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Review: Ping G15 Irons

Balancing your iron game.
Creating a great iron takes the right balance of forgiveness and playability.  Depending on the target audience depends on how those factors are balanced out.  Typically when you go down the “game-improvement” iron road, it means big offset, wide soles, draw biased irons.  But not everyone that needs a game improvement iron slices the ball.  Sometimes it might just be less practice and infrequency of play that the golfer might desire a “game-improvement” iron.  The G15 irons from Ping are “game-improvement” all the way, but with a slight fade bias.

I love the fitting cart and the color coded scale Ping created years ago that make sure every golfer can get the exact lie angle needed for maximum performance.  I am a red dot player.  Upon arrival of my 4-GW (or UW); I checked loft, lies and swing weights.  Just like always, they came in spot on.  I had KBS tours installed in my G15 heads topped with Pings new ID8 grips that have a dog bone pattern for maximum grip.  I hadn’t paid much attention to the stock swingweights on these irons, but at D0 they are just a tad light.  The scoring clubs did come in at D2, which felt perfect.

The G15’s design created more perimeter weighting than previous G lines.  The weight comes from a thinner more explosive face.  The 7grams of weight taken from the face are put out on the toe and a Custom Tuning Port (which might just seem like a medallion is much more than that) behind the sweetspot.  The look is a little bit much with such a busy cavity, but the new colors are great.  Black and Red really look nice on the brushed dark stainless head.

The grooves of the G15 line are now USGA conforming to the 2010 new rules of competition.  While 99% of golfers don’t need to be conforming until 2024, Ping is getting their followers ready with their new irons.  On shots hit from the fairway I found very little difference while shots out of the rough there was marginal differences at best.  I would really be surprised if the target audience of the G15 irons will be able to tell any difference.

The big feature of the G15 line has to be the forgiveness.  They are said to be one of the most forgiving iron they have made.  I would say that is probably true.  The whole face was hot and the sweet spot was huge.  The generous off-set helped square up the face at impact for the average golfer, but Ping balanced that off-set with that huge weight in the toe.  I was surprised that the G15 stock had a fade bias with those additional 7grams on the toe.  If you fight the fade already, don’t cast these clubs aside, just get them swingweighted at D2 or heavier.  That addition weight used for swingweighting in the hosel will balance out that toe weight for one of the straightest easiest hitting irons on the market.

Feel is classic cast Ping.  They are never going to pass for a forged club, but the thin face and perimeter weighting really offers a crisp, hot feel at impact.  Off-center hits need to be way off center to notice the mistake because of the huge sweet spot.

I was really happy that Ping is now offering KBS Tours as an upgrade option for all their new irons. (I think they offered them in a few previous sets.)  These shafts are really smooth feeling steel shafts.  Being backweighted they are different than many other irons shafts on the market, but with that extra weight in your hands they hit consistently high straight bombs.  I often find that KBS shafts make clubs about 5 yards longer.  Paired with the strong lofts of the G15 iron set, these were about one club longer than my other sets.  But the strong lofts are necessary because of the extreme low COG of these irons.  They definitely hit high, but do not balloon even into the wind.  It was just towering shot after towering shot with these irons.  I decided that the way the lofts were set up and the hybrids that I keep in my bag, the 4-iron through Gap Wedge or what Ping calls the Utility Wedge were the best set up.  Looking at my bag, it looked like a lot of clubs were labeled “wedge”, but still allowed me to play my normal set-up of hybrid and three other wedges.

The new G15 line really offers a lot to the golfer who needs “game-improvement” irons.  If you want fade bias (which is hard to find in a game improvement iron), go with the stock D0 swingweight.  If you don’t then go up to the D2 swingweight or even a touch heavier might be even better. They also are conforming so if your club or tournament is adopting the rule earlier than necessary, you will be ready to go.

Pings G15 line can really balance out your iron game.  If you are somewhat inconsistent, the forgiveness will help.  If you fight the hook, these will be great.  If you need legal grooves, these are ready to go.

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