lower number than your favorite) by adding weight (W powder + Epoxy) to the undercut of the iron head. The weight of the longer iron heads MUST equal the head weight of your favorite. You can do the fabrication of have a club repair do it.
      I assume you can hit irons shorter than your favorite.
      I offered to write an article about my method but Golf Spy never responded. Maybe with continued interest, they will and I will supply all details.

      Robbie Aguilar

      7 years ago

      Fad….especially when the trend-setter is not playing lights out on Tour. I think it will be too expensive for all of the major club makers to take this on in mass production. Maybe this will be another “custom” option….

      Reply

      Adam Bray

      7 years ago

      What does DeChambeau have to do with average people’s game? If they work for the average player, who cares what DeChambeau does? I play single length and don’t even like DeChambeau. I play them because they are easier to play.

      Reply

      BK

      7 years ago

      I find it interesting that this article about single length concepts made no mention of EQUS Golf irons. They have taken the idea of single length irons and created a three-length set consisting of long, mid and short irons where each combination is identically matched. I have played them for over one month now and am very pleased with the playability as well as the quality of heads and shaft options. I believe they were conceived using CG, length and loft as the only variables dictating gaping and flight characteristics. They were designed by Jeff Sheets, a well known club designer, who was also responsible for my old Hogan Apex Blades (99).

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      7 years ago

      This was a story about true single length offerings. While not quite as variable as a traditional set, the EQUIS concept is still technically a variable length option that sits between single length and traditional variable length. It’s an interesting concept, but not really relevant to this story.

      Reply

      James Benjamin

      7 years ago

      I have done this the last 8 years. I cut my 6,7 iron to 8 iron length, cut my hybrids 4,5 to 6 iron length and my driver to 43.5 inches. Gaping is great and I lost 0 distance on any of these clubs because I hit the sweet spot alot more consistently. Currently a 9 handicap

      Reply

      Bill Ricke

      7 years ago

      When you cut the irons, did you remove the club heads and cut from the tip end, or did you cut from the grip end of the shafts? Did you then use lead tape to adjust the club weights accordingly?

      Reply

      Bruce

      7 years ago

      You do not want to “adjust” your current clubs – all the shafts are tip trimmed differently so if you remove the grip and trim the butt, you will have different flex – different feel – in all your clubs. If you remove the heads and tip trim, you may or may not come out OK. See my posts to Baba and Scott MacCloed above for some comments on fabricating your desired irons for abut $30 per club.
      My shafts are all cut like a 7 iron – tip and butt. Longer irons have weight added to make all heads equal to 7 iron head weight. Tungsten powder + epoxy to add weight.

      Rod_CCCGOLUSA

      7 years ago

      I am fitting the Sterling irons for my Wishon customers who have Wishon variable length irons. Comparing the Flightscope data, single length are 25% better for shot dispersion and 50% better for distance control (with mid-handicap golfers with club speed mid-70 mph). This is a significant jump in consistency that my clients report carries over to their daily play. The 5-iron is an anomaly. It does not produce the distance gapping consistent with the remainder of the set.

      Reply

      John

      7 years ago

      I fit several sets of Sterling Irons last year once I was able to get demos. During the latter half of the season they were my best seller. I agree that the 5 iron is not a good fit for 70-80 mph iron swingers. But it is interesting that most of the sets I sold were to single digit handicap golfers that wanted better results on shots into the green. And they all had the swing speed to make the 5 iron go the normal distance. As one client said, closer to the pin equals more birdies, less bogies and lower scores. He shot 73, 72 in his first 2 rounds and was a 6 hdcp.

      I think there is work to do on using flighted irons along with the Sterling heads to produce better results. That will be my project for 2017 to see if I can get better distance gapping for all players. But I think the Single length concept is here to stay as a result of the ability of manufacturers to produce hi-cor faces in the lower lofted irons.

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      7 years ago

      John – I’m glad you mentioned the 5-iron and slower swing speed players. One of the things we haven’t talked about much is that if golfers aren’t getting the distance they need out of the single length 5, a hybrid remains an option, and while nobody is offering a SL hybrid yet, in most cases, golfers will actually want to shorten the hybrid a bit to get the gapping right, so there is an easy solution to the problem for those who have it.

      Me…I have not trouble getting the 5-iron in the air. Controlling trajectory on the longer wedges…let’s call that a work in progress.

      David Scurlock

      7 years ago

      Only need three clubs. Driver. 9 iron putter. Can hit driver anywhere from 220 to 350
      9 iron from 200 to 75. Works great.

      Reply

      dang3rtown

      7 years ago

      What if you have to hit it 74 yards? That’s a long putt.

      Reply

      Bill Ricke

      7 years ago

      Right. And I just caught a leprechaun yesterday. C’mon man!

      Reply

      Jack Wullkotte

      7 years ago

      Do you do stand up comedy in your spare time?

      Reply

      Dennis Duncan

      7 years ago

      I’ve hit one length irons and really like them. Each iron CANNOT be made exactly the same, but can be the same length.

      Reply

      Larry

      7 years ago

      I am over 60 and a low single digit handicap. I just tried the Cobra single length and was very pleasantly surprised. Lost no distance with the five and was the Dame on the seven. The nine was just a bit longer but I could live with it. The biggest thing was that I was still able to manipulate tthe ball flight. When my Adams finally wear out I would definitely consider these.

      Reply

      Thomas Murphy

      7 years ago

      I would look to this more as a fad simply due to access. Unless DeChambeau starts lighting it up on tour beyond being “unique” and if this requires custom fitting to really get it “right” they just won’t have the visibility to people new to the game or are way over the price limit and if you don’t start there, unless you like to tinker etc….

      Reply

      Randy Block

      7 years ago

      Trend tried it before Tommy Armour

      Reply

      Lee Cole

      7 years ago

      failure for me. Talk about fat shots. Never felt right with short irons.

      Reply

      Devon

      7 years ago

      I’ve had the opportunity to hit both the Wishon and the Cobra single length irons. I noticed that with the Wishon on the driving range my ball flight varied little with each club and the feel of each was pretty solid, the distance was about right throughout the set. The F7’s felt good, I really enjoyed the forged ones as they felt the best. I think that if people understood there was more to single length irons than just cutting all the shafts to the same length, it might have a chance at being understood a little better. Your article did a great job of covering the nuances that are associated with single length irons.

      If I wasn’t so in love with my forged Apex’s I’d switch.

      Reply

      Daymon

      7 years ago

      I am a 3 index player, down from what used to be roughly +2 (1.83 at it’s lowest) and I recently got fit for the Edel in their facility, and now have them in my bag.

      What I can tell you, quite frankly, is that these are absolutely the best irons I have ever played. When I say “best” I mean from a performance standpoint. From a feel standpoint, they’re not bad at all and are very soft. Not a Miura Tourney blade (my standard gamers) feel, but very good. The performance however, easily offsets whatever flaws these may have.

      This set just performs, and I went into the single length transition with an open mind. The Wishon’s blew the Cobra’s out of the water, and honestly, it wasn’t even close. Then I hit the SLS, and it was so much better it’s hard to even quantify. I now have a 3-SW set of Edel’s and am working with them for a 60 degree wedge.

      I will concede that the clubs are expensive. However, I feel like these sets while all single length, couldn’t be further from direct competitors. The Cobras felt, to me anyway, like a haphazardly thrown together stick. I lost distance in all irons above 6 with them, and gained an inordinate amount in the lower clubs – almost a full stick – so my gapping was horrible skewed with them. The Wishon’s were great, and gapping stayed true to what it usually is, without the added distance low. The Edel’s though, they absolutely blew me away.

      The shaft combinations which can change flight, made a huge difference for me. I hit my 7 about 165-170 consistently, and I hit that number every time with them. Where I was most impressed was the top end distance and flight shaping abilities. I added about 1/2 a club in the 3-5 irons, which I badly needed, as the gaps with standard sets were off. Part of that was the head and the weight. The biggest part, to me, was the shafts. These things are simply unbelievable. If you like Recoils or Aerotech’s, you’re going to be shocked at how good the Paderson’s feel. I had them in my last set of standard irons, and they were astounding.

      Anyway, I think this trend can be here to stay, especially if people have tangible and real results as I have. That’s the key though, tangible and real improvement. They’ve worked for me, and I will probably stay with them for the foreseeable future. I love a forged iron, and particularly a good blade. But these are just spectacular. if you’re on the fence, just try it. Steer clear of the Cobra, but Wishon and Edel’s sets are extremely good.

      Reply

      Sandy

      5 years ago

      Is it possible to get your email address? I’ve some questions regarding single length. Thanks!

      Reply

      Steve S

      7 years ago

      I built a set of Pin Hawks(5-PW) 3 years ago, used them for awhile, then sold them before DeChambeau hit the news. I found that I didn’t have the swing speed to launch a 5 iron high enough to stop it on the green.

      I think the concept will work well for folks that are just starting and others that don’t play a lot. Frankly for me the difference in set up between my 5 and PW is small enough that it doesn’t seem to affect my consistency…but I play and practice a lot (almost 5 times a week, all year).

      Reply

      sam

      7 years ago

      i bought a set of 1irons 3yrs ago. (yes called 1irons). jumbo grips as well. the accuracy was visible instantly on my longer irons but lost 10+ mtr , had to get use to a stronger club choice. Still a much better , simpler swing needed on longer irons. 3 and 4 irons could do with a bit more loft but that may be due to the shaft tech/ not being variable.

      Reply

      Geoff Morrison

      7 years ago

      Just like every other club ever made… golfers will buy them thinking it will improve their game. Then by the next summer 90% of them will be on the used club rack when people realize it’s not a magic cure.

      Reply

      Adam Bray

      7 years ago

      Have all your irons as easy to hit as your 8 iron is the next best thing to a magic cure.

      Reply

      Geoff Morrison

      7 years ago

      Same length doesn’t mean as easy to hit. Less loft is harder to hit well. If you cut a driver down to 3 wood length it should be easier to hit, but even at the same length most players will hit the 3 wood loft better.

      Reply

      Donald Brenda Stage

      7 years ago

      Geoff Morrison Sorry but that is simply not true. Ask ANY golf instructor if its easier for their clients to hit a shorter 3 woods than normal length.

      Reply

      Geoff Morrison

      7 years ago

      I totally agree with that. But that isn’t what I said. I said given two clubs the same length, it will be harder to hit the one with less loft.

      Reply

      Kenny Stammen

      7 years ago

      I’m 56 years old and I thought of this 40 years ago, just never had the equipment to build a set. I would make my 4 wedges and 9 iron all the same length, knowing that i would likely choke down on the lob and gap wedges depending upon the need. Then, I’d make the 8,7,6 and 5 irons the same length. I don’t carry a 4 or 3 iron, I use bybrids and today’s 5 iron is yeasterdays 3 iron anyways. Obviously you would have to build them out of a set of very soft forged irons so that you could bend the crap out of them to get the right yardage gaps. If someone would market a set. I’d be on them in an instant!

      Reply

      Matt Frenzer

      7 years ago

      Sterling Irons by Tom Wishon. Best ones out there

      Reply

      J.R. Martinson

      7 years ago

      You got that right Matt. I played Titleist, Mizuno and Nike blades for the past 23 years. Titleist for the last 12 years. At my best I was a plus 4 and have been hovering around a 2-3 for the last several years. And when my buddy, who is a Wishon dealer, had me try them I was sold. I’ve never hit a better iron in my life. These comments saying they are a fad and that it doesn’t work is by golfers who aren’t open minded and haven’t tried them. And by trying them I mean go demo them and learn the concept of single length irons before ya bash on them. People commenting that it’s a fad probably play a 460cc driver(M1,M2, Epic etc… and play ProV1s. Or maybe they still play with a wood driver and a balata ball. STERLINGS!

      Bill Plagianakos

      7 years ago

      Cobra sells them everywhere

      Reply

      G.B. MILLER

      7 years ago

      from articles i have read about bryson c. he got his original idea of trying single length irons from seeing a set of bobby jones’ clubs in a museum that were hickory shafted and all the same length. it seemed to work for the great bobby jones, so why wouldn’t it work for us hackers? there are several other club makers out there (have been for years) making single length iron sets (google it and they’ll pop up) . one company’s solution to gapping issues is to progressively remove weight from the wedges, short irons, and add weight to the 6,5,4, etc to compensate for the longer short iron shafts and shorter long iron shafts. i bought a set of these lesser known clubs on ebay and love ’em.

      Reply

      Steve S

      7 years ago

      Why the mystery? Just say what you bought. 1 Iron Golf from David Luke, who’s being doing it for 15+ years?

      Reply

      Todd D Heugly

      7 years ago

      I believe it is a fad and it will be interesting to see how long it tries to hang on. Distance gapping is a big issue.

      Reply

      Josh Hinojosa

      7 years ago

      It’s a fad that has been tried before. Do you remember the Tommy Armour EQL’s?? You’re 100% correct about the gapping issue.

      Reply

      Adam Bray

      7 years ago

      I love when people try to compare crappy 80’s EQLs to today’s single length irons when there’s no comparison.

      Reply

      Adam Bray

      7 years ago

      My Sterlings have no gapping issue. They must be broken.

      Reply

      Todd D Heugly

      7 years ago

      Thank you for your feedback Adam.

      Reply

      Josh Hinojosa

      7 years ago

      I compared them to the EQL’s because that was the last main stream attempt. We will just have to respectfully disagree on the gapping issues, and I’m glad that your set is “broken”. From all of my experience, and club building/fitting is how I make a living, I can’t get behind it.

      Reply

      Thomas

      7 years ago

      More interested in when can we expect the 2017 “Most Wanted” results? The season will soon be 1/3 over.

      Reply

      Mtipton

      7 years ago

      I recently installed new shafts on my short irons (7-PW) , and set the length the same as my 6 iron. I hit the 6 iron real well, so I figured I might get the same results from the shorter clubs as well. It works extremely well, all the re-shafted clubs play like a new set. I’m a believer.

      Reply

      James Irby

      7 years ago

      One length clubs will never be considered a viable option by the masses until more than one PGA player starts using them and having success with them. DeChambeau will always be considered a quirky outlier until more pros jump on that bandwagon with him.

      Reply

      Larry P.

      7 years ago

      Bought a set 5 – gap wedge . 7, 8,9, PW. WERE OK. Really never got comfortable with the 5, 6 irons and I particularly did not like the gap wedge. Sold them on eBay and got most of my money back, (to my surprise). These are more or less a game improvement size iron and I don’t do well with bigger heads with a lot of offset. Went back to my Taylormade RSI2’s.

      Reply

      Larry P.

      7 years ago

      BTW, these were the Cobra’s.

      Thomas

      7 years ago

      Another gadget / manufacture nitch for those not willing to spend the time on lessons / working on their swing.
      Cobra’s Branden might win a few tournaments but in the end he dresses and plays for indorsemwnts

      Reply

      Chris Nickel

      7 years ago

      Thomas – Some will gravitate toward the concept and others will not, but Bryson (or Branden as you call him) like any other tour player, won’t be around unless his play allows him to be.

      Reply

      Gary Herman

      7 years ago

      Trend. Find a local Cobra Demo Day and go try them

      Reply

      Sherman Welch

      7 years ago

      Here to stay. I bought a set of Cobra F7 (4-GW) in January and I’m very happy that I did. My carry & total distance have increased with each club in the bag and the gapping average is 10-12yds. I have so much more confidence with these clubs than any set I’ve ever owned. I’ve been playing for 20yrs and am a 10 handicap.

      Reply

      Robert Locati

      7 years ago

      So, how long before someone makes a good quality, “split set”. Same length LW-9i (PW length) and 8i-3h (7i or 6i) length. That, I think will be a good set.

      Reply

      Chris Nickel

      7 years ago

      Robert – I won’t be at all surprised if this happens with the next generation – or at the very least, that this becomes one option. I also don’t think it’s much of a stretch to see some players at the highest level matching lengths in just the long irons and staying variable in the rest.

      Reply

      Bruce

      7 years ago

      There is a company already. Called Equsgolf. They make a set with three different lengths

      Reply

      Bruce

      7 years ago

      Equsgolf already makes a set with three lengths. 4-6 38.5″ 7-9 37″ PW-LW 35.5″

      Reply

      Shane

      7 years ago

      Edel will build their SLS irons with grouped lengths. if you get fitted

      Reply

      Chris Pouley

      7 years ago

      I don’t see a fad. Nor will everyone go this direction. However, one indication for how long it will stay around is how well the new F7 junior set sells in one length. Yes, it is out. If a junior picks this up and learns with them then there you have a small but strong foot hold. I currently play Cobra Pro CB/MB but might make the move when I’m ready for new irons. I have messed around with them and all my issues where mental. Looking down at a really long shafted PW for example is hard to get in your head as OK. I do think Cobra is going in the right direction.

      Reply

      Joe Howsley

      7 years ago

      Whatever it tends to be I hope that the ppl that it can help get more into the game of golf. Does there need to be such a thing as a traditionalist in the game of golf no I don’t think so. It’s about getting the new young and old people introduced into the game. Let’s look past what is called a gimmick on anything and be happy that the game that we love is growing.

      Reply

      Matt

      7 years ago

      When the Sterling irons came out I postulated to Tom Wishon and my local club fitter that even though the shafts were all the same length, they could have varying flex/kick points and thereby mitigate gaping and trajectory issues. It was explained that with the Sterling Irons it was unneeded because that had been addressed metallurgically and though offset. I think this may be true from a technical standpoint, but may miss the mark from a feel perspective as I don’t think most golfers expect their sand wedge shaft to flex and feel the same as their 5 iron. I have no proof but I have seen several sets of slightly used Sterling Iron sets for sale on Ebay and watched a gentleman struggle at the range with his new set of Sterling Irons and I think the aspect of shaft flex and feel (or in this case lack thereof) may play a role in in why some players are not finding the transition to single length irons to their liking and have reverted to their old incremental length sets.

      Reply

      Roger

      7 years ago

      Since I have a little knowledge about the Sterling Irons. I think to date that I have built about 30 sets and sold some as components let me give my two cents worth. If I were just starting out and trying to build a repeatable swing I might consider single length irons. When I have built these sets I encourage anyone with a swing speed of less than 75 mph with a 5 irons not to build the 5 iron. A few things to consider the weight of the single length 5 iron is 274 grams which is 20 plus grams heavier than a normal 5 iron. So the launch for a senior or just a regular once a week golfer is going to be low. The majority of shafts that I have used are the Wishon Super Lite made by Apollo and the Nippon 950’s both shafts at 100 gram range. I am not big on any graphite shafts it requires adding weight to either the hosel area or tip weights. The idea of adding weight to bring it to a proper swing weight kind of makes it hard for an older player or a player that doesn’t swing that fast to launch these properly. It is also my opinion that the feel of a steel shaft is far superior to the graphite shafts. If one wants to purchase these I say 6- gap wedge or maybe even 7- gap wedge with the possibility of the sand wedge. Remember all of the irons have lofts that are stronger these days and the Sterling Irons are also in that category. If I were to ask the people that play these 65 per cent would say that these are the best clubs they have ever played, but the 35 per cent left would give them a thumbs down. Also of all the sets I have built the heaviest weighted shaft was a Dynamic Gold 130 + grams and even a tour quality player had trouble hitting the 4 iron better than his gamer 4 iron. The jest of all of this… Build a club that your customer can hit in the center of the face, error on the side of flexibility make the shaft a bit softer for most people and consider the overall weight when it comes to the 4,5 and,6 irons in the Sterling set.

      Reply

      Matt

      7 years ago

      I recently went through a fitting of the Edel SL irons and they are sweet. They look and feel very much like forged CB irons but are as forgiving as a GI iron. Dispersion was much tighter than my own Wishon’s. I’m sold on the concept and performance….now I’m trying to talk myself into the price tag. :)

      Reply

      John

      7 years ago

      Im using them they are great!

      Reply

      baudi

      7 years ago

      MGS quote: Ben Hogan’s set of MacGregor’s circa 1953 was more or less a single-length concept with hickory shafts.
      No that is highly unlikely. Hogan played a steel shaft at variable length.

      Reply

      Stuart J Campbell

      7 years ago

      Tiger Shark did this years ago great for handicap golfers but they want to play conventional??????

      Reply

      Sean Mulgrew

      7 years ago

      Fad

      Reply

      Mel

      7 years ago

      Recently purchased the cobra one length irons and after 4 rounds with them I can see the benefits for myself, one swing, one ball position (when I remember ?) look great, feel great, even getting more distance and even better more height in my shots. Time will tell if the help my handicap come down but so far so good…?

      Reply

      cksurfdude

      7 years ago

      Niche. Somewhere in-between trend and fad. Definitely have a place within the equipment realm .. but how large? .. who knows? .. but definitely have value.

      Reply

      A Woolford

      7 years ago

      I find this just another example of marketing the dream of armatures believing they can play like a pro. If a player can’t hit anything but a 7 iron, then carry only a 7 iron. Another option is to keep the cost of another set of irons in their pocket and go to a competent pro for lessons. There is no magic in any club. Try lessons and practice instead and stay off the course where your slow play, gives us all a bad rap until you can hit a 6 iron or how about a putt.

      Reply

      Chris Nickel

      7 years ago

      Marketing is involved in every product release – but I don’t get the sense at all OEM’s are creating a story of single length as a pancea which will turn you in to a tour-level iron player. I do think there’s a significant portion of the population (maybe even as high as 30%-40%) which could benefit from this technology, but that has absolutely nothing to do with your bizarre and patronizing assertion that these clubs are somehow magic and/or relieve a player of needing to practice or take lessons. As long as the player is swinging the club, there will always be a need for quality instruction. By the same token, the game will always have curmudgeony folks who still decry the use of hybrids, high MOI putters and anything which maybe makes the game a little easier for the masses to enjoy.

      Reply

      Shane

      7 years ago

      I have the Wishons and do and have taken lessons for the last 6 years which is how long I’ve been playing. I went from an 8 to a 4. They are not magic but once you get used to them. They make the game easier. Warming up is quocker, my pace of play is faster. That is why your statement is stupid.

      Reply

      Harold w

      7 years ago

      Like I have said before this is my 49th year in this business and I have seen it all. And designed some of it. Shafts must be made so flex points are in right place. Sounder golf had all clubs swinging the same wedge and 3iron has if the same length.
      They did this by putting bbs down the shafts just in the right spot. Hell we signed Seve and he used them for 4 years.
      You can’t tell me that you won’t have to learn a new swing. I think FAD.
      Hell just go play golf Taylormade proved you don’t need a new driver every other month.

      Reply

      Kerry Cole

      7 years ago

      I tried the Sterling single length irons……………and really didn’t hit them very well.. the 7,6,&5 did not go as far as my regular irons and they did sound strange when hitting them. The PW, 9, & 8 I of course hit further than normal.. I was supposed to get a call from a fitter from Edel to run me through the Edel fitting process a month ago and he never called back, I guess he didn’t get his fitting gear yet… Anyway it was a mistake for me as I went back to my Miura irons and glad the person that set me up with the Sterlings was nice enough to take back the irons… of course then I ordered some MB-001 irons.

      Reply

      Donald Brenda Stage

      7 years ago

      I hope it’s a trend. For certain swing types having one length irons makes for a far more consistant swing. They however do not work as well for other swing types, so they will never completely replace a standard set.

      Reply

      Adam Bray

      7 years ago

      That makes no sense. You don’t need a special swing. You just need to be able to hit an 8 iron. I hope you can do that..

      Reply

      Jay DeVincenzo

      7 years ago

      Fad. Practice to play well, or be ok with hacking. There’s no shortcut in golf. Dechambeau is a clown, as he continues to fade, so too will using him to legitimize this

      Reply

      Michael D. Corley

      7 years ago

      I wouldn’t say he is a clown considering he is in fact a pro….. But keep shooting those 85’s from the whites Jay. You machine!

      Reply

      Jay DeVincenzo

      7 years ago

      Ha, ok cheif.

      Reply

      Dean Eshelman.

      7 years ago

      Mo Norman a canadian was considered one of the best ball strikers all time. He swung irons that were the same length all his life.

      Reply

      Adam Bray

      7 years ago

      Explain why it will be a fad. Players will get tired of hitting the balls straight and more consistent?

      Reply

      Dustin

      7 years ago

      I tried the cobra forged for 30-days with little success. Gapping and ball flight issues. Then I went through the Edel SLS-01 fitting process and I think they nailed it. No gapping issues, hitting my 4-iron higher, farther and straighter than my traditional set. They are on the way. I fall into the last category of a former tournament golfer with little time to practice now. The concept makes sense to me.

      Reply

      Carolina Golfer 2

      7 years ago

      I will side on the thought they are here to stay, and like the end of the piece mentions, i expect we’ll see another major OEM offering these in the fall or by the 2018 PGA Show at the latest.

      My guess would be Callaway. I remain very interested in the One Forged after a demo of them.

      Reply

      Jules

      7 years ago

      i have played around with different one length sets and my experience indicates that there is an issue that has not been directly addressed and that suggests that the view of these clubs as good for beginners and sloggers is VERY misleading. In order for the gaps to be consistent and for the distance of the longer irons to be comparable to a normal variable length set, a golfer has to have an adequate swing speed. Hi COR, moved CG all play a role as does stronger lofts, but… the stronger lofts don’t yield adequate distance if the ball doesn’t stay in the air long enough and swing speed matters for optimal performance from single length clubs. In fact, my experience suggests that the person who benefits most from single length irons is the better player who no longer has enough time to practice and play and thus who is looking to reduce swing related variables.

      Reply

      Harry

      7 years ago

      As A super senior and club making hobbiest I am baffled by single length. Based on how I swing my 8 iron (65mph) that would mean the same swing speed for every club. That may help me hit my wedge a bit further. At the other end with a swing speed of 65 mph in a five iron I will need serious help with getting it into the air. And if they have the technology to improve that I want to put in my 6,7,8 and 9 as well.?

      Reply

      Micah Montgomery

      7 years ago

      Trend. I’d much rather have shorter long irons and standing closer to the ball. Sure I’ll lose distance at first but that can be adjusted with loft.

      Reply

      Jiro

      7 years ago

      I think it is an interesting concept that I can see sticking around, especially if one of the other big OEMs got on board.
      I like the idea better on the long irons though. I think it might be interesting to maybe do 7-4 with single length but 8-P with conventional lengths. I believe you could do this with the cobras and still use the same type of heads for consistent feel since they also sell conventional F7s.

      Reply

      Dan Weitzel

      7 years ago

      Hello Jiro – I have been building sets as you noted (4-6 or 4-7 single length) with the shorter clubs in the more traditional length variations for about a year. I have done this with Cobra (combined the One model with the Tour model) and Wishon 565 MC heads. I can do it (cleanly) with Wishon because of the added weight port in the hosel. I use progressive (MOI) swingweights and flighted shafts to help with launch in the long irons. I have had outstanding feedback in every case. Even the Cobra people are interested in this approach. Contact me with any other questions you might have about my experiences.

      Reply

      Jiro

      7 years ago

      Good to hear. I kind of like this approach–makes for a less awkward transition to your wedges. At the other end of the bag, I don’t think the big transition in length would matter as much.

      Mike Trussell

      7 years ago

      It might actually develop into a trend… especially amateur and weekend warriors that have physical limitations would benefit from one length irons.

      I have no complaints so far.

      Reply

      J

      7 years ago

      “Sterling uses the same proprietary Wishon (steel or graphite) shaft in each iron”…. this isn’t 100% accurate. You can get fit into whatever shaft works best for you (Wishon shafts aren’t required), however the shafts are the same for every iron.

      Reply

      Jason Pereira

      7 years ago

      I tested the Cobra’s last week at a demo day. Really liked them overall. You have to hit them a few times to get use to everything being the length of a 7 iron.

      Reply

      Johnny Cowboy

      7 years ago

      Better players could benefit from having 3-7 iron be the same length but none of us want to swing a pitching wedge with a 7 iron shaft length

      Reply

      J

      7 years ago

      Who is “none”? Is that every golfer? Is that every golfer with a low handicap? Is that every scratch golfer?

      Sweeping statements like this make no sense.

      Have you –tried– the PW with a 7i shaft?

      Reply

      Johnny Cowboy

      7 years ago

      Who is “none”? Everyone who doesn’t suck

      Is that every golfer? No, every golfer who doesn’t suck

      Is that every golfer with a low handicap? HC below 10

      Is that every scratch golfer? Yes

      Sweeping statements like this make no sense.

      Have you –tried– the PW with a 7i shaft? No but common sense would indicate that a PW with that long of a shaft wouldn’t work very well

      Sharkhark

      7 years ago

      Troll… Try offering above or opinion without insulting otherwise your just a troll.
      I’m tall and a good player and I feel a bit too hunched over my short irons so to say no one would like a longer pw etc is bull crap.

      Later troll….

      Reply

      Chal

      7 years ago

      I carry a .6. I have messed around with the single length irons because I think it makes sense. Gapping was my primary concern. Length of the pitching wedge was never an issue. Your statement is extremely false..

      Bignose

      7 years ago

      I wish there was a hybrid of this idea and standard change-every-iron-length that we have today. That is, the main problem I have always had with 4 irons that are the length of an 8 iron is getting enough speed. They can change the loft, but if you don’t have the speed from the longer shaft, the ball flight is so low that it is extremely difficult to stop the ball on the green. If there is trouble in front of the green and you can’t play for a ball to bounce up, then you almost are forced to lay up.

      As a hybrid idea, I would like to see a set where groups of 3 or 4 clubs are the same length. LW, SW, GW, PW the same length, then 9, 8, 7 irons the same length, and then 6 and lower irons the same length. This probably leaves like woods a single length, and then driver on its own.

      This way the player only has to master 5 lie angles & lengths instead of 13. But you aren’t completely giving up the advantages the different shaft length provide as well.

      Reply

      MOI_Matcher

      7 years ago

      Check into MOI matched irons that use 3/8″ length increments. 3/8″ increments decrease the variation in length and lie angle (getting closer to what single length provides) while keeping the added club speed since the lengths are still variable. Using 3/8″ increments also allows for the use of standard off-the-shelf heads, instead of specially manufactured components.

      Reply

      Dunce

      7 years ago

      I’m open minded enough to try them. I’d be interested in renting a set to hit on the range and play a round or 2 with before purchasing them.

      Reply

      Daniel Love

      7 years ago

      Fad without a doubt. I had a set of Tommy Armour EQL irons in the mid 80s and they cost me lots of cash but they were definitely worth it. Every iron the size of a 6 iron and my handicap went from 19 to 12 but within 13 months the company stopped making them due to lack of demand

      Reply

      Jeff Bahry

      7 years ago

      Scientifically, it makes perfect sense to limit the number of variables in a golfer’s swing; stance, alignment, ball position, etc. The trick is how do you manipulate the club head and/or shaft to meet the individual’s needs? Fascinating article and I can’t wait to see the test results and comparisons for these OEMs.

      Reply

      John Camping

      7 years ago

      Its to stay…

      Reply

      Steve Balzano

      7 years ago

      Are Wishon good irons? Never heard of them

      Reply

      Taylor Henderson

      7 years ago

      Some of the irons you can get

      Reply

      Gary Lutz

      7 years ago

      Yes Wishon clubs are fantastic. As a hobbiest I have been building his clubs since he started his own company in 2003 in Durango,Co. Before that he was designer for dynacraft and golfsmith. Tom is the most honest down to earth club designer you can actually talk to. Built my first Sterling set and customer loves them

      Reply

      Duncan Castles

      7 years ago

      Wishon make excellent golf club – irons, hybrids, fairway woods and drivers. Really high quality production and industry leading designs. I play their 565MC forged irons (which set up beautifully to the ball and feel great off the face while offering a good amount of forgiveness) and their 775HS hybrids, which are a high COR design, but again feel great to hit and have a sole design that works on just about any lie. Find a good fitter to build a set of Wishons for and you’ll really struggle to go wrong.

      Reply

      Matt Frenzer

      7 years ago

      The Sterling’s are fantastic. Have a friend who switched from his Titleist blades to Sterling’s after trying them. Lucky enough to play with his for a good 6 months and am now saving to buy myself a set

      Reply

      J.B.

      7 years ago

      Do we have test results for the single-length offerings available at MGS yet? If so, please respond with a link. Thanks

      Reply

      Sharkhark

      7 years ago

      There’s is a link in article plus other posts if you search there’s been tons of research testing on these by mygolfspy

      Reply

      Ben Clabaugh

      7 years ago

      Trend. The science behind it works out. I’d much rather have shorter short irons. I hope the keep the option and add an option for a blended set like your 4 thru 7 the same length and 8 on down normal.

      Reply

      Brad Wuhs

      7 years ago

      Fad.

      Reply

      James Harding

      7 years ago

      i think it is an intriguing concept but i also feel that too many people see it as gimmicky because dechambeau hasn’t done anything at this level and hasn’t played great and they are building him up and building this up as a big thing… they should have waited until he did something before doing that because i think too many people see it as more of a joke now since it really isn’t helping him

      Reply

      Marc Dumoulin

      7 years ago

      US am and NCAA singles champ. That’s what they went off of.

      Reply

      James Harding

      7 years ago

      i know his resume… but it looks foolish to have built it up so much when he really never did anything after that… he was quirky with all the physics stuff and but he just hasn’t backed it up

      Reply

      Ben Clabaugh

      7 years ago

      He won on the web.com playoffs last year.

      Reply

      James Harding

      7 years ago

      and wesley bryan won three times and then backed it up by winning on the tour as a rookie… dechambeau, as good of a player as he has been… has 2 top 10 finishes in his career on Tour and has missed more cuts than he has made

      Reply

      3Putts

      7 years ago

      Justin Rose missed his first 20 cuts after he turned pro.
      For some people it just takes a little longer to get used to the pro life.
      To discredit the idea of single length irons just because he hasn’t won on tour is short sighted.
      Back in the early 70’s 95% of the cars sold in this country were rear wheel drive. They said FWD wouldn’t catch on, now it’s a complete flip flop.

      SugarfreeJeff

      7 years ago

      All the players on the PGA tour have serious game so It is hard to win on the PGA. However give any tour pro Single Length irons and they will play great golf with them. Two top ten finishes is a low result for a US Amateur and NCAA Champ but the dudes got serious game.

      Adam Bray

      7 years ago

      Look at all the hotshot NCAA golfers that have turned pro recently that have also done nothing but miss cuts. PGA Tour is not easy no matter what clubs you play. Dechambeau’s problem is he’s a mental case. The clubs are not the issue.

      Reply

      Scott Macleod

      7 years ago

      Adam Bray 2nd in The Australian Masters a few years ago at a course that would bring most to their knees.

      Reply

      White tiger

      7 years ago

      Why do it need to have differents shafts if it’s same length and same weight (Cobra)? It’s the same feel that I want too!?!

      Reply

      Chris Nickel

      7 years ago

      The question really centers around manipulating ball flight and thus carry distances. Shafts with progressive kick points (flighted shafts) can be part of this answer.
      Thinking specifically about long irons (3,4,5) you have to do something to increase launch angle and carry distance, because players do not have enough swing speed to generate the necessary launch/spin by themselves. So, increased offset, higher COR faces and shafts with lower kickpoints are possible ways to address this need.

      Reply

      Toad

      7 years ago

      Tough to call at this point. I have the Sterling and they are very nice irons. My guess is traditional variable length will continue to be the standard but a certain percentage of golfers will find that SL irons make things a bit easier.

      Reply

      Rob

      7 years ago

      Funny how “all in” Edel is now. I read that Jacob Bowden went to Edel first to try and create single length irons and they basically said no way. He then approached Tom Wishon and they created the Sterling Irons. Would love to hear the in depth story behind it.

      Reply

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