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Ping Blueprint irons are officially coming to retail

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After what has been much speculation they are here: Ping’s Blueprint forged blades.

Born from the idea of creating a club for the most exacting of golfers, Ping meticulously prototyped and tested in house with their tour staff and other highly skilled players on everything from preferred shots, grind, to blade size and shape. When it comes to shape, the Blueprints are one of the smallest blades on the market, but there’s some reasoning behind this.

From Ping:

“After extensive in-house research with varying head sizes, the findings revealed the theory of “aim small, miss small” was validated by many of the highly skilled players in the test, who produced tighter stat areas when hitting the more compact head.”

Only the bravest golfer will take on this 2-iron

It makes a lot of sense when you consider the fact that the more you concentrate mass, the more that mass will transfer energy when you get close to it right? It was that final design that we saw out on tour around nine months ago that has ended up becoming what we will see at retail. Tried tested and ready for fittings and finding their way into golf bags.

From Ping’s President John K Solheim:

“When we launched it on tour, a few players put it in play immediately and it wasn’t long before we had our first win. Based on a lot of their input, we were able to deliver exactly what they were looking for while expanding our iron offerings into a new category. We’re very pleased with the development process we went through and are looking forward to applying our learnings to future PING products.”

Like everything Ping, the company has gone the extra mile when it comes to engineering every last aspect of these irons. Even something as simple as a tip weight has a calculation attached to it. Just like the G410 irons, the Blueprint irons have a visible tungsten toe weight.

Let me explain: basically every iron on the market utilizes a tip weight, either inserted into the shaft or into a port in the bottom of the hosel. (We’re about to go deep into the weeds from a design standpoint but stick with me). There is 100 percent nothing wrong with OEMs using tip weights to achieve desired swing weight but when you use them you move the CG closer to the hosel/heel side of the club…not on a humanly noticeable level but certainly from a definite engineering perspective.

This is why Ping has always placed the CTP (Custom Tuning Port) in the middle of the club head, directly behind the COG. But with a forged blade this is NOT possible because it’s solid metal, but there is a way to keep that COG EXACTLY where you want it: taking the amount of needed mass, dividing it by two and placing equal amounts in the hosel and in the toe. Simple? Yes. Done by anyone else? No.

Ping Blueprint irons construction

Ping is utilizing a four-step, multi-stage process for the one-piece forging to create the Blueprint forged iron. This process provides very tight dimensional tolerance control within the compact design. The high-strength, 8620 carbon steel (same material used in the Glide forged wedges) increases the iron’s durability compared to other carbon steels, ensuring long-lasting performance. The Blueprint irons go through more than 50 steps in the manufacturing process, including milling faces and grooves to ensure quality control club after club with each and every head checked for absolute accuracy.

Details

  • Available in 2-PW, starting at $230 per club
  • Stock shaft options: True Temper Dynamic Gold 120 (S300, X100), Ping AWT 2.0 (R, S, X) with all other Ping shafts available at additional cost
  • Arccos Smart Sensor grips available at an additional cost

 

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Mark

    Jun 9, 2019 at 11:47 am

    I tried those irons today. They are so easy to hit straight (smaller MOI makes it easier to square the face) and really very forgiving as for blades. There is no comparison to traditional Miura blades that are more demanding for sure. I am 2 hcp and I don’t think at all that better players will have any problem hitting them but rather will play better. This is one of bigger innovations lately.

  2. Dave r

    Jun 6, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Ping has to come up with a smaller golf ball now just so you can hit them. Just think at $100.00 bucks a dozen you would have the best of both worlds. You would be the envey of your club.

  3. Chris

    May 27, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    The blade length is WAY TOO SHORT. Otherwise, good looking iron.

  4. JP

    May 21, 2019 at 12:38 am

    Ping can thank PXG for allowing the price gouging. It’s ridiculous, but almost expected these days. Now with all these oem’s following in PXG’s model, PXG themselves introduces a lower priced iron model! They do a 180 and once again twist up the market! Haha.
    .
    Once my irons show heavy signs of wear, I won’t be buying anything. I’ll send them in to get cleaned up and rechromed. They’ll never leave the bag.

  5. Dan

    May 20, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks for the specs

  6. No Diggity

    May 20, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    was excited and debating picking up a set till the $1610 number showed up. You can pick up a new set of Cobra Mbs AND a F9 driver for that price and still have some greens fees cash left over.

  7. Rolando Rushay

    May 20, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    I love Ping irons..Have used them for years!! I play with the cavity backed and play well. I tried switching to forged irons & they’re not for me. Unless one is a Tour professional the average weekend player needs to keep it simple and easy because golf is a difficult game to play…why make it hard & costly..$230/ WOW!!!!

  8. T-Bone

    May 20, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    So PING made their name back in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s by inventing perimeter weighting. Now, in 2019, their touting the same blade technology they supposedly made obsolete way back when. Oh, and this 1940’s technology will now cost you what you could have bought a house for back then.

  9. Tom54

    May 20, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Gorgeous club – funny name – way too expensive. $1800 for 8 irons? No thanks

  10. joe

    May 20, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Don’t worry they will be in bargain bin in 5 years.

  11. todd

    May 20, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    TW irons are $250/ea, Miura are $280, PXG are $400, CNCPT are $500/ea. So the cost on these are outlandish because…

    I’m sure I would be deadly accurate buttering my toast in the morning with these. Hitting them would likely be another story 😉

  12. Cdub

    May 20, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Looked amazing until seeing the price.

  13. Get in the hole

    May 20, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    $230 a club is outrageous. Just pricing the consumer out of the sport. But that said, these are for the serious of serious golfers. Ping does make good quality $600 iron sets that would work well for the majority of golfers. If you’re sporting these and not playing to at least a 2 handicap, you’re dumb.

    • Steve

      May 20, 2019 at 3:41 pm

      True, but not true enough! I’d wager a 2 hdcp would miss the 2-5i’s at least 30% of the time. Why put yourself through that kind of misery? A real player wouldn’t let ego cost himself that many strokes.

  14. Carl

    May 20, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    At $230 per club, you better be making money with these.
    If not, you’re looking like a poser.

    • David Lehmann

      May 20, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      Thats less than PXG and these look a heckuva lot better than those “toys”.

  15. steve

    May 20, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    I’d like to offer a couple of thoughts about this new offering from Ping. First, wow!, that is a good looking club. Second, how many people do they really expect will pay $200+/iron For a full set? Lastly, I play to a three handicap. So while I am not bad, I am certainly not that great. I do this with a premier weighted set of irons. Why would I want to make the game more difficult than it needs to be? Club manufactures need to know that NOT ALL of us are clueless consumers

    • Steve

      May 20, 2019 at 3:09 pm

      Correction…Premier should read “perimeter”

  16. BWatts

    May 20, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Cue the Miura Baby Blade comparison! Smaller head=more mass concentrated to put into the ball. Last week I tested my small blades against ‘more friendly’ offerings: Mizuno, Cally Apex Pro, Srizon etc…none got the ball speed my small blades delivered. Cool to see this theory proved out by PING!

  17. dat

    May 20, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Insane price. Perhaps PXG should offer to buy Ping, or is it the other way around?

  18. Milo

    May 20, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Damn those are sexy, makes me drool. But for that price, maybe I’ll pick some up in 4 years.

  19. Ray

    May 20, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Wow! $230 per club?

    I’ve admired Ping and their engineering but that’s a pretty penny given some of the other irons in this class.

    • gunmetal

      May 20, 2019 at 12:41 pm

      Yeah, these guys like Ben Hogan and their ‘direct to’ model is going to start looking more and more attractive if we keep delving into $1600 7 piece iron sets, IMO.

  20. Dave Lawrence

    May 20, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Specs (in case anyone was curious):

    2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 PW
    ___________________________________________________

    17.5 20 23.5 27 30.5 34 38 42 46

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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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