by Frank J. Peter
The new ZR1 Mark II Irons by Pinemeadow Golf are promoted by their manufacturer, Pinemeadow Golf from Portland, OR, to be similar in features and performance to the Ping G15 irons. Since they make that claim we tested the ZR1 Mark II irons against the Ping G15 irons in a head-to-head comparison.
Taking the ZR1 Mark II Irons out of the box revealed they indeed show some resemblance to the G15s, particularly the wide sole and the extra weight in the toe region of the club head. These features make it obvious that both models have been designed as game-improvement irons, targeted at mid to high handicappers. The wide soles on both irons indicate that most of the clubhead weight has been shifted 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.
Both clubs feature a very deep cavity and a thin clubface. These features combined substantially increase the sweet spot, making off-center hits still go reasonably well down the fairway.
Both clubheads are a bit heavier compared to other irons. This has two effects:
A notable difference between both irons is that the G15 have a larger offset (about 6mm or 0.24 inches for the 7-iron) compared to the ZR1 Mark II Irons (2.5mm or 0.1 inches, again for the 7-iron). This means that the G15 irons position the hands forward, whereas the Mark II's allow for a hand position more inline with the shaft and clubhead.
In our field test we had our testers play both irons side-by-side. Based on their feedback, both sets offer maximum forgiveness and comfortably get 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, the above claim by Pinemeadow Golf that the ZR1 Mark II Irons are similar to the Ping G15 holds true.
However, having said that, there actually is a major difference: the G15s cost US$700, while the ZR1 Mark II Irons cost only US$149 for a full set. This makes choosing between those two sets a no-brainer: get the Mark IIs and enjoy the money you have saved on more rounds of golf.
Click this link to go to the Pinemeadow Golf webpage for details.