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EDITOR REVIEW - 2013 PING ANSER IRONS

ping anser kbs ctaper golf pride forged review

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#1 swanry30

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:39 PM

PRODUCT TESTED - 2013 PING ANSER IRONS

photo 16.JPG

CLUB SPECIFICATIONS:  3-PW, custom lofts, custom lie, standard length, KBS TOUR CTAPER x flex SSx1.  SEE BELOW FOR CUSTOM BUILD SHEET (coming soon).

PROS:

The ANSER iron is the ULTIMATE combination of craftsmanship, engineering and materials… and could be “THE ANSWER” to your game.  Did I mention it’s FORGED?

CONS:

PRICE…  With a U.S. MSRP of $200.00 per club, many people may fall in love only to pass on them for a cheaper option.
WHO is this iron for?  LOW / MID / HIGH handicap?        
READ BELOW FOR THE ANSWER(S)

BOTTOM LINE:

“Clean, sophisticated lines combine with the forgiveness you expect of a PING iron. This forged iron appeals to the eye with its satin-chrome finish and inspirational head shape. Beyond its appearance, the ANSER delivers a key performance benefit: the ability to launch the ball higher with your long irons, and low and controlled with your short irons. Optimizing your ball flights gives you confidence to play a larger variety of shots.”

LOOKS:

Initial Impressions

I should almost not write anything and let the pictures speak for themselves…

NOT ONE ELEMENT HAS BEEN OVERLOOKED.  SATIN FINISH, CLEAN LINES, MILLED FACES, PROGRESSIVE STABILIZING BARS, PERFECT BLEND OF TUNGSTEN AND 8620 STEEL.

Custom orders – like this one, are processed through the PING WRX department to ensure proper quality control.  The same people who build your irons also do the work on clubs for players like Bubba Watson, Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen and Hunter Mahan.  What does this mean?  PERFECTION.  Honestly, there was not one thing out of line…
Shaft stickers – each in the same location, perfectly straight – no flaws.

Grips – logo down, perfectly straight, each grip measured the same length with the letters in Golf Pride equally proportioned.

Paint fill – not one drop of paint outside the lines.

Ferrules – flawless (and yes PING lovers they have them).

You might be wondering what I was doing measuring the grips…?  Honestly, I was trying to find something wrong.  I don’t know how many times I have received a set of brand new custom irons only to be disappointed by poor craftsmanship.  PING WRX A+.

Playing position/In the bag

PING really has addressed/improved on the original design that was struggling to find its identity.  No longer does the iron look too big or clunky.  The short to mid irons look workable and frame the ball nicely with little offset.  I started to notice the offset being a little too much for my preference in the 4 and 3 irons – yet, they look easy to hit.

Moving to the bottom of the club – the soles are a little larger than player’s irons, yet smaller than you would find in a progressive set of irons.  The specification sheet would also indicate that there is more bounce than the typical player’s irons, which I don’t see at address.

In the bag these look incredible.  Very subtle and clean – with a dark satin finish.

RATING = *****

PERFORMANCE/PLAYABILITY:

One of the most important things I have been looking for in irons post children is repeatability.  What can I hit consistently and still compete?  These irons flat out perform…  VERY consistent.  Once I got the feel for the irons – it was just like clockwork – same distance every time.  If you happen to miss the center of the face and hit the heel or toe distance is not sacrificed.  This is where the ANSER irons separate themselves from other forged irons…

Like a typical forged cavity, you can work a ball in either direction – NOW – it may not move like a blade, but you can move it where you want when you want with the proper swing/contact.

I was very impressed with how I could control the ball flight – and like the shape and distance – the flight is very consistent.  The main reason for this is the utilization of “stabilization bars”.  In the long irons the stabilizing bars in the cavity are wider and thinner to lower the CG for higher ball speeds and initial launch.  This is very noticeable with the three iron in particular, as tee shots are shorter par 4’s have a flight that gets up quick and flattens out.  Moving down in the set the shorter irons the stabilizing bars become more vertical and thicker to create a CG that promotes a more penetrating flight with optimal spin.  Full shots have a very strong flight that doesn’t balloon, which allows you to attack more pins – regardless of the conditions.  After doing some research I also found out that the bars also support the streamlined face design to increase ball velocity for greater distance – especially in the longer irons.

RATING = *****

FEEL:

For the past 13 years I have played forged irons – some better than others.  There have been retail and tour issue blades, cavities, progressive cavities – you name it…  The ANSER irons feel better than any iron I have owned.  I’m not sure if it’s the machine milled face or the forging – but you will be hard pressed to find a better feeling club with the same technology and performance.  In fact, the ANSER irons made the clubs that were in my bag feel hard – they also happen to be forged.

For reference all of my testing has been done in colder conditions as fall has arrived in the NW.  With every set of irons that I have owned – the colder weather can also make miss hits with forged irons sting… sting to the point where you can’t feel your hands for the rest of the hole.  This usually happens when I have a ball sitting up a little in the rough and I catch it high on the face.  Try to hit the ANSERs bad… there will be NO sting or numbing.

RATING = *****

OVERALL BOTTOM LINE:

The PING ANSER irons are the real deal!  REMEMBER – like any club, make sure you take the time to get properly fit.  PING essentially pioneered OEM fitting, and chances are your local big box store, retailer, custom shop or course has a fitting cart.  POINT BLANK – GET FIT!

Before I finish my initial remarks here are a couple of questions that I sent to PING as I was testing the irons…  I think this will be beneficial to those of you who look at the clubs and scratch your head or look at the price and move to a cheaper option.

Q.  Who is this iron targeted towards?  Unlike a lot of irons – there are a wide range of people playing them from Hunter Mahan to the 20 handicapper weekend warriors.  The old version of the website mentioned the handicap level and comparison of the iron offering from PING, but I am curious to hear who this is geared for.

A.  Performance-wise (head size, clean lines, workability, feel, distance control), it appeals to a more accomplished player but it also represents the ultimate in PING iron technology in both materials (8620 steel, tungsten sole weight, Project X stock shaft) and process (forged, milled grooves and cavity), while offering the forgiveness less accomplished players need. Regardless of ability, there is a certain golfer who just wants the most technologically advanced, highest quality available. The Anser iron represents that iron.

Q.  How much of a hindrance is the price?  This also could be already answered when you tell me the target market of the iron…  

A.  We believe the Anser iron represents a tremendous value when you consider all the quality, technology and components (Project X) that go into it.  

RATING = **** 3/4 (price being the only hindrance)

VISIT http://www.ping.com/...l.aspx?id=13993 for more details on the ANSER irons.

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Edited by swanry30, 04 December 2012 - 12:22 AM.

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#2 PingDrv00

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:23 PM

That is a great review.  I agree, if they could only work on the price; tey would really have a winner here.
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#3 swanry30

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:30 PM

 PingDrv00, on 03 December 2012 - 01:23 PM, said:

That is a great review.  I agree, if they could only work on the price; tey would really have a winner here.

or perhaps take the approach that here is the price - you choose your shafts and grips, etc...  not sure this is feasible from selling these at the retail level - but having it as an all inclusive iron would be an interesting concept.

these irons are so good - hard to put into words how nice they look and how great they perform.  these are definitely a far cry from the irons i have played in the last three years - originally coming from blades.  now seeing the PING staffers migrate to these - after hitting and playing them it only makes sense...!
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#4 PingDrv00

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:14 PM

I must admit I was surprised to see them in Hunter's bag this weekend.  They must be really good for the folks to be making the switch from the S56's.  I do agree if you are going to charge $200 a club you should be able to choose any options that you want, but when I speced them with the options that I wanted i was right around $1600.  It is just hard to justify that price unless you are on staff.
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#5 kooch1221

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:08 PM

These may finally be the replacement for my all time favorite PINGs. The i3 blades. They did everything well and were nearly bullet proof. For me they were the benchmark for a players cavity design. Hopefully the Ansers can fill there shoes.


#6 swanry30

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:26 PM

 kooch1221, on 03 December 2012 - 04:08 PM, said:

These may finally be the replacement for my all time favorite PINGs. The i3 blades. They did everything well and were nearly bullet proof. For me they were the benchmark for a players cavity design. Hopefully the Ansers can fill there shoes.

and they have ferrules to finish out the look.  this was always my gripe with PING after i played irons that did have ferrules (my first purchased set was when i was in high school - ping zing 2 - purchased them after reading the newspaper classifieds)...

if you plan on purchasing irons that you want to play for years moving forward - this would be an excellent choice.

$1600 MSRP for the irons...  if you play 16 rounds a year for 5 years, that's only $20 a round - cheaper than rental clubs.
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#7 Naughty Mazz

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:53 PM

Great review, these are too rich for my blood but they sure do look nice, i just hope they don't discontinue the s line.
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#8 swanry30

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:52 PM

 Naughty Mazz, on 03 December 2012 - 05:53 PM, said:

Great review, these are too rich for my blood but they sure do look nice, i just hope they don't discontinue the s line.

thanks!  it would be a shame if they did discontinue the s line.  some players prefer a slightly smaller footprint and a little crisper feel/sound at impact.
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#9 J.W.

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:24 PM

Very much enjoyed the review, I laughed when I read about you measuring the grips.  I am very particular about that too and do that when I re-grip clubs.  I have been trying for 5 minutes to make out the serial number so I can check out your specs.  PM it to me!  LOL... thanks again for the review.

#10 Foreleft

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:27 PM

Nicely prepared review.  These are on my short list, but I have been unable to demo yet.


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#11 swanry30

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:15 AM

 Foreleft, on 03 December 2012 - 11:27 PM, said:

Nicely prepared review.  These are on my short list, but I have been unable to demo yet.

If you can find a cart - make sure to have someone help find your right color code (or do a quick 5 min lie angle test).  Luckily, I know my specs and was able to correspond it with the proper color code.  PING does a great job with their fit-cart...
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#12 swanry30

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:17 AM

 J.W., on 03 December 2012 - 07:24 PM, said:

Very much enjoyed the review, I laughed when I read about you measuring the grips.  I am very particular about that too and do that when I re-grip clubs.  I have been trying for 5 minutes to make out the serial number so I can check out your specs.  PM it to me!  LOL... thanks again for the review.

I'll send it in the morning :)
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#13 swanry30

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:22 PM

when i get a chance i will take a couple more pictures of the irons inside so you can see the contrast on the sole of the tungsten to steel - stunning.
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#14 scratchswinger

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:15 PM

Great review!!! I think of all the editor reviews that I have read yours have been the best, so props to Swan :fan_1: !

I hit these a few weeks ago and was very impressed. The original Anser irons I thought were completely overrated and duds.

One thing I noticed is that the soles on these are pretty wide and almost GI like. Has that bothered you at all? Or do you like the added forgiveness?

The fact that they offer any shaft definitely helps justify the hefty price. One thing with KBS shafts is that they are notorious for having loose tolerances and a shaft labeled X will CPM at 5.5. Do you know if Ping CPM's the clubs and adjusts or do they just install the shafts straight in?

#15 J.W.

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:22 PM

 scratchswinger, on 12 December 2012 - 12:15 PM, said:

Great review!!! I think of all the editor reviews that I have read yours have been the best, so props to Swan :fan_1: !

I hit these a few weeks ago and was very impressed. The original Anser irons I thought were completely overrated and duds.

One thing I noticed is that the soles on these are pretty wide and almost GI like. Has that bothered you at all? Or do you like the added forgiveness?

The fact that they offer any shaft definitely helps justify the hefty price. One thing with KBS shafts is that they are notorious for having loose tolerances and a shaft labeled X will CPM at 5.5. Do you know if Ping CPM's the clubs and adjusts or do they just install the shafts straight in?

Agree I think both of guys did a great job with reviews, surprised this one didn't more action.  Appreciate both reviews guys.


#16 swanry30

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:04 PM

 scratchswinger, on 12 December 2012 - 12:15 PM, said:

Great review!!! I think of all the editor reviews that I have read yours have been the best, so props to Swan :fan_1: !

I hit these a few weeks ago and was very impressed. The original Anser irons I thought were completely overrated and duds.

One thing I noticed is that the soles on these are pretty wide and almost GI like. Has that bothered you at all? Or do you like the added forgiveness?

The fact that they offer any shaft definitely helps justify the hefty price. One thing with KBS shafts is that they are notorious for having loose tolerances and a shaft labeled X will CPM at 5.5. Do you know if Ping CPM's the clubs and adjusts or do they just install the shafts straight in?

thanks for the kind comments - i take the review process serious as i want the community to get a good taste for a product they may or may not have the chance to hit.  before the custom shops or custom shaft offerings from OEMs we all relied on someone going in blindly and spending big money to essentially "try" or "test" the product out.  it was the review from the curious that opened doors to everyone else.  look where that has taken us now!

i would have never picked this set of irons based on the soles of the clubs.  too big.  weird thing - they don't play big, clunky or GI.  they are damn good.  lesson learned don't judge playability by looks.  for reference i have played three links courses - very tight and firm - NOT ONE ISSUE.  didn't expect that at all.  from the wet normal NW course - perfect as well.

i don't know if PING cpm'd the shafts - and come to think about it, i haven't checked frequency either...  the WRX department did build these, so the did go through very tight tolerances.

photo (50).jpg
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#17 ram01002

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:06 PM

Swanry - -

Compare the c tapers with dgx100 . . . you still in love with them?

#18 swanry30

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:04 PM

 ram01002, on 12 December 2012 - 01:06 PM, said:

Swanry - -

Compare the c tapers with dgx100 . . . you still in love with them?

thoroughly.

combine this shaft with one of the softest most consistent iron heads on the market and its a dream.

tightest dispersion of any iron shaft i have hit.  wonderful for all conditions but excels in the wind.  the feel in hands is different than the x100s - yet at impact the ctapers are clear winners for me.  if you like a firm iron shaft (static) - with feel and performance to boot - this should be on your list.

no problems holding greens - you may not spin as many shots back, but the point of an iron shaft is accuracy and for me to stop where it hits or very close to... not ripping a 5 iron back off a green :)

Edited by swanry30, 12 December 2012 - 02:05 PM.

Nike CT 2.0 10.5* - Motore Speeder 7.2TS
Nike CT 2.0 15* - Motore Speeder 8.2TS
Nike CP 17* hybrid - TOUR AD DI 95x
Nike 2014 Split Cavity 3-PW - PX 6.5
Nike MOD 30 - SS Flatso Ultra 1.1
Nike Raw VR Forged 54.12 / 58.10
WITB Link

#19 scratchswinger

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:17 PM

 swanry30, on 12 December 2012 - 01:04 PM, said:

 scratchswinger, on 12 December 2012 - 12:15 PM, said:

Great review!!! I think of all the editor reviews that I have read yours have been the best, so props to Swan :fan_1: !

I hit these a few weeks ago and was very impressed. The original Anser irons I thought were completely overrated and duds.

One thing I noticed is that the soles on these are pretty wide and almost GI like. Has that bothered you at all? Or do you like the added forgiveness?

The fact that they offer any shaft definitely helps justify the hefty price. One thing with KBS shafts is that they are notorious for having loose tolerances and a shaft labeled X will CPM at 5.5. Do you know if Ping CPM's the clubs and adjusts or do they just install the shafts straight in?

thanks for the kind comments - i take the review process serious as i want the community to get a good taste for a product they may or may not have the chance to hit.  before the custom shops or custom shaft offerings from OEMs we all relied on someone going in blindly and spending big money to essentially "try" or "test" the product out.  it was the review from the curious that opened doors to everyone else.  look where that has taken us now!

i would have never picked this set of irons based on the soles of the clubs.  too big.  weird thing - they don't play big, clunky or GI.  they are damn good.  lesson learned don't judge playability by looks.  for reference i have played three links courses - very tight and firm - NOT ONE ISSUE.  didn't expect that at all.  from the wet normal NW course - perfect as well.

i don't know if PING cpm'd the shafts - and come to think about it, i haven't checked frequency either...  the WRX department did build these, so the did go through very tight tolerances.

photo (50).jpg

If they play good and feel good, there is really no point in having them checked. But it would be interesting to see the results.

Chambers Bay looks sick. Do you have any other pictures? Do you play there often?

#20 ram01002

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:49 PM

 swanry30, on 12 December 2012 - 02:04 PM, said:

 ram01002, on 12 December 2012 - 01:06 PM, said:

Swanry - -

Compare the c tapers with dgx100 . . . you still in love with them?

thoroughly.

combine this shaft with one of the softest most consistent iron heads on the market and its a dream.

tightest dispersion of any iron shaft i have hit.  wonderful for all conditions but excels in the wind.  the feel in hands is different than the x100s - yet at impact the ctapers are clear winners for me.  if you like a firm iron shaft (static) - with feel and performance to boot - this should be on your list.

no problems holding greens - you may not spin as many shots back, but the point of an iron shaft is accuracy and for me to stop where it hits or very close to... not ripping a 5 iron back off a green :)

Thanks for your thoughts - - I didn't like the firm feel when I messed around with them (also made my elbow a little sore). Tough to leave DG after 20 years, but I may have to try again.


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#21 swanry30

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:39 PM

 scratchswinger, on 12 December 2012 - 02:17 PM, said:

If they play good and feel good, there is really no point in having them checked. But it would be interesting to see the results.

Chambers Bay looks sick. Do you have any other pictures? Do you play there often?

i usually get a chance to make the 2 hour drive north 4 or 5 times a year - mostly in the off season.  i have quite a few more pictures.  i will try to share some more...  this last time it was so cold and windy.  chambers is incredible.  people complain about the green complex - i like them.  after this next year, they are done with making final changes for the 2015 open.  i really like the last series of changes that have been made...  they will be able to switch par on two holes - one and eighteen.

one could open as a 600+ par 5 or a 500+ par four.  eighteen could finish as a 600+ par 5 or 500+ par 4.

hole nine also has an alternate tee box...  so it could be a 220 + free fall into a green that flows into a giant waste area or an uphill par 3 to a very shallow green that flows back into the waste area.  super tough.

 ram01002, on 12 December 2012 - 03:49 PM, said:

Thanks for your thoughts - - I didn't like the firm feel when I messed around with them (also made my elbow a little sore). Tough to leave DG after 20 years, but I may have to try again.

honestly even then straight in stiff flex shafts feel as stiff as the x100s.  cpm different and are lighter - but they are firmer throughout the swing than every stiff iron shaft i have hit.
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#22 Doc Mcstuffins

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:18 PM

Really enjoyed the review Swan. I would love to own a set, but being that I'm a big fan of the PXi's, my wife would kill me if she knew what it would cost to order a set. :tomato:
Gotta stick with the S56's for now.
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#23 scratchswinger

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:42 PM

Swan: As good as the Ansers look, I like Chambers Bay better. Make room, me Kekoa and Pure are gonna take a road trip.

#24 swanry30

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:37 AM

 scratchswinger, on 12 December 2012 - 10:42 PM, said:

Swan: As good as the Ansers look, I like Chambers Bay better. Make room, me Kekoa and Pure are gonna take a road trip.

i would love that!

come with an open mind :)  chambers is polarizing for some...  you will love it or hate it.

like many links courses - the greens aren't perfect.  very bare - but this is the way links green are supposed to be like... they are starting to become very consistent and after this year the usga will stop making changes.

when this course firms up and the wind blows - there will be blood!
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#25 swanry30

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:48 AM

another comment to add that has seems to be the new buzz word with irons - consistent distance.  irons go the same distance on every shot or distance control...  i have found these to be very consistent in distances.  they are very forgiving across the face and have not produced the shot that jumps an extra 5-15 yards....!

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#26 scratchswinger

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:53 AM

 swanry30, on 20 December 2012 - 10:48 AM, said:

another comment to add that has seems to be the new buzz word with irons - consistent distance.  irons go the same distance on every shot or distance control...  i have found these to be very consistent in distances.  they are very forgiving across the face and have not produced the shot that jumps an extra 5-15 yards....!

That is the sign of a quality forging, I am a firm believer in "you get what you pay for".

#27 fore_life

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:04 AM

Hey man could you post a pic of the 3&4 iron at address, I'm just trying to get an idea of the offset compared to the i20 line. Thanks man and nice solid review!
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#28 Mizzy23

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:33 PM

These would be a hit if they were more affordable, but $1400 for a set of pings is ludicrous. I mean you can get Miura for less.

#29 swanry30

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:43 PM

 fore_life, on 20 December 2012 - 11:04 AM, said:

Hey man could you post a pic of the 3&4 iron at address, I'm just trying to get an idea of the offset compared to the i20 line. Thanks man and nice solid review!

SLIGHTLY LESS

i tried cutting and pasting the specs - but it was jumbled...  hope these links will help.  pictures of offset are difficult - depends on the angle of camera.


http://www.ping.com/...l.aspx?id=13993
http://www.ping.com/...l.aspx?id=11382

Edited by swanry30, 20 December 2012 - 05:46 PM.

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#30 fore_life

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 06:11 PM

Right on thanks man

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