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2018 Official Forum Member Review - PING i500 Irons

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Official Forum Member Review - PING i500 Irons

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GC70                                         Stage 1                            Stage 2

Har in the Hat                          Stage 1                            Stage 2

Kanoito                                     Stage 1                            Stage 2

Mr_Theoo                                 Stage 1                            Stage 2

 

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First off I’d like too thank Rob, MyGolfSpy, Ping, and Matt the customer service dude at Ping!

 

Here’s a little background on me and my game. I’ve been playing golf for about 24 years, I was late to the game. I’m self taught and never had a lesson. I got down to a 5 hcp about 5 years ago and now I’m hovering over 10. I’ve been to the Nike Oven and 2 years ago I went to the TM Kingdom and was fit. A couple times a year I’ll go see James at 2nd Swing to get fit and some new goodies. I’m a true club ho. The clubs have to be real game changers to stay in my bag. My home course in Minnesota is a Links style with long heavy rough.

 

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Before I was picked to test the i500’s I was gaming the Srixon 565’s 4-PW. I’ve played just about everything so don’t hesitate to ask if I could compare the two. My driver swing speed is at 92-100 depending on my back. I have a pretty fast tempo and very aggressive swing. My iron play is probably the worst part of my game. My miss is left of my target and and off the toe. My 150 club is 7 or 8 iron once again depending on my old beat up body. Short game has always been my money maker.

 

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I picked the i500’s for some more distance I’ve lost over the years and hoping for the same forgiveness , great Forged feeling and shot shaping I’m so use too. Plus they look so damn sexy. This time around I didn’t go get fit, I did the Ping fitting on line, I can’t wait see how it works out.

 

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I have three rounds in already and two trips to the chiropractor this week. I’m on my way to Arizona as I’m typing this so sorry if this isn’t making any sense.

 

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Stage Two

 First off I'd like to apologize to Ping, MGS, and all the members. I'm sorry I haven't been participating in this review like I should have been, but unfortunately I was unable to with some family issues.. 

 

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I played 5 rounds on my home course in 60-70 weather and 5 rounds out in Arizona in 100+ degree weather. 

Looks (9 out of 10) 

  I don't believe that any club is a 10 in the look department, you can always find something that could be better or left off the iron all together. The look and shape are beautiful. With that being said I still can't get over the notch that all Ping irons have on the hosel. The back of the club is out standing nice and clean. No bling is a big winner for me. in Just the 10 times I had the irons out, everyone noticed them and everyone had the same response. Wow what a great looking iron!  

 

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Sound and Feel (7 out of 10)

 Sound and feel is so subjective, everyone has a different taste for feel and sound. For a forged iron It just didn't screem FORGED FEEL! It felt like all other cast Ping irons. Which isn't bad, it's just not the Forged feeling I was looking for. The sound was clicky (like hitting rocks or top flight balls) on off center hits. flushed hits felt and sounded much better like they should. 

Range Performance (20 out of 20)

 The only time I had for the range was warming up for my 10 rounds that I got in. So I gave them a 20, because all I was doing is warming up and wanted to see what the ball was doing. Its so hard to really evaluate a club on the range with range balls.

On-Course Performance (25 out of 40)

  • Accuracy was really good, not any better or worse that any other iron in this category. 
  • Trajectory was high, but I had no problems hitting it lower. 
  • Forgiveness wasn't what I was expecting. I thought these would be a lot more forgiving. I would easily loose 10 yards on toe shots and shots higher on the face.
  • Workability was a little harder for me. I could really hook it if had to. hitting a fade was a little easier than a controlling the draw.
  • Raw distance I was really disappointed with. It wasn't any longer than any new iron out today and was at least a club shorter than the CF16's, Ap1's Ap3's, and 565's.
  • Workability Was not the best, but I'm sure someone with better paying ability would think different.
  • Distance control was really hard for me with these. The gaping between some off the clubs was not good.  20 yards between the 9 iron and PW. 
  • Under pressure with these I really struggled. Maybe I just didn't trust these or what it was. it seemed like Par 3's I'd over draw it or come up short. Laying up was really off too. All I know is when ever I needed to really hit my target, I didn't. 
Play it or Trade it?

 

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 Over the 10 rounds I played with the i500's not once did I play to my ability or HCP. As of right now there is no way I'd play these irons anymore in money games, match play, or the CC. I defiantly think these irons are for lower HCP or  a mid HCP with great iron play. 

 No disrespect to Ping! These are great looking clubs that need better feel and sound for me. Gaping and distance control was a problem for me. So I'd have to Trade them, but I won't! I'm going to give them another try in the spring.

 

Final Score (61 out of 100)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stage Two - The Review {October 09,2018}
Ping i500 Irons – Official MGS Forum Review by Hari 

Intro
Again, thank you MGS and Ping for this opportunity.   


This review was very difficult. Not in terms of the commitment required to test (which was a blast), but using the clubs caused a lot of frustration for me.  I would say that confusion reigned supreme for me during this period. Nothing was clear cut and it was a roller coaster of ups and downs until October 20 when I spent about 3 hours at the driving range to come to a definitive answer. The next day at the golf course validated what I wanted to do with these clubs. Read on. 

Looks (6 out of 10 points) 

The i500 is a beautiful club.  There is nothing flashy to draw attention to these. Only 2 words stamped on the club. I500 and forged.  It suits the person seeking the minimalist look.

 The clubs looked a lot bigger and bulkier than my MP-25’s and I needed to do some measurements to verify this. I am glad that I did because the measurements proved me wrong.  Below are the measurements of both the 6 irons. Visually, due to the shape and geometry, they seem bigger.

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You can see that overall, they are the same dimensions. The top club is the Ping.

I initially thought that the edges were sharp and abrupt. Not like the MP-25 which were more rounded. I thought of this as to be an unfinished or unrefined look, missing a step in the machining process as opposed to the rounded edges of my MP-25 which takes an extra machining step.  As I am writing this and looking at the clubs, I am changing my tune and stating, this is fine. Nothing wrong with it. 
 

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You choose what style appeals to you.


In my stage 1 post, a couple of clubs came with blotches and scratches, and I also wanted to see how the hydropearl finish would fair?  I looked at the clubs with the scratches and marks on the hitting surface and found that there was no change. They stayed the same. On Ping’s website, a person named Andrew Kopka posted a review with pics showing the same scratches /markings on his clubs as mine. As well, he has stated some welds have started to fail on his clubs.  Bear in mind that this is an online review and could be false or inaccurate.  The pics are there though showing the marks.
What I did notice is that on the rest of the club surfaces where the hydropearl finish was, that there were scratches exposing the shiny metal surface beneath. With the Mizuno, there is no protective finish / coating (that I am aware of) that will diminish with time. The surface finish is still the same as when I first bought them in 2016. I suspect the finish on the Ping will be slowly erode away with time and use.  

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I am giving a score of 6 on these. The initial markings and scratching’s were not something I was worried about and I would have given it a score of 8 as they will face worse battle marks down the road. What is not really impressing me is that with use, marks and scratches are revealing the true metallic shine underneath indicating the Hydropearl finish can easily be removed by scratches. It appears to be a surface coat finish only with no penetration.

Sound & Feel (7 out of 10 points)

I knew what to expect and the question I had was could I get accustomed to it?  Ping is known for the click sound and this club lived up to that clicking. At first when I was at the range trying these, they seemed really loud to me and I was subconscious of this thinking if people were looking at me. I practice with music and earbuds on and I could hear the clicking over the music. So I went to work and got a sound meter.  I hit some shots with the clubs and recorded the data. Then wouldn’t you know it. I could not download the data. I’ll spare the details. 
I have to rely on memory, but looking at the meter and the max levels recorded, the Pings were louder at about 76 dB as compared to Mizuno which I remember being in the mid 60’s.
Hitting a flush shot flush had a distinctive crisp sounding click as compared to more of a thwack sound on mishits. 

I would have to say that the feel on the MP-25’s is definitely better on both flushed shots and slight mishits compared to the i500. On flushed shots with the Mizuno, it just feels great. With the i500, a flushed shot comes with hearing the sharp crisp click. There was no great feeling that I got from the club that made me say “wow”.

With the Mizuno, I feel there are 2 distinct categories of mishits. Slight mishits, and out to lunch mishits.  A slight mishit on the MP-25 is a muted feeling that tells you “No, you did not flush it. You were close but still, you must pay a price and that price is the appropriate loss of distance” and this is something you notice as soon as the ball leaves the clubface.  An out to lunch mishit tells you ”Go home. What are you doing embarrassing me? Your penalty is 40 yards over there in the bush. Have fun looking for your ball.”    It is felt in the hands.  
With the Ping, I found no difference in the feeling between slight mishits and flushed shots. The only indication I got was the difference in sound.  A slight mishit is a muted dull click.  Tester Kotaino complained after the fitting process of toe hits, so I went out to the driving range and purposely hit shots to see the effect. Ouch. It hurt. I have never experienced this type of feeling with the MP-25.  Now remind you, I have graphite shafts and this could play into this, I’m not sure. I Asked Kataino if he experienced the same feeling and he stated that he did not.


So, I am giving a score of 7.  The feeling is not like Mizuno, and the forged face only club makes me think that yes, it does not compare to a truly forged club. The flushed feeling with Ping comes from the sound, not the feel (in my opinion).
     

Range Performance (15 out of 20 points)

The first week was a struggle getting used to these clubs. I think it was partly due to the extra ¼” length in the shaft.   

Distance.
 Below is an example of the trackman results on the 8.
 
 

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Draws and fades
I must confess that I struggled with working the ball. No matter what I tried, the shots still end up going straight. That was until I caught a video of Phil teaching how to do this. And it immediately hit me what I was doing wrong. I aligned the body to the starting ball path, aligned the clubface to the target and then hit the ball. Ball goes straight as usual. Then I saw what I was doing wrong. I was aligning the clubface to the target while I had the club gripped in my hand instead of ..pay attention here to you guys wanting to learn this… align the clubface and then set your hands on the grip. Bingo. So now I was doing fades and actually it was beautiful to see the ball curve. Wow. Okay. Now to compare the two. Driving range session on fades and draws. I had a flag 150 yards out and behind me (left handed). Used this as my target for draws. The clubface ended up being closed only about 1-2 degrees. The 7i ping proved to be more of a challenge to draw the ball. The Mizuno 7 was easier and ended up being closer to the flag.
There was no difference in the trajectory. Next was a fade. Being left handed I had a fence as the target and again, only needed to open up the clubface about 2 degrees.  The fence was about 20 yards to my left. The Ping 7 iron curved a lot more ended up for a total of about 40 yards past the fence. The Mizuno curved 25 yards. 
I found it easier to work the ball with the Mizunos than the Pings.
 


On-Course Performance (25 out of 40 points)

The on-course time proved to be both exhilarating and at the same time frustrating. 

First, to start with, I decided to put away the woods, move up a tee box and play just the irons.
For informational purposes, I do not have a GPS device, so I rely on my rangefinder solely. Of course, getting distances on tee shots and second / third shots on par 5’s requires pacing off the distance. And that was what I did on all shots except on the approach shots where I could shoot the pin.
Luckily that I have been doing it for so long that I have become quite good at it and if I am off, I always end up being short. I usually pace off distances once in a while on approach shots to see how much I am off when I check against the rangefinder.
During this testing period, my handicap reduced.  From 22 to 19.5

On-Course Distances

Here are the tracked distances for all the clubs used.
I had difficulty using the 4 iron at the driving range and never played it. 

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Now looking at the data above, there is a couple of big issues that I need to think about. Look at the distance gaps between clubs.

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Second, there is now a 24-30 yard gap between the PW and my 52 degree wedge.

I think the distance spread for each club is too varied. Take for example the 9 iron. I hit it anyway from 120 to 143 yards. This distance spread created some big frustrations on the course and I found myself at times not knowing which club to pick. On a par 3 with the flag set at 137 yards from the tee block, I pulled out the 9i (which would have been my choice with the Mizuno) and ended up flushing it over the green and going 143 yards.  Next time I played this hole and again, pulled out the 9 and took 3 shots each going 128 -130 yards. Hit the Mizuno 9i 127 yards. I don’t experience such a discrepancy in distances on the Mizunos. Also, I struggled with the PW and ended up being short so many times on approach shots. I think nerves got to me. In regards to feel, the Mizunos felt better.   On the short irons, more nimble, a better feeling of control. The Pings felt clunky and I am wondering if it is due to the graphite shafts and the fact that I can feel the weight of the heads.  

The distances on the 7-5 irons were an exception.  I used the 6 iron off the tee and on second shots on par 5’s. Surprisingly it is easy to hit and it flies. This surpassed my Mizuno 5 iron by miles.  

Out of the Cabbage
One thing that I do not like is that these clubs are hard to hit and are punishing out of the rough. Take a look at the pic below. Notice the grass displacement of the Mizuno on the right compared to the Ping on the left. On this shot, the Mizuno 8 iron went 136 yards while the Ping 8 only travelled 105 yards. 

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Punch shots
My course has a lot of trees and one shot I like to do is the 150 -160 yard punch shot with the 5i.
This is a very low running shot only reaching a height of about 4- 6 feet. The Ping 5 iron actually performed better than expected and required less effort.


Play it or Trade it? (14 out of 20 points)

As of October 20, I was still undecided about the clubs. Would I play or trade them?
I went to the range on that day with the determination of resolving this. My scores were dropping and my shot striking was better. Was it because of the clubs or me?  After 3 hours at the range, I came away with an answer. Now to the course for the final validation.  I played 18 holes the next day with the Mizuno’s (PW, 9,8) and the Ping (7,6,5) irons.  I played the best round of my life. I shot a 41 on the back nine and got away with a 47 on the front for a total score of 88. I had 3 birdies and 4 pars. 7 GIR’s.  Hole #4 was a 151 yard Par 3. The flag was up front and read 138 yards uphill and into the wind. I pulled out the 8 iron and wanted to hit this high and have the wind knock it down. I executed this perfectly. Landed it right side of the pin ~4-5 yards. 
Had a 128 yard approach shot. Pulled out my 9 iron and hit to within 2-3 yards of the pin.
And on it went. Hit a 6 iron drive 228 yards. Hit another one 210. 

Using the Pings have taught me that yes, there is better technology for distance, but when it comes to feel, finesse, or workability, then Mizunos flat out perform better than Ping. I love the Mizuno PW-8 irons and feel they are better performers.  The Ping 7 and 5 irons won’t replace mine, but will complement them until I figure the distance, workability, and hitting out of the rough issues. I am definitely keeping the Ping 6 iron.  
Thus my score for this category is 14 points. Even though they caused significant frustration and I am only keeping half the clubs, they did lower my score and help off the tee,.

Conclusions

 The Ping i500 irons were both exhilarating and frustrating.  200 yard average with the 6 iron.  Creating divots the size of RI with the PW (was this due to the extra ¼” shaft length?).  Two club length distance gaps on some clubs. I now know that as a result of this test, Mizunos sound better, feel better, and are better clubs. But if you cannot hit it pure, the long irons are dead. As I stated in my review, Mizunos are more nimble. If you are thinking about the i500 clubs, you need to think about your handicap, what you want out of a set of irons, and what you are willing to sacrifice.  Or do as I am going to do:
    Blend the set while I do more testing. Use the PW-7 from my Mp-25 set and use the Ping 5&6.
    Use my 6 iron for the distance gap between the Ping 6 and 7


Final Score: (Add up all categories and present a total score out of 100)
67 out of 100

 

 

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Ping i500  – Official MGS Forum Review by Mr_Theoo

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Intro

 I mainly did my testing at the range and LM because the weather changed for the worse when I received by my irons. I did get out for 1 really solid 9 holes after getting used to them which was very helpful in determining my thoughts and review of these irons. 

Looks

Right out of the box I loved the looks of these irons. The very minimal and clean looks won me over. I've been enjoying the direction Ping has been going with their irons and wedges as of late. The more traditional look and hiding the technology. The blade lengths are a bit longer. To me, this isn't a good or bad thing just something I noticed when I compared them to my MCsScrew.jpg

 

(10 out of 10 points)

 

Sound & Feel 

The sound and feel of these are unique, when hitting them you can barely tell they're hollow but when you're riding or walking you can tell from the bag chatter. Indoors they do make a much louder sound at impact than outdoors. When hitting them you can tell if you mishit it but unless its a shank or thin it's hard to know exactly where on the face you missed.

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(7 out of 10 points)

 

Range Performance

On the range, these left me puzzled and worried. When I’d go hit balls after work I kept having problems hitting good shots. I blamed it on work at first, but after a few sessions, I realized I hadn't gotten used to the change in shafts from my MCs. During my lessons, I had no problems hitting these well so that took a lot of the worry that I may have chosen the wrong specs. But because we use foresight during them I could see how little I was spinning the ball. That did bring some worry because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to hold greens, especially with the mid irons.

Being able to hit all my shots when striking it well was fairly easy with the i500s even though they are quite forgiving. I was able to hit my punchout cut and keep it low for when I'm in trouble. But I was also able to hit it high especially the 4 & 5 irons.

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I also had a launch monitor session with my 7-pw. (I'll be updating this with the 4-6 as well)

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The numbers I got were great distance wise but somethings had me worried and a bit confused. My spin and descent angle were both lower than I was accustomed to seeing so I got worried I wouldn't be able to keep the ball on a green.

(13 out of 20 points)

 

 

On-Course Performance


I was only able to get out on the course once before the weather got cold here so my I had to get creative for my course testing. I played but also went to TopGolf and the simulator to put myself in situations that required me to hit targets and shots instead of just smashing balls into the range.

On the sim I had no problems hitting quality golf shots, even when I was 200+ out I felt confident in hitting a 5i into a green which is something I’ve never been able to do. Usually, when I'm that far out I club down and lay up.

 

At TopGolf I challenged myself to hit targets that were further than my usual distances with my MCs as well as ones that weren't just straight in front of me so I could test being able to work the ball and control the flight. During my time there I found myself really hitting the 9i well to about the 150yd target.

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And finally on to the course where I got to hit on real grass. The two main things that worried me the most from my launch monitor testing was the gapping of my “scoring clubs”, which for me is 7-pw, and how low my descent angle was with these clubs. I was worried that I might just bounce balls off the greens because they were coming in too flat. It was a pretty cool day about 55 degrees out and very little wind which was nice. The greens were punched and pretty soft so I might see different results come spring time. I played 9 with them and hit about 3 balls per hole trying different shots and such. I made sure to hit plenty of 4i off the tee as I tend to use long irons, specifically my 3i on shorter par 4s to get into good position but it has yet to arrive so I went to the 4i. The extra distance I get out of these was very nice but it was even better to see that I could still stop balls without too much roll out. For me, it's no good to be able to hit 180 yard 7i into a green if it doesn't set me up for a shot at birdie or par. I hope I see the same results in warmer conditions.

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Overall I would say the i500 is almost a Jekyll and Hyde type of iron for me. Off the mats, I struggled much more than I ever have but once I got to the grass I found them easy to hit far and accurately as I hoped. 

(32 out of 40 points)

 

 

Play it or Trade it?

 Right now the i500 are a play it for me. I think I need more time getting used to them but the flashes of how good these clubs are have shown me enough that they deserve to stick around for the winter while I continue to work on my game. Maybe I'll change the shafts if I find myself not getting along with them but I don't see them going anywhere just yet. Of course, if something new and shiny comes along or I find a set of 2014 MC heads then who knows what may happen 😏

 

 

 

TL;DR

The i500 is a nice addition to the players' distance iron. It packs plenty of punch while keeping the look very clean and classic. The feel is ok, but still plenty of room for improvement. I would stress getting fitted for these irons more than others I've tried. Mainly because of the chance at bad gapping issues. If you can hit them off grass I would go that route first because mats seem to hide how these perform thru the turf. I can't wait to see how the industry keeps pushing forward with these kinds of irons because I think we are just scratching the surface of them.

Final Score: (82 out of 100 points)

*Now I know my total score doesn't add up to what I gave each section, but I gave these 7 extra for potential. Because I wasn't able to play in warmer temps but have seen flashes of how these could possibly be a great set for me I wanted to give them a better score than what my testing has shown so far. *

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Stage 2: Official MGS Forum Review for the Ping i500 Irons – 7 January 2019

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Intro

As I write this, I’m on an airplane.  That should be a decent indication of just how busy I’ve been lately.  BUT, I’m a man who does what he says he will so here you go with a Stage 2, albeit much later than normal.  In case you missed it, I’ve splashed a few mini-updates along the way to fill the gap between Stage 1 and a proper Stage 2.  Here’s the links:

To this point, I’ve taken these beautiful i500s out to the course for a mixture of 9 and 18 hole rounds.  In total, I’ve played 17 times with them over amounting to 359 Arccos-tracked shots over the course of 3 weather seasons.  I played in hot, cold, calm, windy, rainy, and sometimes a combination of all 5.  Up front, I started out with irons-only rounds to build the data and give them a flex in all situations.  Since then, I’ve resumed normal play with the full bag.  As a reminder from Stage 1 for my general playstyle, I have length but not necessarily accuracy or consistency.  Almost all of my scores land between 82-85 but I get there many different ways.  Ready for scores?  Let’s begin.

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Looks

Let’s just say, mission accomplished.  There is no debate that these are some beautiful clubs.  Ping has managed to make a game improvement club look like a MB.  I’d venture to say most players who play MB do it more for the looks than anything else.  The i500 comes in a sleek build that accentuates the bag marvelously.

Verdict: Perfect score because there’s no issues whatsoever with the look  (10 out of 10 points)

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Sound & Feel

Usually looks is a category most folks can agree on.  Sound and Feel is the ultimate objective category.  These aspects shape the way we experience a club but the sensation is oh, so personal.  For me, I’m a fan of both with some hesitations. 

Sound – Breaking sound into 2 bits, chatter and contact.  For chatter, the clubs have a clickity clackity cheapish sort of sound to them.  Must be the hollow body.  For contact, there’s a satisfying SMACK on contact.  Well struck or not, you know it’s a Ping i500.  On occasions where it’s hit near a line of trees, the player can experience a beautiful echo that reverberates through your soul. 

Feel – These are just…not...forged.  The face may be forged, but I have a hard time accepting them into the forged family.  My old irons were forged and I played them for nearly 8 years.  THOSE had a forged feel.  Does the club feel good on a solid struck shot?  Yes.  Does it feel good on a mishit? Better than expected.  Does it feel like a forged iron? NO.

Verdict: Taking 1 point off for Sound and 3 for Feel due to reasons cited. (6 out of 10 points)

 

 

 

Basic Characteristics

As stated in my previews, these irons deliver a beautifully high flight with plenty of stopping power.  Not everyone will experience these successful results because the i500s require a certain strike to get the most out of them.  I feel, I’m getting the most out of them.  Although these produce a high flight, the wind has little to no effect on them.  I have noticed that cold weather has a heavier effect than my previous irons.  I’m assuming that the temperature is limiting the flexing in the face which reduces the explosive launch.  One of my favorite benefits to the irons is how natural partial shots come.  I can step up to a partial shot with reasonable confidence and know the irons will perform as long as I do my part.

Workability wise, I’m back to playing my favorite left-to-right ball.  Gone are the days where that can turn into an extreme double-cross hook.  This is lovely.  If I want to aim at the left side of the green, I know that’s the furthest left the ball will go. Height wise, I’m comfortable hitting it high (as expected) but can have issues bringing it down for punch shots.  For the most part, these escape punches are getting through the trouble thanks to some extreme heat, but they’re missing the window I aimed for flying too high.

Forgiveness is, as expected, fantastic.  I went into detail on this in one of my preview posts but here’s the tl;dr: toe, heel, thin, fat shots all product an acceptable outcome.  In many cases, the distance and direction remains the same as the intended shot just with a lower ball flight.  

Off mixed lies, these irons have mixed results.  Obviously, they play best off a perfect lie.  Due to my length, I play a number of irons from the tee regardless of the course so I’m pleased with my ability to be aggressive even with an iron in hand.  From the rough, there can be issues elevating the ball.  I think this comes from the head size not being a true blade.  The body shape encourages the iron to glance upwards and out of the rough making it very difficult to 1) get to a ball that’s sitting down and 2) elevate it to a height that will stop.  Mixed, patchy, muddy, or stringy lies all play well.  I’ve hit some of my best shots off of the questionable ones.  10/10 would rather hit from pine straw than lush rough.

Regarding durability, these irons are very strong.  I’ve almost gone out of my way clang them around and there’s very little wear to be seen.  The 359 Arccos-tracked shots amount to about 45 each plus a ton for the gap wedge.  The gap wedge has by far seen the most work and, as such, is the most worn.  Aside from the white reminder line fading (I think this has more to do with my brushing technique than anything else), the “U” is no worse for wear.  For demonstration, any picture in this Stage 2 is of the irons AFTER all the playing I’ve done.

Verdict: Deducting 3 points for poor performance in the rough but feel positive about all other attributes (17 out of 20 points)

 file-C9C34D67-56C9-4E9F-AE8C-1693B6AB4457-13328-0000057DD4B1471A.JPG

 file-060FA55E-FA92-45A2-9FC5-5B87CAD50561-13328-0000057DCE931673.JPG

 

On-Course Performance

Needless to say, I’m playing my best golf right now.  The i500s make the game much easier for me and that’s something I NEEDED.  As work and life competes for my time, I find myself heading straight the first tee more and more and spending less time practicing.  I need an iron that will help me play my best given my limited practice time.  Not saying that I want to cut corners, but I am saying that I need help as my swing continues to be inconsistent.  This was another summer of my best golf ever.  All we can hope to do is to continually improve and these irons are certainly delivering. 

I’ll address this because the other testers noted these issues, but I didn’t notice any problems with distance control whatsoever.  I didn’t have extreme flyers and I didn’t have balls fall out of the sky.  I can’t speak to the cause of their issues regarding anything else besides fit.  As you’ll notice, my Arccos gapping has slimmed down to some pretty beautiful numbers.  All areas are covered and I’ve got at least 2 clubs to execute any given shot.  At this point, I can say with a fair level of confidence that the gap has more to do with the elements than it does the clubs themselves.  All that said, the yardages settled to my status quo.  There wasn’t the remarkable gain in distance advertised.  The remarkable attribute was the height.

 

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Sometimes I wish I could ditch the woods and play irons all the time.  It was a very fun experiment but also an excellent lesson in course management.  None of that would’ve been possible if I had a bum set of irons that I couldn’t keep on the planet.  Creativity is possible if your brush paints the picture your mind envisions.  If mind and body doesn’t link up, you better like stick figures.

I have yet to put these to a competitive test (received after league season ended missing playoffs) but that’s the last remaining question in my mind.  Consider this the last update I owe the readers once I’m able to put pressure on myself to hit a demanding shot to win a hole or match. 

Verdict: Deducting 3 points simply because this is a tough category to get perfect.  It’s not a magic club but it’s pretty darn close (27 out of 30 points)

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Miscellaneous

Funny how executing your own template helps you evaluate products in a totally new way.  Miscellaneous is for the areas not manufactured.  The shipping time, packaging, special notes, etc go here.  You’ll start seeing this pop up more in the reviews because the intangibles should be captured as well.

On the extras, Ping delivered beautifully.  We all had our irons in hand the same week the orders were placed.  Blew. My. Mind.  I was astounded when I found a driver box sitting on my porch.  “No way” I thought “that they fit a set of irons in there.”  Indeed they did.  Full set of irons carefully packed with neoprene covers.  Under the covers, there was a plastic wrap over each iron.  Under each plastic wrap, there was a protective film over each club number stamp individually cut to the shape of the number.  Talk about going the extra mile.  Needless to say, the irons were delivered in pristine condition no matter what the delivery guy decides to do.  I love this, controlling what you can control so no outside forces can ruin your efforts.  PS, the neoprene covers have been saved and will be used when I travel with the clubs.  Talk about dual purpose.

Since I’m behind the curtain, I saw a few other testers have issues with their shipments.  Ping rectified these issues promptly and demonstrated firmly why they’re the class of the industry.  This experience has solidified my full confidence in Ping as a company.

Verdict: Perfectly fantastically amazingly awesome experience (10 out of 10 points)

 

 A9D922EF-BE42-4282-86B7-5AB92C157BEA.jpeg

 

Play it or Trade it?

Easy answer here.  I am my best golfer with these irons in the bag.  Once I can bump up my practice schedule, I’ll continue this downward handicap trend to being unstoppable.  Muahahaha.  Thanks to the i500s, I’ve broken the 10HC line (baseline was 15HC) and have increased my GIR by nearly 10%.  All I did was get new irons and practice less.  If only everything was this easy!

The i500s will certainly come with me into any competitive endeavors.  I’m no club ho so I’ve already sold my old TM MCs and have no plans of looking back.  Onwards and downwards to lower scores for this guy.

Verdict: Famous last words “This may be the last set of irons I’ll ever need” (20 out of 20 points)

 

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Conclusion

The Ping i500s are a fantastic offering in the players distance category but aren’t without faults.  Fit is paramount when making the purchasing decision.  They will not perform equally well for all golfers but will perform exceptional for a specific segment of the market.  I highly recommend a fitting before putting these in your bag.  For those looking for more height and consistency, they are a great place to begin your search regardless of swing speed. 

 

Final Score:  (90 out of 100 points)

 

See testers?  This is how you stay below 2,000 words 😉

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They look like the G700s stopped being John Daly, just living off their natural talent, and hit the gym, got a haircut and bought a new suit, and started climbing the ladder.

I'm not giving up my G700s, but I'll be honest: assuming these results are what I expect they'll be, the look of these make me a little jealous.

Looking forward to the reviews, all!

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Very well stated review and I love your attention to detail, well done sir and good luck with Stage 2!

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2 hours ago, Tomkeyser said:

Very well stated review and I love your attention to detail, well done sir and good luck with Stage 2!

Thanks Tom.

 

 

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Nice stage 1 there Har, the blotches look like oil marks and tool slips on the face. I'm sure it wont affect performance but it's nice to see pristine clubs straight out the wrapper.

 

 

p.s As an aside I've noticed 3 leftys so far in the Ping i210 and i500 reviews. Nice to see some lefty love around here.

/for the avoidance of doubt I'm a righty! 😋

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Stage 1 is up, folks! And unlike Har, my clubs were in pristine condition when they arrived :D

 

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