50 Words or Less
Very long. Insanely forgiving. Smartly engineered combo set. Perfect for high handicapper or the better player who values performance over looks.
You know what’s good? Hybrids. Hybrids are a lot easier to hit than long irons. The problem is, most people buy their hybrids haphazardly, so they have terrible distance gaps.
You know what’s better? Combo sets. When the hybrids and irons are designed to work together, that’s a good thing. The problem is, most of these sets aren’t engineered well enough to give regular golfers consistent distance gaps.
You know what’s the best? A combo set engineered by PING to have consistent distance gaps all throughout the set. Oh, and it’s one of the longest irons you can buy. And it’s ridiculously forgiving. If you like that kind of thing, let me introduce you to the PING Karsten irons.
There’s no hiding it, these are some beefy irons. PING has built the Karsten irons with thick top lines, plenty of offset, and soles so wide that you could serve dinner on them, but in a super game improvement set, big is beautiful.
The hybrids in this set will definitely appeal to the SGI player, but they will have crossover appeal to mid and low handicappers as well. There’s no offset, and the grey face and top line allow the golfer to ignore the bulk behind it.
Sound & Feel
If you enjoy long, uninterrupted walks, you’ll love the feel of the PING Karsten hybrids. More than any other hybrid I’ve hit these year, these feel fast. They’re not very loud, it’s more of a mid-range tink, but the ball feels like it’s exploding off the club face. From a feel perspective, they’re extremely fun to hit.
The Karsten irons feel crisp at impact, no matter how you hit the ball. This is a mixed blessing: it’s nice to skip the stinging feeling of a mishit, but that feedback is useful in dialing in your ball striking. On balance, I think the forgiving feel is the better way to go for the higher handicap player.
There are three things that you need to know about the PING Karsten irons: they’re forgiving, they’re long, and the distance gaps hold up throughout the entire set.
There are a lot of ways you could describe how forgiving the PING Karsten irons are – ridiculously, extremely, like cheating, point-and-shoot – but for me this set elicited memories of playing Tiger Woods Golf on Playstation. Mishits? What are those? My character is maxed out on ball striking! He hits his clubs the same distance, every shot, no matter what! That’s what the Karsten irons do: same distance, high and straight, shot after shot. Go ahead, try and hit it fat – the massive sole just skates through the turf. Catch it a groove thin, the low CG throws the ball into the sky anyway. Heel or toe misses? Still pin high.
Next, these irons are long. They don’t have fancy visible technology, that’s not PING’s style, but they do fly forever. On average, the 6-iron was nearly two clubs longer when compared to a traditional players cavity back iron. That means the Karsten iron is as long as any Hot or Speed-y iron on the market.
Finally, the distance gaps are maintained perfectly throughout the set. This may not be the sexiest selling point, but it’s critically important if you care about playing good golf. Let me explain the problem with most iron sets: the 7-iron goes about 10 yards longer than the 8-iron, but when you get to the 6-iron or 5-iron, those gaps start to shrink and sometimes disappear completely. Now you’ve got 3 or 4 clubs that all do the same thing. This is not only a waste of clubs, it’s deadly to your scoring if you believe that each club is 10 yards longer than the last. With the PING Karsten irons, the lofts and club lengths have been precisely engineered so that your nice 10-12 yard gap is consistent from the 3 hybrid all the way to the pitching wedge. That means no wasted clubs and no shots that fail to carry the hazard.
If you like hitting your irons a long way and don’t want to be punished for your mishits, you should check out the PING Karsten irons. It’s a brilliantly engineered combo set that’s simply going to make golf easier and more fun.
Price and Specs
The PING Karsten irons retail for $800 for an 8 piece set.
Hybrids are available for the 3, 4, and 5 irons. Irons are available from 5 through SW.