Pros:Forgives a slice while retaining a squared face. Good distance for a Super-Game Improvement Club.
Cons:Not as handsome as the G-15
The Bottom Line: A very nice effort by Ping. It's not going to be easy to replace The Rapture Line, but this is a good attempt.
K-15 The Widowmaker
Recommend this product?
Not that this new club from Ping is a real "Nuclear Powered" Driver or anything--but it sure will make playing golf a heck of a lot easier for all those guys out there that really like to hit the ball hard and need to overcome a slice. GEEZ! ---that sounds like about 90% of all golfing males. I guess Ping knows their market well. It is a long club, that feels good, and is exceptionally forgiving. In essence--there's going to be a whole lot more Golf Widows out there thanks to this club.
Though they did avoid the usual cliches of slice correction such as abundant use of offset, a 2-5* closed face, and other such ideas, their solution is simply a new twist on an old concept. Still, it shows all the earmarks of a Ping Creation in the sense that the craftsmanship, and execution of the concepts involved are top shelf. Basically, this "SF" Technology as they call it, concentrates 10% of the club head's overall weight in the left heel area. This is achieved via an external weight pad. (That's the old) Even so, the club lines up square, and that, in and of itself is new. It's nice for slicers to be able to line up square, and hit a straight shot. That's where the SF (Straight Flight) Technology gets its name from. Some people will see extraordinary distance gains, but that will more than likely be the disappearance of their 25 yard slice rather than any real gain in club head speed or power.
As wth the old sales pitch with cavity back irons, the Ultra Thin Crown Technology----..."repositions weight low and back for increased MOI and a lower center of gravity." Admittedly that has been the buy line for just about every Game Improvement, and Super Game Improvemnet club to come marching off the assembly line over the past 20 years. Basically that's because repositioning 20+ Grams of weight on a single club can truly offer a lot of forgiveness, and thus that same sales pitch continues new club after new club, after new club... ad nauseum. On this club, though, it also allows them to stretch the heel and toe so that this club sports an extremely wide face. I'm glad that Ping is being honest about all this rather than claiming "an enlarged sweet spot." Ping has indeed expanded The Safe Hitting Zone, and for once they don't try and B.S. us into believing it's "an enlarged sweetspot." Basically, if you strike the ball even remotely near the center of the face on this club--it's going to be a good shot.
As I've said before, the major gains in distance will come more from this club's extreme forgiveness than from any gains in club head speed, or hot new face, or whatever other marketing ploy you care to use to fill in the blank. This club is long, and the shaft helps the average person put some real whip into that swing. The TFC 149 D Driver shaft is a real winner for those of average club head speed. Even the "Extra-Stiff" sports a full bore 5* of Torque. Add that to the heel weighting and you have a club that is easy to bring around all the way in a full finish, practically forcing the wrists to release, and thus helping to uncrease the odds of achieving a "Draw" vs. a "Slice".
Everyone should know by now that draw spin is further by nature than Slice/Cut Spin. This club feels suhweeet too--so confidence will buy you a few yards as well once you've hit this thing a couple of times. Again--the shaft works well on this one. From 5* of torque in the 63 Gram "Extra Stiff" to a full-fledged 7* of Torque in the Ultra Light 47 Gram "Ladies Flex", the TFC 149 is extremely well mated to the 204 Gram Head. Last but not least, it has consistency of feel with a D3 Swing Weight across the board.
I'm not exactly enamored of the looks of the head at address.Don't get me wrong here. I like it a heck of a lot more than I do any of the "Block-Heads" or "Triangles" out there, but it still looks slightly unwieldy to my eye. The G-15 still looks much better to me, and I am certain you will still see a heck of a lot more of the G-15 Game Improvement Clubs on tour than you will this K-15 Super Game Improvement Model. None the less--a lot of those guys on tour that used to use "The Ping Rapture Driver" will probably be using this one, as The K-15 Line is the replacement set for The Rapture line of clubs. I love the way this club sets up square. Be it the 9.5, 10.5, or 12* loft version that is available in all three lofts in both left and right handed models. It just looks a little too long in the tail section for my rather persnickety eye.
This is a very good effort by Ping. It will allow those who slice the ball to learn what a squared club head looks like at address. No more 2-5* of a closed face distorting their perceptions of what a squared club head actually looks like. There is no "Off-Set" version of a club distorting their perceptions of what a squared club face should look like at address either. This is a Super--Super Game improvement club. If you want to eliminate a slice, and still have half a chance of developing a decent repeatable swing--this is a great choice. Better yet--the price of $299 is a good value as well.