By STUART HALL
Ping might consider giving tour staff professional Louis Oosthuizen a nice bonus to go along with his Open Championship Claret Jug.
Oosthuizen, the South African with a tongue twister of a name, put the manufacturer’s new S56 irons and Tour-S Rustique wedges into play en route to winning at St. Andrews.
Nine days later, on July 28, Ping officially announced the new irons and wedges as part of a new equipment roll out. Liken Ping’s unveiling to Apple unveiling new generations of the iPhone, iPad and iPod in the same day.
“We couldn’t have dreamed of a better story leading up to this product introduction,” said John Solhiem, chairman and CEO, Ping Golf. “Tour validation for new product is important to its success. When it’s used to win a major before it’s officially introduced, it has a tremendous impact.”
Ping introduced the K15 Series, Faith ladies series, S56 irons, Anser irons, Tour-S wedges, Eye2 XG wedges and Scottsdale Series putters. In short, Ping brought something for everyone.
“This launch is especially exciting because of the variety of products we’re bringing to golfers,” said Solheim of product that will be available in early September. “From the super-game improvement K15s to the tour-proven S56 irons and Tour-S wedges, we’re reaching golfers of all abilities with our newest technologies.”
Here is a capsule of what the new collection offers:
• A golfer would have to go back to the 1970s to find a forged Ping iron. The technology is much more advanced today, but the irons still carry the Anser name and feature a tungsten sole. The irons were launched earlier this year in Japan and to good reviews.
• The K15 series is targeted toward players looking for that extra oomph in shaving strokes. To create heightened precision and length, the clubs use a titanium face in the irons and hybrids to help reposition weight to the sole, near the heel. The offering of 5- and 6-irons and hybrids creates flexibility in set customization.
• The Faith series is designed specifically for women — and it’s not a series of men’s clubs altered to women’s specs. As the name suggests women— who often have slower swing speeds than men — can trust that this line promotes higher launching and longer shots. The series offers a full complement of fairway woods (3, 5, 7 and 9) and blended irons/hybrids (5H, 6H, 7-9, pitching, utility and sand wedges. Also available are three new Faith insert putters.
• The Tour-S wedges are not dissimilar to Ping’s popular Tour-W line, but have more weight in the sole for a lower center of gravity and added ease in getting the ball high in the air.
• The popular Eye2 wedges get a slight upgrade in the Eye2 XG line with precision-milled, conforming grooves. In terms of classic look and performance, the Eye2 XG wedges are right behind the Vokey design. The perimeter weighting and sole are what make these wedges worth a try.
• Saving the best for last are the S56 irons. Ping uses a stabilizing bar of variable lengths to optimize the center of gravity for a specific club. The design also features variable tungsten toe weighting positions to enhance launch angles in the long and short irons.
Adams Golf must figure why mess with a good thing, because it recently announced that its fourth generation aerodynamic technology has been applied to its new Speedline 9064LS and 4G Ultra-Lite drivers. The technology essentially creates less and airflow turbulence, and that increases club head speed.
Maybe of more significance is Adams’ announcement of a distance fitting system version of the Speedline 9064LS. In addition to being able to adjust the club for face angle and loft, the consumer can adjust for club length. The driver comes with a standard shaft length of 45.5 inches and D3 swing weight, but the shaft can be adjusted to between 45 and 46 inches. Loft and face angle options can be adjusted to one degree either way.
“Shaft length may be the most dramatic factor in determining distance,” said Tim Reed, vice president of research and development, Adams Golf. “… We feel we are finally giving consumers the option to truly optimize their drivers for increased distance off the tee. With the advent of this technology, if you are not fitting your driver for shaft length, you’re not fitting properly.”