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Review: Ping S55 irons

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Pros: A little more forgiving than the S56 irons, with a slightly softer feel. They also fly a bit farther than the previous model. A lot of technology in a small package.

Cons: Purists will be disappointed that these aren’t forged, and their $999 price tag (with Ping’s CFS steel shafts) is steep for a cast iron.

Bottom Line: Ping found a way to squeeze a little extra forgiveness and distance out of the new S55 irons. They look almost identical to the S56 irons (which we think is a good thing) that have over 30 professional victories since fall of 2011. We wish they had more of a forged feel but after testing we can’t ask for much more than that. These are on a short list for editors’ choice irons of the year for 2014.

Overview

Ping engineers had to be a little nervous about reengineering the S56 iron, which is considered to be one of the best-looking, best-feeling players irons the company had ever created. It was also a favorite with professional golfers, who used the irons to win more than 30 professional tournaments across the globe since its debut in the fall of 2011.

That’s why few golfers will find fault with Ping for only making slight changes to the company’s newest S-Series iron, the S55. But those slight changes will be noticeable to discerning golfers, and makes the irons even better performers than their predecessors.

ping s55 review

Photo above: The new S55 7 iron (front) and the S56 7 iron.

The biggest change to the new irons is the Custom Tuning Port, or CTP as Ping calls it, which is positioned behind the impact area in the iron head. The CTP is now larger and made of a new thermoplastic elastomer material that better absorbs vibration at impact. That serves to soften the feel of the 17-4 stainless steel cast irons, and its larger size allows more weight to be moved from the center of the iron to the perimeter. As a result, the irons have a slightly higher moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of an iron’s forgiveness, and have a more precisely tuned CG locations for each club.

The 0.5 percent increase in MOI in the new S55 irons doesn’t sound like a lot, but according to Ping engineers, it adds 1-to-2 yards of distance to shots that are struck 0.5 inches from the sweet spot. And because Ping didn’t increase the size of the iron heads — they’re actually fractionally smaller than the S56 irons — they’re just as workable, a key selling point for accomplished golfers.

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The S55 irons currently sell for $999 (3-PW) with Ping’s CFS shaft, which is available in four different flexes: soft regular, regular, stiff and x-stiff.

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Performance

Before the S55 irons hit our doorstep for testing, we knew something special had to be going on with them. Hunter Mahan and several top Ping staffers immediately switched including did Bubba Watson, who had been playing Ping’s S59 irons for almost a decade. Those guys just don’t change irons irons for the heck of it.

ping s 55 irons

What we found was that the four or so grams of weight Ping saved because of the larger CTP allowed them to move the CG of the long irons lower and deeper in the head, creating a trajectory that launched the ball fractionally faster, as well as higher and with less spin. That means that golfers will be able to hit their long irons slightly farther (probably about 3-to-5 yards) than the S56 irons, an important change for the special few who make their living with their ability to reach par-5’s in two and set up birdie putts on long par-3’s.

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Photo above: Ping is known to have some of the most precise milling machines in the golf industry, and the milling marks on the S55’s faces are proof of the company’s attention to detail.

Ping also modernized the lofts of its short irons, strengthening the pitching wedge 1 degree, the 9 iron 1.5 degrees, the 7 and 8 irons 1.25 degrees and the 6 iron 0.5 degrees. And thanks to the lower CG of the 4 iron, that club was actually weakened 0.25 degrees, helping golfers launch that club higher. The changes to the short irons resulted in an immediate distance gains of 3-to-4 yards, which we’re not going to complain about.

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A high-density tungsten toe weight adds MOI to the irons.

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The expanded custom tuning port (right) was moved lower in the cavity to help lower CG. It is made from a thermoplastic elastomer material (TPE) to soften the sound and feel at impact.

We also found the leading-edge grind of the S55 irons to be just a bit more blunt than the S56 irons, which seemed to better help us control the depth of our divots. And we appreciated that the sole widths remained unchanged from the S56’s, giving accomplished golfers the ability to extricate shots from the rough with a knife-like ability.

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Some golfers might appreciate the more progressive sole widths found on irons like the 714 AP2 irons, which are wider in the long irons for a higher launch and more narrow in the short irons for more versatility. But those companies offer more compact irons with narrower soles as well, and Ping does not. And Ping’s larger G25, i20 and 2013 Anser Forged give golfers plenty of options for irons with progressive sole widths.

s55 vs i20

Photo above: Notice how much more compact the S55 irons are than Ping’s larger-sized players irons, the i20.

ping 2014 irons

Photo above: Can see how much thinner and more “blade-like” the sole of an S55 7 iron (left) is compared to and i20 7 iron.

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Photo above: Notice the shorter blade length of an S55 7 iron (left) and the reduced amount of offset when compared to an i20 7 iron.

Looks and Feel

The S55’s score huge points for bag appeal, with a minimalistic milled cavity-back design with just the right amount of bling from their badging. And they look even better at address, where they’re almost identical the S56 irons. But that’s ok to us, because in our humble GolfWRX opinion the S56 and S55 irons look exactly as a modern players iron should.

ping s55 iron

One thing that we did notice was that the transition between the hosel and the top line in the S55 irons is a little beefier than in the S56’s, adding smoothness to the area and giving the appearance of less offset. That will please golfers who like a little bit of offset, but don’t necessarily want to look at it.

ping s-55 review

Photo above: Can see the smoother transition from hosel to top line on the S55 pitching wedge (left) compared to a S56 pitching wedge.

The most important thing about the new irons for many players will be the sound, which is noticeably less clicky than in the previous model. Many golfers will love the softer feel, but it’s just not comparable to the resounding “thud” that is produced from other company’s forged offerings. Then again, some players prefer a slightly clicker feel at impact, which helps provide them with feedback as to exactly where they contacted the ball.

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Photo above: The face of a S55 3 iron. Many better players demand these more compact heads for added workability and versatility.

Ping had us excited when the company released the 2013 Anser Forged irons, its second attempt at mid-sized forged iron. It was a hint that Ping might finally go forward with the forged S-Series iron that golfers have begged the company to produce. But at the end of the day, Ping’s designers decided that the main drawback of forged irons, needing to make the structure thicker, just wasn’t worth the extra performance they could pack into a cast club. Consider as well that a forged S-Series iron would have dramatically increased the cost of the irons (the Anser Forged cost between $1300 and $1500 for a set depending on shaft), moving them out of many golfers’ price range.

The Takeaway

Take sound and feel away from this review, and we’d be tempted to say that the S55’s might be the best performing players iron on the market today. But in the players iron category, which is geared toward golfers who rarely miss the sweet spot, sound and feel might be the most important part of making a buying decision.

2014 ping irons

There’s not enough differences between the S55’s and the S56 irons for us to recommend an upgrade, but for golfers who absolutely need a new set, we’re confident to steer them in the S55’s direction. Pound for pound, they’re one of the most forgiving tour-quality players irons a golfer can currently buy. And while they don’t feel as good to us as their forged competition, they still feel great.

Asking golfers to name their favorite players irons is a bit like asking them to name their favorite supercar. Some like the high-tech approach, while others like a more raw driving experience. With the S55 iron, Ping went the tech route, deciding that the performance benefits of a cast iron exceeded the sound and feel benefits of forged. And for a company who has built its name on performance, it’s hard for us to disagree with them.

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

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63 Comments

63 Comments

  1. cloneawilly comcast

    Apr 7, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Fastidious response in return of this issue with solid arguments
    and telling the whole thing on the topic of that.

  2. michael

    Jan 11, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I just bought a set of these and I have to say I love them! I have had a number of different sets and these are far the best. They are a compact head but are so forgiving for what they are. I came from the Adams cmb’s and they were too heavy and spun way too much. I easily added a club in length with the pings. After my first range session I felt like a kid in a candy store. I am so happy with this purchase and plus they are cast and will last a long time even here in the phoenix area.

  3. Inever1putt

    Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I just received a new set of PING irons composed of PING S55 from PW – 6 iron and and PING i20 from 5 iron – 3 iron. This has been by far the best set of irons I have ever played. I switched from an older set of PING s57’s and the change has been resounding. I swear by these irons and I do get some beef from friends that only play Titleist and Miura, however I will let the scorecard do the telling.

  4. Jonathan

    Jul 7, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Purchased mine about a month ago compared them to the 714 ap2’s and and the CB’s. I found the ap2’s to be a bit clunkier at address than the s55’s and also noticed the draw bias. It was much more difficult to fade the ball with the ap2’s. The CB’s were a lot less forgiving the the s55’s and anywhere from 3-6 yards shorter. I’m coming from g25’s my handicap has gone from an 20 to 7 over the last two years and have never played forged/players irons. I went to numerous demo days and tried the clubs a lot over a span of nearly two months to come to the decision and the forged feel was never a part of my decision, I was never able to feel the difference. The sound was a touch clickier on the pings but it was ever so slight and really does not affect performance a real mute point. Also have to say I absoloutley loved the look of the S55’s, look somewhere between a blade and a muscle back with very suttle logos and branding, very different than the ap2’s. I was convinced I was going to be purchasing them with the project X 95 shafts but I had great results at the fitting with the standard CFS shaft, launched a little bit higher which I preferred( can always hit lower by moving ball back in the stance). A month after I have to say I’m super happy with the decision and the results. When I’m swinging well I have complete ball control high fades, low draws any shot I can think of I can hit. They really are a huge improvement over my old G.I. Sticks. On top of all the control I have been really suprised by the forgiveness. I’ve hit some pretty awful shots that haven’t been that bad. Thin shots travel a solid distance and stay on line. Long irons are demanding to hit but that’s to be expected. These clubs just flat out perform, they feel packed with technology. No gimmicks, no fluff, and they are 100 dollars cheaper than the titeleist.

  5. Kelly

    May 13, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    My son (+1hcp) just traded his 712 AP2s in on a set of S55s with X100 shafts.

    First day on course today. Best iron on market! These things rock. Even less than preferred swing brought manageable outcomes.
    The sound of the ball coming off of these were rockets. The AP2s were playable, but just nothing special.

    Watching him play today was a real eye opener. Felt like he was cheating,.. not really, but just amazed.

    I could go on and on,… Ping has created some weapons in this iron.

    Being the first course time with these, distances of each iron was a concern. He told me that he was able to add or subtract distance on demand with ball position. Playing these back a little produced lasers and added yards.
    Playing forward a bit took care of the tweener shots.

    And being cast,.. I imagine in two years, the grooves will surely look cleaner than his two year old AP2s.

  6. online marketing companies tampa

    May 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Awesome site you have here but I was wanting to know
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  7. CT

    Apr 20, 2014 at 1:14 am

    These clubs are pseudo-forged. Better players leave your forged egos at the door.

  8. Charlie

    Apr 18, 2014 at 1:37 am

    These are the best “player’s” irons on the market. I work at a golf store and get to try them all. They are more forgiving than a CB or an MB. I could fool any customer by telling them they are forged and they would believe me. S55’s provide a neutral ball flight compared to the draw biased AP2. I tried every club in the store before I fell in love with these. There is no marketing or hype behind them. PING just makes the best irons.

  9. Chris

    Apr 12, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I played the S56s for a while, the best iron I have played but then got out of golf for a year or so. I had been playing G20s but am going to get these S55s in Green Dot. I can remember all the kind of shots I could play with the S56s. I hope these are the same or better.

  10. Bobby Bottleservice

    Mar 17, 2014 at 3:36 am

    get over it….they’re not forged and they never will be.

    • Bob from Charlotte NC

      Mar 29, 2014 at 10:59 am

      I was playing Adams CMB forged and before that Mizuno MP-33, these clubs feel about 95% like those clubs but easily twice as forgiving and about 1 – 1.25 clubs longer than Adams CMB. The heads are lighter than forged so consider a more weighted shaft as opposed to a super light shaft for better overall feel and balance.

    • Michael

      Apr 19, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      that is a gofler with an ego who will pay something that appeals to people looking at him versus letting his scored to the talking, i just sold my forged blades and boughtthese. best iron out right now.

  11. Steve G - UK

    Mar 3, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I’m thinking of investing in the S55’s and was wondering what sand/lob wedges were most compatible with the feel?

    • Bob from Charlotte NC

      Mar 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      I just added three wedges from Ping Tour Gorge 50, 54, 58 as the PW is 46 from the set. I had the same KBS shafts installed and all of my wedges from the PW thru the 58 are the same length. You get about 5 yards more per club and when chipping you normally choke down anyhow. Feel is the same. Ping wedges come in TS, SS, WS for thin sole, standard sole and wide sole dependin on how much bounce your normal shot gets. If you put tape on bottom take note if the mark is on the leading edge or back of the bottom. If leading edge you should consider WS and vice versa.

  12. scott

    Feb 25, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I can’t decide what flex to get in the s55 irons. The regular shaft is too weak and the stiff is too stiff. Would soft stepping be the correct answer? Are the cfs shafts any good? The ping CS person thinks they are which doesn’t help much.

    • Aaron Bieber

      Mar 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Of course the CFS shafts are good, do you really think PING is going to put a junk shaft that won’t perform in their top of the line irons? I ordered my set with the Z-Z65 shafts because I hit it too high, but thought the CFS played very nicely when I demoed them.

  13. Joe G

    Jan 17, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Bought them tonight and traded in brand new 714 AP2s. The look, feel, distance was incredible. Small head, but so pleasing. I’m a 7.7 index and bought them with the stiff shafts that I believe are 109 grams. A bit on the light side, but I liked it. And I crushed them!

    • Michael

      Apr 19, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      i order mine as well coming from 120g kbs tour to 109 cfs, i added the cushin insert from ping which is 10 grams making them similar and hardstepped them once.

  14. ChrisP2773

    Jan 11, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    All I can say is WOW. I hit 150 balls today at the range in 45 degree weather with the S55 irons and they felt every bit as soft as a forged iron. I played the I20s this past year and thought they were great themselves, but the S55 is that much better. I have CFS X shafts and I would recommend anyone who plays stiff flex should consider an X flex. The shafts are very nice but play soft to flex. I am a 3 handicap with 102 mph driver club head speed. I had stiff CFS shafts in my I20s and had them hard stepped twice to get a true flex. But if your in the market for a new set of irons, give them a try, I really don’t think you will be disappointed.

    • richard

      Jan 12, 2014 at 12:00 am

      True to that. Great set of “blades” which I think the play like a blade with the forgiveness of a cavity back. This is a great next step to what many thought could not have been improved s-56. Softer insert and better sole grind.

  15. Flange

    Jan 9, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    I came, I hit, I bought!! lol

    went in to hit a few different types of irons thinking AP2 all the way . well after about an hour and lord knows how many balls . I was handing over the visa! really amazed at the forgiveness and feel . they look awesome too. I am curious as to how the stock shafts will work out but ill make that call after a few rounds.

    thanks PING!

  16. SBoss

    Jan 5, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I tried the S55 irons inside a store and loved them right away. But, I wasn’t sure that as a 6 handicap, if they were the type of iron that I should consider. The irons are pretty small even though they were forgiving enough in the cage. Frankly, the size was a little intimidating.
    I saw that somebody had just returned a set and they were discounted by $200, so I thought I’d give them a shot just to see. I had the comfort of a 30-day return policy so I took the plunge. I’ve hit about 1,000 balls and played a round in 33 degree weather with them…and, these irons are going nowhere! They are forgiving for a players iron, they feel every bit as good as a forged to me, and my mishits still fly far enough with no bad feedback. I hit MP-64s in demo for awhile and my misses were much more harsh, they just weren’t as forgiving as the S55. And, during my round, another player asked what I was playing and said they were the best looking irons he’d seen.
    I don’t care how they look…when an iron performs like these S55’s, you just enjoy the ride. These clubs are transformative. I feel like they are lasers, that I can go right after my target with superb confidence. Again, the feel at impact on a flush, which is most of the time with these irons, is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. If your looking for a very forgiving “players” looking club, with excellent feel and looks too…give the S55’s a shot. My guess is you’ll love them.

  17. MJ

    Jan 2, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Hit these today. They are going in the bag. Too easy to hit! Look fantastic and feel fantastic. I have played forged for a long time and I cannot tell much of a difference. It is worth whatever difference there is due to the consistency of the shots I am seeing. Also experimenting with the G25 in the 3-5 iron. I am extremely impressed with these as well. I am a +2 and my eyes lit up when I saw how easy they were to hit. I would think it will save me a few strokes here and there.

  18. Ed

    Jan 2, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Granted, it was in the simulator…but tried the S55’s, 714 AP2’s & the MP54’s and the Pings to my surprise had the best results. They were by far better looking at address. Feel was great and the numbers as they say, don’t lie. I could care less they’re not forged. As Pings moto says…”Play Your Best”. Can’t wait to try these on the course.

    • James

      Jan 6, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      I tried the exact same clubs and had the exact same results. Didn’t go into the store expecting to buy a set of these, but I couldn’t resist.

  19. getitclose

    Dec 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Got a chance to hit these yesterday. I play 712 AP2’s and love the Forged feel. But these were SO nice! Great look, even better feel. They are by far the best feeling cast iron…well second best lol. The i20’s are hard to beat lol

  20. LL

    Dec 19, 2013 at 4:38 am

    I may be biased because I love my S56s, but the elastomer on the S55s gives less feedback to me. With the S56 I feel exactly where on the face I hit the ball. The S55 gives you an elastomer feel -muted, and the feedback is IMO inferior.

  21. Pingback: Club War: Nike VR Forged Pro Combo vs PING S55 Irons | CHICAGODUFFER.COM

  22. Rich

    Dec 8, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Best value premium iron on the market. Who cares if they are not forged. While all those forged irons are dead in the water because they’re worn out, Ping S55’s will still be in the bags of players that appreciate Ping’s quality and engineering. Great irons.

    • Dan

      Dec 8, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Not sure what it is about these clubs, but I really like them. I currently play the s57’s at about a 7HCP. The clubs felt more forgiving, longer and a pleasure to play.

      Not sure I’m ready to part with 1000 bones to change, but these would be in the top 3 clubs if I were going to change. The other two? it’s a tight competition, but probably the new AP2’s, the Apex Pros or MP64’s. (I know… that’s three, but there are A LOT of great clubs coming out)

  23. Brian

    Nov 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Ping is known for their cast irons, that’s what they do. Why does everyone look for forged? The technology has come a long ways, most people couldn’t tell the difference anyways.

  24. Luis

    Nov 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Forged is over rated unless your a 7HCP. The average golfer will benefit from the technology ping has engineered into the s55’s. When I tried them against mizuno’s mp54 I felt the immediate forgiveness whereas the 54’s where clankly.
    Yes if you pure a forged iron they feel like butter but I feel the s55’s had a tighter Dispersion.

  25. Willy

    Nov 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Hit them yesterday. After hitting them needed to hit my i20’s to get the taste out of my mouth the s55’s left. Didn’t like em. I’m a PING loyalist, but the s56 is a better club. Stickin with the i20’s though.

    • CHARLIE

      Nov 25, 2013 at 8:30 am

      agree totally. i loved my s56. there a nice club, but when you are accustom to a certain feel, its tough to feel otherwise. There a great club. but not s56 at all.

      • Willy

        Nov 25, 2013 at 11:23 pm

        I agree with you Charlie. They are. A good club, and it’s tough when you’re used to hittin something. The i20’s feel like butter to me, but I’m just used to them.

  26. Ake

    Nov 18, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I have tried them for a week. They are awesome. Sweet trajectory and great forgiveness for blade style. I think its not hard when u hit the ball at the center of club face. Definitely recommend for serious golfer 0 to 12 handicap.

  27. JEFF SMITH

    Nov 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    They feel rock hard! Sticking w/ my i20’s.

  28. Patrick

    Nov 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Played my first round with these yesterday. Had been swinging i-15’s and never had ventured into a blade-like player’s iron (hdcp 6). Incredible golf clubs. The feeling of control is fantastic. Super job Ping!

  29. CHARLIE

    Nov 12, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I hate them. s-56 a much better feeling club. The dampening of the clubs feel takes away from the blade like effort many players like.
    I have a brand new set of red dot with KBS tour 3-pw if interested. Im jumping back into the MB’s

    • Jeffry Young

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      Red dot is perfect, I’ll purchase them from you if you don’t want them?!?

      I live in seattle WA if interested email me Jeffyoung1234@hotmail.com

    • Tim

      Nov 19, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      I’m interested!! Gonna buy a set just like these. How much?

  30. Jeremy

    Nov 11, 2013 at 8:09 am

    I ordered these in mid-October and got them in last week. I have been mainly a Titleist CB/AP2 guy for the last 5 years, but have always loved the thought of owning Ping’s. After playing with these this weekend, I LOVE them! I couldn’t believe how good they felt and I am a +1 HC. The ball flight is fantastic and I feel good about working them either way. Love that I am now a Ping iron player!

  31. goblue

    Nov 10, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    far better feel than the s56 ! if your a ping person these are a must !

  32. orangebang

    Nov 10, 2013 at 1:36 am

    I loved the article. it’s everything I wanted to know about the S55 in one concise review. That said, I’m really disappointed Ping put their CFS shaft as the stock offering. every players iron out there comes with DG or KBS, and that’s the way it should be. the CFS is a terribly flimsy shaft that doesn’t do anything better than any of the other 2 I mentioned. It’s like Callaway putting a Memphis 10 Uniflex in their new Apex Forged iron. LOL

    • Jim

      Nov 28, 2013 at 7:07 am

      Great point on the shaft selection. Which KBS or Project X shaft could anyone recommend?

  33. Mike M

    Nov 9, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    great looking club.

  34. Jeffrey Trigger

    Nov 9, 2013 at 6:19 am

    I love the forged argument. Even when they hit these, and find out that hey, these work well, they’ll pass because they aren’t forged. Isn’t golf a sport? Isn’t the idea to score as low as you possibly can? If these work for you, and you can afford them, uh, then put them in your bag. The reason I won’t play these has nothing to do with how they are created. I have a day job, and just don’t get to the course enough to game these.

  35. FL

    Nov 9, 2013 at 3:14 am

    I think these are the irons to beat in 2014. I don’t think anybody’s going to top these in the way it feels off the face. They are amazing!

  36. Robert

    Nov 9, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Just went to Golfsmith hit side by side AP2 714, MP54 & S55. Going in I was thinking AP2, but I got surprised. Dispersion was a little better with S55. Ball speed was 2 to 3 miles slower with the S55, but the S55 launched higher with less spin. S55 was a little longer. New tech? Ball doesn’t go up in levels but straight up no spin see ya. Looking down at the iron I preferred the thinner look of the S55 over both the AP2 & MP54. Didn’t try Titleist or Mizuno blades…do I need to say why? I’m a weekend golfer who shoots in the 70’s and prefers to stay there.

  37. CW

    Nov 8, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Those groves are awesssome!

  38. Jon

    Nov 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I have played several forged irons and have hit all the new irons as well. These feel almost identical (imo) to any of the good forged irons out there. I love the look of these clubs and cant wait to put them in play. I have them on order and will be picking them up tomorrow 🙂

  39. RG

    Nov 8, 2013 at 1:13 am

    Beautiful iron, but that does seem a little pricy for cast.

  40. Barry Goodman

    Nov 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Spectacular Looking & Excellent Performance.
    What else would you want; in this age where we demand the latest greatest of high tech, we have here the best of both worlds.
    Time to step out of your dream world & into the real world folks.
    Few of you, who are looking for forged clubs, likely wouldn’t know the difference between forged & cast if you were able to hit them blind folded.
    An added bonus, unlike forged clubs, these will also look the same 10 years from now.

    • thumperaccuracy

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      I have a set of S57’s. I play 40 times a year and practice often (8 hdcp). Most people who look at these irons mention two things, either “wow, I didn’t know PING made good looking clubs” and “they look practically brand new.” My clubs are 4 and a half years old, look and play great. If Bubba has switched, maybe I should give them a demo.

  41. Taylor

    Nov 7, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I would have looked at these for purchase…if they were forged..after playing cast for most of my life, the switch over to forged was an eye opener

  42. chill

    Nov 7, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I dont understand why every review of ping irons complains about them not being forged. Besides the anser series, ping has made their money on cast. No one should expect a new s line of pings to be forged; its just not what they do. If forged is what you want there are plenty of other OEMs that offer them.

  43. David Smith

    Nov 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Like the editor says, $999 is very steep for a cast set and since I am in Canada that translates to a hefty $1099, I like these irons but I I’ll pass given the price.

  44. Billy

    Nov 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Nice club, I hit it recently as well. But for sure a pass, not forged.

  45. Muff

    Nov 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    The softest feeling Pings ever! They are quite simply amazing. Beautiful to look at, soft feel at impact, small form factor, and forgiving. These might be the best Ping has ever made. It’s amazing how soft it feels at impact for a cast club. What an incredible job Ping did with these. I’m jumping all over them.

  46. Jay

    Nov 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Review doesn’t seem based on course performance… just repeated attempts to let us know they aren’t forged. They don’t feel any different really than the 2013 Anser irons. PING’s golf pros are playing S series irons and PING clubs because they grew up playing them and enjoy that style club. Making the forged makes ZERO sense and if that’s what you want why even mess with S55?

  47. tyler

    Nov 7, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Hit these last night. Very nice. Should be about 100 cheaper though.

  48. froneputt

    Nov 7, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I think you mean to say “a little more forgiving than the S56 irons” in your headline

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Iron Reviews

Review: Honma TW737-Vs Forged Irons

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GolfWRX Member Reviews: TaylorMade 2017 M1 and M2 Irons

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One of the many benefits of being a GolfWRX Forum Member is exclusive access to Giveaways and Testing Threads. For Giveaways — we give away everything from golf clubs to golf balls to GPS units — all it takes is a forum name. Enter any Giveaway, and we select winners randomly. You’re then free to enjoy your prize as you wish.

For Testing Threads, the process a bit more involved. GolfWRX Forum Members sign up to test the latest and greatest products in golf, and then they provide in-depth reviews on the equipment. Being the intelligent golf-equipment users they are, GoflWRX Members are able to provide the most-informed and unbiased reviews on the Internet.

df5745825623a9697f92315cd9d8f1d7

In this Testing Thread, we selected 75 members to test a TaylorMade M1 2017 7-iron and TaylorMade M2 7-iron. Each of the clubs were built with the stock lofts and shafts — M2 2017 (28.5 degrees) with a TaylorMade Reax shaft, and M1 2017 (30.5 degrees) with a True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shaft — and the testers were instructed to post their review of the clubs here.

Below, we’ve selected what we’ve deemed the most in-depth and educated reviews out of the 75 testers. We have edited each of the posts for brevity, clarity and grammar.

Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

Brock9007

To be honest, looking down on the TaylorMade M1 and M2 irons at address, there is really not much difference. I would have to pick one up to see which is which.

The first 10 balls I hit were with M1 and 6/10 felt great, while the other 4 were toe hits, which I felt and the distance reflected that. Kinda what I expected with a club design for lower-handicap players. Distance was about 1/2 longer than my Srixon iron and dispersion was close, as well. I will say they did not feel as good as the Srixon on center hits.

Next 10 (ok, 15) balls were with the M2. Wow, can you say “up, up and away? The ball really popped of the club face, but wasn’t a ballon flight. Waited for the ball to come down and WTH, with the roll out it was 5-8 yards longer than balls hit with M1, and that is with a few toe shots. I did some smooth swings and then very aggressive swings and was a little amazed at this iron. Just like the M1, it does not have the forged feeling and does have a clicky sound (which I hate).

Bottom line: M2 is the longest iron I have ever hit. I love my 545s, but I could see myself playing M2 very easily. Matter of fact, I will be taking this M2 7 iron in my bag and play it more head-to-head against my Srixon 545 on the course.

deathbymuffin

These are both beautiful clubs. What surprised me the most is how much alike the two clubs look at address. I was expecting a chunky topline and significant offset in the M2, but it’s footprint looked almost exactly the same as the M1, outside of the chrome finish on the M2 versus the frosted finish of the M1. The M2 could almost pass as a player’s iron to my eye at address. These clubs both get A’s from me in the looks department.

The M1 felt a tad thicker than most player’s irons I’m used to, but it seemed to come with a bit of added forgiveness too. Well-struck shots felt good, with a nice mid-trajectory and with the workability that I’ve come to expect from a player’s iron. But true to TaylorMade’s claims, the M1 seemed more forgiving than a traditional player’s iron. Had a nice soft feel at impact, mishits didn’t sting and left you with a more playable result. A really nice combination of the better attributes of both player’s and game improvement irons. I’ve been playing with an old set of Tommy Armour blades, but I’ve been recently wanting more forgiveness for when I’m stuck with my B or C swing. Based on the early returns, I could definitely see myself bagging these.

I’m not sure if it’s the shaft, the design of the clubhead, or a combination of both, but the M2 is definitely a different animal than the M1 at impact. This club launches the ball high, arguably ridiculously so. I was hitting Jason Day moonbombs with this bad boy. Didn’t seem to matter what kind of swing I put on it, the ball launched high, flat and dead straight. The club was super forgiving and if not for the insanely high ball flight, I would love to have a set of these for when my swing is out of sorts. I didn’t really try to flight it at all, so I’m not sure what it’s capable of at this point. One other note was that the M2 had a clicky feel at impact. It didn’t bother me since it still felt so sweet… so strange as it sounds, clicky, but smooth and sweet at the same time. I think these clubs will be big winners with the mid-to-high handicap set.

The M1 is a fine iron, but doesn’t really stand out in any way from other irons of its class.

The M2, on the other hand, is an iron on steroids. I’m really starting to love this thing. It’s super forgiving and just goes and goes. According to my laser, flush shots were going 195 yards (my usual blade 5 iron distance) and very high. I can’t help but think golf would be a whole lot easier, particularly longer courses with long par 3s, with a full set of these in my bag.

poppyhillsguy

M1 feels softer than the M2 and I felt the ball flight was more consistent and what I want in an iron. The M1 did have a harsher feeling in my hands than I typically like, but I’m going to credit a lot of that to the range balls.

M2 flies very high. It was a windy afternoon and about 100 degrees. I love the high ball flight on the range, but I have a concern what that ball flight would be like on the course. I like to hit the ball different heights for different shots and I don’t think I could do that confidently with the M2, but I could with the M1. I don’t like the sound of the M2. It sounded “clicky” to me.

Fourpar18

Initially on the range I was scared because the M1 had a regular flex in it, so I took it easy for my initial 10-15 swings with it. Ball SHOT off the face, loud crack (didn’t care for it, but not too bad) and ball just kept rising and rising but didn’t balloon. I thought, “whoa,” that’s not what I expected…did it again…another CRACK and the ball just flew. I set another down and I paid attention to how it looked behind the ball, not much offset for a game improvement and I thought…”I could actually play this club!”  The 5-7 were EASY swings, aimed at a target of 170 yards away (my normal 7 iron distance) and with a EASY swing I was flying it by 20 yards or so. The next 5-10 I really went after it, same CRACK and ball just flew but to my surprise it was a nice draw, harder draw than the first but it was a nice 10-yard draw. This time the balls were landing just short of the 200 yard marker. Damn, 200 yards with a 7 iron! I know they are jacked lofts but it feels good to say “my 7 irons just few 190-200 yards!”

P.S. LOVE the Lamkin UTX grip!

Now, this was interesting, the M2 was quieter then the M1… weird!  Now, there is more carbon fiber added to this one and there is a “Geocoustic” label on the back. I am sure that it has something to do with all that carbon fiber but it does have a better sound. Other than the sound, it played exactly like the M1: long and straight. The REAX shaft felt a little weaker than the True Temper shaft and it flew a little higher but nothing else I could pick up.

noahdavis_7

Finally got out to the range after getting these bad boys in on Friday. My first impression of them is that they look really sharp. The graphics and design really stand out and really give these clubs a cool, modern look.

They were both a little to big IMO, as I am currently bagging Mizuno MP-68s. The M2 isa definite “game improvement iron”, while the M1 was similar in size and shape to my previous irons, Titleist AP1s.

They both really launch it, high and far. Ridiculous for 7 irons. I don’t have access to a launch monitor, but it was about a 20-yard difference between my gamer 7 iron and these (stronger lofts, as well).

The M1 definitely was more suited for my eye, and produced more consistent ball flights. It felt much more smooth and solid as the M2 had a clicky, cheap feel.

The M2 just isn’t for me. I felt like it was launching too high and ballooning, which could be due to the shaft (the M1 had the S300, while the M2 just had a stock “Reax” shaft). The feel off the face of the M2 just turned me off, to be honest.

While I don’t think I’ll be putting either model in play, I can definitely see the appeal for mid-to-high handicaps. Both irons were super forgiving, and they should be a dream to the average weekend golfer who has trouble with ball striking consistently.

golfnut5438

Looks: As expected, I preferred the M1 with less offset, slightly smaller sole and a smoother finish. Less glare looking down on the iron. I must say the M2 did not look as bulky, or have as much offset as I thought it might have.

Feel: This was a close race, probably due to the shafts as much as the heads. The M1 was just a slight bit smoother feeling on solid shots. But the M2 was not bad at all, just not quite as smooth.

Distance and performance: Our range has a slight incline up the length of the range, so specific yardage gains or losses were difficult to measure. Both irons had a higher trajectory than my gamer 7 iron. Neither sole dug onto the turf either. The lofts for both irons are a degree or two stronger than mine, so I would think they probably flew a little further than my gamers. Neither iron flew “too” high, however. Might be a little harder to hit knock down shots, though.

Final thoughts: I had hit both the M1 and M2 irons last year during a fitting day, but did not like either. This year’s model were both better in my eyes. I asked a fellow member at our club to hit both and he felt the M1 was his preferred model, and he is a 20-index player. So coming from both a single digit, and a high double-digit, the M1 won this battle of wills. I will try and see if I can locate both a 5 iron and 9 iron to see if a full set might be a winner for me.

DblEgl

I was surprised that the M2 was the winner in this brief session. It felt better, flew higher, easier to hit and about 1/2 club longer that my gamer Apex CF16. The feel/sound was better than I thought it might be, but really not up to the CF16. I could, however, easily game the M2’s.

Bstein74

Feel: I hit the M2 first, and found it to be very solid when hit on the screws. There was almost no feel off the club face at all. When I mishit it, you knew it was, but it wasn’t harsh at all. Hit the M1 next, and same type of feel when hit solid. Much more harsh when mishit though, but I knew that was coming.

Distance and performance: This is was where I was curious to see how they would play. The M2 went out high in the air, and just kept going forever. Now granted my eyesight isn’t that great anymore, but it looked like I got about 10-15 yards more from the M2 compared to my Wilson D300. The only thing I didn’t like about the M2 was how much I was able to turn it over. Got a lot more hook compared to my D300. Don’t know if that was from the REAX shaft, but would love to find a less spinning shaft to correct that.

The M1 wasn’t a great performer for me. Same height as the M2, but much straighter off the club face. Didn’t get any great distance advantage as compared to my D300. Can’t game a player’s iron anymore, and testing this one just reaffirmed that.

Final thoughts: Was very happy with the distance I gained with the M2 compared to my current gamer. Very good-performing iron for me, and something I would definitely consider changing them out if I could reduce the spin off the face. If you’re looking for more distance, you need to try these out. The M1 just wasn’t for me, but as a player’s iron, I can see it as a great option.

Bobcat271

Like the other testers, I found the M2 to launch the ball much higher and is 10-to-15 yards longer than my Adams XTD forged 7 iron. Of the two 7 irons I prefer the M1. I like the design of the M1 and its visual appearance at address. I feel more confident in trying to work the ball with the M1. The M1 gave me more feedback as to where the club head was in relation to my swing plane. If I had my druthers I would put the M1 in the bag as it stands now. Will continue to test, what a treat to compare the two irons.

myurick2

Once I started making solid contact with a decent shoulder turn, the M2 really came alive in my hands. Towering flat height, for me, and very long. No more clacky hollow feel, just a very mild pleasant sensation… then zoom. Once I started making better swings, back to the M1, which was a very nice iron. Shorter than the M2 (though not short) and a little lower ball flight. Felt nice and substantial without being heavy. Very forgiving on slight mishits.

But the M2 was the star for me. High trajectory and very long. Club felt lively and fun. Frankly, unless a player wanted a lower trajectory, or likes to hit a lot of knock downs or feel shots, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t choose the M2. They are very attractive and a very fun iron. I think folks who say that the M2 feels and/or sounds clicky, clacky or hollow may be mishitting the iron toward the toe. I am not judging — I mishit a lot of shots at first. I agree on toe mishits the iron did not feel great. It almost felt like plastic. The ball still flew pretty well, but it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience. Not painful, just felt very dead. But when hit nearer the center, the iron felt fantastic. Light, springy and very lively. 

hammergolf

They are both good-looking clubs. Not too long heel to toe and toplines were not that distracting. M1 is more what I like to see shape wise, but M2 was not bad at all. Personally, not a fan of seeing the face slots. But I could see how some people may like how they frame the ball. 

Ace2000

M1 

– Has a very odd sound on contact, almost sounds a tad like a fairway wood “ting. Not a fan
– Looks very good at address with the brushed finish
– Most shots I hit with it seemed to fall out of the sky (very likely a lack of spin). Ball flight was much lower than I would have expected (not super low, just not much different than my 7 iron)
– Inconsistent misses. Next to no distance gains vs RocketBladez Tour 7 iron

M2

– Doesn’t look as good at address as the M1. Chrome finish at address is not an issue in even direct sunlight for me
– Feels and sounds quite nice to my ears at impact. Not a classic sound but very good considering what type of club it is
– Ball flight is very strong (comes off hot). Ball stays high in the air for awhile. Very high and lands soft
– 10-12 yards longer on average vs my 7 iron, it even had the horsepower to hang with my 6 iron
– VERY forgiving on thin strikes. Couldn’t believe how a near-top still traveled to nearly the front edge in the air and still went as far as the M1 did on a good strike
– Shaft is too light

Even though I’m a 2-handicap and don’t fit the M2 “mold,” I could see myself playing this club from 4-6 iron (although gapping would be a major issue mixing these with almost anything else) if it had a heavier shaft in it (I can only imagine how far this 4 iron must go… yikes)

M1 = 2.5/5 stars
M2 = 4.5/5 stars

tpeterson

Visual first impressions: The M1 7-iron is visually appealing to me as far as the finish and overall look. Even though it is classified as a player’s iron, it doesn’t seem so tiny that it would be tough to hit. I am not a huge fan of the bright-yellow badging, but I probably could get over it. The iron inspires confidence with its topline and a little bit of offset. The “rubber” piece on the hosel is a little bit funky to me.

I thought the M2 7-iron would look clunkier than it really is. Besides the finish being a little bit different, the difference between the M1 and M2 is actually pretty small. The M2’s topline and sole are a touch wider, but not by much. Not a huge fan of the fluted hosel since it can be seen at address. The M1’s fluting is only on the rear of the club.

I did notice that the sole’s finish did scratch pretty easily. Overall, I thought the M1 and M2 are pretty good looking, but I would definitely give the edge to the M1. I also preferred the stock Lamkin grip on the M1 vs. the ribbed M2 grip.

On course action: They both feel solid. I tried hitting both irons in all different types of on-course situations over a two week period. Both clubs launch the ball high but I would not say they balloon. For me, the M2 was about 10 yards longer and higher than the M1. Compared to my Cleveland irons, they are 1 to 1.5 clubs longer.

M1 loft = 30.5
M2 loft = 28.5
Cleveland TA7 loft = 33.5

I know this accounts for the distance gain but the ball definitely comes off hot compared to my set. I was hoping I would hit the M1 better since I like the appearance better, but that was not the case. The M2 definitely felt better for me and I felt more confident with it in my hands.

Discussion: Read all 75 reviews and the responses in our Testing Thread

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Members Choice: The Best Irons of 2017

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To help golfers find the best irons for them in 2017, we enlisted the services of GolfWRX Members, the most knowledgeable golfers on the internet. They not only understand the technology used in the latest golf equipment, but they also test new clubs extensively. Following their detailed experiences and words of wisdom about the latest products is the perfect starting point for anyone interested in purchasing new golf clubs.

To gather their votes and feedback, we as a company first needed to properly sort the irons into categories. We aimed to keep the categories as simple as possible with 2017’s crop of irons, and we broke them down into three general categories:

  • Players Irons: Basically, small-sized irons. These irons have sleek top lines and soles. They place workability and control over distance, and for that reason they’re irons you can expect to see in the bag of a professional golfer.
  • Game-Improvement Irons: Basically, medium-sized irons. This category includes a wide-range of clubs that blend distance, forgiveness, good looks and workability.
  • Super Game-Improvement Irons: Basically, large-sized irons. These irons are juiced with hot faces, wide soles, thick top lines, big offset and a low center of gravity, among other engineering feats, that are often unique to each company.

Note: Because of the abundance of Players Irons currently available, we divided that category into two categories: Players Irons and Exotics Players Irons. The Exotic Players Irons list included players irons from companies such as Epon, Fourteen, Miura, PXG, and Honma, which are not as widely available for testing in the U.S.

Below you can access the full results of our Members Choice 2017: Best Irons lists, as well as feedback about each iron from the GolfWRX Community. We’d like to sincerely thank all the GolfWRX Members who participated in the voting and provided feedback on the irons. We also want to thank those of you who provided feedback on the voting process itself. We assure you that we read and consider everything, and we’re going to continue to improve our process in order to provide the best and most useful information about the latest golf equipment.

Members Choice: The Best Players Irons

Mizuno_JPX_900_Tour_Feat-1021x580

Vote Leader: Mizuno JPX-900 Tour

“WOW! Great mix of buttery feel and forgiveness.”

Overall, the Mizuno JPX-900 Tour irons earned nearly 15 percent of votes on the Players iron category, giving them top billing for players irons. One GolfWRX member said he was “weak in the knees from first look at the satin finish and compact size,” and that the “feel is excellent, and there’s just enough forgiveness.” Another said the JPX-900 Tour irons are the “best irons out there right now in terms of blending feel, forgiveness, and the ability to shape shots.”

Full List: The Best Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: The Best Exotic Players Irons

PXG0311t-600x377

Vote Leader: PXG 0311T

“I can’t say I have ever hit anything that feels as good as the PXG.”

With more 21 percent of votes for the Best Exotics Players Irons of 2017, PXG’s 0311T irons were described by GolfWRX members as “a great looking club,” and that they “felt unbelievable.” When comparing the irons to Titleist’s 716 MB irons, one member said, “The fact that you can barely tell if it has or doesn’t have more offset than the MB 7 iron just shows how little it has.”

Full List: The Best Exotic Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: Best Game-Improvement Irons

CallawayApexMembersChoice

Vote Leader: Callaway Apex CF ’16 

“Apex CF is simply the most explosive, best feeling iron I’ve ever hit in this category.”

Acquiring nearly 20 percent of votes of all models in the Best Game-Improvement Iron category, GolfWRX Members described the Callaway Apex CF ’16 irons as “simply the most explosive,” and that they “perform very well on center hits and almost as good on mishits.”

Full List: The Best Game-Improvement Irons of 2017

The Best Super Game-Improvement Irons 

PingGironsWRX

Vote Leader: Ping G

“The Ping G takes what Ping has done for years and added in increased ball speed, improved feel and much better looks.”

An iron that “will appeal even to Ping haters.” GolfWRX Members described the Ping G as “stupid easy to hit,” providing a “high and straight ball flight,” and “an eye opener.” The irons also accumulated more than 22 percent of the total votes in the category.

Full List: The Best Super Game-Improvement irons of 2017

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