Distance is great, but if you want to shoot lower scores, you need to hit the fairway off the tee. To help golfers do it more often, Ping has created the new Rapture 3-wood.
“We really had our handcuffs taken off, from a technology standpoint, and we plugged in a lot of technology to really maximize the performance,” said Marty Jertson, Ping’s director of product development.
All that technology won’t come cheap, with the Rapture slated to cost $495 when it arrives in pro shops April 1.
The club features a 219cc titanium head, less than half the size of most drivers. The face is thicker in the center and thinner around the edges. Ping says this enlarges the sweet spot and increases forgiveness. The Rapture 3-wood has 13 degrees of loft, and thanks to an adjustable hosel system golfers can increase or decrease loft by .5 degrees.
“The main structure of the head is made from Ti 8-1-1, which is the same alloy that we’ve used in our drivers for the past few years,” Jertson said. “It’s a lighter-density titanium alloy compared to a 6-4 or traditional titanium. Using that alloy itself helps us save some additional weight.”
Jertson said the Rapture 3-wood boasts a characteristic time similar to Ping’s drivers, so through it has a smaller hitting area, the face has a similar trampoline effect.
To make the Rapture 3-wood perform more like a driver off the tee, Ping gave it a tungsten sole plate. It accounts for 25 percent of the head’s total weight and lowers the center of gravity (CG). Ping says it creates a higher launch angle and lowers spin. Combining that with the hotter face should lead to increased distance.
“The sole plate weighs 54 grams,” Jertson said. “It created the lowest center of gravity that we’ve ever had in a fairway wood, which is impressive because the face and the body are so deep.”
The Rapture 3-wood will come standard with a high balance-point shaft, Ping’s TFC 949.
“The high balance point does the same in this fairway wood that it does in our drivers,” Jertson said. “It allows us to put more mass in the head, even at 43.5 inches standard length, so we can deliver more momentum to the golf ball.”
Jertson said the standard Ping G25 3-wood launches the ball on a higher initial angle, while the new i25 3-wood has a lower launch angle and flatter trajectory because it spins the ball less. The Rapture 3-wood produces similar spin characteristics to the i25, but because it produces more ball speed than the G25 or i25, it flies as high as the G25.