History’s Mysteries: The REAL Story of the PING Eye 2
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History’s Mysteries: The REAL Story of the PING Eye 2

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History’s Mysteries: The REAL Story of the PING Eye 2

Welcome back, fellow Golf Spies, to another edition of History’s Mysteries. This week, our traipse back in time delves into the real story of the best-selling iron in golf history, the PING Eye 2.

Conventional wisdom says the PING Eye 2 was a revolutionary breakthrough in golf club design. Karsten Solheim, many say, cracked the forgiveness code when the PING Eye 2 hit the streets in 1982. Further, the pundits say Karsten revolutionized iron spin when he invented square, or U-shaped, grooves. What’s more, those grooves were such a competitive advantage that both the USGA and the PGA TOUR banned the Eye 2 for spinning the ball too much.

Friends, none of that conventional wisdom is true.

An image of the PING Eye 2 golf club

The PING Eye 2 was simply the culmination of two decades worth of research, development and good old-fashioned innovative engineering. The fact that it became the top-selling iron in golf history, not to mention a legendary icon, is simply the result of a perfect storm.

So let’s fire up the Hot Tub Time Machine and set a course for 1961. That’s when the PING Eye 2 story really begins.

History’s Mysteries: The PING Eye 2 Back Story

The PING Eye 2 was officially released in the fall of 1982. It followed the original Eye, which was launched in 1978, and the PING Karsten irons, which were launched in 1969. But the PING Eye 2 DNA actually traces back to 1961 and Karsten’s first iron set, the PING 69.

An image of the PING 69 golf club

Karsten Solheim started making putters in his garage in 1959 with the crazy idea that a perimeter-weighted putter wouldn’t twist as much if you didn’t hit the center of the face. By 1961, he was thinking about how perimeter weighting would work with irons. He had become friendly with Ted Woolley, owner of Golfcraft, which at the time was one of the largest golf club manufacturers in the world (and would eventually be acquired by Acushnet). Karsten explained his ideas for a golf club and Woolley generously supplied Karsten with enough unfinished forged club heads to make 100 sets of irons.

Karsten drilled and milled out a pair of linear cavities: a shorter, smaller one close to the sole and a wider, longer one higher up. The result? The first perimeter-weighted iron.

“Karsten’s thing was that he viewed the golf club as being like a tennis racket,” PING company historian Rob Griffin tells MyGolfSpy. “He wanted the weight around the perimeter.”

The PING 69 forged golf clubs

The original PING 69 irons and their successors, the 69 Ballnamics and the Anser irons, were all forged and were the opposite of what was being sold at the time. Conventional forged irons, such as the Wilson DynaPower, featured extra mass behind the hitting area, not less. But Karsten was convinced his crude first efforts at perimeter weighting would make it easier for the average golfer to hit a straight shot.

The Karsten Irons

The first PING iron to actually look like what we think of now as a PING iron was the Karsten I. It launched just one month after man landed on the moon and looked like something Neil Armstrong used to dig up some moon dust.

The PING Karsten I iron

“Karsten didn’t care,” says Griffin. “He wasn’t looking for beauty. He was looking for function.”

It’s impossible to overstate how radical the first Karsten iron (the K-I, as it was known) truly was. Its hollowed-out cavity created exaggerated perimeter weighting. The toe itself sloped sharply to the heel and it had a very generous offset. Most importantly, it was an investment-cast iron made from the same 17-4 stainless steel being used in the aerospace industry.

In And The Putter Went…PING, an exhaustive history of PING, author Jeffrey Ellis writes that club pros were not fans.

“Send me a dozen putters,” Ellis quotes one pro as saying. “But keep those ugly irons out of my shop.”

“That’s the worst-looking golf club ever made,” said another.

PING Karsten I irons.

Looks aside, it just worked. The perimeter weighting did its job and off-center hits were still long. And the lower center of gravity, thanks to the hollowed-out cavity, produced higher launch angles and, ultimately, more distance. The K- I earned its first PGA TOUR win in 1970 and, as more golfers tried them and liked them, the better looking they got.

Karsten updated the line throughout the 1970s, adding the K-II, K-III and K-IV irons. By that time, the investment-casting thing was catching on.

“You can reproduce the same exact club head time after time,” explains Griffin. “Karsten was an engineer who worked in aerospace. His standards for quality were at the highest level. Investment casting allows you to make exact copies after exact copies.”

Eye For an Eye 2

Between putters and the Karsten irons and woods, PING was starting to move. By the end of the ‘70s, the company compound had grown to more than 75,000 square feet over 15 acres, with more than 300 employees. And, in 1978, PING gave us the Eye.

The original Eye was more compact than the Karsten irons. The cavity was reengineered to look like an eye and more weight was moved to the perimeter. Additionally, the Eye featured progressive hosel offset and sole contours throughout the set.

The PING Eye iron.

The Eye was current through the fall of 1982 until PING introduced the Eye 2 in a tiny ad in Golf World magazine.

The new Eye 2 featured a longer blade than the Eye. The face was taller, the topline thinner and the eye-shaped cavity was refined. And the grooves? They were the traditional V-shape in accordance with long-standing USGA guidelines.  

In short, the 1982 PING Eye 2 was a noticeable upgrade over the original Eye. But the upgrade was evolutionary, not revolutionary. Nevertheless, it was a huge success. By the following summer, PING’s workforce more than doubled and the plant was pumping out 5,000 golf clubs a day.

An image of the PING Eye 2 golf iron.

Things were good at PING. But everything was about to go U-shaped.

1984 and U-Shaped Grooves

1984 was a memorable year. Michael Jackson’s hair caught fire, Wendy’s asked “Where’s the Beef?” and Wham! asked that you wake me up before you go-go. It was also the year the PING Eye 2 became the PING EYE 2.

As mentioned, the original Eye 2 irons sold from 1982 to 1984 had regular V-shaped grooves. But PING engineers noticed that the USGA had changed its rules for 1984 to allow U-shaped grooves, largely due to the fact that investment casting couldn’t make a true V-shaped groove.

“The bottom of the V would fill in with material,” says Griffin. “You’d basically be left with a U-shape anyway.”

An image of the PING Eye 2 golf club.

Forged irons had issues with V-grooves, as well. In fact, forged-iron V-grooves would actually have parallel sides for the first 0.003 to 0.005 of an inch, even though the rules didn’t allow it.

Since the USGA changed the rule to allow for a U-shaped groove, Karsten figured he could use it.

“I don’t think he thought the grooves would provide better spin,” explains Griffin. “He just thought it would be better from a manufacturing perspective. We were the first ones on the market with those grooves and people perceived that it made the ball spin better.”

PING Eye 2 BeCu irons.

So PING used the new grooves in the updated standard Eye 2 as well as in the new beryllium copper BeCu models. Lost to history, however, was a new patented neck design for the Eye 2 which allowed the head to move at impact and create more backspin.

However, it was those Eye 2 BeCu models that would start causing PING some problems.

Shredded Balata

For some reason, the new U-shaped grooves on the Eye 2 BeCu models were chewing up balata balls like crazy on Tour. The specs were the same as the standard steel Eye 2 but BeCu models were marring balls while the steel Eye 2 models weren’t.

Titleist found its pros were turning its balatas into shredded wheat each week and asked Karsten if he could do anything. So Karsten added a bit more radius to the edge of the grooves to smooth them out. As a favor. To a competitor.

And that’s when the war started.

The USGA’s new 1984 rule specified that the distance between the edges of adjacent grooves must not be less than three times the width of the groove. The rules, however, didn’t specify how a groove should be measured. The USGA decided to measure the distance between the grooves starting from the end of one radius to the beginning of the next radius. Karsten measured grooves according to prior USGA regulations, from the parallel portion of one groove to the parallel portion of the next one.

“That’s what got under Karsten’s skin,” says Griffin. “He felt they were changing the rules on the fly. And they adopted a way of measuring that Karsten felt had no basis in mechanics, machining or engineering.”

Essentially, the USGA was saying the Eye 2 grooves were too close together because they measured the radius as part of the groove width.

“And the difference was really the thickness of a dollar bill,” says Griffin. “Years of court battles and I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars spent fighting each other. All over the width of a dollar bill.”

It was, essentially, a pissing contest on how to measure grooves.

Sue Me, Sue You Blues

In short order, the PGA TOUR joined the kerfuffle. After complaints from Tour pros who weren’t using PING, the PGA unilaterally banned U-shaped grooves from competition, claiming extra spin provided an unfair advantage. USGA testing had concluded there was no advantage. But the Tour commissioned its own tests and found that under certain conditions, specifically out of wet, heavy rough, that square grooves did perform slightly better.

But the same test also showed that V-grooves performed better on the fairway in dry conditions.

PING ultimately sued the USGA and the PGA TOUR for $100 million each.

“Karsten wanted to prove himself right and he was defending his honor,” says Griffin. “People were calling our clubs ‘cheaters.’ And you know Karsten, the Christian man of integrity that he was, he just had to stand up for what he thought was right.”

The fight certainly wasn’t hurting sales, however. In 1985, PING was the top-selling iron in golf with an 18-percent market share. By 1988, that jumped to 28 percent. Over that same period, Hogan dropped from a nearly 15 percent share in ’85 to 5.4 in ’88. Wilson dropped from 13.6 percent to just over nine and MacGregor dropped from seven percent to 5.4.

The legal issues certainly didn’t scare off the competition. By 1987, Tommy Armour came out with the iconic 845s irons. A year later, Hogan launched the legendary Edge irons. Both featured perimeter weighting and low CG and both were designed specifically to compete with the PING Eye 2.

“We had people taking to that technology right away,” says Griffin. “They recognized Karsten’s genius in terms of club design.”

Settlements and Accommodations

PING’s lawsuit with the USGA carried on until 1990 when the two sides reached a deal. They essentially agreed to split the baby. PING would modify its tooling going forward to reflect the USGA’s method of measuring grooves while the USGA agreed to grandfather in PING Eye 2 irons made from 1984 through 1990 that featured the U-shaped grooves.

Oddly, PING never did settle the issue with the R&A. As far as the Royal and Ancient is concerned, any PING Eye 2 with ‘80s-era U-shaped grooves is still non-conforming.

The lawsuit with the PGA TOUR, however, would linger for another three years. A court did order an injunction against the Tour’s square-groove ban but a trial and a potentially ruinous (for the TOUR) anti-trust ruling were looming.

The two sides finally reached an out-of-court settlement in April 1993. There would be no admission of wrongdoing by either side and U-shaped grooves would remain legal on Tour. And the Tour agreed to pay PING’s legal fees.

“By this time, Karsten was in his late 70s,” says Griffin. “It took his time and energy away from working on new things. We had the best-selling golf club in the world. We couldn’t make them fast enough and we had to deal with all this.”

Despite the energy, effort and money spent, Griffin thinks Karsten, if he had to do it over again, would do it the exact same way.

“I don’t think he ever thought about giving in. He knew he was right and he was going to prove it. And he was right.”

Legacy and Unintended Consequences

Whenever OEMs tell us about their new irons, the conversation always turns to perimeter weighting, CG and forgiveness. It’s all the stuff Karsten was doing dating back to the crude PING 69 irons back in 1961.

“He’d feel like, ‘Of course that’s what they’re talking about. That’s the right way to do it,'” says Griffin. “Karsten really taught the golf club industry how to build the modern golf club.”

An image of PING founder Karsten Solheim.

And loft-jacking? That’s also a Karsten offshoot. Perimeter weighting and low CG increase the launch angle. allowing designers to strengthen lofts. They still get appropriate launch windows and descent angles plus a buttload more distance.

Back in the ’80s, the PING Eye 2 wrapped all that up into one not-so-lovely package. And golfers bought them like crazy.

The PING-USGA lawsuit, however, did have unintended consequences. Many feel the lawsuit and resulting controversy emasculated the USGA as a rule-making body. The theory is that the USGA became gun-shy and let the industry go wild during the ‘90s and into the new century. By failing to develop new rules and regulations that would limit technological advancement, we’re now faced with calls for a ball rollback and bifurcation of the Rules of Golf.

On the other hand, the PING-USGA issue for the first time brought manufacturers and the game’s rule-making body together and forced cooperation. Back in the ‘60s when Karsten had his first run-in with the USGA over a rules change, he learned about it from the media. As Karsten would find out, the USGA didn’t involve manufacturers in rule-making and didn’t let OEMs know about changes.

The PING lawsuit brought both sides to the table for the first time which would lead to a more collaborative relationship.

An image of a PING Eye 2 lob wedge golf club.

PING Eye 2 Postscript

The PING Eye 2 was a marvelous product but was it a breakthrough? Instead, consider it a perfect storm: the culmination of Karsten’s 20 years of work on perimeter weighting, low CG, launch, spin and forgiveness.

In reality, it was a nice upgrade over the original Eye. Circumstances, however, had different plans

The groove controversy pushed the PING Eye 2 into legendary status. And when legend becomes fact, we believe the legend. To this day, people believe the Eye 2 had U-shaped grooves from Day One. But for the first three years, it had V-grooves. People also believe Karsten invented U-shaped grooves but you could say the USGA did. And people swear the Eye 2 was deemed non-conforming because pro golfers were spinning the crap out of the ball. They weren’t. PGA TOUR pros, probably influenced by the USGA groove controversy, may have thought PING players had an unfair advantage. But reality says otherwise.

Mark Calcavecchia unwittingly became the poster boy for the spin controversy. It had to be illegal grooves that allowed Calcavecchia to stop the ball on a dime out of the rough at the ’87 Honda Classic, right? It couldn’t be the fact that he launched the ball higher than everyone else and had a steeper descent angle because he was one of the first pros to use a 60-degree lob wedge on Tour.

And let’s not forget that little neck patent that Karsten added to the 1984 PING Eye 2 models. In reality, that may have had more to do with spin than the shape of the groove.

“Over the nine years of the Eye 2, there were over 200 running changes to the club,” says Griffin. “Karsten was an engineer and was always thinking about a better design.”

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John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

John is an aging, yet avid golfer, writer, 6-point-something handicapper living back home in New England after a 22-year exile in Minnesota. He loves telling stories, writing about golf and golf travel, and enjoys classic golf equipment. “The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.” - BenHogan

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John Barba

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      Doug D.

      2 months ago

      Exceptional article, fascinating! I am 60 and have had and still play my Eye 2’s bought in ’88. Had a tour sponsored PING pro order them special for me with a heavier head weight. Don’t have the heart or desire to give them up, still play great and have been with me my entire golf journey. Many memories… unlike my ex-wives who didn’t fair and last so well! The clubs will be buried with me – my only request. Thank you Karsten, you changed the game forever.

      Reply

      Garry

      2 months ago

      i bought my Ping eye 2 blue 1 iron thru sandwedge from my friend in 84 and still play them today im 64 and a 7 handicap at my course althought the long irons are a little harder to hit these days the short irons and wedges are the best all the young guys make fun of my old clubs but they are part of my life

      Reply

      Tom Higgins

      6 months ago

      Karsten’s resume indicates a stop in Schenectady with GE. A local legend has him going around to the various club pros in the area and showing them his earlier prototypes of his Anser design. A few years earlier I imagine this was probably done with the originator of the “Schenectady Putter”.

      Reply

      mike wong

      7 months ago

      I still play with Be-Cu eye2 :) once a week… now in my 70’s….
      Love using these Cu for over 40 years…. still a 20 index :(
      But will continue using eye2 until my buddies (with new irons) beat me…..
      ahahahaha :)

      Reply

      Rich Ankotovitch

      2 months ago

      I have the blue dot ping eye 2 burllium. They wrre the most expensive irons in 1986 and i have used them for 37 years. 2 thru w. Love it!

      Reply

      Dennis Hickman

      7 months ago

      Very nice article. I have owned a set of Ping eye 2’s for over 30 years. They have served me well. Whenever I’m at the course these clubs seem to draw a crowd. Signed, (a proud owner!)

      Reply

      Tim B

      2 months ago

      My set of Ping Eye 2’s were a hand me down from my father. Cannot part with them for all the reasons described in the article AND they help me remember why I play. Thanks for the article, remember the storm around them well back in the day.

      Reply

      Jack

      7 months ago

      Was at my first Assistant pro job in 1969 when the first “K1” irons were delivered. During the unboxing I distinctly remember saying, “noth’in that ugly is EVER gonna’ be in MY bag”. Half a dozen years later I borrowed a friend’s “K1” 4 iron while out on the course. Dropped 2 consecutive shots within 3 feet of a flagstick. Sold on the spot, I finished the round, went right to my office, picked up the phone and ordered my first set of Pings. Used them for several years and was very satisfied with the results. I’m still in the business and am pleased to be able to offer Ping Clubs to golfers every day.

      Reply

      Justin

      7 months ago

      This is a great article! I was hoping there would be mention of how they came to the EYE name and who did the Graphic Design for the club – the eye logo design is iconic! And super cool – I am a graphic designer and it’s part of what I love about them. I recently picked up a full set on EBAY and plan on playing with some of them!

      Reply

      Peejer

      7 months ago

      I was a fledgling golfer back in the Eye2 days, so I didn’t follow golf manufacturing stories. I really enjoy these back-stories of Ping and how they came to dominate an industry. Thanks for doing the research and putting it all together for a very interesting story.

      Reply

      Donovan

      7 months ago

      Seems like Ping should create the Ping Eye 3 as a replacement to the G430. I bet they’d sell like crazy.

      Reply

      Donn Rutkoff

      7 months ago

      Good piece. I highly recommend the book “Karsten’s Way”. Less than $10 on ebay. Good read, the history of his golf life, going from hi-tech 1950s pre-silicon silicon valley, all the way thru his 3rd generation family running the company. He left a legacy rare in any endeavor. Around 35 great great grandchildren. He endowed women’s golf with the Solheim Cup. And strange fact, he never got a degree in engineering, he was largely intuitive and self taught. Worked at Ryan Air (Lindberg cross the Atlantic), Convair, and then at GE in the 1950s. Donated to Arizona State U and Oklahoma State U., schools that are still top NCAA golf programs. His company is obviously still at the leading edge of design. I happen to play Ping I 500 irons. A grand salute to the man!

      Reply

      Bill

      7 months ago

      Some people say “ugly,” but I LOVED the look of the Eye2. Worked in an off-course pro shop in the late 90’s and acquired a set of Eye2’s from a trade in and forever regret trading them back. I never knew the real reason we were shipped Eye2 iron sets from England to sell…now I do! We sold those pretty quickly.
      I knew the grooves had been grandfathered in through an agreement with the USGA, but didn’t remember that they were still illegal overseas. Great article.

      Reply

      Tim Gath

      7 months ago

      Recently had a Fitting at Ping and was lucky enough to visit the Vault. What a treat to see history from a great golf company. Innovators for all handicaps and customer service is fabulous!

      Reply

      Luc

      7 months ago

      Great story! My first sand wedge was a Ping Eye 2. I worked in the pro shop cleaning clubs (I was 15 at the time) and someone lost it and never came back for it (the rule at my course was that at the end of the year if it was still there, you could take it). I kept it for probably 10 years and loved it. I regret getting rid of it but I guess the grooves had to worn out by then anyway…

      Reply

      Patrick

      7 months ago

      I’ve been building clubs since the late 1980’s. Read a boat load of articles over the years about club designs. Saw my first set of K1’s in 1971 when a college teammate was using them and kicking our forged blade butts! This is the best written, most enjoyable article I have read to date! Keep ‘em coming!

      Reply

      Peter

      7 months ago

      I still have a full set of K 1s, one iron thru sand wedge plus an eye 2 sand wedge. But my favorite. Bu cu sand wedge, was lost by my son that was the best sand wedge I ever had

      Reply

      Willie T

      7 months ago

      John,
      What a Paul Harvey “Know you know the rest of story” article! To follow Karsten Solheim’s story in developing the irons that took the game to cavity back irons many enjoy today was a great read. I have a set of Eye 2 wedges (50.5, 53.5 and 56.5) that I still game on occasion. Thanks for taking us there….

      Reply

      Richard

      7 months ago

      I have the copper set,very heavy. I love these clubs and continue to play them after 40 years. Just cannot get used to lighter clubs. My great nephew, age 28 already put dibbs on these clubs when I am gone. I am 76 and still love these irons. Richard

      Reply

      Jim

      7 months ago

      In the summer of 1983 the old clubhouse at my country club burned down. Most members had their clubs stored at there. Insurance is a wonderful thing. Lots of members started gaming the new Eye 2’s. The pro made a million dollars (slight exaggeration) outfitting everyone with all the newest sticks and bags not to mention the cashmere sweaters and all those Sansabelts and Bostonian shoes that were in the lockers.

      Reply

      Bob Winskowicz

      7 months ago

      These type of articles are fantastic … what a trip down memory lane. John Barba, you are one of the best writers in the game! As John so clearly stated, when Kasten Solheim designed Ping irons, he was seeking parameter weighing. He put function over form or better said, performance over looks. The same was true with Eli Callaway when he launched the Big Bertha. Although i would never put myself in the same class as Mr. Solheim or Mr. Callaway, SQAIRZ golf footwear did the same thing. We let the science dictate the design, not the other way around. I heard the same type of critical comments. Now that we have 3 tour wins in the last three years, worn/endorsed by many of the world’s top instructors, and over a hundred of thousand of happy golfers, i don’t hear that much criticism anymore. We let the science and swing analysis software do the talking. It’s this simple, If we can improve your balance and stability, you WILL hit it farther and straighter. As they say, the pioneer always gets the arrow. Bob Winskowicz, Founder, SQAIRZ

      Reply

      Chisag

      7 months ago

      As soon as I saw the headline I knew this was another Barba article. While I am not a big fan of several MGS writers style or content, I am a huge JB fan and have thoroughly enjoyed every single article he has ever written. This one of course is no exception. Thanks John!

      Reply

      Leo

      7 months ago

      Great article
      Being a rebel and caring about function over looks(but I thought they looked great) I played Ping irons before it was cool It gave me a huge advantage as a Junior and in high school got me a full College scholarship and a chance to play professionally even with a balky putter and not a great work/practice ethic. They were so much better and easier to play it was like cheating back then and I will always be grateful to the Ping iron designers

      Reply

      mike wong

      7 months ago

      you had a balky putter ??? why didn’t you PING putters….. ???

      Reply

      Lloyd Davis

      7 months ago

      I love reading stories like these. As a history buff, and an avid golfer, it’s rare that the two come together in such an informative article. Thanks for sharing, and educating!

      Reply

      Bob Merrill

      7 months ago

      Great history lesson of an iconic brand! While I never played Eye-2 irons, I’ve used the wedges off and on, played i5s for years and now play G710s, a G400 Max driver and G430 6H.

      Reply

      Geno

      7 months ago

      Bought a set of Eye 2’s and 845s the same year (1989 I think) and still have both sets in my “collection”. They will not be sold until after I’m gone, even though I don’t play them any longer. Actually I drag them out of the basement once a season or so and play them for a week or 2, then back to the basement. I thought about re-shafting them as stiff is too stiff for this older fella (71) but I want them to remain as original as possible so if my grand son wants to sell them in another 20 years or so they will still be as they were when I got them. Kudos to Karsten for his foresight. Things would be very different today if not for him.

      Reply

      Robert Ferguson

      7 months ago

      Would you consider doing a club test on these compared to today’s clubs? I had a set back in the 90’s and loved them…although I would say that often you could not tell where on the face you were hitting the ball.

      Reply

      Hugh MacPhee

      4 weeks ago

      Robert Ferguson, it wasn’t critical where on the face you struck the ball as the club head was so forgiving it was a no-brainer to play with these clubs. I went from a 10 hcp to 4 hcp when I bought my 2nd hand Ping EYE 2 black dots from a pro over 20 years ago. I lost my 9 iron and Ping actually made me a new one but the pitch must’ve been slightly different to the original as I kept pulling it right (I’m left handed). Sadly, because the 9 iron was one of my most used clubs I made the decision to retire them and bought myself a new set of Taylor Made which I like but if Ping made an announcement that they were going to start manufacturing Ping EYE 2’s again I’d be 1st in line to buy them. Best clubs s ever.

      Reply

      David Leonard

      7 months ago

      I still actively game my Ping Eye 2 irons! At one point I had the 1 Iron through Sand Wedge! I used to take the 1 Iron to the driving range a few times a year to see if I could hit it — the pure hits (of which there were some, but very few) were out of this world and the mishits felt like smacking the ball with a 2×4.

      I am actively looking to replace my irons, but they have served me well for a very long time.

      Reply

      John

      7 months ago

      David, same here after 20 yrs, I took the 1 iron to the range last week. Same effect. Ouch!

      Reply

      Ed Woronicz

      7 months ago

      Great story, thanks for sharing! My current irons are PING G710’s, but I still have my PING staff bag with a set of Eye 2’s with the non-conforming grooves in my garage. I was certified as a Ping fitter some 25+ years ago, I’ve long stepped out from behind the counter, but still believe PING consistently makes the best golf equipment on the planet.

      Reply

      Jim Osters

      7 months ago

      I still use the Ping Eye 2 Lob Wedge. The best club I ever owned. I bought at least 6 more lob wedges after the Ping. None compare.

      Reply

      T Rowan

      7 months ago

      I have the Copper Be lob wedge and I wore the grooves out learning how to exit bunkers by hitting thousands of shots with it. I’ll never part with it.

      Reply

      Paul

      7 months ago

      Thank you for the history lesson. I knew most of those details, but the revelation about the USGA rule change and how Karsten took advantage of it just shows how much of a smart man he was. I picked up a near brand new set of Ping Eye 2 irons from 1984-1985 (based on cavity stamp) that the owner couldn’t play due to injury. These irons are still very much playable for me compared to most other old irons.

      Reply

      Rand

      7 months ago

      A neighbor gave me a set of these irons last year. They’re sitting in the shed waiting for me to find the time to put new grips on. This article will prove helpful to figure out about when they were manufactured. I’m looking forward to taking my Cleveland CG 16s out of my bag for a while so I can experience these.

      Reply

      EJW

      7 months ago

      Rand, while they were great irons in their day. The technology is since long outdated, you would be doing yourself and your game a disservice to play those irons, invest in the newest you won’t be disappointed.

      Reply

      Dave

      5 months ago

      Tell that to our club champion for the last 3 years. He could play any irons he wanted to but he still takes everybody’s money with his Eye2’s

      Darrin

      7 months ago

      Great write up. I got into golf as all of this was going down. One thing I didn’t know was the “neck patent” what was that exactly?

      Reply

      Joe

      7 months ago

      Tapered neck from the hosel down to the club head

      Reply

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    Opinion: Pro Golfers Should Still Keep Score—But Let’s Reduce the Penalty for an Incorrect Card