This is really a review of one product, but in two parts as the Wishon Sterling Single Length is one of the first sets of single length irons to hit the market since Bryson DeChambeau made the approach popular again.
The concept of having a whole set of irons the same length is not new, but has not been seen from a major manufacturer for over 25 years so firstly there is that philosophy to review. In time more manufacturers will try this approach so therefore the second part of the review will focus on the heads that Wishon has created specifically for this set.
There is more information on the single length theory in our Guide to Single Length iron shafts, but the gist of it is that by having all your irons the same length then they will all be the same weight and lie so the golfer will only need one swing set up to play them and therefore be more consistent.
The accepted principle is to make the shaft length around that of a standard 7 iron and Wishon therefore off the Sterling irons in 36.5, 36.75 and 37 inch lengths. I usually have my irons 0.25 inches longer than standard so I went for the 37 inch set, so just check what your current 7-iron is using the manufacturers site.
This of course means that your longest iron, which is the 5 in the Wishon Sterling set, is shorter than usual and the short irons are longer.
On the course, the longer short irons actually did not feel that unusual and even on half shots with the gap wedge, I found it actually easier as it felt like you were making a bump and run swing with a 7-iron that then went in the air like a wedge. For anyone who struggles with their short game then single length iron are worth considering because the longer shafts takes your hands out of the stroke a little.
The shorter 6 and 5 irons also played like they should, but it took more getting used to trusting that the shorter shaft at set up was going to deliver the distance you could see in front of you, but it always did.
The loft gaps vary between 4° in the 7-iron upwards and 5° in the 8 iron downwards and each head is weighted according to the shaft length to ensure consistent distances and the same club weight of 274g. Compared to my current set, the distances were almost exactly the same in the long and mid irons, but fractionally longer in the wedge.
Right throughout the set the distance gaps were very consistent so I would have no qualms about the performance of the single length concept.
The Wishon Sterling heads are almost over-sized but in the longer irons they still retain a classic iron style look.
At address the top line is generous and is maintained throughout the set without getting too chunky. As you go down the set, or maybe across for single length irons, the shorter irons start to get a little bit rectangular with a bit more offset, which may not suit the eye of every player.
However the feel right through the set is good even though there are two different types of head.
The shorter irons up to the 8 iron feature a blade style cavity back made form 8620 Carbon Steel, which offers good feel and a mid width sole that plays very well from all types of lie.
The peripheral weighting in the heel and toe do create a little notch in the centre of the trailing edge of the sole, which is fine for shots from grass. The sand iron is great for pitching and chipping and you need that loft to cover your distances, but a specialist sand or lob wedge with a proper bounce on it would probably be required too.
The longer 7, 6 and 5 irons all feature the High COR design using a High Strength HS300 Steel on the same 8620 Carbon Steel body as the blades.
These have an open cavity back head that aims to move the CG back so that you combine a higher launch with a face that will deliver more ball speed.
This is an example of the changes you need to make to the heads when creating a single length set and the concept works well in the Wishon Sterling.
It did make the sound feel more hollow and getting one out the middle would give a ping sound, but it was not the end of the world. The High COR face does a good job of getting the ball up there and airborne, but it lacked a little consistency.
Off centre it was fine, but whenever I hit one right out of the middle it was like hitting the boost button in a golf video game as it flew an extra 10 yards or more beyond what I was expecting.
This shows the face works and may appeal to some, but others may prefer a more consistent spread of distance, rather than standing over the ball not knowing whether it will land on the front of the green or airmail it completely.
Wishon has also created a specific S2S Stepless shaft for the Sterling Single Length irons that comes in regular and stiff flexes and it is light and well balanced and matches the set very well.
As a concept I do like the Single Length approach as it simplifies the game and can make the short game a little easier for anyone who struggles with it. Wishon has created a set of shafts, heads and irons that fit this philosophy very well and in that regard I think they have done a very good job, even if they are a little pricey.
Taking a step back and imagining the market full of single length clubs with other heads, then the Sterling heads are probably more middle of the road as the consistency and sound of the High COR longer irons could be better.
The shorter non-cavity irons did feel very good though, but maybe the looks would be too much for better players who may not need something that is not as game improvement looking.
Therefore I would say that if you are a beginner right up to a mid-handicapper and want to try the single length route, then the Wishon Sterling irons are probably more for you.