We chatted to Ping's tour manager Dominic Griffiths to gain some insight on Cameron Champ's two 4-irons and how it gives him an edge
There was almost as much talk about Cameron Champ’s two 4-irons as him claiming his second PGA Tour victory at the Safeway Open.
One of Champ’s two 4-irons is a Ping i500 and the other is a Ping iBlade.
We chatted to Ping Europe’s tour manager Dominic Griffiths to find out the method behind the apparent madness.
Can you talk us through Champ’s two 4-irons and the tech differences between the two models?
The Ping i500 generally flies higher than iBlade despite having reduced lofts, due to the face geometry and flexing maraging-steel face. As such, Cameron Champ uses his i500 4-iron as his ‘3-iron’ as it gives him the perfect distance gap he is looking for and he can achieve a more desirable, higher ball flight than with the iBlade 3-iron. Champ finds that the iBlade 4-iron delivers him more consistent results than the Blueprint so switches to Blueprint from 5-iron to PW.
His choice to switch to Blueprint after 4-iron is ultimately for feel, shot making and a lower, more penetrating flight.
Why did Champ choose to go with this set-up rather than say adding an iBlade 3-iron?
Cameron Champ’s choice of setup shows that club fitting is absolutely essential. There are numerous options for a player to achieve the same distances: different models, Hybrids, long irons, crossovers or fairway woods. All of these are used on tour by players and are often changed to suit the style of the course being played that week.
- Related: What’s in Champ’s bag?
Is Champ’s two 4-irons theory common for players and if so which other players are doing this?
It is reasonably common, yes. Brandon Stone has used a Crossover 3 and 4 with an iBlade 4-iron also in the bag, again purely to achieve the correct distances he is looking for with a ball flight that suits his eye. Two different 3-irons is relatively common – one with an explosive face, say a Crossover or i500, then moving into an iBlade or Blueprint set. Connor Syme has a setup like this.
Do you think it is becoming more common for tour players to carry combo sets of irons rather than one model? If so why?
The main reason is to achieve greater forgiveness and consistency. For example, i210 offers great forgiveness in the long irons which makes them relatively easy to use, so a combo set with i210 in the long irons and iBlade or Blueprint in the mid and short irons would be the most common. You could also then look at a Crossover in the longest irons. A lot of players put a real premium on feel in the shorter irons as they are the scoring clubs that require the most control. Giving the option of a combo set provides allows a player to balance their set exactly how they want by achieving the best numbers and feel to deliver the outcome they desire and giving them the best chance out on the course.
So there you have it – all the lowdown on Cameron Champ’s two 4-irons. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below or you can tweet me.