Editor Review by Richard A.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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…
Here is the same but with the S-56 to compare…
Top 10 most iconic driver and fairway wood shafts of all time
If there is one thing we love as golf gear junkies, it’s driver (and fairway wood) shafts!
From the early years to today’s modern designs, materials, and profiles, there are some shafts that have maintained steady popularity—like a Ping Eye 2 lob wedge. There are a lot of graphite shafts that have stood the test of time, and they bring back memories of great driver combos gone by.
This is my top 10 list (in no particular order) of the most iconic driver shafts of all time.
Fujikura 757 Speeder
Launched more than two decades ago, you could arguably say it’s the shaft that started the shaft craze. Built from advanced materials in a profile that was designed to work for stabilizing larger driver heads of the time—you know when 300cc was HUGE. The Speeder 757 was an instant hit among PGA Tour players, most notably Fred Couples, who used the shaft for over a decade and was said to have at one point remove all the remaining stock from one of the equipment vans for his personal use.
One of the very first “low-spin monsters,” the Aldila NV took the PGA Tour and retail by storm when it was introduced. The unique green paint made it easily recognizable, and thanks to the many weights it was offered in, it was just as popular in fairway woods as it was in drivers. Honorable mention goes to its cousin the NVS (orange version) that was softer in profile and easier to launch. At a time when most off the rack drivers had three shaft options (low, medium, and high flight-promoting shafts), the NV was the staple as the low-launch option in many OEM offerings.
Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board
Originally very hard to find, the Diamana Blue Board was a shaft that fit a large variety of golfers. Its name was derived from the blue oval that surrounded the “Diamana” on the all silver/ion painted shaft. Just like others on the list, the Blue Board came in a variety of weight options and was made particularly popular by Tiger Woods. Best known by most shaft junkies as being extremely smooth, it is one of the first sought after shafts in the aftermarket.
True Temper EI-70
It’s hard to picture a classic 900 series Titleist Driver without an EI-70 shaft in it. The EI-70 was lower torque—when that was a big talking point in shaft design—and it had a fairly stout profile, which in turn made it very stable. Unlike others on the list, it was much more subdued as far as its paint and graphics, but the green shaft was a mainstay for many years on tour and in the bags or recreational golfers.
Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6/7
It’s hard to figure out if it was the design and performance of the shaft or the performance of a certain golfer (a certain Mr. Woods) that to this day makes the Tour AD DI-7 so popular. Painted BRIGHT orange with a bend profile that offered a lot of stability and playability for a variety of player types, it can still be spotted on tour every week. You could call the DI-7 the grandchild of the YS6/7, which should also get an honorable mention for its well documented smooth feel.
The aptly nicknamed “Lakers Shaft” because of its original gold and purple paint job, this was another shaft that was just as popular at the retail level as it was on the PGA Tour. As driver head sizes were going up (400cc ), players were looking for stability and this offered it. The most notable player to use it was Jim Furyk, who won the 2003 U.S. Open with one in the bag.
Henrik Stenson and the Grafalloy Blue in his 3-wood. Name a more iconic duo…(I’ll wait). An updated and stiffer version of the Prolite, the Blue stood out for a couple reasons—its color, and its extremely low torque. Most golfers wouldn’t consider the Blue a very smooth feeling shaft, because it took a lot of speed and a quick tempo to maximize its performance, but it did birth another shaft for average player: the Prolaunch Blue, which is still available to this day.
Matrix Ozik TP7HD
$1,100 bucks! That was the original asking price for the Martix Ozik TP7HD. Matrix thought of this design as a concept car of shafts and threw everything they had at it including exotic materials like Zylon, and the fact that it was wrapped on a 16-sided hexadecagon mandrel. Some golfers said it had a fluid-like feel (we golfers can sure be weirdly descriptive) but it still had a LOT of stability thanks to the materials. Although never as popular as many on the list, if you did spot one of these in the wild you knew its owner was VERY serious about golf gear.
True Temper Bi-Matrix
Bi (two) matrix (a surrounding medium or structure). The first and only truly notable shaft to be made from putting two very different and distinct pieces together. The bottom portion of the shaft utilizes a steel tip section that serves to add stability and additional weight. This shaft is quirky, which is something that could also be said about Bubba Watson, who has used this shaft for over a decade now in MANY different Ping drivers (although Tiger did give it a go for a short period).
This shaft might seem like the underdog of the bunch, but if you talk to any longtime club builder and get into “vintage” aftermarket shafts, undoubtedly the Accra SE-80 is going to come up at some point. Originally launched in 2006, the SE-80 combined a very low torque rating with an active tip section to help increase launch—yet feel extremely stable. Even though this shaft design is officially a teenager now, you can still find it in the bag of PGA Tour winner Ryan Palmer, who uses it in a TaylorMade R15 5-wood.
Editor’s Note: Let us know any shafts you think should be included in the comment section, WRXers!
Forum Thread of the Day: “TaylorMade Albertsons Boise Open putter covers”
Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases TaylorMade’s Albertsons Boise Open putter covers. The covers have impressed our members, who are hoping that the new additions will now come to retail.
Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire thread and have your say on the covers at the link below.
- Green In Reg: “Name your price TM!”
- chrisokeefe12: “Those are super cool. Would be sweet if they did one for every major college.”
- Titletown: “Those are great.”
Justin Thomas’ winning WITB: 2019 BMW Championship
Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 60TX
3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80TX
5-wood: Titleist 915Fd (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X
Irons: Titleist T100 (4-iron), Titleist 718 MB (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Vokey Design SM7 (46, 52, 56 degrees), Vokey Design SM6 (60 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Scotty Cameron X5
Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord
Tommy Fleetwood’s bag is as awesome as he is (Tommy Fleetwood WITB)
Shane Lowry’s winning WITB: 2019 Open Championship
Tour caddie shoots 202 in U.S. Am qualifier and gets DQ’d after the event
2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons: Layers of feel
Why do Tour players prefer fades over draws from the tee box?
Matthew Wolff’s winning WITB: 2019 3M Open
Collin Morikawa’s winning WITB: 2019 Barracuda Championship
Brooks Koekpa’s winning WITB: 2019 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
Tiger Woods opts for lead tape on his Newport 2 rather than a heavier putter: Here’s why it makes sense
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