The new Ping iBlade has been officially unveiled, claiming to be longer and more forgiving than the S55 model it replaces
The Ping S55 has been the company’s most compact and workable iron in its range since its launch in 2013 and is popular among competent ball strikers seeking Ping’s signature forgiveness and reliability.
To replace it would be a challenge but in the new iBlade, Ping say it has created its most workable, forgiving blade-style iron to date.
There are multiple innovations crucial to it delivering this extra performance over S55. The first is the use of Activated Elastomer behind the face (see below), which is the largest Ping has ever used in an iron, saving weight to aid forgiveness but also dampening more vibration to make the iron feel and sound better at impact.The second is use of heavier ‘near pure’ tungsten weights in the toe of the irons, which raises the clubs’ moment of inertia (MOI) or resistance to twisting. On average, there is 23g of tungsten weighting in each iron through the set but this tungsten is completely hidden, creating a cleaner overall look.
This theme is helped by the thin top rail, minimal offset and straight leading edge as well as a sharp high toe, all designed to create a traditional looking club that will appeal to the eye of the better player along with a finish similar to that of the Ping Glide wedges.
Use of 431 stainless steel, which has a high strength-to-weight ratio, means Ping could make the faces thinner for more speed and an extra six yards on average over S55. The 3-4g of weight saved has been redistributed to make the irons more forgiving on off-centre hits.
In the long irons, the bounce has been reconfigured the make them more forgiving through the turf but still having the same sole width as S55. Finally, a Hydropearl chrome finish helps to repel water and a precision milled face provides more control in wet conditions.
The True Temper Dynamic Golf is the stock shaft but like the recently launched Ping i iron, there are four other no upcharge options available. Ping has made minor changes to the lofts to account for the new head design and create equal gapping through the set. The 7- 9-irons are one degree weaker than S55 while the 3 and 4 irons are around a degree stronger. The shaft length has also been made 0.25 inches longer to bring it more in line with the rest of the market.
The RRP of the Ping iBlade is £130 per club in steel shaft and £140 in graphite, representing a small price increase compared with S55.
Ping staff players Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen have already made the switch along with Miguel Angel Jimenez, who finished runner up at the Senior Open Championship at Carnoustie a few weeks ago.
The S55 iron was a multi-material iron that provided better players with a little added distance and control while increasing workability and forgiveness. A tungsten toe weight stabilized the face to improve accuracy, and a vertical stabilizing bar offered distance control. The custom tuning port is made from a thermoplastic elastomer for a soft feel and sound at impact.