Alright, the time has come. Let's talk the PING TELEFITTING EXPERIENCE
I was paired up with Pat Abshire, one of Ping's master fitters. I also invited our own @Golfspy_CG2 along and even performed some long distance IT support for him on his webcam
Admittedly, I've never had an in-person iron fitting so I don't have much to compare to on that front, but I felt like I learned alot and really expanded my own knowledge of equipment in a very informative and casual way
So, like the other folks that went in so far I sent along some videos of me hitting an iron, both down the line and face on. What I may have done that was slightly different than the other guys so far is that I had sent videos with me swinging a steel shafted iron and a graphite shafted iron. I was able to do this because of my weird Cobra self-fit that I did back in the day, I had similar performance from the 5 and 6 irons in one length, so I threw a Recoil stiff in the 5 iron to get a touch more speed to make them both viable in the bag, making the 5 iron more of a driving iron type thing, but lacking versatility off the turf.
This lead to my tease and where mine and Pat's conversation started. A discussion of my game and why I had a graphite shaft in an iron. When I explained my reasoning to them he wondered my age and my past playing because he could tell from my swing that I was probably a better player than my handicap and he said as a lower cap guy I was the player he feared most, the 10 who could play like a 3 or 13 depending on the day. So, flattery is always nice to help get that relationship going.
Pat pretty much laid out the reasons why one would consider graphite shafts at my age and asked if they were things I had. Namely, arthritis, removal of shock up the shaft, and needing to really elevate launch and spin. While I did mention I was a mid ball hitter, we decided that the design of the G710 would do more of the work than going to grpahite.
We then talked a bit more in depth on graphite shafts and he laid out something I never really thought about before, and that was torque difference in steel and graphite. He said because the torque value of shafts in graphite were higher, you were dealing with a wider circle of dispersion than steel, and with some many lighter weight options in steel and my age and swing, he said steel should be the real consideration.
We then went into discussing what I was thinking as far make up and with that loft and lie. Here was where there was something that I was expecting knowing how good a company Ping is, but just brought to the forefront. @Golfspy_CG2 and I were told that Pat wanted me to know that he wanted me to play about five rounds with the clubs and if necessary if things felt wrong either loft or lie wise or anything else to let Ping know and they would try to hook us up with the local rep if possible or some other fitter Ping trusted to get it right. Really awesome to hear that they were that willing to get in with me, and are committed to us for this testing.
So, we were in with standard lofts and Blue dot based on measurement and we didn't deviate from that plan. My Cobra's were 1 degree upright, so they matched Blue Dot and the lie angles were pretty much the same. Pat did mention potentially going weaker in loft again because of my power and speed if necessary to try and get that descent angle in the 40's if we have to, but was willing for us to start standard and change as we go. Also interesting in this communication was how the design was helping the launch angles stay consistent and not the potential "power iron" designation we may tailor to these types of irons. Also, another interesting thing I learned, The Ping Color System is right around 85% of the time, the other 15% you're usually one color off in either direction, so I could be Green or Black, but I think we're spot on with Blue.
Now, make-up of the set. I know we've had a lot of discussion the the thread as to taking on the SW from the set and whether or not he'd go to 4 iron and what. So, I told Pat I was going to start at 4 iron and was wondering about going to back end of the set. Pat asked me how I felt about specialty wedges and if I felt confident in using them and I said I had in the past, but had the set sand wedge in the Cobra because, well One Length. He said he'd recommend I go a specialty wedge instead of the set wedge, so I'm rolling with the 4-UW, and now the search for 2 wedges to fill out the bag is on!
The Shafts and Grips
Now comes the big part. Pat asked what kind of shafts I had in my irons and I told him that I was rolling with the KBS Tour, Regular Plus flex shafts. Weight is 115 grams according to KBS' website. First interesting note that Pat let us in on, and maybe this is an open secret, the stock AWT 2.0 shaft from Ping, is made by Nippon for Ping. I know that sometimes people thing who is making these things, but that was cool to know.
So, based on the KBS R+ shafts we discussed two potential shafts based on launch conditions, looking for that mid to mid high launch, one a touch lighter and one a similar weight. We had basically decided on the Project X LZ 5.5 or the NIppon Modus 105 in Stiff. Now, the choice was finally up to me as to which if of the two to try. Admittedly, it was a tough choice. The LZ would be coming a bit closer to where I was currently at, and interestingly enough, knowing my upcoming iron only challenge with fellow iron tester @blackngold_blood, we'd have the same shafts, just the different heads. But, and this is something I never mentioned until know, I've always wanted Nippon shafts in irons. Discussing the profile of them with @bens197 and how he thought they helped with the TS1 build, plus my want of them dating back to the NS950 days, meant if they were offered, I was going for them. Plus, my swing has always slightly agreed with a lighter, firmer shaft. Modus 105 S it was, and I'm super excited!
The grips were always going to be the Arccos Smart Grip, but the question was grip size. I measured in the White size, but figured perhaps that the Gold would be a good inbetween since I prefer the slightly larger grip. Pat said that the swingweight could potentially be effected, so instead we're splitting the difference, going with the white grip, but adding an extra wrap underneath, building up to 1/64th of an inch.
We then had an interesting discussion of swingweight, something I was considering earlier in the thread. Pat told me that they could build the irons anywhere from C8 to D1. We decided on building them to D0 because that was close to where I felt comfortable, and it would help directionally with misses. Sadly I didn't write down or remember the exact breakdown as how swingweight can affect direction, maybe @Golfspy_CG2remembers.
What I do remember is a great question @Golfspy_CG2 asked as we were closing up the discussion. He wondering about adding a larger grip to a golf club after the fact and the affect it has on swingweight and Pat said that it makes the swingweight lower, which was interesting to me.
If you've read this far, I salute you. I know I'm usually pretty wordy in this review threads, but I feel like it's my duty to walk you through the experience, plus this is something that's so different from the usual I'd be remiss if I didn't go in depth. I thank Pat and @Golfspy_CG2 for the company yesterday, and Pat especially who wants updates from me besides what I'm posting in the thread for you so he can know and if I had any other questions he was open. Spoiler alert, I may have already asked about what kind of wedge shaft I may be looking at to marry well with the iron shafts. It really raises Ping so much more in my eyes, more than they already were.
Final build: 4-UW, Blue Dot, Nippon Modus 105 S, Arccos Smart Grip, white size, +1 wrap.