November 23 2013
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
The PING Rapture driving iron Billy Horschel and Louis Oosthuizen used at the 2013 British Open is coming to retail in December.
Back in July at Muirfield, PING made a TOUR-only prototype version of the driving iron available to players that were looking for a long-iron or hybrid alternative that provided maximum distance off the tee and could flight through the wind.
The head of the driving iron 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 shotmaking and promote a square look at address.
To boost the club's MOI, 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 center of gravity extremely low for a penetrating ball flight.
A tungsten 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 39.75 inches with a D1 swingweight.
Driving irons have become a popular long-iron and hybrid alternative this year, as players have gravitated towards clubs that have a more traditional long-iron look and ball flight with the added forgiveness benefits of a hybrid.
Similar to the TOUR-only prototype that debuted at Muirfield, the Rapture driving iron will come in only one loft option (18 degrees). The prototype version on TOUR was slightly stronger at 17 degrees.
PING's Rapture driving iron will be available in December and comes stock with PING's TFC 949 shaft for $220.
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