PING i525 Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The PING i525 irons are one of the best-performing sets available.  Fantastic forgiveness in a compact package.  Excellent distance with sensible gaps between every club.


Many golfers are obsessed with labels.  “Are these players irons or game improvement?  Players or players distance?”  The new PING i525 defies easy categorization, but one thing is clear: this is a damn good iron.


PING refers to the i525 irons as having a “players-style blade length and offset with a modest top line.”  I can’t say it much better than that.  At address, these clubs look extremely clean.  Players who need a razor thin top line or super compact head can opt for the PING Blueprint [review HERE], but these are going to look great to the vast majority of golfers.

The in the bag styling of the i525 matches that players look at address.  There’s “i525” branding on the toe and a slim “Forged” toward the heel, but that’s it.  You can’t even tell that these are PING irons unless you look at the hosel.  The screw in the toe lets you know this is a hollow body iron, but everything else about the way this club looks will have you thinking it’s a blade.

Sound & Feel

In terms of performance, PING irons stand up against any other OEM.  However, the sound and feel of their last few hollow body irons has been a relative weakness.  PING took this to heart with the i525 irons and injected a polymer into the face to improve the experience of impact.

Striking a premium ball with the i525 irons produces a sound that’s only slightly louder than average.  It’s a satisfying, percussive “snap” that sounds both fast and strong.  When you miss the center, the sound becomes less authoritative.

The feel of the i525 is solid with a little pop.  Feedback through the hands is excellent, clearly communicating where the ball met the face.  As you move away from center, the pop disappears and there’s a little extra vibration.


There’s a lot to say about the PING i525 irons, but I’m going to start with an area that PING consistently dominates: forgiveness.  Going back numerous generations, PING has been at the forefront of packing tons of forgiveness into compact irons.  They continue to lead in that category with the i525.  Throughout the set, the launch, spin, and ball speed are very consistent even when the strike moves around the face.

This forgiveness is powered by two design elements: “extreme weighting” and the hollow body design.  PING put tungsten weights not just in the toe of the iron but also in the tip of the shaft to make the head extremely stable.  This strong perimeter weighting supports a thin, forged steel face that gives shots more ball speed and consistent, high launch angles.

Additionally, the PING i525 irons are long.  The first key to distance is always ball speed.  The i525 has the ideal combination of high peak speed and excellent speed retention on mishits.  This is paired with very consistent, fairly high launch angles and optimized spin.  I found the i525 irons to be one or one and half clubs longer than my Blueprints throughout the bag.

In spite of their length, I hesitate to call the i525s “players distance” clubs.  This is because that label is most often used for compact clubs that add distance through very low spin and have poor gapping throughout the set.  Neither of those is true of the i525.

First, the PING i525 irons produce plenty of spin.  This gives them superior stopping power on the greens and more shot shaping ability.  In fact, they matched my Blueprints almost exactly when it comes to landing angle.

Equally important, there are meaningful, sensible distance gaps between each club.  Too often, a set has supercharged 6 and 7 irons with very little gap to the 4 and 5 and a chasm to the 8.  In testing the entire set, I saw gaps of roughly 10 yards between each club.  This is intelligent distance.  Players distance with a heavy emphasis on players.  


The PING i525 irons are one of the most impressive iron sets I’ve tested this year.  Regardless of what category you put them in, they’re long and consistent with standout looks.  If you want to hit your irons a long way and still score well, this is a set you must consider.


PING i525 Irons Price & Specs

Matt Saternus


  1. Shooter Mcgavin

    Which shaft to you try Matt? Are these going to kick your Blueprints out of the bag?? I want to go test them as soon as get a chance as I love the new look and it sounds like they fixed everything I didn’t like about the i500 .

    • Matt Saternus

      The AWT 2.0.
      These won’t be replacing the Blueprints, I”m happy with what I have.



      • I bought a set of these a month or so ago – I haven’t broken 80 all year with my old mizuno mp37 blades I’ve had for 20years, played my first competition at the weekend and shot 72, irons were amazing, extra length meaning I could comfortably play 4 irons off tees, accuracy/spin control incredible and forgiveness was brilliant. They have changed my game! I would recommend for anyone!

      • Hi Matt

        What were your thoughts regarding the AWT 2.0 shafts
        Is ascending weight the future?

        • Matt Saternus


          They’re Nippon shafts, so the quality is excellent. I think they offer very good feel. As to the weight, I don’t think any one approach is ever going to be right for everyone, but it’s certainly something worth testing in a fitting.



  2. Hey Matt. Nice review. How come you dont have the i525 irons in your bag? I have always played ping irons. Going all the way back to Ping Eye 2. Your review is making me want to buy the i525! Expensive but….

    • Matt Saternus

      I’m not looking to hit my irons longer, so I’m going to stick with my Blueprints and GEOM irons. If I could get the forgiveness without the added distance, they would be a very real consideration.


    • Ryan Quick

      Hey Matt, do they truly give you that extra distance. I’ve been using Cobra irons for a number of years but these PING i525 irons are peaking my interest. I feel as though I’m not getting enough distance anymore with my clubs. It’s too bad the price of the Ping irons is pretty high for only 4-PW and no gap wedge.

      • Matt Saternus


        As I said in the review, the i525s are 1-1.5 clubs longer than my gamers. Whether they will be longer than your current irons, I can’t say.


        • Hi Matt!
          So you personally would pick the Ping i525 irons over the P790, Titleist T200 and the Mizuno Pro 225 in terms of feel, performance, forgiveness and spin retention?

          • Joe,

            For me, the P790 is not in the discussion because it’s too low spin. I prefer the i525 over the other irons, but the Mizuno and Titleist would be close.


  3. Philip Gwinn

    Send me ping irons. So I can’t try them!

  4. How would you compare these to the 2021 callaway Apex

  5. How about the Cleveland launcher XL Halo’s as a forgiveness set of irons

    • Matt Saternus


      Yes, that’s a very forgiving set.


    • What type of handicap would you say would be best suited for these irons? What other irons would you put in the same category?

      • Matt Saternus


        I don’t subscribe to much to assigning irons to handicaps as there are game improvement irons on Tour and recreational players using blades. These irons have strong distance and good forgiveness. If those are characteristics you want, and the iron fits your eye, I think it’s worth testing in a fitting.



  6. Hi Matt,
    great review as always.
    Two questions:
    Are the Ping I525s a real step up from the Ping I500s?
    Are the Pingi525s much easier to play than the Ping I59?
    thanks in advance

    • Matt Saternus


      I think the i525 is meaningfully more forgiving than the i59.
      Regarding the i500, it’s going to depend on what you see as a “real step up.” I think the i525 is clearly better, and at a minimum they are different.


  7. I recently was fitted for the i525 and agree with your assessment. Great stopping power and forgiveness with the ability to shape your shot. I am very happy with these clubs and I recommend anyone interested in delving into the players distance pool to give these irons a look. And thank you Plugged-in Golf for excellent articles and reviews!

    • Chris Hans e

      Just bought a set and though I haven’t hit them yet I do swing them and they feel just great. Plus they pass the eye test which gives you confidence. I retired my mizuno mp68 blades after 10 years and am looking forward to a long relationship with the i525. Thanks for the great review.

  8. Jake Kasarjian

    How would you compare these to the G425’s?

  9. Skyler Belknap

    They look like a space age I3 with that twist.

  10. Roger Chang

    When you mentioned low spinning distance irons., how does this compare to JPX 921 HM Pros?

  11. Matt Heilman

    What handicaps are these for? I’m an improving 15 handicap currently playing TaylorMade M CBG irons for their high launch and forgiveness, but feel I need to move back to more of a players iron.

    • Matt Saternus


      I don’t like assigning handicaps to particular clubs. Everyone should get fit rather than letting arbitrary guidelines determine what they play.


  12. Nice review, Matt.
    I was surprised, and pleased, to see that you had an even 10 yard gap between irons, considering the 5* loft change between each iron. Ping must be doing something right. Also good to see that they are using tungsten efficiently for forgiveness in a club that sounds like it would work for an average player as well as a better player, though the lack of offset may hurt someone who slices. Ping used to have whopping amounts of offset in their game improvement clubs, so this is a nice compromise. The G425 still have a bit too much offset for my taste, but these i525 clubs sound good.

  13. How would these combo with the blueprint? Was looking at getting the i525 in the 4 iron retro spec then 5-pw blueprint standard spec

  14. I’m a 6-8 handicap throughout the season and and just switched to i525 from the G400’s. I was fitted into the i525’s retro lofts with awt x-stiff shafts and very impressed so far with the i525’s. Was a little nervous making the move to a more blade like iron but have grown to appreciate the smaller profile and ball flight has been higher with better stopping power with similar distance per iron (even with retro lofts) . Don’t notice the sound that has been the knock on iseries in the past and you get great feedback and forgiveness on off center shots. If you have been using the g series but are looking for more consistency I’d highly suggest checking these out.. shot dispersion both distance and accuracy wise have tightened and as a result Greens in regulation are up considerably so far this year and have landed on the green and held with 4 irons twice this year from 240 plus out. It’s a great looking iron in the bag and just staring down at address the profiles gives you confidence as well.

  15. Hello Matt would these irons have abit more offset than the a Mizuno pro head? And would they be bigger, I’m looking at buying these as I used to play ping g30s and loved them, then switched to some mizuno (I forget the make) pro heads that were much smaller and had way less offset which I hated, I play off 9.4 and play to a good level on my day, just trying to gauge weather these are basically blades as I don’t want to make the same mistake twice, I could go for the G range again but want better looking irons and more distance! Any advice would help, I’m looking for normal size iron head and some offset basically 🤣

    • Matt Saternus


      These are definitely not blades. They won’t be as forgiving as the G Series, but they’re nowhere near a true blade.



  16. Hey Matt,
    Any difference between between the shaft you can think off? AWT 2.0 VS NS Pro Modus 105. They are both made by the same manufacturer Nippon.

    • Matt Saternus


      I’ve hit both shafts but never with a focus on comparing them, so I can’t offer an educated comparison. You are correct that PING’s AWT is made by Nippon.



  17. Howdy! I’m a mid handicapper (like 10-15) with a pair of Nike pro combos. I love how they look at address but would love something more forgiving. I’m not really looking for more distance. I had my eye on these Pings. Anything else you’d recommend?

    • Matt Saternus


      My advice is always to get a fitting, but these irons are among my favorites of late.


  18. Are the I525 irons confidence-inspiring, especially long irons?

    • Matt Saternus


      It depends on what you find confidence inspiring. I like the look of them, but others may prefer something bigger.



  19. Bob Coomber

    Hi Matt
    Just read your review on the Ping i525 irons ,
    I have S56 at the moment would the i525 have more offset ?
    Also how would they compare?
    Cheers Bob

    • Matt Saternus


      The i525 will likely have a bit more offset. They will also be longer and more forgiving.


  20. Jay Barrett

    Hi Matt,

    Great review! I read a lot of your reviews. – VERY informative and helpful. I’m looking to upgrade my 20 year old Ping i3+ “Blades”. Love these irons but it’s time.

    I’m not sure I’m ready or need the stronger lofts, so what do you think about ordering with the more classic lofts of Ping’s “retrospec”?

    Also I’ve used TT DG S300 shafts for a long time. Still a good choice?

    Do you know any good fitters in Nashville area?


    • Matt Saternus


      Thank you!
      As far as fitters, there is a Club Champion in Franklin, TN. My advice would be to head there and they can answer your questions about shafts and lofts with data from your swing.



  21. Ziyaad Rabaney


    If you used Retro loft in i525 and compared the retro i525 to i210 in same loft, would you expect much difference?


    • Matt Saternus


      It will all depend on the individual. Generally, similarly lofted clubs should go similar distances, but there are always exceptions based on player fit and preference.



  22. Hi Matt!!
    Supply chain issues and having to work a lot of extra hours since we can’t find employees has put off my new irons purchase.
    I am just curious. In your own testing and in your fittings with other players, do you still find the Ping i525 irons to be more forgiving and retain ball speed better across the face than the Mizuno Pro 225?
    Also, do you find the distance consistency and the spin consistency to be better with the Ping i525 or Mizuno Pro 225?
    Just a little personal info. I have always had a high ball flight and a high amount of spin. So I think both of these irons could be good for me. I would prefer the more forgiving of the two irons honestly. Side note. They both look better at address to me than the popular P790.
    Thank you for all of your great and extensive reviews!!
    ~ Joe

    • Matt Saternus


      I haven’t tested the i525 head to head with the Pro 225, so I can’t give you any hard data to compare them. Anecdotally, I think both are very impressive. My advice is always to get fit to find what works better for you.



  23. Matt, I just came across a set of the i525 irons while looking for a new set.of irons. I have been thinking about the Cobra forged tec irons and was wondering how these i525 irons compare to the Cobra forged tec? Can you tell me what you think?

  24. Alan Schreiber

    Hi Matt,what a great review. I finally broke down and was fitted for the 1525’s after playing with Maxfli Australian blades for 30 years..and what a difference. Took a little to get over the fatter sole. Forgiveness is amazing, as for the distance …as you said..a club and a half longer. Have to really rethink my club range. Thanks for cementing my decision for getting them

  25. Matt: Great review…. I am looking to make a change to the i525 irons. I currently play the i210’s with power spec lofts and am looking to add back some distance that I have lost over the years. I use the KB steel stiff 120 g. Shafts. I am a 67 year old male with a 6.4 index. Originally, I was looking at the i230’s but not sure if it would fix my distance needs. Your thoughts/suggestions? Also what would be a good shaft for me to go to to minimize any transition? Thank you..

    Curt M.

    • Matt Saternus


      I think this is a fine selection if you’re looking for more distance. As always, I would recommend getting fit. Regarding the transition, you can use the same shaft as you currently do, but that might not give you the best performance in the new head.



  26. Hi Matt, I’m still playing the G20’s and hit them pretty well but considering a new set. My only concern is the offset, the G20’s have considerably more offset than the i525’s. How will this affect the performance or is it just a learning curve ?

  27. I love these irons. Shot my PB 3 months after getting them. #DoubleSecret

  28. Hi Matt

    Not being able to compare the i230 head next to the i525 head, are they similar size? Is the forgiveness comparable to the 230? I am narrowing it down to these two…thanks

    • Matt Saternus


      I think they’re close, but my recollection is that the 525 is a bit larger and may have a small forgiveness edge.


  29. Zachary Green

    Matt – Long time consumer of your content and appreciate it. My i525 set is on the way after a fitting that showed the tightest dispersion with a baby draw for i525 as compared with many others in the same category that were much less consistent. I am coming from Rogue Pro (fit for but never fell in love with feel) followed by Mizuno Pro 225 (fliers galore). I was super pleased to see your comment about steady gapping as a few folks in forums noted that the i525 scoring irons had a drop off from say 8 at 155 to 9 at 125 in one example. I am wondering if that was user error or as swing speed issue where higher lofts weren’t carrying while lower lofts would roll (low spin). Can you provide some more specific data about what your distances and swing speed were with i525? Thanks!

    • Matt Saternus


      Unfortunately, with this review coming up on being two years old, I don’t have that data available to me.
      With regard to what others are seeing, I think roll could be a factor. I’d also say that a 30 yard gap seems a bit like an outlier or an…exaggeration. Another possible culprit is specs being off – a little extra loft one way or the other, a shaft that’s a hint longer, etc.



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