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Why Are The BeCu Ping Eye2 Irons So Expensive?


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#1 EmperorPenguin

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 07:49 PM

Every time I look up a set of beryllium copper Ping Eye2 irons on the auction sites, I find that such sets are quite expensive for a set that old.  These clubs are a good thirty years old!  They even cost more than some sets I find that are only a couple years old.  Why are they so expensive?


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#2 mshills

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:08 PM

Asking price or selling price?

I've seen the same high number asks for BeCu Eye2s, but haven't seen them selling for that.
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#3 sdandrea

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:17 PM

They are kind of rare and have a VERY COOL factor to some collectors.  I would pay up to about $250 for a nice complete (3-W) matching set of Eye 2, ISI or ZING in the BeCu.  Some sellers think they'll get big bucks for them, but if you look at GlobaGolf.com and 3Balls.com (same inventory), you'll see more reasonable pricing than the eBay sellers.  If you actually find a nice set with matching serial numbers that are 1 iron through LW, they'll bring more in a sale.  They're fun to own and show pictures to your forum buddies, and they are playable, but I think the market is diminishing a bit.  I had a nice set of wedges (ISI BeCu) SW and LW in my bag for a while and they performed OK for me and were fun conversation pieces.  If you collect old PING irons, you NEED at least one set of coppers!

Edited by sdandrea, 08 August 2018 - 08:20 PM.

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#4 birly-shirly

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 04:30 AM

I don't think I have EVER seen a club generate the amount of hype that the first BeCu Pings did - and in a time when there was no internet to act as an enabler, and the golf media had little or no interest in equipment.
We had a local lad come back from a college scholarship in the states with a set and practically everyone wanted to hit them. I remember the first night he pitched up at the club when he came home for the summer and people, and the contents of his bag, were soon scattered out across the 1st and 18th holes hitting shots from everywhere.
There was a serious debate about whether it was ethical to play them, or whether they were tantamount to cheating, such was their reputation for turning hackers into decent ballstrikers.
There are so many things that play into the BeCu Eye2 mythology - great design, tour usage, forgiveness, weapons grade materials, high toxicity and dashing good looks - it's a perfect storm for high retained value.

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#5 scomac2002

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:07 AM

I have a set of Eye2 clones in BeCu and I have to say that they are my favourite irons.  Ironically they are the first set of clubs I ever owned, buying them used from an old bowling chum around about 1990.

They don't go like modern irons, but they do have weaker lofts and a shaft that is probably getting a bit beyond my abilities, but when struck pure, the feeling is singular to anything else I've ever hit including forged Hogans.

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#6 hnryclay

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:47 AM

They were alot more 10 years ago. I have a full set 1-SW in Black Dot Eye 2. They are great clubs, but no better than the Stainless steel as far as that goes. They do look really cool.

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#7 EmperorPenguin

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 05:37 PM

I do remember that the whole square-groove controversy started about 1990, specifically during the Honda Classic.  Mark Calcavecchia played a shot from deep rough and the ball did not release when it hit the green.  I remember that he played the BeCu Eye2's at the time.  This resulted in the USGA banning the clubs and Ping responded with a $100 million lawsuit, and the two parties settled by allowing Eye2's with square grooves legal on the Tour, and it was grandfathered in up until recently.

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#8 dlygrisse

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 05:39 PM

I think mainly because they are great classic clubs and Pings are durable so there are many sets in good shape and playable.  Add to the fact that there is this mystique of the BeCu and it's feel, a feel which is no longer attainable because no one manufactures clubs from that material any longer.
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#9 Wooderson

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 06:30 PM

I think they are the sweetest looking clubs ever made. I would easily pay 2k plus for a set of becu i210's.
Let me tell you what Wooderson is packin'
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#10 mshills

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:04 PM

I've played BeCu and stainless steel Eye 2s and ISIs.  The BeCu ISIs are still in my bag today!!

There is no difference in feel, but nothing looks better than a set of copper pings with some age on them, nice and dark.

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#11 rex235

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:12 PM

Wooderson-

"I would easily pay 2k plus for a set of becu i210's."

....Except manufacturers no longer make clubs with BeCu, due to the toxicity of the Beryllium compounds in dust or vapor form.*"  

Equally logical is the possibility that Ping and other manufacturers stopped producing them without legal pressure and simply thought the health risks were too great to justify continued production.^

*^From an April 2012, article where Tony Portz answered the question why doesn't anyone make BeCu irons any more.

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#12 Wooderson

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:16 PM

 rex235, on 09 August 2018 - 07:12 PM, said:

Wooderson-

"I would easily pay 2k plus for a set of becu i210's."

....Except manufacturers no longer make clubs with BeCu, due to the toxicity of the Beryllium compounds in dust or vapor form.*"  

Equally logical is the possibility that Ping and other manufacturers stopped producing them without legal pressure and simply thought the health risks were too great to justify continued production.^

*^From an April 2012, article where Tony Portz answered the question why doesn't anyone make BeCu irons any more.

Yeah I've read the negatives of becu. Wish it wasn't toxic stuff. There will never be another set. Is Berryllium the only element that can be combined with copper?
Let me tell you what Wooderson is packin'
Ping G400 Max 9° Tour 65 Stiff
Ping G30 14.5° TFC 419F Stiff
Callaway GBB 18° Diamana Ka'li Stiff

Titleist 818 H1 21° Rogue Black Stiff
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#13 pymmdcp

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:27 PM

I would love to find and try them out but they look terrible.

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#14 NRJyzr

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 11:13 PM

 EmperorPenguin, on 09 August 2018 - 05:37 PM, said:

I do remember that the whole square-groove controversy started about 1990, specifically during the Honda Classic.  Mark Calcavecchia played a shot from deep rough and the ball did not release when it hit the green.  I remember that he played the BeCu Eye2's at the time.  This resulted in the USGA banning the clubs and Ping responded with a $100 million lawsuit, and the two parties settled by allowing Eye2's with square grooves legal on the Tour, and it was grandfathered in up until recently.


It was actually the PGA that tried to ban the grooves, and Ping got an injunction against said ban.  That's where the fight really was, not the USGA.

The USGA complaint was always about the width between the grooves; they insisted the distance between grooves should be measured from where the rounding of the edge ceased, while Ping (and others) said it should be from the point of the groove walls.

Edited by NRJyzr, 09 August 2018 - 11:13 PM.

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#15 lawsonman

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 03:13 PM

You can pick up a nice set of lefty Eye2 becu's on ebay for $1200 if you hurry. :WTF:

Welcome to where dumb opinions are better than no opinion. :)

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#16 disco111

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 11:01 AM

Posted ImageJust make your own....

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#17 rangersgoalie

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 12:24 PM

 EmperorPenguin, on 09 August 2018 - 05:37 PM, said:

I do remember that the whole square-groove controversy started about 1990, specifically during the Honda Classic.  Mark Calcavecchia played a shot from deep rough and the ball did not release when it hit the green.  I remember that he played the BeCu Eye2's at the time.  This resulted in the USGA banning the clubs and Ping responded with a $100 million lawsuit, and the two parties settled by allowing Eye2's with square grooves legal on the Tour, and it was grandfathered in up until recently.

Faulty memory potential here,
But when Calc hit that shot, wasn’t it Nicklaus that bitched about the grooves allowing him to hit that shot at the Honda?

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#18 augustgolf

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 12:39 PM

 scomac2002, on 09 August 2018 - 07:07 AM, said:

I have a set of Eye2 clones in BeCu and I have to say that they are my favourite irons.  Ironically they are the first set of clubs I ever owned, buying them used from an old bowling chum around about 1990.

They don't go like modern irons, but they do have weaker lofts and a shaft that is probably getting a bit beyond my abilities, but when struck pure, the feeling is singular to anything else I've ever hit including forged Hogans.

Well, my friend - I usually agree with what you have to say, but to actually say that they are purer than the feel of forged Hogan irons....

that is a bridge too far.....

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#19 Ironmaster Oddities

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 04:22 PM

to get back to the original question about cost of BeCu irons, maybe this will help.
BeCu is and expensive alloy, way more costly than any type of Stainless steel.  Add to that the fact that when the BeCu is smelted or machined, the vapors and grindings give off an emission that is a toxic and hazardous fume.
This was discovered about 2 years after Ping started using the alloy and a few others started copying the product. Then the excrement hit the ventilating equipment.
It truly is softer than steel.  Hence, ping touted it as  breakthrough in feel...better than forged, mild steel.  But manufacturing became very problematic.
As an aside, the reason that Ping introduced the BeCu in their Eye 2's hoes back to adn engineering change that ping made to get into the ultra-light club market.  That was a flash-in -the-pan phenonmena of the late 1980's started by Dave Pelz.  Ram followed suit for awhile and Calvin Peete got on board.  The whole thing blew over after about 2 seasons.  In the meantime, however, Ping reengineered a lot of mold products to accomodate the lighter clubhead. Then they were stuck wit hmold for super light  clubheads that the market no longer wanted.  So their R&D dept started hunting for and alloy that, when cast in the newer molds, would weigh in near stainless.  Enter Beryllium Copper.   New "advanced" tech irons that probably saved some guys' jobs at Ping.
I can't attest to this as eing gospel.  But a buddy of mine's  sister played on the LPGA and was on Pings's staff during that time.  He got the story from her.

Uncle Bob

Edited by Ironmaster Oddities, 22 August 2018 - 04:24 PM.


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#20 EmperorPenguin

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 04:41 PM

I never owned a set of these coveted clubs.  I hear that BeCu is heavier than stainless steel?  If so, were the swingweights more head-heavy?


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#21 birly-shirly

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 06:06 PM

 Ironmaster Oddities, on 22 August 2018 - 04:22 PM, said:

to get back to the original question about cost of BeCu irons, maybe this will help.
BeCu is and expensive alloy, way more costly than any type of Stainless steel.  Add to that the fact that when the BeCu is smelted or machined, the vapors and grindings give off an emission that is a toxic and hazardous fume.
This was discovered about 2 years after Ping started using the alloy and a few others started copying the product. Then the excrement hit the ventilating equipment.
It truly is softer than steel.  Hence, ping touted it as  breakthrough in feel...better than forged, mild steel.  But manufacturing became very problematic.
As an aside, the reason that Ping introduced the BeCu in their Eye 2's hoes back to adn engineering change that ping made to get into the ultra-light club market.  That was a flash-in -the-pan phenonmena of the late 1980's started by Dave Pelz.  Ram followed suit for awhile and Calvin Peete got on board.  The whole thing blew over after about 2 seasons.  In the meantime, however, Ping reengineered a lot of mold products to accomodate the lighter clubhead. Then they were stuck wit hmold for super light  clubheads that the market no longer wanted.  So their R&D dept started hunting for and alloy that, when cast in the newer molds, would weigh in near stainless.  Enter Beryllium Copper.   New "advanced" tech irons that probably saved some guys' jobs at Ping.
I can't attest to this as eing gospel.  But a buddy of mine's  sister played on the LPGA and was on Pings's staff during that time.  He got the story from her.


Uncle Bob

IIRC Brian Manzella once posted up a very similar account to that story. In simplistic terms, the heads were made lighter by enlarging the cavity. When "superlite" turned out to be a bust, BeCu saved the day as the heavier material that would bring those heads back up to normal weights - but with a larger cavity meaning even more perimeter weighting/forgiveness. By that version, the BeCus may actually have performed better than their steel cousins. The perimeter weighting in those heads was redesigned from Eye2 to Eye2+, so it may be a moot point whether any advantage carried over into the later heads.

I can't speak to the softness of the Ping BeCus - but I have a few Hogan copper wedges which appear to be VERY durable but not as soft feeling as their steel counterparts.

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#22 lawsonman

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 06:51 PM

I've never had BeCu Eye2's but I've owned ISI's. I always felt the nickel ISI's felt better than the BeCu's.
Welcome to where dumb opinions are better than no opinion. :)

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