July 15 2013
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
PING staffers will have the opportunity to test out a new driving iron this week at the The Open Championship after the Phoenix, Arizona-based golf manufacturer unveiled a prototype called Rapture on Monday.
The head of the 17-degree TOUR-only prototype is made from 17-4 Stainless steel with a high-strength 455 Carpenter Stainless steel face that was purposely thinned out to allow designers to repurpose discretionary mass low and back on the clubhead for a low center of gravity.
The face was also designed extremely thin to increase ball speed, and flat to improve shot-making and promote a square look at address.
High-density tungsten weights, which account for 20 percent of the entire head and make the club more forgiving on heel and toe mishits, were placed low and back on the perimeter of the sole to boost inertia and keep the CG extremely low for a penetrating ball flight.
A tungesten polymer blend soleweight was also added to the bottom of the sole to decrease spin and allow PING reps to alter swingweight. The driving iron measures just under 40 inches with a D1 swingweight.
Lee Westwood and Bubba Watson tested out the prototype earlier this year, but it looks 2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans winner Billy Horschel could be the first player to put it in play.
Horschel tweeted out a photo of Rapture on Monday with the caption, "Got a brand new secret weapon this week for the Open Championship! Keep it below the wind! @PingTour #thebest."
The driving iron is expected to be available at retail in early 2014.
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