PING i500 Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The PING i500 irons are distance irons that look like players clubs.  Unexpectedly huge ball speed.  Impressive forgiveness.

Introduction

Just because you like your irons to look traditional at address doesn’t mean that you don’t want to hit the ball far.  With the new PING i500 irons, you don’t have to choose between good looks and distance.  Thanks to a hollow-body construction similar to the G700, the i500 irons are distance-machines that will also turn heads.

Looks

At address, the PING i500 irons look amazing.  There’s not much offset, and the blade is fairly compact.  The top line is heavily beveled to make it appear thin.

In the bag, the i500 looks equally slick.  The hollow body design makes it look like a blade, and the size reinforces the perception.  There is minimal branding, and the black and chrome color combo is timeless.  It only reveals its high tech insides through a screw in the toe.

From a visual perspective, it would be very easy to blend the i500 and i210 irons.  PING has made the numbering on the soles identical, and the look at address is very similar.  You can see them above in the bag and at address (i500 on the left).

Sound & Feel

Though the PING i500 doesn’t look like a distance iron, it does feel like one.  Impact is louder than the i210, a sharp knock.  Your hands get the sensation that you may find the ball cracked into pieces.

The i500 does cover up the sting of mishits.  It’s easy to hear the difference between the pure strike and a miss, but precisely locating each miss is more difficult.

Performance

My biggest curiosity regarding the i500 irons is how they would compare to the G700 irons.  Right out of the gates, I saw that the i500 is every bit as long as G700.  The lofts on the i500 are 1 degree weaker through most of the set, but the two sets were neck-and-neck when comparing longest shots or average distance.

Where there is a clear gap between the i500 and G700 is in forgiveness.  The G700 puts all but the worst mishits on or near the green; the i500 is a bit more demanding.  Compared to other irons of its size, the i500 has solid forgiveness, but it still requires a good swing to get maximum distance.

Compared to the i210, the i500 is noticeably longer and more forgiving.  There were a few shots with the i500 that had me laughing about how much ball speed I got from poor contact.  I was also very impressed with how the long irons elevated thin strikes.  If you’re on the fence about moving to players irons, doing an i500/i210 combo set could be perfect.

One of the most interesting elements of PING’s latest irons is the ability to loft up or down.  The standard loft on the i500s are fairly strong.  If you want even more distance or need to lower your ball flight, you can opt for Power Specs.  Players like me who need more height can choose Retro Spec.  Talk to your fitter to consider the pros and cons of each before making the choice.

Conclusion

If you want the distance of a SGI iron in a sleek package, the PING i500 irons deliver.  Whether you want to combine them with the i210 or play them straight through the set, their combination of beauty and brawn will put a smile on your face.

PING i500 Irons Price & Specs

Matt Saternus

31 Comments

  1. That chunk of metal Ping takes out of the hosel has been turning me off to their irons for as long as I can remember.

    • Haha, me too! Will that snap if I tap the club on the ground? I don’t like these inserts they have on many of their clubs (not these though): dirt catchers and will they fall out?

    • Donn Rutkoff

      I suggest you read the biography “Karsten’s Way”. He was way smart. He engineered and designed clubs like nobody before, or only like a lot of computing power since. You never heard of an iron breaking at the cutout, have you? Millions of clubs and wins.

  2. I was swinging them at golf town against mp18’s I was getting an 5mph club head speed plus the extra ball speed too. They felt really nice considering I was leaning towards the mp18’s very solid club

  3. The primary concerns I’ve heard from golfers, even instructors, is about consistency throughout the set – Ping markets the i500 as distance, the i210 as precision – don’t we want both? For purposes of reality, did you find the i500 consistent not only as to one clubs but as to each other throughout the set?

    • Matt Saternus

      Jerry,

      Do you mean are there consistent distance gaps between clubs? If so, the yes, very consistent.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Thinking about it, the concerns are more about hitting a hot spot on a 7i, for example, so you’re not certain what you’re going to get – will it be 173 or 183? This appears to be a common concern about all hollow bodied clubs.

        As a mid-capper, not too concerned because I am inconsistent. But as I hone the swing with lessons and work, there’s a chance I might play like some of these guys who constantly complain abiout the club,

        • Matt Saternus

          Jerry,

          My experience only, not science-based: I’ve hit just as many of those “hot spot” rockets with my Miuras as I have with i500s and the like (which is to say, not many of either, but I’ve seen it). I think it’s an (understandable) attribution issue: people hit a forged club 100% pure and are happy because they smashed it. When it happens with a “high tech” club, they think it’s the technology messing with them. Again, just my two cents.

          Best,

          Matt

  4. Long but will the hollow construction produce enough spin to hold the green?

  5. How would you compare between the I500 and the PXG Gen 2 0311P iron? I have hit them both, can only buy one. I did not have the chance to hit them side by side, but I was with very good fitters in both cases. Price, though important, not critical. Looking for the best fit for me.

    • Matt Saternus

      Mark,

      I prefer the look of the i500. I haven’t tested them side-by-side, so I can’t say if one is longer than the other. Both are in the same ballpark as far as distance and forgiveness. I would choose whatever I liked best for looks and feel, which would be the PING for me.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. I had the same concerns as many others after all the initial reviews online with the Ping i 500 irons. After having an extensive fitting session and now over 10 rounds under my belt, along with many practice sessions , I feel I can point out some areas differently than those reviews based on initial impressions. These irons perform very well, but I can’t stress enough the proper shaft selection. The DG 120 s300 shaft is a fantastic shaft but seemed to just hit long. Whether full shots or 3/4 it just wanted to go full distances. Really hard to dial down distances and I feel some of the gapping complaints are shaft related to the stock offering and not the heads. I went with the DG 120 x100 and the problem was solved. Proper gapping thru the set and 1/2 to 3/4 shots are not a problem. Also, the DG 120 x100 is not as stout as the original. It plays as a soft stepped x100 maybe even a touch softer(1.5) soft step. Good shots are on the green, not so good shots are next to the green and great shots are great shots. These irons put the brakes on draws and fades but can be moved both ways with limitations. All in all I’m very happy. Good days are great, not so good days are good! Still have more to learn with these irons but so far they are fantastic. If only they had the feel of the Mizuno JPX919 tour irons 😂

  7. I am a 7-8 hcp. 76 yrs old play 5- 6 times a week. I have the new Ping i500 irons 5-AW with Recoil R shafts. Awesome clubs.
    I will purchase 54* new forged Ping Glide Wedge. Should I get a steel wedge shaft , Alta CB regular or stiff shaft ? I don’t think I can get Recoil shaft in this wedge as it is not offered . If so should it be Regular or Stiff.

    • Matt Saternus

      Brian,

      I would recommend checking with your fitter, but if that’s not an option, I would suggest the Alta CB regular flex as being the most similar to your iron shafts.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. Bought these instead of the TaylormadeP790’s I was looking at. Performance is good , distance is good, finish on the irons is terrible. They look more worn and scratched after 15 rounds than my Taylormades with over 600 rounds. Ping is aware of the finish problem, I would only purchase these if you don’t golf more than a few rounds a year. They look nothing like new clubs after very little use. For the premium price charged I am very disappointed in the quality of these. I play 100+ rounds a year, I’m an 8 cap and was expecting a quality product for this price, unfortunately this purchase was an expensive mistake.

    • Matt Saternus

      Dan,

      Thanks for sharing your experience.

      I’m curious, did PING offer any kind of solution for this problem for you?

      Best,

      Matt

      • I’m curious about this too. My i500s are about three months old and look like they were run over by a garbage truck. The finish worn off toe-side on the back of every blade. It’s worse on the clubs that are more frequently used like the 9i, but the wear is on the back of the club. I never saw this issue with my iblades or i200s which have the same finish.

        • Matt Saternus

          Dan,

          I’m similarly perplexed because my iBlades and i200s were workhorses and always looked good.

          Best,

          Matt

  9. I currently am shooting a the G15 and have been using them for over 5 years. Im very new to golf and started off as a 20 handicap per 9! I use to play baseball and currently gave that up to a less impact sport. Every year I lowered my handicap every year some strokes. In 2018 I finally lowered it to 9 per 9 wholes and finally got some confidence. But now with these G15 irons i fell sometimes there to bulky and heavy for my swing sometimes. im more of iron player so ive been looking at sets that have a 3 iron in the set. So I went in to get fitted and i wanted to try those i200 and i struggled horribly to get a consistent swing. I did try there call-way rouges and i hit those way better. So i went in a second time and the fitter mentioned the i500, so i swung that a couple times and caught on to it way faster then i did with i200.
    But i guess what im going to ask. Is the i500 to much a “players” club and not for the average joe and if you had to compare the pros and cons to those three clubs “i200, i500, callaway rouges” what would you say.

    thank you for your time

    • Matt Saternus

      Cody,

      If you’re talking about the standard Rogue, I think the order you put them in is correct: the i200 is the least forgiving, the Rogue is the most, the i500 is in the middle but skewed toward the Rogue. I don’t see an 18 handicap being a problem for the i500, particularly if that player is working on their game and is fit for the clubs.

      Best,

      Matt

  10. Hi Matt, is there someone at Ping that can address the finish issues on the G700/i500?

    • Matt Saternus

      JR,

      I would suggest contacting customer service. I would expect they can help you with warranty/quality control concerns.

      Best,

      Matt

  11. Dennis Tavares

    I’m a high handicap player who bought a set of G max irons last year. Hit them very well but they look like a mail box at address. I got fitted for I500 and I love the look. Played 10 rounds with them and I have to say that my ball flight which was always straight has now turned into a big high draw. Yes they say that is good but I now have to aim right of the fairway to get the ball on the short grass. The short irons hold the green well but when I hit a five iron into the green it always runs way off the back. These irons give me about the same distance but a much higher ball flight. In retrospect I should have saved money by keeping my G max 5 iron also by 52* glide wedge is not any different than my I500 U wedge.

    Denny

  12. Andrew Morano

    Matt,
    Ive been playing 714 ap2’s that I got off ebay for a good price. Im looking to switch to a sleek looking game improvement or something just more forgiving. I have a high handicap but my ball striking is has gotten better playing these ap2’s

  13. Thanks for the review. How do these compare to PXG 0211?

  14. Steven Mianowski

    Matt:

    Been playing DCI 990’s for about 20 years and finally going to change irons. Fit for i500, x100, blue dot, in std length, 4i-U wedge. I get distances from 990’s of 135 PW, 170 7i and 200 4i. Fitter expects I’ll see ~185 7i from i500. From that can I estimate about 150 PW? Not sure how I will structure the bottom of the bag with i500 with this much horsepower. Should I be considering retro lofts? What’s your experience with higher swing speed players? Any insights appreciated.

    • Matt Saternus

      Steven,

      Your choices are probably A) retro lofts or B) adding more wedges to the bag. I prefer the second option because I assume you were fit into the i500 at standard lofts, and I don’t like messing with fitting recommendations.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Steven Mianowski

        Thanks Matt. Good advice. Yes, was fit at standard. I’ll order those, play them a while and then fill in the gaps once I’m comfortable with the yardages after hitting different types of shots with the i500. I picked up 15 yards when I moved to 990’s and now another 15 with i500. Unbelievable how equipment has evolved since 1988 when I bought my first set of Ram’s.

  15. Mike Cavanaugh

    I am 54 years old and a 3 hdcp and always played Mizuno or Titleist – I tried the Ping i500 irons at a range just for heck of it and was stunned at the explosiveness and the forgiveness. Got fitted 2 degrees upright and I have played 100 rounds with them this COVID golf season. Pros: Huge distance gains / very high ball flight / very forgiving / good looking from the topline and look good in the bag / 4 iron off the tee is a great driving iron / surprising green holding capability given the explosiveness. Cons: Distance gaps (7 iron 165-190 8 iron 140-160). I don’t like the feel of the 8-PW around the green for pitching and green side chipping – ball jumps off the club on ‘feel’ shots with a lot of run out and I miss ‘feeling’ the ball on the face with those shots so I am going to play Blueprint 8-PW when I get a new set if 4-7 iron i 500’s assuming Ping fixes the finish in 2021 version / out of thick rough the thicker blade seems to get stuck upon turf contact / per my previous comment the finish on the irons looks run down after 20 rounds… after the 100 I have played the 8 iron has the metal peeling away on the toe and they look tired, unlike my Mizuno blades that get better looking with age. Pin PLEASE FIX THIS !! Overall I am a convert from the traditional blade look and love the comments from my regular playing partners that I have the ‘cheater clubs.’

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *