How do the Ping i500 irons compare to the G700?

Golf Equipment

The i500 is clearly the sexier of the two but is the G700 going to work better for mid to high handicappers? Equipment editor James Savage puts them to the test...

Our Ping i500 v G700 irons comparison has taken place following testing at Leeds Golf Centre and Rudding Park near Harrogate.

We initially reviewed the G700 irons earlier this year and have recently tested and reviewed the new i500.

Ping i500 v G700 irons: The methodology

This is not a natural head-to-head test.

The i500 are not replacing the G700 and are quite different in terms of their look and style.

But please hear me out.

Ping told me that the i500 were very similar to the G700 from a technology point of view and that the i500 offer all the excellent performance benefits of the G700 but in a ‘players’ package.

Ping i500 v G700 irons

What does that even mean?

Well, the i500 are smaller and sleeker with minimal offset and a thinner topline. Visually they look like a ‘better player’ golf club whereas the G700 look more like a traditional ‘game-improvement’ iron.

Ping i500 v G700 irons

But they both have a hollow construction with a thin flexible face aimed at producing fast ball speeds.

So I wanted to test these two out side by side to see what sacrifices, if any, are being made by opting for the ‘sexier’ i500 iron.

Ping i500 v G700 irons

Ping i500 v G700 irons: The results

There’s no doubt that the G700 irons inspire more confidence from the address position.

Ping i500 v G700 irons

But I wouldn’t say the i500 are overly intimidating.

Ping i500 v G700 irons

When I started hitting both, there’s also no doubt that the G700 just feel a lot easier to hit and launch. They are ridiculously easy to use.

But that does not necessarily mean they are producing greater results of that they are going to help me shoot better scores.

I spent a lot of time hitting balls to the green on the 155-yard uphill par-3 20th hole at Rudding Park with both irons.

It was impossible to say that one iron had better results than they other.

But when I put both irons onto the SkyTrak launch monitor, the i500 seems to have the edge with a bit more carry and ball speed.

Ping i500 v G700 irons

Ping i500 v G700 irons

Another thing to note was the consistency.

The i500 seems to have much more consistent launch and spin numbers whereas the G700 seemed all over the place.

Ping i500 v G700 irons: NCG verdict

I think we may be facing a cultural shift when it comes to irons.

Either that or I’m just getting a bit better at golf.

Maybe there’s truth in both assertions.

Golf companies have been telling us for years that better players should use this club and higher handicappers should use that club.

But I think with irons like the i500 and the TaylorMade P790 we have fantastic looking golf clubs that literally anyone can use.

Are the G700 more forgiving than the i500? Not from my testing.

Ping i500 v G700 irons

Do the G700 go further? They were a good few yards behind the i500.

If I was to go through a proper irons fitting with Ping I think there’s a chance the G700 or G400 might possibly come into play for the 5 and 4 iron.

But it’s incredibly rare for club golfers to get fitted into a split set of irons like nearly all the tour players have.

Right, I’m off to see Ping for an irons fitting and I’ll report back…

Ping i500 irons details

SRP: £139/£149 per iron (steel/graphite)

More information can be found on the Ping website.

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