I had heard rumblings that Ping was going to announce a new line of G clubs around the time of the PGA show in Orlando, so I wasn’t surprised when they made the news earlier this week — especially after some of the clubs were spotted in Tour bags at Kapalua.
I have a pretty long history with Ping irons. I got a set of Eye 2s back in high school in the late 80s (yep, I’m old). A side note: I really wanted a set of the beryllium copper Eye 2s, but never pulled the trigger. If you played in junior golf tournaments in Minnesota in the late 80s, you knew that the fancy private country club kids had the BeCu irons.
Since, I have had the following Ping sets: ISI K, i3 O-Size, G5, i10, i20, G25 and I currently have the G30s in my bag. I think that’s the complete list, but it is possible I could have missed something.
I stopped by 2nd Swing on Tuesday night after work to see what the new irons look like as they have received their fitting components. I liked what I saw. And I am obviously interested.
It was only a few weeks ago when I listed my G30 irons as part of my Gear of the Year. So would I really consider a new set of irons even though my current irons are less than a year old.
I will admit that I am a little surprised – and even a tiny bit miffed as a consumer – that Ping didn’t stick to its standard two-year product cycle. Annual releases seem to be the standard for many companies, but Ping and Titleist have become outliers in this area. That said, I’m willing to give the company the benefit of the doubt and am willing to believe that this product is better than the G30 line.
Why? It seems as if we are in an era of significant improvements in irons. For much of the past 15-20 years, the technological improvements in metal woods and golf balls were amazing. Drivers became bigger and more forgiving. There were more shaft options on the market, making it easier for a golfer/fitter to find a great combination, golf balls were longer, softer, low spin off of the driver and high spin off of lofted clubs. It has really been amazing.
Irons, however, didn’t really seem to change that much. The badges might be a different color, but the shapes seemed similar and most sets had some sort of True Temper steel shaft in them. While I frequently changed drivers, putters and other things, I would go several years before changing irons. I think I played my Ping i3 O-Size irons for three or four seasons (I made my only hole in one with them) before going to a set of Callaway X-18 irons (which also stayed in my bag for multiple seasons).
But in the past few years, there have been more and more new and interesting things enter the iron game. Weight has been moved around in the head, making it easier to hit the ball higher and carry it further. Companies have worked to increase ball speed through face slots and sole slots and thinner faces.
I have honestly never hit a set of irons as far as I hit my G30s that I bought earlier in the year. They are hard to hit super crooked and they are about a club longer. That isn’t marketing mumbo jumbo. Where I used to hit 6 iron, I now hit a 7. I needed to actually re-tool my bag set up as I needed another wedge.
That’s the long story to why I will hit the new G Series irons, along with some other offerings from companies including Callaway and TaylorMade. Will they be easier to hit? Will they fly further? Will they be even more point-and-shoot than my current irons? Have some of the offerings from other companies become even easier to hit while also feeling good?
I’m interested in all of it. I admit to liking golf clubs. As a result, I’m obviously looking forward to hitting the G Series.
Will I buy new irons? If I’m being honest with myself, there’s probably at least a 50-50 chance of it happening.