Ping i59 Iron Review

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  • At a glance

  • TG Rating 5 out of 5
  • Owner Rating Not yet rated
  • RRP £239.00

What we say...

The Ping i59 brings additional forgiveness to the brands new hollow body players’ iron.

The iBlade has been part of Ping’s iron line-up for five years, and that’s a much longer shelf life than virtually any other modern iron. Ping’s stance is ‘if we can’t make it better, why would we make another new model?’ That’s an admirable position to take in our commercially driven “just give me something new” world.

But so much has changed in iron design over the last five years, including the arrival of hollow body tech that Ping have used in the i500, G700 and G710 irons before. So Ping have decided the time is right to go all guns blazing after developing an iBlade replacement, and this is what they’ve come up with – the brand new i59 iron.

Equipment fans will know the i59s have been a massive hit amongst Ping’s tour staff already, as they started leaking out earlier this year, and Viktor Hovland has already won with a set in his bag. Despite some pandemic-related component set-backs the i59s are now ready to hit the shops, this is what you need to know about them. 

RELATED: Best Players’ Iron 2021

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What you need to know about the Ping i59 iron

Forged players’ styling

The i59 replaces the iBlade players’ iron in Ping’s line-up, so expect very similar sole bounce, blade length and offset but with a 0.75mm thinner sole. And because good players demand ultimate consistency the i59’s face, grooves, hosel and toe geometry are all CNC milled and 100% inspected by quality control.   

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What’s inside?

The i59 is made in three pieces. A forged 1025 carbon steel body is combined with a 17-4 stainless steel face and inside there’s an aerospace grade aluminium core (uniquely shaped to each iron in the set), which is a third of the weight of stainless steel. It means 30g of material is freed up from the heart of the iron for repositioning to better control trajectory and offer a tighter dispersion.

RELATED: Which Ping iron suits me?

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Four more grooves

To help reduce fliers in the short irons and maintain spin in the longer sticks you’ll find four extra grooves on each i59 face. Ping say the idea maximises shot-to-shot consistency.

To incorporate the new groove pattern, spacing has narrowed to 2.6mm (from 3.5mm) between each scoreline and the side walls have changed dimension from 16deg to 20deg. 

Tungsten toe and heel weights

Ping have used clever tungsten toe and concealed heel weights inside the tips of their iron shafts for a while, but combining this tech with a hollow body showcases how effective the two technologies can be. It means golfers get i210 levels of forgiveness (Ping’s most popular tour iron) from this smaller i59 chassis.     

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Moisture management

We’ve seen from testing that moisture changes launch, ball speed and backspin when hitting iron and wedge shots. Ping’s Hydropearl 2.0 finish is specifically designed to repel water to improve wet weather performance over competitor models.     

No loft jacking

The i59 lofts are very traditional and comparable to other leading players’ irons. If you want to add a bit of extra pop or desire to dial back their performance there’s also the chance to Power Spec (strengthen lofts across the set – by 2° in the 7-iron) or Retro Spec (which weakens lofts across the set – by 2° in the 7-iron) across the set.  

Optional Cushin insert

It’s no secret steel shafts give harsher vibrations than their graphite counterparts. If you’re the type of player who wants to reduce stress and strain on your joints the i59s come with the option of adding a Cushin insert inside the steel shaft to filter vibration and help reduce fatigue.   

RELATED: How good is the Ping G425 iron?

What Ping say about the i59 iron

“There’s been a lot of anticipation for the i59 iron since we took them out on tour a few months ago, so we’re very excited to bring them to golfers around the world,” said John K. Solheim, Ping’s president. “It’s a true forged blade on the outside, but inside it’s like nothing ever engineered in golf equipment.

“Our team took on the challenge of disrupting an iron category that traditionally has lacked a lot of performance innovation and developed an iron unlike any other. The combination of the look, feel and forgiveness when you need it sets it apart from anything else in the industry. Once golfers hit it, they’ll be pleasantly surprised by its versatility. The i59 will clearly appeal to better golfers but the combination of forgiveness and clean appearance will attract golfers of all skill levels.”

“It’s been very well received on tour and was in the bag of Viktor Hovland when he became the first Norwegian to win on the European Tour earlier this summer (2021). Johannes Veerman also won with a full set of i59s at the 2021 Czech Masters. The players really like the distance control and the ability to consistently flight the ball to the precise yardages required to succeed at the professional levels.”

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Where does the i59 fit in Ping’s iron line-up?

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Verdict: Ping i59 iron

As Ping pull the covers from the i59 Players’ Iron the golfing world has a perfect snapshot of just how much Players’ Irons have evolved over the last half decade. The i59 replaces the 5-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 5 years ago.

Watch: Which Ping iron suits me video? – inc the i59

What’s really impressive about the i59 story is it’s not just Ping saying hollow heads are the way decent golfers should now be approaching modern Players’ Irons. Thanks to some serious tour player buy in, and the world #14, Viktor Hovland having already won with the i59 in his bag, there’s plenty of elite players who now also recognise just what the i59’s hollow body brings to the table.

Data comparison: Ping Blueprint, i59, i210, i500, G425, G710 irons

TG test pro Neil Wain tested the i59 on a launch monitor to show how it compares it to Ping’s other irons.

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Ping i59 iron vs Ping Blueprint iron

There will always be golfers who don’t see shots in straight lines, golfers that want to shape and work shots around the golf course, and it’s these types of players the Blueprint cater for. Equipment fans will know one piece forged Ping irons are extremely rare, as the brand believe modern cast irons can sound and feel every bit as good. The forged Blueprint are one of only three Ping full forged irons created this millennium (the other two both being Anser irons), where the i59 and i500 have either a forged face or body.   

With the shortest blade length, which means the centre of gravity located is closest to the shaft, the Blueprint are Ping’s most workable (lowest MOI) iron. Look at our carry distance data and the pair look pretty evenly matched, but the full story couldn’t really be further from the truth. And it’s down to these differences that the i59 has garnered so much attention from Ping’s tour staff.

From the same 7-iron loft the i59 created more ball speed (1.2mph) for our test pro, shots also launched higher (7.9%) with extra backspin (4.1%) and peaked out higher (10%), before descending onto the green at a steeper angle (4.1%). Which means unless you’re a diehard muscleback blade fan the i59’s are a much more sensible option over the Blueprint.   

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Ping i59 iron vs Ping i210 iron

The i210 has been Ping’s most popular tour iron since it was first introduced in 2018. Whilst we’ve loved it throughout this time, if there’s one nagging criticism the model has struggled to shrug off, it’s how the heads a little boxier in shape than most Players’ Iron models. So what the i59 brings to the party is genius.

By combining the same smaller head shape of the previous iBlade with the extra forgiveness of the i210, which has been a major part of the i210’s success, the i59 is a seriously good and attractive iron. In a nutshell the i59’s speak volumes about the magic tricks that hollow body irons allow engineers to pull off within the modern game.

On paper choosing between the i59 and i210 isn’t straight forward, there’s not a clear data winner between them, even though a £113 price difference (per club and in favour of the lower priced i210) will surely make up the minds of many. From a slightly stronger loft the i210 is faster, but the i59 launched (8.6%) and peaked out (6.5%) higher, and descended shots onto the green at a steeper angle (2.1%) too.

Putting price tag aside we reckon the real reason decent ball strikers will be sold on the i59 is its ability to roll extra forgiveness into a smaller chassis, which is the major gain over the previous iBlade.   

Watch: Best 2022 Players’ Iron video

Ping i59 iron vs the competition

Like wedges and putters true Players’ Irons are very personal pieces of kit, with subjective looks and perceived feel often playing huge rolls in any decision making process. Where before many golfers have decried Players’ Irons that came with strong lofts, fast faces or hollow bodies, today the Players’ Iron category today is littered with tons of this type of  technology.   

Our thinking is that true Players’ Irons typically shouldn’t come with unrealistically strong lofts, those that do are Players’ Distance models (think the Ping i500). But when it comes to fast faces and hollow bodies the gloves are now well and truly off within this category.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking the i59 is any sort of replacement for Ping’s i500 Players Distance iron, it’s not and the difference in 7-iron lofts should automatically highlight that. At some point in the not too distant future there’s likely to be an i500 update, but i59 will be Ping’s Players’ Iron for the foreseeable future. And you really should keep that crucial point in mind when looking at our competitor comparison data.

If your eyes are drawn to the i59 propping up our test pro’s distance numbers, then you really are looking at the wrong iron category, the type of golfer this category should be attracting is not worried about distance. Instead be drawn to how the i59’s launch and peak out higher, spin more and attack the green at a steeper angle than any of the competition, which are just the sort of traits that allow excellent ball strikers to hit and stop approaches closer to the pin more often.        

Data comparison: Ping i59 iron vs competitor models

TG test pro Neil Wain tested the i59 on a Foresight GC Quad launch monitor against players’ irons with a similar target market from other other brands.

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Got a question about the Ping i59 irons? Ask us on Twitter.

Simon Daddow

Review written by: Simon Daddow   

Job title: Today’s Golfer – Equipment Editor

Product Information

Ping i59 iron

RRP: £239 per club

Availability: 3 - PW

Stock steel shafts: Project X LS (6.0/6.5), AWT 2.0 (R/S/X)

Stock graphite shafts: Alta CB Slate (SR/R/S), Alta Distanza Black 40 (SR), UST Recoil (A/R/S)

No upcharge steel shafts: Dynamic Gold (S300/X100), Dynamic Gold 105 (R300/S300), Dynamic Gold (S300/X100), KBS Tour (R, S, X), NS Pro Modus 105 (R/S/X), True Temper Elevate 95 (R, S)

7-iron loft: 34°

Iron category: Players' Iron (Hollow Body)

Forgiveness rating: 2 (see other Forgiveness rating 2 irons here)

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