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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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Equipment

The most popular golf shoes on Amazon right now (Fall 2020 edition)

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What are the most popular golf shoes on Amazon right now? From time to time, we like to get out of our little bubble of OEM releases and what’s being played on tour to look at what golf consumers are buying on one of the largest online retail marketplaces: Amazon.

Here are some of the best-selling golf shoes on Amazon as of October 2020.

1. Adidas Men’s Tech Response Golf Shoes

From the listing:Mesh/synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Thintech, adituff, thintech cleat, traxion, adiwear. Lightweight mesh and synthetic upper for enhanced breathability and comfort. Soft eva insole for lightweight comfort and cushioning. 6-spike configuration with thintech low-profile technology for improved traction and stability.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

2. Skechers Go Golf Men’s Torque Waterproof Golf Shoe

From the listing:Synthetic. Imported. lace-up. Rubber sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Replaceable soft spikes. Waterproof.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

3. FootJoy Men’s Fj Flex Golf Shoes

 

From the listing:100% Textile. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Performance Mesh – lightweight performance mesh delivers incredible comfort, breathability and all-day comfort. Complete support – a soft EVA midsole provides increased underfoot cushioning, enhanced comfort and exceptional stability.”

Price: $89.99

Buy here.

4. PUMA Men’s Ignite Nxt Lace Golf Shoe

From the listing:100% Textile and Synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Sole shield. Performance Mesh +TPU. Ignite Foam.”

Price: $99.99

Buy here.

5. Skechers GO GOLF Men’s Max Golf Shoe

From the listing:Imported. Rubber sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Skechers Goga Max insole delivers enhanced high-rebound cushioning for all day comfort. Durable grip tpu outsole with a spikeless bottom. Lightweight. Water resistant. Synthetic upper.”

Price: $74.97

Buy here.

6. Adidas Men’s Tour360 Xt Spikeless Golf Shoe

From the listing: Leather and Synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Leather and microfiber synthetic upper. Spikeless Puremotion outsole for enhanced flexibility and grip with X-Traxion primary lugs for grip and balance.”

Price: $135.59

Buy here.

7. FootJoy Men’s Fj Originals Golf Shoes

From the listing: Built on the Austin Last, this last offers the fullest rounded toe character, fullest fit across forefoot, standard instep and heel. EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) Fit-Beds provide lightweight cushioning underfoot. EVA does not take a set, so the cushioning will remain the same for the life of the shoe. This easy care synthetic upper offers outstanding 1 year waterproof comfort, breathability, and durability.”

Price: $89.95

Buy here.

8. Skechers Women’s Max Golf Shoe

From the listing:Imported. Rubber sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Spikeless, durable grip tpu outsole. Ultra-lightweight, responsive ULTRA Flight cushioning. Goga max insole delivers enhanced high-rebound cushioning. Water resistant. Synthetic upper.”

Price: $57.55

Buy here.

9. FootJoy Women’s Sport Retro-Previous Season Style Golf Shoes

From the listing: ” Lightweight – the linen-textured synthetic uppers offer lightweight comfort and durability. Cushioned rubber – the gum rubber outsole is a soft rubber compound which provides flexibility and comfort. Enhanced traction – This molded rubber outsole provides turf gripping performance and durability.”

Price: $59.95

Buy here.

10. New Balance Men’s Sweeper Waterproof Spiked Comfort Golf Shoe

From the listing: Synthetic. Imported.Rubber sole.Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Waterproof microfiber leather upper. REVlite 10mm drop* midsole provides lightweight cushioning & premium responsiveness. NDurance rubber outsole with removable FTS 3.0 Pulsar spikes.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

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Justin Thomas: What makes him an elite wedge player

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It might be easy to say that a player like Justin Thomas is near the top of the leaderboard because

  1. He hits it the best
  2. He drives it long and relatively straight
  3. He is having a good putting week

I would agree and disagree with all three. Yes, they are definitely factors, but in my opinion, it’s his wedge play that has been the most notable part of his game—especially in 2020.

If you look at the stats, you will find a player who is not only damn-near deadly from 150 yards and in, but also a player who gets out of trouble about as well as anyone in the top 10 in the world.

We are talking about 2020 as a whole FYI.

(Stats via PGATour.com)

Now strokes gained wedge stats have multiple variables affecting the ultimate stat, fairways hit, where a player misses it, out of the rough vs out of the fairway, putting, yada, yada, yada….

At this point, if I had to pick a player to get it done around the greens it would JT or Jon Rahm. True artists. Go back and watch some of the shots from the FedEx at TPC Southwind or even Kapalua this year, it was the reliance on his wedges that became the secret sauce. Like the putter, good wedge play can be an equalizer when anything else is falling short. And when the rest of the bag is decent, for a player like JT, good wedge play equals wins.

I wanted to dig in a little deeper, so I asked my old friend, Vokey’s Aaron Dill a few questions on what makes JT unique with a wedge in his hands…

JW: As far as technique, what in his action makes JT so good? And if you could compare him to someone who would it be?

AD: Justin’s technique is really something to watch. His ability to stay loose, calm, and maintain effortless speed while delivering the wedge accurately really shows his comfort with a wedge in his hands. Justin keeps the club out in front of him and he has mastered the ability to control his golf ball’s flight and spin.  I could compare him to many, but I sometimes feel he is in a league of his own.  

JW: Beyond the great shots we see on highlight reels, where does JT really get it done from an SG perspective? What do you see that the average person wouldn’t? 

AD: Justin does it all very well. You know this because he is 9th in SG around the green and this is partly due to his spotless technique but his ability to scramble in difficult situations. Something he does that amazes me is his creative vision of shots. There are times when he is in a situation where he hits a shot we don’t expect or think of. His comfort with a wedge is fun to watch, he makes all short game shots seem like they are no big deal and you can see this by his free-flowing, loose and speedy wedge action. You can tell he feels at peace with his wedge technique.

JW: He has an interesting set up for his wedges that has been well covered, but since you first met him, how has his understanding and approach to his wedges and wedge play evolved?

AD: Justin’s wedge set is unique, however, a lot of thought and intelligence has gone into crafting this matrix. Since the first time I met him, he has worked hard and he has always had the desire to want to improve and push himself. You can see it in his strength training, his increase in ball speed, and his general approach to competitive golf. His knowledge of his short game has improved over the years and it shows in his success. You can see how comfortable he feels when a wedge is pulled from the bag, you can bet he will be landing the ball close to the hole setting himself up for a makable putt.

Justin Thomas’ wedge specs 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Raw SM7 (46-10F @47.5, 52-12F @52.5), Vokey SM8 (56-14F @57), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60T @ 60.5)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (46), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (52-60)

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How to pick the right putter

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In the game of golf, putting is the great equalizer. It doesn’t take speed or strength and simply requires you to select a line and hit a ball at the right speed—easier said than done. But regardless of your skill level, it is the one club in your set you really never have to upgrade once you find the right one, which is why knowing how to pick the right putter is so important.

This is the GolfWRX guide to selecting the right putter for you.

How to pick the right putter: The right look

This one seems simple, but you have to like the look of your putter and feel comfortable lining it up. For some golfers, that means finding a more traditional heel and toe weighted blade with a basic metal finish, for others that could also mean a larger mallet style that inspires confidence thanks to its larger footprint and contrasting colors.

Between the two aforementioned styles, there are still varying hosel/neck (where the shaft meet the head) configurations that can change how a putter wants to naturally rest when being held which can, in turn, change the natural toe hang of the putter and how it will fit.

How to pick the right putter: Understanding putter toe hang types

  • Face Balanced – Depending on the hosel configuration, this style can be found on both mallet and blade-style putters, and when being balanced by the shaft, the face will sit perpendicular to 12 o’clock. These are intended to fit golfers with a straight back-straight through stroke/minimal face rotation.

  • 1/2 Toe Hang – This is the most neutral type of toe hang and sits between the face balanced and full toe down. It is found on most heel-toe blade putters with full-shaft offset (Scotty Cameron Newport 2 shown) and is for slightly arcing strokes with medium face rotation.

  • Toe Down/Full Toe Hang  – This type is only going to be found on the most heel-shafted blade-style putters, and when being balanced by the shaft, the toe will face “6 0’clock”—directly down to the ground. These are intended to fit golfers with the most extremely arcing stroke and high level of face rotation.

NOTE: There are multiple variations of 1/2 toe hang that sit both closer to full toe down and face-balanced all designed to fit various stroked depending on the amount of arc and face rotation.

Whatever reason you have for picking the putter you ultimately use, make sure you like the looks of it because you’re going to be seeing a lot of each other.

How to pick the right putter: Understanding your stroke style

Your putting stroke will inevitably play a big role in the putter you select because certain styles are going to work better for certain golfers depending on their putting stroke style, which is referenced above. To make it easy to understand—putting strokes can be put into three categories, and for visual reference, check out the handy guide below with pictures supplied by our friends at Ping.

Slight Arc

Fitter and golfer reviewing PING Color Code Chart

This is where most golfers fit in since it is the most natural stroke to make. A slight arc is also what I like to call a neutral stroke, meaning that when it comes to picking a putter it gives the golfers the most options for finding one that is going to fit best.

Straight back and straight through

Fitter applying impact tape to bottom of iron

A straight back and straight through stroke can help a lot of golfers eliminate variables, and when paired with the right putter can really help those that struggle to get putts started on line. Golfers in this category usually perform best with a face-balanced putter.

Strong Arc

Fitter watching golfer hit shots

A strongly arced stroke is the exact opposite of straight back-straight through and requires the most amount of practice and technique to maintain consistency. Players with a strong arc generally also use a lot more wrist in their stroke and because of the inconsistency, this stroke creates, there are fewer putters on the market that fit this type.

Putting it all together

Once you have selected your putter, the last step is getting it dialed into your final spec for length, lie, and loft. For length, the goal is to be able to stand in a comfortable putting position with your eyes over the ball or, just inside of your eye line.

For lie and loft, it is best to see a fitter, since it requires specialized tools to properly adjust, but if you are trying to get an idea for the direction your putter will need to be bent use the reference guide below.

To see how a professional putting fitting is conducted, check out the video below from TXG

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