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GolfWRX Spotted: Ping i59 irons

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GolfWRX was founded on the good old fashion “spy pics,” and this week we spotted something that many golfers have been very anxiously awaiting—new Ping irons and more specifically i59 irons.

The irons were spotted in the bag of Ping staffer Viktor Hovland along with some also recently spotted Glide forged Pro wedges.

Although we don’t have all the details of the new irons or a comment from Ping, there are a few things that can be deduced from the images we captured from the Zurich Classic.

  • They are clearly an “i” iron: As straightforward as this might seem, the name alone gives us a lot of insight into the golfer this iron is targeted towards. The i-Series has always been a “better players” iron with added forgiveness, and these look the part with a larger flange and medium width sole.
  • The “59” means something old and new: There is some history here that we need to break down. I-ve already touched on the i-series (see what I did there?), but the number 59 has a significant role to play in Ping’s history. The last time “59” was used was when Ping introduced the golf world to the S-Series, and the S59 was the first blade-style club the company had ever launched. The model naming was n homage to the Ping 69’s—which Karsten Solheim chose because he believed it to be a great golf score.

    So we have a new style of iron under the i-Series, and a reference to a previously used number—it sure sounds like a lot of new is going on with these.
  • It looks to be hollow: Based on the geometry of the head combined with the toe screw, I am willing to bet that these new i59 irons are hollow. Hollow irons aren’t new for Ping but a players centric hollow iron is, which is part of the reason I believe Ping has chosen to go a little off-menu with the name—this is not like any iron Ping has released before. The question now is whether the entire area behind the head is hollow or just the bottom section.

Beyond speculation, we don’t have any further details about the internal technology of this new iron or a potential release date, but we will follow this story closely over the week along with Viktor Hovland’s play.

To see what GolfWRX members are saying in the forums, check out the Ping 2021 irons discussion.

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Ryan Barath 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.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Pingback: GolfWRX Spotted: Ping i59 irons (exclusive in-hand pictures) – GolfWRX

  2. JP

    Apr 24, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    Looks like just a bigger blueprint iron.

  3. Chris

    Apr 21, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    Cannot wait to give these a hit. Has anyone heard anything about the rumoured i565’s?

  4. Paul

    Apr 21, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Doesn’t matter, they’re already backordered.

  5. RJM

    Apr 21, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    These look like a rehash of the Nike Vapor Pro Combo without the graphics.

  6. Ryan

    Apr 21, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    I’m doubting Hovland switched to a hollow body iron.

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Equipment

How Collin Morikawa found the putter that helped him lead the Memorial

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Editor’s note: We filed this piece for PGATour.com’s Equipment Report

Collin Morikawa jumped out to an early lead at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, doing so with a ‘new’ putter in the bag.

The 24-year-old has had a rough spell on the greens, finishing 2020 ranked 128th in Strokes Gained: Putting. He’s 180th in that statistic this season.

The Californian has been using a TaylorMade Spider FCG mallet-style putter, along with a ‘Saw’ grip he learned from Mark O’Meara, for much of this year, but in search of a change of fortunes on the greens, Morikawa has now switched back to a blade-style putter. He used a blade-style coming out of college and in last year’s win at Muirfield Village, at the Workday Charity Open. He added a SuperStroke grip and adjusted the loft on his blade this time.

But this isn’t your average story about a TOUR player switching putters. Morikawa settled on the putter after consulting TaylorMade’s online ordering portal that is available to everyone, from TOUR players to mere mortals. It paid off, as Morikawa shot a first-round 66 while gaining 1.8 strokes on the greens.

For more details on Morikawa’s switch, we spoke with TaylorMade’s Paul Demkowski, Principal Engineer, Product Development and TOUR Rep Todd Chew.

GolfWRX: In terms of MyTP, what did Collin see that he liked and why?

PD: Collin was checking out the options online and reached out to us with his specific needs for the head, the insert, alignment etc. What we built for him is similar to the one he was previously using – a TP Juno with a long neck and sightline on the topline.

The main difference is we machined the face to take loft away, 2 degrees to be exact. With his new setup he has his hands more forward. This allows us to then bend the shaft forward to get the loft he wants in a position where the face is square with hands forward. … If we don’t machine the loft away and simply bend the shaft forward for his new hand position the putter would have way too much loft on it.

Additionally, he commented on how much he likes the copper insert in his FCG putter. We do not have copper available for the TP putters, so we put a stainless steel insert into this putter for a harder feel.

So there are a couple of changes that were exclusive to him, but consumers can pretty much spec out 90% of his putter on our website.

Read the rest of the piece here. 

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Whats in the Bag

Michelle Wie WITB: 2021 U.S. Women’s Open

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Driver: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond DS (9 degrees @10)
Shaft: AutoFlex SF505 X (45.5 inches, tipped 1 inch, D3)

3-wood: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond (15 degrees @15.5)
Shaft: AutoFlex SF505 X

5-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (17 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS T1800 65 6.0

7-wood: Callaway Mavrik (21 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75 6.0

11-wood: Callaway Rogue (25 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75 6.0

Irons: Callaway Mavrik Pro (6), Callaway Apex Pro ’21 (7-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S Pro 950 GH

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged (50-10, 56-12 @55, 60-10)

Putter: Toulon Garage Chicago (H1 neck)

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X (2020)

  • Featured image via Callaway’s Johnny Wunder
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Equipment

Xander Schauffele switches to armlock putter…despite wanting the method banned

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Xander Schauffele has made a significant putting switch this week at Murfield Village, implementing the armlock method on the greens — a technique he feels should be banned.

The Californian is statistically one of the best putters on Tour and ranks ninth this season for strokes gained: putting. However, in a surprising move, he has now decided to move to an armlock version of his regular putter (Odyssey O-Works #7 CH Red) in search of more advantage.

On Thursday, Schauffele told media following his opening round that it’s still a method he believes should be banned on Tour despite the change.

“My putting coach (Derek Uyeda), my whole team honestly, we’re very against change and I had to see what the craze was about. I do feel funny, obviously being a top-10 putter on Tour, switching putters or the style of putting. It’s a distinct advantage.

“I am for banning the armlock putters, but if everyone else is going to use it and I feel like they have a bigger advantage, I may as well do the same.”

The change worked to great effect in round one at the Memorial. Schauffele needed just 28 putts during his opening round of 68, and after his round, the Californian explained his new process on the greens.

“It’s easier; it’s more consistent. My coach and I work a lot in San Diego on start lines and making sure the ball’s doing what we think it’s doing. And the fact that [the putter] is anchored to your arm…you can flinch in your hands, but you can’t flinch your entire left arm. So that’s the process behind that.”

Despite the change in process, Schauffele still believes that the game’s authorities should ban the armlock method, saying how it “takes the stress of putting out of the game”.

“It takes the stress of putting out of the game. Putting is so stressful. Obviously hitting shots and chipping and all kinds of stuff are difficult, but your putts are what give you the score on the card. It’s ruined a lot of people’s careers and it’s helped people’s career.

“So I think putting is an art in our game and when you lock it to your arm or anchor it to your body, it kind of gets rid of that.”

As for putting goals, Schaufelle has set himself a big target of ending the season ranked number one in Strokes Gained: Putting, a goal he feels he can reach now with the armlock technique.

“I know how good it can be and I think you still have to read putts and get the speed down correct. I’m in a very similar setup compared to my old putter and I know I can putt with a shorter putter, so I figured if I can get an advantage on the greens, and maybe get to first in putting, that would be something special. So I’m going to give it a go.”

Xander Schauffele putter specs

  • Model: Odyssey Wrist Lock #7
  • Length: 38 inches
  • Loft: 5.5 degrees
  • Lie: 71.5 degrees
  • Shaft: Black stepped shaft
  • Grip: WristLock SuperStroke
  • Insert: White Hot
  • Alignment aids: Top and tracers in white
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