OUR JOB IS YOUR GAME
Chipping-specific clubs are not a new trend. However, PING apparently has seen an opportunity in that niche market, creating the PING ChipR.
Obviously, our interest was piqued. Join us today as we dive into a performance analysis of the PING ChipR. Is it worth a spot in your bag?
PING CHIPR TESTING
As most of you know, our bread-and-butter testing is done indoors at our testing facility in Yorktown, Va., but for this unique opportunity, we took our testing outside. We utilized a short game facility at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va.
When we are conducting Most Wanted Testing or labs, our golf ball of choice is Titleist Pro V1.
The PING ChipR is designed to make chipping easier. That’s its sole purpose. So our testers hit from two different scenarios around the green: the fringe and the rough.
In each scenario, testers were given their choice of club selection. They hit 10 shots with their selection and 10 shots with the PING ChipR. During this process, we recorded proximity to the hole with testers’ gamers and the PING ChipR. Shots outside of 25 feet were considered outliers.
The testers’ handicap indexes range from 1.0 to 15.0.
Let’s check out the results.
PING CHIPR – FRINGE
A bump-and-run chip is the premise of the PING ChipR. Hitting from the fringe, a few paces from the green is an ideal scenario to test the ChipR. Now, not every golfer plays a pure bump-and-run shot in this situation. Some opt for more lofted wedges (sand wedge or lob wedge), which was evident during the test. In this scenario, a 55% of the testers had a closer proximity to the hole. Overall, the ChipR did beat out the gamers in average proximity to the hole…by 1 inch. Does it go to show that the ChipR excels with its bread and butter? There is an argument to be made. Check it out for yourself.
PING CHIPR – ROUGH
Our out-of-the-rough situation consisted of a 25-yard approach to the flagstick. With the flagstick in the middle of the green, this shot provided testers with plenty of room to execute a bump-and-run pitch with the ChipR. A lot of testers utilized a more lofted club. Most wanted to carry the ball onto the green and let it release. This is where we saw a smaller percentage of the testers benefit from using the ChipR. However, those that did saw a better proximity to the hole results versus their gamer. Even from the rough, testers were surprised with how easy the ChipR glides through the rough.
PING CHIPR – HITTING OVER A BUNKER
Acknowledging that this is not an ideal scenario for the PING ChipR, we wanted to have some fun. Every tester chose a higher-lofted wedge for this shot. Most were extremely successful in executing it. However, using a higher-lofted wedge increased the likelihood of a heavy or thinned shot.
The observation with the PING ChipR is that it allowed for more consistent strikes and enough height to carry the bunker. However, due to the low, piercing ball flight, it did not provide enough peak height to hold the green. Is hitting over a bunker with the ChipR possible? Yes. Is it worthwhile? Only if you have a lot of green to work with.
PING CHIPR – TESTER FEEDBACK
With such a unique and situational purpose, gathering feedback from our testers about this specialty club was paramount. Much like Most Wanted Testing, subjective feedback does not play a role in rankings or results. However, it gives us an opportunity to communicate golfers’ feedback about the PING ChipR. This feedback provides insight for every consumer. Here are some of our testers’ comments:
- Monty H. (1.2 index) – “A great club to potentially have in your bag. Extremely situational but allows for a great bump-and-run shot. Easy to make a repetitive, putting-like motion.”
- Floyd M. (13.5 index) – “Love it. The heavy weighting provides confidence and stability through the chipping motion. I’d play it.”
- M.C. M. (15.0 index) – “Offers tremendous upside but will take time to get use to it. The weighting is too heavy for my liking and I wouldn’t buy it.”
- Casey B. (6.9 index) – “A nice club and I’d highly recommend it for beginners, juniors or those looking for a club to provide confidence around the green.”
- John S. (10.1 index) – “Feel is good and the weighting, albeit heavy, isn’t unappealing. Easy to hit and I’d consider buying it.”
- Tom S. (8.1 index) – “Plain, simple look. I wish the scoring lines were more pronounced. I could get use to it quickly and like it overall.”
- Chris N. (5.0 index) – “Ideal product to execute a bump-and-run shot. An elevated shot is difficult to achieve so it’s one-dimensional. It assists with minimizing heavy shots and is forgiving.”
Throughout this test, we observed the playability of the PING ChipR. There are plenty of golfers who still use a gap wedge, sand wedge or lob wedge depending on different scenarios around the green. Rightfully so, especially since wedges offer versatility with loft options and bounce/grind combinations. Each of us delivers the club to the ball differently so golf wedge technology has definitely created a club for almost any circumstance.
With the ChipR, PING has created a simple-to-use specialty club. There are potential performance benefits by using it. We saw lower-handicap players successfully achieve closer proximity to the hole. It allowed higher-handicap players not to blade or chunk a straightforward chip. Regardless of your ability, the ChipR might be worth your consideration. If you have the chipping yips, if you lack confidence, if you play relatively flat golf courses, it may be the worth a spot in your bag.
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