By Patrick Tuttle
on 4.16.12
Photo by Ping

Ping has long been known for two things: incredible irons and exceptional engineering. But for some reason we’ve never found ourselves overly compelled to play them. Given how soundly their irons perform I can only chalk it up to a lack of aesthetic appeal. Chunky soles and wide hosels are hard on this writer’s eyes. Then the new Ping i20 Irons ($800) arrived and, dare I say it, these mid-fielders are down right sexy. Suffice it to say, they’ve caught our attention.

Our review continues after the jump.

In a nutshell, the i20s are a progressive set with a high-density tungsten toe weight. The combination makes them very easy to elevate and shape, but provides enough forgiveness that you don’t have to be a low handicapper to enjoy playing them. We certainly have, especially after going through the meticulous process of a thorough fitting session. The sheer amount of lie, loft, shaft and grip combinations were staggering and thankfully our fitter helped dial things in just right. The benefit of properly fitted clubs cannot be underestimated.

Utterly crisp and effortless, the club head moves through fairway and rough with ease

We especially like the club’s turf interaction. Utterly crisp and effortless, the club head moves through fairway and rough with ease. We reached out to Mike Nicolette who is the designer of the i20 iron series to shed some light on the improvements since the i15. Here’s what he had to say:

“We added a couple of degrees more bounce angle coupled with a little smaller camber radius from front to back. This makes it more rounded from front to back, it also helps protect lead edge a bit. We changed the taper from toe to heel of how much the heel is cutting in on the backside of the golf club. You’ll notice it doesn’t taper in quite as much in the heel section, this leaves a little bit more material which translates to more playability of bounce in the heel section. The benefit of this is that it prevents the club from getting in the ground very deep at all. These three things really helped improve the playability of the performance in the i20 iron series.”

As we gushed earlier, the Ping i20 irons maybe one of the most handsome set of irons we’ve taken to the course. The tapered hosel and compact sole look great at address and the satin-chrome finish doesn’t give off any glare and retains the classic aesthetic. The entire design exudes plenty of confidence at both address and in the bag.

As a smaller company, Ping may not manage the largest marketing budget, but what they lack in dollars to spend on shiny ads they more than make up for in their utter understanding if the golf iron. Combined with a modern look that we’re more than sure will age beautifully over time, you can bet we’ll be keeping Ping hot on our radar. We suggest you keep them on yours too.

Buy Now: $800