Published on May 4th, 2012 | by Tony Portz1
Ping i20 Irons Review– 20 Questions with Bob Jordan of 2nd Swing Golf
Bob Jordan is an avid, lifelong player of the game. He has been with 2nd Swing Golf since its inception. Bob has many responsibilities at The Swing, but during the Minnesota golf season you’re most likely to find him selling and fitting clubs in one of our two locations.
1) How long have you been a golfer?
I’ve been golfing since I was eight, so that’s 55 years.
2) How many sets of clubs do you own—it’s rumored A LOT…
It’s kind of embarrassing, but at least a hundred sets.
3) A hundred sets? That IS a lot!
Yeah, I know. Does it help that I’ve been collecting for such a long time? Haha…
4) How many times have you played your new i20 irons?
I’ve played them six times.
5) What initially made you buy them?
Well, I’ve been a Ping fan for a very long time. I know the quality of their clubs. I’ve even been down to their factory in Phoenix many times so I know what a big deal quality is for Ping. When I saw the i20’s I had to get them.
6) What type of shafts and color code do you have?
I have Project X 5.0 shafts, which is a regular shaft, but a little more responsive. As far as the color code, I’m a combination. In the long irons I’m pretty standard height and arm length, so it’s all black. From the 8-iron through the wedges, however, I’m red, which is a little flat.
7) Give me your overall attitude towards their Look. How would you distinguish the look of the i20’s from other irons on the market?
I think they have the look of a player’s club. They are probably one of the few player’s clubs that are not forged, but they have the look of a player’s club, topline of a player’s club, and as the irons get shorter the heads get shorter as well, which makes them look great from the top.
8) How important is that to you as a player?
It’s really important to me how they look. It matters to me how the toe looks, the bounce angle and even how it lies down at address. Even though I’m not as good as I used to be, I know the look of a player’s club and as a golfer that’s very important to me.
9) What would you improve upon, personally, with the Look of these irons?
I don’t know, they’re pretty hard to beat, I think. They’re such consistent performers it’s hard for me to think of a way to improve the looks.
10) Let’s talk performance, how do the long irons hit? The mid irons? The short irons?
I replaced my 3 and 4 iron with i20 hybrids, so I haven’t been hitting the two longest irons. The 5 and 6 iron promote consistency with a bit of forgiveness, and the short irons are definitely workable.
11) I hear the i20’s are progressively shaped, sized and offset to optimize performance throughout the set. Do you feel like this innovation is really at work when you play the i20’s or do you think the feature is more ‘marketing’-based?
No marketing buzz. Pretty much everything Ping does has something behind it from either an engineering or quality standpoint. So even their marketing claims are backed by quality and engineering, and I think the progressiveness of the set makes perfect sense.
12) As mentioned before, you’re quite the collector of clubs, so I know you have an attitude toward Forged vs. Cast irons—what is your attitude regarding that distinction? Do you have a strong preference for either?
I don’t have a strong preference. I think a lot of people over the years have told me they like the feel of forging better, but I also know of a lot of tests done over the years by many of the manufacturers with tour players comparing cast with forged and they have turned up the same result, which is that most tour players can’t even distinguish between the two.
13) How does the FEEL of the i20’s fit into that attitude? We know they are cast, but does that make a huge difference for you, as an avid, lifelong player of the game?
As I mentioned before, the fact that they are cast makes little difference. However, I do think it’s an interesting question because the i20’s, for instance, are one of the very few cast clubs in a field of many forged irons. With the i20’s specifically, other than being aware of the fact they are cast, I can’t tell the difference. They’ve performed for me as well as any forging.
14) How is the Forgiveness throughout the set? Does the tungsten toe-weighting make a noticeable difference to you?
I’m certainly aware it’s there. I think it may do a little for forgiveness, but it certainly doesn’t affect the high-workability of these irons. I believe that a lot of what people have been saying is true, which is that the i20 irons are definitely more forgiving than the i15’s they replaced.
15) How well does the sole interact with the turf throughout the set? How does that relate to your ‘swing style’?
Really well actually. I don’t like a lot of bounce, for instance, and the i20’s have pretty standard bounce, like most Ping irons over the last few years.
16) Give me your attitude concerning the shot-shaping/workability of the i20’s. As far it is concerned, how well do these stack up against more blade-like models?
I think they have the best of both worlds. They’re certainly workable– haha, I wish that I could work the ball as well as I used to– and they’re certainly more forgiving than blades.
17) If you could ‘mix’ or combine this set of irons to make the best set ever, which clubs would you select from the i20’s entire set, and why?
Haha, boy, that IS a tough question. Well, I’d have to say that the 8 through Wedge is a part of the i20 set that I can’t imagine improving upon– they’re that good.
18) What do you think of the Value of the i20 irons? Are they priced fairly, market-wise? Also, I know that Ping irons in general have a reputation for lasting forever—does that factor into the way you would value these clubs?
It probably doesn’t. I don’t buy clubs for their resale value. Although I know that Ping clubs have higher resale value, typically, and I’m also aware of the reputation Ping clubs have for lasting ‘forever’– they really do– but it doesn’t factor into the way I’d value them. I’d say these irons are a great value because they’re competitively priced in the market for player’s clubs, and the quality and performance is great.
19) For what type of player would you recommend the i20 irons (if any)? Are there any other 2012 models you would recommend as comparable to the i20’s, and why?
Anywhere from a mid handicap to a scratch, for sure. They’re a player’s club, but mid-handicappers could certainly benefit. Just the other day I sold a set to a guy who blended the G20’s with the i20’s. Everything from the 7-iron through Wedge was i20. I fitted him at the 7-iron for both the G20 and i20, and we found out that he hit the i20 7-iron equally as well as the G20 7-iron. So, he went with the i20 because it allows him more workability. As far as 2012 sets that are comparable to the i20’s I’d probably say the Titleist AP2 irons, which are great for the mid-to-good player, or the older Ping S56, which is a bit more of a player’s club than the i20.
20) I know you’ve been playing Ping irons for about as long as Ping has existed—that said, how would you say the i20 irons stack up against Ping’s entire back-catalogue of iron sets?
Haha. Well, being a lover of the Ping Eye 2’s for many years and having seen thousands of sets sold and then resold, because they’re so popular– I’d have to say that from the looks of it the i20’s have great potential to enjoy that sort of long-lived popularity. But, that’s something that we’ll have to read about in the history books.