Ping i230 Iron Review: The Most Complete Iron For The Better Player?
Joel Tadman considers if the new Ping i230 iron is a strong candidate to be added to his bag based on the looks and performance on offer
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The i230 is a reliable, versatile iron that can hit all the shots with a surprisingly high margin for error given its compact size. Produces a lively, stable feel with good distance and stopping power for competent players.
Solid, stable and lively feel
Compact long irons match the set better
Consistent carry distances
Limited shelf appeal
Some may want a softer feel
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Ping i230 Iron Review
Ping’s i series of irons are aimed more towards the better player and it has once again been expanded with the addition of the new Ping i230, which along with the recent i525 iron, has a fairly broad appeal in terms of the target player. Tour pros like Stewart Cink and Tyrrell Hatton already have the i230 irons in the bag but based on the design improvements, club golfers should also be able to benefit from the performance package.
VIDEO: See how the Ping i230 iron compares to the latest TaylorMade P770
Versus the i210 iron it replaces, which was launched all of four years ago, the i230 is said to be faster, fly higher and offer a better feel. The long irons have also undergone a significant change. In fact, my major gripe with the i210 was that the long irons were too large and offset but on i230, these have been slimmed down to appeal to the eye of the better player but also improve club delivery.
Visually, the i230 has a muscle cavity style look and is clean and simple if a little underwhelming. It’s not a blade, but with the badge in the cavity blending in with the rest of the head, it looks close to one. In fact, the i230 is comprised of five parts - the 431 stainless steel body, tungsten toe screw, shaft tip weight, concealed activated elastomer insert and a multi-part cavity badge.
At address, this iron looks sleek and refined but also inviting. The top line and sole is thicker than on the i59 iron but it’s not as large as the i525 - it slots nicely in between and this look is more consistent through the set than it was on the i210. The 7-iron remains at 33° and I tested the 5, 7 and 9 iron on the Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor indoors with Titleist Pro V1x golf balls before hitting shots on the golf course to truly immerse myself in the user experience.
This iron ticks the box for looks and it does the same for feel too. It combines a lively, stable feel with a fairly muted sound - certainly more forged-like than the somewhat clicky i59 but it’s not quite as dense as the Blueprint iron. It’s consistent too, even poor swings felt responsive and through the turf, the added camber allows for a brisk exit after the point of collision.
The trajectory was mid-flight and stable, although you can gently shape shots when you want to. With spin over the 6,000 rpm mark and a descent angle pushing 49°, you’ll have no problem stopping the ball on the green. Distance wise, it settled at around 163 yards of carry but occasionally exceeded 165. This was similar to my TaylorMade P770 gamers, which are actually lofted a degree weaker. I had an i210 9-iron to test and the i230 equivalent was a yard or two longer on average with 500 rpm less spin.
This distance is plenty and, remembering I wasn’t fully custom fitted for my i230s, understandable. More importantly, they hit on and around the number I wanted repeatedly on a tight dispersion. The long irons were particularly user-friendly - the smaller head versus i210 seemed to narrow my focus and help achieve better contact while the white bottom groove provides alignment assistance to help with initial direction. The trajectory didn’t change much from long irons through to the short irons, which is always a sign of a well-designed set producing predictable flight windows. If you want to see a lower or higher flight or more/less distance, there is the option of the power and retro specs.
In truth, there wasn’t much I disliked about the i230 irons - comfortably becoming one of the best irons for low handicappers. Some may want a softer feel, but I actually enjoyed, and am used to, a more lively feel - it gets me out of trouble when not swinging my best. They're very comparable to the Callaway Apex Pro or my current TaylorMade P770s and could easily step up in their place. It’s no wonder Tour pros are choosing these over Blueprint and i59 as they make the game easier while still offering consistency and shot-making potential.
Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: Ping i230 4-UW
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 54°. Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge, K Grind
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x
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