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Ping i10 Iron Fitting

ualtim

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Well, its been about 13 years since I bought a brand new, new set of irons. Over the past several years, I have acquired used sets and built component sets to offset the high cost of acquiring a new set of premium irons. Along the way, I have played forged blades, forged cavity backs, cast blades, cast cavity backs, cast progressive sets, and multi material super game improvement irons. While had some favorites along the way, no iron set really stood out enough to make me want to get rid of the rest of them until last fall when I received my set of Ping Eye 2 + irons.

As far as fittings go, my initial fitting over 13 years ago was done a Golf USA near the Manchester, NH airport. At time the time, it was really well done fitting. While it was conducted inside hitting into a net, I went through a few of the iron sets I was interested in, and once narrowed down, went through a more detailed static and dynamic fitting searching out the final lie, length, and shaft flex. After hitting all of the different combinations, I ended up standard lie and length and walked out with a set of MXD irons which I played some of my best golf with (please note, I was also playing 3 to 4 times a week back then.)

A few years later, I started experimenting with component clubs and built up some wedges and a driver using guidance from Golfsmith and progressed over the next decade gradually picking up more tools and measuring devices to help properly fit myself and others. Using the old fingertip to floor ruler of the day, I ended up self fitting into under length irons and found my long iron game improve, but lost a little in the short game department. Later, when wrist to floor became the standard static measurement, I ended up revising my shaft lengths back to standard and found that my short game picked up, but could no longer hit the long irons as well and eventually turned to hybrids. Once Golfsmith opened up some local stores when I was in Illinois and now Florida, I would go in for a fitting just to see if anything had changed. I always fell into the standard length/lie when all was said and done.

For the past several years, I have been a strong proponent of component based clubs and buying premium sets used at a discount and adjusting them to my needs. Unfortunately, the set of irons I fell in love with require a lot more skill, strength, and heat to pull shafts from and modify than I posses. Either I took the risk of damaging the clubs or payed someone else to potentially damage the clubs that may not be easily/cheaply replaceable. Armed with that dilemma and the fact that Ping had just released the i10 model that I fell in love with this year, I decided to bite the bullet and go get the full Ping fitting and pay for a new set of irons.

Since you are pretty much assured of paying the same price for a set of Pings no matter which retailer you choose, I decided to choose the local retailer who had the best facility and reputation for fitting Pings. In my area, it was the Edwin Watts super store. After setting my appointment time with the assistant manager, I showed up a bit early to have a look around. I arrived armed with a lot of research on my desired model (i10)including Ping WRX options. When the assistant manager arrived, he just happened to have the Ping regional representative with him today in store so the three of us went off to the fitting room.

Once inside the fitting room, we went through the preliminary static fitting using a set of Ping designed devices to come up with a lie angle and length. Armed with standard length and blue dot lie (.75 upright), the assistant manger started pulling the group of iron to be hit and I started the interview process with the Ping rep. We discussed my game and current irons to determine where my issues are currently. I explained my perceptions of my swing and where I wanted to go with a new set of irons. My ball flight has always been high and I have been working to try and lower it for the past two years without a whole lot of success. I also went through my preferences in head shape and preferences in iron design. I knew going in, the i10 was the only Ping model that I would be interested in, and after discussing it during the interview, they agreed as well. Going into a G10 or Rapture would only increase my ball height, and my ball striking is not good enough to take advantage of the S58's. If I did not like the i10's, I would not be getting a new set of Pings.

The dynamic fitting took place on a simulator inside Edwin Watts, and it is by far the best simulator/launch monitor I have hit on. Running through some warm up shots, I was amazed by the amount of information that was given as feedback during and after the shot. I am not too much of a numbers guy, so I really appreciated the visual feedback the simulator provided. Not only did you get the traditional views of the shot using tracking lines and data numbers, it also produced a large view of a golf ball with spin axis and rate so that you could really get a good idea very quickly how the ball came off your club face. The sim was set up as a driving range with targets, target greens, and distance signs so you could get immediate feedback on your shot without having to go through a string of numbers and data mine the ones you want. Great technology here.

After the warm up, we went into the dynamic fitting. In between shots we would continue to discuss my game, desired results, and how the previous shot felt versus the performance achieved. I was really impressed with the feel of the i10. For a cast club, it has a really good face feel, to me. When I felt like I missed the ball out of the sweet spot toward the toe, the data on the screen and the ball mark on the face confirmed my feel. After running through a series of clubs going up and down the lies in my static fit range, it was determined that I was indeed a Blue Dot. As I was handed clubs and discussed the shots, I made an effort not to look at the color dots or any labels as not to taint my opinion of the club in hand. At some point during my dynamic session, the Ping rep asked me how I liked the club in my with with I had just hit two of the best shots of the day. Apparently, while discussing my shots and faults and viewing a couple of slightly thinned shots he had put me into a +1/4 inch length. After another series of shots it was determined that my best shots were coming with the +1/4 shaft. Also, during the discussion and fitting, we started mixing in the AWT shaft and ZZ65 shaft. Initially, I did not know which was which (and wanted it that way, as I my self fitting would have favored the ZZ65) and after a series of my feedback after shots and how the felt, my best shots and reports of better feel came from the ZZ65's. More importantly, my ball flight was better (lower) and distance was increased. The final result? Blue Dot, +1/4", ZZ65 Stiff.

Dynamic fitting completed, it was down to the details. We went over to the wedge display to discuss wedge options. Using my favorite club these days around the green, my Ping Eye 2 + PW, I was in favor of sticking with i10's though out the wedges, but with a custom grind. We discussed my current wedges (Srixons) and reviewed Ping's series of tour Wedges as well as the i10. In the end, we decided to stick with the i10's but with the Ping WRX ST Custom grind to take off some of the back edge, heel, and remove some of the bounce.

We wrapped up the fitting experience back in the office going over all the details, and of course, ponying up the money to pay for them. We went over all of the details step by step, made up the order form to send to Phoenix, watched Tiger hit a ridiculously impossible bunker shot at Torrey, and said our good byes. Some time next week, I will be receiving a set of Ping i10 Irons 5-PW, UW, SW, LW, Blue Dot, +1/4, with Corded Ping white sized grips.

ualtim
:smilie_pi
 

SiberianDVM

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Sweet.

I really liked the G10s when I hit them, but I'm having too much fun with my Mizunos right now to consider buying a set.
 
OP
ualtim

ualtim

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No doubt, Mizunos are fine irons as well. I really like the MP-60's, but I am hoping that these i10's well end the iron progression I have been going through in the past 3 years. My short game with my current Eye 2 +'s is about as good as its ever been, I am hoping to advance that with the i10's and the additional Ping Wedges.
 

MCDavis

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Wait, you're REPLACING the WG 504's??? NOW who am I gonna sell my 56 to?? ;)

I really can't believe you're replacing the Srixon's.
 

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
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Wait.....WHAT! You're kicking the Srixons to the curb? Did you get the chance to test the MacGregor DW wedge? What did you think of it?

To quote the immortal words of one named Tim - "You'll be back. you know you will."

Great report BTW. I hope you are delighted with your new clubs.
 
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ualtim

ualtim

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Wait, you're REPLACING the WG 504's??? NOW who am I gonna sell my 56 to?? ;)

I really can't believe you're replacing the Srixon's.

Yes and no. I really love my EYE 2+ PW around the greens and feel as though I have more control of the ball than I do with Srixons. I can not wait to get the other wedges in the bag and see if I can find the same level of control through out the different lofts. Of course, the Srixons are not going anywhere. They may end up back in the bag at the end of the day. Unlike my neighbor in Tampa, I will not be selling off the Srixons anytime soon. I may have gone 50*, 54*, 58* in the Srixons if they made the 50*, but they don't.
 

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
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Wait, you're REPLACING the WG 504's??? NOW who am I gonna sell my 56 to?? ;)

I really can't believe you're replacing the Srixon's.
Great minds think alike. We typed these posts at the same time.
icon12.gif
 
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ualtim

ualtim

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Wait.....WHAT! You're kicking the Srixons to the curb? Did you get the chance to test the MacGregor DW wedge? What did you think of it?

To quote the immortal words of one named Tim - "You'll be back. you know you will."

Great report BTW. I hope you are delighted with your new clubs.

Srixons relagated to the bench for now. I did like the Macgregor DW wedges, but not enough to kick out the Srixons. I should have a full review of the MacGregor gear soon, I am thinking one more range session with them to give them a full test run.

The only reason the Srixons are going are the ease of use I have found with the Eye 2+ around the greens. I have more consistant / cleaner contact with the Ping and I feel that will continue with the i10's, especially with the TS Grind. It is very similar to the Eye 2+ wedge grind and I am expected good things. Heck, I may even park my driver and add a fifth wedge. :laugh: Well, maybe not. :D
 

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
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Srixons relagated to the bench for now. I did like the Macgregor DW wedges, but not enough to kick out the Srixons. I should have a full review of the MacGregor gear soon, I am thinking one more range session with them to give them a full test run.

The only reason the Srixons are going are the ease of use I have found with the Eye 2+ around the greens. I have more consistant / cleaner contact with the Ping and I feel that will continue with the i10's, especially with the TS Grind. It is very similar to the Eye 2+ wedge grind and I am expected good things. Heck, I may even park my driver and add a fifth wedge. :laugh: Well, maybe not. :D
If you can swing a deal on any of the MacGregor gear that you don't want, let me know.
 

chemboy2

M634
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Sep 23, 2004
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Great post and an even better decision IMHO!

While my fitting wasn't quite as thorough (I wasn't lucky enough to have a rep on hand) it was outside so I got to see ball flight. Since then though I've addressed some swing flaws and now the CS Lite shaft is starting to balloon on me. Because of this they are getting swapped out for some AWT.

Anyway, the i10 is a great iron and I think you'll be very happy with your decision. I am a little curious about your wedge choices though. Did you give the i-Wedge or Tour-W a looksy?
 
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ualtim

ualtim

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Great post and an even better decision IMHO!

While my fitting wasn't quite as thorough (I wasn't lucky enough to have a rep on hand) it was outside so I got to see ball flight. Since then though I've addressed some swing flaws and now the CS Lite shaft is starting to balloon on me. Because of this they are getting swapped out for some AWT.

Anyway, the i10 is a great iron and I think you'll be very happy with your decision. I am a little curious about your wedge choices though. Did you give the i-Wedge or Tour-W a looksy?

Yes, didn't like the i-Wedge, and was not really enamored with the Tour-W. Even with the Srixons, I have been having some issues on the longer wedge shots, they are great around the green, but I just was not getting consistant distances out of them on 1/2 and 3/4 swings. My Eye 2+ PW has been awesome all the way around on full swings, partial swings, and chipping pitches so I am hoping to find that same magic in the i10 wedges. When discussing my current wedge set up with the fitters, one of the reasons I may be more comfortable with the Srixons versus other traditional wedges is the slightly longer face on the Srixons (which will help me a bit on the off center hits.) That, combined with some other input lead me to go with the i10 wedges versus the Tour-W. I am hoping to gain some distance consistancy on the longer swings with the cavity back/longer blade and increase the versatility on the shorter shots with the custom grind which will allow me to really open the club up in the sand and rough without excessive bounce. If I can get 4 wedges with the same characteristics of my current PW, I will be a very happy man.
 

Rockford35

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So....you went and got fitted for Pings....then you bought them....and now you're telling everyone?

That's like getting pantsed at the Super Bowl right after getting out of the pool, then bragging about it.

Ping?

Seriously?

Geeze.

Like....real Pings? Are you in the "Green Dot Club" now or anything? Do you have to buy OEM grips at all cost? How's the Karsten putter guy tatoo healing up?

R35
 

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