Ping i500 Iron Review - GM Technical Editor Joel Tadman talks you through what performance i500 offers and the type of player it is aimed at
Ping i500 Iron Review
The Ping i500 represents a new category for the brand, providing distance in a slimline profile that looks like a muscleback in the bag. You can read more about the technology here.
We took the i500 to Foresight Sports HQ and tested it on the GCQuad launch monitor in the new stock Dynamic Gold 105 shaft option in S300, which comes in at 103g in this flex – considerably lighter than the 130g X100 we are used to playing. We also hit it on the range at West Hill Golf Club.
In our opinion, this is the best-looking iron in the Ping range for 2018, if not ever. It has all the hallmarks of a muscleback from behind – from a distance you simply can’t tell it is actually hollow.
There is minimal tech is on show and it is incredibly clean and simple. The lower handicappers will enjoy the lack of offset through the set. The sizing is generous from heel-to-toe (the blade length is the same as i210) without looking chunky or cumbersome. The sole is wide for forgiveness but can still create a hefty divot when required.
Unlike the G700, which is also hollow but sounds a lot like a metalwood, the i500 has a much more iron-like sound, which we were relieved about. It isn’t super soft and muted like an actual blade, but it’s much closer to that than it is the G700. It is noticeably explosive from the sweetspot, while being pleasing on the ears, and this doesn’t really tail off when you miss the middle either.
We tested the 7-iron in the i500 set, which has a standard loft of 30.5°. You could argue this steps on the toes of the G400 at 30°, but they are very different by design and the performance we experienced demonstrates these differences.
The i500 may be modest in size, but it is built for speed. The average ball speed of 124mph is seriously impressive, generating a hefty average carry of 185 yards, which far exceeded what we experienced with G400 back in June last year (see below), although this data was collected in DG X100 shaft.
Much of this will be down to the low spin, which down at 4300 rpm is one of the lowest-spinning irons we’ve tested this year, slightly lower than G400. Coupled with the relatively low launch angle and ball flight, you could make a case to say the stopping power isn’t as high as some golfers might want it to be, but the ball flight we saw on the range looked to be plenty high enough.
Don’t forget with the i500 that golfers have the option of a higher-lofted Retro Spec, which should increase the launch/flight while producing more manageable distances for the high-speed player.
The Players’ Distance Iron category is booming and in i500, Ping has created one of the very best on the market, rivalling the popular TaylorMade P790. It slots in perfectly between the soft-feeling i210 and high-flying G400 for competent, mid-to-high swing speed golfers who want a smaller address profile without a loss of fire power.
The i500 is a beautiful looking iron from every angle that delivers the consistent speed and forgiveness club golfers are looking for. The look in the bag is what average golfers aspire to play, while the option of different specs as well as the comprehensive shaft range means nearly every ability of player can find a combination to suit their needs.