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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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Grayson Murry WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge (1/16/18).

Driver: Ping G400 MAX (9.0 Degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD TP-7TX

5 Wood: Ping G400 (17.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Blue CK 80TX

Irons: Srixon Z U75 (3 and 4 iron), Srixon Z945 (5-PW)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Wedges: Cleveland Rotex 2.0 (52, 56 and 60 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Putter: Odyssey Works Versa Tank #1
Grip: SuperStroke 2.0 XL

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Murry’s clubs.

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Bushnell’s new Hybrid rangefinder features both laser and GPS technology

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With PGA Merchandise Show week upon us, the releases are coming fast and furious. This extends to the rangefinder space, where Bushnell debuts its new Hybrid model. The Hybrid combines both laser and GPS technologies (hence the name).

The Hybrid displays lasered distances to the flagstick, then relies on GPS for front-and back-of-the-green yardages.

“Hybrid provides golfers more information than ever before. The two technologies ‘talk’ so that the golfer sees the front and back distances of the green in relation to the pin that is targeted with unmatched accuracy by the laser,” said John DeCastro, Bushnell Golf Product Lane Director. “

The Hybrid also features Dual Power Technology to support the multi-function rangefinder. A CR2 battery powers the laser, and a USB rechargeable lithium ion battery powers the GPS.

Additional features

• PinSeeker w/ JOLT Technology
• Accurate to 1 yard
• 5X Magnification
• Ranges 400 yards to a Flag
• Fast Focus System
• Stable-Grip Technology
• Tournament Legal

GPS features

• Exterior Front/Center/Back Readouts
• Up to 4 hazard distances per hole
• Bluetooth for auto course updates
• Auto course recognition
• Auto hole advance

The Hybrid will be available at Bushnell Golf retailers nationwide beginning in April. Retail price is $399.99.

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5 things you need to know about Titleist’s new Vokey SM7 wedges

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We first spotted Titleist’s new Vokey SM7 wedges on Tour all the way back in October, and many of the big name Titleist staffers have already made the switch (Titleist reports that over 100 Tour pros are currently using the SM7 wedges). For many pros actually, they switched so long ago that it’s now a distant memory.

That being said, since October, the public has been in the dark about technology, the new designs, the new “D-grind,” release dates and pricing. The wait is over, as Titleist has finally announced the launch of its new SM7 wedges.

Read below for the 5 major things you need to know about Titleist’s new SM7 wedges, and see what GolfWRX members are saying about them in our forums.

The CG shift continues

A 46-degree F grind: SM6 (left) vs. SM7

With its Bob-Vokey-designed SM6 wedges, Titleist introduced a progressive center of gravity (CG) design throughout the set, which was visible by the curvature on the back cavity of the wedges. That meant in the lower-lofted wedges, CG was lower in the club head to increase ball speed and produce a more iron-like ball flight, while the CG in the higher-lofted wedges was placed higher in the club head in order to increase spin and lower ball flight, providing greater control around the greens. These CG locations were also meant to be placed in the area that golfers struck at impact — a bit lower on the club head in the lower lofts, and higher on the higher lofts — for a better feel.

Titleist says it didn’t go far enough with the CG shift, however. So with the new SM7 wedges, CG is even higher in the high-lofted wedges, and even lower in the low-lofted wedges. That will mean more spin with the sand and lob wedges compared to the SM6 wedges, and more ball speed with the pitching and gap wedges.

More spin… in some

With the new SM7 wedges, Titleist is reporting up to a 100 rpm increase in spin due to tighter tolerances with its Spin Milled machining process… but only with the plated wedges (Tour Chrome and Brushed Steel), as opposed to the Jet Black raw wedge. The new black finish has gotten even blacker with black paint fills and graphics, but the grooves in the black wedges do not utilize the spin-increasing, groove-cutting process.

Like Vokey wedges of the past, a proprietary heat treatment is applied to each of the wedges to increase durability and spin throughout the lifetime of the wedge.

The new D-grind

Along with the familiar F, S, M, K and L grinds, Titleist has a new D-grind in its SM7 line. Titleist says the “D” relates to the nomenclature of the “TVD” grinds of the past. More specifically, Titleist says this grind is a mix between the grinds of its previous TVD-M wedge and the SM4 58-12 wedge.

The D-grind has a high measured bounce, but also has a crescent-shaped grind to offer the player greater versatility (open-faced shots, different shots around the green, etc.). Think of the D-grind as a hybrid between the high-bounce K grind and the versatile M Grind — you get the benefits of higher bounce, with the versatility of a crescent-shaped sole.

Titleist says the D-grind was modeled after the most popular custom grind that Aaron Dill (Titleist’s PGA Tour rep and wedge maker) would grind for his Tour players each week. Now, it’s a stock option for the consumer in the 58 and 60 degree options.

Fitting expansion

What’s the point of having a bunch of grinds and bounce options if you don’t get fit, or at least try them out first before you buy?

Titleist has long stressed the importance of fitting for the serious golfer, and it says the short game is an area that can see rapid improvement in a short time. As such, the company is expanding fitting availabilities for consumers as part of the SM7 wedge launch.

In 2018, Titleist’s Vokey Scoring Kit — which includes 13 different wedges with different grinds and a shag bag full of Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls — will be available at over 1400 facilities. The company will also be running over 5,000 events, with access to a trained Titleist fitter, so golfers can get dialed in with the correct wedges. Lookout for events and “Titleist Thursdays” near you to get fit for Vokey SM7 wedges.

Pros are switching in droves

Titleist staffers Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson, Brian Harman and Andrew “Beef” Johnston have already switched into the SM7 wedges. If you want to know what specific wedges they each switched into, with thoughts from Aarol Dill about why each of them switched, click here.

Also Patton Kizzire recently won the 2018 Sony Open using three SM7 wedges. Click here for his specs.

Release Date and Pricing

Titleist’s new SM7 wedges, available in three different finishes and in 23 different loft-grind-bounce options, will hit stores on March 9, selling for $149 each. They can also be customized for specs and personalization on the Vokey website.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the wedges in our forums

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