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Ping Hybrid Golf Clubs
There are two product lines in the Ping hybrid golf clubs lineup. These are called the Rapture hybrids and the G5 hybrids. The Rapture is the newer of the lines, and as you will surmise from the discussion below, Ping club designers were working to obtain a center of gravity (CG) that is lower and farther back in the club face to make the ball easier to get up into the air. Rapture Hybrid Golf Clubs Three different materials are welded together to make the Rapture club head. The body of the head is made of 17-4 stainless steel. A tungsten nickel sole plate is welded onto the bottom of the club head adding weight to the sole and lowering the CG while also forcing the CG farther back from the club face.
This is a design goal for every make of hybrid club and helps provide a higher launch angle. The face plate is made from what is called 475 super steel, and this is said to produce a “hot responsive hitting area”. The appearance of the Ping hybrids is pleasing with a sloped crown. This feature also helps to produce a CG that is low and back in the club face. The club head itself is fairly large and forgiving of off-center hits.
The Rapture line offers 3 clubs, 2-4H. There is a good selection of standard graphite shafts, and of course steel shafts are also available. All 3 Rapture clubs are available for lefties. The MSRP for the Rapture is $225 with graphite and $195 with steel shafts. This club does not have a ladies version, but the G5 line, to be discussed next, does. G5 Hybrid Gold Clubs The G5 hybrids were the precursors of the Rapture line, and they look similar, since both sport the pleasing sloped crown look. The main difference in the two clubs is that the Rapture has the tungsten nickel sole plate and the G5 does not. Another difference is price. The MSRP for the G5 is $175 in graphite and $150 with steel shafts. The face plate of the G5 hybrid is machined from 455 stainless steel, which is used in most of the hybrids in the industry at this point.
The club head is compact and a bit smaller than the Rapture. There are four versions of the G5, 2-5H. Once again there are a number of graphite standard shaft choices, and steel shafts can also be used. All the clubs are available in left-handed versions. For the ladies a 5H and 6H are available. As is the case with most of the name brand club makers, Ping is recognizing the trend and the need for custom club fitting. There are so many hybrid golf clubs to choose from that one should invest $50-$150 or so in a custom club fitting session, preferably with a certified professional club maker who has all the needed equipment to provide a top notch fitting experience. After all, if you are going to purchase a new set of clubs, you can easily spend $1,500 or more, and you might as well have clubs that fit and will allow you to get the most out of your game. Once you have a proper club fitting and know the technical characteristics of the clubs that would be best for your particular swing, you can make an informed choice about whether to choose Ping hybrid golf clubs or some other brand. To get started with this and get a feel for what a proper club fitting entails, you can fill out the web fitting form on the Ping web site.
I also strongly recommend that anyone planning to buy new clubs should read the excellent book by Tom Wishon, “The Search for the Perfect Golf Club”.