PREVIEW: Ping Golf iBlade irons

PREVIEW: Ping Golf iBlade irons

Ping makes great golf equipment for players of every skill level, including a new blade that attempts to refine and improve upon the successful S55 irons from three years ago. What Ping engineers have added, removed and changed from that line comes together in the new iBlade.

The changes start with the casting process, going from 17-4 to 431 stainless steel. That upgrade in the strength-to-weight ratio allowed Ping to halve the size of the face without sacrificing distance and performance at impact. Ball speeds increase, as does trajectory. Higher and longer is pretty much the aim of any club, though it's the only aim of the iBlades. Distance matters, but in a blade, so do workability and consistency from shot to shot and through the set.

That weight from the change in steel was then moved to the heel and toe in the form of high-density tungsten weighting as we've seen from other manufacturers in irons, particularly for better players. The tungsten weights improve the moment of inertia calculation without boosting the size of the club head. That's good news for better players who want forgiveness and workability in the same club without having to sacrifice one for another.

The top line is thinner than the S55, while engineers straightened out the leading edge so it lays more square at address. The bounce angle has been improved on the sole that is the same width as the S55. The club was designed to feel better at impact by injecting more elastomer into the tuning port.

Meanwhile, a hydropearl chrome finish, like seen in the Glide wedges, aims to repel water to prevent fliers and improve reliability from the rough.

The Ping iBlades are available now for pre-order. They are available in 3-9 irons and a pitching wedge. The stock steel shaft is either the True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 or X100, with three stock graphite choices (Ping CFS 65G Soft R, CFS 70G Regular, CFS 80G Stiff). Aftermarket options, including Project X 5.0 and 6.0 shafts, are available for no extra charge. Each club costs $162.50 in steel and $177.50 with a graphite shaft.

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