Ping staff professionals like Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan have won more than 30 events worldwide using the company's S56 irons, so it's no surprise that Ping didn't feel the need to completely overhaul them. Instead, Ping went for small but significant upgrades in its new S55 line to make the irons more workable and forgiving.
''We're motivated by pushing innovation, and we were able to elevate performance with the S55 in key areas,'' said Ping chairman and CEO John Solheim. ''Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Ángel Cabrera are some of the players who switched right away, and validation from the game's best players tells us that we got it right.''
Watson, in fact, has switched to the S55 after playing the same model of irons since 2004.
''They're able to work the ball more easily and flight it up and down like never before,'' Solheim said of his Ping staff players, adding that they're also getting more distance with the S55s.
The compact 17-4 stainless steel head features tungsten toe weighting to help improve the club's stability, and includes a vertical stabilizing bar for distance control. The face is thinner than on the S56s, which helps to provide more ball speed, and the face, grooves and back cavity are precision-machined for consistency.
Behind the face, the custom tuning port – which is made of a thermoplastic elastomer to soften the sound and feel upon impact – is larger and sits lower in the back cavity, which positions the Center of Gravity lower and deeper in the head to promote a higher launch with greater energy transfer. And the head is completed with a brushed satin-chrome finish.
The new S55s – from 3-iron through pitching wedge – can be ordered now, and will be available at retail in November. They carry a suggested retail price of $138.75 per club with steel shafts and $166.25 per club with graphite shafts. The stock steel shaft is Ping's CFS, while the stock graphite shaft is the Ping TFC 189i.