Ping S59 Tour Model Better Player Irons Review

Published: 01 August 2007 Last updated: 26 November 2015

s59 tour irons

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  • RRP £95.00

What we say...

Ping S59 Tour Model Irons

Ping have extended the S59 iron range and produced their first ever iron to use a plastic ferrule.

The basic head shape is exactly the same as the original S59 but the Tour Model iron combines a lovely brushed and part-polished finish, which has the visual effect of narrowing the top edge for a very pleasing set-up at address.

the set is particularly striking with this new dual finish, it’s a shame they will only appeal to a limited market. The new S59 irons are in shops now.

They’re for… The S59 will only appeal to the low handicapper looking for a quality, powerful iron with extra playability features over some of the forged irons on the market.

Specs: Shafts: Steel and graphite Left hand? No Price: from £95 (steel) £110 (graphite). Prices are per club. Contact: 01427 619224 Web: www.pingeurope.com

Product Information

Your reviews, ping irons user reviews.

s59 tour irons

Ping S59 Irons: Looking Back, and Our Original Review

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The Ping S59 irons, sometimes called the Ping S59 blades because they were the most blade -like irons Ping made when they were first released, remain popular as a used set today. In fact, although they first appeared in 2003, Bubba Watson was still using them on the PGA Tour as late as 2013. That's a lot of time passed in the world of major golf manufacturer equipment.

Ping's thumbnail description of the S59 blades was this:

"A thin top line, smooth hosel transition, compact head, and narrow, cambered sole gives the S59 a traditional blade appearance sought by better players.The S59 also features a stabilizing bar across the cavity, producing a solid feel and distance control."

Buying Ping S59 Irons Used

The S59 blades remain a popular club in the used golf club market. You might find Ping itself offering used sets via Amazon. Ping (at the time of this writing) still offers new S59 irons, too, but with a catch: they only have individual clubs, and selection is limited. Check with your local golf shop about ordering replacement S59 irons, or visit ping.com .

Now, here is the original review that we published not long after the Ping S59 blades came on the market.

Review: Ping S59 Irons

(Note: This review was originally published in February 2004.)

Reviewer: T.J.

Reviewer's Handicap: 0

Clubs acquired from: Pro Shop

Positives of the Ping S59 Irons

  • Good feel at impact.
  • Very forgiving on mishits.
  • Very soft feel for a blade.
  • Exceptional weighting.
  • Very consistent shot control.

Negatives of the Ping S59s

  • Cosmetically, could look better.

Playing the Ping S59 Irons Ping is known for a solid club that is easy to hit, and Ping did not disappoint with these irons. These are blade-like irons with superior weighting in the sole. Good solid feel in your hands, very forgiving on mishits, easy to work the ball left and right. Overall, a solid club.

This review is a product of my own internal comparison of the Ping S59 and the Mizuno MP33 irons. Since I played both irons, I wanted to narrow down the choice and stick with one set of irons. I spent three days on the range hitting approximately 1800 balls to make my comparison.

  • Distance : I averaged 3-4 yards extra distance with the Ping S59 blades. When practicing, I laser my targets with my Bushnell 500 laser. There was no comparison on distance, as the S59 clearly were the longer irons.
  • Ball Flight : My S59 blades come with Ping Tour Staff custom-shafted shafts to create a lower, more boring ball flight, and to accommodate my faster swing speed. Although the ball flight was slightly lower, I really compliment these irons as they maintained consistent ballflight even on mishits. This was a surprise even to myself. The MP33, even with their great feel and control, did not perform to this consistent level - not even close. Even amateur golfers realize the importance of consistency in any club. Consistency builds confidence in your shots. I purposely hit hundreds of fades , draws , punch shots , and mishits close to the toe and heel to evaluate the feel, consistency, and control of these irons. The club had remarkable recovery (for off-center hits) at most areas of the clubface (minus the hosel shank ).
  • Looks : Look really doesn't matter when it comes to performance, but if you're one who cares about the look, these clubs could be more cosmetically pleasing. The sand blasting on the bottom half of the irons is unattractive (why would they do this?). The weighted insert on the back of the iron could be mounted better. No matter how unattractive, this iron performs very well.

As a first-generation iron, I'm very interested in seeing the continuing improvements on this model. However, there really is something unique about these irons. First, you can not find any set of irons on the market that look or feel like them. This says a lot, considering the market is saturated with duplicity in look, feel, and performance.

Second, the Ping clubs always keep their value as the Ping manufacturer doesn't cannibalize their own products by too quickly flooding the market with excessive models. This makes good business sense and translates into good value for the owner of any Ping clubs.

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The Expert Golf Website

Ping S59 Irons Review – What Handicap Are They for? Are They Forgiving?

s59 tour irons

“The Ping S59 irons are, in my opinion, the most forgiving irons in the now defunct S series.”

That is worth noting because the entire S series was Ping’s first foray into the bladed player’s performance iron market.

Ping S59 Irons Overview

“The Ping S59 irons were the first of their generation. They were the first S series irons and it shows.”

What I mean is that Ping’s very first bladed performance irons still bore a lot of the game improvement aura that Ping was known for. Before the S series, Ping was known for their game improvement clubs. So it’s understandable that the Ping S59’s, their first player’s performance model, would feel a bit more like a GI set.

And despite the short blade length, compact heads, thin top lines and narrow soles, the Ping S59’s actually look a bit more like GI irons as well. They feature a fairly deep cavity back that is filled with a stabilizing bar. The purpose of the bar is to help smooth out harsh vibration and provide more stability on mis-hits.

Indeed, I felt like the Ping S59’s did a really good job of muting side spin on my slight mis-hits. And there was no jolt up my forearm when I missed the sweet spot. Again, this is what makes the Ping S59 feel more like GI irons in my opinion.

I really appreciated the brushed satin finish of these irons too. The brushed steel doesn’t produce any glare in direct sunlight and it gives these clubs a more unique look compared to traditional polished chrome irons. The cavity back does help increase MOI and indeed, the Ping S59 irons did a good job of keeping my slight mis-hits on-line.

The trajectory wasn’t very reminiscent of GI irons though. The Ping S59’s want to launch low. And while this is likely to benefit faster swing speed players, it could be a problem for players who struggle to get the ball in the air.

Are the Ping S59 Irons Forgiving?

“The Ping S59’s are certainly the most forgiving irons in the S series.”

I found that all but the most heinous mis-hits were staying on-line relatively well. In fact, I hit a couple of wide draws that should have been slices. It was quite remarkable actually. Despite the compact head shape and short blade length, I felt that I could use the entire face and not get punished mightily for it.

But unlike other entries into the S series, the Ping S59’s don’t have progressive weighting. So you are more or less relegated to a low, boring launch. Again, that’s not inherently a bad thing; but it is likely to  be a hindrance for players who are seeking forgiveness chiefly.

Another feature that’s worth noting in terms of forgiveness is the cambered sole. If you play from the rough a lot, you are going to want an iron that feels smooth through the cabbage. I found that I was able to make solid, clean contact in the rough with the Ping S59’s. The cambered sole seems to brush down the tall grass and leaves the entire face available for contact.

Are the Ping S59 Irons Good for Beginners & High Handicappers?

s59 tour irons

“They are the best S series irons for beginners and high handicappers; but still not excellent.”

That’s because most beginners and high handicappers won’t be able to compensate for the small head design. The Ping S59 irons do have progressive offset; but it is still pretty minimal in the long irons where it matters most.

I can imagine that beginners and high handicap players will have trouble turning the club over with the Ping S59’s. But as long as you are moderately accurate with your swing, the Ping S59’s will give you a lot of leeway. You can miss the sweet spot consistently and get straighter flight than you’re likely used to as a high handicapper or beginner.

Should you Buy the Ping S59’s or the S55’s?

“The S55 irons are true player’s performance irons.”

The S55’s are a full four models removed from the Ping S59’s and a lot changed. First of all, the S55’s have even less offset than the Ping S59’s. The blade is also more compact and the lofts are slightly stronger.

If you are looking for forgiveness, the Ping S59 irons are clearly the better choice. The Ping S55 irons are more for single-digit handicappers.

Ping S59 – First Impressions

s59 tour irons

“My first impression of the Ping S59 irons was that the cavity was pretty deep.”

I guess I’m just not used to cavity blade irons but there seemed to be a lot going on in those cavernous cavities. The stabilizing bar gives the cavities a sort of busy look. To me, if you’re looking at the Ping S59 irons from the back, they look like typical GI cavity back irons.

Ping S59 Selling Points

  • Good forgiveness from a blade iron
  • Looks great at address
  • Feels smooth on mis-hits
  • Stabilizing bar in the cavity

Who are the Ping S59 Irons for?

s59 tour irons

“The Ping S59 irons would be good for players in the 15-22 handicap range.”

There is certainly enough forgiveness in these irons for experienced high handicappers. But mid handicappers will especially love the lower flight. In fact, these are excellent irons for strong swingers with fast tempos as well.

The S Family of Irons

The Ping S57 irons offer similar forgiveness as the Ping S59’s; but with more of a player’s performance feel. The S57 irons have blunted leading edges which, like the Ping S59’s, gives them very good turf interaction on any lie. The S57’s also have tungsten weights in the soles and toes so stability on mis-hits is excellent. The “V” shaped soles of the Ping S57 irons make it easier to square up to the ball at impact.

Distance: 97/100

Accuracy: 96/100, forgiveness: 96/100, feel & control: 97/100.

s59 tour irons

Overall Score: 97/100

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Aidan is a low-handicap golfer who came from over 110 to breaking 80 in less than 1 year.

Aidan has become obsessed with becoming a scratch golfer and plays golf on every possible occasion, even in the snow!

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s59 tour irons

SportApprove

Ping s59 iron review: a comprehensive look [updated may 2024].

If you’re an avid golfer, you know that the right set of irons can make or break the game . When it comes to choosing the perfect set, there are a lot of factors to consider, including performance, playability, and design. That’s why we’ve taken the time to review the Ping S59 Iron , a popular option among golfers of all levels. In this comprehensive review, we’ll explore the features and performance of the Ping S59 Iron and help you determine whether it’s the right choice for you.

Technology and Design

Let’s start by taking a closer look at the technology and design that make the Ping S59 Iron stand out from other irons on the market. One feature that sets this iron apart is its precision-milled faces, which offer consistent ball speeds and better control. The iron is also designed with a muscle-back construction, which provides greater feel and feedback on each shot. Additionally, the clubhead is made with a tungsten toe weight, which helps to distribute weight evenly and promotes a more consistent swing.

Performance

Of course, technology and design mean nothing if the Ping S59 Iron doesn’t perform well on the course. In our testing, we found that this iron offers exceptional playability and performance. The precision-milled faces and muscle-back construction allow for greater control and accuracy, and the tungsten toe weight helps to promote a more consistent swing. We also found that the iron provides a soft and responsive feel on each shot, which is essential for a satisfying golf experience .

Customization

Another benefit of the Ping S59 Iron is its customization options. Golfers can choose from a variety of shaft materials, including steel and graphite, to customize the feel of the club to their liking. Additionally, the iron is available in both right and left-handed configurations, as well as a variety of flexes. With all these options, golfers can truly tailor the Ping S59 Iron to their individual needs and preferences.

Overall Impression

Overall, we were impressed by the Ping S59 Iron’s performance , design, and customization options. Its precision-milled faces and muscle-back construction provide exceptional playability and control, while the tungsten toe weight promotes a consistent swing. Additionally, the customization options make it easy for golfers to tailor the club to their individual needs and preferences. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced golfer , the Ping S59 Iron is definitely worth considering.

In conclusion, the Ping S59 Iron is a top-of-the-line iron that offers superior design, technology, and performance. With its precision-milled faces, muscle-back construction, and tungsten toe weight, this iron provides exceptional playability and control on the course. Additionally, the customization options allow golfers to truly tailor the club to their individual needs and preferences. If you’re in the market for a new set of irons, we highly recommend giving the Ping S59 Iron a try.

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Ping S59 Irons

Ping s59 irons , user reviews.

The S59 irons help me go from +14 to +9 in one summer. Here in Myrtle, we play 45-50 weeks a year. Clubs are not for beginners or slow swing speeds. These clubs have excellent control and spin. Most people that play with blades will enjoy these irons. Remeber, golf is played mostly in a 5" area between two ears.

Customer Service

No iquiries.

Similar Products Used:

Nike pro-combo, Hogan Radials, R7 425

Not crazy about these at all. I bought them off of ebay for $350.00. Good deal I thought. I played Zing 2s a while back and always been a fan of ping, but I don't care for these. I was looking for more of a blade with some forgiveness, because that is where my game is going. I am a low 80's player looking for 70s. I have Z-Z65 shafts. The trajectory was nice and boring, usually I hit a very high ball, but not with these. However, I noticed once in a while, I would get bizarre results; the ball would jump very high in the air, balloon, and lose distance. I also did not care for the feel of these; it was hard to tell where on the face you struck the ball (typical of ping products). My last complaint it the weight of these. They are so light, even with steel shafts, and the swing weight is like a D-0 or something. It is like swinging a wiffle bat, I have no control. I have switched back to my Titleist 704cbs, they are a little high, but much more consistant and much better feel. 5 stars for value because of EBAY.

Ping customer service is always great. Top notch.

Ping Zing 2, Titleist 704cb

I have always played with ping irons. My first set of clubs were the ISI series, then I moved to G2's. When I finally lowered my hadicap to a 9, 10, 11, respectively (depending on the course, conditions, etc); I said I would reward myself with blades. So, here I am. The S59 series are my latest purchase and probably my last. Before I purchased these blades I made sure to do an extensive review of what was out there. I read the latest Hot List by Golf Diegest, demoed several clubs, and underwent fitting with each. What makes the S59's different from most of the clubs I've tried was their distinct look. Specifically, the thin at the top of the club and the alignment line at address provides confidence. This was a noticable difference from the G2 version as well as other clubs (Mizuno MP 32, Cleveland CG2, Nike Pro Tour). I found the S59's to be very forgiving. Also, these clubs are very easy to control. Simply put, these irons are a must have for any player who wants to take their game to the next level. The combination of good equipment and proper swing mechanics were likely take you there! Try these clubs and you won't be disappointed. The transition to blades finally helped to break 80 for the first time! Give these blade a try. Maybe they are the ones for you, maybe not. But what do you have to lose.

I bought the S59 Tour irons for the brushed chrome finish. Absolutely beautiful craftsmanship. ZZ65 shaft with cushin insert makes these irons very solid. Feels like I'm swinging a tank at a fly, but you still get feedback on where the fly hit the tank, which is a good thing. Previous irons were Eye-2, so I'm getting more distance out of my short irons due to stronger lofts. Super sharp grooves scuff up the cover of soft golf balls.

Terrific. Clubs were a week late in delivery, but they threw in the cushin insert for free.

I changed from a set of Mizuno MP-29 blades to the Ping S-59 hoping to find a little more length in my irons. While I've definitely gained another 12 to 15 yards on each iron, I have noticed that the Pings are not as accurate as my old MP-29s. Also, distances sometimes vary since the Pings seem to significantly add yardage to a perfectly struck ball. Another annoyance that I've found is that the Pings tend to draw the ball a little too much. Even with a PW my shots have shifted from a slight draw to almost a full bore hook. The ball flight is nice and I can work the ball easily with the S-59s. Also, the extra distance can be a big advantage at times. I can't say whether or not the Pings are more forgiving than an average club. They're easier to hit than my old blades, but not by a noticable amount. All in all, the S-59 irons are very good clubs. I wouldn't say that they're great or earth-shattering though. Unless you have a decent swing and shoot in the 80's (or lower), I'd suggest looking at another set of irons. The S-59's require a lot of patience and determination to make them work properly.

From what I've heard Ping's customer service is the best of the best among the major golf manufacturers.

A whole slew of clubs. You name it, I've tried it.

These irons are great! I have been using them for the past few days at my high school's golf team tryouts, and they are giving me a chance to play varsity this year. Appearance: I love the look of these irons. Some people say that these are not blades, but I disagree. They do have a black insert (seen in picture above) that is made of a softer material, and there is a small cavity on the top part of the clubs, but they are blades. Feel: Soft on good strikes and not bone shattering on bad ones. Accuracy: These clubs go where you aim them. If I fire at a pin and hit it well, I will never be outside of five feet. The steel shafts help with that. Distance: Of course the distance will vary from player to player, but I think they are comprable to the Callaway Big Berthas. Workability and Spin: I still can't shape these as well as I can with my old Berthas. I know that sounds weird, but the forgiveness of the Callaways make it easier to attack the ball from different angles. But the Pings are still workable when I need to shape them. Spin is better than any irons I have ever played. Forgiveness: Way better than most blades, but they are not cavity backs. You have to be a good iron player to use these. If you are looking to become better instead of hiding your mistakes with cavity's, buy these. You can get them on eBay for about $500. I got them for only $400.

Haven't needed. I have only heard good things about Ping, though.

Callaway X-12, X-14, Big Bertha 2002, TaylorMade 320, Northwestern, American Golf Design.

Great set of clubs that set up perfectly for me. I have had these for about a month and a half and they have proven themselves to be solid. Great trajectory with the long irons and a little high with the short ones but they are very accurate and the distances are true. I highly recommend these irons.

Never dealt with

Taylormade Rac MB, Titleist 690.MB

I recently purchased a set of S-59s to replace a 25 year old set of Hogan Radials. From the beginning they proved to be well balanced and easy to swing. Off center hits aren't devastating but you will feel it. When the ball is squarely hit it is very smooth. The long irons have a lower trajectory than I am used to and the 8 and 9 irons hit rather high but distance and accuracy is very good. The mid irons take some skill to get the shots placed where you want them and in my case require a more upright swing. The standard grips are far too hard for my liking and will be replaced. All in all they are a great club but not for the beginner. I do not have metal woods from Ping so there is no review for them.

I bought these from Nevada Bobs where the service could have been better. Getting someone to assist with a good fitting was difficult.

I have played Hogan Radials, Cleveland Golf but nothing like the S-59

An absolute solid set of clubs. They set up square with minimal offset and have an overall balanced feel. Miss hits don't knock your teeth out but pured shots sound like a shotgun and feel like butter. The distance control is better than most that I have played. The ball flight is more pearcing than the mizuno's. I would recommend for any avid golfer. They are also a great value at $300 off of ebay.

mp33, x-tour, mx-23, Rac lt2, mp 30

I've played Mizuno irons for the last 6 years, and I think the S59's from Ping are better. I would say the S59's and MP32 / MP33 are very similiar in terms of forgivness. With all 3 sets being very forgiving considering their designed with maximum performance in mind. The S59's are 1 degree upright ( blue dot ) with the CS lite X flex shafts. - The squarer look that the S59's have is something I really like. - The weight and balance of the clubs is the best I've ever felt. - The feel is very direct and confidence inspiring. I actually like the slightly rougher feel the S59's, over the Mizuno blades. - I hope durability / longevity wont be an issue with these irons. My Mizuno MP32's are barely 1yr old and the wear is excessive. The groves are half of what they once were, the leading edges are slightly beveled, and the chrome is gone in the hitting area / sole. ( The 32's spent their life on grass, and I'm not a ball beater. )

No experiences yet but based on what other Ping club owners have said I'm not worried.

Mizuno MP33 Mizuno MP32

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Ping S59 Tour irons, conforming to current or future rules?

Grobster

By Grobster August 21, 2012 in WRX Club Techs

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Hi Guys, I just had one of those perculiar brainwaves in regards to wether some of my current clubs will be conforming or not in future years due to the grooves rule brought in for professionals in 2010.

So here we go, I have some Ping S59 Tour irons that I am currently using and was hoping to use for a good few years to come. However, when I have entered this model into the following site http://www.usga.org/InfoClubsDB/search_results.asp it suggests that the S59 (not sure about Tour versions) are not legal beyond 2010. Likewise for my Ping M/B wedges.

Can someone clarify the situation, for an amateur club and recreational player such as myself please? Is there a date looming for when I will no longer be able to use these clubs?

is this info correct? http://www.golfalot.com/News/Features/WedgeGrooveRules.aspx

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Aug 21 2012

From what I understand, you can use them in most amateur events through 2024 unless you are planning on playing in a USGA Amateur Event. They are actually still allowed in the USGA events until 2014 and after that, they will be illegal for those types of events. As long as you are simply playing in club, local or state amateur events, you should be good to go until 2024. Please verify this info, but I believe it is accurate. I hope this helps.

S59 tours do not conform to the new groove rules. The clubhead/grooves are identical to the standard S59. The only difference is that the Tour has a ferrule and has the polished finish. M/B wedges also do not conform. PBrowne3 is correct regarding your ability to use these clubs. You're absolutely fine through 2024 for all but elite national amateur and professional events. You are certainly well within the rules for club tournaments and general handicapping purposes. While your S59's are probably bombproof enough to make it until 2025, my guess is you will have some new sticks by then regardless of the rules.

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S59 Tour (steel shafts)

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Greatest Ping irons of all time

s59 tour irons

Ping Golf started as a family putter company simply working out of a garage. Today, it is one of the most forward-thinking, technology and data-driven golf companies in the world producing clubs in every category—all while still being 100-percent family-owned and operated. That’s something that can’t be said about any of the other major golf OEMs.

From a garage to an entire campus, which is what Ping likes to call its headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, the company has produced some of the most iconic sets of irons ever made, and essentially invented game improvement clubs. And Ping still owns the title for producing the top-selling iron of all time. To look back at the history of Ping irons is to look at a timeline of constantly improving products and technology—and just like our other lists, some models stand out from the crowd.

These are the greatest Ping irons of all time.

Ping i3 (Blade & O-Size) – Released 2000

s59 tour irons

The Ping i3 makes its way onto this list for several reasons. It was the very first Ping iron to incorporate the CT—Custom Tuning Port—something that has become a staple in Ping designs. It was also the first series to offer both a smaller players version and a game improvement club in the i (eye) series with the i3 Blade and the i3 O-Size. The O-Size moniker was eventually retired with the introduction of the G series and the G2—a name that has become synonymous with easy-to-hit clubs.

As an “engineering” company first, the CTP allowed Ping to precisely control the clubhead weight without having to use tip weights in the hosels and up the shaft. Although it is common practice in club building, using tip weights shifts the center of gravity of the head closer to the hosel of the club (it is in no way a practical shift) or even noticeable, but from a design perspective, it exists, and Ping went the extra mile to reduce the effects.

The other thing the CTP did and still does to this day: eliminate unwanted vibration to improve the feel of the club. The i3 design was so popular, Ping only tweaked it with an improved sole when the i3+ launched two years later. The “Blade” head profile found a third life when it was brought back again years later with the i10.

s59 tour irons

Ping S59 – Released 2003

s59 tour irons

The S-Series forever changed the way better players viewed Ping irons. The irons that kicked off the revolution were the Ping S59 ‘s—one of the smallest, lowest launching, most workable Ping irons ever made (until the Blueprints came along).

It’s not that lower handicap players didn’t like previous Ping irons, because they had full PGA and LPGA Tour rosters that had no issue, but what drove the S59’s development was a demand from younger players who were part of Ping’s substantial college program for a more blade-like design—something Ping had never done before.

The key design element of the S59 is the stabilizing bar across the cavity above the CTP. It helps with producing a solid feel and precise distance control. Not long after the original S59 , a newer version came along that was essentially the same club but with different aesthetics including a buffed sole and back along with for the very first time on a Ping iron—a ferrule!

s59 tour irons

A couple of  fun facts on the S59s

  • Bubba Watson famously used them for over a decade on tour. As a player with no shortage of clubhead speed that loves to work the ball, he found no advantage to the newer models that boosted MOI until the S55.
  • In 2004, Ryan Moore used S59s irons to accomplish one of the most impressive seasons of amateur golf in the modern era when he won the U.S. Amateur (USGA), the Western Amateur (WGA), the U.S. Amateur Public Links (USGA), and the NCAA individual championship.

Ping ISI – Released 1998

s59 tour irons

The Ping ISI represents a bygone era of Ping irons. They were one of the last designs released before the CTP was introduced, and they were also the last series of irons that were produced in three different materials at varying price points: stainless steel, nickel, and BeCu beryllium copper.

The starburst pattern in the back cavity created extra stability behind the thinner face to improve feel, and there are subtle design cues to the Zing with the oversized toe and heel pieces to boost MOI.

There was a second version, the ISI K, which only came in stainless steel and was a larger head shape to the standard ISI. There are still one of the most popular irons of that era, but like many Ping irons of the ’90s they forever lived in the shadow of the Eye 2 and the many versions that were launched.

Ping Rapture – Released 2006

s59 tour irons

The Rapture irons earn their place on this list for what they represent in Ping’s iron and company history. The Rapture irons were the very first Ping irons to utilize a multi-material construction by combining a stainless steel body, thin titanium face, and tungsten toe weight to create the highest MOI iron Ping had ever produced to that point. The entire Rapture line was introduced as a separate premium line of clubs in 2006 and also showcased Ping’s first carbon composite crown driver.

From a company history perspective, the Rapture irons were also the very first irons to be made overseas. Up until 2006, every single Ping iron was produced in Ping’s own privately owned casting facility Dolphin, Inc  (side note they manufacture products for several industries outside of golf and recently moved into a new facility just a couple of years ago when their previous plant was in the way of highway expansion).

Technology in the Rapture irons eventually trickled down to other club designs—like the S57’s, released in 2009, which had the same tungsten toe weighting to increase MOI in the much smaller shaped S-Series iron.

Ping Eye 2 – Released 1982

s59 tour irons

Buckle up for this history lesson!

The Ping Eye 2 is the best-selling set of irons of all time…period. I could write pages on this iron design and the simple brilliance of it. It was also the first Ping iron to be offered in beryllium copper (see title image).

s59 tour irons

The design was originally introduced in 1982 as the follow-up to the original Ping Eye iron, which got its name from the eye-shaped cavity that created the perimeter weighting. The Eye 2 ‘s were produced for over a decade and went through several iterations in shape, sole profile, and groove designs—the first being in 1984 when they upgraded from V to U grooves to increase spin consistency.

Then in 1985, Ping introduced what is known as the “square groove model.” The groove design itself is identical to the “U groove” with the only changes occurring in the spacing of the grooves on the face and a slight radius added. This reduced the surface area between the groove but did not change the distance between the inside edges of the grooves, which Karsten believed as an engineer was the proper way to measure groove spacing and not at the top of the radius—it was well within the rules of golf.

s59 tour irons

Unfortunately, the USGA and Karsten didn’t see eye to eye (no pun intended) on the grooves and this created one of the most monumental lawsuits in the history of golf. Here is the CliffsNotes version

  • After already being in production for several years with tens of thousands of sets sold, it was well documented that Ping Eye 2 irons seemed to spin a ball more than other irons. At the timem USGA regulations for golf equipment didn’t have a specific method to measure grooves, and Karsten measured from their vertical walls (see above graphic), while the USGA measured the groove from where the groove radius met the face. The variance between the two measuring methods was .005 inch, but the USGA still wanted to deem then non-conforming.
  • The famous shot that really caused this to get out of hand was an 8-iron from the rough hit by Mark Calcavecchia at the 1989 Open Championship at Troon that not only hit the green but almost sucked back— out of the rough!
  • Karsten decided to take the USGA to court and in August, 1989, sued the USGA and the R&A for $100 million on the grounds of restraint of trade. Karsten Manufacturing (Ping) settled out of court with the USGA  in 1991.
  • Karsten brought a similar $100 million lawsuit towards the PGA Tour in 1991 after they attempted to enact a local rule that Eye 2’s could not be played on tour. Both Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer (who we should note didn’t use Ping irons) were on the side of the Tour. The Tour was seriously concerned about the financial damage the lawsuit would have if they lost.
  • Most of the golfing world had sided with Ping in the court of public opinion, and only six days before the lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial, Karsten Solheim changed his mind and agreed to settle out of court. No money, beyond lawyers fees, was ever paid, and in return Karsten only required the USGA along with the PGA Tour grandfather in the Eye 2 model in question, made from 1985 to 1989. This is why when the USGA officially changed the groove rule in 2010 some players went back to the last ’80s model Ping wedges because they were still conforming based on the 1991 lawsuit.

During all of this, Ping Eye 2 irons continued to sell extremely well, which is why, to this day, it’s difficult not to come across a set at either a local muni, used club rack, or even the odd club at a swap meet. They were seemingly everywhere and helped make Ping the company it is today.

Soon after, the Eye 2+ (Plus) model was introduced with an improved sole design, and with it one of the most famous wedges of all time was born. Check out the video below for the full explanation by yours truly.

GolfWRXers, what is your favorite Ping iron of all time?

s59 tour irons

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s59 tour irons

Ryan Barath is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

31 Comments

s59 tour irons

Oct 7, 2023 at 6:36 pm

Great post! I’m a big fan of Ping irons and have tried a few over the years. I think my favorite is the PING G5.

s59 tour irons

Yes Or No Spinner

Jan 31, 2023 at 7:06 pm

s59 tour irons

Jeff Hoagland

Jan 23, 2023 at 4:15 pm

Love my i3 blades. Just started playing with them again and wondered why I ever stopped! Bought them when my oldest daughter was born 19 years ago. Both are fantastic!

s59 tour irons

Oct 11, 2022 at 11:36 pm

The ISI is the sum of Karsten Solheim’s work in irons and wedges to the mid 90’s. He died in early 2000. It combined all the best features of the Eye and Zing series into this final design.

I have 3 sets of irons that I will never sell and the ISI is one of them.

s59 tour irons

May 6, 2023 at 3:04 pm

What are the other two set?

s59 tour irons

May 28, 2023 at 12:59 am

I still love my ISI-K irons. I have hit newer Callaways , Taylor Made’s and newer Ping’s. The newer clubs are nice but gimme my good old Ping ISI-K’s please!!

s59 tour irons

tungsten rings

Apr 18, 2022 at 4:50 am

I got this website from my buddy who informed me about this website and now this time I am browsing this site and reading very informative content at this place.

s59 tour irons

Mark Woytalewicz

Jul 7, 2021 at 10:30 am

Shot my best round ever (69) with the ISI-S Nickel irons in the late 90’s. I have a set of the be-cu ISI-S for the last 10 years, sent them to Ping to be re-shafted, gripped, and cleaned up, I take them out once in a while, last time out shot 73 with 30 year old irons, not the arrow, it’s the Indian.

s59 tour irons

Donn Rutkoff

Mar 19, 2021 at 2:29 pm

Quick question. I have a ISI 5 iron, it is copper color but does not say BeCu anywhere. did Ping put “BeCu” anywhere on the ISI copper heads? It is genuine Ping, a z-Z65 shaft and old Ping stripey grip.

s59 tour irons

Apr 27, 2020 at 1:45 pm

PING I3 Blades. Still awesome !!!

s59 tour irons

Growing in Ping Appreciation

Apr 21, 2020 at 8:45 am

I was never a fan of Ping irons growing up and thought they should be illegal. However, since seeing the progression of the iron development over the years and going to Phoenix to see the facilities, I have a tremendous appreciation for the family, the company and the engineering of the designs. I liked several models since 2000 but loved the i10 with ZZ lite. At the time, it was one of the best irons I had ever played. The S57, S56 and S55 were tremendous as well. Now, the iblade is my all time favorite iron! The iblade looks wonderful, is solid, soft, and glides through the turf exceptionally well for me. The trajectory is beautiful and the ball stops great. other than the fact I love to play blades and test new things, it will be hard to get these out of my bag. I may have to get a back-up set!

s59 tour irons

Apr 20, 2020 at 11:32 pm

When was the micro taper offered as the stock shaft in the Eye 2?

s59 tour irons

Shallowface

Apr 21, 2020 at 7:56 am

It never was the stock shaft, but it was an option they offered for years.

s59 tour irons

Apr 21, 2020 at 8:40 pm

Thanks! I had a set of copper Eye 2 that had that shaft. I did not know the year because they were used. Thought maybe the shaft offering could help. Wish I had not sold them because they were 1-LW. Even had an old Dale Head Anser.

s59 tour irons

Apr 20, 2020 at 4:22 pm

Without the K-1 there may have never been any Ping iron business! They were dramatically different from anything ever made up to that point. Nothing was even close. Popularized investment cast irons, first really successful offset iron. The first playable and well used 1-iron that by itself found its way into golf bags everywhere especially on Tours round the world. I still have my set of K-1s that I used in College, mine are the flat soled Pre-Dot model. I haven’t played the set in over 46 years, although I continued to carry the 1-iron for many years afterwards. They had really light swingweights and they were a club longer than any other clubs at that time. Interestingly the Eye 2s were actually shorter in distance.

s59 tour irons

Apr 20, 2020 at 2:32 pm

I had Ping Eye-2 Red Dot 1-SW back in 83-88. If I remember correctly, I had to wait for them since Ping was backlogged. I eventually sold them to my friend who still has them. I go over to his house just to look at them from time to time.

s59 tour irons

Apr 20, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Interesting that you have the S59 2 iron pictured. I have a set of the S59’s I played from ’03-’13. That 2 iron has “negative” bounce and I found it unplayable. The 3 iron was fine for me. I emailed Ping at the time and they said it was to help get under the ball but I think as a design it was a fail. Interested to hear anyone else’s experience with that. I get the concept but just don’t think it works.

s59 tour irons

Apr 30, 2020 at 9:24 am

That’s pretty interesting. Unfortunately, I don’t have have experience with these. But I can say that delofting a club tends to take away bounce. I wonder if the sole was designed specifically for the 2 iron

s59 tour irons

Apr 20, 2020 at 12:25 pm

When I started golf, the Eye2 was the HOT club…I could barely afford a no name set of clubs and I longed to have a set of Eye2s. After 30 years, I finally bought a set of the old Eye2s. They are fun to take out occasionally.

s59 tour irons

Apr 20, 2020 at 11:33 am

One of the more interesting stories not mentioned is the Ping Eye2 +/no/+ model that had the highly desired square grooves with the new and improved Eye2+ sole and rear cavity design. They were only made from Nov 1989 to Mar 1990. So it was a VERY limited run. This model does NOT have the “+” symbol in the back cavity. It might be the holy grail of Ping irons. And it’s all part of the Ping lure.

As an FYI, I still have a brand new (numbers matching; 1-LW) set of these historic irons in my closet!

s59 tour irons

Apr 20, 2020 at 11:04 am

Ping Zings were my very first set of brand name irons, even had the Zing2 driver. Also owned all three versions of the ISI irons, stainless, copper and nickel. The BeCu ones I had the longest, and shot my lowest round, 5 under 67 in the late 90’s. I remember playing on sand based soil for the first time, with the BeCu, in Santee, SC, and about cried when the softness of the copper met sand, oh my the “gouging” on the face! Being anal isn’t very relaxing, kept plenty of Coca-Cola on hand to keep them nice and shiny. Recieved a matching numbers set of EYE2’s BeCu as a birthday gift back in the early 2000’s, played them one time, then returned them. With the grooves, didn’t like the enhanced spin because everything kept coming up short, aside from that, they felt great but didn’t replace the ISI’s. Played the TiSI driver, cringed at the time paying I think $200, until the face caved, and was sent the TiSI Tec as a replacement. Was definitely a PING fanboy back in the day, still use on occasion for fun the 1A putter, and have Glide 2 wedges in the bag.

s59 tour irons

David G Scheiffele

Apr 20, 2020 at 10:15 am

Still gaming the I3 Blades after 20 years. I may need to switch shafts soon, but they don’t look any different than after the first season of play.

s59 tour irons

Apr 20, 2020 at 9:46 am

When I bought new irons in 2000, it came down to the Ping i3+ and the Hogan Apex blades. Hogan won, but only because of looks. The i3+ were really good irons, too.

Mike arnokd

Apr 20, 2020 at 8:35 pm

They are Tanks. Great USA made irons.

s59 tour irons

Keith Finley

Apr 20, 2020 at 9:43 am

ISI is not well-liked generally. It was supposed to unite the playability of the eye 2 and stability of Zing 2. It did not. For many people, the G10 and S58 are benchmark irons – and the last made in USA. My list (having owned 27 sets of Pings over the years… ) Karsten 1 – ridiculously playable still, started it all. Eye 2 + – subtle improvements to the icon. Zing 2 – less ugly than Zing, still fun to play. G10 – loft to loft practically indistinguishable from new G series for most players. S56 – finally got the S formula right. Blueprint – just because.

s59 tour irons

Apr 20, 2020 at 12:18 pm

I don’t agree at all on the ISIs. In fact, I think many people (including, the story goes, Karsten S himself) regarded them as the very best of the ‘classic’ Ping irons. They were a huge improvement on the toe-heavy Zings and the super-thick topline Zing 2s, and were the only Ping iron ever to be released in steel, BeCu and BeNi (as well as oversized, although the ISI-Ks were as clunky as the Zing/2s.

s59 tour irons

Geoffrey Holland

Apr 20, 2020 at 9:29 am

I’ve had sets of k2s, k3+, and isi nickel. The best Ping club I’ve ever had though is your basic eye 2 1 iron, either steel or beryllium. I’ve never owned a Ping wood but I did probably hit the longest drive I ever hit the very first time I ever swung an old laminated eye 2 driver. Just ridiculously long.

s59 tour irons

Apr 20, 2020 at 8:59 am

How in the world are the S55’s not on the list???

s59 tour irons

Apr 20, 2020 at 8:51 pm

I have to agree here, I still have a set of S55’s in great condition and haven’t found anything that beats them. A limited few irons are as good, but not better.

s59 tour irons

Apr 21, 2020 at 9:18 am

agree. S55’s are still used on tour (Mackenzie Hughs and others) and Champions tour (Scott McCarron). Also conspicuous is their absence are my all time fav Ping i5’s. Used by many tour pros including Calcavechia (who used them in part to set the tour record 9 birdies in a row at Canadian Open I believe….)

Apr 20, 2020 at 8:52 am

I have a soft spot for the older Pings, particularly the EYE and the Karsten II. I just preferred the shape of those heads to the EYE2.

I still regularly use the I3 O-Size irons and the original EYE2 Sand Wedge.

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s59 tour irons

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Inside Collin Morikawa’s recent golf ball, driver, 3-wood, and “Proto” iron changes

s59 tour irons

As you probably know by now, Collin Morikawa switched putters after the first round of The Masters, and he ultimately went on to finish T3.

The putter was far from the only change he made last week, however, and his bag is continuing to change this week at the 2024 RBC Heritage.

On the range of The Masters, Morikawa worked closely with Adrian Reitveld, TaylorMade’s Senior Manager of Tour at TaylorMade, to find the perfect driver and 3-wood setups.

Morikawa started off 2024 by switching into TaylorMade’s Qi10 Max driver, but since went back to his faithful TaylorMade SIM – yes, the original SIM from 2020. Somehow, some way, it seems Morikawa always ends up back in that driver, which he used to win the 2020 PGA Championship , and the 2021 Open Championship .

s59 tour irons

At The Masters, however, Rietveld said the duo found the driver head that allowed “zero compromise” on Morikawa’s preferred fade flight and spin. To match his preferences, they landed on a TaylorMade Qi10 LS 9-degree head, and the lie angle is a touch flatter than his former SIM.

“It’s faster than his gamer, and I think what we found is it fits his desired shot shape, with zero compromise” Rietveld told GolfWRX.com on Wednesday at the RBC Heritage.

s59 tour irons

Then, to replace his former SIM rocket 3-wood, Morikawa decided to switch into the TaylorMade Qi10 core model 13.5-degree rocket head, with an adjustable hosel.

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“And I think he felt our titanium head didn’t spin as low as his original SIM. So we did some work with the other head, just because he liked the feel of it. It was a little high launching, so we fit him into something with less loft. It’s a naughty little piece of equipment.” 

s59 tour irons

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s59 tour irons

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Gagarin cup (khl) finals:  atlant moscow oblast vs. salavat yulaev ufa.

Much like the Elitserien Finals, we have a bit of an offense vs. defense match-up in this league Final.  While Ufa let their star top line of Alexander Radulov, Patrick Thoresen and Igor Grigorenko loose on the KHL's Western Conference, Mytischi played a more conservative style, relying on veterans such as former NHLers Jan Bulis, Oleg Petrov, and Jaroslav Obsut.  Just reaching the Finals is a testament to Atlant's disciplined style of play, as they had to knock off much more high profile teams from Yaroslavl and St. Petersburg to do so.  But while they did finish 8th in the league in points, they haven't seen the likes of Ufa, who finished 2nd. 

This series will be a challenge for the underdog, because unlike some of the other KHL teams, Ufa's top players are generally younger and in their prime.  Only Proshkin amongst regular blueliners is over 30, with the work being shared by Kirill Koltsov (28), Andrei Kuteikin (26), Miroslav Blatak (28), Maxim Kondratiev (28) and Dmitri Kalinin (30).  Oleg Tverdovsky hasn't played a lot in the playoffs to date.  Up front, while led by a fairly young top line (24-27), Ufa does have a lot of veterans in support roles:  Vyacheslav Kozlov , Viktor Kozlov , Vladimir Antipov, Sergei Zinovyev and Petr Schastlivy are all over 30.  In fact, the names of all their forwards are familiar to international and NHL fans:  Robert Nilsson , Alexander Svitov, Oleg Saprykin and Jakub Klepis round out the group, all former NHL players.

For Atlant, their veteran roster, with only one of their top six D under the age of 30 (and no top forwards under 30, either), this might be their one shot at a championship.  The team has never won either a Russian Superleague title or the Gagarin Cup, and for players like former NHLer Oleg Petrov, this is probably the last shot at the KHL's top prize.  The team got three extra days rest by winning their Conference Final in six games, and they probably needed to use it.  Atlant does have younger regulars on their roster, but they generally only play a few shifts per game, if that. 

The low event style of game for Atlant probably suits them well, but I don't know how they can manage to keep up against Ufa's speed, skill, and depth.  There is no advantage to be seen in goal, with Erik Ersberg and Konstantin Barulin posting almost identical numbers, and even in terms of recent playoff experience Ufa has them beat.  Luckily for Atlant, Ufa isn't that far away from the Moscow region, so travel shouldn't play a major role. 

I'm predicting that Ufa, winners of the last Superleague title back in 2008, will become the second team to win the Gagarin Cup, and will prevail in five games.  They have a seriously well built team that would honestly compete in the NHL.  They represent the potential of the league, while Atlant represents closer to the reality, as a team full of players who played themselves out of the NHL. 

  • Atlant @ Ufa, Friday Apr 8 (3:00 PM CET/10:00 PM EST)
  • Atlant @ Ufa, Sunday Apr 10 (1:00 PM CET/8:00 AM EST)
  • Ufa @ Atlant, Tuesday Apr 12 (5:30 PM CET/12:30 PM EST)
  • Ufa @ Atlant, Thursday Apr 14 (5:30 PM CET/12:30 PM EST)

Games 5-7 are as yet unscheduled, but every second day is the KHL standard, so expect Game 5 to be on Saturday, like an early start. 

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Out of the Centre

Savvino-storozhevsky monastery and museum.

Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery and Museum

Zvenigorod's most famous sight is the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, which was founded in 1398 by the monk Savva from the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, at the invitation and with the support of Prince Yury Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod. Savva was later canonised as St Sabbas (Savva) of Storozhev. The monastery late flourished under the reign of Tsar Alexis, who chose the monastery as his family church and often went on pilgrimage there and made lots of donations to it. Most of the monastery’s buildings date from this time. The monastery is heavily fortified with thick walls and six towers, the most impressive of which is the Krasny Tower which also serves as the eastern entrance. The monastery was closed in 1918 and only reopened in 1995. In 1998 Patriarch Alexius II took part in a service to return the relics of St Sabbas to the monastery. Today the monastery has the status of a stauropegic monastery, which is second in status to a lavra. In addition to being a working monastery, it also holds the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum.

Belfry and Neighbouring Churches

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Located near the main entrance is the monastery's belfry which is perhaps the calling card of the monastery due to its uniqueness. It was built in the 1650s and the St Sergius of Radonezh’s Church was opened on the middle tier in the mid-17th century, although it was originally dedicated to the Trinity. The belfry's 35-tonne Great Bladgovestny Bell fell in 1941 and was only restored and returned in 2003. Attached to the belfry is a large refectory and the Transfiguration Church, both of which were built on the orders of Tsar Alexis in the 1650s.  

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To the left of the belfry is another, smaller, refectory which is attached to the Trinity Gate-Church, which was also constructed in the 1650s on the orders of Tsar Alexis who made it his own family church. The church is elaborately decorated with colourful trims and underneath the archway is a beautiful 19th century fresco.

Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral

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The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is the oldest building in the monastery and among the oldest buildings in the Moscow Region. It was built between 1404 and 1405 during the lifetime of St Sabbas and using the funds of Prince Yury of Zvenigorod. The white-stone cathedral is a standard four-pillar design with a single golden dome. After the death of St Sabbas he was interred in the cathedral and a new altar dedicated to him was added.

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Under the reign of Tsar Alexis the cathedral was decorated with frescoes by Stepan Ryazanets, some of which remain today. Tsar Alexis also presented the cathedral with a five-tier iconostasis, the top row of icons have been preserved.

Tsaritsa's Chambers

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The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is located between the Tsaritsa's Chambers of the left and the Palace of Tsar Alexis on the right. The Tsaritsa's Chambers were built in the mid-17th century for the wife of Tsar Alexey - Tsaritsa Maria Ilinichna Miloskavskaya. The design of the building is influenced by the ancient Russian architectural style. Is prettier than the Tsar's chambers opposite, being red in colour with elaborately decorated window frames and entrance.

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At present the Tsaritsa's Chambers houses the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum. Among its displays is an accurate recreation of the interior of a noble lady's chambers including furniture, decorations and a decorated tiled oven, and an exhibition on the history of Zvenigorod and the monastery.

Palace of Tsar Alexis

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The Palace of Tsar Alexis was built in the 1650s and is now one of the best surviving examples of non-religious architecture of that era. It was built especially for Tsar Alexis who often visited the monastery on religious pilgrimages. Its most striking feature is its pretty row of nine chimney spouts which resemble towers.

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  17. Gagarin Cup Preview: Atlant vs. Salavat Yulaev

    Much like the Elitserien Finals, we have a bit of an offense vs. defense match-up in this league Final. While Ufa let their star top line of Alexander Radulov, Patrick Thoresen and Igor Grigorenko loose on the KHL's Western Conference, Mytischi played a more conservative style, relying on veterans such as former NHLers Jan Bulis, Oleg Petrov, and Jaroslav Obsut.

  18. Elektrostal

    In 1938, it was granted town status. [citation needed]Administrative and municipal status. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is incorporated as Elektrostal City Under Oblast Jurisdiction—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Elektrostal City Under Oblast Jurisdiction is incorporated as Elektrostal Urban Okrug.

  19. Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery and Museum

    Zvenigorod's most famous sight is the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, which was founded in 1398 by the monk Savva from the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, at the invitation and with the support of Prince Yury Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod. Savva was later canonised as St Sabbas (Savva) of Storozhev. The monastery late flourished under the reign of Tsar ...

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  22. Moscow Oblast

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