PING has had tremendous success through the years with its i-series irons and is set to continue that tradition with the newly released i200. From a design standpoint, there were a lot of boxes that PING wanted to check in creating the i200 irons.
“One of the big goals with this iron is to create an iron that goes plenty high, plenty far, but has a lot higher inertia or impact stability,” said Marty Jertson, PING Director of Product Development. “You don’t have to hit it perfect to get the performance out of it.”
Equally important for PING was to deliver the performance that Jertson discussed in the form of a compact, traditional clubhead that would appeal to better players as well as mid-handicappers. As such, i200 irons have minimal offset and thin toplines, and the overall blade size is only slightly larger than PING’s highly popular players iron, the iBlade, which was released last fall.
“It’s a very understated look and form and design of the iron,” said Jertson in describing the i200. “Very strong, powerful, but it has a lot of horsepower under the hood technology-wise.” As mentioned, one of the performance features that differentiate the i200 from other irons in its category is the impressive level of forgiveness it provides, which has been accomplished in a few different ways.
First, a thinner clubface design and a deeper tuning port have enabled discretionary weight to be redistributed toward the hosel and toe, which keeps ball speeds high from impact points across the face.
“Reducing the face thickness by about thirty percent allows us to get a little more flex out of the face,” Jertson said. “But it also helps us save weight (that) we can move to the perimeter for improved launch conditions and stability. That’s allowed us to boost the inertia of the iron by seven percent compared to the previous (i-series) iron.”
Additionally, bounce has been added from a design standpoint to the sole and the i200’s leading edges are more contoured, a combination that provides enhanced turf interaction, which leads to better results on strikes that aren’t necessarily perfect. That combination also gives players ample ability to work the ball left or right as needed, as well as control trajectory.
Also key among the performance benefits of the i200 irons are the naturally high, effortless launch conditions that exist with the long and mid irons. A thinner clubface that flexes more at impact helps aid in the high launch conditions, while also creating more ball speed, but Activated Elastomer positioned behind the face also helps by supporting the additional flex. The Activated Elastomer also plays a significant role in providing the type of soft feel that some might find surprising in a cast golf club, even one that has been created from soft 431 stainless steel, as it dampens unwanted vibrations at impact.
“This is our best feeling iron we’ve ever launched,” said Jertson with no hesitation. “A lot of players describe it as if the ball kind of feels like it stays on the face for a very long time.” While the long and mid irons have been designed to deliver distance and higher launch, the compact design of the short irons has been designed to help players control trajectory and better take advantage of their scoring chances. Also of note, the i200’s hydropearl finish not only provides an elegant look but also helps repel moisture, which contributes to more consistent results in wet conditions.
PING’s i200 irons come standard with PING 5L grips and with two stock shaft options, the CFS graphite, which varies in weight between 62 and 78 grams depending on flex, and the heavier AWT 2.0 steel, which weighs between 98 and 119 grams depending on flex.
Of note, the AWT 2.0 has been designed with a steeper weight progression and variable step pattern to create height, speed, and stability in the longer irons but trajectory control and enhanced feel in the shorter irons.
For players who need a different profile, however, PING offers some of the most popular premium iron shafts on the market at no upcharge, including the KBS Tour, Project X, True Temper Dynamic Gold, and Nippon Modus 105.