Ping Anser Forged Irons Review

easyyyeasyyy Founder & Still a HoDetroitRules Official, Administrator Posts: 12,302 admin
Lots of comparison pics...
[color="#8B0000"][size="5"]Ping Anser Irons-

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Pros-

Hit the sweetheart for feel and forgiveness. Ping launches the “Super Car” of Irons. Forged, milled, exotic material for weighting, CG and MOI. Touch of class with weight ports in the center of the head (typical to Ping) to tune swingweight without moving the CG away from the center of the face. The Anser is a special club for the serious golfer looking to enjoy a unique set of irons not many will see.



Cons-

Made for a golfer that is looking to play with Aston Martin with a touch of forgiveness. A traditional blade player will shy away. The Anser has a wider sole and more forgiveness that will make some look for something more compact.





Bottom Line-


Sign me up brother. Sign this guy up. Normally I like a blade type head but after days of mashing balls I could game this right here and now. If KJ Choi plays G15’s I can game the Anser right?



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Review-



Anser are forged from a single billet of 8620 steel. Spanked 3 times and then ground parting lines. Off to the machining center and milled one at a time. That is part one of a lengthy process that makes these irons very different that the majority of sets today. No cost was spared to build these unique high end technology packed sets.





Looks-
The looks of the new 2011 Anser Forged irons are striking. Satin chrome finish with ox blood red and grey accents. Did I say ox blood? Yes I did. Just like the old English Doc Martin boots these irons scream character and have won our hearts. The size of the heads are on the larger side but not to the point I would mark them down because of it. Want a smaller head than play the S-56 irons. Reduced offset on these cavity backs over most of Ping’s irons are a pleasant surprise. The offset of the 5 iron is .17” compared to the i15 with .19”. This translates to a look that will give the better player confidence the fit the eye for some would rather have less offset.



The heel, toe and CTP cavity are all milled using a CNC machining center. This type of costly process drives the cost up but also insures the face thickness is minimal and meets tolerances post forging. By doing this Ping says they will be able to maintain the tightest standards as the forging dies wear over time. The result is visually appealing as you look at the cavity. Jewelry comes to mind as you look and see the machining cutter paths. The face and groves are machined also. At first it is hard to pick up, but after a few hundred balls you can see the milling marks on the face.





Performance/playability-
We tested with Ping blade S-56 to see if there was a big difference between the 2 for playability. When the sole get wider as it is in the Anser you gain in performance on miss hits but you also lose some playability. Shaping shots on challenging lies becomes more difficult when you have an additional mass on the sole. After repeated days of demo we loved the sole design and had little negative effect on playability. I was puzzled and expected worst to be honest. Why am I able to nip shots that had bad lies when you would think the fatter sole would be having more of an effect on the hit? Looking deeper you can see it in the bounce for one. The bounce of the Anser 5 iron is -1.0*. I said negative 1 degree! Compare that to the blade s-56 5 iron with a bounce of +2.0 degrees. That makes a big difference when that head is screaming by at 85 mph and you have to go down after a ball with a bad lie. Great blend of forgiveness and playability here.



Other performance features are a bunch of very technical advanced engineering design enhancements. Some features I understand and some I don’t and will probably never quite grasp. Removing metal post forging via CNC machining allowed Ping to add more moment of inertia (MOI) in 2 directions. Left to right and high to low on the face for mishit in the two ways we can miss it. They added a dual cavity and covered the lower on with a high tech tungsten nickel sole. They say it softens the feel and positions the CG for higher launching shots. I didn’t notice higher shots as much. What I saw was a good solid trajectory.



Feel- I had the Anser and the s-56 in dynamic gold s300 and they were both at D2. Same setup and there were mild differences in trajectory and to be honest I didn’t see the difference. The feel was different between the two. S-56 are cast and the Anser are forged using a single billet of 8620. The forged Anser had a more muted feel and trying to put feel in words is like trying to write about the taste differences in food or wine. I will try. The Anser felt as if the event of the hit took longer than the s-56. Meaning at impact the feeling of the impact took longer to experience than the event of the s56. Another way to say it was the mid and bass ranges were accentuated and the S-56 had more mid and treble. Hope that covered it. LOL. Seriously the feel of the 2 were close but the Ansers are softer and more muted than the s-56. The same type of feel can be experienced hitting a Titleist AP-2 iron. While you don’t get that quick jump of solid soft feel you might experience through a true muscle back you do get a great longer more muted feel in the Anser. It is like you keep the ball of the face for a millisecond more than another Ping iron. Felt as if I was compressing the ball more and longer than a cast club. No click and more of a thud.





Overall bottom line-
Years of hearing Ping fans desire for a forging and here it is. True jewelry and packed with technology. Looking for an option that isn’t a blade you need to put this model on the top of your list to consider. I am one lucky tester to be able to hit these side by side with Ping cast options. If you are serious about the game and want to have irons that very few will ever see then the Anser is the way to go. Softest Ping iron I have ever hit and looks to kill.





Here are a bunch of cool pics...





Here is a close up of the 5 iron using a macro lens to so the milling. I magnified it so you can see the detail. Hard to pick up when looking at it but you can see it clearly here...



Post edited by Unknown User on
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Comments

  • RedbirdRedbird Members Posts: 2,255 ✭✭
    They look great and would love to try them, but the $1300+ price tag prompted me to go with the Nike Pro Combos and I suspect others will do the same ala Mizuno and Nike for forged players irons.
  • radtechradtech Members Posts: 1,073 ✭✭
    Thanks for the review. I hit them while at a demo day and I came away feeling like the Anser was a upgraded expensive i15 club. I felt the Anser was closer to the i15 instead of the s56.
  • golfwaregolfware Members Posts: 4,787 ✭✭
    Okay, WHAT is that white stuff in the background on the first few pics?? Is that salt or sugar?? LOL



    I recently was able to demo the Anser Forged irons and share the SAME sentiment! Wonderful set of irons.
  • easyyyeasyyy Founder & Still a Ho DetroitRules Official, Administrator Posts: 12,302 admin
    I have some pics of them building my set. Lou b was the name all over the ticket. I will post them later.
  • EyntEynt Members Posts: 460
    Redbird wrote:


    They look great and would love to try them, but the $1300+ price tag prompted me to go with the Nike Pro Combos and I suspect others will do the same ala Mizuno and Nike for forged players irons.




    I agree, if money was not an issue these would be on the top of my list. Unfortunately money is always an issue for me. Still, one of the sexiest ping clubs I have ever seen.
  • Bob57Bob57 Members Posts: 2,933
    I still maintain they do not feel like a forged iron at all. They also don't feel like a traditional ping cast iron. They are somewhat an oddity as far as feel concerned. Visually and design wise they resemble the i15s. They have a very harsh feeling and would never be compared to a traditional forging. I much prefer the feel of the S56 irons (looks and playability are better IMO) as far as feel is concerned. I also would take exception with the description of exotic materials used in the iron----the basic iron is 8620 carbon steel, the sole insert is tungsten, and the CTP is their usual viscoelastic with tungsten particles imbedded in the rubber. None of those items is exotic (tungsten soles have been done for many years). The forging is another 1 pass basic shape forming. The cost of this iron comes from the very expensive and impressive machining of the iron to its final form. The machining is very impressive, but again hardly exotic. These irons did very well in Japan as a high end prestige conversation piece, but aren't doing very well here. But for that matter neither are the S56 irons. I've talked to many dealers and the Ansers are outselling the S56s by almost double. But the numbers for both are very anemic. One very large dealer (who does big business in Ping and $25 million a year overal) has sold 3 sets of Anser irons and 1 set of S56s. I guess even though they have 13 wins worldwide since June the S56s just aren't what Ping buyers are looking for. The S Tour Wedges, however, are doing very well everywhere as are the G15 and K15 models (those they can't keep in stock). I still don't understand what Ping gains from producing models like the Anser and S56s that just don't sell. After the people on sites like this extoll their wonderfulness it seems they just don't hack it with the bulk of Ping buyers. By the way most of these dealers say the S series has never sold well. The S59s were the best selling (probably because they were a new area for ping). Successive models have sold less and less (if that is possible) than the previous model.. Hard to figure unless these models are being used to draw more potential buyers who then after demoing them go with other ping models which fit them better.
  • QWKDTSNQWKDTSN Dreaming of Bandon Members Posts: 2,999 ✭✭
    See now, all this post has done is make me want S56s even more!



    post-1-0-40419200-1292365322_thumb.jpg

  • easyyyeasyyy Founder & Still a Ho DetroitRules Official, Administrator Posts: 12,302 admin
    Exotic was the tungsten nickle addition. Play on words in my enthusiasm. Difference of opinions. You and I play and demo more than most and I disagree with your opinion on the feel of these. Are they compatible to a traditional forged one piece minimal cavity? Not to that level no. To they feel softer than the cast pings? Yes.



    That is what is great about this place. Opinion comes, then another ones comes behind it. Good bad or indifferent.



    I think any design like this with so much mass removed behind the hitting area will suffer the same fate. That being the case these still gave me a muted softer feel. Ap2 type as I said.



    As for sales. G15 is the bread and butter I thought. The guys at miles of golf told me that.
  • MrParr1NoidMrParr1Noid Bag For Sale .. Juan uva kind.. Only used on Sunday.. ;-) Green Side UpClubWRX Posts: 7,212 ✭✭
    edited Dec 14, 2010 #11
    Great write up and review Richard, you did yourself proud. image/yes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':yes:' />



    Ping knows how to do it, as only Ping does it, and they do it well. image/bb.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bb:' />
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  • FreedomFreedom Members Posts: 161
    IMO, I love the addition of a ferule and forging by Ping. I've hit the Answer side by side with the i15 at our store, and it's like night and day. Being that I've never considered buying a Ping iron because "once you go forged you dont go cast"; I now consider buying a set of these. Although our store has been able to move 5 sets since November, many people have turned away once being told of the price.
  • BallhoundBallhound Members Posts: 276 ✭✭
    Awesome photos of your clubs being assembled. I always thought Ping was one of the highest quality manufacturers since they first developed the fitting system, and others followed. The Ansers are expensive but you are getting a beautiful product not too many else will be gaming. These will be timeless classics.
  • RedbirdRedbird Members Posts: 2,255 ✭✭
    edited Dec 14, 2010 #15
    Definitely cool to see them made. I have a feeling that albeit these are gorgeous, they will ultimately flop due to the price and in turn may be Pings last attempt at a forged iron for awhile.
  • henchenc Members Posts: 127 ✭✭
    From those pics you can really tell Ping craftsmanship can't be beat. I was never a big ping fan til I hit the s57's. They might start taking over my bag slowly.
  • gmetcalf18gmetcalf18 Members Posts: 921 ✭✭
    Do they put the badge on last to maintain SW? I see all the bins are labeled so I assume they are different weights?



    This thread has solidified that one of the 3 sets will be in my bag this year.
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  • drpinodrpino NYMarshals Posts: 8,970 mod
    edited Dec 15, 2010 #18
    Great review, Richard! Photos are awesome as usual.



    The price tag is a bit high but so were the original Rapture and Rapture V2s irons (particularly paired with graphite shafts) and those still sold at a decent clip considering the cost... but that was during a relatively good economic climate. Sets above $1k pose a bit of an obstacle these days.



    One thing is for sure, side-by-side the Anser Forged and S56s both look mighty appealing!



    p.s. love the assembly line photos... digital L/L machine tuned to +- 1/4° tolerance. You'd think they wouldn't need the super-sized rubber mallets for their one forged offering though image/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />



    p.p.s. gmetcalf18, they glue in the CPT weights as a final step to achieve target swing weights. Those pieces are manufactured in-house (PING even developed the process and engineered the tooling themselves) and come in various weights thanks to the metal powder (tungsten?) infused during production.
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  • kekoakekoa ClubWRX Posts: 8,966 ClubWRX
    wow richard, looks like ping rollled out the red carpet for you.





    sweet review.
  • E-5E-5 Members Posts: 92
    Great pics, thanks for posting. It will be interesting to see how quickly some lightly used sets of these start popping up. I'll be keeping an eye out, that's for sure.
  • eldog-in-the-hizouseeldog-in-the-hizouse Members Posts: 955 ✭✭
    Wow, thank you for the great review! Looking at the pictures and reading what other people have said about the way the S series has sold traditionally, I can't help but to think that PING would have been better off making the S56 their forged iron model. I'm not sure the Anser, even though it is forged, is enough different than the i15 to warrant the price difference. I also think the S56 would sell better if it was forged. As it is the S56 is kind of a "tweener", in my opinion. It's a player's club but it is not quite a 710MB, MP68, or a Callaway Forged Prototype. And it seems like the Anser offering is a bit redundant with the i15. I think the i15 is a great club, and I'm not sure that if it was forged that I could like it any better.
  • GolfMomAMSGolfMomAMS Members Posts: 79
    Great review. My shop has sold a couple sets, so I've seen them in person, but I haven't gotten to hit them yet. Hopefully we'll get a wall set soon.
  • RJDRJD Members Posts: 523 ✭✭
    Awesome pictures, thank you. The close-up of the milling detail in the cavity is a great touch.
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  • dsparobdsparob fairways and greens pard... Members Posts: 620
    golfware wrote:


    Okay, WHAT is that white stuff in the background on the first few pics?? Is that salt or sugar?? LOL



    I recently was able to demo the Anser Forged irons and share the SAME sentiment! Wonderful set of irons.






    I'm assuming that you're joking, but just in case you're not, I'm going to guess that it's SNOW, being that many wrx'ers, including myself are stuck to indoor golf for a few months. Don't let it fool you though, there are some snow divots in my back yard, feels like hitting sand shots, get that THUMP sound.
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  • fitz8888fitz8888 Members Posts: 192
    Ansers are certainly very attractive clubs by Ping Standards,



    but after swinging them side by side with my i15s, I couldn't see or feel $70 worth of difference, much less $700 worth.



    But hey, anyone willing to shell out for the novelty of hitting Ping forged, more power to ya.



    For me, any $1,400 set of irons would need to include at least a free day pass to a japanese comfort spa or some other significant perk.













  • hvilletnhvilletn Members Posts: 247 ✭✭
    Bob57 wrote:


    I still maintain they do not feel like a forged iron at all. They also don't feel like a traditional ping cast iron. They are somewhat an oddity as far as feel concerned. Visually and design wise they resemble the i15s. They have a very harsh feeling and would never be compared to a traditional forging. I much prefer the feel of the S56 irons (looks and playability are better IMO) as far as feel is concerned. I also would take exception with the description of exotic materials used in the iron----the basic iron is 8620 carbon steel, the sole insert is tungsten, and the CTP is their usual viscoelastic with tungsten particles imbedded in the rubber. None of those items is exotic (tungsten soles have been done for many years). The forging is another 1 pass basic shape forming. The cost of this iron comes from the very expensive and impressive machining of the iron to its final form. The machining is very impressive, but again hardly exotic. These irons did very well in Japan as a high end prestige conversation piece, but aren't doing very well here. But for that matter neither are the S56 irons. I've talked to many dealers and the Ansers are outselling the S56s by almost double. But the numbers for both are very anemic. One very large dealer (who does big business in Ping and $25 million a year overal) has sold 3 sets of Anser irons and 1 set of S56s. I guess even though they have 13 wins worldwide since June the S56s just aren't what Ping buyers are looking for. The S Tour Wedges, however, are doing very well everywhere as are the G15 and K15 models (those they can't keep in stock). I still don't understand what Ping gains from producing models like the Anser and S56s that just don't sell. After the people on sites like this extoll their wonderfulness it seems they just don't hack it with the bulk of Ping buyers. By the way most of these dealers say the S series has never sold well. The S59s were the best selling (probably because they were a new area for ping). Successive models have sold less and less (if that is possible) than the previous model.. Hard to figure unless these models are being used to draw more potential buyers who then after demoing them go with other ping models which fit them better.




    I just bought a set of Ping S56s and S wedges. I previously played Mizuno MX-23's. The Ping S56 is surprisingly easy to hit despite the player's profile and feels like slamming a pack of quarters into the back of the ball when you hit the sweet spot. I was fully intending on purchasing the ANSER (almost did sight unseen) but after waiting for over 8 months for these to be released I was underwhelmed with the overall feel when I finally had the opportunity to swing one. This is likely in part to the fact that I could only demo a single club that could not be adjusted for lie or shaft configuration. I felt the Project X shaft was a bit to harsh for me. For the money (and money was not a deterrant) and considering the surprising playability of the S56, I chose this route. I can't be happier to date. The only knock I might have is that the finish wears fairly quickly on the S56. I have TT DG S300 shafts and love em.
  • BirdieBobBirdieBob PXG Members Posts: 4,130 ✭✭
    Which of Pings Tour Players are using the Anser irons?



    #1 Player in the World, Westwood....Nope;





    Which ones?

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  • duffer888duffer888 Members Posts: 1,874 ✭✭
    I thought they felt better than i15s, but not for the price. At $800-900, I might game them. At $1300, no way.
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  • hvilletnhvilletn Members Posts: 247 ✭✭
    BirdieBob wrote:


    Which of Pings Tour Players are using the Anser irons?



    #1 Player in the World, Westwood....Nope;





    Which ones?




    I believe Calc and Chopra are . . . not many others. I was actually encouraged by Daniel Summerhays (new PGA Tour pro) to try the S56s. He indicated that he thought the overall playability is better. Hard to tell with my limited experience to compare the two, but, as I stated in my previous post, the S56 is about as forgiving of a tour player's iron as I can imagine.
  • pappaf2pappaf2 Members Posts: 3,471 ✭✭
    Great looking irons! I love seeing the pictures of the clubs being assembled. Thanks for posting those up. image/coolpics.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':coolpics:' />
  • radtechradtech Members Posts: 1,073 ✭✭
    I think they are just fancy looking i15's
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