Ping Rapture Driving Iron review
09 Feb 2015
see also: Equipment Reviews

By Jack Persons, Player Staff

The golf industry, bored with woods and hybrids, has gone searching for the ‘tweeners’ in club design. One of the most popular emerging club categories is the driving iron. PING offers a version called the Rapture, and I am, for lack of a better word, enamored.

I chose the Rapture because I cannot hit hybrids for the life of me. Flighting the ball with a hybrid was impossible for me, which rendered the club useless into the wind. As well, it created a gap between my 3-wood and 3-iron. Thankfully the Rapture fixed all of this. Not only is it (surprisingly) more versatile than a hybrid, but it is more fun, as well. For those who have had a 2-iron in the bag before, part of the allure is the opportunity to hit a low bullet or a sweeping draw. The Rapture encourages the player to work the ball, and thanks to the wide sole and forgiving face, players can do so without worrying about ugly mishits that are often synonymous with the two.

The transition into the club was easy for me, possibly because I wanted my hybrid to disappear, but probably because it is so easy to hit. My only complaint in working it into my bag was that turning the ball over to the left was not easy. At first, the predominant ball flight was a slight fade, but once I spent time on it, a draw was much easier to produce on command. I received the club only a week before my first tournament of the spring, and by the time the competition began I was well acquainted.

The tournament was played in Tucson, and like many Arizona courses, this one was firm, fast, and perfect for lower trajectory drives. I might have hit the Rapture more than my driver off the tee, as it flew straighter and easily averaged 260 yards. For those who often play courses where the ground game is key, the Rapture is a must-have.

In addition to the wider sole to make the club easier to hit, PING added a tungsten insert into the face to increase the MOI. According to PING, these separate pieces add up to a club that has the forgiveness of a hybrid but the spin of a 2-iron.

The stock shaft is the TFC 949 graphite shaft, produced in house. I use it and have no complaints; however, PING does offer Aldila RIP and Project X Black hybrid shafts for those who want custom options. As well, I have seen players use a steel shaft in this club.

PING is not the only major manufacturer to offer a driving iron. The other options include the Callaway X Utility Prototype irons, the Titleist 712U, and the Adams DHy. These three clubs are offered in a variety of lofts, while the Rapture sticks with only an 18-degree version. The main difference between the Rapture and the other clubs lies in the tungsten insert in the sole of the club. PING offers the most significant insert of any of the four, as the MOI of the club is important in allowing the player to hit the ball high if needed. That being said, it is also very easy to produce a low ball flight with this club.

The Rapture adds a lot of versatility to my game. Hitting it low is important to me, and this club allows me to do so in a way a hybrid never has. I can also control the ball left to right and right to left better, and to top it off, this club is perfect for bump and runs. The most important thing I can say for this club is that putting it in the bag in lieu of a hybrid does not sacrifice forgiveness. It has the mind of a 2-iron but the feel of a hybrid.

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