Martin Hopley
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Ping irons have not exactly been short, so when they say the GMax iron is about 'extreme distance' then you have to sit up and take notice.

The GMax is also about extreme forgiveness as it takes over from the Ping Karsten set as the supersized member of the Ping iron family with a head and sole that can only be described as chunky.

Ping GMax Irons

The difference to the Karsten iron is really in the cavity of the GMax that features the circular COR-Eye that draws on the heritage of the Eye 2 irons to deliver that extra speed and forgiveness.

Ping GMax Irons

The COR-Eye claims to deliver 3 mph faster ball speeds, which in this model is more about giving a helping hand to slower swing speed players than giving mid to low handicappers more distance.

More distance in irons is obviously nice to have, but you need to bear in mind that the purpose of an iron set is to give you 8 or 9 clubs to cover a range of distances in equal gaps between your wedges and your woods. Increase the distance the irons go and you widen a gap at the bottom end of the bag and close it at the top, so professional fitting advice should be taken.

That said the GMax irons did get it out there and this was particularly noticeable in the short and mid irons. The forgiveness across all the faces was also very good and it was hard to tell between centre and off centre strikes as the feel and sound was almost the same.

Ping GMax Irons

The impact sound will get your attention, particularly in the 7 & 8 iron as it sounded almost like a metal wood. Towards the longer irons it starts to go quite deep and hollow, but whichever one it is, it is pretty loud for an iron.

A lot of this has to do with the deep cavity that combines with the very wide sole to draw the Centre of Gravity (CG) low and deep to create that extra forgiveness and a high launching flight with low spin. A bit like most drivers do now, so no wonder some of the irons sound like them.

Ping GMax Irons

The elastomer Custom Tuning Port (CTP) that Ping use to modify the sound and feel of their irons is now blended into the sole of the cavity and looks a little better too.

Ping GMax Irons

The heads of the GMax are longer and the top line is thicker than the Ping G30 Irons, which were not exactly compact irons. The wider GMax sole maintains its width right the way across, unlike the G30.

Ping GMax Irons

The trailing edge is cambered away from the centre of the sole to allow it to go through the turf more easily and it played pretty well from most types of lie.

Ping GMax Irons

The GMax set features a progressive design where the offset and head length increases as you go up the set.

Ping GMax Irons

Compared to the G30, everything about the GMax is maxxed out so if you need larger heads with more forgiveness than the very forgiving G30, then this is the club for you.

What is less clear is the level of player that will make the transition from G30 to GMax, as for the vast majority of people the G30 will be everything they need and more.

Ping GMax Irons

Whilst the larger, faster heads of the GMax give you added benefits, mid handicappers may find them a little heavier to swing than normal. The variable swing weights from C6 to C9 in the 4 to 7 irons didn't really help the flow of the set for me and that is before we get to the different impact sounds.

Ping GMax Irons

I would say that the GMax are for high teen handicappers and above who don't hit the same point on the face consistently, or for slower swing speed players who would find the graphite shaft versions ideal for getting the ball airborne using the deeper cavity.

Ping GMax Irons

Unlike the Karsten set, the GMax set is just irons from 4 to SW and whilst I like to see that, I am surprised to see a 4-iron in here given the type of golfer they are aimed at. You can of course start the set at 5 or 6 iron and then blend it in with the excellent Ping G30 hybrids and a Ping fitter will be able to help you create this set up as the irons are sold individually.

At the other end I would be tempted to go down to the 50° GMax U wedge before getting a specialist sand wedge as the wide sole on the 56° SW will be better from grass than sand.

I know a lot of golfers who found the previous Karsten and K series irons really helped their game and the GMax continues this fine tradition of super-forgiving irons, which is what these irons are really about, thanks to the extra speed across a wider area of the face, so go max out.

Golfalot Rating: 4 stars
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Ping GMax Irons - Product Details

Launch UK15 July 2015
Launch USA15 July 2015
Launch RRP£700
Handicap Range
Low
High
GolferMens
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
ManufactureCast
MaterialSteel
Swing WeightC6, C7, C8, C9, D1, D2
Shaft NameCFS Distance, CFS Graphite
Shaft TypesSteel, Graphite
Shaft FlexLight, Regular, Stiff, X Stiff
DesignCavity Back
Set Makeup5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW, GW
Additional Clubs4, SW
Manufacturer's WebsitePing Website

User Reviews

September 2016

Mid handicapper who controls irons better than woods. After a 6 year break from the sport, I traded my Ping eye 2's in for a competitors user friendly iron set for 1.5 years. My handicap is slowly going back down from the high twenties to the mid teens. Now I am struggling to get below a 10. These clubs are the antithesis I have awaited. I shot my first (in a very long time) round under 85 the very first round I played after receiving these irons. They are forgiving and even on the occasional off-centre shot, the repercussions were minimal.

July 2016

From Ping Eye 2 to GMax. GMax are superior. Hit one of the best rounds of my life the first time out. Super happy with these clubs. Playing tomorrow and can't wait to see if I can keep the mojo going with these new sticks.

July 2016

Just got these and am delighted with them. After trying lots of clubs over a couple of sessions on Trackman nothing came close (compared with other major brands). My 7 iron distance was averaging 195 carry, which was a barely believable, 15 yards further than anything else. More importantly though, the shots were consistently very straight. Am pleased to say this was matched on the course the first time out, although the difference in distance will take a bit to get used to!

July 2016

I Just have the Sand Wedge GMax - it's a Great club!! Solid full swing promotes a high ball flight and a great out come. I got this club because my older sand wedges had been finding their way to a new home without me. Now, we all ride home in the same truck, instead of several of my old sand wedges swimming and sinking in a nearby pond adjacent to the18th green!

I really like this GMax Sand Wedge!!!

July 2016

I am a high handicapper and a long time Ping player. I was fitted for GMax blue dot clubs (1 degree upright) and I had previously been playing Zing2 white dots (3 degrees upright). The 2 degree lie difference caused me to adjust my swing a little, so I'm hitting more fade with the GMax than I was with the Zing2's, but since I've got the clubs I've posted the two lowest scores of my life, both in the 80's and it's not unusual for me to score over a 100. The low scores since I've got the new clubs are not a coincidence, as I estimate they've taken a good 5 - 10 strokes off my average game. Great clubs. They seem to be adding 5 yards or so of distance as well.

June 2016

Bought my gmax irons last August and just had the weight pop out of my 6 iron. In December the weight in my 4 iron popped out. Love the irons but this issue is making me suspicious about the QA when it comes to the glue they are using.

June 2016

Jesus told me to divinely procure a set of these clubs from a yenta near the deli. I knew from the message sent by the Holy Spirit that satan would not harm my swing. The divine and pure lightening I strike with these irons make the godless heathens quake and discharge excriment upon themselves when I step off my golf buggy. Be advised, these implements of truth are only for a true believer seeking to battle evil.

April 2016

I got fitted at Golftown in the Toronto area and these GMax irons outperformed the RSi 1's and the Callaway Big Bertha. Now that I've been playing with them for 6 weeks my best score has dropped from 95 to 85. This is my 4th month playing about 3-4 rounds per week. I pick up sports easily even at 63. My only regret is that I got the GMax 6-9 instead of 5-SW. I just can't get used to my new C wedges that had such great reviews. I will order the GMax 5, GW, SW when next in Toronto.

April 2016

After a ten year layoff from golf, I bought a set of these (yellow dot, off the shelf) and played with them for about a month. Very forgiving, but I was hitting a pretty good draw with all of the clubs. A friend of mine suggested using Ping's fitting charts, and sure enough, I probably should have done that before buying the yellow dots. Turns out I really needed red dots, 1/2 inch shorter. Now I hit my 6 Iron 15 yards longer with just a slight draw - awesome difference if you get the correct fittings. I've gone from a +20 handicap to a 12 in a matter of a month.

March 2016

Best set of irons I've ever hit, still can shank one now and then but being fitted and the feel of these irons give me pure confidence on ever shot. I highly recommend these for any skill level golfer!

March 2016

Excellent set of long and forgiving irons. Another home run by Ping!

February 2016

Just bought them. Felt really good when I tested them out.

December 2015

I play to a 11.9 handicap index and can say these will be in my bag shortly. Demo'd a set of these and 3 others (Titleist/ Callaway/ and the Ping G30), over Thanksgiving with 4 other guys of varying skill level. We agreed to not disclose our personal favourite until we tried them all. We hit every club several times and amazingly every single guy chose these as their favourite for the consistent results and great feel. They seem to be getting that "high handicapper" badge but I don't look at myself as a high handicapper and I'll sure have them.

August 2015

I picked up my GMax last Wednesday and spent an hour practicing in the fairways. Used the set for the first time in Saturday's member competition and I scored 42 stableford points with two birdies. My handicap was 18 and will surely drop after today. My average score prior to getting GMax was 32 points. My shots were straight this time with extra distance and I can feel making regulations shots to come, not bad for a turning 64 golfer. Thanks for my new GMax SR graphite shaft.

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