Rapture DI: The Story So Far

PING Rapture DI

Judging by the deluge of pre-orders we’ve received for the Rapture Driving Iron, PING has a winner on its hands with this club. It’s sort of a hybrid of a hybrid, blending a 2-iron with a hybrid to create a modern-day version of the clubs of yesteryear; the 1- and 2-irons made famous by the likes of Ben Hogan have gone the way of the dodo, but some players are rediscovering the need for clubs that perform like they did — low-spinning, with a penetrating ball flight and workability from 200+ yards out.

Although the Rapture hasn’t made its way into stores yet, we were lucky enough to spend some time with it during a trip to PING headquarters last month. Let’s find out how this club looked and performed in a real-world situation.

Looks

Ping Rapture Driving Iron Photos

The first thing you’ll notice is that this club looks more like an iron than a metalwood. Although the sole is wide, at address the the club tapers upward to make it appear more streamlined. The topline is as thinned out as possible, and the face is flat, rather than curved into the bulge-and-roll design of a typical hybrid. Here’s how our tester described it:

“I loved how easy the Rapture DI was to align and set up.  Many hybrids have a very round leading edge which makes it a bit more difficult to align, but here the leading edge was very straight.  As a result it feels like you have a laser-like amount of accuracy with this club.”

Performance

Ping Driving Iron

Here’s where the extra mass from that wide sole comes into play. It’s weighted around the perimeter with tungsten to make the clubhead very forgiving for its size, and its shape allows it to perform like a hybrid out of rough and tight lies. Offered only in an 18° loft, the Rapture delivers a low, penetrating ball flight that spins less than a hybrid. Our tester:

“I initially thought it may be challenging to hit; however the sweet spot felt very large.  The ball has a penetrating ball flight that really just keeps going. The biggest advantage to this club was hitting it off of tight lies.  I felt like the ball still launched high enough and that I was able to get to the sweet spot on the ball, even from a very tight lie.  This has been a problem of mine with traditional hybrids.”

Fitting the Rapture into Your Bag

If you’re considering adding this driving iron to your bag for 2014, you’ve probably already discovered that there’s room for improvement in the mid- to long-distance range of your game. Maybe you love your ball flight with your long irons and want to replicate that from even further out, or maybe you’ve just decided that hybrids don’t fit in with your swing. If this sounds familiar, then you should be really excited about the emergence of this new hybrid’s hybrid sub-category of clubs (Callaway entered the fray last year with the X Utility Prototype). It’s going to give you more gapping options from one of the most problematic distance ranges, and hopefully will inspire more confidence when you decide to try and reach that par-5 in two, or want to keep the ball underneath a stiff wind from the teebox, fairway or rough.

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