PING i IRONS
CATEGORY: Better Player Irons
PRICE: $1,000, steel; $1,100, graphite
WE TESTED: 4–PW with CFS Distance steel shafts
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: More weighting along the perimeter of the head increases forgiveness over the i25.
PLAYABILITY: Straight is the default flight, though some shots can be made to bend; long irons are hybrid-like in their ability to hit high shots that land softly on greens, while the short irons have a controllable mid-trajectory for easy birdie hunting; competently works through all kinds of lies to send shots toward the target.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: More forgiving than most in its class -- you can miss the sweet spot and still occasionally find the green; minimal dispersion -- there’s definitely some game-improvement baked into these sticks.
DISTANCE CONTROL: Longer than previous Pings -- and what a lot of testers have in their bags; minimal distance loss on all but extreme misses -- a big confidence booster when shooting at pins tucked over hazards.
FEEL: A heavier head weight makes it easy to track throughout the swing and to square up at impact; clubface stays stable; a painless, shock-free sensation.
LOOK: Clean, simple lines along with a medium-size head and topline; two-tone face frames the ball while the white fill on the bottom groove makes alignment easy; offset gets progressively more in the long irons for help squaring the club.
Not quite as workable as some others in the category; one or two testers think the club has a draw tendency.
BOTTOM LINE: With high marks for its forgiveness and easy-launching long irons, the Ping i is an excellent introduction for guys looking to move into a better player’s club.