Gear Review: Ping i10 Irons
Retail Price: $899
Outside of the car business, the golf industry must be next in line for the Most Relentless R&D award. There is a constant and never ending pursuit to improve and discover the next great innovation “ an attempt to capture the hearts and wallets of golfers everywhere. While many golf companies have attempted to brand everything in your bag, a few like PING have made their name “ and built their business “ on the performance of their irons. Back in 1982 PING created what was to become the best selling iron of all time “ the PING Eye2. Twenty-five years later Ping is hoping to do it again with their latest and greatest i10 and G10 irons.
After 10 rounds with my new i10s I can honestly say that their performance is virtually identical to that of my two year old set of PING i5s. No great miracle shots courtesy of these irons. Is that necessarily a slam on PINGs newest installment? Absolutely not. I can honestly say that my i5s were the best cast cavity back irons I have ever played. In reality any marginal game improvement over these irons would have been a spectacular achievement. Note that I said were the greatest.[photopress:ping2.jpg,full,alignleft][photopress:pingi10L.jpg,full,alignright] As a 7 handicapper who thinks hes a 2, Ive always preferred the look and feel of a traditional forged blade. But after years of bone shattering off-centre hits I recently started dabbling with some game improvement irons from the likes of Callaway and Taylor Made. While irons like Callaways VFTs and X-Series are as forgiving as promised, I hate the look and simply cant get use to them. Lets be honest, how many of us buy golf equipment based on performance alone? Our desire, ego, and credit limit seem to be far more relevant. And you better believe golf companies understand this better than most.
Before I bought my set of i10s, I asked a PING staffer if they could tell me why their new i10s would be an improvement over my beloved i5s. He said that many better players loved the performance of their i5s but wanted it in a smaller package. In order to do this, PING put extra weighting on the toe of the club and extended the custom tuning port a little further up the back to help increase stability for better feel and distance control. No wonder my new i10s perform very much the same as my i5s. To his credit he recommended demoing the new clubs before my purchase so I could decide for myself. But of course that would have required waiting for a demo set to try and frankly I hate waiting so I went ahead in spite of this good advice.
And Im here to tell you that Im glad I did. Not only do my new PING i10s perform as good as my previous set of PING i5s but they do it looking that much sharper. Out is the conservative blue colour scheme and in is a trendy burnt orange look. So with a slight tummy tuck and a new dye job PING just might have recreated some of that Karsten Solheim magic from 25 years ago. Check them out for yourself.
Our Gear Head Rating: ****
Gear Head Rating System:
* Dont bother
** If you really need this, go ahead but we warned you
*** You will neither be disappointed or thrilled
**** Money well wasted. This should be one of your final choices
***** Buy this now!