Our Review: Pinemeadow Golf from Portland, OR, recently released their new successor to last years ZR1 irons, the new ZR1 Mark II Irons. While last years model was similar to the Ping G10 irons, the new irons have a great similarity to the popular Ping G15 irons. This is particularly obvious when looking at the the wide sole and the extra weight in the toe region of the club head. These two design features allow the ZR1 Mark II irons to be classified as game-improvement irons, targeted at mid to high handicappers. The wide soles on the irons are the result of a design that shifted most of the clubhead weight to the lowest possible point, resulting in a very low center of gravity (COG). This in turn helps the mid- to high handicapper to easily and comfortably get the ball airborne.
The Pinemeadow ZR1 Mark II Irons also feature a very deep cavity and a thin clubface. These features combined substantially enlarge the sweet spot, thus allowing off-center hits to still go reasonably well down the fairway.
In addition the clubheads are a bit heavier compared to other irons. This way you can actually 'feel' the position of your iron during the backswing. This is a welcome response, especially for high handicappers, as they are better able to control their take-back and avoid overswinging during the backswing.
Another advantage of the heavier clubhead is that golfers with a slower swing speed will be able to generate a better momentum at impact without having to swing too hard. As you probably have experienced yourself, whenever you try to hit too hard (i.e. trying to 'kill' the ball), the ball ends up somewhere in the rough. Coaches always tell to 'let the club do the work' rather than trying to hit too hard. With the ZR1 Mark II Irons you can get great impact without having to kill the ball. The result will be to get the ball down towards the pin rather than into the bushes.
The ZR1 Mark II Irons have a small offset of only 2.5mm or 0.1 inches (for the 7-iron as example) allowing for a hand position more in line with the shaft and clubhead. This is in contrast to the Ping G15 which have a larger offset (about 6mm or 0.24 inches for the 7-iron), thus placing the hands slightly in front of the shaft and clubhead.
On the golf course the Pinemeadow ZR1 Mark II Irons offered maximum forgiveness and comfortably got the ball airborne. There was consistent feel throughout the iron range, and shots that came out of the toe or heel still made it reasonably well down the middle.
In summary, if you are a Ping fan but want to save some money you should give these irons a try, especially given the fact that the G15s cost US$700, while the Pinemeadow ZR1 Mark II Irons cost only US$149 for a full set of 3-PW, inclusive of custom fitting. As a welcomed side note: these irons also come in left hand for all you Lefties out there.
Likes: Upgraded technology, very forgiving, high quality
I've used Ping Irons for over 40 years. I had the original Ping, then Ping Eye2, then Ping Eye2+, then Ping iSi, then I switched to Pinemeadow ZR1 (Ping G10). I ordered and received my ZR1 Mark II's last week and I'm delighted I made the switch. The quality, look and feel are simply superb. These are without a doubt the best irons I've ever used. They are at least 1 club longer than the ZR1 and I'm back to hitting the length I used to hit 20 years ago. I now hit a 7 Iron 150 meters (165 yards) and the Mark II's are straighter than the the ZR1. The feel off the face is just amazing on a well hit shot. Even slightly mis-hit shots fly straighter. The Pitching Wedge and Sand Iron, although, the same specs as the ZR1, result in shots I thought I'd lost forever because of my advancing age and reduced fitness, but not so. To say I recommend these irons to anyone is a gross understatement. What I say is that if you don't get these irons you're doing yourself an injustice.