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Ping Anser Iron Review

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Editor Review by Richard A.

Pros-
Hit the sweetheart for feel and forgiveness. Ping launches the “Super Car” of Irons. Forged, milled, exotic material for weighting, CG and MOI. Touch of class with weight ports in the center of the head (typical to Ping) to tune swingweight without moving the CG away from the center of the face. The Anser is a special club for the serious golfer looking to enjoy a unique set of irons not many will see.

Cons-

Made for a golfer that is looking to play with Aston Martin with a touch of forgiveness. A traditional blade player will shy away. The Anser has a wider sole and more forgiveness that will make some look for something more compact.

Bottom Line-
Sign me up brother. Sign this guy up. Normally I like a blade type head but after days of mashing balls I could game this right here and now. If KJ Choi plays G15’s I can game the Anser right?

Click here to read the discussion from you peers in the forums

Review-

Anser are forged from a single billet of 8620 steel. Spanked 3 times and then ground parting lines. Off to the machining center and milled one at a time. That is part one of a lengthy process that makes these irons very different that the majority of sets today. No cost was spared to build these unique high end technology packed sets.

Looks- The looks of the new 2011 Anser Forged irons are striking. Satin chrome finish with ox blood red and grey accents. Did I say ox blood? Yes I did. Just like the old English Doc Martin boots these irons scream character and have won our hearts. The size of the heads are on the larger side but not to the point I would mark them down because of it. Want a smaller head than play the S-56 irons. Reduced offset on these cavity backs over most of Ping’s irons are a pleasant surprise. The offset of the 5 iron is .17” compared to the i15 with .19”. This translates to a look that will give the better player confidence the fit the eye for some would rather have less offset.

The heel, toe and CTP cavity are all milled using a CNC machining center. This type of costly process drives the cost up but also insures the face thickness is minimal and meets tolerances post forging. By doing this Ping says they will be able to maintain the tightest standards as the forging dies wear over time. The result is visually appealing as you look at the cavity. Jewelry comes to mind as you look and see the machining cutter paths. The face and groves are machined also. At first it is hard to pick up, but after a few hundred balls you can see the milling marks on the face.

Performance/playability- We tested with Ping blade S-56 to see if there was a big difference between the 2 for playability. When the sole get wider as it is in the Anser you gain in performance on miss hits but you also lose some playability. Shaping shots on challenging lies becomes more difficult when you have an additional mass on the sole. After repeated days of demo we loved the sole design and had little negative effect on playability. I was puzzled and expected worst to be honest. Why am I able to nip shots that had bad lies when you would think the fatter sole would be having more of an effect on the hit? Looking deeper you can see it in the bounce for one. The bounce of the Anser 5 iron is -1.0*. I said negative 1 degree! Compare that to the blade s-56 5 iron with a bounce of +2.0 degrees. That makes a big difference when that head is screaming by at 85 mph and you have to go down after a ball with a bad lie. Great blend of forgiveness and playability here.

Other performance features are a bunch of very technical advanced engineering design enhancements. Some features I understand and some I don’t and will probably never quite grasp. Removing metal post forging via CNC machining allowed Ping to add more moment of inertia (MOI) in 2 directions. Left to right and high to low on the face for mishit in the two ways we can miss it. They added a dual cavity and covered the lower on with a high tech tungsten nickel sole. They say it softens the feel and positions the CG for higher launching shots. I didn’t notice higher shots as much. What I saw was a good solid trajectory.

Click here to read the discussion from you peers in the forums

Feel- I had the Anser and the s-56 in dynamic gold s300 and they were both at D2. Same setup and there were mild differences in trajectory and to be honest I didn’t see the difference. The feel was different between the two. S-56 are cast and the Anser are forged using a single billet of 8620. The forged Anser had a more muted feel and trying to put feel in words is like trying to write about the taste differences in food or wine. I will try. The Anser felt as if the event of the hit took longer than the s-56. Meaning at impact the feeling of the impact took longer to experience than the event of the s56. Another way to say it was the mid and bass ranges were accentuated and the S-56 had more mid and treble. Hope that covered it. LOL. Seriously the feel of the 2 were close but the Ansers are softer and more muted than the s-56. The same type of feel can be experienced hitting a Titleist AP-2 iron. While you don’t get that quick jump of solid soft feel you might experience through a true muscle back you do get a great longer more muted feel in the Anser. It is like you keep the ball of the face for a millisecond more than another Ping iron. Felt as if I was compressing the ball more and longer than a cast club. No click and more of a thud.


Overall bottom line-
Years of hearing Ping fans desire for a forging and here it is. True jewelry and packed with technology. Looking for an option that isn’t a blade you need to put this model on the top of your list to consider. I am one lucky tester to be able to hit these side by side with Ping cast options. If you are serious about the game and want to have irons that very few will ever see then the Anser is the way to go. Softest Ping iron I have ever hit and looks to kill.

Click here to read the discussion from you peers in the forums

Here are a bunch of cool pics…

Here is a close up of the 5 iron using a macro lens to so the milling. I magnified it so you can see the detail. Hard to pick up when looking at it but you can see it clearly here…

I thought you might like to see the detail of the cavity. Real beautiful milling and graphics…

Here is some caparison pics of the Anser forged and the i15 in the 7 iron. You can see the reduced offset in the anser and hozel also. Look at the sole differences. Darn close in size. Looks like the leading edge is more blunted on the Anser…

Click here to read the discussion from you peers in the forums

Here is the same but with the S-56 to compare…

Click here to read the discussion from you peers in the forums

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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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A Deep Dive: The equipment timeline of David Duval, 1993-2001

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Like Tiger, David Toms, and Fred Couples there are certain players that I have been obsessed with for years. If you go to my Instagram, you can see it in plain sight. When it comes to DD it was more than the what, it was the why, the how that sparked my curiosity. Let’s face it, in 2000 with the Mossimo gear, Oakley shades, jacked-up physique, and on Titleist staff, was there ever a cooler looking player?

No. There wasn’t or isn’t.

That’s where my interest in Larry Bobka came about. I saw David and Larry walking the fairways of Sahalee at the ’98 PGA Championship.

At the time, I was already knee-deep in David Duval fandom but that experience took me over the top. Bobka had a handful of clubs in his hands and would pass DD a 970 3-wood, Duval would give it a rip and the two would discuss while walking down the fairway. Of all my time watching live golf, I have never been so awestruck.

This is an homage to David’s equipment during his prime/healthy years on the PGA Tour. From his early days with Mizuno, into the Titleist days, and finally Nike.

1993-1995 Mizuno

*This was an interesting time for Duval from an equipment standpoint. The pattern of mixing sets to put together his bag began and it was the time he transitioned from persimmon (Wood Bros driver) into metal woods. It was also the beginning of his long relationship with Scotty Cameron, a relationship that still stands today.

What was in the bag

Driver: TaylorMade Tour Burner 8.5 w/ Dynamic Gold X100 (*he also played with the Bubble XHKP Prototype)

3-wood

King Cobra @14 w/ Dynamic Gold X100

TaylorMade Tour Issue Spoon @13  w/ Dynamic Gold X100

Irons

1993: (1) Ping Eye2, (3-PW) Mizuno Pro TN-87 with Dynamic Gold X100

1994: (1) Ping Eye2, (3-PW) Mizuno Pro TN-87 with Dynamic Gold X100

1995: (2,3) Mizuno TC-29, (4-PW) Mizuno TN-87 with Dynamic Gold X100

Wedges: Mizuno Pro (53, 58) with Dynamic Gold X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron Classic Newport (35 inches, 71 lie, 4 degrees of loft)

Ball: Titleist Tour Balata 100

Glove: Mizuno Pro

1996-2000 Titleist

The beginning of the Titleist years started off quietly. There wasn’t any new product launched and David wasn’t quite the star he would become 12-18 months later. However, it gave Titleist the opportunity to get to know DD and his overall preferences, which aren’t dramatic but certainly unique. He didn’t win in 1996 but did qualify for the Presidents Cup Team and finished that event off at 4-0. So the buzz was going in the right direction and his peers certainly took notice.

It was 1997 that things took off on all fronts and it was the year that Titleist made David Duval the face of the DCI brand and with that decision spawned the greatest cast players cavity ever: the 962B—and also equipped David Duval to go on a 3-year run that was surpassed by only Tiger Woods.

Hence the deep dive article I wrote up earlier this month

What was in the bag

Driver

1996

TaylorMade Bubble Tour 8.5 w/ Bubble XHKP Prototype

1997

TaylorMade Bubble Tour 8.5 w/ Bubble XHKP Prototype

King Cobra Deep Face 9 w/ Dynamic Gold X100

Callaway Warbird Great Big Bertha 6.5 w/ Dynamic Gold X100, True Temper EI70 Tour X

Titleist 975D 6.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ Fujikura Prototype X

1998

Callaway Warbird Great Big Bertha 6.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Titleist 975D 6.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

1999: Titleist 975D 6.5 (no line heavier head weight) @ 7.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

2000: Titleist 975D 7.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

3-wood

1996

King Cobra @14 w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

1997 

King Cobra @14 w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

1998

Callaway S2H2 (1 Dot) @14 w/ Fujikura Vista Pro 90X


Callaway Steelhead 3+ @13 w/ RCH 90 Pro Series Strong

Titleist 970 (Dark Grey Head) @13 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X (only tested this one)

1999

Callaway S2H2 (1 Dot) @14 w/ Fujikura Vista Pro 90X

Cobra Gravity Back 14.5T w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Irons

1996

(2-PW) Titleist DD Blank Prototype w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (w/sensicore)

(2-PW) Titleist DCI Black “B” w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (w/sensicore)

*This prototype set was a blank set of the DCI Black “B” but with sole modifications. 

1997, 1998, 1999, 2000: (2,3) Titleist DCI Black (4-PW) Titleist DCI 962B w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (with sensicore)

*David liked the original prototype version of DG Sensicore X100 that had weight removed from the center of shaft to create better feel and a slightly higher trajectory

24 Feb 2000: David Duval watches the ball after hitting it during the World Match-Play Championships at the La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California. Mandatory Credit: Harry How /Allsport

Wedges

1996: (52 @53, 58) Mizuno Pro, (56 @57) Cleveland 588 RTG w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

1997: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 RTG, (58) Titleist Bobka Grind, (57 @58) Cobra Trusty Rusty w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

1998: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 RTGw/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

1999: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 RTG w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

2000: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 “Gun Metal” w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

PUTTER

1996: Scotty Cameron Classic Newport 1 35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft, Scotty Cameron Long Slant Neck Laguna Custom (double welded neck)

1997: Odyssey Dual Force Rossie 2, Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport “Beached”  35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft w/ PingMan “Blacked Out” Grip

1998, 1999, 2000: Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport “Beached”  35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft w/ PingMan “Blacked Out” Grip

2001: Nike Golf and The Open Championship

The relationship with Titleist Golf ended quickly and when David showed up to Kapalua with a non-Titleist stand bag the rumor mill went nuts. The story (although super speculative) was that David opted out in the middle of a $4.5 million per year deal with Acushnet, a lawsuit followed, but Davids’s stance was that he had a marquee player clause that allowed him to walk if he wasn’t “marquee” aka highest-paid.

Apparently he had a point, Acushnet had recently inked big deals with Davis Love and Phil Mickelson leading someone on the outside to do the math. However, I’m not an attorney, wasn’t there, and have no clue what the legality of any of it was. Point is, he walked and landed at Nike with a new head-to-toe contract. 

 

DRIVER:

Titleist 975D 7.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Titleist 975E Prototype 8.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Nike Titanium w/ True Temper EI-70 II Tour X (pictured below)

Nike Titanium Prototype 7.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X (featured image)

3 WOOD:

Callaway Steelhead Plus 4+ @15 w/ RCH 90 Pro Series Strong

Nike Prototype @14 degrees w/ True Temper EI-70 Tour X

Sonartec/Excedo (SS-03 head) Driving Cavity @14 w/ Fujikura Vista Pro 90X

IRONS:

(2-PW) Titleist 990B w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100  (with sensicore)

(2-PW) Nike Prototype “DD” Grind MB w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (with sensicore)

(2) Titleist DCI Black w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100  (with sensicore)

 

WEDGES: 

(53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 “Gun Metal” w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

(53,58) Nike DD Grind w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

PUTTER: Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport “Beached”  35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft w/ PingMan “Blacked Out” Grip

SPEC TALK

Over the years the one constant was David’s iron and wedge specs. As a shut-faced player he has always favored traditional lofts in his irons. However, a cool thing to note is his lie angles remained constant 59.5 (2-4), 60 (5-9). The running theory here was being a shallow (low hands) and shut faced player, keeping the lie angles at a constant (flatter) lie angle allowed him to feel like his angle of attack could remain the same for each iron. It’s just a feeling but that’s what he did. If the “why of it” is true, it looks like he was doing Bryson things before Bryson did.

David Duval Iron/Wedge Specs

Loft/Lie/Length/SW

  • 2-17/59.5/40.25/D5
  • 3-20.5/59.5/39 1/6/D4
  • 4-24/59.5/38 9/16/D4
  • 5-27/60/38 1/16/D4
  • 6-30.5/60/ 37 9/16/D4
  • 7-35/60/37 1/16/D4
  • 8-39/60/36 9/16/D4
  • 9-43/60/36 5/16/D4
  • P-47/61/36/ 1/16/D5
  • GW-53/62/35 5/8/D4
  • LW-58/62/35 9/16/D6

Whew…since this prolific run, David transitioned into some interesting projects with smaller companies like Scratch, B.I.G Golf (AKA Bio-engineered in Germany), back to the mainstream with Nike, and most currently Cobra Golf.

I hope you all enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me, Duval is not only fascinating from a career standpoint but digging into the equipment of DD has been quite the experience.

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“Why can’t I hit my new irons to a consistent distance?” – GolfWRXers have their say

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In our forums, our members have been discussing irons and how to hit your numbers consistently. WRXer ‘Hubb1e’, who is a 15 handicap, is having issues and says:

“I recently upgraded from 20 year old Taylor Made 360 irons to a set of custom-built Callaway Apex 19 Forged irons. Old irons were traditional cavity back. New irons are categorized as players distance irons. Both have the same fit.

My new 3 iron will go 230 yards or 130 yards and not even make it far enough to reach the fairway. My new 7 iron will typically go 160 yards but will often will fly 175 yards or drop out of the air at 120 yards. I can’t control the distances of my new irons, and I spent a fortune custom fitting them to my swing. Why is this happening? This was never an issue with my old irons. A bad hit would go 10-20% shorter, but I never had balls fly over the green or completely fall out of the air. What is going on with my new equipment?”

Our members offer up their solutions in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • ThreeBoxers: “Strike quality is your answer. Tech or no tech, irons will not have 50-yard distance discrepancies. Not super familiar with the Apex irons, but they’re pretty forgiving no? You might lose 10 yards on toe or heel strikes but 40, 50? You’re probably hitting it heavy. If they have a beveled edge, it may mask the feeling of hitting it fat a bit, but not the result. My Mizunos have a pretty aggressive front edge grind which helps a ton on heavy shots. It’s the difference between landing 15 yards short and 50 yards short. +1 on using foot spray to check impact.”
  • extrastiff: “It also would not hurt to check your swing speed. Even strike being terrible that’s a large discrepancy. Maybe your last build had a weight that helped you get consistent swing speed.”
  • WristySwing: “I would say inconsistent strike is the biggest issue. Now that can mean a couple of things. It could mean you, as in the person swinging, are not hitting the ball properly because of inconsistent delivery. The other option is the fit is bad, and it is causing you to be extremely inconsistent because you cannot feel the head. It might be a little bit of column A and column B. However, I would lean more towards column A in this scenario because even a horrifically misfit set someone could get used to it eventually and not have 100 yards of discrepancy in carry shot to shot. I’ve seen people who are playing 50g ladies flex irons with fat wide soles who are very shallow and swing a 6i 92mph still not have 100 yards of carry flux with their sets. If your miss is toe-side 9/10x that is because you are coming too far from the inside. When you get too stuck on the inside you typically stall and throw your arms at it. When you break your wrists (flip)/throw your arms at it you get a very inconsistent low point average that often manifests in extremely fat or thin strikes….typically fat since your squat and rotate is out of sync with your release. As others have said, get some impact tape/foot powder spray and see where you are actually making contact. Then if you can get on a video lesson and see what the issue is. As of right now, we can all only assume what is going on. If your low point control is good, you don’t get stuck, and you are hitting it in the middle of the head — then fit comes into question.”
  • larryd3: “I”d be on the phone to my fitter and setting up a time to go back in and see what’s going on with the irons. You shouldn’t be getting those types of results with a properly fit set of irons. When I got my fitting earlier this year at TrueSpec, the fitter, after watching me hit a bunch with my current irons, focused on increasing the spin on my irons, not on distance but on consistency. So far, they seem to be working well when I put a decent swing on them.”
  • fastnhappy: “One possibility that wouldn’t necessarily show up indoors is sole design and turf interaction. You may have a real problem with the newer clubs because of a sole design that doesn’t work for your swing. That’s hard to tell when hitting inside off a mat. If so, you’d see major distance inconsistency because of strike. The feedback I’ve seen on the players distance irons is exactly what you’re describing… difficult to control distance.”

Entire Thread: “Why can’t I hit my new irons to a consistent distance?”

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What GolfWRXers are saying about their favorite watch for golf

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In our forums, our members have been discussing their favorite watches for golf. WRXer ‘Sourpuss’ asks fellow members: “Dealer’s choice, cost is of no concern. What would you wear if you could afford it? Top 5 of your choice?” and WRXers have been weighing in with their choices in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • sheppy335: “Garmin S40. Love the feel and look.”
  • golfkrzy10: “Apple iWatch with the hole 19 app. Yardage, score, fway, and putts. Perfect for my minimalist walking views on the golf course.”
  • jcboiler: “Second the Apple Watch. Need to look into the apps though.”
  • Deadsquiggles: “If it didn’t bother me to play with a heavy watch, I’d wear my Deep Blue NATO Diver Automatic. But instead, I wear my cheap GShock.”
  • Golfjack: “I thought I was going to come in with a witty comment about my expensive watch, but looks like I’m late! Anyway, I wear my Galaxy Active 2 normally now. Used the Golf Caddie app for a few times. It worked well enough, but I don’t see it helping too much. Still prefer using apps on the phone if I need GPS info. Otherwise, I just use my rangefinder.”

Entire Thread: “Favorite watch for golf?”

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