THP was fortunate enough to receive Ping’s latest offering in the Game Improvement (GI) iron arena, the G15. I’ve been testing and playing a few rounds with these no nonsense clubs from the company known for having some of the most brand loyal and passionate fan bases in the marketplace today. So how did these clubs perform? Check it out.
From the Company
The G15 provides the high-launching, maximum forgiveness needed for a mid-high handicap golfer. The stainless steel iron’s cavity design features a new Custom Tuning Port (CTP) which expands the perimeter weighting and increases moment of inertia (MOI). Irons are available 3-PW with available Utility Wedge, Sand Wedge, and Lob Wedges as well. These additional wedges are available at most retailers and Ping Authorized Dealers.
Ping is known for utilitarian, workman-like equipment and the G15 irons certainly fit that mold. If the G15 irons were a motor vehicle, it would be a pick up truck. Straight forward and gets the job done with minimal style and sizzle. Minimal style for some means bland and plain to others which is exactly how some of the testers reacted when first holding the irons. The G15’s certainly won’t win a beauty contest on the range or course but I found them to be appeasing to an extent. However hip and ‘edgy’ do not come to mind with these irons. The first thing you notice is the larger than normal sole on these irons. They are a little on the big side for what I would consider a GI iron. More on that later. Next, you notice a cavity badge that is sharp but blends and fits in with these gun metal gray clubs. Compared to previous Ping irons lines, this is a ‘flashy’ design but with all things that are Ping, it just seems to work. The darker color on these clubs was my first experience into what is becoming a popular option in the golf design world. As compared to the traditional chrome finish found on many of today’s irons, the darker finish quickly won me over. Aligning myself to the target line and squaring the club face to the ball was much easier with the contrast between the white (or yellow) ball and the darker club. Glare was also noticeably reduced which is something I was not expecting to notice as much. A very pleasant surprise indeed.
The previously mentioned sole is instrumental in helping get the ball in the air quickly as it disperses the MOI evenly across the bottom of the club. This is designed to reduce the total weight of the club and when combined with a thinner face a more forgiving club and higher launching club for mis-hits is possible. Stronger lofts combine with a low center of gravity (CG) located low and farther from the face produce longer shots without sacrificing the higher trajectory needed with a game improvement iron. Another revision for the G15 line is the previously mentioned new Custom Tuning Port (CTP) which has been repositioned and saves 7g which is redistributed to the club’s perimeter to increase MOI (Moment of Inertia).
Putting these clubs through their paces was fun. Not exciting or uninspired, but fun. If you’re looking for a thrilling and exciting reviews with a lot of wows then you can skip to the ‘Overall Thoughts’ section below. For those who are still with me, thank you. Whether I was at the range or on the course, these clubs behaved the exact same way which was a good thing. It’s nice to know what you can expect or get from your clubs right? The wider sole takes a little getting used to, especially in the longer irons where it’s more noticeable and distracting at address, but they do help with smoother turf interaction. The custom tuning port found on these clubs definitely works and does the job it’s supposed to. When you hit it flush, it’s smooooooth.
I found the clubs to be a little heavier than other clubs I’ve played with or tested which was actually nice as you were able to ‘feel’ the club head all the way through your swing. You could feel the MOI of the club working to get the ball up fast and high once struck. Ball flight? It was so predictable that it was almost boring. In fact I thought the ball flight was a little too high for my taste and could see issues playing with these in windy conditions. Forgiveness is about what I expected. When you hit these flush they feel smooth and solid but if you tend to miss out farther towards the toe then distance loss and less forgiving shots are more noticeable. The short irons are definitely easier to hit however the 5 iron is one of the better performing ones I’ve ever hit. The shafts that were tested were Ping’s stock black dot steel shafts in a regular flex that felt solid. If you like the idea of a high and accurate ball flight but don’t want to sacrifice the distance then you may want to consider upgrading the shafts in this set. One final thought as well, the stock grips that come with the G15’s are some of the best stock grips I’ve ever felt. I could easily have played these right off the rack and not have to change the right away like most other clubs out there.
Most golfers love to say that they would gladly give up distance for consistency and accuracy. Yeah? I dare you not to try these clubs then. That’s exactly what these clubs will give you. My favorite clubs were the 9 iron and PW. These things were automatic from 125 yards and 110 yards respectively with only a few yards dispersion from the target line. If you want high but accurate ball flight then these are your clubs. If you’re looking for a more penetrating and hotter ball flight then it might be wise to look at other options. In fact I would go as far to say that if you’re looking for a max game improvement iron set but don’t like the idea of carrying a hybrid set, then you may want to consider the Ping G15’s. I think they serve the same purpose with a more traditional look.
Ping has put out another solid edition to their line of irons that will surely attract the Ping faithful. These clubs get the job done without a lot of extra bells and whistles which is what some golfers are looking for. If that’s you then you’d be missing out on a solid set of irons if these weren’t on your short list. These irons offer predictable if not unspectacular performance and I would definitely recommend them to a high handicap golfer who is looking to invest in their first ‘new’ set of irons. Retail pricing comes in at $699. For more information about Ping and other Ping products you can check out www.ping.com