Review: Ping S56 Irons
Starting with the things that remain the same. The head shape is virtually unchanged. Looking at the sole, the face, the grind, the hosel, you can hardly tell the two apart. The brushed satin finish is basically exactly the same too. The shaft options and grips are all about the same. If you were looking at the s57 irons and didn’t pull the trigger, seriously consider the s56 irons.
The little differences start with the tuning bar in the back behind the sweet spot. The shape is a little different, a bit more triangular. The weight is cut out of the middle a little and moved to the corners. This change alters the feel and forgiveness for the better. They hit a little straighter than the s57 irons and feel a little softer, or at least the vibrations are dampened more by the new polymer tuning bar.
Another improvement is the grooves, now conforming to the USGA competition groove rule. While on many clubs this is a disappointment, on these it was an improvement for me. I found, and I’ve read that many others found that the s57irons too spinny. While that did allow for creativity and shot shaping, it also led to a loss of distance and excessive spin on approach shots. The s56 irons are a good 1/2 club longer than the s57s and have much better spin control.
Forged vs. Cast is a constant argument among club connoisseurs. These are cast and their durability is phenomenal, and the new design lessens the gap between the two in feel. While I’ve been a forged fan for my golfing career, these will get serious time in my bag this year because they feel really quite nice and I’ve shot some of my best scores with them this year.
I have mine fitted with KBS shafts which fit my game perfectly. If you are going to order a custom set with these shafts make sure to get your swingweight custom set too, otherwise these can get a little light. I had mine made to a perfect D3. They all came in spot on.
Ping continues to offer the best and easiest fitting in the market. You have color codes to get the right lie angle. You can then get them custom made to your preferred length and topped with whatever grip and size you need. There is no reason to have a set of Ping irons that doesn’t fit.
Comparing the Ping s57 and the s56 side by side in the store, it might be hard to see the differences, but on the course, the subtle improvements are well worth it and really made a good set of irons a great set.
For more information: www.ping.com
–blade-like shape might be too demanding for some.
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