Ping aren’t a brand too many associate with blade irons. In fact their business has been built on cavity backs which are the polar opposite of blades. Company founder Karsten Solheim channelled out the back of a blade to create his first game changing cavity back in the 1960’s and since then they’ve passionately championed the benefits perimeter weighting brings to the table. It’s absolutely no surprise then the new iBlade has a degree of cavity back under the hood of its smaller blade chassis too.
Some would ask why bother creating a new set of blades that will only ever be played by less than 10% of golfers? Well Ping see it from a very different angle, reckoning that 95% of their tour players will put the new iBlades into play. Which means you don’t need to be Einstein to realise the iBlades are designed for and aimed at the very elitist of golfers.
Ping happily admit at this level design changes need to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, so don’t be expecting anything to radical. It’s well known the best players in the world won’t entertain anything other than a clean, simple look at address, so this is how they've updated their most popular tour iron for Bubba, Louis and Lee.
Details: RRP: £130 (s) £140 (g) Availability: 3-PW
Stock shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold (s)
Optional shafts (no upcharge): Ping AWT 2.0, Project X, XP 95, NS Pro Modus 105
Stock grip: Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound
Thin high speed face
The extra strength to weight ratio brought to the table by the 431SS (instead of the 17-4SS used in the previous S55 model) means the iBlades face has been slimmed to half the thickness of the S55. More face flex means more ball speed, higher trajectories and Ping say up to 6 more yards from the long irons.
Clean, simple shape
With the iBlades design being driven by the very best players Ping reckon these types of players want a clean, simple shape at address. Expect a thinner top rail, minimal offset, a straight leading edge and a sharp high toe design.
You won’t hear too may blade irons mention elastomer in their design, but Ping’s engineers reckon it plays a big part in saving weight, dampening vibration and increasing feel to create a solid impact sound.
Tungsten toe weighting
On average the iBlades have 23g of tungsten weighting positioned low and deep in the toe to help increase MOI. Meaning extra ball speed protection when shots aren’t impacted on the centre of the face, helping improve distance consistency between shots.
New direction with premium shaft and grips options
Over the years Ping have been huge advocates of using their own shaft designs in their clubs from Drivers, irons and wedges. It makes perfect sense, their engineers have designed and tested every one of the models so they should know which shafts are best suited to each. Over the years their models have been fitted to millions of golfers so they have a very good idea of which shafts players plump for in each particular range too. They’ve obviously spotted a trend as the new iBlade’s as standard come with the legendary Dynamic Gold steel iron shaft that’s been a proven tour winner for decades. But if it’s not your cup of tea don’t worry there’s a choice of four other top shafts (Ping AWT, Project X, XP95 and NS Pro Modus 105) at no upcharge. And because the guys at Ping know what decent players prefer Golf Pride’s Multi-Compound grip comes as standard too, which in our opinion is one of the best grips on the market.