50 Words or Less
The PING Rapture Fairway Wood is the longest of the new “fairway drivers.” Great looks, sound, and feel.
There are lots of “fairway drivers” out there this year. They all claim to be long, and many are, but if you really want distance, you want a fairway wood made out of the same stuff your driver is made of: titanium. The PING Rapture is that club. At 13°, 219 ccs, and 43.5 inches, it should prove easier to control than a driver, but it still packs loads of distance.
The PING Rapture’s look borrows heavily from other current PING metal woods. The crown has the matte black finish which kills glare and looks stealthy. It also has the same alignment aid as the G25 and i25. The main feature of the sole is the large tungsten plate, but the branding is very minimal.
In terms of size, the Rapture is decidedly larger than a typical fairway wood, but well proportioned. If anything, it’s a little larger from back to front. The face is not extremely deep, but it frames the ball really well and provides lots of confidence at address.
Sound & Feel
The Rapture has a great impact sound, but it’s a little hard to describe. It’s fairly quiet – the Rapture will scare your friends with how far it goes, not with the volume of the hit. The pitch of the impact sound is medium – not low or high – and it has almost no metallic quality to it. In fact, it sounds a little more wooden. That may seem odd, but trust me when I tell you that this unique sound is very enjoyable.
A very interesting aspect of this club’s feel is the extreme counter balancing. The proprietary TFC 949 shaft weighs under 60 grams in stiff flex, but I would have never guessed that it was so light because there’s plenty of weight in the hands.
Many of the other “fairway drivers” have produced numbers that are driver-like, but they’ve all given up something to my gamer driver. On the days that I tested the PING Rapture, it gave up absolutely nothing. Based on my testing, this is unquestionably the longest fairway wood of 2014. The spin is low, the launch is medium (relative to the 13 degree loft), so you get a strong medium-high trajectory with plenty of roll. Additionally, because of the shorter shaft and increased loft, it’s easier to find the fairway.
On the course, the Rapture was great. I was so excited to play it that I took it out before I had even tried it on the range or launch monitor. By the 5th or 6th hole, my driver was going south so I pulled out the Rapture, and my driver got the rest of the day off. One thing that I found on the course is that the face of the Rapture is deep enough that you can hit different trajectories with different tee heights. If you tee it a little higher, you’ll get higher launch to optimize your distance. If you put the ball just barely off the ground, you can hit knee-high stingers that look awesome and roll for days. I did try to hit the Rapture off the turf a couple times, and found that it was fairly easy to elevate given the very low loft. I would not recommend this play for golfers who struggle with their fairway woods, but if you’re a good fairway wood player, the Rapture won’t give you any difficulty.
The one knock on this club is that it is only available in one loft – 13°. Since this is more of a niche offering, that’s a pretty small knock, but I do think there are golfers who would love the ball speed and performance that the Rapture delivers with more loft.
If you’re looking for a driver replacement, the PING Rapture is the best of the year. It’s accurate, long, forgiving, and tons of fun to hit. Though it may be a little harder to find one to demo, your effort will definitely be rewarded.