It's not long ago that PING didn’t dabble in the world of forged golf clubs. The company known for technological innovation in golf equipment preferring to cast its irons and wedges, with processes it believed achieved similar feel.
However, the launch of the brand’s Blueprint irons following significant work with Tour players to produce a model for elite ball strikers, saw a shift in company direction. Today’s announcement of the new i59 irons adding a second forged blade to its line-up, one packed with forgiveness and an all-new core technology.
“There’s been a lot of anticipation for the i59 iron since we took them out on Tour a few months ago, so we’re very excited to bring them to golfers around the world,” PING President John K. Solheim said. “It’s a true forged blade on the outside, but inside it’s like nothing ever engineered in golf equipment.
“Our team took on the challenge of disrupting an iron category that traditionally has lacked a lot of performance innovation and they developed an iron unlike any other. The combination of the look, feel and forgiveness ‘when you need it’ sets it apart from anything else in the industry. Once golfers hit it, they’ll be pleasantly surprised by its versatility.
“The i59 will clearly appeal to better golfers but the combination of forgiveness and clean appearance will attract golfers of all skill levels.”
Already twice a winner on the European Tour in the hands of Viktor Hovland and Johannes Veerman, the i59’s “disruption” of the forged blade market is led by ‘AlumiCore’ technology.
Comprised of a forged 1025 carbon steel body and a 17-4 stainless steel laser-cut face, the i59 contains an insert made from aerospace-grade aluminium in the centre. The insert, which is approximately 30 grams per head, saving discretionary weight that can be redistributed to the perimeter.
Some of this perimeter weighting is achieved with tungsten in the sole and tips of the shafts raising the moment of inertia (MOI) to levels of the larger headed i210 irons, an extremely popular model with Tour players and recreational players alike.
The use of this new patent pending technology, which requires a different sized insert for each iron loft, allowed PING to create unprecedented levels of forgiveness for an iron with such a compact profile at address, while the feel is solid and crisp at impact.
“We know this type of player might not put forgiveness at the top of their list when considering their iron choice, so we engineered it in a way that increased the MOI in a clean and impactful way,” said Solheim. “At address, it’s perfectly sized and shaped with a thin top line and the right amount of offset. It has a narrow sole to move smoothly through the turf and ensure a pleasing impact experience.”
To enhance the control and spin consistency players who typically opt for an iron of this style crave, PING has incorporated another new technology, ‘MicroMax’ grooves on the machined face.
Tighter spacing between the grooves, which feature a new geometry, allows for up to four extra grooves per clubface, resulting in maintained long iron spin and the reduction of fliers with short irons.
To ensure each i59 iron meets the company’s exacting standards, certain elements of the manufacturing process, created utilising knowledge across PING’s innovation and engineering teams, are 100 percent inspected, including sole shaping, head polishing, face machining and head forging.
The new model, which Solheim calls “the most technologically advanced iron we’ve ever manufactured”, is available for custom fitting now and is due around Australia from October 15, with a ‘hydropearl 2.0’ finish and a range of shaft options completing the premium package.
RRP: $435 per iron (stock steel); $465 per iron (stock graphite).