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What exactly is unique about older Ping irons?


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15 minutes ago, Fellaheen51 said:

On an outing to the LGS the other day, rummaged through the used wedge bin.   Spotted a SS Zing SW (red dot).  Took it out for a waggle, placed it down at address position and eyeballed it.  Kinda a "thick" looking.  Was only $10.  Thought about it.  Couldn't get over how hideous the thing looked.  Placed it back in the bin.  Glad it wasn't close to being the right color code.  

I will admit the top line is clunky especially from what I am used to playing. But what caught my eye in the beginning was the way the leading edge sat and how it sat to my eye at address position. I think the main thing after I practiced and played it some was confidence in the fact I could get really aggressive and still stop the ball. Yep I can see why they banned them. Our traps on my home course frankly suck and are basically unplayable hard without much sand. I can blade one with that wedge because they are so hard. If I happen to get into one I use the 56 with less bounce or the 52

Edited by BIG STU
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4W Adams Tight Lies 16* Bassara 55g R flex

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Irons 5 thru PW Taylor Made TP CB Steelfiber 95 R

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What’s unique?  Prior to Ping all golf irons were blades, mostly forged.  It was believed the more mass you put behind the ball the better.  Karsten basically invented perimeter weighting from an engi

I'll add one other thing that made Ping unique... the Eye2 was the best selling iron model in golf for an entire decade.  I don't think we will EVER see that again.   Think about all of the

I agree with Londoner.  

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On 2/23/2021 at 12:32 AM, diggingestdog said:

I intend to get my father’s old Ping ISI-Ks restored. I’m aware LL Golf does great work and will probably go that route. 
 

I would like to know what is specifically unique to the Ping heads from that era, as LL Golf will only restore Ping heads from that specific time frame. There must be something or he would expand his business into other heads. I know from searching old threads it has something to do with chrome plating, or lack thereof. But what exactly is it? And are there any other older irons from other manufacturers which were made the same way and could theoretically be subject to the same restoration process?

I don't think anybody has mentioned that aside from the non-stainless varieties, most vintage Ping irons were cast of 17-4  which made them extremely durable. If memory serves (and please correct if untrue) the original Karsten irons were 431 and then changed to 17-4 when the Eye 2 were introduced. 

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Other posts have already explained the appeal and the historic significance very well - durability, pioneering perimeter weighting tech, and so on.

 

I would just add that in my experience, Ping irons from the 90s are just as playable as any current model (once you factor in the weaker lofts).  Plus, the beryllium copper sets still look fantastic.  Here's my holiday set...

IMG_20191009_105512.jpg

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  • PING G400 Max 9* Tensei Orange 60g S
  • PING Anser 17 & 20* hybrids Graphite Design 85S
  • PING iBlade 4-W Green Dot CFS 80-S +.75"
  • PING Anser Forged 50, 54, 60* Blue Dot DG Spinner +.5"
  • PING Anser Milled 1 WRX 35" PP60 // Jim Wells Anser 2 34" PP58 // Ketsch TR 400g CB
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, ColinKelvin said:

Other posts have already explained the appeal and the historic significance very well - durability, pioneering perimeter weighting tech, and so on.

 

I would just add that in my experience, Ping irons from the 90s are just as playable as any current model (once you factor in the weaker lofts).  Plus, the beryllium copper sets still look fantastic.  Here's my holiday set...

IMG_20191009_105512.jpg

 

Nice set of Cu's.  They do have a high degree of curb appeal.

 

Assess whatever validity to Maltby MPF as one deems appropriate (the value is found in the data points, not in the "score").  WTS and to your comment about playability of these OSP irons:  G710 = 749.  ISI = 805.  The point, ISI's play surprising well for 25 year old irons.  How can that be?  

 

Further.  By looking at sole shapes, one can see the design evolution that began  with the E2+, through the two Zing's, and culminated in the Integrated Strategic Innovation (ISI) models.  Before a significant design change with the i3's.  The ISI's  represented the last of an era.  

 

148212282_10158444556801996_1802202123336665184_n.jpg.221d1c368b67018d52179e4250a5f09b.jpg

Edited by Fellaheen51
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Laissez les bons temps rouler!

OGA - Mitglied Nummer Sechs

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1 hour ago, Fellaheen51 said:

 

Nice set of Cu's.  They do have high degree of curb appeal.

 

Assess whatever validity to Maltby MPF has one deems appropriate (the value is found in the data points, not in the "score").  WTS and to your comment about playability of these OSP irons:  G710 = 749.  ISI = 805.  The point, ISI's play surprising well for 25 year old irons.  How can that be?  

 

I am very sceptical about the Maltby MPF; for example I found my old i20s (459...) much easier to hit than my old S58s (778!!).  However, the ISIs definitely perform just as nicely as my current iBlades, albeit they fly higher and a little shorter (ofc this is partly to do with the shafts) and are a bit more forgiving, obviously.  It's funny to see them rated here as more playable than the G410s!!

 

ETA:  re: your additional comment about the sole shape and this being Karsten's final design - there is definitely an argument to be made that the ISI is the pinnacle of the 'classic' Ping era, pre-weight badges and more conventional shapes.  The thing I like most about the ISIs compared to previous models is that they have a thin topline so look much more pleasing at address, while still having a lot of forgiveness. The soles work for me in all conditions too, from wet parkland to dry links.  The Zing and Zing 2 lines have extremely thick toplines, which take a lot of getting used to.  I would rate the ISIs right alongside Eye 2+ as my favourite Ping irons.

 

 

Edited by ColinKelvin
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  • PING G400 Max 9* Tensei Orange 60g S
  • PING Anser 17 & 20* hybrids Graphite Design 85S
  • PING iBlade 4-W Green Dot CFS 80-S +.75"
  • PING Anser Forged 50, 54, 60* Blue Dot DG Spinner +.5"
  • PING Anser Milled 1 WRX 35" PP60 // Jim Wells Anser 2 34" PP58 // Ketsch TR 400g CB
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ColinKelvin said:

 

I am very sceptical about the Maltby MPF; for example I found my old i20s (459...) much easier to hit than my old S58s (778!!).  However, the ISIs definitely perform just as nicely as my current iBlades, albeit they fly higher and a little shorter (ofc this is partly to do with the shafts) and are a bit more forgiving, obviously.  It's funny to see them rated here as more playable than the G410s!!

 

ETA:  re: your additional comment about the sole shape and this being Karsten's final design - there is definitely an argument to be made that the ISI is the pinnacle of the 'classic' Ping era, pre-weight badges and more conventional shapes.  The thing I like most about the ISIs compared to previous models is that they have a thin topline so look much more pleasing at address, while still having a lot of forgiveness. The soles work for me in all conditions too, from wet parkland to dry links.  The Zing and Zing 2 lines have extremely thick toplines, which take a lot of getting used to.  I would rate the ISIs right alongside Eye 2+ as my favourite Ping irons.

 

 

This is precisely why I find the ISI's so playable.  Have a strong preference for thinner soled irons (narrower topline), that work in a wide variety of conditions.  But need all the game improvement help I can get.  They remain a unique design package in that regard. The subsequent G Series never have done much for me.  OK with long(er) irons, not so much with the short ones.  Could not get accustomed to the turf interaction with wide(r) soles.  Felt like they required me to adapt my swing to play the irons.  Always called it playing the Ping bounce.  Contrivances that are not required with the ISI's.  

 

 

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The MPF is derived from the club head’s Vertical Center of Gravity, Horizontal Center of Gravity, Rearward Center of Gravity, Geometric Center of the Face, Moment of Inertia.  Those values are used in a formula to determine the MPF value.  Head values only, no consideration for sole shape or shaft.  I’ve read that for mere mortals it takes at least a 100-150 point difference in MPF to feel a difference.  It simply “quantifies” the mass and dimensional characteristics of the head for comparison purposes.  
 

A few years ago I was frustrated with golf (18-20 HC) and read up on MPF.  When I say “read up”, I read the Maltby books on the subject, his fitting and club building books.  I know it’s the archer not the arrow, but I was frustrated.  I then went to a big box store with a lot of used clubs and proceeded to “test” MPF.  That day I became a believer.  I walked out with a slightly used set of Ping Gmax irons.  Those clubs are cheater forgiving, MPF 939, lack feel, and the occasional +10 to 15 yarder is ever present.  But they get the ball up and are incredibly forgiving (direction and distance loss).  With the Gmax I got to a 12.  Now it’s not all club as I’ve tried to improve. 
 

MPF is not a be all end all, but it will get you in a ballpark to allow forgiveness comparisons.  Two items in MPF that I look for are the vertical center of gravity and what Maltby calls the C-dimension.  I need lower VCOG to help my fairly slow club head speed launch the ball.  My miss is toe side so I know the larger the C-dimension, the better the club for me.

 

Now I’ve started swinging fitted Maltby TS-1 irons with an MPF of 701.  Compared to the Gmax, my ball flight and spin are better due to the mass characteristics, loft, and some would be the shaft.  MOI and the C-dimension are smaller, but now I have a better idea where the ball met the club.  Distance has actually increased, but that has more to do I think with (yes, this is the case) a heavier shaft as I swing that better.  I never thought I would be able to swing a great feeling club, but can with good results for me.  If curious, I was fit for the Gmax, shaft fit matched and lies were adjusted.  I’ve only played three nines (weather) with the new clubs (but a ton of range balls) and the results were 40, 39, 42.
 

What my Gmax has over the TS-1s are less distance loss for my  bad toe hits and maybe a little less loss when I catch it thin.  The TS-1 has great feel, better launch, better spin, better dispersion and enough forgiveness for my game now. As crazy as it sounds, I find the TS-1 better through the turf for me, but MPF doesn’t have anything to do with sole shape.

 

 

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@NCDuffer Since you went there with MPF.  Delved into it trying to understand why I had struggled playing i20 irons over a three year period.  Very much love/hate relationship.  They were OK if I had a steep A of A, ample amounts of forward shaft lean, positioning the club into a certain position prior to the swing. Far too many thinned short game shots.  Compared to when I played the '99 Hogan Apex MB irons that I also play occasionally.  Theoretically, a much more difficult iron to hit effectively.  Yet, the Hogans did not require all this manipulation of the club and altering my natural swing path.  Simply sole the club and fire.  Very perplexing.  

 

Some of the explanation was to be discovered with MPF, specifically the AVCOG.  The i20's = .871, '99 Apex = .783.   As a seasoned golfer with diminished club head speed, a shallower swing plane, find that irons below .840 assists with launching the ball up and away.   Amongst other factors.  But the "numbers" did offer some plausible explanation to what I was experiencing.  And definitely something I take into consideration in evaluating potential iron playability in my hands.  

 

FWIW, the modernist set is TS-1's.  Splendid irons, that are for the time being matched up with unsuitable shafts.  Thought I was of a certain age that LW graphite (~72g) would be beneficial.  Only through discovery that I realized that I couldn't control dispersion or where the ball was heading.  Couldn't feel the club during the swing.  Tempo became messed up.  Options moving forward are being evaluated.  In the meantime, playing the ISI's with 115g steel just fine.    

 

 

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

OGA - Mitglied Nummer Sechs

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