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Carlos Ortiz explains why he’s still using irons released 9 years ago

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Despite popular belief of mainstream golf fans, not all PGA Tour players use the newest possible technology, especially when it comes to irons.

One of the most popular “old” irons on the PGA Tour are Ping’s S55 models, which were released to the public in November 2013. PGA Tour players such as Bubba Watson, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and Carlos Ortiz still have the irons in their bags.

The S55 irons were cast from 17-4 stainless steel, had a tungsten weight added to the toe section for greater forgiveness, and had a custom tuning port (CTP) made of thermoplastic urethane in the back cavity for a softer feel. Pros and amateurs alike are drawn to the head shapes because they have a blade-like look at address, but with a touch of added forgiveness.

While I was taking photos of Ortiz’s WITB at the 2022 Memorial Tournament presented by Workday on Monday, I was curious to hear why he still has the short irons in his bag; his mixed iron set includes Ping iBlade long irons (3-5) and S55 short irons (6-PW).

Here’s what Ortiz had to say about why he still uses S55 irons:

“I think a lot of guys are still using them, like Bubba. The way they used to make the irons I think were better back then. The (iBlade) long irons, I think they can help you get them up in the air and everything, but the (S55) short irons, you don’t need help getting them up or longer or anything, you just need something reliable…”

“I think it’s the metal, it’s just more consistent. You might not hit it as high or as long, but you don’t need that with the short irons, and I think that’s why a lot of people haven’t really changed. I mean, obviously a lot of guys have used these ones to start, but there’s a big difference between these and the new material. They look exactly the same, it’s just the metal. It doesn’t make any difference. See, the metal they use is completely different…[the iBlade’s], you hit it higher, with less spin, and longer, but it’s not as reliable.”

To Ortiz’s point, as opposed to the Ping S55 irons made from 17-4 stainless steel, the Ping iBlade irons – released to the public in 2016 – were made from a softer and stronger 431 stainless steel. The weight savings of the design, compared to the S55 models, allowed Ping to construct the faces thinner, thus creating more distance.

Like the Ping S55’s, the iBlades also came with a blade-like appearance from address, helping amateurs and pros alike achieve both workability and flight control. While most amateur golfers could use the extra distance and height, Ortiz still prefers the lower-flying control/reliability of the S55 irons.

Of course, Ping has even newer players iron technologies than the iBlade, such as the new i59 and Blueprint Forged models. For now, though, Ortiz and a number of other PGA Tour players are still holding strong with the original S55 irons.

And just to clarify, Ortiz hasn’t been using the same exact heads for 9 years. He changes them out for fresh iron heads when the grooves get low (he says he wears out the 7 and 9-irons the quickest), and he says Ping still has a supply of backups.

Check out Carlos Ortiz’s full 2022 WITB from the Memorial

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Pingback: Winning Footwear: Billy Horschel’s FootJoy Traditions golf shoes at the Memorial Tournament - Sport News

  2. eric

    May 31, 2022 at 9:23 pm

    He makes a lot of valid points, but the iBlade still dominates the PING blade staff. Harris English, Joaqin Neimann, Mito Periera, and on and on. Nothing handicapping about the iBlade “metal”.

  3. Bob

    May 31, 2022 at 1:41 pm

    s55s and i210 are Ping’s best irons since the ISI. Good choice.

    • Thomas Woodward

      Jun 2, 2022 at 10:31 pm

      Looks like there may be some slight ‘offset’ with them as well. I’m still playing Lynx Parallax 17-4 Black Melanite irons from 1990-1993 and I’m on my third set because of wear and they have progressive offset as well…

  4. Drkviol801

    May 31, 2022 at 11:05 am

    Great article

  5. Drkviol801

    May 31, 2022 at 11:04 am

    Very interesting, Ping can’t be too happy to hear about one of their own complaining about consistency with new irons. Those s55s are sick.

  6. dat

    May 31, 2022 at 9:56 am

    Easily some of the best irons Ping ever made in the modern era, that’s why. Iron tech is so grossly overrated there is little need to change unless your swing has changed a lot or you need extra help in a certain part of the bag. Mixed sets are more popular than ever on tour as well.

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Equipment

Scotty Cameron unveils new Special Select Jet Set putters

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Scotty Cameron has today introduced the new range of Special Select Jet Set putters.

The limited release features a four-model collection designed for the player looking for a particular design aesthetic in a high-performance configuration with attention to shape, color palette and finish.

Precision milled in the United States from a block of 303 stainless steel, each new Limited Release Special Select Jet Set putter incorporates Scotty’s performance balanced weighting technology featuring customizable sole weights, as well as purpose-built aluminum sole plates designed to optimize weight distribution in the wider profile of the Plus models.

Speaking on the new range, Scotty Cameron said:

“A lot of golfers want to game the same putters the pros play. Our new Special Select Jet Set putters offer a taste of that experience with a few extras that put them in a category of their own. The Tour Black finish is something a lot of people really like, so when I can, I make putters using it combined with dark, smoky accents. The overall tone-on-tone look is inspired by custom car builders, and that’s where the Jet Set name comes from. We’ve offered this concept in years past. This is the next version of Jet Set. Specifically, the ‘Plus’ models that are in between the width of a Newport 2 and a Squareback 2. I developed this “tweener” size working with a few Tour players who wanted something in between the width of a traditional blade and our Squareback flange width. The Special Select Jet Set Newport Plus and Newport 2 Plus offer those desired sizes and happen to be the first we’ve created for everyone. Limited releases like these new Special Select Jet Set models are for those who want a high-performance putter, but also that little extra.”

In addition, the Special Select Jet Set Newport, Special Select Jet Set Newport Plus, Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 and Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 Plus feature custom graphics, a Tour Black finish with a dark, tonal color scheme, a specialized Pistolini Plus grip, shaft band and headcover.

Displaying the evolution of Scotty’s research in bringing the benefits of higher MOI to blade putter shapes, the line’s “Plus” models introduce slightly wider profiles than standard face-to-flange blade dimensions in design to offer maximum performance from a blade putter.

Special Select Jet Set Newport

“A souped-up version of Scotty’s classic heel-and-toe weighted blade, the Special Select Jet Set Newport includes a plumbing neck, the model’s distinctive rounded features and a unique sight line milled on the topline. Precision milled from 303 stainless steel, this limited release putter has a solid face, misted Tour Black finish, adjustable performance balanced raw tungsten sole weighting and includes the line’s new textured Pistolini Plus grip and Jet Set headcover.”

Special Select Jet Set Newport Plus

“Crafted slightly wider when measured from face to flange, the Special Select Jet Set Newport Plus offers a new size in high-performance blade putter design. Relying on proven multi-material design methodology, Scotty accommodated the fuller profile by distributing weight to the perimeter and incorporating a 6061 aircraft grade aluminum sole plate, anodized black and engraved with the line’s Jet Set graphics. A milled flange sight line provides clean alignment, while customizable stainless steel sole weights provide balance. A new, textured Pistolini Plus grip, Jet Set shaft band and specialized headcover complete the package.”

Special Select Jet Set Newport 2

“Designed with the proven shape, plumbing neck and tri-sole of a modern Newport 2, the Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 is milled from 303 stainless steel with customizable tungsten sole weights, a Tour Black finish and the line’s Jet Set graphics package, including a specialty shaft band, headcover and textured Pistolini Plus grip. Incorporating a subtle design characteristic—and inspired by the putters he makes for touring professionals—Scotty included a milled sight line on the topline rather than a standard flange line. A limited number of left-handed Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 models were also created.”

Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 Plus

“Splitting the difference in flange width between a Special Select Newport 2 and Squareback 2, the Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 Plus offers a Tour-inspired shape that introduces the next profile in high-performance blade design. Milled from 303 stainless steel with a solid face, the Newport 2 Plus has a 6061 aircraft grade aluminum sole plate, anodized black and engraved with the line’s Jet Set graphics. A milled flange sight line provides clean alignment, while customizable stainless steel sole weights provide balance. The putter includes the line’s new, textured Pistolini Plus grip, Jet Set shaft band and specialized headcover.”

The limited release Special Select Jet Set putters will be available worldwide on Aug. 19, 2022, at Titleist authorized golf shops, and are priced at $650 each.

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2022 TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 wedges launched

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What you need to know: TaylorMade is launching the latest iteration of its “Swiss Army knife” Hi-Toe 3 wedges. In contrast to TaylorMade’s MG3 wedges, Hi-Toe 3 wedges feature a higher toe peak, higher center of gravity for lower launch and more spin, a four-way cambered sole, and full-face scoring lines all aimed at maximizing versatility and performance around the green.

TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3: What’s new

  • Full length scoring lines on all lofts above 54 degrees for additional spin on open-faced shots.
  • Raised micro-ribs between the full grooves (introduced in MG3 wedge) add texture to the face for increased spin and performance on partial shots.
  • Aged copper finish to complement the raw face

TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3: Additional technology

In order to assist in executing “all the shots” TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 marketing references, TM engineers again incorporate a four-way cambered sole into the 8620 carbon steel Hi-Toe 3. Generous bounce and a wide sole meet a low leading edge for enhanced playability from a variety of lies.

And of course, the weighted toe pad “high toe” portion of the Hi-Toe 3 raises the center of gravity and moves it closer to the center of the face in an effort to produce lower launching, higher spinning shots.

ZTP Raw Grooves are implemented in the Hi-Toe 3 for optimal spin across a variety of conditions.

Full face ZTP RAW grooves

What TaylorMade says

“Our athletes all offered great input individually, but collectively everyone wanted something versatile. They wanted a single wedge that could perform around the greens from deep rough, thick fescue, bunkers with different sands, in wet conditions and from tight lies. That’s a lot to fit into a single design, but with Hi-Toe 3 we’ve done it.” — Bill Price, Product Creation, Wedges and Putters

TaylorMade Milled Grind 3: What it looks like

52 degree

56 degree

60 degree

Pricing and availability 

Hi-Toe 3 is available for order now at www.taylormadegolf.com and at retail locations with an MSRP of $179 USD. Hi-Toe 3 comes stock with the KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 shaft (115g) and Lamkin Crossline 360 Round 52 gram grips (Gray/Blue/Black End Cap).

Hi-Toe 3 is available in standard bounce (50, 52, 54, 56, 58, and 60 degrees), low bounce (58, 60 degrees), and high bounce (58, 60 degrees).

KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 115 shafts are standard along with Lamkin Crossline 360 grips.

MyHi-Toe 3

Added elements of personalization are available through MyHi-Toe 3. They may choose from four different finishes, including the classic brushed copper, chrome, black and raw, before selecting text, logos, and paint fills to create a purely unique design.

A complete list of customizable options includes:

  • Finish
  • Grip
  • Shaft
  • Length
  • Personalized text
  • Loft & bounce
  • Custom paints fills: Logos, icons, carbon steel, hosel rings, text

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (8/9/22): Mint Ping i500s

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At GolfWRX, we are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways.

It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buying and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a set of mint Ping i500s.

From the seller (@lawrencedc1): “Asking $725 Plus Ship.  Played 5 rounds.  Didn’t make the Bag!”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Mint Ping i500s

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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