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PING i530 Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The PING i530 irons are simply excellent.  The hollow-body design delivers excellent height, distance, and consistency.  Clean, premium look aligned perfectly with the players distance category.  Pleasing sound and feel.

Introduction

PING introduced four new irons for 2024, and the i530 are distinctly different than the other three we’ve covered in prior reviews.  For the skilled golfer, the PING Blueprint T blades were showstoppers [see Matt’s review HERE], while the Blueprint S [full reviews HERE] offered a touch of forgiveness.  For those at the other end of the skill spectrum, the PING G730s [see my review HERE] provided tremendous forgiveness and increased distance.  Intended for better players who fall somewhere in between, I began testing of the PING i530s with a sense of intrigue and excitement.

Looks

First impressions are important, and the PING i530 irons certainly grabbed my attention.  From every direction I loved the look.  At address the topline had a slim appearance and the blade length was modest – leaning towards compact.  Similarly, the sole looked narrow-ish.  The bit of offset fit perfectly with what I expect a players distance iron to have.

In the photo above, the differences in the i530 (left) and G730 (right) irons are readily apparent.

In the bag, the PING i530 irons look spectacular – clean and refined.  The “i530” branding is downright small and perfectly positioned at the outer edge.  Micro lines provide a subtle contrast to the plain satin finish of the wider portion of the hollow-body design.  Having the PING name relegated to the hosel assists in the overall modern, premium look.

Sound & Feel

The PING i530 irons produced a mid-volume “thwack” on reasonable strikes, and a very pleasing “snap” when I truly hit the sweet spot.  I didn’t hit the previous i525 model, but PING states they refined the internal ribs and polymer fill applications to create a better sounding iron with the i530.

With its hollow-body construction and forged face, the PING i530 irons have an overall soft feel.  The contact point was precisely communicated and had a more firm feel.  The key takeaway is that the irons – as designed – mitigate twisting and vibration while still producing a definite ‘pop’ off the face.

Performance

Two notes from my initial field testing of the PING i530 irons rang true throughout my evaluation:  “great height” and “very consistent.”  Both were design objectives of PING.  By thinning the back wall of the body, PING designers were able to reposition the weight savings for improved forgiveness and a lower CoG.  10% lower than the i525 model, the CoG boosts launch angle for greater stopping power.  I also found the lower CoG helped me get the ball airborne with less distance loss on my current nemesis: thin shots.

That thinner back wall also provided more flexing, which increased ball speed.  And when PING took both launch and ball speed into consideration, they were able to lower the lofts for more distance without affecting playability.  And to ensure spin wasn’t adversely affected, PING also tightened the groove spacing to add more grooves for balanced performance and consistency – including when you play out of the rough or in moist conditions.

When I compared the PING i530s to my gamers [see my WITB HERE], pitching wedge lofts were the same, while the i530 7 iron was 3° stronger.  I mention this because even within the same players distance category, there can be plenty of variations.  As always, do your homework, and remember there’s no substitute for hitting the actual clubs to see how they perform for you.   For me, the PING i530 irons provided a couple more yards of carry across the set – a valuable asset with my progressing age.

I tested the i530 irons with the PING stock ALTA CB Black graphite shafts and enjoyed their performance.  Golfers new to PING may question the proprietary brand, but you can trust that PING knows what they are doing.  The i530 are also available with UST Recoil Dart for graphite, and a host of well-known steel shafts in the full complement of flexes.

If you’re dead set against loft jacking, PING also offers the i530 irons in a Retro Spec version.  If you love the look of the i530s but need even more distance, PING has a Power Spec version too.   Both give fitters options to best suit your game.  With any of the three i530 iron set options, fitters can fine-tune swingweight via the tungsten toe screw and shaft tip weights.

Conclusion

I was thoroughly impressed with the PING i530 irons.  From their stunning looks to great performance, the i530s checked all the boxes that have come to define a players distance iron.  Whether you’re a skilled player looking to move out of blades, or an improving golfer who wants a more compact club, the i530 irons are worth a close look.  As for me, the PING i530 are making a strong argument to garner a spot in my bag.

Visit PING HERE

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PING i530 Irons Price & Specs

Matt Meeker
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14 Comments

  1. Thanks Matt. Do you think these could be blended with the G730s, or would that be too much of a gap in performance characteristics?

    • Matt Meeker

      I don’t think there would be any problem performance wise Steve. The key is to check loft gapping and recognizing the G’s will add some distance over a similar i’s. More forgiveness with lower lofted irons is always a good thing for us mortal golfers.

      – Meeks

    • John Sampson

      Great review, they sound like the other companies offering hollow body players distance irons might need to go back to the drawing board, especially with PING offering a traditional loft and power loft version. However since you tested the factory graphite shaft option, I thought it only fair that you should have informed readers about pricing on both standard steel and then graphite option.

  2. Nice review. I’m looking at the i530s and might schedule a fitting. . I’m 67 years old and swing my 7 iron around 74mph. For comparison purposes, what was your swing speed during your testing and what distance, spin, and descent angle numbers did you get?

    • Matt Meeker

      Comparisons are a fools game Steve. As you know, that’s why fittings are so important. And selfishly, digging up data takes some time and we don’t want to open the flood gates of requests for similar.

      Thanks for reading and all the best on your new clubs.

      – Meeks

      • “Comparisons are a fools game…”

        So in other words, your review is only applicable to you? Then what value does it have for the rest of us? Why even post it to begin with?

        • Matt Meeker

          Apologies Richard, I should have been more clear. Comparing my data against yours is what I was endeavoring to state. In comparing clubs say for purchase, you should absolutely compare all the data – your data. That’s what fitters do. In this review I compare performance between the i530 and my gamer, hitting side by side. Hopefully the review is valuable for gaining an understanding of technology and performance traits.

          Regards,

          – Meeks

  3. Gordon McBain

    Hi Matt Just bought a set of Ping i530. I’m 68 play off 16 hcp so changed over to graphite UST smack wrap recoil shafts. Wow, hight and distance gain was tremendous. I’m now hitting an 8 iron carrying between 150 /155 roll out approx 160 yards they are just unbelievable.

  4. A clerk at Puetz Golf in Seattle recently set me up to try these irons. As a 17 (& 60yrs old), I thought at first they looked too much like a players iron for my skill level. But I hit them great and they will prob replace my Ping G25 irons some time soon.

  5. I picked up a set two months ago. I am 70 and currently play in the UK and play to a 23 handicap (in the US, l play to a 13…courses are much tighter and challenging here) my handicap is coming down. The distances are great for short hitters…the lofts are a full club stronger. On one of our Par 3, 145 uphill into a prevailing wind, I used to go either 6iron (i210) or 9 wood. Now’s on with a 7 iron. As stated, very soft and sound great. And they still get the ball up in the air.

  6. Matt:
    Do the i530’s have a spring effect (coefficient of restitution)?

  7. Ken Riegel

    I just purchased a set of 730’s and if they are anything like mine wow! Ping has it covered in the iron game right now for all players.

  8. Another approach is to use a percentage system. This game takes strategy and whit to help you win.

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