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Ping I200 Irons - Unofficial review

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First off let me say this is in no way affiliated with the testers that were chosen in one of the forum testing opportunities. This is just my review of my new gamers.

 

Background

 

I have been playing golf for about 20 + years off and on. I started when I was around 15. I have taken periods off like years at a time depending on my situation. I recently started back and my irons at the time were Titleist 704CBs that I had bought used off of eBay about 8 or 9 years before. I went out with my younger brother about 2 months ago, he had been wanting to play for months before that. Truthfully I played terribly, I shot around 120…no joke…I am serious. When I played regularly while stationed in Hawaii 6 years or so ago, I consistently shot 90 so I was a bogey golfer. So when I bought these irons I would have to say that my handicap was about 20 give or take. We will discuss where it is now later in the post.

 

I decided to get a fitting a my local pro shop. I called made an appointment and decided to go with Ping for the fitting. Honestly, I always wanted some Ping clubs because of their perceived forgiveness and the fact that they hold their value. The pro took some measurements prior to our fitting session. He had a basic idea of what dot color I was going to need. Ping used a color coded system for all of their fittings. We then headed out to the range.I hit a number of shots with my 704CBs. Then we began the fitting. He asked some basic questions like what look I preferred. I have never been in to clunky looking irons even if they do improve your game. I wanted a thin top line and as much forgiveness as I could get. He immediately said that he thought with my swing and my preferences that the I200 would suit me quite well. He said that the AWT 2.0 would fit me nicely. He actually helped me by making a few adjustments to my swing during the fitting process. From the first strike I could tell the difference. The weight of the I200 with the AWT shaft improved my overall tempo. It felt lighter than my True Temper S300 704CB. The lighter combination helped my swing speed. We didn't have a Trackman or anything, but I was hitting the I200 7-iron around 165 compared to my previous 704CB 7-iron distance of 150. I gained roughly 15 yards of distance and the forgiveness was amazing. On the 704CB, even though technically a cavity back, every slight mishit was a jolt to the hands. The I200 however was much less painful. I can feel my mishits but I am not penalized as badly as before. We settled on the Red Dot after hitting with impact tape and the lie board. I was striking it dead center ever swing. I could even see the difference in my divots. My shot shape with my previous iron set, when I played great, was a slight draw which I liked and with the new I200s I was getting that shape with ease. 

 

First Impressions

 

My overall first impression was I loved the finish on these irons, its like a pearl satin coating. The top line isn't the thinnest, but it isn't clunky by any means. As with all of Ping's irons, the bottom groove is white which I think may help with alignment. When you look at the iron, you can tell it is of top quality. The sole is wider than blades and the leading edge looks like it will cruise though the turf with ease. It reminds me of one of the TaylorMade irons from a while back, can't remember which one exactly. 

 

Performance

 

This is where this iron truly shines. I practiced a couple of times on the range after my new irons came in. Honestly the first time out, I didn't hit them that well. I was feeling like I made a mistake with the purchase. My first round with these in the bag went quite well. I was still getting used to the feel and the yardage differences but I posted a solid 88 total score. Here are the stats collected using The Grint App (highly recommended!!)

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 4.22.02 PM.png

 

 

I really can't compare this to anything prior, but my overall feeling was that I was striking the ball pretty good, I hit a lot of greens even on my mishits so the forgiveness in these irons was really helping me. My GIR that day was 44%, but I must tell you that when I did miss a green it wasn't by much. My chipping and putting really killed me that day. 

 

The following week I took a short game lesson from the same pro that fitted me for the irons. I had two 45 minute practice sessions that week along with the 30 minute lesson. My next round was on a Friday after work, can't beat $21 twilight golf. The practice and lesson really paid off here. The score is below.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 4.28.30 PM.png

 

 

My GIR improved to 50% and I was really starting to get a good feel of these clubs. My score went down by 7 shots and it had a lot to do with my short game lesson. I went about two weeks later after work. I practiced once that week for 45 minutes. An important note here is that I am not hitting driver off the tee. Honestly I am scared to at this point. I haven't been hitting the driver very well in the practice sessions and thus am hitting 2, 3, or 4 hybrid on each hole. I am putting it in the fairway consistently. You can see the scorecard below.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 5.18.37 PM.png

 

My GIR improved to 67% and I improved my score by 1 stroke. I was starting to get some confidence with the irons through the practice sessions and really working on my tempo. I also started thinking more about strategy during this round. I am starting to plan my shot selections based on the hole back to the tee. There are a couple of yardages that I have the most confidence in and I am trying to get chances at those yardages. I am aiming at the middle of the green on most approach shots. My misses are ending up on the greens because of where I am aiming. An important note here is I started to hit driver during this round selectively some good and some bad.

 

I didn't practice this past week but went out and played on a whim on Wednesday. The wind was howling into my face and I didn't warm up on the range prior to the round. Truthfully by the second hole I wished I had hit a small bucket of balls. My 2nd hole PAR 3, I ended up plugged in the right hand bunker. I didn't know what to do with that at all. Subsequently, I quadruple bogeyed that hole. Instead of getting upset and letting it bother me, I focused on settling down and really seeing the ball being struck.  I finished the round very strong. See the score card below.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 5.18.51 PM.png

 

My GIR ended up being 61% but as you can see once I let the club do the work and settle down at the turn my GIR was 89% on the back 9. I hit driver on every hole I could this round and this left me with approach shots of distances I was comfortable with. I didn't go after every flag, but the streak of 4 birdies in a row was because I was flag hunting. My confidence in my iron play is really growing. I really feel that these irons are the reason. The swing weight combined with the forgiveness is leading to much better consistency.

 

Value & Likelihood of purchase

I am not going to say the value is that great. These irons are top level irons. The price is pretty standard with other companies that are in the market. Maybe they are a little less than offerings from Callaway and Titleist so maybe there is some value there. I purchased them so likelihood of purchase is a 10…lol. I would definitely buy them again. I think if you hit them at your local fitter or at a demo day you will agree. I also think that the value is there because most other companies are offering forged clubs in this segment which don't hold up nearly as well as cast so these irons will last me a very long time. I am thinking 10 years of play so in my book that is a great value. I regularly see Ping irons from way back on eBay and even know of people that still pay with PING ZINGS, EYE 2s and the rest. 

 

Overall Ratings & Final Thoughts

My overall ratings are as follows: Performance (60 of 60 points), Looks and Feel (20 of 25 points) and Likelihood of Purchase (15 points). The question here is pretty simple will this make the bogey golfer a better player. I give that a resounding YES!!! Now these irons are expensive and if you are on a tight budget then it will be tough to get. These cost $875 with 5-UW included in my set. I am only saying that for my game, these irons are definitely the reason I have seen my scores drop so rapidly. The looks and forgiveness are the main contributors to the success I have had. I hope you enjoyed this quick write up. I know a lot of you are looking at new irons and wanted to give you my perspective. My handicap is now trending toward 7.2 and these irons are the reason. Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading.

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Simply put you are a natural at this review stuff! Well done

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Cool. My work here is done. Thanks GG.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Haha I am looking forward to your review

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Nice job on the review. Is this your first fitting experience?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Revkev it sure was but since then I had an outdoor driver fitting and an indoor driver fitting

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Don't know if thread is still active but here goes:  how did you like the AMT shafts.  Was the weight noticeable between the 5i and W?

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