PING i230 Irons Review

ping i230 irons

50 Words or Less

The PING i230 irons have unbelievable consistency.  Super tight distance dispersion.  Understated looks, solid feel.  An ideal players set.

Introduction

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.

 ping i230 irons address

Looks

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.

ping i230 irons 3 address

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.

Performance

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.

ping i230 irons in bag

Conclusion

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

Matt Saternus
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64 Comments

  1. Michael Constantine

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Hi Matt,
    How would you say these compare to Apex 19 pros?

    Thanks,
    Adam

  5. 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!

  6. How is the forgiveness of these to the zx7?, thanks

  7. Hi Matt,

    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.

    Thanks,

    Neil

    • Matt Saternus

      Neil,

      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.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. Matt,

    Love the review. What would say is a reasonable handicap range for these irons?

    • Matt Saternus

      Brian,

      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.

      -Matt

  9. 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.

    • Matt Saternus

      George,

      Thank you!

      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.

      Best,

      Matt

  10. 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.

  11. Hi Matt!
    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!!
    Thanks,
    Joe

    • Matt Saternus

      Joe,

      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.

      Best,

      Matt

  12. Hi Matt,

    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.

  13. John Fraser

    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.

  14. Stephen Gengarp

    Great review. Curious how the forgiveness ranks relative to ZX7 and T100.
    Thanks!

  15. Steve Micheli

    Hi Matt,

    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?

  16. 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?

    • Matt Saternus

      Tom,

      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.

      Best,

      Matt

  17. 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?

    • Matt Saternus

      Tom,

      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?

      -Matt

  18. 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

  19. Matt,
    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?

    • Matt Saternus

      John,

      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.

      Best,

      Matt

      • 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.

  20. 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.

  21. JOHN DIETLE

    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.

    • Matt Saternus

      John,

      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.

      Best,

      Matt

  22. 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!

  23. Adam Parton

    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!

    • Matt Saternus

      Adam,

      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.

      Best,

      Matt

  24. Thx for the excellent review.

    I received my i230’s in 5-PW Power Spec with Dart 90 Tapers.They are consistent and have a softer feel than expected with a ProV1x. They are less intimidating than the i59’s and the forgiveness level is higher, as expected.

    I checked loft/lie/swingweight and adjusted them to spec and used lead tape for a consistent D3. I enjoy playing them. If anyone has any qualms as to shaft choices, ask your retailer or online seller. Ping has more than what is on their site, like the Dart 75 and 90. The 90’s remind me of the MMT85, slightly more stable and without the swing weight issues (MMT’s add several SW points). Enjoy.

  25. thank you for the article

  26. PW stock length is 35.75. FYI

  27. Matt, great review. I was able to hit these an the blueprints. Both sets have a very similar feel and look to my Nike Vapor Pro/Pro Combo set. I’m liking them a lot but are they a true forged face? Been looking for a good set of irons an woods to replace my beloved Nike Vapor Pro’s/Pro combo set along with the good old solid volt blue Nike Vapor Fly woods. Not embarrassed to admit, I still game them! Cheers

    • Matt Saternus

      Gerald,

      I don’t think anything in my review or on PING’s website indicates that the i230 irons are forged.

      -Matt

  28. Stephen Barsotti

    I am a 75 year old 7 handicap (from the regular tees between 6100 and 6400.). I currently play Mizuno MP 29’s from the 90’s with a regular granite shaft (6 iron thru 8 iron) and MP 20 blade 9 and wedge. I love the Ping 56 degree glide 3 as a sand wedge and for pitching green side.
    I hit the old 7MP 29 iron 130 and my driver 220 (carry). Would I get the same feel with the i230 and more distance?

    • Matt Saternus

      Stephen,

      I think it’s likely you would gain some distance, though perhaps not a ton as the i230 is not really a distance iron. Feel is subjective, so I can’t say what you will feel, but I don’t think those two irons will feel the same.

      Best,

      Matt

  29. Stephen Barsotti

    Matt

    Thank you for the input. I find you reviews to be very accurate and informative. Ill go to a Ping fitting day and give it a try.
    Ive tried several distance irons after your reviews in the past and they never feel as nice to me and I didn’t get consistent distances just as you say in the reviews. I guess I need to get used to hitting it shorter as I get older and take more club. When I cant break 80 from the regular tees Ill just move up.

    Steve

  30. Stephen Barsotti

    Matt

    As a followup. Tried the 7 iron with a 95 recoil shaft regular. Great results. full 5 more yards with higher trajectory and more spin. Purchased and pleased. Thanks for your review leading me to this club. As you suggested , feel not the same but acceptable. Still can fade or draw the ball. Mishits fly great as well. Lot more forgiving than my MP’s.

  31. Matt,

    Would you care to elaborate on your 24 gamers this next season?

  32. Matt, thanks for the great review. Your insights led me to try these in a fitting and I can’t be happier with the irons. I put the Dart V shafts in them and get perfect carry/spin numbers.

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