Those of you who follow Ping's release cycle already know that the S-series and Rapture product lines are due for replacement. Those who follow very closely have already seen the S-58's successor in the Japanese released of the S-57. Well, the S-57 has finally made it's way onto domestic soil, debuting at the Buick Open and is slated for retail release this fall.
Ping staffer, Daniel Chopra was impressed enough with the performance of the S-57 irons to put them into play for the Buick Open, resulting in his best finish since his season opening win at the Mercedes. Bubba Watson went back to the S-59 irons he has gamed for the bulk of his professional career after trying the S-57 in a practice round. Fortunately we were able to get some pictures of Bubba's irons while we visited the Ping Tour Van at the Buick Open.
The S-57 irons are very similar to the S-58 in specs and size. However, the S-57's edges are rounded off, providing a softer, more refined finish that more skilled players have come to expect in a blade. Here are a series of Photographs and some comparison Pics of the new S-57 and the current S-58.
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The technology is apparent in the tuning pocket, a carryover from the S-58 allowing for Ping to manipulate the weight distribution to provide more forgiveness in the long irons and more control in the short. The tuning port also serves to mute the sound enough to give a more forged feel while providing the durability fans have come to expect from Ping. The tungsten insert toward the toe and the milled grooves that have proven successful in the Tour-W wedges will also make their way into this product line to further distinguish these newcomers from the S-58. Ping fans can expect these to hit the shelves around September.
For more information on these irons, and for a sneak peak into the Ping tour van, follow this link to the Ping coverage from the Buick Open.
Click to see Ping Buick coverage here
Now, the Rapture line is a bigger mystery. We're expecting to see the new driver, which has been dubbed the V2 (Rapture Version 2) make its first public appearance at or around the British Open. Critics of the half moon will be happy to know that it is no more. Fans of criticizing Ping's gaudy alignment aids will be also be pleased as a twin Raptured alignment aid will replace the half-moon on both the driver and the fairway woods.
Word on the street says Ping has done away with the carbon crown altogether. But in keeping with the Rapture's philosophy of pushing technology and utilizing composite materials, we've heard reports that Ping is adding tungsten to the sole of the driver on the heel and the toe and toward the back to expand the sweet spot, increase forgiveness, and lower spin. Expect to see more information and pictures in the next month or so.