Aug 1st, 2016
Ping iBlade Irons
The sexiest Ping Irons ever
Words: Daniel Owen
For a brand that have made a name for themselves providing golfers with forgiveness and assistance in getting the damn ball airborne in the first place (PING created the first cast cavity back club, the K1 in 1969), they make ridiculously good irons for better players too. Since the original S59, Ping have had a forgiving blade-style iron in the line up. It’s safe to say the iBlade is the best looking iron they have ever produced. By the sounds of it, it’s the best for better players too!
The iBlade replaces the S55, which has had more than 50 tour wins since it was introduced. But the iBlade was so good theat Louis Oosthuizen put them in the bag at the Players Championship, the first week they were shown to the Ping staff players. Bubba Watson has also switched into the new model already.
“The iBlade project was a fun challenge for our engineers,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “They approached the design with the mindset of what the best players in the world demand and need from their irons. They incorporated tour player feedback and created a beautiful club that delivers amazing performance. The iBlade has a simple shape, clean cavity design and incredible feel. It’s already our most-played iron on tour as players around the world have quickly converted to the new design.”
The iron’s body is precision-cast from soft, high strength-to-weight ratio 431 stainless steel. The result is the softest, purest feel ever in a PING iron, and something all the forged-iron fanboys should appreciate at impact.
The combination of soft stainless steel and a larger surface area for the elastomer insert makes these clubs feel unbelievable at impact. The insert is “activated” at when you hit, which results in more vibration damping in the player’s hands and a softer feel and pleasing sound. A technical way of saying they feel 'melted butter soft'.
A thin top line, a smidgen of offset, a straight leading edge and a sharp high toe will appeal to all those low handicappers out there. Less obvious changes like bounce angles and more heel relief, combined with the same sole width as the S55 iron, provide a design that will help you hit any shot, when you need to.
So they look and feel great. But that doesn’t mean anything if they don’t perform.
“Consistency is the key to strong iron play, and that includes being able to hit the ball farther than before,” said Solheim. “The iBlade delivers ample distance and height, but it’s important that we engineer irons with control and proper gapping. We’ve designed this club to give skilled players the confidence to play any shot and know exactly how far the ball will go.”
The thin face (half the thickness of S55), yields faster ball speeds for increased distance throughout the set with higher overall trajectories for more control.
“Even players at this level need forgiveness,” added Solheim. “The iBlade continues our long-held practice to engineer every PING iron with maximum stability for its size. In this case, we used high-density tungsten in the toe which we’ve subtly concealed to maintain the clean head design.”
Nearly "pure" tungsten weights (netting a 70% increase in mass relative to the S55 iron) are pressed into the toe of every head to increase the MOI. They’re the most forgiving Ping blade iron ever.
But the Ping boffins in Phoenix don’t leave it there. They go to places other manufacturers don’t with their equipment. Milled tour-spec grooves and precision-machined fly-cut face are obvious inclusions, but important for consistency.
But a hydropearl or hydrophobic chrome finish? What’s that when it’s at home? Apparently it repels water for more control and helps minimise fliers from wet conditions and lies in the rough. If you want to see a hydrophobic finish at work in a totally different way, but that will help explain what Ping are talking about, check out this video below.
We just want to get out and hit them now. We'll let you know what we think once we've given them a smack.
- Available 3-9, PW
- Stock steel shaft: Dynamic Gold S300, X100
- Stock graphite shaft: PING CFS 65G Soft R, CFS 70G Regular, CFS 80G Stiff
- After-market stock shaft options (no upcharge): PING AWT 2.0 (R, S, X), Project X 5.0, 6.0; XP 95 (R, S), N.S. Pro Modus3 105 (S, X)
-Stock Grip: Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound Black/White
- RRP: TBC
Find out more at ping.com