July 16, 2018
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
The last few months have offered better players a glimpse at PING’s latest iron and wedge creations. Tony Finau was spotted testing an unmarked i500 3-iron at the U.S. Open; Tyrrell Hatton, Brandon Stone and Lee Westwood all transitioned into i210 irons; and Bubba Watson debuted Glide Forged wedges at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
Following a brief run on TOUR, i500, i210 and Glide Forged are coming to retail. The i500 and i210 were created as separate iron sets, but it’s possible some players will consider creating a blended set that features both models.
Based off the game-improvement C700, the multi-material i500 features a 17-4 stainless steel body and the same C300 maraging steel face insert found in PING’s G400 fairway woods and hybrids.
The compact head shape, thinner topline and sole should appeal to the better player.
The ultra-thin face and hollow cavity allows the structure to bend at five times the rate of standard cast iron, which leads to faster ball speeds and a comparable launch angle to i210, even though lofts are 2.5 degrees stronger across the boards.
“The i500 delivers unbelievable distance with amazingly high ball flights,” said John K. Solheim, PING’s President. “In our testing, some golfers gained as much as 15 yards with the i500.”
The replacement for i200, PING’s i210 is made from 431 stainless steel with a refined shape that’s already been accepted on TOUR by some of the best players in the world, including Scottish Open winner Brandon Stone and Tyrrell Hatton.
The elastomer custom tuning port in the back cavity was increased by 30 percent to improve perimeter weighting. Going larger allowed engineers to create 25 percent more face contact, resulting in activation of the elastomer to produce a softer sound at impact.
“The soft feel of the i210 irons is unlike any we’ve ever offered,” said Solheim. “We know players who rely on precise iron play also require exceptional feel to control their ball flight and trajectories.”
A new hydropearl chrome 2.0 finish repels water to increase consistency from the rough and wet conditions. The grooves, face and cavity were also precision milled to give the club a “high-end appearance.”
In the pitching wedge and U-wedge, groove spacing was tightened to provide greater consistency and eliminate fliers from the rough.
PING Glide Forged
Forged from 8620 carbon steel, Glide Forged was designed with direct input from major winner Louis Oosthuizen, who wanted to see a sole design with a rounded leading edge and more heel-toe camber. The shaping allows for more shot-making and creativity around the green.
A gooseneck-tapered hosel provides a “captured look” at address while ensuring a smooth transition from the turf to the bunker. Similar to Glide 2.0, the groove edge was created using a wheel-cut milling process that produces a sharper edge radius for the lower- and higher-lofted wedges.
Going sharper increases the groove interaction with the golf ball cover at impact, which in turns produces more friction for even more spin and trajectory control.
“Several of our tour professionals have already added Glide Forged wedges to their bags since debuting them last month,” Solheim said. “They really love the feel and are especially excited about the added spin and trajectory control they are experiencing.”
The new blade design is also customizable with various graphics, stamping and paint fill combinations offered through a dedicated Glide Forged custom website. The graphics include a Mr. PING logo, American flag, Arizona desert scene and Boomerang.