The i525 offers subtle improvements over i500, notably a more lively feel and greater margin for error on mishits as well as a slight increase in distance. Treads on the toes somewhat of G425 but it’s an appealing prospect for the competent player that wants to rekindle the speed of yesteryear, or any mid-handicapper that likes a compact, players look at address with long and consistent carry distances.
More lively feel than i500
Produces extra distance in the same loft
Will suit a range of abilities
Not as easy to align as i500
Gains over i500 are limited
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Ping i525 Iron Review
Joel Tadman tests the new i525 iron from Ping out on the golf course
Ping usually works on longer product cycles than most other manufacturers but it made us wait a whopping four years for the replacement of the i500 iron. It occupies the space between the G425 iron and i210 as a hollow, distance-orientated iron in a slimline chassis. In i525 this theme continues but Ping claims that changes inside the head should elevate the distance, forgiveness and feel to new heights.
On first inspection, it would appear not much as changed. Besides a small textured section on the back, which doesn’t do much for me, the shaping and overall look remains similar to i500 - which is no bad thing given the visual appeal of i500 and how it was one of the best golf irons of its time.
Down at address though, the differences become more obvious. There are four more grooves on the face of i525 spaced closer together. This is the same as what we saw on the i59 iron, a change designed to reduce fliers from the rough and produce more consistent spin on long iron shots. The thinner grooves make the white bottom groove harder to spot, arguably making alignment a little more difficult.
The topline is definitely thinner than on i500 and the hitting area looks a fraction larger while the overall shape looks similar. In short, Ping has made subtle changes while maintaining many of the visual elements that made i500 such a popular compact mid-handicap iron.
I first tested both irons and the G425 on the Trackman launch monitor at AF Golf Store in Peterborough (opens in new tab) and the data hinted that the performance hadn’t moved on a great deal. Ball speed and launch were very similar and the i525 carried one yard further than i500. The i525 did spin around 300 rpm less, although some of this might have been down to the Project X IO shaft.
I then hit shots side by side outdoors and what was immediately obvious was that the i525 did have a more lively, stable feel to it. It didn’t necessarily feel any softer - it still has that metallic tone at impact - but it was a little more energetic than the i500.
Shots flew on a similar trajectory and down at the green, it became apparent that the i525 was a little longer than the i500 versus what the launch monitor told us. In reality, shots with the i525 finished 3-4 yards further up the green than the i500, so that powerful feel seems to convert itself into extra yardage.
There were a couple of slight mishits with i525 that carried further than expected, so it looks like your margin for error has increased slightly with i525 but we are only talking fractions. The problem Ping has is that the bar was set very high with i500, both in terms of looks and performance, but the i525 certainly improves on the areas the i500 struggled with - the feel off the face and forgiveness. The changes aren’t drastic, but i525 immediately becomes a major player in the compact distance iron category alongside the 2021 TaylorMade P790 iron.
What irons is the Ping i525 up against?
Direction competition to the Ping i525 iron would be the TaylorMade P790, Titleist T200, Mizuno Pro 225 and the Callaway Rogue ST Pro irons. They are all hollow body, compact distance irons with a 7-iron loft of around 30.5° aimed at the mid-to-low handicapper seeking good distance and forgiveness from a slimline, refined head size.
What is the latest model of Ping iron?
The Ping i525 is the latest model of Ping iron. Prior to this, the most recent launch was the Ping G425 iron, which sits in between the new i525 and the super game improvement G710 iron
Which Ping irons are most forgiving?
The G710 is the most forgiving in the current Ping iron range, followed by the Ping G425, which offers similar levels of forgiveness but in a slightly smaller head.
What are the different models of Ping irons?
Read our guide on the best Ping irons but from smallest to largest, the irons in the current Ping range are the Blueprint, i59, i525, G425 and G710 as well as the G Le2 irons for ladies.
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.
During these enjoyable years he has had some money-can't-buy experiences, like interviewing Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy one-on-one and covering the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
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 87 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 4.7.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: TaylorMade SIM2, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSi3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-PW
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 50°, 54° and 58°
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x
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