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Put it in the Bag: Custom Fit PING iBlades

Welcome to Put in the Bag, our extended club review series, where we put gear in the bags of Golfsmith’s golfers. We’re going to show you how it performs on the course over time, not just in a single YouTube video.

In this modern era of golf equipment, where technology is pumped into everything, and badging and high-tech names cover every inch of clubs, PING went and did something crazy: they created the iBlade.

It’s clean. It’s simple. It’s, for lack of a better word, beautiful.

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See what I mean?

The moment the iBlade hit the web in the form of spy shots of Louis Oosthuizen’s bag, better players began drooling; myself included. Once the facts came in, though, the real fascination started. Stainless construction, hidden Elastomer for enhanced feel and Tungsten weighting for forgiveness? Sign me up.

No, seriously. I signed up for a fitting.

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(Full disclosure: I was so enamored with the iBlade that I proposed to PING that I would get fit for it, they would send over a set for me to test in my specs for a few months, and then I would write about my experience with the fitting and on the course. They agreed.)

Working with Golfsmith’s own Loren Westbrook, a Master Club Fitter with over 15-years of fitting experience who has is recognized by PING as one of their Top 100 Club Fitters in the entire country, I embarked to get fit for this new blade-style iron the first day I was able.

I have been using the same irons for the past 4 years. I wasn’t properly fit for those irons, so this was a whole new experience for me. I’ve been playing the TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB’s with Project X 6.5 pxi shafts. I picked those shafts purely on looks and didn’t realize until recently that these were high launching, which has proven to be ill-suited for my game.

First, some measurements were required. Loren took the distance my arms hang from the ground, which gave us an estimated length and lie angle as a starting point.

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Loren explained that due to my height he estimated that we start off +.5″ in shaft length with a green dot iron (lie angle 2.25° upright).

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Next step: club setup.

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 Once the club has been built, Loren put a lie angle sticker on the bottom of the head, which tracks the bottom point of the club at impact.

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After a couple of swings, we noticed my mark was a little bit toward the heel. Loren moved me over to a yellow dot (1.5° upright).

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Wallah! A slight tweak made a massive difference.

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The stickers on the face helped us to see if the length was good & was in tolerance of lie angle. Because of the impact position below Loren recommended we come back to +.25″ in length.

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Impact tape showing results from a +.5″ shaft (below) and +.25″ shaft (above).

As mentioned before, when it comes to shafts, I’m a sucker for anything that stands out. It’s my kryptonite. That being said, I wanted to finally get fit for the right club that hopefully will improve my game. Loren used a shaft tool which assists with recommendations.

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The shaft tool takes into account, swing speed, tempo, where the shaft loads and releases. With my swing speed coming in at around 94mph (6 iron), the options given were Dynamic Gold X100, Project X 6.5 & KBS X100.

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This, I was told, is where the golfer’s feeling comes into play. Once the best couple of shafts are selected based on data, the golfer’s feel and preferences become the biggest factor.

After 20 minutes of pounding balls, I was indecisive. I loved the feel of both the Dynamic Gold X100 & the Project X 6.5 shafts. The ball flights and numbers were pretty similar.

Finally, I tried the Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue and saw my ball flight straighten up a little. Straight away I knew these were the ones.

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I was set. My fitting was complete and the order went in. My final specs were:

Ping iBlade (Yellow Dot)
Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue (+.25″ Length)
Golf Pride Multi Combo (Midsize)

Next step is to put them into the bag and see if my scores coming down. More on that later.

Adam Foster is a 2(ish) handicap from Berkshire, England, who joined Golfsmith in 2014. He’s really fun to watch play golf, but he’s even more fun to listen to. Not because of what he says; just because of how he sounds. His game is built around his driving, and he can move the ball both ways. Sometimes he moves the ball the wrong way.

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