PING i59 Forged Irons – Key Takeaways
- Replacements for the five-year-old iBlades
- i59 are multi-piece construction, better-player irons, with added forgiveness
- Presale and fitting starts today, retail availability later in September
We can tell you one thing for sure about the new PING i59 forged irons.
Or maybe they’re not, depending on your definition of “forged.”
Can you call a multi-piece/multi-material iron forged if the piece that actually hits the ball isn’t forged? Does that count as forged? Does it really matter?
If you’re the type who swoons like a lovesick eighth-grader over a nice set of 1020 or 1025 forged throwbacks, you might consider the above a crime against humanity. But, then again, if you want to get the damned ball in the damned hole in as few damned strokes as possible, and do it with a little damned style, PING might have the attention-getter of the fall season.
If you have the game—and the wallet—for it.
PING i59 Forged Irons: Say Goodbye to iBlade
If there was an Ancestry.com for golf clubs, you’d find a direct DNA link between the new PING i59 forged irons and PING’s original S59 from 2003. Compared to PING’s more traditional offerings, the S59 was smaller, thinner-soled and better-player-centric. And while you couldn’t call it a blade, it was more blade-like than anything else PING’s offered.
Over the next decade, PING would update the S59 by going backward in number. The S58 arrived in 2006, followed by the S57, S56 and, finally, by the S55 in 2013. The next iteration, in 2016, was the iBlade. Like its predecessors, it wasn’t really a blade, thanks to elastomer inserts and a buttload of tungsten. But at least it kinda-sorta looked the part.
The PING i59 replaces the iBlade. And while it looks like a one-piece forged muscle-back—it even says “forged” on the hosel—the i59 is kind of an inverse mullet: all business on the outside but a party on the inside.
What Makes Forged Forged?
The old rules on what constitutes “forged” haven’t just been rewritten. They’ve seemingly been scrapped. Advances in manufacturing are giving OEMs some wiggle room so a multi-material iron can be called “forged” even if the part that hits the ball isn’t.
The PING i59 is that kind of forging.
The i59 head features three distinct pieces that are swaged and plasma-welded into a single unit. The body is a legit 1025 carbon steel forging while the face is laser-cut high strength 17-4 stainless steel. The third piece is the tech story for the i59—the aerospace-grade AlumiCore™ insert.
“This is a new technology,” says Ryan Stokke, PING’s Director of Product Design. “We’re manufacturing individual cores for every single iron loft that are one-third the density of traditional stainless steel.”
That, dear reader, is a lot.
“Roughly 30 grams of material is removed from the core of each iron that we can redistribute,” Stokke adds. “It’s great for MOI and has a direct impact on feel.”
While feel is subjective, MOI isn’t. The mass freed up by AlumiCore™ is shifted throughout the body with extra tungsten weighting in the toe and heel. The end result? The i59 has the same MOI as its bigger, older and more perimeter-weighted brother, the i210.
“That’s a great thing to deliver considering the size of this iron and the forged nature of the design,” says Stokke. “That we’re able to boost the MOI to that extent is really going to show on the Tour level as well as for the consumer.”
Ultimately, the PING i59 is an iron that looks more like a forged blade than its iBlade predecessor, with a healthy dollop of forgiveness mixed in. If you can game an i210, you should be able to game the i59.
A Groovy Finish
If there’s one thing better than grooves, it’s more grooves. That’s the theory behind PING’s new MicroMax™ Grooves. PING is tightening up the spacing between the grooves on i59. That allows them to jam four more rows of grooves onto the face.
Additionally, PING is changing the actual groove geometry to a 20-degree sidewall versus a 16-degree sidewall in the iBlade.
“There are a couple of key reasons for doing that,” says Stokke. “One, we can reduce flyers in the short irons. And we can maintain spin better in the long irons. That will show up for players hitting out of different conditions.”
And, as you’d expect, the PING i59 irons feature PING’s signature Hydropearl 2.0 finish to shed moisture for better performance in wet conditions.
PING staffers Viktor Hovland, Corey Conners and Hunter Mahan, among others, have already swapped their iBlades for the new i59 irons.
“We’ve had about 40 Tour wins with iBlade,” says Stokke. “In terms of size and shaping, there are a lot of similarities between i59 and iBlade. The bounce, the blade length and the offset are all very similar.
“But we wanted cleaner looks overall. Trajectory-wise, we wanted to make it launch lower and bring a little more flighted trajectory to the design. We also wanted a forged design and better feel.”
PING i59 Forged Irons: Specs, Price and Availability
The new PING i59 irons will be available in 3-iron through pitching wedge in both left- and right-handed models. The set will be available in all 10 of PING’s fitting color codes.
As has become standard for PING, the i59 irons will be available in three loft options. The stock loft option is what passes for industry standard for better player’s irons and is based on a 34-degree 7-iron. PWR Spec is more distance-oriented, albeit slightly, with lofts one to two degrees stronger across the set.
And for the Loft Police, there’s Retro-Spec, with lofts anywhere from 1.75 to two degrees weaker than the stock lofts.
The stock steel shaft is the Project X LS which PING says is for fast-tempo golfers who want lower launch and lower spin. PING’s AWT (Ascending Weight Technology) 2.0 shaft will also be available. Stock graphite choices include PING’s Alta CB Slate (Senior, R- and S-flexes), the Alta Distanza Black 40 (Senior only) and the UST Recoil.
No upcharge steel options include True Temper Dynamic Gold, DG 105, DG 120 and Elevate 95, KBS Tour and Nippon’s NS Pro Modus3 105.
Golf Pride’s MCC Arccos grip in black and white is the stock grip. The Tour Velvet and Tour Velvet cord are optional.
The PING i59 irons aren’t for the budget-conscious golfer. Stock steel goes for $275 per club and stock graphite is $290 per club. Fittings and pre-order for the PING i59 start today. They’ll hit retail later in September.
For more information, visit PING.com.