WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: When you think of Ping, “forged” is not a word that comes immediately to mind. That might change with the introduction of its latest Blueprint irons, the S and T. As Ping chief executive and president John K. Solheim said, “Our two Blueprint irons represent a new strategy for us in the forged-iron category. With the forged and forgiving cavity-back design of the ‘S’ and the traditional muscle-back shape of the ‘T’, we’re targeting a wider range of golfers who prefer tour-style forged irons.”
PRICE: Available for pre-order immediately, the Blueprint S and Blueprint T each cost $420 per iron in stock steel and $440 per club in stock graphite.
3 COOL THINGS
1. Problem solved. The company claims an industry first with its ability to forge a pocket into the cavity of the 3, 4 and 5-irons in the Blueprint S. The pocket saves 10 grams of weight, which is re-allocated to increase the moment of inertia (which helps mitigate ball speed loss on mis-hits) and optimise the centre-of-gravity position for more distance and trajectory control. To assist sound and feel, an elastomer insert is concealed in the pocket of the these irons.
“The ability to design a pocket into a forged iron in this way is an industry first,” said Solheim. “We developed a solution to a never-before solved problem. Until now, this level of long-iron forgiveness and the forging process have been mutually exclusive.”
2. Not your grandfather’s forged iron. Ping’s S-series irons were long known as the company’s irons for better players, so it’s no surprise the company would lean in on that heritage in developing its Blueprint S iron.
A forged, cavity back iron, the S boasts a compact shape in its 8620 carbon-steel head with a thin topline and minimal offset – or what one would expect in an iron geared at better players. The forged irons are essentially two sets in one. In addition to forged pocket long irons, the shorter irons are single-piece forgings that encourage more ball flight control.
The irons are more than just shape, however. They employ toe screws ranging from 1 to 11 grams to assist CG placement while the face and grooves are milled to precise tolerances into each head. The HydroPearl 2.0 finish also assists shots perform better in wet conditions. While the lofts are fairly standard for a forged iron (45-degree pitching wedge), the company has made its Retro Spec (weaker lofts) and PWR Spec (stronger lofts) available.
3. The T should stand for talent. The S model can be played by a wider swath of players. The T, however, should be viewed solely by those with mad skills. A classic muscle-back design in look, the single-piece, 8620 carbon-steel clubhead was developed to put a premium on trajectory control and feel. By concentrating mass through the impact zone to ensure a pleasing sound and feel with the workability better players desire.
A shorter heel-face height allows the hosel transition to blend smoothly into the top rail, creating a clean, distraction-free appearance at address. The narrow soles enable consistent turf interaction from all conditions. Precision-milled grooves ensure the preferred launch and spin for players who rely on such things for control. A high-density toe screw and shaft tip weight provide precise swingweight control and a slight boost in MOI. Adding to control is a shaft length a quarter of an inch shorter than the S model.
“Traditionally, an iron like the Blueprint T relies as much on the skill level of the player as it does on the technology,” Solheim said. “We understand that, but we’re always looking for ways to improve every iron we design. In the Blueprint T, every detail is extremely precise and calculated to ensure the performance demanded from a forged blade.”