On the eve of the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield, Ping made a unique club available to staff pros who wanted to maximize distance off the tee but keep the ball under the fearsome Scottish winds. Ping has just announced that it is making that club, the Rapture driving iron, available to the public starting in mid-December.
While it will only be available in a 2-iron version (18 degrees), don’t think of the Rapture as a simply a strongly-lofted iron or a shiny, small-headed hybrid. As we reported in July, Ping added tungsten the heel and toe of the Rapture’s sole to greatly increase the club’s MOI, which should make it more resistant to twisting on slightly off-center hits and increase forgiveness.
The Rapture also has a wider sole than a typical iron and more camber, so it should work through the turf more easily than a long iron, even on steep swings.
The body is made from 17-4 stainless steel, and the face utilizes 455 stainless steel, which is much harder, so Ping says that it produces higher ball speeds.
The face of the Rapture is flat, unlike a hybrid’s clubface, which typically curves slightly from heel to toe and from sole to crown. By making the face flat, Ping designers made it easier for accomplished players to draw and fade the ball. The Rapture also produces less spin than a similarly lofted hybrid, so it produces a lower, more-penetrating ball flight.
It’s that combination—a lower ball flight, higher ball speeds, and less spin—that made the Rapture driving iron appealing to pros at Muirfield. Billy Horschel, Louis Oosthuizen, Marc Calcavecchia and Michael Thompson put one in the bag at the Open Championship. There were also several Raptures spottings at PGA Tour events in the United States.
The stock shaft in the Rapture, a Ping TFC 949 with a chrome PVD finish, will come a half-inch longer than a standard 2-iron’s (39.75 inches). There is a non-adjustable weight plug in the sole of the Rapture that allows fitters to make sure the swing weight is ideal. When it arrives in stores, look for the Rapture driving iron to cost $220.