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Ping Karsten Irons Review
01 Jul 2014
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The all new PING Karsten iron set is the brand’s most progressive and forgiving set to date. This combo set offers 5-iron through SW with an optional 5-hybrid, and a 3- thru-4 hybrid.

TECHNOLOGY

PING has been able to make this iron even longer by engineering loft and length progressions along with widening the sole to create a more forgiving and easier iron to hit. In addition, PING’s patented custom tuning port reinforces the thin face of the iron allowing for faster ball speed, increased distance and added forgiveness.

SOUND/FEEL/PERFORMANCE

If you’re familiar with PING irons, you should know that most are made from 17-4 stainless steel. Now, although these irons are made from the same material as many of PING’s others offerings in the irons category, such as the i25 or G25, the sound and feel differ dramatically.

I’m not necessarily impressed or disappointed with the sound of the iron; however I was a little disappointed by the feel of the PING Karsten Iron set. After testing the Karsten iron set, I noticed that this set played much firmer than any PING set I’ve encountered. You are definitely sacrificing feel for performance with these irons, but given the result I got from the launch monitor, the sacrifice may be worth it.

The Hybrids in this set are what I found to be the best feeling and sounding clubs and are extremely forgiving. In past years, PING has struggled to come out with a combo set where the hybrids deliver performance that match up to their irons. Most surprisingly, these hybrids won’t leave a huge gap between your 5-iron and 4 hybrid. After testing, I found the 4-hybrid to go nearly the same distance as the 4-iron but much easier to hit with unmatched forgiveness.

After testing PW thru 3-hybrid, I compared the 7-iron in the Karsten set against the G25 7- iron.


Averaging 5 out of 10 shots with each club, the results are as follows:

Karsten

Club head speed: 85mph
Ball speed: 122mph
Launch angle: 18.5 degrees
Spin: 6725rpm
Carry distance: 172 yards
Total distance: 183 yards

G25

Club head speed: 84mph
Ball speed: 120mph
Launch angle: 17 degrees
Spin: 6525rpm
Carry distance: 168 yards
Total distance: 177 yards

Based upon the results, the Karsten is generating a higher ball speed resulting in added distance. The launch angle with the Karsten was also slightly higher than the G25 which is why the Karsten had a much farther carry distance.

Between the two I felt the G25 has a soft feel at impact but a very similar look at address. Both clubs had a top-line that might be considered a little too fat. All in all, based on pure numbers the Karsten would be the way to go. But let’s not forget that this set comes with 2 hybrids (3H-4H) with an option of a 5-hybrid. These clubs are game changers for the average golfer who has trouble hitting their long irons.

AVAILABILTY/PRICING

The PING Karsten 8-piece set retails for $899 (Steel shafts on irons/ Graphite shafts on hybrids) and is available now.
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