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Gear & Equipment

Ping gets in utility iron game

Ever since Ben Hogan smacked his second shot to the 72nd hole at the 1951 U.S. Open at Merion GC (and Hy Peskin captured it on film), the 1-iron has been perhaps the most romantic club in golf. Now manufacturers are producing the modern-day version of those clubs--the utility iron.

 

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The latest to introduce such an iron is Ping, which is making its Rapture driving iron--a club that made its debut on tour at the British Open at Muirfield--available to consumers. Available in just one loft (18 degrees, one degree higher than the 17-degree prototype), the Rapture driving iron boasts a 17-4 stainless steel body with a springy 455 Carpenter steel face designed to enhance ball speed. Tungsten weights in the heel and toe areas helped lower the center of gravity to help golfers launch the low-lofted, wide-soled iron. The face of the club is flat, allowing golfers to work the ball with greater ease than with a club with bulge and roll on the face.

 

At 39.75 inches in length, the Rapture (Price: $220) is a half-inch longer than a standard 2-iron and comes stock with Ping's TFC 949 graphite shaft. The iron also features a tungsten-polymer sole plug that can be factory adjusted to achieve a specific swingweight. "It's a versatile design that reflect's Ping's commitment to custom-engineering solutions for golfers," said John A. Solheim, Ping chairman and CEO. "In this case, a club that plays a more specialized role in their shotmaking."

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