Martin Hopley
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Ping is renowned for their forgiving cavity back irons, but they also make a pretty good better players' iron too.

Since the S59 the number has decreased with each new model until the 2014 S55 iron, as the new 2016 model is now just called the iBlade.

Ping iBlade Iron

The first thing you notice is the clean design with a water repelling Hydropearl Chrome finish that only features the iBlade branding on the back. If you think you have seen this before then you are right as it draws on the styling of the Ping Glide wedges.

Ping iBlade Iron

Being a Ping iron there is of course a pocket cavity and this is filled with a Custom Tuning Port (CTP) that uses 60% more elastomer than in the S55 and looks a lot better too.

Ping iBlade Iron

The CTP is there to reduce vibrations and fine tune the sound and feel of the iBlade, which for a cast iron is pretty good, especially in the shorter irons.

Ping iBlade Iron

There is still a tungsten weight in the toe to balance the head of the iBlade and increase the MOI to make it a little more forgiving.

Ping iBlade Iron

It is apparently a ‘purer’ form of tungsten, which does not mean that it leads a cleaner life, but that it is denser so you get more bang for your weighting buck. Unlike the S55, Ping has decided not to highlight this fact visually and I prefer the less technical look.

Ping iBlade Iron

The soles are the same width as the S55, but in the 3 to 7 irons the bounce has been refined a little to help turf interaction and I certainly found them very easy to clip off tight lies.

Ping iBlade Iron

At address the top line is very blade like and you would be hard pressed to think you are playing a cavity back. There is hardly any offset and quite a straight leading edge so everything about this is saying ‘blade’.

Ping iBlade Iron

The heads are little longer than the S55, especially in the 3,4 and 5 irons, which is a good change as they did look a little compact before.

Ping iBlade Iron

Ping has been able to do this by using a softer 431 Stainless Steel that has a stronger strength to weight ratio and saves around 4g to improve the MOI. This also enables the face to be 50% thinner than the S55 at just 1.7mm (0.068 inches) to create more ball speed, especially in the long irons.

Ping iBlade Iron

I checked this out on SkyTrak with the iBlade and S55 4-irons and whilst I did not get the 6 yards Ping is claiming, the iBlade did carry a couple of yards more.

Ping say the iBlade has a flatter face because it is milled rather than cast, so we will have to take their word on that, but the spin and feel are still very good.

Comparing the 6-iron of the iBlade with the S55 and the larger cavity Ping i iron highlighted the differences between the models. The two blade models performed pretty similar, with the larger cavity on the i being more forgiving.

Ping iBlade Iron

The most noticeable difference was the sound. The i was the most hollow sounding because it had the largest cavity back, then the S55 and then the iBlade. Each time Ping enhance their better player iron it looks and sounds better and the iBlade has a sharper sound than the S55 which I think most will like.

Ping iBlade Iron

The lofts are 1° weaker in the 7 to 9-iron than the S55 and a touch stronger in the 3 and 4-iron to help match the trajectory and shows how the extra speed benefits the longer irons more.

Ping iBlade Iron

Aside from the new font of the sole numbers, which some felt did not look as sharp as the Glide or S55, there is a lot to like about the iBlade.

Ping iBlade Iron

The cleaner look is more better player and almost conjures up that gleaming blade/ thing of worship vision that you would see in a tour player’s bag that there was no chance of you being able to use .

Unless you are a low single figure golfer that may still be the case, but if you are up for it then the iBlade is more forgiving in the longer irons than most blades. Whilst it might not have all the feel of a forged blade, the feedback from the mid to short irons in particular will be enjoyed by Ping diehards and by most better players.

Ping iBlade Iron

If you go for the Glide wedges then the iBlade will also create a set of irons that will blend in terms of look, construction and feel to give you one of the best feeling and forgiving cast irons for low handicap players in the market today.

Golfalot Rating: 4 stars
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Ping iBlade Iron

Ping iBlade Irons - Product Details

Launch UK11 August 2016
Launch USA11 August 2016
Launch RRP£1040
Handicap Range
Low
High
GolferMens
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
ManufactureCast
MaterialSteel
FinishChrome
Swing WeightD2, D4
Shaft NameTrue Temper Dynamic Gold
Shaft TypesSteel
Shaft FlexStiff, X Stiff
Shaft Weight129g
GripGolf Pride New Decade Multi-Compoud
DesignBlade
Set Makeup3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW
Manufacturer's WebsitePing Website

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User Reviews

September 2016

I played the S55 before and expected the same kind of performance. For me the S55 are very similar to Titleist 716CB as a forgiveness comparison. I expected similar performance from the iBlade's but I was blown away with how easy these irons are to hit. I would say they are 1:1 with Titleist 716 AP2. I would also add that they are even slimmer than the S55 looking down at them, super sexy. This is a very good compromise of good forgiveness and zero offset blade iron look. Really looking forward to gaming these irons next season.

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