Which Ping irons should I buy? Your guide to each iron in Ping's 2021 line-up and who they are aimed at.
Most major brands have five, six or even seven irons in their 2021 line-ups, which shows the importance of having solutions for all golfers, irrespective of ability or personal preference. Choices range from slimline musclebacks to hollow heads and cavity backs, and while some are forged, others have springy faces just like a driver.
So with such a huge amount of choice out there, we felt it was far too easy for golfers to get confused about which iron best suits them.
Even golfers who have a good idea of which iron suits them probably don’t realise what they put on the line in terms of ball speed, carry and forgiveness by choosing a set above their station.
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To help you choose the right Ping model, we will show you how the brand’s whole iron range compares against each other.
As well as launch monitor data from our pro, we’ve given every Ping iron a forgiveness rating (1 = least forgiving, 5 = most forgiving) and a handicap guide to spell out simply what sort of players should be considering what sort of models, and why.
How we tested which Ping iron is best for you
We asked Ping to submit their entire 2021 irons range for testing.
We created a controlled test environment indoors at Keele Golf Centre and used premium golf balls.
We collected a ton of data from every iron shot hit, using a Foresight Sports GC Quad launch monitor, all of which can be found further down this piece.
RRP £219 per iron | VIEW OFFER
Category Muscleback blade | Forgiveness rating 1 | Handicap range 4 and Below | Construction Forged from a single piece of 8620 carbon steel | Availability 2-PW | Stock shaft True Temper Dynamic Gold 120 (S300, X100), Ping AWT 2.0 (R, S, X) | 7-iron loft 34°
The Blueprint was developed with a handful of Ping’s tour players, and as lovely as they are, realistically they are only a good match for a tiny proportion of golfers; a point backed up by the fact Ping’s most played tour iron is the i210.
We’ve seen a lot of muscleback irons over the years, yet the Ping Blueprint have the slimmest sole widths we’ve ever laid eyes on, they really are wafer thin. For some that will mean lovely turf interaction, but it also dictates how you’ll need to be a cracking ball striker to even consider a set. This is Ping’s only full forged iron.
WATCH: Best Muscleback/Blades Test
RRP £239 per iron | VIEW OFFER
Category Players | Forgiveness rating 2 | Handicap range 4 and below | Construction Forged 1025 carbon steel body combined with 17-4 stainless steel face | Availability 3-PW | Stock shaft True Temper Dynamic Gold (12 options available in total) | 7-iron loft 34°
The Ping i59 is a perfect snapshot of just how much Players’ Irons have evolved over the last half decade. The i59 replaced the five year old iBlade and the differences between the pair really couldn’t be greater.
Where the iBlade had traditional cast heads and micro cavity backs, the i59 are at the absolute opposite end of the Players’ Iron scale. Historically, Ping aren’t big forgers of irons, but they reckon a modern forged hollow body design (with a stainless steel face) and a lightweight aluminium core are perfect for the new i59, yet the construction would have been unthinkable for the brands Players’ Iron just five years ago.
WATCH: Ping Blueprint vs iBlade, i210 and i500
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RRP £126 (s), £136 (g) per iron | VIEW OFFER
Category Players | Forgiveness rating 2.5 | Handicap range 10 and below | Construction One piece, cast 431 stainless steel | Availability 3-UW | Stock shaft True Temper Dynamic Gold (plus seven premium options at no upcharge) | 7-iron loft 33°
Similar offset to the iBlade and i500 means all three irons look alike at address, but a 7-iron loft 2.5° weaker than the i500 spells out how the pair are aimed at very different golfers. The i500 is a players distance iron, whereas the i210 is for golfers wanting a good degree of forgiveness in a compact players shape.
Ping say forgiveness levels are comparable between the i210 and i500, which our data has completely supported over the three years we’ve tested them (they were introduced in 2018).
RRP £149 (s), £159 (g) per iron | VIEW OFFER
Category Players distance | Forgiveness rating 3 | Handicap range 12 and below | Construction Hollow body (17-4 stainless steel) with forged C300 maraging steel face | Availability 3-UW | Stock shaft True Temper Dynamic Gold, UST Mamiya Recoil ES SMAC (plus five premium options at no upcharge) | 7-iron loft 30.5°
Thanks to so many new players and players distance iron models appearing on the scene, we’ve revised our forgiveness rating of the Ping i500 iron up by half a point this year.
Its stronger lofts, thin fast face tech and a hollow body are all built for speed, and our data has them delivering five yards more carry than the i210s, without dropping serious levels of backspin.
If you’re considering a set you should also look seriously at the G425, which are much more progressive than Ping’s older G irons (compact shorter irons, more forgiving long ones).
WATCH: Best Players Distance Irons Test
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RRP £129 (S), £139 (G) per iron | VIEW OFFER
Category Mid-handicap | Forgiveness rating 3.5 | Handicap range 8 and above | Construction Cast 17-4 Body with hyper 17-4 stainless steel face | Availability 4-LW | Stock shaft Ping AWT 2.0 (s) Ping Alta CB Slate (g) (plus seven premium options at no upcharge) | 7-iron loft 30°
Over the years, Ping’s G irons have been consistently proven performers in almost anyone’s hands. But what’s changed dramatically over the last few versions is how the traditional boxy G heads have given way to very refined short and mid-iron shapes in the G425. It was second only to PXG’s super-premium Gen3 irons when it came to forgiveness among all 15 mid-handicap irons we tested recently, which is seriously impressive.
The G425 irons are a brilliant option for everyone from average ball striking, single figure golfers all the way up to erratic 20+ handicappers.
WATCH: Best Mid-Handicap Irons Test
RELATED: Best Mid-Handicap Irons
RRP £169 (s), £179 (g) per iron | VIEW OFFER
Category High handicap | Forgiveness rating 4 | Handicap range 28 and below | Construction Hollow body (17-4 stainless steel), with maraging steel face | Availability 4-SW | Stock shaft Ping AWT 2.0 (s), Ping Alta Distanza Black 40 (g) (plus eight premium options at no upcharge) | 7-iron loft 29.5°
Ping’s longest and strongest iron, yet many will be surprised the G710 didn’t give our test pro his lowest flying or shallowest descent angle shots.
Strong lofted irons really have come a very long way, and if you believe some of the best engineers in the business, it’s because hollow body irons, with their thin, fast faces, add at least a degree of launch (and extra ball speed), even though lofts are stronger.
It should come as no surprise the G710 is great at protecting carry drop-off, although you’re unlikely to see the 11-yard carry gain over the G425 our test pro did (as at slower speeds distance gaps narrow). If you’re looking for Ping’s longest distance iron, you’ve found it.
WATCH: Best High-Handicap Irons Test
How the Ping irons compared on our launch monitor
Which Ping iron is best suited for which handicap range?
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