Ping Anser Irons Review – Still Good And Forgiving For High Handicappers?
“The last iteration of the Ping Anser irons was released in 2012. Some would argue that these irons were the last of their kind from Ping.”
Around 2012, it seemed pretty clear that Ping was moving towards becoming a dominant force in the game improvement iron market. With the advent of the Ping Anser, it was sort of looked at as Ping’s final attempt to try to gain fandom from the players iron crowd.
The Ping Anser irons aren’t like what was coming from the company during that era. They are forged irons that lack the chunky look that defined many Ping irons of the time. They were aimed at better players too. But was Ping really able to shake their inclination towards game improvement with the Anser irons? I tested them to see who they’re really for.
Are Ping Anser Irons Still Good?
“The Ping Anser irons are forged from 8620 steel and feature a hollow sole.”
The forged 8620 steel definitely imparts a softer feel to these irons than what I’m used to from Ping. Are they as soft as Srixon or Mizuno forged irons? Not quite. But I found it interesting that Ping saw fit to include a hollow sole and a welded tungsten/nickel sole plate.
The hollow sole and the tungsten sole plate are clearly game improvement features. The idea is to drive the CG as low and back as possible. So despite the fact that the Ping Anser irons are smaller than most Ping irons, they are still bringing some forgiveness to the table.
The Ping Anser irons also feature progressive head sizes. The long irons have longer blades while the mid and short irons shrink a bit. There are also progressive stabilizing bars in the back of the milled heads.
And even the stabilizing bars have a progressive design. In the longer irons they scratch out horizontally which allows the face to flex a bit. In the short irons, they stretch out more horizontally which actually stiffens the face for better control and consistency.
The soles of these irons are moderately thick and the top line is on the thin side. Overall, I really like the look of these irons. I like the feel too even though they aren’t as soft as other forged irons. They still give off a solid yet smooth sensation at impact and they feel very consistent across the face.
The Ping Anser irons were priced ridiculously high when they first came out but now you can get a used set in good condition for under $500 so I would say that these are still good irons when you can get your hands on them.
Are the Ping Anser Irons Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“I really liked the long irons in this set.”
They were designed really well and they will be especially helpful for high handicap players who struggle launching the ball.
They have a larger profile than the short irons and the CG is noticeably lower. Plus, there is less support in the face which allows for more flexing and better ball speed. With my first swing of the Ping Anser 4-iron, I crushed the ball for 161 yards of carry distance. I’ll say that again…my first swing!
I found it very easy to get the ball up in the air and the Ping Anser irons were producing very good ball speeds. But while the long irons were easy to hit and launch, I found that the margin of error was still pretty thin.
When you look down at these irons, they definitely look more like blades than cavity backs. So you can actually see how much wiggle room you have and it isn’t much. When I mis-hit out near the toe, the ball speed and distance dropped off quite a bit. The dispersion on a pure strike isn’t super tight to begin with; but on mis-hits, my off-line divergence was getting past 15 yards.
Still, I liked the fact that it was easy to get the ball in the air with these irons. The turf interaction is also nice and smooth. I would say that the Ping Anser irons are moderately forgiving for high handicappers.
Ping Anser Vs Ping i20 Irons
“The Ping i20 irons have a bit more offset than the Ping Anser irons and produce slightly higher launch.”
You can see by looking at these irons side-by-side that the i20’s are also slightly larger than the Ping Anser irons. Overall, I found the Ping i20 irons slightly easier to hit with and a bit more forgiving than the Ping Anser irons.