Ping have kicked off what promises to be an exciting autumn of product launches with its unveiling of the new Ping i and GMax irons.
The first thing you may notice is the lack of any number in the name. Ping’s own research discovered that it was the letter that resonated more with golfers than the number. With I representing better players and G existing to help game improvers, the message is a clear and simple one for now, but one that leaves us guessing what the next irons will be called!
Replacing i25 with a model that outperformed it was always going to be a difficult task. They were irons that for years could be found in the bags of 18-handicappers, tour pros and everyone in between offering a balance of feel, forgiveness and workability. Lee Westwood used a set for many years (he switched to the new I irons at the Alstom Open de France last month) while Sweden’s David Lingmerth recorded what may be the last Tour win for the model at the PGA Tour’s Memorial tournament earlier this year.
While not exactly rolling off the tongue, the I iron expands the already wide appeal of the I family, which moving forward will be limited to irons alone. More and more good players are opting for the extra forgiveness these type of irons offer over true better player models, in Ping’s case the s55, because the feel and playability have become very similar. Certainly from Golf Monthly’s initial testing, it would be safe suggest you’ll see a few good ball strikers making the switch.
Ping’s decision to extend its G range by replacing Karsten is also a prudent move. Ping’s G30 irons have always been known for their distance and forgiveness and so extending this message into their new super game improver irons is a sensible decision. The success story of the G30 driver is phenomenal but not one that should surprise you. With its three models offering tailored performance for every golfer plus Ping-esque forgiveness thrown in, the G name is one that is trusted and relied on.
The GMax irons, while larger in size than G30, shouldn’t be pigeon-holed into high handicappers alone. Once you put your pride to one side and give them a try, many low-teens will also be sold on the game-changing performance, even if it’s just in the long irons where help is needed most. Unlike Karsten, there’ no hybrids in the GMax set but with the G30 hybrids going all the way up to 31° of loft, golfers will be able to create an effective combo set based on their needs and preferences.
Ping’s custom fitting service is one held with very high regard in the golf industry and this reputation will only be enhanced by the wider range of stock shaft offerings for these two new irons. Having some of most popular shafts (Dynamic Golf, XP95, Project X and Nippon) available at no extra cost on top of its CFS model is just another reason to get fitted for a set and experience the benefits.
Ping are hugely excited about its new irons and you should be too. For many golfers, they’ll be genuinely game changing.