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Review: PING iBlade Irons

PING's Best Players Irons
The S-series has been a long standing staple of the PING line up. It was the series that most of PING’s pro staff had in their bags. The S series was typically updated every couple seasons with a little twist or tweak. Version after version they would get better, while still retaining similarities with previous generations. This last year saw PING revamp their naming system. With that also came a significant change to the S-Series. It was three years since the s55 irons came out and it was also the last time. The new PING players irons are call the iBlades, and they are PING’s best irons to date.
The PING iBlades are “un-PING like” in how clean their looks are.  PING irons have typically had a whole lot of badging and colors and “stuff” going on in the head.  These however, have about as minimal of looks that you can have in an iron.  These irons are by far PING’s best looking clubs they’ve ever made; it’s not even close!  The simple iBlade across the muscle, PING on the hosel and that’s it, make them very player friendly in terms of looks.  The lack of offset is probably my favorite feature of these irons.  It is so minimal and really makes them appeal to the better golfer, who doesn’t want/need that feature.  The thin top line also makes them look great behind the ball.  The satin finish also looks outstanding from every angle.  It is actually a little fancier than just a plain satin finish; it repels water.  It is called hydropearl chrome which is meant to keep grooves cleaner for better ball contact.

The PING iBlade irons are not “blades.”  While that name for irons is being thrown around rather loosely now in the golf industry, it is fair to say that these are not blades.  They have a good size cavity as well as large tuning slot in the muscle.  Also the fact that they are cast instead of forged means they aren’t real “blades.”  Having said that, they still are the most compact PING iron I’ve ever played and look as clean as most blades out there.

You see the PING iBlades are actually better than blades.  All those features mentioned above which disqualify them from being a blade are also the same things that make them better.  The cavity helps with forgiveness and better weight distribution.  The tuning slot allows a cast head to have a much softer feel.  The size of the head is bigger than a typical blade which also gives some confidence behind the ball.  Plus the tungsten plug in the toe, makes them solid and balanced.

I fit into a stock configuration with PING; standard lofts, lies and grip size.  The DG S300 shafts are one of the stock offerings which I’ve come to appreciate in my irons.  The one area that I’ve been slightly confused is the lie angle colors.  I think I’ve had 3 different colors that are considered the “stock” lie angle.  The G-series was yellow, the older i-series was black and now these are blue.  They have all been the correct lie angle for my swing, but I’m not 100% sure what dot color I am anymore.  I say that in case you were just going to order the green dot irons like you always have with PING, make sure that it is the correct lie angle for your needs.
I recently moved to AZ and I am learning the differences of playing golf here compared to my previous courses in MN.  I’m understanding why PING, being from AZ, continues to make cast irons.  The ground here is hard and the many desert courses can be very hard on clubs.  These, as expected of all PING irons, are very durable.  They are also set up very well in terms of the sole for hitting off of the hard turf conditions.  The leading edge is blunted nicely and the bounce is just right for these conditions.  That’s not to say that these won’t work well in lush conditions, but just that they make a nice divot and pick the ball cleaning off firm ones.
When I got the PING iBlades to the course I was really happy with the way that they control the golf ball.  One of the features that better players are looking for is shot making ability.  They don’t always want high, straight and long.  While those aren’t bad things, sometimes being able to move the ball a little one way or the other can be valuable.  The feature that I liked the most has to be the spin control.  These actually put good spin on the ball, I’d say more spin than most irons.  That allowed me to really stick shots close to pins.  While the 1000 rpms per iron number has been a “standard”, these exceeded that mark on every irons, which meant even long irons would hit and hold.  Yet the additional spin didn’t cause them to balloon in the wind, nor spin side to side all over the place. 

FlightScope Xi Tour Launch Monitor

PING iBlade Irons – 8-iron
  • Spin: 8231 rpms
  • Launch Angle: 29.1*
  • Dispersion: 3.1 yds
  • Club Head Speed: 85.9 mph
  • Ball Speed: 109.2 mph
  • Total Distance:  153.4 yds
  • Carry Distance:  150.7 yds

PING has made many good irons over the years, but these have to be their best.  The looks are the best by far, but the performance is going to have “players” liking them in the bag.  They aren’t true blades, but they offer more forgiveness than a traditional blade.  The long tuning port and tungsten in the toe give these a very solid, muted feel at impact.  The minimal offset, traditional lofts and gentle sole make for a very playable compact iron.  You’re not going to be wowed by distance, but the additional spin should have you hitting more precise shots into greens and having them hold.  The PING iBlade Irons are their best players irons, dare I say best irons to date.

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For more information:

Quick Hits
+Clean looks
+Improved feel
+Compact shape
+Minimal offset
+Great spin

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