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The PING i230 irons have unbelievable consistency. Super tight distance dispersion. Understated looks, solid feel. An ideal players set.
I regularly say that there are hundreds of ways to enjoy golf. If your golf happiness comes from seeing that one perfectly struck iron shot soar fifteen yards beyond your target, you should stop reading this review. The PING i230 irons are not for you.
However, if you love low scores and watching your approach shots do the same predictable thing swing after swing, you’ll want to post your current irons for sale now. The PING i230 irons may be the most consistent players iron I’ve ever tested.
The PING i230 irons are extremely clean in the bag. PING has never made particularly loud irons, but these raise the bar on minimalism. The cavity is very straightforward, and the “i230” engraving on the toe is small with black paint fill. There is one interesting detail – the small depression in the cavity – that speaks to the precision of the weight distribution.
At address, the i230 irons have a compact look that’s in line with previous i-Series irons. PING has made the long irons (3-5) slightly smaller than the i210 irons [review HERE], but the rest of the set is similar in size. Throughout, you get minimal offset, a gently rounded leading edge, and a thin top line.
For those interested in comparison, the i230 is slightly larger than the Blueprint [review HERE] in every way. There’s a touch more offset, the top line is a bit thicker, and the blade is a little longer. These differences are obvious when the two irons are side by side, but, on their own, they’re definitively in the same ballpark.
Sound & Feel
The sound and feel of the PING i230 irons is as understated as the look. Impact creates a quiet, staccato “tock” that barely changes on mishits. Thin strikes are a bit more abrasive to the ears but are still fairly quiet.
Through the hands, the strike simply feels solid. There’s no spring, no bounce, no explosion, no ball-mushing-into-the face. It’s just a clean, straightforward impact. There is, however, very good feedback through the hands. Mishits don’t change the character of impact, but you can feel precisely where the ball met the face.
Sometimes it takes me a minute to see the forest for the trees. I started my testing of the PING i230, as I always do, with the pitching wedge. I hit several mediocre shots, noting the distance was just a few yards below my normal “good strike” number. Then I absolutely melted one, 10/10 perfect impact…and the distance only ticked up six yards. I shrugged, hit a few more, and moved on.
Next, I jumped to the 7I. Again, I started with a couple stinkers that landed within five yards of my expected number. The third shot was pure, and it landed five yards past my number. This time the message sank in. The PING i230 irons have an incredibly tight dispersion pattern. They are remarkably forgiving of mishits, and, just as importantly, they don’t produce fliers. Every key number – ball speed, launch, spin, and carry – is consistent whether you miss it a little or flush it.
As impressive as this was, I hadn’t even hit the best club yet. When I got to the 4I, I found ball speed that was on par with elite distance irons alongside easy, high launch and spin. Even for players who are committed to their blades, throwing in an i230 long iron is the obvious move.
Find even more long game forgiveness in the PING iCrossover HERE
Comparing the i230 irons to my Blueprints, the biggest difference was, of course, the forgiveness. I still regard the Blueprints as the most forgiving blades out there, but the i230 is in a different class. It’s also worth noting that the i230 is one degree stronger throughout the set. The stronger lofts along with a lower CG lead them to be about half a club longer on the best strikes.
Finally, PING continues to set the standard when it comes to custom fitting options. First, they offer the i230 with standard lofts, Power Spec Lofts, and Retro Spec Lofts. They also have an array of stock shafts including the Nippon Modus 105 [review HERE], two graphite options, and several weights of Dynamic Gold.
If my brain has anything to do with my WITB [always up to date HERE], the PING i230 irons will be there in 2023. These are the most consistent irons I can remember testing. As a players iron, they do absolutely everything I could ask for. The tag team of my heart and ego will be battling hard to leave the Blueprints in place, and it will be a long, epic struggle.
Visit PING HERE
PING i230 Irons Price & Specs
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Nice review. Couple things. I am surprise that the substantial difference in offset between the i230 and Blueprint wasn’t mentioned when you made comparison. Assuming you bag a 5 iron, the offset is .08” compared to .14”. To a skilled ball strikers such as yourself I would think some adjustment time physically or mentally would have to occur to make a change. Next, I found the 0211ST to be the most forgiving blade I’ve ever hit and currently bag them. Your declaration that the Blueprint are to you what the 0211ST are to me has on the hunt to find a set and give them a whirl. I’ve hit the 7 iron as a demo a while back and was impressed. Again, nice review.
I agree, offset of 0.2 inches in the 3 iron is a massive difference to comparable players sets. Can’t think of one even close with that much.
That being said great review and they look class. Pluggedingolf best reviews out here
Matt – great write up.
I got two quick rounds in with these before Michigan weather took its hold, and my thoughts would echo yours. Irons have been a revolving door for me the last few years, and the i230 is set to change that. The accuracy, consistency, and predictable yardages were super exciting in my brief experience. The lines I could take and hold were nuts.
I liken them to a friendlier T100.
Great review, Matt. The last time I recall reading such a glowing review of irons from you was maybe the Mizuno Pro 223s. I have both and like the i230s better. To me, they’re more forgiving, their sole is a better fit for my steeper swing, and they’re just super, super consistent, as you point out.
My only small criticism would be of Ping’s shaft offerings. I wish they offered some heavier Modus shafts, rather than just the 105s. But the DG 120 is actually a good fit for me in these because they help knock spin down just a touch, so it’s really not a huge deal.
I agree it was a great review, as always. As far as “glowing reviews”……I would say this one is right up there with the HONMA TW 757 irons that Matt reviewed earlier this year making these (and the PINGs herein) among the most positive and intriguing that I have read from Matt.
How would you say these compare to Apex 19 pros?
I have a full review of the Apex 19 irons here: https://pluggedingolf.com/callaway-apex-19-irons-review/
Matt, which Ping iron is more forgiving, the 525 or the 230? Im a 9hc, 68yo guy that still makes pretty good contact and I’ll got get fit to find the right shaft combination but I want some forgiveness in the long irons and good distance control in the short irons. My current Mizuno hot metal irons can be too “hot” at times.
The i525 is a bit larger, so it probably has a small edge in forgiveness.
Adam – I played the APCF19 in the combo set and loved them. I think the 230 is more forgiving, accurate, not prone to fliers, and feels better.
I tested these the other day and agree with your assessment. These are the best PING irons I have ever hit. Fantastic feel and consistency.
They feel like Honma Players Irons, and that is a great complement! Love their forgiveness and might serious consider pulling out the TR20P Irons for these. Great work PING!
How is the forgiveness of these to the zx7?, thanks
I have a full review of the ZX7 irons here: https://pluggedingolf.com/srixon-zx7-irons-review/
230 launches higher and is more forgiving, IMO.
Great review, always been a Ping fan and if you are considering replacing your Blueprints with these I’m thinking that the I230s might replace my beloved S55s!!
One question, though, is Ping not offering Project X as a shaft option now?
I’ve been a Project X/Rifle guy for a large chunk of my golfing life and would ideally like to keep that consistency in shafts with a new set.
Project X isn’t listed as a stock option, but I’d be shocked if you couldn’t custom order it since Project X and Dynamic Gold are both part of the same company.
Love the review. What would say is a reasonable handicap range for these irons?
With the caveat that I don’t really care for that line of thinking, I’ll say anyone at a 15 of better should give them a try.
I read your 210 and 500 prior reviews, and I got the impression that the 210 was quite consistent but didn’t offer the shotmaking that your Blueprints did. This 230 review sounds like they’re more consistent than the 210s (and more forgiving?) but offer better players some of the features of the Blueprints too.
My questions as a i210 player now (and who has described the i210s to people as “amazingly consistent”) is: 1) are the 230s enough of a leap over the 210s to warrant the cost and 2) do you need to have skills at the “could enjoy playing Blueprints” level to appreciate the 230s over the 210s?
Thanks, and your site really does have a lot of the best reviews in golf.
I would really like to run the i210 and i230 head to head to answer your question objectively, but unfortunately that’s not realistic at this time. With the caveat that I reviewed the i210 over four years ago, my subjective sense is that the i230 is more impressive in terms of consistency. Whether that’s worth the cost – I can’t answer that for you because I don’t get to (or want to!) spend your money.
To your second question, I don’t think you need any different skills to enjoy the i230 over the i210 – they’re geared toward the same player, so that player is more than capable of determining whether the i230 is better for them.
My best advice is for you to take your gamers to a fitting and see if the i230s are better for you.
I hit the i230s a couple of weeks ago, when I hit it in the center it flew as long as my gamers with 3 deg weaker loft in the 7 iron, but when I mishit them on the toe, I was losing a lot of distance, at leat 10-15 yards. For me they aren’t the correct club as my ball striking isn’t consistent enough, but they had a great feel to them and the distance on center hits was amazing compared to the loft of other players distance irons I have and have hit.
What are your gamers?
I know I can go back and look at your reviews, but I am curious if you think the i230 is close to the forgiveness of the i525, P790 and Mizuno Pro 225 irons? I like those irons for looks and performance, but the spin is a tad low. I am leaning towards the MP 225 and bending them 1/2 or 1 degree weak. I am just curious how you compare this group? Also, out of the latter 3, which do you feel is the most forgiving on mishits out of those 3 irons? I hear that the Mizuno HM Pro is very good at misses towards the toe? Any truth to that? I haven’t hit them yet. Thanks for your great reviews!! More people need to hear about your site!! I tell people!!
This is a very good question, but it’s tough because it gets into “what do you mean by forgiveness?”. I put a big premium on consistency and predictability, and on those counts, the i230 is actually a bit better. However, I think on bigger misses those larger irons will preserve more ball speed and possibly keep the ball on line a bit better.
I’m currently gaming the Apex TCB and I have a “fascination” with Ping. I tried the Blueprints as well as the i59 and felt that they were a tad beyond my striking ability…I have an almost visceral attachment to the way they look. I feel pretty comfortable with the TCB…but, I lust after the i230…can’t help how i feel (Ha!) I read your review of the TCB. I feel like I could game the i230, but have guilt about “cheating” on my TCB’s. If you would be so kind as to give me the permission to do so, I, in turm, would speak to your Blueprints for you and assuage any loss you feel for one another.
You absolutely have my blessing to pursue the i230s. I hope you’re happy together.
Is the bounce lower or higher on the power specs vs retro? Thanks Matt.
Bounce will be higher in the retro spec.
Great review Matt. I have my i230’s being built as we speak and can’t wait to get them on the course. I am still gaming the i210’s which have been fantastic clubs for me. Hoping for a touch higher launch and spin, but the same great feel and forgiveness that I have come to know from the Ping i series. I presume these will be in both of our bags for a long time.
Great review. Curious how the forgiveness ranks relative to ZX7 and T100.
I am looking for an iron that is better sounding , a bit larger and more consistenet than my i500 set. Are the i230’s the answer?
I don’t think the i230 is larger than the i500, but I do think it sounds much better.
When can I order a set of the i230 35 – 40 gram shafts
You can order them from Club Champion or any PING dealer.
I noticed the 7 iron here has 33* of loft. I read the review for the JPX HM Pro and saw the 8 iron in that set also has 33* of loft. Manufacturers aside, is that essentially the same club?
I’m not sure what you mean. There are many examples of one manufacturer’s 7I being another’s 8I. Sometimes the two will produce equivalent distance, sometimes they won’t, depending on other factors.
Matt, that’s pretty much what I meant. Basically you have 2 irons with the same lofts, but one says “7” and one says “8”. It’s hard to tell these days what the difference actually is. I presume the Ping is a little less offset but is there a huge difference between irons with the same loft?
There can be. Consider this: a set of true blades and a set of giant, hollow body SGI irons both have some club with the same (or near same) loft. Would you consider those two clubs equivalent?
I’d like to test theee against my current PXG gen 5 and check numbers. The only wrench in this is that PXG is about to release gen 6
I am considering a set of i230’s and am trying to decide on the shaft. I’m a 78 yr old 10 hdcp. Ping has a couple of very lightweight shafts 35 and 45 grams. The 45 feels pretty good, just the right amount of flex, good trajectory. What I’m wondering is, are there any issues or concerns about these very light shafts that I should be aware of?
If you’re thinking along the lines of durability, I have not heard of any issues with these lighter shafts.
If you tested the shafts and they performed well for you, I’d go ahead with them.
Thanks, Matt. I’ve tested “soft regular” and “senior” regular at 55 and 65 grams, and they all feel just a bit stiff. I like to feel just a little flex, and it is difficult to find just the right fit in the particular club that you like. My current irons are 2016 Titleist AP1’s with Mitsubishi Tensei Red CK Series AMC IR, R-Flex, and they flex just right for my swing. The problem is, I can’t find the actual specs on these shafts so that I could try to match them. I do think the Ping 45 gram shafts may be the answer, but I guess I did have a concern about how they would hold up. I do appreciate having your thoughts on that issue.
Gamed the i59 irons, my son took them from me, and I’m looking for something slightly less daunting than the i59’s. These look like the ticket. I almost bought the i210 several times so moving on let’s see what these do in a Recoil 95.
Forget the Recoil 95 – will test the Recoil Dart in 75 and 90 – Ping carries them both.
Matt. 9-11 handicap. play twice a week . and practice. currently play the ping i-25. time for a upgrade. I’ve fallen in lust with the i230.
my question. i will correctly take care of them. but do you think the i230 will last or am i going to have to replace them in 4 years.
and also. i hit towering, soft landing shots with my I25s.. not a problem unless im into the wind. do you think the less offset in the i230s lower the height of my shots? thanks a lot. i want to make sure before I spend ping kind of money.
I don’t see any reason why the i230 wouldn’t last four seasons and beyond.
Regarding shot height, the offset might have some effect, but I don’t think it will be night and day different.
Thanks so much for the review, Matt! I always love your reviews. I went a had a fitting with ping as I’ve been struggling with my TCB irons. I can’t believe how consistent the i230s are. These with a KBS tour 120 stiff shaft and I was hitting the same numbers time and time again. I never would have thought to try them if not for your review. So thanks!
Matt thanks so much for the review. I was recently fit into the ping i525 irons with the project x io 5.5 shaft. I never really felt they were right for me. In terms of forgiveness as a whole would I be giving up a great deal of forgiveness going from the i525 to the i230? The i525 I have noticed are prone to some fliers and I have no feel when I comes to using say a 8 or 9 iron around the green. Thanks for the awesome reviews and thanks for any info you can provide!
Did you get a chance to hit the i230 at your fitting?
I do think there’s a noticeable forgiveness gap between the two, but it might be worth it to gain more feel in the scoring irons.