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Ping releases Rapture driving iron

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Talk about good timing for a club release.

Ping’s new prototype “Rapture” driving iron will be available to golfers this week at the British Open and the PGA Tour’s Sanderson Farms Championship.

The move makes sense, as many British Open contestants decide to swap out their 5 woods and hybrids for clubs that offer lower trajectories such as driving irons.

According to a Ping press release, the Rapture driving irons have faces that are made from 455 Carpenter Steel: a strong metal that is used to make the faces of many of today’s high-COR fairway woods.

“455 Carpenter Stainless Steels’ high strength allowed designers to thin the face to create faster ball speeds,” the press release said. “Thinning the face increased discretionary mass, which was then re-positioned low and back on the club head.”

The Rapture is also designed with high-density tungsten weights in the rear portion of the sole. According to Ping, the weights account for a sizable 20 percent of the entire club head’s mass, and their low, rearward position boosts the Rapture’s moment of inertia (MOI) and perimeter weighting, adding forgiveness on mishits.

The sole of the club also includes what Ping calls a “Tungsten Polymer Blend Sole Weight,” a screw-in weight that adds even more mass into the club’s sole. It helps decrease spin and can be used to fine tune swing weight.

Technical specifications:

  • 17-4 stainless steel body, 455 stainless steel face
  • Tungsten heel and toe weights
  • 39.75-inch length, 18-degree head
  • Foggy-chrome finish
  • Stock graphite shaft: TFC 949 with chrome PVD finish (R, S, X flexes)
  • U.S. MSRP: $220.00

Click here to see more photos of the Rapture D.I. and to read more discussion in the forums.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Ivan

    Aug 7, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Why not just go ahead and make the 1 iron again?

  2. Mike from NR

    May 24, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Last season I was frustrated with my inconsistency with using rescue clubs in the fairway on my second or third shot. Since I was constant with my irons I figured I would give the Ping 2 Iron a chance and it paid off HUGE. It took at least 5 strokes off my game. I look forward to hitting my second shot on all par 4 and 5 when I am around 200 yards out. The slower and smoother I swing the straighter and longer I hit this club. Trust me, put your rescue clubs up for sale and buy this 2 iron. You won’t regret it. I actually went out last week and ordered a second one to put it away so in 4 or 5 years from now I will have a new one to replace my current one. I don’t want to take the risk Ping changes or stops making this iron someday. Thank you Ping for solving my inconstant play.

  3. TJ

    Dec 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Good afternoon all,

    I have to say that I am excited to test this out though I am partial to the Answer 2 Hybrid (stupid long), but if this performs better (launch angle)I will be putting in my order.

    The real reason for my post is that the word on the street is that there will be a Rapture 3 wood at 14.5deg which is slightly oversized. has anyone else heard about this and if so do you happen to know any specs on it. I could be wrong but I was told its going to be a smaller version of the answer driver which would be great off the tee for my game anyways.

    Any information on this would be welcome.

  4. naflack

    Dec 4, 2013 at 3:24 am

    this club has wannabe scratch golfer written all over it…how long until 2nd swing has a whole rack of them? lol

  5. Brian

    Nov 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    This looks awesome. Hopefully the 2 is a success and we see a 3 and 4 in another few months.

    • PatrickR

      Nov 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      Hope it compares to the titleist utilities by coming out with a 3 & 4. Honestly can’t wait to demo this when availble. Any one know if it will be available in any shaft besidea the tfc?

  6. Patrick

    Nov 26, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Looking forward to trying this out and potentially replacing the Adams Idea Pro currently in the bag.

  7. Spengler

    Nov 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    anyone compare this vs. the callaway Utility?

  8. Pingback: Desde el tee: semana 47/2013 | Golf76.com

  9. JLeclair10

    Nov 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Yous guys need to try this club…I can cruuush it 270 in the air!

  10. Tyler

    Nov 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Looks like they are available at 2nd Swing already…

    http://www.2ndswing.com/p-238690-new-ping-rapture-driving-iron-graphite.aspx

  11. Jezz

    Sep 21, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Well,
    Ping may even release this Iron in a set 18* & 21* Driving Iron with combo (if so desired). 4 Iron to PW in the new I25 player Irons. Haven for equipment junkies like myself. Also it would help a brother out, alot if less than a grand.
    Cheers Jezz

  12. Andy B

    Aug 4, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I play the i20’s but I put the callaway 24* x utility in the bag at the first of the season and just added the 18*. Looks like I will be sending those to the BST or the ebay. Can’t wait. I actually have a close friend who is a ping staffer (web.com) and he said they are more forgiving than his s56 irons. To bad he doesn’t live near me for me to try and he wont risk losing his contract by having one magically appear at my front door (I totally understand why he cant). It doesn’t hurt to dream. I will keep dreaming until january when they will be retail.

  13. JEFF SMITH

    Jul 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Ill be getting that I think. I cant hit a hybrid that well but pretty good w/ long irons…… well see!

  14. Jeff Borders

    Jul 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I wonder if the next Ping blade will look like a slimmer, narrowing version of this? I love the back of it.

  15. tyler

    Jul 20, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Not a big fan of these utility irons.

    IMO they look ugly at address.

  16. Deaus666

    Jul 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Very very nice, Ill put one in my bag if they release a 19-22* version, This actually reminds me more of the Yonex Zero driving iron with a Callaway style weight in the bottom. The only thing i wonder is how is it going to feel with that HARD face on slight miss-hits. I have a 20* old school Nike Pro combo utility in the bag right now.

  17. golfing badger

    Jul 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    ping copying callaway…that’s a new one!

  18. thefullsp

    Jul 17, 2013 at 1:54 am

    I have the cally x utility in 18 with GDesign shaft. It’s pretty fantastic off the tee. If I were playing Muirfield this week and were a Ping Staffer, this would be solidly in the centre of the bag!!!! Go G-Mac!

  19. cg

    Jul 16, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    golf club makers exec meeting”
    okay, here is the plan, first we tell golfers to buy fairway woods to replace hard to hit irons…then we tell them that hybrids are the way to go..easier to hit than fairway woods…then we wait a bit…then tell them we now have driving irons that they have to have because hybrids go too high….

    • Blanco

      Jul 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      Thats not what any manufacturer is saying about driving irons… They have all maintained, rightly so, that these are a specialty item for the better player/high ball hitter.

      I’ll take a 24* Mr. Solheim… Yellow dot.

  20. Steve

    Jul 15, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    @billyho_golf

  21. Peter

    Jul 15, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Looks very similar to the Titleist 712U…could be a great addition to my i20s in the future

  22. Paul

    Jul 15, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Looks like an AP2 and the X Utility got together in Phoenix.

  23. Steve

    Jul 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    From a sole and address perspective, that looks a lot like the X utilities from Callaway.

    • t120

      Jul 15, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      +1 looks identical from top view to the Cally…which I didn’t really hit well, so it’s almost instant “pass on it”

  24. Boo

    Jul 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Good looking, but will not dethrone my Mizzy H4 2 iron (IMHO)!

  25. Big_5_Hole

    Jul 15, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Need.

    • Blanco

      Jul 15, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      you need?

      ME need

      • bandrz

        Jul 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm

        left handed, PLEASE

        • Blanco

          Jul 16, 2013 at 8:38 pm

          I love the guys who beg PING to release lefty versions… When was the last time ANY Ping club in ANY loft/style was not made for us southpaws?? I dont know of ANY in my lifetime.

          • bandrz

            Jul 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm

            Sorry i didn’t research their entire company history prior to my post. I will do better next time.

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Equipment

Fred Couples signs with Bettinardi, will continue to use FCB putter

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Fred Couples has been using his namesake Bettinardi putter, the FCB (Fred Couples Blade), for the past four years. Now, he’s officially joining Bettinardi’s Tour staff.

Couples, who has won 15 times on the PGA Tour and 13 times on the PGA Tour Champions, will putt exclusively with the company’s flatsticks.

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

“I’m really looking forward to representing Bettinardi and its beautiful range of hand-made putters, as they always give me great confidence when I’m standing over putts,” said Fred. “Having won 5 times already with a Bettinardi putter, there’s nothing I’d rather be putting with.

Couples averaged 1.70 putts per hole when playing in 12 events with the Bettinardi wand last year.

“Having Fred Couples join our Tour staff is a massive endorsement for Bettinardi Golf,” said founder Robert Bettinardi. “We’re so proud and excited to welcome him to our growing Tour staff. I’m sure he will prove to be a great ambassador for our brand, as he attracts huge crowds and media attention wherever he plays.”

Here’s a look at Boom Boom’s FCB putter.

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Odyssey’s new EXO 2-Ball, Works Red and Black, and Toulon putters

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There’s one thing Odyssey has never struggled with: giving golfers options. Today, the company launched a trunk-full of new putters, including eight Works Red and Black putters, Toulon Atlanta and Portland models, and an Odyssey EXO 2-Ball putter that gives the classic 2-ball design a very new, and premium look.

Most of the new putters, actually, are mallets. More specifically, they are mallets that Odyssey says feel like blade putters; that’s because they’re made with toe hang (like a blade putter) rather than face-balanced designs of typical mallets. Toe hang frees up the face of a putter to open and close, a stroke-style that many golfers employ — amateurs and pros alike.

According to Austie Rollinson, chief designer of Odyssey, there’s been a trend of blade users on Tour switching into mallets because of this toe hang, and that will continue to happen. Odyssey says that of the PGA Tour wins last year, 29 winners used mallets — 14 of those were mallets with toe hang — while there were 20 blade winners. Also, of the top-50 in Strokes Gained: Putting, 31 players used mallets, 13 of which were toe-hang mallets, and 19 players used blades.

Therefore, many of the new putters from Odyssey are toe-hang mallets. Check out all of the new putters below, with info on design, pricing and release dates.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new putters here

Odyssey Works Red and Black putters

 

The new Works Red and Black putters — adding on to the line of putters released in 2017 — continue to use microhinge face inserts that are designed to “grab” the ball to impart more topspin on the golf ball to get it rolling faster. The new offerings launched today include a No. 1 Wide S, No. 1 Tank, No. 7 Tank, 2-Ball Fang, Marxman, Marxman S, Jailbird Mini and Jailbird Mini S.

They will sell for $199 with a standard Winn AVS midsize pistol grip, and $219 with a SuperStroke grip starting on February 23.

See more photos and join the discussion about the Works Red and Black putters here.

Odyssey EXO 2-Ball

The new EXO 2-Ball, made with Rose Gold PVD, is a premium version of the iconic 2-ball shape. It’s CNC-milled with a microhinge insert, has an aluminum crown with a steel sole plate and Tungsten in the rear portion of the head. The EXO 2-ball also has black circles instead of the familiar white color for which 2-balls are known.

According to Odyssey, it’s a “statement product,” and it will only sell 5,000 of these putters globally. They will sell for $499.99 starting on February 2.

Odyssey says: “Our new Odyssey EXO 2-Ball is a premium limited edition putter unlike any we’ve ever offered. It combines one of the game’s most innovative and iconic putter designs with top-notch materials and meticulous production to create something truly special.”

Toulon Atlanta and Portland

Odyssey’s premium putter brand continues dipping its toes in the mallet style with its new mid-mallet Atlanta and Portland models. They have gunmetal finishes and are 100-percent milled from soft, 303 stainless steel. They also have Toulon’s familiar diamond-milled faces for improved roll.

The Atlanta and Portland models will sell for $399.99 apiece and hit retail on February 2.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Toulon Atlanta putter here

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Callaway launches Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X irons and hybrids

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With its new line of Rogue irons — consisting of Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X models — Callaway continues its search to answer a conundrum that’s plagued game-improvement irons for years; how do you make an iron that produces great ball speed without sacrificing sound and feel. The dilemma is that in order to increase ball speeds, engineers must make the faces of the irons thinner. The problem is, the thinner they make the faces, the more vibration is caused at impact, creating a longer-lasting, higher-pitched sound. Very few golfers want that off-putting, clicky sound, but they do want the ball speed and distance.

So, that’s why companies are experimenting with different materials and injections between the faces of game-improvement irons and their bodies. That buffer creates a dampening effect to reduce vibration, while still allowing faces to be constructed thinner to raise COR (coefficient of restitution, a measure of energy transfer) and ball speed. Companies such as PXG irons use TPE injections, and TaylorMade uses SpeedFoam in its new P-790 irons; Callaway says those constructions either constrict speed, or they don’t have a profound enough effect on vibrations.

For its Rogue irons that are made from 17-4 stainless steel, Callaway is using what it calls urethane microspheres, which are essentially little balls of urethane that it combines together, in the cavities of its irons. The difference between these spheres and other foams and materials on the market, according to Callaway, is that the material is porous. Callaway says the microspheres work to dampen sound without negatively effecting ball speed.

A look at the inside of a Rogue iron, via Callaway’s photography

The inner material in the cavity works in tandem with familiar technologies from previous iron releases such as Apex, Epic and Steelhead XR. Callaway says it has improved upon its VFT (variable face thickness) and Face Cup technologies, focusing on thinning out portions of the face where golfers tend to miss shots — low on the face, on the heel and on the toe. Each of the Rogue irons also uses Internal Standing Wave by way of Tungsten-infused weights that help control the center of gravity (CG) in the club heads; that means centering the overall weight between the scoring lines, and controlling where the CG is placed vertically throughout a given set (re: higher on the short irons for more control and spin, and lower on the long irons for more height).

For the consumer, all of this means getting performance-driven irons at a lower price compared to the Epic and Epic Pro irons. Each of the irons will be available for pre-sale on January 19, and come to retail on February 9. Read on for more info on each of the specific irons, and the Rogue and Rogue X hybrids that introduce Callaway’s Jailbreak technology into hybrids for the first time.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Rogue irons and hybrids in our forums.

Rogue irons ($899.99 steel, $999.99 graphite)

Callaway’s Rogue irons are the standard model in this line of irons, equipped with all of the technologies described above. According to Callaway, these are essentially Steelhead XR replacements, but have more compact shapes. In the Steelhead XR irons, Callaway used a wider profile in order to center CG between the scoring lines, but due to the inclusion of the Tungsten-infused weights in the Rogue irons, it was able to shape the irons more similar to XR and X-Hot irons of the past — more preferable shapes for GI irons, according to Callaway.

Stock shafts include True Temper’s XP105 steel shaft, and Aldila’s Synergy graphite shaft.

Rogue Pro irons ($999.99)

The Rogue Pro irons, as you may expect, have a more compact shape, thinner toplines and thinner soles than their standard-model-counterparts. Therefore, the Pro design will yield more control that better players will prefer, but they are still packed with all of the performance-enhancing technologies of the Rogue irons. They also have a chrome plating that better players may be drawn to.

Rogue X irons ($899.99 steel, $999.99 graphite)

Callaway described the Rogue X irons to me as “bomber irons.” They have lofts that are 3-to-4 degrees stronger than the standard Rogue irons, and they have longer lengths and lighter overall weights, but according to Callaway, they will still launch in the same window iron-for-iron (re: a 7-iron will launch like a 7-iron). Despite cranking down the lofts, they have bigger profiles, wider soles and more offset; those designs work to drag CG rearward, which helps to increase launch.

Combine that design with the Rogue’s VFT, Face Cups, Internal Standing Wave and urethane microspheres, and the result is an iron that’s “all about distance,” according to Callaway.

Rogue and Rogue X hybrids ($249.99 apiece)

As noted previously, the Rogue and Rogue X hybrids include Callaway’s Jailbreak technology. Like Callaway’s Rogue fairway woods, they use stainless steel bars behind the face instead of the titanium bars that are used in the Rogue drivers. Also, like all of the other Callaway clubs that use Jailbreak, the idea of the design is that two parallel bars inside the club head connect the sole with crown help to add strength to the body at impact, allowing the faces to be constructed thinner, thus, create more ball speed across the face. The Rogue and Rogue X hybrids also have Callaway’s familiar Face Cup technology.

The standard Rogue goes up to a 6-hybrid, while the oversized, Rogue X “super hybrid” goes up to an 8-hybrid. Similar to the Rogue X irons, the Rogue X hybrids have an oversized construction, a lighter overall weight, and longer lengths. The goal with these Rogue X hybrids is to create higher launching, more forgiving and longer hybrid options for golfers who need help getting the ball in the air.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Rogue irons and hybrids in our forums.

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