50 Words or Less
One day PING is going to put out a press release saying, “What more do you want from us? We’ve made the i series as good as it can be!” Thankfully for us, today is not that day. As good as the i series iron was, the i200 surpasses it in every conceivable way.
Looking at the i200 irons, it’s hard to believe it’s a set that’s built to provide forgiveness. The top lines are thin, the soles are modest, and there’s very little offset (almost none in all but the 3 and 4 irons). Their cavities are as clean as can be with nothing but simple “i200” badging in them.
My primary curiosity, as someone gaming the PING iBlades, was how different the two sets look. When you set them next to each other, it’s not too hard to tell which is which (you can see comparison pics in the slideshow at the bottom of the review). On their own, however, I had a hard time knowing whether I had an i200 or iBlade in my hands. The only exception is the 4I which does have noticeably more offset than the iBlade, which is a good thing for 99.9999% of golfers.
Sound & Feel
Last generation’s i irons made a significant leap forward in terms of feel, and that progress continues with the i200 irons. By using the same activated elastomer in the cavity as the iBlades, PING has made the i200 feel every bit as good as their top-of-the-line player’s iron.
Impact feels soft and solid with excellent feedback. The sound is robust and mid-pitched which enhances the solid feel.
PING brought a raft of upgrades to the i200 irons. First, the face is 30% thinner which translates to higher, more consistent ball speed. The weight they saved was used to make the MOI 7% higher, meaning more forgiveness. PING also redesigned the sole with a higher leading edge and more bounce, and coated it with a water-resistant hydropearl finish. In short: longer, more forgiving, easier to hit, and more consistent in wet conditions. Sound good to you?
After discovering how good the i200 looks and feels, I put them head-to-head with my iBlades to see the performance differences. The specs are similar – the i200s are the same length and just 1 degree stronger throughout the set. The first thing I noticed was that the i200 produces less spin than the iBlade. This is helpful in creating more distance and straighter shots. More impressive was the consistency, especially in the long irons. I pured my iBlade 4I and got 129 MPH ball speed. When I mishit it, the ball speed dropped markedly. With the i200, I got 127 and 128 ball speed on mishits and 130 on a centered shot. It also launched about half a degree higher which resulted in 4 yards more carry.
There are two other things worthy of note. First, PING is offering “Power Specs” on the i200 irons for those that want more distance or a stronger ball flight. The Power Specs make the lofts stronger (as much as 1.5 degrees) while trying to maintain proper gapping. Second, PING is again offering a huge variety of shafts at no up-charge. Options range from heavy steel (Dynamic Gold, Project X) to light graphite (CFS) with AWT 2.0, KBS Tour, Nippon Modus, and True Temper XP in between. Take advantage of this and get fit!
As much as I love my iBlades (and I really love my iBlades), PING has made me think long and hard about puting the i200 irons into the bag. There’s no sacrifice when it comes to feel, and the look is nearly identical. When it comes to the all-important aspect of performance, the i200 is simply more consistent. If you love the iBlades but need something more playable, PING has created the perfect club for you.