South African Louis Oosthuizen at last weekends’ WGC-Dell Match Play, came in second to winner Jason Day by winning six matches on his way to the final. Many weeks he has in his bag a club that Ping says represents a new category, the Crossover.

Of course the idea of a new club category is interesting but it depends on what prompted the announcement. Even if it’s a way to attract attention to a new model club, the on-course results determine whether it all gets filed under “marketing hype” or the club finds its way into the bags of players.

After playing with the Crossover over ten rounds under a variety of conditions it is clear this is a serious club that produces good shots and deserves consideration.

OK, but what is it?

At first glance the Crossover looks like a hybrid but a little closer look shows the face doesn’t have bulge as does the face of a hybrid or fairway wood but is flat like the face of an iron. On the other hand the clubhead is hollow, the same as fairway woods and hybrids, and weighting has been pushed to the perimeter.

Ping GDescribing the reaction to the Crossover, Ping’s CEO John Solheim said, “People love the look and feel of the Crossover because they haven’t seen anything like it. It shouldn’t be confused with a driving iron; it’s higher-launching and much more forgiving, and offers a lot of versatility. Our extensive player testing has revealed this to be a very attractive option.”

The face is a high strength machined steel allowing flex at impact which of course produces more ball speed and distance and the head has a slight offset to help accuracy as does the thin top rail and flat face. The center of gravity is low and towards the rear because of the heel and toe weighting which also allows for lots of forgiveness and a high modulus of inertia or resistance to twisting.

The Ping Crossover is $247.50 and comes in a choice of a #3 with 18 degrees loft, a #4 of 21 degrees and a #5 of 24 degrees. The stock graphite shaft is the Ping Alta 70 and there is no upcharge for the optional AWT 2.0 steel, but the Tour 90 shaft is $30 extra.

Since winning the 2010 Open Championship Oosthuizen has had six wins including the ISPS Handa Perth International in February on the PGA Tour of Australia. Oosthuizen’s Crossover is a #3x with 19 degrees of loft.