By ED TRAVIS
PING had a lot of success with the G700 a game-improvement category iron model last year, so it was logical to rework that design into a players-iron. In fact, the i500 that could be properly put into the relatively new category of a players-distance iron.
Quoting John Solheim, PING President, “The i500 delivers unbelievable distance with amazingly high ball flights. In our testing, some golfers gained as much as 15 yards with the i500.”
The basics you should know about start with the clubhead comprised of a hollow 17-4 stainless steel body and a forged face of C300 maraging steel, a combination to produce better ball speed with higher launch. Even so the heads have a pleasing compact muscle blade-like look at address with lofts in the middle of what we are seeing today in players-distance category irons for the Retro Spec option (more about that below) and offsets are minimal.
Grooves are something PING has always paid a lot of attention to and as you would expect the i500 have precision milled faces. The hosels have a notch which some may think is to facilitate your local club fitter in adjusting lofts and lies. It’s actually there to reduce weight in the hosel for relocation into the clubhead itself to add to the solid feel at impact.
The HydroPearl Chrome 2.0 finish makes for great appearance with the added benefit of the finish actually repels water to at least partially mitigate the effects of moisture that produces “flyers.”
The i500s are available in what PING calls the Power Spec Loft option, i.e., stronger lofts for more distance with lower spin and lower trajectory. There is also the Retro Spec Loft option, the same construction with weaker lofts. Comparing the two: Power Spec 5-iron 22.5° loft, pitching wedge 44°; Retro Spec 5-iron 26°, pitching wedge 47°.
Brand & Model: PING i500 irons
Hollow stainless-steel body with milled face and grooves
Retail Price & Availability:
$162.50 per club with UST Mamiya Recoil 460 ES shaft in shops now
Need to Know:
Better players distance iron with compact head, minimal offset and the look of a traditional muscle back. HydroPearl finish that sheds moisture to help prevent fliers. Power Spec and Retro Spec loft options.