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10 Things You Need to Know About Ping’s i200 Irons

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When Ping released its iBlade irons, our review called them “intelligent blades,” a fitting description of an iron that was designed to look and feel like a blade, but offer more forgiveness.

The Ping i200 irons are again blurring the line of blade and cavity-back irons. They’re made to have the forgiveness of cavity-backs, but deliver the clean looks and workability you’d expect from more compact irons. They’re so well rounded, in fact, that Ping expects 20-40 percent of its staffers will put the i200s in play in 2017, including Lee Westwood and Brooke Henderson… and many more Tour players will have them in play as part of a combo set.

The Phoenix-based company also has a few tricks up its sleeve with this release, including a “secret-menu option” for those who need a little boost.

Ping’s i200 irons (3-9, PW, UW) are available for pre-order today, and will sell for $135 with steel shafts ($150 with graphite shafts). Here are 10 things you need to know about them.

1) Workable AND Forgiving

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How is it possible that an iron built for forgiveness can still be workable? Isn’t it impossible to both produce more side spin AND eliminate side spin at the same time? Not exactly. Marty Jertson, Senior Design Engineer at Ping explains:

“Think of iBlades as a sports car and [Ping’s] G or Gmax irons as luxury sedan,” Jertson says. “iBlades are more workable because you have more control over the face alignment and how the face returns to impact. The reduced torque pressure makes it easier for you to turn the face, but they still increase inertia around the center of gravity CG, making it the Holy Grail of blade irons… workable AND forgiving.”

Ping uses the same concept in its i200 irons, only to a lesser extent than the iBlades. While their compact head shape and thin top rails allow the golfer to manipulate the face as it moves through space, the physics of the iron’s design mean higher inertia around the center of gravity.

So if iBlades are intelligent blades, Ping’s i200 irons could be considered the sports cars of cavity backs.

2) “Smoosh Central”

You’ll notice a familiar look with i200 irons… something similar to Ping’s S55s irons, which have garnered a cult-like following.

Golfers liked Ping’s S55 irons because of their clean looks and sneaky forgiveness, according to Jertson, so Ping engineers wanted to maintain aspects of the S55 design while enhancing feel with the i200s.

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The i200 irons, made from 431 stainless steel, have a soft feel that makes it seem like the ball stays on the face longer; or as Jertson calls it, “smoosh central.” That’s due to the materials and new construction.

Ping’s i200 irons have a thicker top portion of the face and a thinner lower portion, helping drop the center of gravity (CG) for a higher launch. It also gives the irons more ball speed on shots hit low on the club face, where most players tend to contact their iron shots. The i200 irons also have longer CTPs (custom tuning ports). They’re made from elastomer and have been moved closer to the face in the i200 design, helping provide golfers a squishy, yet powerful feel.

Overall, the club faces have a thickness of about 0.68 millimeters, which is about half the thickness of the S55 irons, according to Ping. That leads to both more ball speed off the face and more moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of ball speed retention in mishits.

3) A New Look, Down to the Details

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The i200s are designed with straighter leading edges in the long irons (3-7 irons) and thinner top rails on the short irons (6-PW) than their i predecessors. The irons also have a shape that looks more rounded near the toe, along with a smoother transition area from the hosel to the club face. The more blended transition means they will appear to have less offset than they do.

The progressive look of the irons throughout the set will play well for golfers looking to create a combo set with the iBlades (short irons from the iBlade set for more precision, long irons from the i200 set for more shot height, forgiveness and distance).

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Inspired by vintage blades, the i200 irons also have a longer ferrule than previous i irons for a more classic look. Little things like the metallic iron numbers are buffed to offer the look of precision, as well.

4) The Low-Toe Theory

Throughout Ping’s history, the company has designed irons with more weight in the toe section of its club heads in order to center mass in the head; without added weight in the toe, CG tends to be heel-ward.

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Like Ping irons from the past, the i200 irons have cavities that are machined to move weight into the high- and low-toe areas. For golfers, that means a more forgiving iron, especially when hit off the toe, which is the likely miss for most golfers.

5) The Importance of Yardage Gapping

Ping looked to data from its Tour players and their past iron releases to develop iron lofts in the i200 iron sets.

The long irons, which have thinner faces, go about 6-8 yards farther than the previous i-series irons, according to Jertson. In order to prevent the short iron yardage gaps from being too wide, the short irons in the set are made with thicker faces, effectively reducing ball speed.

If you want more distance with each iron, respectively, Ping has something for you…

6) Sauced Up with the Power Spec

New with the i200 irons is a secret-menu option called the “power spec,” which systematically jacks the lofts on each iron.

“It’s like ordering animal style at In-and-Out,” Jertson says. “We’ll juice the irons with stronger lofts … golf’s supposed to be fun, right?”

Plus, the stronger-lofted irons are good for high-spin players looking to flatten out their trajectory. Here’s a look at the loft specs.

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 1.43.41 PM

7) Full-On Swing Weight Command

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A major part of club fitting is getting the correct swing weight, and Ping uses what it calls Custom Tuning Ports (CTP) to help golfers dial in those specifications.

“Swing weight progression is very important,” says Jertson. “If it’s 1.5 points light, that could definitely throw you off. [Golfers] need consistency, so tempo, speed and shaft have to match.”

As Jertson explains, you can hedge against a certain miss using swing weight. For example, if you tend to miss right you’ll want to make the head lighter, effectively lowering the swing weight and helping you to “get the club around” better, he says.

The CTPs used in the i200 irons range from 4 to 32 grams each, the “standard” being 10-12 grams. They’re longer from heel to toe than in previous Ping irons, which helps makes the clubs more forgiving. The tuning ports also have a dampening effect to improve sound and feel.

8) Ping looked to its wedges when designing the soles

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Bounce, a term that’s mostly associated with wedges, is just as important in iron design. Generally speaking, more bounce means more forgiveness, so the i200s are made with more bounce than the iBlades and previous i-series irons. With a rounder leading edge that’s designed with 1-degree more bounce angle, the irons won’t want to dig as much, thus reducing divot size and depth.

The “hottest i-series iron was the i20s,” according to Jertson, and these irons will perform similarly through the turf.

9) Hydropho-what?

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Ping engineers designed the faces of the i200 irons with milling marks to help repel the water and grass that lowers spin and alters flight. At impact, the milling marks are said to create a more consistent trajectory by increasing friction, meaning less flyers and knuckle balls.

The iron’s finish, called Hydro Pearl Chrome, enhances hydrophobicity, or the ability of an object to repel water. The angle of the milling marks and the grooves is designed to do the same.

10) Custom Only

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The stock AWT 2.0 shafts from Ping are made by Nippon, and increase in weight as golfers move from their long irons to their short irons. It’s a “very complex shaft thats very expensive with variable steps and variable wall thickness that’s great for the masses,” Jertson says.

There are also various aftermarket shafts available from Ping at no upcharge: True Temper Dynamic Gold, Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105, XP 95, and Project X.

i200 Specs (3-9, PW, UW)

  • Stock steel shaft: PING AWT 2.0 (R, S, X)
  • After-market shaft options (no upcharge): Project X 5.0, 6.0; XP 95 (R300, S300), N.S. Pro Modus3 105 (S, X), KBS Tour (R, S, X), Dynamic Gold (S300, X100)
  • Stock graphite shaft: PING CFS 65/70/80 (Soft R, R, S)
  • $135 per club (steel shaft); $150 per club (graphite shaft)

Related: See more photos of the Ping i200 irons in our forums, and join the discussion. 

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Jannette Simpliciano

    Feb 4, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    This blog about 10 Things You Need to Know
    About Ping?s i200 Irons. has helped me enormously, is a
    very good topic. What product helped me lose weight, I recommend you see here: https://s96.me/fit (or click on the name).
    Kiss you All!

  2. Hammer

    Feb 19, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Hello fellow golfers , after playing 3 more rounds of golf on my home course , I have but one thing to say, WOW I love these I200 Ping irons. So consistent, so forgivable and so easy to move left or right. Need I say more.

  3. Hammer

    Feb 14, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I am a 4 handicapp golfer that has been playing the Iblades since they came out. I thought these were the best irons ping ever made. With great hesitation a friend of mine convinced me to try his I200 irons with the same 95 steelefiber shafts I have in my irons. He does not have the stronger lofts in his irons. WOW were these irons a surprise, they definitely have a softer feel than my Iblades and even though some of the lofts were weaker than my irons , there was no loss of distance at all. I also felt the ground interaction with the sole to be much improved. Although these irons are not pure blades , the ability to move the ball left or right was very easy. These are now my favorite irons to date. Last but not late the forgiveness in these irons was also slightly improved it seamed. I would need to play more than 2 rounds to be sure however. I have purchased these from my local golf store and already put my shafts in them, I will give an update after several more rounds are completed

  4. Forsbrand

    Jan 17, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Look really nice irons lots of playability and forgiveness

    I for one need to be looking at a good sized head early Sunday mornings after skinful the night before, peanut headed blades make me so nervous

  5. Pat

    Jan 17, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Any word if there is going to be a ping g200 coming

  6. edge of lean

    Jan 17, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Grown on me in the last week. Will have to hit them now. I suspect it will turn out to be another case of great clubs I can’t afford right now.

  7. Hitter

    Jan 17, 2017 at 2:23 am

    These look great.. will have to go some to beat the S55s

  8. Rolo

    Jan 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    WRXrs will be disappointed that there is no option to de-power spec the loft since they hit it so far already.

    • John

      Jan 16, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      I just loathe the the golfers who are condescending to other fellow golfers if they don’t play 28 degree 5 iron etc. If you want to play a 28 degree 5 iron go ahead, more power to you. Personally I prefer my 5 iron to be about 24 degrees. My choice for which I need no one’s approval.

    • hdcp0

      Jan 16, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      LoL….so true

  9. Jim

    Jan 16, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Didn’t the I Series just come out last year? Why would they release a replacement so soon?

    • John

      Jan 16, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Actually I think the I series irons came out about September 2015 Typical Ping 18 month release cycle.

  10. birdy

    Jan 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

    i200? sorry…i don’t see whats so great about these. look like an old tm rac. the name is odd.

    i’m sure they are great irons…but nothing stands out that makes me think ‘have to hit these’

  11. golfraven

    Jan 16, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Will certainly give those a demo. My i20s need a succesor.

  12. AC

    Jan 16, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Fantastic! The more the iron looks like a blade or CB but performs like a GI club the better. I much prefer the solid no frills iron vs those gimmicky colorful irons.

  13. Ay Eye

    Jan 16, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Wait, so there won’t be an i30?

    • Mikec

      Jan 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      No, it went i20, i25, iE1, i200….there never was or will be a i30

  14. Lee

    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:39 am

    The ‘Power Spec’ loft option oh dear! As we all know if you get fitted properly the shaft, grip, loft and lie will be matched to your playing characteristics anyway.

    • John

      Jan 16, 2017 at 10:40 am

      Oh Goody – We had the obligatory these aren’t a blade comments from Juan & know we get the “hey everybody go get fitted properly” comment. Personally I like the power loft option & am sure I could get properly fitted for the power lofts if I decided to go that route.

  15. Shane

    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Why only the 5.0 & 6.0 offered as no upcharge in the Px? Where’s the 5.5?

  16. Juan

    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:19 am

    They may be good irons, but there is nothing blade-like about them. Large head, offset, thick sole, and the large cavity in the back. There is nothing about them that calls to mind a blade, and marketing speak aside, I doubt the performance truly resembles that of a blade, either.

    • Buford T Justice

      Jan 16, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Yes, Yes, Yes. Because you personally need the performance of a real deal blade, and could in no way benefit from a club like the i200.

      This review is for the i200, however, the blade brigade must pipe in and remind us that this is in no way, shape, or form, a blade.

      I think I’ve got it, champ! This isn’t a blade, doesn’t perform like a blade, and the article doesn’t suggest it’s a blade. Evidently i200s are good enough for Westwood on the men’s side, and Henderson on the women’s side. So, keep fighting the good fight, sparky.

      Oh, and let us know how you do at the CareerBuilder at La Quinta the weekend.

      Oh…wait…nevermind.

      • birdy

        Jan 16, 2017 at 11:14 am

        calm down cupcake…no one said these weren’t good….they simply aren’t blades. don’t resemble blades. looks like you’re an awful angry person in the morning

      • Buck

        Jan 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm

        Why the personal attacks? He was simply stating his opinion about the product in the article. Birdy is right, you seem like an awful angry person. “There are a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market today that are just as tasty as the real thing”

        As far as the clubs, they are good looking irons, but I just don’t see $135 worth of club here. To each their own

      • Juan

        Jan 17, 2017 at 10:23 am

        The article compares them to blades 4 times by the end of the first “thing you need to know”. Ping makes good irons, and I’m sure these will perform well, but my comment is in response to what I believe to be an inaccurate comparison to blade irons. The items I mentioned are all different than most blade designs that I have seen.
        I made no statements as to whether one head design is better than another, so the personal attacks are unwarranted.

    • DaveJ

      Jan 16, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      I dunno, that at address picture looks pretty blade-like to me, which is the main thing they were going for, right? A more forgiving smallish cavity back that still feels pure like a blade, looks like a blade at address, yet still has a bit of workability sounds like a quality club. Obviously they aren’t MP33s, but they have a similar look behind the ball, even if they play quite a bit differently.

      DaveJ

    • John

      Jan 16, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      They may be good irons, but there is nothing DIVER-like about them. Large head, offset, thick sole, and the large cavity in the back. There is nothing about them that calls to mind a DRIVER, and marketing speak aside, I doubt the performance truly resembles that of a DRIVER, either.

      • Juan

        Jan 17, 2017 at 10:25 am

        Does anyone read? The article compares the irons to blades several times.

        • Scooter McGavin

          Jan 17, 2017 at 12:23 pm

          Do you even read? Just because the article references the iblades and uses the word “blades” it doesn’t mean it was trying to describe the i200’s as blades. In fact, it describes them as “the sports car of cavity backs”. But somehow you interpreted the author as saying that the clubs were blade-like… even though it said nothing of the sort. They were comparing them to the iblades and the technology used in that model to reduce head size and to explain how this model fit into the Ping lineup. I swear, people don’t read anything in context anymore and just throw up the red flag as soon as they see a buzzword they are looking for.

  17. LOL

    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:16 am

    LOL GolfWRX guys are going to LOVE the POWER SPEC JACKED LOFTS

    • John

      Jan 16, 2017 at 11:12 am

      I think they compare to Mizuno JPX 900 forged in head size, but even in the power specs Ping’s are weaker than the mizuno’s.

  18. T

    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Jacked lofts……. had to keep up with Taylormade somehow. Nothing to do with Tour input. Just didn’t want to get left behind by Taylormade.

    • LOL

      Jan 16, 2017 at 9:17 am

      PING has been jacking their lofts way before these oddly named irons. I like the idea of the iblades, but these not so much.

      • Billy

        Apr 25, 2017 at 6:53 am

        Hit them. Went to a demo days looking for Srixon, Mizuno, or Callaway and these blew me out of the water. Normally an S300 guy. I tried the AWT first, then XP 95 S300, KBS Tour S and Pro Modus S. No comparison for me. The AWT is the one. I went back up and down the other companies tents 3 times. I bought the i200s.

  19. Dat

    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:09 am

    A great successor to the S55. Should have stuck with that moniker imo.

    • John

      Jan 16, 2017 at 10:21 am

      iblade is the S55 replacement. These replace the previous i series. Two completely different clubs.

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Whats in the Bag

Dustin Johnson WITB 2020

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @ 10 degrees, D4 swing weight)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1 inch, 45.75 inches)

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila RIP Alpha 90 X

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (22 @ 19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 105 X

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), TaylorMade P730 DJ Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (soft stepped)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09, 60-10 @ 62 degrees)
Shafts: KBS Tour Custom Black 120 S

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Mini
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R (1 wrap 2-way tape + 2 wraps left hand, 3 right hand)

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Top 10 clubs of 2003—inspired by Adam Scott’s Titleist 680 irons

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As has been well documented, Adam Scott recently won the Genesis Invitational with a set of Titleist 680 blade irons, a design that was originally released in 2003. One of the great benefits of being one of the best players in the world is you don’t need to search eBay to find your preferred set of 17-year-old irons. Titleist has been stocking sets for Mr. Scott—even to the point of doing a limited production run in 2018 where they then released 400 sets for sale to the general public.

A lot of time has passed since 2003, and considering the classic nature of Scott’s Titleist 680, I figured now was a good time to look back at some other iconic clubs released around the same time.

Ping G2 driver

This was Ping’s first 460cc driver with a full shift into titanium head design. The previous Si3 models still utilized the TPU adjustable hosel, and this was considered a big step forward for the Phoenix-based OEM. The driver was a big hit both on tour and at retail—as was the rest of the G2 line that included irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT (first gen) irons

The RAC LTs helped position TaylorMade back among the leaders in the better players iron category. The entire RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for the target player. It also included an over-sized iron too. The RAC LT went on to have a second-generation version, but the original LTs are worthy of “classic” status.

TaylorMade R580 XD driver

Honestly, how could we not mention the TaylorMade R580 XD driver? TM took some of the most popular drivers in golf, the R500 series and added extra distance (XD). OK, that might be an oversimplification of what the XD series offered, but with improved shape, increased ball speed outside of the sweet spot, and lower spin, it’s no wonder you can still find these drivers in the bags of golfers at courses and driving ranges everywhere.

Titleist 680MB irons

The great thing about blades is that beyond changing sole designs and shifting the center of gravity, the basic design for a one-piece forged head hasn’t changed that much. For Adam Scott, the 680s are the perfect blend of compact shape, higher CG, and sole profile.

Titleist 983K, E drivers

If you were a “Titleist player,” you had one of these drivers! As one of the last companies to move into the 460cc category, the 983s offered a classic pear shape in a smaller profile. It was so good and so popular, it was considered the benchmark for Titleist drivers for close to the next decade.

Cleveland Launcher 330 driver

It wasn’t that long ago that OEMs were just trying to push driver head size over 300cc, and Cleveland’s first big entry into the category was the Launcher Titanium 330 driver. It didn’t live a long life, but the Launcher 330 was the grandaddy to the Launcher 400, 460, and eventually, the Launcher COMP, which is another club on this list that many golfers will still have fond memories about.

Mizuno MP 33 irons

Although released in the fall of 2002, the Mizuno MP 33 still makes the list because of its staying power. Much like the Titleist 680, this curved muscle blade was a favorite to many tour players, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. The MP 33 stayed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years and was still available for custom orders years after that. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a set now you are going to have to go the used route.

Callaway X-16 irons

The Steelhead X-16 was a big hit at retail for Callaway. It offered greater forgiveness than the previous X-14’s but had a more compact shape with a wider topline to inspire confidence. They featured Callaway’s “Notch” weighting system that moved more mass to the perimeter of the head for higher MOI and improved feel. There was a reduced offset pro series version of the iron, but the X-16 was the one more players gravitated towards. This is another game improvement club for that era that can still be found in a lot of golf bags.

Ben Hogan CFT irons

The Hogan CFTs were at the forefront of multi-material iron technology in 2003. CFT stood for Compression Forged Titanium and allowed engineers to push more mass to the perimeter of the head to boost MOI by using a thin titanium face insert. They had what would be considered stronger lofts at the time sounded really powerful thanks to the thin face insert. If you are looking for a value set of used irons, this is still a great place to start.

King Cobra SZ driver

In 2003, Rickie Fowler was only 15 years old and Cobra was still living under the Acushnet umbrella as Titleist’s game improvement little brother. The Cobra SZ (Sweet Zone, NOT 2020 Speed Zone) was offered in a couple of head sizes to appeal to different players. The thing I will always remember about the original King Cobra SZ is that it came in an offset version to help golfers who generally slice the ball—a design trait that we still see around today.

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Today from the Forums: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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Today from the Forums we delve into a subject dedicated to wedge fitting. Liquid_A_45 wants to know if wedge fitting is as essential for golfers as iron fitting, and our members weigh into the discussion saying why they feel it is just as imperative.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Z1ggy16: “Super important if you’re a serious golfer. Even better if you can get fit outdoors on real grass and even go into a bunker.”
  • ThunderBuzzworth: “The biggest part of wedge fitting is yardage gapping and sole grinds. If you have a grind that doesn’t interact with the turf in your favor, it can be nightmarish around the greens. When hitting them try a variety of short game shots with different face angles etc. with the different grinds to see which one works best for what you need.”
  • Hawkeye77: “Wedge fitting I had was extremely beneficial when I got my SM6s a few years ago. Mostly for working with the different grinds and how they interacted with my swing and on different shots and having an eye on my swing to help with the process and evaluate the results. My ideas of what grinds were right for me based on researching on Titleist, etc. just were not correct in 2/3 of the wedges I ended up with as far as the grinds were concerned. Good to have an experienced fitter available to answer questions, control variables, etc.”
  • cgasucks: “The better you get at this game, the more important wedges are.”

Entire Thread: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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