What we say...
Gear fans who get their golf news from the internet will know Ping’s new i210 and i500 irons have been the worst-kept secret of the year.
Staff players Tyrrell Hatton and Tony Finau rocked up to the US Open in June with them in their bags. Hatton announced on social media he loved the softer feel and lower ball flight of his new i210s (going on to finish sixth), while Finau had an unnamed forged Ping hollow-body long iron in his bag. In all fairness to Ping, no details have slipped from their lips about either new iron until the covers were pulled from both at The Open… but we were given both sets weeks before so we could test them first.
WATCH: Best 2021 Players' Iron video
Verdict: Ping i210 iron
The i210s are an excellent players' iron. So good, in fact, that our test pro swapped his iBlades for a set! Their ability to marry good looks with decent levels of playability are what convinced players like Lee Westwood and Tyrrell Hatton to use them.
Unlike muscleback blades, which are favoured by some of the very top players on tour, the i210 is also a great option for good club golfers looking for a solid, reliable iron to keep in the bag for years. Our test pro was particularly impressed with the extra feel he got over the Ping i500s, which can only be put down to additional elastomer in the head which creeps further up the back of the face, supporting the head's structure and dampening vibration. Put simply, an excellent choice for good golfers.
Inside the i210s
Many golfers reckon more iron distance is great, but believe it or not there are players out there that aren’t sold on it. Some just want to stick to what they’ve always known and rely on better distance control and accuracy with their irons to make their score. Ping’s i200s, which are now two years old, have been massively popular with decent players and tour players alike. In fact they’re by far Ping’s most played iron on tour. So it goes without saying i210 is much more an update than a revolution, like the i500.
Ping’s engineers put a premium on the feel and precision on the i210s by leveraging a patented multi-material construction that combines a 431 stainless steel head with a larger and softer elastomer insert. The additional volume of the custom tuning port, which also increases perimeter weighting and provides swingweight fine tuning, allows for a 30% larger insert and creates 25% more face contact, resulting in activation of the elastomer to produce a soft and pleasing feel. They also took great care in refining the shape and look to ensure the iron appealed to the discerning golfer’s eye.
“The soft feel of the i210 irons is unlike any we’ve ever offered,” said Solheim. “We know players who rely on precise iron play also require exceptional feel to control their ball flight and trajectories. The improvements to the tuning port and elastomer insert along with the exacting, refined details of the i210 iron offer a new level of performance for this style of iron.”
The i210 iron’s face and grooves are precision milled as is the cavity, giving it a high-end appearance. Tighter groove spacing in the pitching wedge and U-wedge provides greater precision and helps prevent fliers on shots where control matters most. A new hydropearl chrome 2.0 finish repels water to greatly improve consistency from the rough and wet conditions.
How do the i210 compare to Ping's other 2019 irons?
What you need to know about the i210
30% more elastomer than the i200s helps support the face at impact, but the real win is how the elastomer is 50% softer, which increases feel and feedback.
Immaculate head profiles
Ping say they’ve tweaked and nudged the i210’s profile to give a sharper radius on its edges and cleaner straighter lines for a really crisp appearance. Expect more forgiving shapes in the long irons and a muscleback look in the scoring clubs.
CNC milled cavity
It’s not just the face and grooves that are CNC milled on the i210 – the cavity is, too. It means the face thickness can be controlled very carefully for extremely consistent and reliable shot making.
Tighter groove spacing
No stone has been left unturned in the search for performance. The face grooves are more tightly spaced, and each has a sharper top radius to generate more friction between ball and clubface. It all adds up to getting 15-30% more groove on the ball.
Ping i210 irons review: How they compare
To illustrate where the i210s fit into Ping’s range, we got TG test pro Kevin Hale to hit it along with the new i500, current iBlade and outgoing i200 (all of which fall into the better player category) to reveal how all four models compare on a launch monitor.
Ping i210 iron review: Looks
Sit the new i210 beside the i200 and to the untrained eye there’s not a massive difference. It’s a solid decision from Ping to not reinvent the wheel; they know the i200 has been successful so it makes sense to opt for updates and improvements on what’s already working. i200 has always been a good looking iron and the refinements just make it even more desirable.
Ping i210 iron review: Performance
Don’t be under any illusions the i210 is in anyway comparable to the i500, the pair are light years apart when it comes to ball speed, backspin and carry distances – and they’re supposed to be. There is, though, a decent degree of forgiveness. In fact Ping say playability is pretty much level between the i210 and i500. We reckon i210 will be a big hit in tour bags. Tyrrell Hatton already has a set and Lee Westwood is likely to join him, but where full sets of i210s will be played by the elite, it’s highly likely you’ll only spot an odd i500 long iron in a tour pro bag, as those guys just aren’t chasing distance.
Ping i210 iron review: The numbers
Our data shows just how closely the outgoing i200s are matched to the new i210s. We removed any shots from our data that our test pro wasn’t happy with, but on another day the numbers between the pair could easily be switched. It says to us that if you already own a set of i200s they’re still a great iron and you’re unlikely to see big gains trading up to the i210s. We reckon golfers are less likely to buy i210s on data alone, which makes how our test pro loved the premium feel and sound pretty significant.
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