Ping sent the i25 irons to Bunkers Paradise to review, and I had the honor of testing these irons for the homepage, and long term forum testing, which can be followed here. A quick note about me, 5 handicap golfer who has been playing with forged blade style irons for the last 3 years and has been searching for a players style iron with more forgiveness than those irons offered. Would the i25’s fit the bill?
When I first took the i25’s out of the box I was taken with the care that was taken in packing them in the box to the point where each iron head had its own individual booties, and a label with my order specs. I ordered my i25 irons from Ping as such:
- Stock CFS Stiff Flex Shafts
- 1/2″ Long
- Yellow Dot
From the Company:
“The 17-4 stainless steel irons deliver forgiveness and distance with control to inspire confident shot making. In the progressive set design, the long irons are designed with head sizes and sole widths that deliver high trajectory and extreme forgiveness. The more compact mid and short irons have narrow soles and less offset for enhanced accuracy and scoring.
Narrow face-stabilizing bars in the long irons increase ball velocity for added distance and height while wider bars in the short irons produce a controlled, lower ball flight with softer feel. The careful design details in the club’s shape and set progression are captured with an inspiring foggy chrome finish. Tungsten weighting in the low toe increases forgiveness. A machined face and grooves deliver control and consistency.”
I think every iron has two “looks”, how the cavity, and sole look in the bag, and the look of the iron at address; I believe them to be equally important. We are all vain about our bags in some ways, and when someone looks into my bag and sees the sticks I’m playing I take pride in what’s in there. The i25’s are understatedly great looking. The “foggy chrome” finish with the clean badge and stabilizing bars make for a great looking simple club head, modern but clearly staying within the classic Ping looks.
At address the irons set up like I would expect an iron of this category (game enhancement) to look; small club face, thin top line, and little offset even in the longer irons. The foggy chrome finish really does reduce glare off the club face and looks very nice, it took no time to get used to it. The offset is progressive throughout the set, as is the thickness of the top line and the blade length, but it’s so seamless that I never notice from one iron to the next.
The i25’s got put through the toughest tests I could put them through, no range time straight to the course and into money games. The first thing I noticed I did not expect, for an iron marketed and sold as a game enhancement iron the i25’s are long. About a club longer than previous irons I have owned that are similarly lofted, this was a welcome surprise. Most importantly though the Ping i25 irons are consistent, a well struck shot goes the same distance every time, there are no hot spots on the face producing crazy jumpers and fliers you can get with some other irons. The Ping i25 irons also offer a good amount of forgiveness, for this style of iron. On heel and toe misses I’ve seen a generous amount of forgiveness with minimal distance loss, thin misses get a surprising amount of height for the swing you just put on it but misses high on the face are punished the most with about a club in distance loss. These are not SGI irons in their forgiveness I want to make clear, but they are very forgiving for the more consistent ball striker. Someone who misses all over the face is going to want to look at a different Ping line for a higher level of forgiveness.
Turf interaction has been great so far. They cut right through the turf and don’t dig in, flinging a satisfying bill sized divot. This will change depending on whether you are a digger or a sweeper, but the sole design will be good for either style of golfer.
With the stock CFS shafts I get a penetrating ball flight that peaks quite high but comes down gently. For a stock shaft they are great, as good or better than any other stock offering in the industry and are a very nice pairing for the i25 head. Like with any irons set, you should be fit by Ping to get the right shaft for your game, but if you’re buying off the rack you will not be disappointed. The stock Ping 360 ID8 grips are also a spectacular stock option from Ping. Most stock grips are awful, these grips are as good as many aftermarket grips and would not need to be changed unless you need all your grips to match with existing sticks in your bag.
The Ping i25 irons are a great iron, that could be played by a wide HC range. I don’t like giving a range of players that could game these, but if you are even an average ball striker you could happily play these sticks. They are good looking, shockingly long, and consistent, that’s everything you could want in an iron. The technology in the heads and set make up is impressive and the Ping i25 irons are a must hit if you are in the market for new irons in 2014.