In this Ping i59 Iron review, Joel Tadman tests it up agains the outgoing iBlade on the launch monitor and golf course to see how it compares
Ping i59 Iron Review
The i59 has arguably become one of the most exciting product launches of 2021. Why? Well because better player irons don’t come around all too often from Ping and when they do, there is always a lot to like about the way they look and perform.
Watch our full review of the Ping i59 irons and see them in action
The i59 replaces the iBlade, which was launched five years ago and held a place in our bag for the first couple.
The design has evolved significantly – we’re now seeing a hollow head with an aluminium core that improves feel and moves more weight to the edges for added forgiveness. It looks like a beefed up Blueprint iron, which is certainly no bad thing.
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Down at address you instantly notice the new groove configuration – there are four more grooves on i59 versus iBlade more tightly spaced – and the shorter white bottom groove frames the ball well and narrows your focus on the strike.
Otherwise, the shape is very similar to iBlade. In fact, the offset, blade length and bounce angle remain the same but Ping says the sole width has reduced, although we struggled to see that.
Off the face, the i59 feels more springy and solid than the iBlade but does have a slightly louder, more pingy sound to it too versus the softer thud of iBlade.
Testing both 7-irons in 34° on the Foresight Sports GC2 launch monitor with Titleist Pro V1x golf balls, the data told us that the i59 was delivering the same ball speed but with a much higher launch angle and less spin – although we were testing i59 in a Project X LS (Low Spin) shaft, one of the new stock options, versus the Dynamic Gold X100 in the iBlade.
The average results of the shots seem fairly similar – the i59 carried one yard further on average – but the i59 was significantly more consistent. The difference between our slowest and fastest ball speed with i59 was much closer than with iBlade and the left-to-right dispersion was also much tighter with i59 too.
Ping appears to have packed in a lot more stability into this club within compact, sleek package. Testing outdoors it was clear that the i59 was much more user-friendly overall and the high-launch and low-spin combination delivered more carry distance, even into the wind, but only by a few yards.
The extra forgiveness built in widens the appeal versus iBlade although the target market is still the better player that strikes their irons well. The higher flight may be a concern for some, although this could be dialled back via one of the 11 shafts available through a custom fitting with no upcharge.
There is also the option of the Power Spec, which comes in 2° stronger lofts through the set, and a weaker Retro Spec.
The premium price is more closely aligned with the Blueprint, and somewhat justified given the technology built in and subsequent performance, although over £1,600 for a seven-piece set will be tough for some to stomach.
With the i59, Ping has created a faster feeling and more playable better player iron that delivers improved consistency across the face that in testing produced more accurate approach shots. Shot making is still encouraged with a greater margin for error that will be received by all.