Review: Ping i20 Driver

Incredibly Solid
 Over the years Ping has designed two heads: the G-series and the I-series.  The G-series tends to be more forgiving while the I-series was more workable.  The g20 and i20 fit the same mold.  I was impressed by how easy, straight and long the g20 driver was.  (Review here)  I am even more impressed that the i20 is longer and incredibly solid, but not quite as forgiving.
The  draw of this club for many will be the black stealthy looks.  The matte black crown with the glossy black sole is an amazing looking combo.  I ordered mine with the stock Project X black shaft.  It has a black graphite cross hatching look that is simply stunning.  It might be the best looking driver on the market right now off the rack.  The shape is fairly compact for a 460cc head, or at least the all black makes it looks compact.  The face angle looks square to my eye.  I didn’t find a ball flight bias.  While I don’t work the ball much, I could hit both a baby cut and a baby draw with it.
 

During my rounds with the i20 I had very good results, except for 9-holes or so.  Initially, I was hitting it really well, long and straight, for 2 rounds, but for about 9 holes in the middle of my 3rd round, my driver swing was out of
sorts and the results of the i20 was a little all over the place.  After my swing came back, I was bombing the i20 again.  I found that on average for 18 holes I would hit 12 awesome drives and 2 so-so drives.  I think it was mostly
based on the swing, but the i20 is not as forgiving for poor swings like the g20 is.

  The best part of the i20 is the solid feel.  It might be the best feeling/sounding driver right now.  It is so solid.  The crack at impact is so pure.  While the g20 was a tad on the hollow side, the i20 feels so solid; like the 2 tungsten weights on the back of the head just go all the way through the ball.

  I found this to be a fairly low launching and a low spinning head.  I hit really strong drives that flew on a mid-trajectory and hit the ground running.  It was not extremely low launching or spinning, but just that right amount for the better players to get the most out of their driver.  I spent a little time on a launch monitor with this club and got near ideal numbers.  With a 9.5 degree head I was seeing 12.4* launch angle, 148mph ball speed and 2525rpm backspin. 

The Project X Black shaft is new for 2012.  I ‘m really impressed by this shaft.  It has a little better/smoother feel than the original Project X graphite shaft.  It is also a little higher launching so it will fit a wider variety of golfers.  The spin isn’t quite as low as the original either, but paired with the i20 head, the numbers were just perfect for me (see above).

  On a couple of my rounds with this driver, I let some other golfers hit the i20 and they fell in love with it.  One golfer went out the next day and was looking into getting his own.  Another was really happy hitting it too, even though his
swing wasn’t in best form.  He just loved the solid feel and it was even out performing his current driver.

Ping also completes the package with a great headcover.  It is nicely shaped, has a long sock that protects the shaft
and has a strap like handle that makes it easy to remove.  Pings ID-8 grips are also really nice.  I’ve had them now on a  number of my clubs, drivers and irons and really like them.  It is a version of a Tour Velvet grip, but with more
cut-out space.

  The i20 isn’t the most forgiving driver on the market but it offers incredible feel, distance and looks.

For more information:www.ping.com

Quick Hits
+Incredibly solid feel
+Stunning matte black look
+Long
+Workable

–Slightly less forgiving