Ping i200 Irons

9.2
9.2 score
[Editors rating (9.2)] = (Hombre Golf Club) score (9.2)/10


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When you just think that Ping is the company that started with a putter as a garage experiment to soon expand into iron production, it is more than impressive to see the company 50 years later on the top of the golf industry, dominating the golf market. Even though the success with the Eye irons hasn’t been surpassed, the releases that the company has produced within the last decade have been one of the most playable and technologically advanced.

The Ping i200 irons were released about a few years ago as a successor of the i model. When they hit the market, it was clear that the company was very serious about overlapping the limit between blades and the cavity back irons. And this is mostly seen in their workability and exceptional playability which makes them suitable for a wide range of golfers’ handicaps. They have actually proven opposite the common understanding that forgiveness and workability don’t go together, and managed to attract as many golfers as possible. 

So, what Ping’s designers did, was to add more elastomer behind the face which is a proven vibration damper, so with every shot golfers get a blade-like feel which is mostly delivered from forged irons, despite the fact that the i200 features a cavity back design. This made them very forgiving and attractive for better players too, defying one more notion that better players never opt for forgiveness.

It is interesting to note that their design follows the modern trend of a thinner face and a higher leading edge with more bounce and better turf interaction, which simply said, in other words, means that they release more energy at impact that leads to more distance and higher trajectory. 

When it comes to their design they stand out too, as they look a bit boxy, however, this can’t be considered a bad thing as this is what makes them recognizable and stylish too. The hydropearl finish makes them look great in the bag of a mid to low handicapper and combined with the reasonable performance they feature, it is no wonder why Ping i200 irons have been among the best ten irons in the last few years year. 

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Mid to low handicap irons that deliver a perfect blend of distance, forgiveness, feel and playability

Made from 431 stainless steel for an exceptionally soft and lightweight feel

Variable face thickness with thicker topline and thinner edge

30% thinner face delivers more ball speed and yardages

Larger MOI for more forgiveness

Ascending Weight (AWT) steel shafts

Cons

Not adequate for high handicappers

Looks

The distinct, boxy look is made appealing by making them look classic and clean at the same time, and if at first glance they appear a bit square, the very next second you start admiring them. The progressive head design is mid-sized but focuses on delivering more forgiveness.

The clubhead is made from a cast 431 stainless steel with a semi-muscle T-bar positioned on the back of the clubhead which places more weight, just enough for the main impact points. If you are a follower of Ping, then this design greatly reminds of the Ping S55 irons, just in a larger version.

The cavity features score lines and it gives the i200 more serious and cleaner looks. The reasoning behind this is the attempt of the company to keep up with the other better player modes such as the Glide wedge or the iBlade. Overall, the longer head design with the thicker top line and more offset functions as a hybrid iron for better players.

Face

Compared with its predecessor, the Ping i200 irons have about 30% thinner face, which when represented in an actual number, 1mm doesn’t sound much, however, it does make a big difference when it comes to the performance. So, with 2.31 mm it allows golfers to produce faster ball speeds, creating a trampoline effect that makes more bounce. Plus, the saved weight is redistributed between the toe and the hosel area which increases the MOI by 7%. Even though 7% seems insignificant, Ping claims that the MOI that Ping i200 has can be compared with the one of G15 iron. Higher MOI means more forgiveness, especially on off-center shots, and this is where golfers benefit the most when hitting the ball off the center.

When it comes to shorter irons, then their face design isn’t as thin as the long ones, as they are expected to deliver shorter ball flights with much more precision. The precision milling delivers a good grip while the hydro pearl finish besides being classy, it functions as moist and flyer repellent.

Cavity Back Design

Many golf manufacturers focus on the cavity when trying to point out a significant visible change and the cavity design is often the place of change. The Ping i200 irons feature silver elastomer Custom Tuning Port which is positioned in the so-called Custom Tuning Port (CTP) pocket which is double the size and which is positioned in the open rather than just being hidden behind the backside of the cavity, as it is the case with some other previous models. Therefore, the pocket fo the CTP is purposely designed deeper so that it accommodates more elastomer which directly influences the sound and the feel.

Sound and Feel

And the reason why the Ping i200 has so much of the CTP elastomer is to directly modify the sound, and with it, the feel as well. As better players rely on the sound more for more feedback and feel, the Ping designers made sure that the i200 irons will be able to provide in a much better way than the standard cavity back provide, and they make sure that it more resembles blades. It might be slightly muted, due to the larger cavity design, but that is insignificant as it is definitely a model that has stood up to the task to answer the needs of the low to mid handicappers. It delivers a much softer feel than the i-iron model which is perfect for mid handicappers. If you compare this model with a blade, the fact that it produces higher launches and expands the margin for error makes it a more functional iron at any point in the game and with any iron number.

Lofts

The fact that the Ping i200 irons use more elastomer for extra sound and feel produces some loft tweakings in the 3 and 4 irons, making them 0.5 to 1 degree weaker, so they come with 19 and 22.5 degrees loft. The 5-iron has the standard of the 26-degree loft, while 6-8 irons are designed with o.5 to 1 degree stronger lofts. This adjustment is made only to maintain the highest ball trajectory as the standard lofts would deliver and they come with the consistent 3.5 degrees gap between 3-to 7-irons, while 7-PW feature 4 degrees gapping. The weakening of the long irons helps golfers achieve more distance and guarantee the expected performance range. Plus, in case this gapping is not a match to your preferences, then there’s the Power Spec Loft option that enables golfers to strengthen the lofts of the long iron for up to 1.5 degrees.

Distance

Distance is what sells the clubs, and this is what the Ping i200 irons deliver among the other key features. Maybe it isn’t the longest iron that you’ll find on the market but it is sufficiently long to deliver enhancement in the speed and yardages. This is due to the thinner face design that has a much thicker top and thinner lower section, positioning the center of gravity (CG) lower and back, optimizing the speed and delivering higher launches.

The fact that these irons feature one of the best gapping, and especially that the gapping in the long irons is weakened, contribute towards reaching more distance. The usual gap is 3 degrees between the lofts, however, as we mentioned above, the gapping in the Ping i200 is 3.5 degrees allowing golfers to produce much higher trajectories which will effectuate into longer trajectories and more yardages.

Shaft

If you’ve been playing golf for quite some time, then you are aware that as much as the clubhead is important, that much is the shaft important too. Shafts are often referred to as the engine of the clubs and they can considerably increase or decrease the performance of the clubhead.

This means that when it comes to premium iron models, it is usually the stock shaft model what the company thought would produce the most optimal performance. In this case, the irons come with the Ping AWT 2.0 steel shafts as a standard offer. The AW or Ascending Weight means that the shafts progressively increase their weight as you move towards the shorter irons, while they are much lighter in the long irons. This selection has been made so that the shaft enhances the performance of the irons, lighter shafts for more distance, heavier shafts for more feel and control.

Performance

We have mentioned several times throughout this article that the Ping i200 is one of the best performing and the most versatile irons that Ping has ever made. Many golf experts and reviewers claim that even though it is recommended for mid to low handicappers, the performance range is much broader and it fits golfers with broader handicap levels. What you can expect from these irons is much softer feel and a good, sophisticated sound that more resembles forged irons than cavities which is one more plus when it comes to better players' preferences. Thanks to the thinner face and the lower center of gravity, they are capable to deliver higher launcher and more speed when it comes to longer irons, while the shorter irons are easier to control and much more playable.

Sole Design

The design of the sole mainly determines the way the sole will behave in different turf conditions, so many manufacturers pay special attention to its design. A sole that is designed to glide effortlessly through the turf will have higher speed and better distance. Therefore, the Ping i200 features a sole with a higher and more contoured leading edge which has the capacity to increase bounce and deliver much better turf interaction.

Key Features

The Ping i200 irons stand out in its design as it is in a way a successor of the i-model, however, the fact that there’s 200 in the name indicates that it is a completely new design that reminds more to the legendary S55 irons, rather than i-irons.

Made from 431 stainless steel, they provide extra soft and light feel. The variable face thickness with a thicker topline and thinner edge position the center of gravity lower for higher launches and more speed. The progressive clubhead design of the clubhead which becomes less and less thin as you go through the set from long irons to the wedges allows golfers to achieve more speed with the long irons and control and feedback with the short ones. The Ascending Weight (AWT) steel shaft feature progressive weight design as they become heavier with the shorter clubs and lighter with the longer ones. All in all, it is a nice iron set designed for better players.

Key Features

  • Mid to low handicap irons that deliver a perfect blend of distance, forgiveness, feel and playability

  • Made from 431 stainless steel for an exceptionally soft and lightweight feel

  • Variable face thickness with thicker topline and thinner edge

  • 30% thinner face delivers more ball speed and yardages at long irons

  • Larger MOI for more forgiveness

  • Ascending Weight (AWT) steel shafts that become heavier as the clubs become shorter

Bottom Line

The Ping i200 irons have been on the market for about two years now, so golfers have had the chance to test its performance and have their say in its performance features. Many golf experts and sites have rated them very high, even though they are not the longest irons that you’ll find on the market. However, the blend of playability, distance, control, and feedback is so balanced that the whole set is a full playable package that won’t fail your expectations.