If anyone hasn’t been paying attention for the last couple of decades, Ping irons have come a really long way since the Eye2 was the best selling model in golf. The two newest models, the i500 ($175 per club, steel) and the i210 ($137.50 per club, steel) are perfect examples of how far Ping irons have come since the days of Beryllium Copper and both feature exceptional designs with varying degrees of hi-tech performance.
For those interested in modern max-distance performance in a compact, traditional-looking package, the i500 is right up your alley. If you’re more of a true traditionalist and want ultimate control in a player’s design, the i210 is worth a serious look.
In addition, Ping is also offering up new Glide Forged wedges ($217.50 per club, steel) that can be fully customizable as well as a complete line of Prodi G junior clubs. Obviously the folks down in Phoenix have been busy – take a look at the fruits of their labor below:
When develoPing the i500 irons, the goal was fairly simple – design a compact blade with player-preferred looks that produces the very high trajectory and the kind of distance normally associated with game improvement and max game improvement models like the G400 or G700. Though the idea is simple, execution required a lot of engineering and experimentation, the result of which is a muscleback design with a hollow clubhead and forged maraging steel face, similar to that used in G400 metalwoods and the G700 irons. Because the particular alloy used in the face flexes so well, it doesn’t need to be quite as thin as those in some other flex-face irons, the solid feel and sound is maintained without the need for shock absorbing materials.
The i500 also comes fitted with a precision swing weighting screw in the toe of the club that counterbalances the weight in the hosel evenly and allows for very accurate custom fitting. Other features of the new distance blade include a Hydropearl Chrome 2.0 finish that minimizes friction through the turf for faster swing speed through impact, machined face and grooves for consistent spin rates and distance, and Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips as standard. No upcharge iron shafts include Ping AWT 2.0 steel, Ping Alta CB graphite, True Temper Dynamic Gold, Project X LZ, True Temper XP95, Nippon NS Pro Modus3 105, and KBS Tour. The i500 is also available in Ping’s Power Spec, which features slightly stronger lofts, and Retro Spec, featuring slightly weaker lofts for a bit more spin and higher trajectory.
For players looking for enhanced control with a traditional feel and look, the i210 is up your alley. Featuring a one-piece clubhead cast from the same 431 steel used in the prior i200, the new model also features a 50% softer elastomer cavity insert for an exceptionally soft feel. The insert also flexes at impact for 25% more face contact and increased energy transfer and ball speed. The compact clubhead’s profile has been cleaned up and now features more pleasing lines while also looking good due to the same Hybropearl Chrome 2.0 finish as the i500.
The understated matte chrome is not only durable but also helps reduce friction through the turf for better contact and faster speed through impact. According to the folks at Ping, the i210 is designed for solid distance but is definitely not a distance iron but rather one made for accuracy and precision – a workhorse for mid- to low-handicappers who are serious about their game and their scoring. Other features include precision milled cavity, face, and grooves for outstanding consistency, refined leading edge and sole design for improved shotmaking, and Golf Pride Tour velvet grips. No upcharge shaft options are identical to the i500. The i210 can also be ordered in standard, Power Spec, and Retro Spec.
Glide Forged wedges
Ping’s newest Glide Forged wedge is forged from soft carbon steel and features a traditional Tour-preferred shape and feel for those who want high-spin accuracy on scoring shots. The new model is also fully customizable with various options including 12 paint fill choices, three character stamPing options, and several different graphics to choose from for the back cavity. The folks at Ping created a dedicated website specifically designed to help players imagine and place their custom order.
“The Glide Forged wedge represents an exciting new direction for us,” said John K. Solheim, Ping President. “First and foremost, it offers the performance we engineer into every Ping club, including an amazing feel. It’s also our first fully forged wedge offering in several years and it comes with the ability for golfers to create a truly unique wedge by adding custom graphics, stamPing and paint fills. The combination of the wedge’s technology and the customization options gives golfers a great opportunity to improve their short games while creating a wedge that’s totally unique to them.”
Other features of the Glide Forged wedges include patented, precision-milled grooves with sharper edge radius for more friction and increased spin and control, a rounded leading edge and more heel-toe camber for improved shotmaking and versatility, and tungsten toe weighting for increased forgiveness on off-center hits. Glide Forged wedges are available in 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, and 60 lofts in ten different lie angles. No upcharge shafts include True Temper Dynamic Gold, Project X LZ, True Temper XP95, Nippon NS Pro Modus, and KBS Tour. Golf Pride Tour velvet grips come standard.
Prodi G junior clubs
Aimed at providing the same technologies found in standard Ping clubs, the new Prodi G junior line consists of a full bag of 11 sticks (offered separately) including driver ($240), fairway wood ($130), hybrid ($120), irons ($90 per iron), wedges ($90 each), and a blade-type putter ($90). Two Hoofer Prodi G junior golf bags are also available separately in 30″ and 34″ sizes. A significant part of the launch of the Prodi G line is Ping’s new “Get Golf Growing,” program, which was developed to offer premium-quality custom clubs for juniors with a one-time, no-cost adjustment for sets of five clubs or more. The hope is that the system will encourage the purchase of properly fitted, optimized clubs for juniors without worrying if they’ll outgrow them quickly.
“One of the biggest barriers parents of junior golfers face is investing in a set of clubs that their kids will outgrow in a short time,” Solheim said. “As a result, they often buy clubs that don’t fit their kids in hopes they’ll grow into them or they cut down old clubs. Neither option is ideal and impedes the junior’s golf development. Our ‘Get Golf Growing’ program is designed to be an affordable way to get juniors into high-performance custom-fit clubs while bringing more boys and girls to the sport. The Prodi G clubs grow with the kids. We believe if juniors are exposed to better equipment, they’ll enjoy golf more, which will ultimately help grow the game as the kids fall in love with golf and play it for a lifetime.”