Earlier this year, we told you about a Prototype Rapture driving iron that Ping designed for their Tour players to use at the Open Championship. Well now that Rapture D.I. (Driving Iron) is available to the public.
Used by players such as Miguel Angel Jimenez, Louis Oosthuizen and Billy Horschel, the 18-degree utility club is designed to be longer and easier-to-hit than a standard 2-iron, whilst offering a lower ball flight than a hybrid.
“The Rapture driving iron has been well-received by tour pros because it provides longer shots and a controlled trajectory,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO.
“You have the best of both worlds. It’s more forgiving and generates much faster ball speed than the 2-iron equivalent, yet it launches lower and spins far less than a comparable hybrid. The low, penetrating trajectory offers control and command, which is essential for keeping the ball under the wind, for example, or when you’re playing a hard, fast course and you want to maximize roll out.”
The Rapture D.I. gets its forgiveness and launch from it's wider, heavier density sole. By removing weight from the face and placed it low in and back in the head, Ping were able to optimise the centre of gravity to produce a low, penetrating ball flight that is easier to control.
Ping used a tungsten polymer blend sole weight, that is screwed into the "foggy chrome" finished head, via the sole. This additional weight helps to decrease spin and can be used by fitters to fine tune swing weight.
The key to the improved ball speed and workability is the straight face design. Designed like an iron, the Rapture D.I. features a flat face made from a thin, high-strength Carpenter 455 steel. Unlike fairway woods and hybrids that have a "bulge and roll" design across the face, the Rapture is flat, which Ping say leads to greater velocity and the playability of an iron.
The drawback of a long iron is that they are traditionally harder to hit than a hybrid or fairway wood. For that reason Ping created more forgiveness in the Rapture driving iron by adding tungsten weights in the heel and the toe.
Amazingly, these small weights make up 20% of the entire mass of the clubhead and help improve the club's MOI, or resistance to twisting.
The Rapture D.I. is paired with a Ping TFC 949 graphite shaft that comes with a chrome PVD finish. It is also half an inch longer than a standard 2-iron shaft, resulting in more clubhead speed and for longer distances.