PING introduces the Crossover hybrid iron. Billed as a new category of iron and not a driving iron, it promises to create higher, longer shots. This can be an advantage to holding greens from long distances out. Let's take a look at the Crossover.
Technology and Design
Equipment designers have been trying for years to bridge the gap between fairway woods and irons. We all know that 2, 3 and even 4-irons can be hard to hit and launch high. We also know that lower launch equals more difficulty holding greens. OEMs created rescue and hybrid clubs as far back as 25 years ago for this purpose. Hybrids became more popular last decade. This decade, we are seeing more and more pros use them.
Typical hybrids look a bit like baby fairways with smaller heads but similar internal designs. Most also come with graphite shafts to help increase swing speed. The Sand Trap reviewed the PING i20 Hybrid here and the G15 Hybrid here.
Several companies have created driving irons, which have open internal cavity designs that look more like an iron. The intent of these was both for performance and aesthetics. Let's face it, pride is involved for some players with regards to hybrids. They don't want you to know they need help getting their 4-iron in the air.
The PING Crossover bridges this gap. It looks like a beefy iron, but plays like a hybrid.
PING created a new category – the Crossover – to combine the precision, workability and control of an iron with the speed and forgiveness of a hybrid. It’s not a driving iron; the Crossover is far more forgiving, higher launching and more versatile. An innovative cascading internal sole engages the entire face, sole and top rail in flexing to maximize distance.
This breakthrough design creates a new club category to combine the precision, workability and control of an iron with the speed and forgiveness of a hybrid. It's not a driving iron; the Crossover is far more forgiving, higher launching and more versatile.
A Cascading Internal Sole involves the entire face, sole and top rail in flexing to maximize distance. Extreme heel-toe weighting helps locate the center of gravity low-back and expands the perimeter weighting to create a high MOI across both axes for maximizing forgiveness.
Its iron-like precision and workability comes from the flat, Carpenter 455 machined face, a narrow top rail, lie adjustability and appropriate offset.
- Cascading Internal Sole- distributes stress evenly so the entire face, sole, and top rail are engaged in flexing at impact to maximize ball speed and distance.
- Extreme Heel-Toe Weighting– Low mass ensures hybrid-like forgiveness for distance and accuracy by positioning the CG low-back and expanding the perimeter weighting to achieve a high MOI.
- Iron-Style Carpenter 455 Face– More than twice as strong as cast 17-4 stainless, Carpenter 455 steel is precision-machined thinner for greater face flexing, faster ball speeds and longer results. The flat face, narrow top rail and appropriate offset deliver iron-like confidence in accuracy, workability and distance control. Loft and lie angle are adjustable for added versatility.
The PING Crossover is designed to replace 3 through 5-irons. The specifications below also show the fairway equivalent.
Club Number Loft LH Lie Length SW Eq. Iron Eq. FW ----------- ------ ---- --- --- ------ -- -------- -------- 3-Crossover 3 18 Yes 58.5 43.25 D0 3-iron 7-wood 4-Crossover 4 21 Yes 59.4 43.25 D0 4-iron 9-wood 5-Crossover 5 24 Yes 60.4 42.25 D0 5-iron -
SHAFT FLEX TORQUE WEIGHT LAUNCH ANGLE ----- ---- ------ ------ ------------ ALTA 70 Soft R 3.2 69.0g High Regular 3.1 73.0g Mid High Stiff 2.9 76.0g Mid X-Stiff 2.8 79.0g Low Mid TOUR 90 Regular 2.8 73.0g Mid Stiff 2.3 82.0g Low Mid X-Stiff 2.2 87.0g Low AWT 2.0 Regular 2.0 91.0g Mid High Stiff 1.8 96.0g Mid X-Stiff 1.5 109.0g Low Mid TFC 80H Lite 4.0 51.0g High Soft R 3.2 73.0g High
The Crossover has a sleek look with a brushed grey surface on the back, side and sole with a lighter face. The top line is a bit thicker than PING's player irons but similar to the G series irons. You can see the width of the sole from address too, which I like. But some who want the look of an iron at address may not like the thick look.
The blue highlights on the hosel add just enough color without looking garish. The white paint fill on the sole number will certainly help older eyes like mine. I don't wear my bifocals when I play!
Overall, it is a nice looking club. But other than color, the Crossover does look like other company's iron hybrids and driving irons. Consumers may find it difficult to see the benefits.
First, let me state that I don't think the ALTA 70 shaft was right for me. It is very light and felt very flexible for a hybrid shaft. I had great difficulty controlling it with full speed swings. I would have preferred the Tour 90, or even better, the AWT steel shaft. Crossing over from irons to woods, golfers typically want a similar feel between shafts. This shaft was so light, it changed dramatically the way the club felt and worked for me.
The head felt great at impact when I may good contact. It has an almost hybrid feel with a bit more iron-like sound. I compared it to a 4-iron and a 4-hybrid. Launch was high as compared to my 4-iron, but lower than the hybrid I currently use.
The Crossover is long. I was getting similar distance as my current 4-hybrid. The shaft lightness did make it more difficult to make good contact though and that is a shame.
Overall, I like the concept of the PING Crossover. It gives player a bit of both worlds and can bridge the gap. But I would change the light shaft approach and go with lighter steel shafts or heavier graphite. The design is solid and it does what is advertised on good contact shots.
I think the claim of 'new club category' is a bit much though. Other manufacturers have similar hybrid/iron clubs, at least in looks. I've played a few the last couple years. PING's focus really should be on the technology benefits of the Crossover.