The new Ping i59 irons revealed today promise improved forgiveness and feel over the iBlade it replaces from five years ago
Ping i59 Irons Revealed
Since 2016 the iBlade has represented Ping’s compact cavity back iron for the better player and so its replacement has been long overdue.
Step up the new i59, a three-piece forged iron that has already made its way into may tour players bags including Viktor Hovland and Johannes Veerman, who won the Czech Masters on Sunday with a full set in the bag.
The big technology story is the AlumiCore that sits inside the hollow head. This is an Aerospace-grade aluminium insert that saves around 30g of weight per iron combined with forged 1025 carbon steel body and 17-4 SS laser-cut face to ensure trajectory control, forgiveness and precise shot-making.
Each iron in the set requires a different size aluminium core, adding to the precision and complexity of the manufacturing process to ensure quality and performance in every iron.
Increased toe and shaft tips weights makes the i59 as forgiving as the i210, a larger cavity back iron in the range. Golfers will also notice the new Friction face design with new MicroMax grooves that have narrower spacing (there are four more grooves than on the iBlade) with steeper sidewalls.
RELATED: Ping i59 Iron Review
The result, Ping says, is reduces fliers from the rough in the short irons, helped by the Hydropearl 2.0 finish, and more consistent spin on long iron shots.
The i59 actually has the same bounce angle, blade length, and offset as iBlade but with a thinner sole.
The 7-iron of i59 is traditionally lofted at 34°, the same as the outgoing iBlade and the Blueprint, and it is available in power and retro specs for golfers that want more or less distance respectively.
The Ping i59 irons go on sale at the end of September with an RRP of £239 per club and a Project X LS shaft as standard with multiple other no upcharge options, including Ping AWT 2.0, Dynamic Gold 120 and KBS Tour.
For a more detailed insight into the design, here’s an exclusive Q&A with Dr. Paul Wood, Ping’s VP of Engineering…
What differences will iBlade users notice with i59?
We think users will notice the significant increase in forgiveness. This is most noticeable on the significant mis-hits. “Significant” is in the eye of the beholder. My mis-hit is a little different to someone like Viktor Hovland’s, but he’s able to notice a pretty fine difference on the course. It helps both our games. There is also a significant difference in the look of the iron. We wanted to make the i59 look more like it’s little sister, the Blueprint, but with as much technology behind the scenes as we could pack in. From the back, the iron looks like a pretty pure blade, so the player doesn’t see all of the multi-material technology. They will see the distinctive toe weight – this iron uses our “tip and toe weights” to concentrate mass at the extremes of the club while allowing for a very precise build to swingweight.
Did you do a lot testing with different numbers and configurations of grooves to determine the optimum amount?
We certainly did. We use a technique called “design of experiments” which is a statistical way of testing multiple variables in the most efficient manner to establish which variables have the most impact on performance. There are many aspects we can change on the face of the club (groove depth, groove width, radius, face roughness etc) and the club regulations on grooves are rather complicated. Fortunately we have plenty of maths/stats graduates in our team to work on this. There is still a lot of noise in the data (humans are prone to a lot of variation, as I’m sure you’re aware if you’ve ever tried to play to your handicap consistently) so we need to keep running player tests and leaning on our ever improving test methods. “Optimizing” golf clubs is somewhat of a never ending quest.
Tell us something about the idea/design of the Ping i59 irons not many people know?
90% of the research and development work was in the manufacturing. It’s one thing to have the idea to sandwich aluminium between layers of steel – it’s another thing to make all the pieces fit seamlessly together in large scale manufacturing. So, the idea was kind of the easy part. Golfers will see the elegant, clean iron with amazing technology and surprisingly great performance for such a simple look. The work behind the scenes was focused on precision forging, optimizing weld lines, multiple part tolerance stack-up calculations, optimizing visco-elastic tape layers etc. Oh, and naming. Naming is difficult. It took us ages to come up with Alumicore, but I like it. The name describes what it is: Aluminium in the Core.