Just a few things about myself before I get into the review. I am a golf enthusiasts, as many guys are here on WRX. I have been golfing for about six years now (former baseball player) and take it serious, but always enjoy my time on the course. I carry a handicap index of 8. Some strengths of my game are wedge play and iron play.Woods and hybrids had generally given me trouble until I stumbled upon the i15hybrid.
Club Tested: PING i20 Hybrid 20*
The glare free matte black finish is the first thing I noticed when opening the box. Matched with the Project X black shaft, the “stealth” black look is very nice. Small/compact head. Great sound and feel at impact. It is very similar to the i15 and doesn’t take much adjustment getting used to.
Some might think it is a players club being part of the i series, but one will quickly realize it is for mid and low handicappers not just the best golfers. It truly is difficult to come up with cons for this club. Just a few swings in I knew PING had another winner.
• Bottom Line
PING has done it again. I for one LOVE(D) the i15 hybrid (still have in my bag). The i20 hybrid is right there if not longer than the i15. The look is unique and eye catching, and the matte black finish is great during sunny days.The club offers great forgiveness with workability. The ball flight produced is a nice mid to mid/high couldn’t ask for anything more. Try it and you will want to buy it!
• Look (5 stars)
The i20 hybrid’s matte finish (on crown) and black face aren’t just another all black club. Unlike the Titleist910 line, the i20 hybrid is a matte finish which eliminates glare which as many of you know can be quite distracting when standing over a shot on a bright sunny day (can be seen in my pictures). The overall look of the black finish is very cool and functional, hats off to PING on this one. I can’t speak on the durability of the finish as I have only hit a few balls on the range/course,but I hope to update the review over time with feedback on how the club wears.
As for the overall shape and style of the club, it has a similar shape and lines to the i15. I hope my pictures captured this, but the head is noticeably smaller and more compact looking than the i15 however. I for one have been very pleased with the i15 hybrid, but hands down the look of thei20 is way better. A lot of this has to do with personal preference, but I think the i20’s finish has gotten a lot of applause here on the boards.
• Performance/playability (4 Stars)
Just a few swings into testing put a huge smile on my face. One swing, a perfect mid height shot that just seemed to carry, perfect launch and come down softly. The dispersion from left to right seemed to be very tight. I am no tone to usually work the ball with my hybrid. I would generally use it off the tee on short par 4’s, as a second shot on par 5’s or off the tee a long Par3. Working the ball left or right with the i20 is no problem. I haven’t had enough on course testing with it to give feedback on performance out of the rough just yet, but off the tee for me it was longer than my currently i15 set up and off the deck it was longer as well(hit a par 5 in two day that I generally need a fairway wood to reach). One thing I noticed was a nice launching angle, the ball seemed to climb nicely to its peak after launch and come down softly enabling the user to hold greens on long par 3’s and par 5’s etc. In limited use thus far I am very pleased with the performance. They took a great performing club in the i15 and made it even better. Also had a few instances when hitting the club out of the rough and this is where it truly shined. It’s pretty much point and shoot with this thing.
• Feel (4 Stars)
The feel is wonderful, again similar the i15, yet sweeter for lack of a better term. The sound for those of you that have hit the driver is muted, which for some may be music to their ears. Even mishits, one that I had in particular was out near the toe, the ball still flew fairly straight, lost some height, but still felt great. The shaft seems to be super smooth, gives good kick, and overall the club feels like a good weight. I was expecting a club a little lighter, but I am very happy with the overall weight of the club. Again I haven’t hit enough balls with it to experience more and/or worse mishits, but the few that I did experience still turned out okay and felt fine. The club offers a nice solid feel at through impact, no harsh vibrations or stinging in the hands. As far as sound and feel a golfer can’t really ask for more in this department.
• Overall bottom line (4.5/5 Stars)
As I mentioned before, PING has another winner on their hands here. The i20 is without a doubt an improvement over the i15, and I thought it was going to be hard to outdo their last offering. PING has proven me wrong once again. They did a great job in taking a great club and making it even better. The size/shape/look are all very pleasing to the eye. The finish is very functional for golfers in sunny locations. The stock Project X black shaft is a GREAT stock offering as well, can’t beat it as far as stock shafts go. The i20 hybrid performs and it performs well. I will be putting my i15 and the i20 head to head against one another. I have a free spot in my bag so I can always carry both! I highly recommend this club to those who liked the i15 or currently use the i15 and are looking for something new. I also recommend this club to players seeking a good mixture of forgiveness and workability in a classical compact style hybrid head. You can’t go wrong with the i20.
On to the pictures (comparison shots are with an i15 20* hybrid):
When looking to improve on the i15 hybrids, it turned out that player feedback was overwhelmingly less than helpful as many responded that they wouldn’t want anything to change! Fortunately, PING’s engineers are able to rely on their own experiences as well to make clubs that can better meet players’ needs.
As with the other i20 clubs, the i20 hybrid is geared toward better golfers. PING reduced the profile both head to toe as well as front to back to create a more compact head. They also squared the leading edge a bit more, reducing the rounded appearance so that it’s easier to get a sense of where you’re aiming the clubhead.
With the reduced head size, PING moved the center of gravity down and forward to make for a more piercing trajectory and slightly lower spin, giving better players more control over ball flight. The smaller face and profile makes it more versatile from different lies and easier to get the club through deeper rough.
As has been the theme for the rest of the woods, the i20 hybrid sees reduced MOI around the shaft axis–a whopping 48% reduction over the i15. Again, in conjunction with the neutral weighting, this makes it easier to rotate the face to square or manipulate the face to work the ball either way.
The i20 hybrids will be available in 17º, 20º, and 23º lofts, both lefty and righty. Stock shafts include the new proprietary TFC 707F (R, S, and X flexes) and Project X Black (5.5, 6.0, and 6.5 flexes). The Project X option is targeted towards players looking for a lighter shaft that will provide a bit more spin and kick than the TFC. And both shafts look great with the matte black on black finish.
Per Ping Press Release:
For launching the ball high and landing it softly on the green, the i20’s compact head and low- deep CG are perfectly suited for the job. Forgiveness across the clubface allows golfers to swing confidently from heavy rough or tight lies with accurate results. More surface area low on the clubface ensures forgiveness to optimize launch conditions. The straight leading edge and slim, contoured head make aiming easy. A non-glare, matte-black finish eliminates distractions to help with aim and focus. Players can choose from two stock shafts: the PING TFC (Tip, Flex, Control) 707H for a low-spin, boring trajectory, or the lighter Project X Black by True Temper, offering mid spin and a higher trajectory.
-Hybrids available: 17º, 20º & 23º
-Stock graphite shafts: TFC 707H (R, S and X flexes) and Project X Black (5.5, 6.0 and 6.5 flexes)
-U.S. MSRP: $210
The hybrid looks good to me — very good, actually. Looks like it won’t go left. But I have to be honest with you — I suck at hybrid. Always have. So I’m not going to blow any smoke up yer skirt by saying I hit it and it changed me. Ben was carrying it 250+ yards super high, but he has mad skills compared to me & my 5 hdcp. Most people play hybrids very successfully — I’m not one of them. My bad.