The Golf Monthly test team reviews PING Karsten Irons.
PING Karsten Irons The 10 Point Test Report:
1. Address view The oversize head design in the irons (the Karsten set comes with two hybrids – £102 per club – to replace long irons) will fill struggling iron players with confidence. The face looks enormous behind the ball.
2. Shelf appeal You’ll know almost immediately whether or not this type of set will appeal. They clearly aren’t for those who are happy with their game, but those who need forgiveness through the bag will be amazed at the performance on offer
3. Stock shafts There are a wide range of stock shaft options available with the Ping CFS steel offering – it comes in Soft R, R, S and X flexes. The graphite KS 401 shaft is available in Soft R, R and S flexes.
4. Construction The stainless steel irons are designed to produce added distance, thanks to a combination of loft and shaft lengths, along with wide soles. Ping’s Custom Tuning Port in the back of the head helps to reinforce the thinner face for greater distance and higher ball flights.
5. Weighting The wide and forgiving sole helps to position the centre of gravity (CG) lower and further back to help get the ball up in the air quickly.
6. Hybrids Progressive weighting in the head means that the higher-lofted options feature a CG that is further forward to control spin, while the lower lofts are weighted to get the ball up quickly. Internal heel-and-toe weighting makes the hybrids more forgiving.
7. Feel There’s a surprising amount of feel and feedback on offer for an iron head of this size. Although they’re very forgiving, it’s clear where the ball has left the face.
8. Flight Throughout the set the flight is one of the highest on the market. Even those who really struggle to get the ball in the air will find plenty of help in this set. This is particularly the case in the longer clubs, but also when hitting approaches from closer in.
9. Distance control The majority of players trying these will find them longer than their current set. This will certainly help those struggling with their game. You’ll find very consistent distance gaps, even as the set progresses from irons into hybrids.
10. Forgiveness There are plenty of positives about this set, but forgiveness is the main reason you should try them. Your bad swings will be punished less than most other sets on the market. If ball striking is a weakness, you’ll find lots of help in this design.
Possibly the most forgiving irons I’ve tried. I was really impressed with how easy they were to launch, and the long irons were simply effortless. The irons bridge the gap between hybrids and irons admirably. The design is classic Ping, and the quality is what we’ve come to expect from this manufacturer. This product would be hard to beat for distance and forgiveness, particularly when matched with the custom-fitting options that are available.