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Review: Ping S55 Irons

Going 1-up with the Ping S55 irons
Golf is rare when it comes to scoring.  The lower your score the better you do.  Going 1-up in a match actually means you shot one less stroke.  While most product lines get bigger numbers as the new and improved clubs come out, the Ping S-series gets smaller numbers.   I’ve played the last few versions of the S-series and liked each one, with generally the same minor complaint; feel.  It always seemed like these players clubs had a firm, clicky feel associated with cast clubs.  Ping really 1-ups themselves with the S55 irons and their improved feel still paired with the S-series playability.
At first glance the S55 irons look very similar to previous S-series irons.  Since the S56 irons were so successful, Ping took an extra year to bring these to the market.  The  S-series is known to be fairly compact at address, have a tungsten weight out on the toe, contain an insert in the cavity, and are finished with a great looking brushed treatment.  The changes are going to be very small, but significant.   Obviously the feel is the biggest factor as I’ve already mentioned.  The changed polymer insert really works.  It dampens vibrations far better than previous models.  I dare say these are the best feeling cast irons I’ve ever hit.  They are more muted and creep in on that pure forged feel.


Also the muted feel is more solid because the cavity now has a single weight bar directly behind the sweet spot.  This offers the feeling of more mass right behind the ball.  I really noticed the changed feeling as our fall weather started getting colder. The previous S-series irons had an apparent harsher feeling in the cold, but these didn’t have that drastic difference.  The muted solid feeling of these irons should be a huge selling point paired with the durability of cast for an almost forged feel.

I had a set built with my tried and true favorites, KBS Tour stiff flex shafts.  They all came in spot on at D2, even with the KBS shafts.  My color is the standard black dot.  If you’ve never been fit for Pings I suggest you do, they have one of the best and easiest methods to get you in the right irons.  Standard ID8 grips top off this fine looking combo.

I hopped on my Flightscope with these to see how they compared to some other irons and if my on course results were mirrored by data.  What I found to be true both on the course and in the data is that these iron will not hit the ball further, but will be more accurate.  I tested them on the range and when all my testing was done, the circle of averages with these irons was the smallest in width and depth. It was only couple yards each way smaller, but in a game of inches that can add up to strokes.  Not only were the end result good, also how it got there was great.  Each shot had high, non-ballooning flight that landed softly.  I really had consistency with all the data on these clubs. While I used the averages below, the variation wasn’t far from these numbers.

While the S series has been billed as a players club and they are what the pros play, they offer adequate forgiveness for even a mid handicapper.  The cavity back design paired with the Tungsten toe weight creates a balanced forgiving head.

The long irons are easy elevate.   While many people can hit any style of short iron, it is the long iron that can cause problems.  I found that I hit the 4-6 irons as well as any club.  I didn’t see a need to replace the 4-iron with a hybrid.  I think I actually hit it better than a 4 hybrid because I found greater control and more consistency.

The mid-irons really shine in this set.  Their slightly blunted leading edge, their high launch, and pinpoint precision helped me go low with these in the bag.  Based on the FlightScope numbers above there were pretty well spot on yardage for what I need with a very small dispersion circle.

The short irons are slightly stronger than previous S-series Ping irons which keeps the launch down just a touch but still maintained the gapping where it needed to be.  I could simply go pin hunting with these irons.  I couldn’t believe how many short irons I stuck close to the pin.

There is a reason basically the entire Ping tour staff switched over to these irons.  Ping 1-uped themselves with the S55 irons.  They are much better feeling, still offer great shot-making ability, and are even a little more forgiving.  If you are a loyal Ping player, these should be on your radar to put in the bag.  While they are not drastically different from the S56 irons, they are an improvement.  If you haven’t played a set of Ping irons, these should be high on your list to try.  Ping addressed the biggest knock on their cast irons be really improving the feel.  You too can go 1-up on your playing partners with the Ping S55 irons.

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For more information:

Quick Hits
+Improved feel
+Cast durability
+Solid at impact
+Shot-making ability
+Compact shape
+Ample forgiveness

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