• Emphasis placed on distance in both designs
• Longer shafts and stronger lofts put into both models
Ping has experienced a lot of success by launching its gear mid-year and it is set to do the same with two new irons that bring distance into focus in two distinctive categories, writes Craig Dennett.
The Phoenix-based brand has introduced the new i irons, replacing the highly successful and popular i25, as well as the new GMAX designs, stepping into the brand’s line-up in place of the super game improvement Karsten option.
The new i iron is aimed at the better player who still wants forgiveness, and Ping has used 431 stainless steel to give both workability and trajectory control alongside forgiveness and softer feel.
Larger head sizes and a centre of gravity positioned low and further back in the long irons means golfers can get forgiveness and distance where it’s needed most, while the smaller short irons and wedges give the perfect combination of precision and control, allowing you to go straight for the hole.
The added distance comes from the choice of shaft length and loft tweaks, with the shafts ¼ inch longer than i25 in the 3-9 irons and the lofts made one-degree stronger in the 3-8 irons.
While Ping wanted to place an emphasis on distance, it also wanted to try to optimise the peak height of each iron. It has achieved that by expanding the perimeter weighting and using tungsten in the toe of the 3-7 irons. These changes come together to increase the MOI.
In previous Ping designs you’ve been able to see the custom tuning port, but it has been hidden in the new i irons and has been positioned deeper in the cavity and lower in the face to line-up better with the centre of the face for more sound and feel.
You may have also noticed that it doesn’t feature a number in the name like its predecessors have, and that comes from the brand’s realization that golfers relate to the letters in their irons line-up rather than the number.
The GMAX irons, meanwhile, is considered to be an aggressive game improvement model that increases ball speed up to 3mph compared to previous Ping models, giving more distance and greater control. COR-Eye has been designed to give faster ball speed that is constant across the entire face, meaning off-centre strikes will still travel long and straight.
Ping has redesigned the structure of the cavity to hide the custom tuning port, placing it deeper in the face, like in the i irons. This means the centre of gravity in each iron has been moved lower and further back to increase MOI, resulting in more forgiveness, accuracy and consistency.
The 4-8 irons have been through a special heat treatment process that makes the face approximately 40% stronger, allowing Ping to make it thinner for more flex and faster ball speed. Longer blade length and increased offset has allowed forgiveness to be maximized.
Ping i and GMAX – pricing
Ping’s i irons will cost £112 per club with a steel shaft, or £124 per club with a graphite shaft. The GMAX irons are priced at £96 per club (steel) or £108 per club (graphite). For more information, log-on to ping.com