PING iBlade Irons Review

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50 Words or Less

The PING iBlades are the company’s best players iron to date.  Clean, streamlined look, soft feel, and as much forgiveness as you’ll find in a blade.

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Introduction

While I’m not an advocate of buying equipment based on what PGA Tour pros play, it is instructive to see their reactions to new gear.  When the old stuff stays in play, it can tell you that the new stuff may not be all its cracked up to be.  However, when you see the iBlades going into the bags of staffers (Louis Ousthuizen, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Hunter Mahan…) and non-staffers (John Daly, Scott Langley, Kyle Reifers…) alike, its a clue that these clubs might be special.

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Looks

The iBlades follow closely in the footsteps of PING’s successful S irons.  The blade is compact with very little offset, a straight leading edge, and thin top line.  In the bag, the iBlade is the cleanest-looking PING iron ever: no visible technology, no badging, no colors.  This club absolutely screams, “Players iron.”

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Sound & Feel

Forged-iron purists have long held their noses up at the idea of a cast blade, but the PING iBlade may change some attitudes.  Before I even had a chance to hit one, I was receiving texts from friends telling me that the iBlade is the best-feeling PING iron ever.

In my opinion, those texts were right on the money.  The iBlade is the softest-feeling PING iron since the forged Anser.  While I’ve loved my i25 irons, the iBlade is a totally different feel.  The feedback is precise, and the feeling of catching one pure is sensational.

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Performance

Only PING could cram so many interesting tech and performance elements into an iron that looks every bit the traditional players club.  I’ll start with the most important thing: forgiveness.  By hiding a tungsten plug in the toe of the club, PING has given the iBlade forgiveness that’s equal to many game improvement irons.  I tested the iBlades head-to-head with my longtime gamers, the i25 irons, and saw nearly identical forgiveness.  Thin shots launch lower (2-3 degrees) but are still very playable.  Big misses on the toe and heel lose some ball speed (5-7 MPH) but still have a chance to find the green.

The PING iBlades also deliver what you expect from a blade: control.  These irons are capable of hitting every shot you can imagine: low, high, cuts, draws, small curves, and big ones.  Just as importantly, there are no surprises.  My tendency is to hit a hook, but with the lack of offset in the iBlades I can swing away without fear of seeing the ball snap left.  The distances are also very consistent.  I’ve found with many game improvement and SGI irons, when I hit a 100% perfect shot, the ball will fly an extra 5-10 yards beyond what’s expected.  With the iBlades, those shots don’t occur.

Finally, PING brought something unexpected to the iBlades: a water-repellent finish.  PING calls the finish a “hydropearl chrome.”  The motivation is to reduce the effect of wet lies, particularly in the rough where moisture between the club face and ball decreases spin and produces “flyers.”

In closing, I want to recognize PING for consistently delivering clubs that are perfectly on spec.  If this seems like a given to you, you haven’t spec checked many irons.  While some manufacturers are degrees off in loft and lie and numerous points off on swing weight, my iBlades, like every PING set I’ve reviewed, are spot on.

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Conclusion

If you’re like me and you want that players look without giving up  forgiveness, the PING iBlades are worth a drive to your local fitter.  It only took one range session for me to decide that the iBlade is going into the bag full-time.  My PING i25s had a great run, but the iBlade is too good to be denied.

PING iBlades Price & Specs

Ping iBlade Specs and Price

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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27 Comments

  1. Matt,

    How do the iBlades compare to the new i irons? If you tested both, why do you prefer the iBlades?

    Thanks a lot.

    Mike

  2. Thanks, Matt. Very compelling review. Lots of choices this fall with the iBlades, new Mizunos, etc. You spoke a lot about the “Control” you enjoyed with these clubs, but did not say anything about distance. I realize manufacturers can and do manipulate distances by varying lofts, but did you experience any increase or heaven forbid, decrease, in distances with these PINGs? Thanks. Steve

    • Matt Saternus

      Steve,

      My distances with the iBlades are the same as they are with my i25s. PING has these set at “traditional modern” lofts (my silly term), so they don’t really compete with the crazy distance irons. They also spin a bit more which is part of that control/shot shaping element.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. Being that these seem to be very forgiving as you and others have said, could a mid to high handicapper game them? I love the look.

    • Matt Saternus

      Kevin,

      It all depends on the player. As always, it’s all about fit and personal choices/what tradeoffs you’re willing to make.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. Matt,

    Great review, as always. And quite obvious that you really like these. How do they compare against the Apex and Apex Pro? How about AP2? Am in the market for a good set of irons that I can game for a while and grow my skill level with (so not one with a ton of help).

    Thanks
    Max

    • Matt Saternus

      Max,

      I haven’t played the AP2 much, so I can’t say. I’ve never been very attracted to it, and I’m generally not much of a Titleist guy.

      The Apex has a lot more offset, which is my primary motivation in switching to the iBlades. The Apex Pro is a comparable iron, very very good.

      Best,

      Matt

  5. Jason Warlond

    How would you compare them the Hogans (FT Worth or PTX) or Callaway 16 Pros? Feel, forgiveness, playability?

    • Matt Saternus

      Jason,

      All three are good across the board, as you can tell from my reviews of each. It comes down to fit and preference.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. Frank Maiorana

    Hi Matt,
    I also game the I-25’s with KBS Tour 90 stiff for +2 years. Can work them left, right , hi , low. Hate to get rid of them but after your review I have to give the blades a try. Interested in knowing what shafts you have in your new I-Blades. Thanks for the review. PING Forever.
    Frank

  7. Tom Duckworth

    Just wondering what shafts you put in yours? Did you try them out with different shafts?

    • Matt Saternus

      Tom,

      At the moment, I’m playing them with Tour Issue Dynamic Gold S300. There are a couple other possibilities that I’m going to play with over the winter.

      -Matt

  8. Tom Duckworth

    That sounds like that would be very interesting to read about.
    Maybe you could share that process with everyone.
    I have only tested out shafts on a range. More of a gut feeling thing than anything very scientific.

  9. Hi Matt, thanks for review. My question is, how the iBlades compare to other irons in terms of forgiveness. Are the significant more forgiving then Blades (e.g. Mizuno MP-5) and comparable to better players cavities (e.g. AP2 or MP-25)? Thanks.

    • Matt Saternus

      Andreas,

      That’s correct, the iBlade is significantly more forgiving than a traditional blade, much more in line with a players cavity back.

      -Matt

  10. Frank Maiorana

    Matt,
    I was fortunate to demo the I blade 7 iron w DG s300 AWT shaft outdoors yesterday. Shaft was +1/2″ longer and slightly gripping down was hitting it same distance as my I25. What a great looking stick and feel. Would also love to demo other shafts as well.Good luck to you.
    All the best,
    Frank

  11. I am looking for new irons because of mine is too aged which is Titleist 755. I was interested in AP2 or T-MB, however recently I saw I-BLADE and I-200 of Ping’s. Also your reviewing i-Blade strongly has attracted for me to towards to Ping’s. My shot ability is; 76-84 average score, driver carry 220 yds, 7 iron carry 140-145 yds. Frankly I do not want fat or dull shape irons even my skills may meet these irons. Head shape of i-blade is absolutely perfect for me. How do you think if I put i-blade in my bag? One more that I am 57 years old man.
    Thank you.

    • Matt Saternus

      Alex,

      As long as you understand that the iBlades aren’t going to give you as much forgiveness as larger irons, why not put them in the bag? Just work with a fitter to get the right specs and shaft.

      Best,

      Matt

  12. Matt. I play a set of G Irons but I have always loved the looks of the i25 irons. The Gs are nice but want something a little more traditional looking. I saw on television that several college players still use the i25 irons. As older irons, would I be giving that much up by switching to the i25 irons or should I move on and look at the i200 irons?

    • Matt Saternus

      Dale,

      The i200 has a noticeably higher MOI (more forgiveness) in essentially the same package, so I would opt for that.

      Best,

      Matt

  13. Matt,

    Are these comparable to Nike Vapor Pro Combos with forgiveness / top lines / sole thinness ?

    Thanks,

    Peter

  14. Pingback: PING Blueprint Irons Review - Plugged In Golf

  15. Hi,
    I weigh 115 lbs and 5′ 5″ tall and I am 67 years old. But I’m pretty active. I recently got back to golf and i’m practicing with my 39 year old PGA Metrilite iron set(feather weight) with regular shaft.
    I am thinking about getting used i200 or iblade irons w/ regular flex shafts.
    Weight wise, do you think they have a little lighter ones on iblade or i200?
    Thanks,
    JC

    • Matt Saternus

      JC,

      PING offers a lot of stock shafts in both, so I can’t say which will be lighter.

      Best,

      Matt

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