Are the Ping i500 irons their best yet?July 16, 2018 Golf Equipment
They look absolutely sensational but how do they perform for our equipment editor James Savage...
Our Ping i500 irons review took place following testing at Leeds Golf Centre and Rudding Park.
We gathered data using a SkyTrak launch monitor before some in-depth on-course testing.
Ping i500 irons review: First impressions
Before we get on to talking about how absolutely stunning the i500 irons look we need to clarify where their sit within Ping’s line-up.
We were told by Ping that the i500 were similar to the G700 irons but in a much more compact ‘players’ package.
So they are hollow muscleback-style irons with a very clean look, minimal offset and a fairly compact blade length.
Upon hearing that Ping were introducing a set of sleek forged irons you could be forgiven for thinking they were a replacement for the iBlade which came out a couple of years ago.
They aren’t. The need to be thought of as more of a powerful distance iron, but with a players look.
Ping have also introduced the i210 this week which are more about precision. The i500 irons are about power.
So there are now five irons in the Ping line-up. From sleekest to most forgiving we have i-Blade, i500/i210, G400, G700.
And for me the i500 are the best-looking. They are ticking lots of boxes for me from an aesthetic point of view.
The shelf appeal is off the charts but they don’t look overwhelmingly sleek. As a mid-handicapper they don’t scare me at all.
Ping i500 irons review: The technology
As I eluded to earlier, these irons have a hollow construction.
But the key performance comes from a new forged face which has five times the flex you’d expect from a non-forged face.
Ping say you can expect “metal-wood’ ball speed and forgiveness.
The i500 irons have pretty strong lofts for a “players” iron.
We’ve got 30.5˚ on the 7-iron which is closer to what we’d expect on a “game-improvement” iron like the G400.
But Ping say the i500 should still launch pretty high, and land steep enough to make them playable.
Ping i500 irons review: The results
After hitting a couple of shots with the i500 irons, I started to get a bit excited.
I loved the sound and feel and I could see with my own eyes that the ball flight was very strong.
Before even looking at the SkyTrak numbers, I could tell the i500 were working really well for me.
I could see that they were flying a good few yards further than the i210 which I was testing at the same time.
And as you can see from the launch monitor data below, it makes pretty good reading.
Some might say the spin is a little bit low but for someone who has struggled with a high and spinny ball flight, these numbers are music to my ears.
My normal carry with a 7-iron is 150 yards so to consistently get it carrying 160 yards makes me think I could take a club less when attacking a green.
With the on-course testing at Rudding Park I still found the ball was sticking on the greens so I have no concerns about them bounding through.
Ping i500 irons review: NCG verdict
So are the i500 the best Ping irons yet?
Well, everyone is looking for something different when it comes to their irons. What I like to see might be the opposite so what another player is looking for.
But the i500 are the best irons I have ever hit because they give me exactly what I’m looking for from a looks and a performance point of view.
I want an iron to look and feel sensational – the i500 definitely tick those boxes.
But above all I want a strong, penetrating ball flight where I feel like the ball is always moving forwards.
And with an extra few yards of carry over most other irons I have tested over the past 18 months or so, I’m not sure I could ask for any more.
Ping i500 irons details
On sale: July 31
More information can be found on the Ping website.