Review: Ping i20 3-wood
The compact look of the i20 head is really appealing. The stealthy all black head and shaft look great, but what that does just as much as look cool, it makes the head appear to be very compact. While it is slightly smaller than the G20, to the eye is looks much smaller. I have been leaning toward the smaller headed 3-woods not solely due to performance, but just plain how they look to my eye and the confidence I have in that smaller head. Obviously this is preference, some might like the bigger looking head which looks more forgiving to their eye, while others (myself included) like the smaller looking head that looks like it can slide right in behind the ball nicely.
I ordered my i20 3-wood with a Project X Black 6.0 shaft to match the i20 driver. This shaft is really a great overall shaft. It is stable, mid launching and feels great. It worked very well in this 3-wood. I was able to get good elevation with the i20 but yet a strong trajectory to get long carry.
I’m not sure I saw any yardage gains over the g20 3-wood (which was a long 3-wood) but I think I was more confident with the i20. I thought maybe the compact head wouldn’t be as forgiving or that I would struggle to keep it from going right, but the i20 3-wood is much like the driver; it sets up very neutral and didn’t seem to have a flight bias one way or the other. I hit mostly straight shots with this club. If you prefer to work your 3-wood, this would be
the club for you.
Just like the i20 driver, the 3-wood is incredibly solid. The tungsten weights in the back corners of this head help with forgiveness, launch and feel. To me it felt like they went from the back of the head all the way through the ball at impact. It is such a solid crack when this club meets the ball.
This is the first time I have ever seen a slight flaw from Ping. I’ve had numerous sets and every one has had a perfect build and the specs have always been right on. I’ve never had a single issue with custom or stock Ping clubs. But the i20 3-wood came with a grip that wasn’t completely installed. There was about an inch between the end of the shaft and the butt of the grip. It wasn’t a big deal, I just removed the grip and reinstalled it all the way this time; it took me 5 minutes tops. I don’t see this as a trend, just an anomaly on this club. Once I put the grip on all the way, the specs were right on.
So on the course what happened? The first hole I played is a short par 4 that I hit 3-wood off the tee. With no range time, no warm up, just swing away, I dropped a 3-wood bomb on the first hole. It was right down the middle and near perfect. The second hole on the same course is a par 5. It is really tough to reach in two. So from the middle of the fairway I had a go at it. I didn’t quite reach since I was 275 out, but I was only 35 yards short, right in front of the green. The fourth hole of this course is another par 5. I happened to bomb my driver through the fairway and I was in some light rough. The compact i20 head just cut through the grass and bombed a second shot right up in front of the green again. It was like this round after round. I had confidence to use this club from any lie to get as close to the green as I could or even on it.
While the Ping g20 3-wood won a spot in my bag last fall, the i20 3-wood bumped it out because it could do everything the g20 could do, but I just simply have more confidence in the Ping i20.
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