The understated iBlade packs serious technology that makes it Ping's most workable and forgiving blade-style iron.
For starters, the 431 stainless steel face is thinner, stronger and generates greater rebound than the 17-4 stainless steel in the S55 irons. With more elastomer behind the face, you get a distinct softness at impact. There's help on misses, too -- four more grams in the toe helps boost the head's MOI.
In addition, the club is easier to maneuver (metal was removed from the sole near the heel), while added bounce in the long and mid-irons (2° more in the 3- to 6-irons; 1° in the 7-iron) should allow heads to glide through turf. The 3- to 9-irons are a quarter inch longer than in the S55, with stronger lofts in the 3- and 4-irons and weaker ones in the 6 to 9, for consistent distance gaps. Some of the Tour pros currently playing the iBlade include Louis Oosthuizen, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Daniel Summerhays, Brandon Stone and Andrew Landry.
The iBlade comes with True Temper Dynamic Gold steel or Ping CFS graphite shafts. Additional shaft options (Ping AWT 2.0, Project X, True Temper XP 95 and Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105) are available at no extra cost. The iBlades will be available to consumers starting August 11. Set of eight: $1,300, steel; $1,420, graphite.