Long Live the Ping Eye 2.

In with the Old, Out with the New.

Only golf nerds pay attention to the fact that the PGA Tour has put into effect groove specifications for the 2010 season.  I’m sure I’ve already lost a lot of people, but essentially the PGA Tour is attacking golf club technology by restricting the depth and width of the grooves on the club face.  The deeper and wider the grooves, the more spin created, and the easier it is to play precision shots from places other than the fairway.  It’s not a change that many people expected would have a huge impact on Tour, and the effects should be felt in a similar fashion across the board.  But, there always seems to be a loophole, and there is one in this case.  One that has PGA pros scrambling to Ebay.

There are people who will go to their grave preaching the fact that the Ping Eye 2 was the greatest iron ever developed.  It’s surely the most important, and its presence forever changed golf.  The club that originally possessed the “square grooves” that are now illegal sold more sets and held its value more than any club in history.  Players of all calibers still play them today, over 20 years after their debut.  People get them re-finished, buy back-up sets, and take any precaution necessary to make sure they always have their Pings.  The club made the company, and honestly carried them through a long stretch where they weren’t making great equipment.

It was a controversial club when it first appeared on Tour, and the PGA spent a long time examining the legality of its grooves.  Ping filed lawsuit to keep the clubs in play and won a judgement that included the provision that any Ping Eye 2 iron made before April, 1990 would always be considered a legal golf club.  That judgement takes precedent over the recent rule changes on grooves, and because of that, guys on Tour, who sometimes change their wedges every 3 or 4 months have put 20-year-old clubs in the bag.  John Daly is one of the pros using old Ping wedges this week in Hawaii.  He’s apparently collected several sets over the years, and is planning on using them off and on during the season.

He’s not the only one.  Apparently some pros have turned to Ebay and other outlets to look for conforming Ping Wedges from pre-April 1990.  It’s not to say that every guy on Tour is going to end up with one of these in his bag, but I think it’s a case of a couple guys are doing it, and the others want to make sure they aren’t getting an advantage.

Considering a few Ping Eye 2’s have made their way into my bag over the years I couldn’t resist this story.  Also, if you have an old set lying around maybe you want to dust it off.  I checked EBay, we’re not talking Wii hysteria or anything yet, but you never know.  Regardless, if you have Ping Eye 2’s, you have yourself a collector’s item.

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24 thoughts on “Long Live the Ping Eye 2.

  1. Um . . . I would put the Zing 2’s in the category of the “long stretch where they weren’t making great equipment.” But that’s a personal opinion, not a fact.

    My dad still has the set of Eye 2’s that I bought back in middle school. Do you think that all the terrible shots the two of us have hit with those wedges over the years have ruined their value, or does that just mean that they still have lots of good shots left in them?

    Also, you need to manufacture some sort of hysteria that gets everyone excited about blades from the late 1980s and early 1990s. We still need to get our money back from the failed blade experiment of 2003. Golden Rams, anyone? Mizuno MP14s? You know you want them.

  2. No, that’s a fact. Not a personal opinion.

    About the clubs, its all about groove condition, so if he’s never actually hit the clubface, then you might have something.

  3. Kraft,

    three putt would tell you, but if the name of his irons ever entered your thoughts the hexola would be placed upon them, so I doubt you’re going to get that inside information.

    Let’s just say Grossy was once sponsored by a well-known golf company that used to endorse John Daly.

  4. Hahah. Ding Dry.

    I don’t think Kraft can hexola my irons, and in fact, they may need one.

    I have Callaway x-20 tour irons. I also have a set of x-forged irons that I can’t hit, so let me know if anyone is interested in those.

    I have Taylor Made V-steel fairway woods (x-flex steel shafts….grrrr). I like to be about 5 years behind the curve in fairway wood technology.

    FT-5 driver, 10.5 degrees of loft (I have the lowest launch angle of any decent player, probably in the country)…there’s a Diamana Blue X-flex in that puppy.

    30 year old Ping Anser putter, but I’ve never actually holed out. I just tap it up there close till its good.

    Everyone feel free turn this into a what’s in the bag section.

  5. no issue on the hexola- i couldn’t hit a “Tour” iron or a “forged” iron anyway.

    Just curious. I play Hogan Apex Edge irons with a new Ping G10 driver, 9 degree. Love the driver, don’t like the irons. I was looking into the G10 irons or the Callway X-20s.

  6. I think Big Dub is lashing out, because there is no Eagles game…

    Um, yeah, I think you can definitely find a more forgiving iron, and something with a little more friendly technology than the hogan’s. both of those choices are probably a good bit easier to hit. Titleist AP1 is also a pretty forgiving club. Probably will come down to which looks best to you…

  7. Kraft is the man and I love the fact that he can indulge in a little self depricating humor.

    Driver- Something Nike, I think it’s a Dymo? 9.5 loft and you can move the head around to have it sit open, closed, square, flat, upright. I go with open cause I hit ducky who-whos.

    Irons – Nike Victory Red. Used to hit blades, but let’s just say I am the worst iron player in the country.

    Wedges – Nike SV Tour (back that ass up with these things)

    Putter – Scotty Cameron Studio Something or other.

    Well, that’s the equipment you need to shoot 86 at Concord for the PA Open Qualifier. I think it was 86…

    At any rate, I think I actually miss golf right now.

  8. Cleveland TA7 Irons, which are now old I guess but I will stand behind them. Very solid and reasonably forgiving. An enormous improvement over the old TA3s, certainly better than the brief experiment with the Golden Rams, and more stable and solid-feeling than the Eye 2s.

    Wedges, I think the SW is a rusty Cleveland 588 and the GW is a rusty Titleist Vokey of some kind.

    Putter is an old Cleveland blade from the blade putter experiment of approximately 1997. Like 3PT, it doesn’t matter what you putt with when you don’t make any putts anyway.

    Driver and fairway woods . . . are problems. The driver was a Taylor Made 300. I liked it, but the head came unglued from the shaft on the 18th tee at Turtle Creek last fall. It has not yet been replaced. I’ll take suggestions if anyone has any. I like conventional-looking drivers.

    The fairway wood is a Taylor Made Burner 4 wood from at least 1993, if not earlier. I bring it out of the bag once a year when I need to hit a hooking ground ball. I am absolutely in the market for a 3 wood, and will take suggestions here too.

    And agreed with the sentiment about missing golf right now.

    • well, the hooking ground ball is an important shot. and your 4-wood has become a specialty club, not unlike a “chipper”

      • I’ll look into it, but I think in cases like this, people would have gotten the point…

        I know you don’t want anyone judging your grammar, but I think the public will cut you some slack.

  9. And by the way, when I say Burner 4 wood, I don’t mean Burner Bubble. That came way later. This one looks like the old Tour Preferred model.

  10. Thank God I’m a member at the PGA Superstore – even with it being 10 degrees here I get unlimited time in the simulator. Arthur Blank is a genious.

    Irons – Cleveland CG4. Nothing flashy but it gets the job done. I’ll probably play them for a while.

    Fairway Woods – Don’t use em. My long irons are my best clubs and I can get the 3 to sail about 230 so I haven’t bothered with the woods.

    Drivers – TaylorMade R7. Not the best but in nit happy enough with my drives to warrent an upgrade. I’d rather master that club first. The original Big Bertha is my safety. I rediscovered her last year and our love has blossomed. So lite. So fluid. She makes me feel like I’m 12 and hitting my first real drive. Love it.

    Putter – Rosa. I’m going to look this year for something new. Not sure what, but I think I want a little more weight.

  11. It’s nice to hit 3 iron 230, but you should look into fairway woods, what do you hit when you have 250-260 into a par five?

    maybe you take the zach johnson approach, but for me, the earlier I get on the surface, the better. that way, I can three putt and get out of there.

    They’re worth a try. Or at least a 17-19 degree hybrid or something.

    I mean, they aren’t notoriously hard clubs to hit or anything. especially if you are good with long irons.

  12. True story, the writer and creator of this blog once had 300 bills into a par five and got home. I’m not sure what he made, but that really doesn’t matter cause the point of the story is roping a shot 300-bills.

    • Haha…

      I mean, I don’t remember this exact story, but I probably made 5.

      No one makes more 3-putt pars than me. NO ONE!

      I have a couple good stories though, maybe one day I’ll tell the anecdote of the “mythical 2-iron”

  13. I actually forgot about my wedges. That’s why I haven’t bothered with the fairway woods — I’m pretty accurate with the wedges. I decided to invest time in practice with the wedges instead of $$ on the woods. That will change someday.

    Wedges – I actually like my G4 to run the ball up. I also play a 60 degree vokey — I can get a good 30 yards out of it when I need to and lay in right in. I have my 58 degree Tour Wedge. I’m still getting used to the weight but it’s gonna work.

    I actually gave my Zing wedge to my nephew — I may steal it back.

    • This was my response by the way. I’m at a friend’s house pregaming and I had to jump on her computer. Didn’t feel my response was complete.

  14. well, I can’t really argue with a good wedge game. I don’t have one of those either.

    appreciate you being thorough despite the pregaming.

    multi-tasking the sign of a true champion.

    by the way I have an old Mizuno 56-degree wedge that I use for everything. It has no grooves, I just hit these towering knuckle balls in there, and it seems to work.

    I have a shot called “nuclear sandwedge” which goes basically however far I need it to, and creates the largest divot of all time. Can’t do that with grooves.

    I also use the 56 to knock it donker-length out of traps, and then miss the par putt.

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