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Mark Crossfield: A review of single-length Sterling Irons

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Bryson DeChambeau — winner of the 2015 U.S. Amateur and NCAA Men’s Individual Golf Championships and recently turned professional — plays with a unique set of irons and wedges that all measure the same length.

In my video, I review Sterling Irons from Tom Wishon and Jaacob Bowden that are designed to also measure one length throughout the set.

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Mark Crossfield has been coaching golf for more than 20 years, and has enjoyed shaping the digital golf world with fresh, original and educated videos. Basically, I am that guy from YouTube. You can connect with Mark on Periscope (4golfonline) and Snapchat (AskGolfGuru), as well through the social media accounts linked below.

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Diogenes

    May 4, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Just tried two Pinhawks (20 and 25 degrees numbered #4 and #5) for two rounds now and like them very much so far. Cannot confirm the reported low ballflight. They behave like a regular #3 and #4 iron which corresponds to the loft. Still struggeling with the 20 degrees iron played from the fairway but the 25 degrees works already great! Hit it much more consistently compared to my regular #4 and even #5 iron. Cannot complain about the distance as well. The shafts are 36,5 inches (FST 115 stiff) and the lie is 63,5 degrees (one upright). I was not looking for a single length set but replacing the longer irons definately makes sense to me! ūüôā

  2. Warwick b

    Jun 20, 2016 at 3:36 am

    It’s a shame they aren’t available for lefties

  3. Warwick b

    Jun 20, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Shame they aren’t available for lefties

  4. Scott

    Jun 15, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Great review of a very interesting concept. It is great to see what a better player things of something unique.

  5. Ally

    Jun 15, 2016 at 6:15 am

    Mark great review on tom wishons sterlings. I myself had a set of conventional irons build to SI. And they performed great the short irons were very accurate we did have a bit of adjusting to do with the 4&5 irons the trajectory was too low and it was loosing distance. We ended up increasing loft and now all is fine. Did notice though that on the 4&5 irons i did need to have at least 80mph swing speed.. Overall i really believe the concept works. Cheers

  6. Tour Pro

    Jun 9, 2016 at 6:22 am

    30 years a bit of a stretch to be calling it a fad

  7. leon

    Jun 7, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    The single length concept is fine. But just don’t understand why people (especially golfer) always try (and hope or beg) to find an instant cure to their swing.

    If you cannot handle the 4,5 or 6 iron, try the hybrids, they are much easier to hit and launch high and straight. Or just make the 4,5 and 6 have the same length. If you cannot take care of 7,8,9 and P, sorry, dude. You really need to work on your swing, seriously.

    Use the same length for 5-SW may sound intriguing for some people, but you still need to deal with the different lengths of your driver, fairway wood and hybrid. So why bothers?

    I guess 95% of people who would like to try the single length irons, have some challenges to hit the 4 and 5 or even the 6 iron. Just use the hybrids or hybrid-iron combo set (should be around $200-$300) rather than spending $1000 and look like a sucker.

    • Mike

      Jun 15, 2016 at 4:35 am

      The single length concept is AWESOME! I (was) a 1 HCP and can hit the 3 and 4 irons as well. But i definitely hit the 7 iron much more solid then my 4 iron.
      i now playing a single length set and hit the 4 as solid as my 7, or 9, or P. I loosed 5 yards. So who cares about 5 yards if you hit them MUCH better? I also use a hybrid and a driver. So i have 3 lengths in my bag. And thats pretty easy to handle.
      Sure, this is not for every one. But it makes the game a lot easier. Droped to +HCP this season…and this looks definitely not like a sucker! The + on the scorecard looks SEXY ūüėČ

      • Tony

        Feb 28, 2017 at 11:01 am

        Would love to know more. I have been racking my brain on the single length concept. I’m a 3 handicap. There are 3 distinct versions and concepts of the single length out there with Cobra, Wishon and 1Iron Golf. How deep did you look into this and what advantages and disadvantages did you run into while trying to decide. I’m 5’7″ 8 iron 152 yds. thanks for your response

  8. Tom

    Jun 7, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Say this Crossfield chap has a good looking swing.

  9. tlmck

    Jun 7, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Given the cost of Sterlings and lack of local demos, I may just build a set of PinHawks when they become available again. I have an unused set of TT Command shafts in the closet that need something to do. Not unhappy with my Speedblades, but just another curious engineer.

  10. farmer

    Jun 7, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    I would like to see the results of a real round. The concept is very interesting, but for me, chipping and pitching with a 7 iron length wedge would be difficult. The idea makes sense, and it may be THE NEXT BIG THING.

    • Brown

      Jun 8, 2016 at 3:37 am

      Well why not just watch Dechambeau do it on the Tour then, silly

  11. Matty

    Jun 7, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Few things:
    1) Shouldn’t the offset be constant throughout the set? According to the specs, the offset is not the same throughout the set unlike the Pinhawk irons.

    2) Mizuno’s current wedges are single length at 35.25 inches, so at least that is a good place to start in terms of single-lengthening the wedges.

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jun 7, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Historically, the low-lofted irons in single length sets would fly too low and the high-lofted irons would fly too high. The progressive offset slightly helps address this by moving the center of gravity forward and backward from head to head. This combined with some other built-in features help achieve similar peak shots heights throughout the set.

  12. Frank Xavier

    Jun 7, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Great commentary. It is an excellent demonstration of the viability of SLI’s. Mark does mention the possible benefits of single length to the new/beginner several times with the caveat that he never had the adjustment problem. I like to see golf as a staged learning process with the objective being to make arriving at the earliest and highest possible competency level the main objective. This approach tends to move new golfers to become much more enthusiastic about the game rather than less. Single length clubs when combined with systematic instruction will likely increase beginner and new golfer competency. Only systematic, quantitative data can definitely prove this point and as we know this information does not exist.

    I would go sofar as to suggest that standard SLI’s could easily be regarded as the beginning golfers friend; and upon reaching the 10 handicap level, graduation could occur to either longer clubs or SLI’s which have had the heads tweaked to achieve higher performance. Serious golf enthusiast’s especially those in the single digit handicap category commonly forget that 98% of golfers will never achieve a single digit handicap.

  13. Steve

    Jun 7, 2016 at 9:16 am

    They appear to be very accurate as well.

  14. Large Chris

    Jun 7, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Definitely interesting but worth a closer look at the numbers. The short irons seem to work very well, they address the main issue single length (I’ve tried the Pinhawks) has had, by lowering the peak height to a fairly uniform level (making them less hot off the face), and getting the gapping correct.
    However, only 19 yards difference is covering the 5 – 7 irons, and the peak height of the 5 iron has dropped down to 26 yards from 30, without any more spin, which suggests the loss of a few mph due to the shorter shaft is reducing ball speed and compromising distance too much, I would think Crosssfield is realistically 10 yards down on a standard modern 5 iron.

    • Mat

      Jun 7, 2016 at 5:11 am

      And that is what I’ve found as well. I’ve actually been tinkering with a 4-iron at 24, and then going to 6 at 29. Those pinhawks are 5¬ļ between all of them, but they don’t have the material differences. I’ve actually found that the long irons don’t get high enough, and that’s what causes gap crowding. This of course is based on my experience with “regular” heads. I think this really drives home the point that 8-iron and down is all about dialing in your distances, but some really do need that length at the top of the irons. My other set is 8i-58¬ļ within 1/8″ of an inch… all at D9. Then it’s standard 1/2″ steps. It isn’t as easy to hit, but the long iron problems don’t exist.

      Most second shots are within 150 yards, so all the better to get the 7/8iron and down the same.

    • Steve

      Jun 7, 2016 at 7:24 am

      The 5 & 7 numbers are a bit skewed by a mishit 5 and a shot wit the 7 that was 5 yards longer than the other 2. Also, the 7 iron was the only one with a peak height of 30. I suspect a larger sample would normalize the distances.

  15. snowman0157

    Jun 6, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Totally makes sense. If you don’t need different lengths and lies to create the proper distance gaps, then why introduce those variables? I was always intrigued by the old Tommy Armour EQL irons. I predict these will sell Big and a create a wave of SLI players.

  16. Adam

    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Title in the video says “sinle length”

  17. Jim

    Jun 6, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    This is hardly a fad. Moe Norman played SLI clubs and is one of the greatest golfers of all time. The truth is on the wall…SLI clubs can be very beneficial to anyone out there, just have to find a set.

    • kyle

      Jun 6, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Moe didn’t use single length clubs during his actual playing career, just later on when he endorsed the natural golf stuff.

      That being said, SLI are probably a good option for some golfers.

    • es

      Jun 6, 2016 at 11:53 pm

      Moe Norman one of the greatest of all time? Maybe a great Canadian player or maybe a great ball striker… he could probably middle a 48inch 7 iron, not the ideal SLI user trying to find consistency…
      But SLI does have a great new ambassador – the Great in his own mind and future web.com player Bryson DeChambeau. Have not seen such celebration for a player yet to secure a PGA tour card with only 1 top 20 finish and 4 missed cuts in a row.

      • Credentials

        Jun 9, 2016 at 3:00 pm

        DeChambeau was the NCAA champ and US Amateur Champ in the same year. Not too many of those guys here on earth…. or elsewhere.

  18. mhendon

    Jun 6, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Lol nice post… So true!

  19. Mat

    Jun 6, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    SLI is a great concept. I’ve posted on here plenty of times that I think almost every golfer would be better suited by a 1/4″ gapping or SLI. The hard part is that the lofts and ball apex get a bit funky when you take standard clubs and make them SLI. I think the hardest part about transitioning to SLI isn’t the equipment; it’s the mentality that irons are for exact distances, and not following the “distance iron” marketing. When you see guys hit their 6 iron 210 on the PGA, you get guys who want that same thing, and you end up with loft-jacking. If you can shed all of that baggage, and embrace that your irons are intended to get you an exact distance, things get better very quickly.

    • Jim

      Jun 6, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      Totally agree. I would think that 3/8″ would be far better than 1/2″ as well. I’m currently working to setup clubs using 1/4″ increments because the clubs will be far more consistent up and down the set.

  20. john

    Jun 6, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    i can hear a vlog coming, come on mark!

  21. John

    Jun 6, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Love the reviews. These are very interesting to me. Wish there was a test set around here or I knew someone that had them to try out.

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Whats in the Bag

Austin Cook’s Winning WITB: The 2017 RSM Classic

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution TX-Flex

3 Wood: Ping G400 Stretch (13 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujifuke Motore Speeder VC 7.2 TX-Flex

Hybrid: Ping G400 3 Hybrid (19 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91X

Hybrid: Ping G400 4 Hybrid (22 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91 X

Irons: Ping S55 Orange Dot (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour S-Flex

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 SS (50-12, 56-12), Ping Glide 2.0 WS (60)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne 
Grip: SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

5095fce33e880406a172796becbc64f8 6900daf1b0d2a2751ffa5557ac3865f7 2340677acd0b3c6d0f53ae8fa46c2024 80f602716821fd9518f148951913c9c0 4df372aac347ad61f031f519a1fd1edb 48039d9dfced6272ba047b51e6265d03 6fecf1d551cb1559587f1f17392ba7c8 0519679f5fdaaae2ffbaf2d97c0def72 5445ea5d9987cddfda04efba5d2f1efd

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Whats in the Bag

Jon Rahm’s Winning WITB: 2017 DP World Tour Championship

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Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75X

3 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75TX

5 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8X

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52 and 56 degrees), TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” (60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Equipment

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Mizuno’s new ST-180 driver

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Mizuno has recently released a new ST-180 driver that we spotted on Tour at the 2017 RSM Classic. The company’s “wave sole” technology makes an appearance for the first time in a Mizuno driver; the design is used to push weight low and forward to reduce spin rates, and the construction contracts and expands during impact to increase energy into the golf ball. The result is a lower-spinning driver, especially for those who hit down on the golf ball, and increased ball speeds across the face.

The ST-180 drivers have a new Forged SP700 Titanium face insert that allows the faces to be made thinner — saving weight from the face while increasing ball speeds — and they feature what the company calls a “Internal Waffle Crown” that saves weight to help shift CG (center of gravity) low and forward in the head.

There’s a slew of custom shafts available for no upcharge. The stock grip is Golf Pride’s M31 360, and the drivers are selling for $399.99, available in stores now.

Below is a collection of early feedback from GolfWRX members, and make sure to join the full discussion. See more photos of the ST-180 driver here.

Note: The posts below have been minimally edited for grammar and brevity.

GolfWRX Members comment on the new Mizuno ST-180 driver

TeeGolf:¬†I’ve seen the ST180 driver [in person] and it looks like it sits perfectly square to me. And this is coming from someone who has been playing a Titleist driver set 1-degree open for the past 3 years. It doesn’t look closed at all.¬†

trhode:¬†I’ve been playing the M2 all year. In comparison at address, the ST is very closed. I had 3 customers look at it yesterday too and they all had the same reaction: closed. That being said, I did play 18 on the simulator and hit some monster drives. The head, with the Raijin shaft, seems to be just a little lower spin than my TaylorMade M2. The blue finish doesn’t bother me either.¬†

akjell:¬†Hit this yesterday at the Mizuno demo day yesterday at Eagle Ridge in Gilroy, CA. Far from a hook machine but definitely a bomber. The Mizuno’s reps put me in a Mitsubishi Tensei White 70X and I could hit this this driver on a string possibly a bit better than my M1. Of the Mizuno drivers of late, this has to be the best one.

odshot68: Ordering it today. Was fit and played a round with it. Optimal launch and spin. Tensei Blue 70x at 9.5 degrees. This is definitely not left bias; first Mizzy driver ever.

nmorton:¬†Hit this today and it’s going in the bag. Just a classic head shape that suits my eye. Been messing around with a number of drivers over the past year and haven’t singled one out. Last long term driver I had was the 850. The ST checks all of the boxes for me…looks great down by the ball, sounds solid and performs as good as any other. What really sold me was how well slight mis-hits performed. I had the 12.5 dialed down so it definitely sat open a bit. Didn’t hit the fairway but it looks sharp as well.¬†

evoviiiyou: Had a chance to test the driver with a couple shafts last night. The head is definitely deeper than the JPX900 and the footprint seems bigger from he set up position, very confidence inspiring like the JPX900 but a little improved. Finish and graphics are very similar to the 900 which is very nice if you like the satin Mizuno blue and I do love it just like the satin black I recently had done to my JPX driver and 3 metal. 

regiwstruk:¬†My current gamer is a Titleist 917D3, and this is definitely replacing that. I used a JPX 900 from November 2016 through June 2017 — biggest differences are the sound and that the distance is up there with at least one of the leaders in the market. Anxious to see how it does on the course!¬†

Paul065:¬†It is high launch, low spin yes but I wouldn’t say it was targeted at the average golfer. It’s basically their version of Callaway Epic Sub Zero. Rory used the Sub Zero.¬†

Tommyj:¬†I went down to Carls yesterday specifically to look at the ST180. I’ve read some comments that the face looks closed. When I picked it up it was in the 10.5D position and did look slightly closed but then looked perfectly square at 9.5D and also square at 10.5D which seemed sort of odd. The shape is not for me, I had a Cobra F6 and while the ST180 footprint isn’t that big its still substantial. I like blue on drivers and the ST180 has a real quality look to it with the matte finish, having said that I’m not sure I’d want to be looking at that shade of blue all the time. The sound was an absolute killer for me, it was completely unexpected because I always associate¬†Mizuno¬†with being traditional and understated…¬†ST180 launch was lower than G400 in the neutral setting, about the same when I lofted the Ping down.¬†¬†ST180 was noticeably lower than D2. Longest driver of the three was G400, followed by ST180 then D2. For me the ST180 had the widest dispersion with G400 being the most accurate (by a wide margin).

Discussion: Read more comments about the ST-180 driver here

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