'Wow! We did it!' It seems the brand didn't quite know what they were getting themselves into when teaming up with the LIV Golf star
Bryson DeChambeau didn’t earn his nickname ‘The Scientist’ for nothing.
As well as making headlines on the course, most notably by winning the US Open in 2020, he regularly causes rumbles off it for the meticulous and detailed way for which he prepares.
This ultimately led to the demise of his relationship with Cobra, with the brand’s PGA Tour rep Ben Schomin claiming DeChambeau was “looking for a unicorn” in pursuit of a perfect driver.
Ahead of LIV Golf’s season opener, DeChambeau visited Ping’s headquarters in Arizona. The company and its incredibly talented golf club engineers were put through their paces, taking their gear to the limit in creating the 29-year-old’s new set of one-length irons.
Golf.com described the mind-boggling sequence of events which began with DeChambeau telling Ping Tour rep Spencer Rothluebber the characteristics he wanted in his new irons.
Rothluebber set about modifying a set of Ping i230 irons, starting with heavy grinding to the toe section to create a draw at impact.
“The more and more I’ve learned about him, he’s not swing-weight oriented but rather total weight,” Rothluebber explained. “So his clubs were roughly 516 grams, swing-weighted B9 to C1. For him, it’s about establishing a weight baseline. He likes to feel it’s the same across the board.”
DeChambeau allegedly aims at a specific total weight in each of his irons that includes the head, shaft, and grip. Ping wanted to create a 275-gram head weight from the 4-iron through to the Glide 4.0 lob wedge, but overall head weight naturally decreases from the top as a 3-iron head weighs significantly less than this.
Ping’s engineering team used the existing toe and tip weight ports found inside the i230 heads to increase the iron head weight, together with an elastomer weight found in the cavity.
“It took a day to figure out the injection moulding, plus the gram weights and grinds we needed,” Rothluebber added. “But once we managed to get those questions answered, we had a set done at 37.5 inches across the board in six hours. Each club is within one gram of 521 grams.
“Also, because of the centre of gravity, the swing weight changes. So the longer the blade length gets, the longer the centre of gravity drops, essentially. So that’s why even though they all weigh the same, the swing weight on the 4-iron is at C4 and the wedge is at C2. Even though they’re all the same length and lie angle (66.5 degrees).”
After establishing DeChambeau’s requested weight consistency, loft and bounce were the next boxes to tick. His 4-iron has a stated loft of 16 degrees, but the regular Ping i230 head is 22.5 degrees. This was the point when Ping’s engineering team had to become very creative.
“To get lofts where they needed to be, we had to grind different heads to ensure bounce was consistent across the board. When we selected a club to use for each iron in his set, we sought out a club that would provide the right amount of bounce and visuals at address,” Rothluebber said.
“When you’re bending something that strong, you’re creating more offset. That’s why we used a 3-iron to get there on, say, the 4-iron instead of bending a 4-iron head to get the loft Bryson needed.”
Ping conjured a set with low bounce in the long iron and more bounce in the mid-to-short irons to create the effect of a variable-length set. DeChambeau also had a set of Glide 4.0 wedges built with the same 275-gram head weight.
The engineers used a wide-sole 58-degree to build the lob wedge by bending it to add bounce. They then shaved off material to get each head down to the magic 275-gram figure.
“Hands down it was the most technical set I’ve ever worked on. I remember leaving after the day thinking, ‘Wow, we just did that!’
“In my opinion, it’s a feat of engineering for our team that we have the ability to build Bryson a set from a model you can go buy off the rack.
“We spend time on it and are able to build a one-length set. We’re not promoting one-length irons, but it’s something that shows we can make it happen.”
Not all heroes wear capes. Some work in golf club labs and create iron sets down to the last gram and the last degree in a matter of days to serve top professional athletes.
- RELATED: What’s in Bryson DeChambeau’s bag?
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