The i25 Irons Moderator Review -- Ping's Second Shot at Second Shot Clubs

AsleepAsleep Marshals Posts: 9,056 mod
edited Apr 10, 2014 in Equipment #1
Ping's Second Shot at Second Shot Clubs -- The i25 Irons Moderator Review



Bobby Jones set out to design and build a “second shot” golf course with renowned architect Alister Mackenzie in the 1930s, drawing inspiration from Saint Andrews Links in Scotland that had stood the test of time for hundreds of years. When your invitation to play the most storied and challenging second shot golf course in the U.S. arrives -- Augusta National, which "second shot" clubs should be in your bag???



I like to get a lot of rounds in with new irons before I finalize my reviews. I'm more and more a creature of habit, and it takes me a lot of time to wean off my old comfortable set to allow for a fair assessment of the new. It's a function of how I attack the game of golf -- remove as many variables as possible to maximize consistency. I hate changing balls... hate having the idea pop into my head that maybe my regular ball wouldn't have spun so much or would've rolled out more... hate it. Hate doubt in golf -- doubt costs me strokes. So I was excited to get my hands on Ping's new i25 irons, but knew it would take time to get my persnickety lies angles just right (3* flat/brown) and to readjust to my new yardages. An early fair weather start was slowed markedly by bad weather and/or bad timing -- sunny during work, rainy on the weekends. C'mon, man!



The i25s are the next generation of Ping's very well received i20 irons. Everyone remembers Angel Cabrera pulling an i20 3 iron out of his bag at the 495 yard 10th hole in the 2013 Masters playoff and smoking it off the tee past Adam Scott's 3-wood: Cabera's tee shot on the 10th at the 2013 Masters. He absolutely "clouted that", Sir Nick exclaimed.



The i20s marked the beginning of a strong run of success by Ping Golf, so the idea then is to just give the i20s a cosmetic makeover and push them out to the public as "new", right? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Well, yes and no...



Ping's design team set out to make them better... Want more consistent distance control? How about higher launching, without higher spinning, long irons? Then how about more forgiving? And more workable. Wait, wut? image/nono.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':nono:' /> You can't increase forgiveness and workability... or can you? JC-thinking.gif



Houston Country Club's Par 3 14th hole was playing 197 yards across the ravine into the slightly uphill green according to my rangefinder. The dusk air was cool but not blowing. I pulled the i25 4-iron, added some spine tilt, and the result was a high arching ball that stopped light-footedly ~ 15 feet below the hole...



I have three nephews all out of school and starting lives and taking up "businessman's" golf. It's a blast to get out on the course with them and their father. The two nephews with us that day shot me a quick side-eye 190193.png before jumping into their cart. Love getting those looks image/laugh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' /> Golf is a great equalizer. And although I've long since divorced myself from the idea of a "favorite" iron, this i25 4-iron is money. smileys-money-114847.gif



My first rounds with the i25s were accompianied by poor setups and rusty swing mechanics that resulted in some, ahem, bottom groove shots. What I noticed while stinking-up-the-place was the frame of the i25s is very study and held those shots on line to or through the green, depending on how low I made contact. On the par 5 13th at Memorial Park Golf Course I thinned a 3-iron out of the sparse left rough that held it's line dead straight well past my intended layup distance 260 some odd yards over the green. Again, I felt the structural sturdiness of the frame keep my ball on line and moving out there. Much less of a clang! & twist on these mishits, a notably more solid feel and outcome. Now let's try to find the club face... image/black eye.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':black eye:' />



Like the i20s, the i25s are a blended set with compact heel-to-toe dimensions and minimal offset in the shortest irons that allows for ultimate control moving out to a longer dimension and added offset in the longest irons for added forgiveness and launch. The 6th hole
at Memorial Park is a short par 4 that requires a layup off the tee unless you want to risk water that cuts well into the majority of the fairway. I pulled my new not-favorite-club-but-would-be-if-I-had-one 4-iron and found the center of the face for a towering (for me) tee shot that came to rest 228 yards from the tee with the help of a firm fairway. My buddy Tom let out a "Wow!" after that strike, which felt like buttah and flew like Boeing. place-3596.gif



My new not-favorite-club-but-would-be-if-I-had-one 4-iron



Sound and feel of the i25s is a bit improved over the i20s overall, and nicely better on pured shots. I'm able to more easily discern where on the club I'm making contact, and with center strikes it all disappears into that Ahhhh! nothingness feeling we all yearn for.



My yardages increased about 3 yards at the PW up to 6+ yards in the longer irons going from the i20s to the i25s, with the aforementioned higher ballflight in the longer irons. My distance spacing improved with the longer irons and did not deteriorate with the shorter irons -- so no "hot face flyers" at all through 15+ rounds, which matters most to me. While pulling PW from 150 yards sounds fun and all, I have zero interest in giving up one yard of distance precision because an iron's "trampoline" face yields variable results. Zero. Thanks to improved face stabilization bars it is not a problem here, so no worries.



My gamer irons are Ping Anser Forged with C-Taper shafts in them -- expensive, but worth it in my opinion. After too much back-and-forth I decided to order the i25s with the same C-Taper shafts to get a truer comparison. But comparing this set to the set I demo'd at Ping with the CFS shafts I have to say I personally prefer Ping's CFS shafts in the i25s -- which was what I had in the i20s. The CFS give me optimal spin across the set with the i25s, while the CTapers are better for the Anser Forged. Your mileage may vary.



Okay, so how do we get to increased forgiveness and increased workability compared to the i20s? Strategic design decisions -- moving some weight around -- increased the MOI slightly over the i20s, simple enough. Ping independantly decreased the MOI-around-the-hosel-axis which allows for a bit more workability. Now to be honest while it's good to know I'm getting this extra help, I can't say I can tell the difference outside of having the impression of being able to achieve my desired 3 yard cut that stayed straight with the older set. Check that... my new not-favorite-club-but-would-be-if-I-had-one 4-iron feels like I flat can't miss the sweetspot with it.



Trajectory control is certainly improved. I can hit any of these irons high or low, whereas before high long iron shots were more challenging.



What about the diggers and sweepers out there? Diggers get an improved sole grind that gets through Earth's mantle more easily than the i20s. This was readily noticeable to me when I was setting up too much on my left side and coming in steep early on in the review process. Video resolved that eventually, but the i25s handled it well.



If you're a sweeper who tends to early release you might request Ping to put a heel grind or back grind or bounce grind on your set to suit your needs and playing conditions. Sweepers/early-releasers should consider the i25s as they perform admirably with low face strikes.



In my piece on Ping's Play Your Best philosophy I left you hanging with the question, What's in Ping Chief Designer Marty Jertson's bag for 2014? Well, I can tell you Marty will be hitting his second shots with the Ping i25 irons if he again qualifies for the PGA Championship, or had he been tabbed for the 2014 Masters. That's a move from the G25s he designed, and a pretty good endorsement.



As for me, I'm torn between my Anser Forged and the i25s as to which to set I'd have in the bag at Augusta National Golf Club. Considering the sneaky and variable winds, the crowd and cameras all around me, and the ultimate second shot golf course with tiny optimal landing zones on those greens... aww, heck man, I'm taking all the forgiveness I can get while preserving shotmaking capabilities. The i25s at the Masters. Wish me luck. luck.gif




full disclosure: Ping provided the set for review



My game: I play off a ~5 hdcp., pull 8-iron when I have a 150 yard shot, and last checked I was ~100 mph driver swingspeed with ~260 carry which honestly is on the high side of my reality as I'm more of a 245 yard carry guy.
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  • AsleepAsleep Marshals Posts: 9,056 mod
    edited Apr 9, 2014 #2
    placeholder
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  • Beastmode BrokerBeastmode Broker Canadian AF Members Posts: 6,320 ✭✭
    great review

    personal assessment, explained some of how the tech works in the irons and it wasn't a "wow i hit this in the sim and it was awesome, so i bought them"
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  • Marks23Marks23 Members Posts: 1,255 ✭✭
    Enjoyed the review. From one Houstonian to another, you are tempting me to get another set of irons, something I really don't need.
  • Aces-6Aces-6 Marshals, BST Volunteer Mods Posts: 3,031 mod
    Great review! I'm still trying to get my i25's dialed in but so far, I really like the looks, feel and forgiveness these irons offer.
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  • 3eagles183eagles18 Members Posts: 918 ✭✭
    Enjoyed the review; currently play I20s with Steelfibers. Grew up playing Memorial Park and played HCC (new and old) many times.
  • CwingCwing #TaylorMade TwistFace Experience 2018 Go Big Blue!!! 8x Champs. Who Dey !!! Go Bengals,Members Posts: 8,076 ✭✭
    Nice read. Thank you.
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  • GeoGeo Happy Geo's Day in the momentMarshals Posts: 7,105 mod
    Great review, Todd. Your writeups always tend to be thoroughly enjoyable reads, and this one is no different. I do think you might be exaggerating the possibility of your playing in the Master's, but then most people tend to exaggerate in a review at least once. image/tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':tongue:' />



    I look forward to a U.S. Open/Cabrera-themed review of the woods in June. image/laugh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />
    :hi:
  • Kratus977Kratus977 #TeamJetSpeed Members Posts: 589 ✭✭
    edited Apr 9, 2014 #9
    Great review, but not what I need to read... I nearly pulled the trigger on the i20's last winter, but ultimately went with G25 irons for the added forgiveness. I love my G25's and i20 hybrids. But have been kicking around the idea of going all i25's hybrids (love that they now have a 26* hybrid) and irons through wedge, possibly even u wedge. Just when i convince myself my clubs are perfect for me, something like this post gets me thinking about tinkering. If the i25's are more forgiving than the i20's, then i might have to try them out.
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  • prsgtrmanprsgtrman prsgtrman Members Posts: 1,544
    kratus- i run g25 5 and 6 irons and i25 7-pw. set works great, for me. i use the 3 and 4 g25 hybrids.
  • ForeleftForeleft Members Posts: 2,127 ✭✭
    Thanks for the review, well done. I have the i20's and may move to the i25's if I can sell the i20's. My only hesitation is that I LOVE the 20's.



    Debating changing shafts from CFS to Tour V. Both the same weight and lower spin. I think the CFS are highly underrated shafts.
  • mx-20mx-20 Members Posts: 543 ✭✭
    Great review! I am still in nirvana over my i25 4 iron from 178 yards to a tight water and bunker guarded green two rounds ago. The ball flight and sensation in my hands is burned into my brain. Well struck shots give a unique and spectacular sensation that I have never felt in an iron before. It's not a buttery Mizuno feel but a refined click that I have never felt in an iron before. Well done PING....well done.
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  • SidetrackedSidetracked Inland Empire, CAMembers Posts: 1,952 ✭✭
    Great review! I think I just need to spend some more time with my i25's. More than one round at least. lol
  • AsleepAsleep Marshals Posts: 9,056 mod
    edited Apr 10, 2014 #14
    enis750 wrote:
    great review




    Thanks, appreciate it.


    3eagles18 wrote:
    Enjoyed the review; currently play I20s with Steelfibers.




    I've got to try those SteelFiber shafts sometime.


    Geo wrote:
    I do think you might be exaggerating the possibility of your playing in the Master's, but then most people tend to exaggerate in a review at least once. image/tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':tongue:' />




    Buzzcrusher. pop.gif


    Foreleft wrote:
    I think the CFS are highly underrated shafts.




    They work well with these i25s, no doubt.


    mx-20 wrote:
    Great review! I am still in nirvana over my i25 4 iron from 178 yards to a tight water and bunker guarded green two rounds ago. The ball flight and sensation in my hands is burned into my brain...




    I know! What is it about these i25 long irons? Something special going on there.
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  • AsleepAsleep Marshals Posts: 9,056 mod
    edited Apr 10, 2014 #15
    Kratus977 wrote:
    ...But have been kicking around the idea of going all i25's hybrids (love that they now have a 26* hybrid) and irons through wedge, possibly even u wedge.




    I've got more than a few things to say about the i25 hybrids in my upcoming woods review. dootdoot.gif
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  • xerproxerpro Is it weird that my 3 wood has lower loft than my driver? Members Posts: 2,306 ✭✭
    Fantastic review. I will say, although Im in love with my irons, I definitely thought the i20s were a bit overhyped but still solid irons. Im glad to see Ping made some changes in the long irons and feel of the clubs.



    Thanks for the review
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  • AsleepAsleep Marshals Posts: 9,056 mod
    Comparison pictures of Ping i25, i20(middle), and Anser Forged(no number on face/white paintfill) irons...



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  • farmerfarmer Members Posts: 7,948 ✭✭
    If you wouldn't mind, please call my wife. She has expressed an interest in speaking with you. Thanks.
  • 3eagles183eagles18 Members Posts: 918 ✭✭
    "If you're a sweeper who tends to early release you might, as with the i20s, request Ping to put a heel grind or back grind or bounce grind on your set to suit your needs and playing conditions. Sweepers/early-releasers should consider the i25s as they perform admirably with low face strikes."



    Would you elaborate on this quote from your review? I play firm, thin fairways (Central Texas). I take shallow, if any, divots and suffered with an incurable slightly early release for 50 years.
  • pdaeropdaero Lefty Boomers Posts: 6,025 ✭✭
    Todd, thanks for the great review! How about this weather here in Houston recently? Perfect! I'm strongly considering an i25/S55 combo set (3-5, 6-P). Love the look and feel of these - first time I've ever wanted to get new irons.
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  • AsleepAsleep Marshals Posts: 9,056 mod
    edited Apr 11, 2014 #21
    farmer wrote:


    If you wouldn't mind, please call my wife. She has expressed an interest in speaking with you. Thanks.




    Shoes. Let her get the shoes, then you get the golf clubs. Fundamentals of ho'ing clubs. image/pimp.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':pimp:' />
    3eagles18 wrote:


    "If you're a sweeper who tends to early release you might, <deleted>, request Ping to put a heel grind or back grind or bounce grind on your set to suit your needs and playing conditions. Sweepers/early-releasers should consider the i25s as they perform admirably with low face strikes."



    Would you elaborate on this quote from your review? I play firm, thin fairways (Central Texas). I take shallow, if any, divots and suffered with an incurable slightly early release for 50 years.




    There is a common belief amongst a percentage of "pickers" - versus diggers -- that they don't want any "junk in the trunk" on their irons. That a low offset, narrow sole blade type iron is the only one that works. But if you're a sweeper/picker who does so with an early release -- no forward shaft lean at impact -- where you might be sweeping the ground a bit before the strike, I think you can benefit from the increased forgiveness of an i25 iron but you may need one of those custom grinds to adjust soles to your swing & conditions.



    The i25s nicely forgive lower face strikes... why not avail yourself of that help by getting fitted and possibly a custom grind?



    Part about i20s was misplaced, edited.


    pdaero wrote:
    I'm strongly considering an i25/S55 combo set (3-5, 6-P). Love the look and feel of these - first time I've ever wanted to get new irons.




    May be THE killer combo set. The S55s are wonderful irons. Love 'em.
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  • HsteadHstead Members Posts: 6,333 ✭✭
    Nice write up thanks. I thought I was good with the i20s and haven't planned on checking out the i25 but now you have me doubting again. I hit one i25 7iron with a CFS S flex and wasn't crazy about it but I may have to rethink. The thing I like best about the i20 is the long irons and it sounds like they may have improved them even more. I think the 3 and 4 i20 irons are just awesome and simple to hit, they are the reason I went with the i20 over the S56 in the first place.
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  • GoldenhawkGoldenhawk Members Posts: 3,241 ✭✭
    edited Apr 11, 2014 #23
    Great review. I might give the i25s a try. The i20s and I just didn't get along. I hit the Ansers better than the i20s. But my wife would kill me if I every bought a set of Ansers.
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  • kennyfloydkennyfloyd Members Posts: 29
    Thanks for the review....sort of ....

    Have the older answer forged's with some project x 5.5's which I love but after reading your review and seeing that you have both, makes me think I'm not crazy to want to add the i25's to the collection .....
  • nokesternokester Members Posts: 182
    I tried a set of i25s during a recent fitting and I hated them! Very hard and didn't care for the look at address. I guess that's why they make so many different clubs.
  • JanKo JanKo - K A Y M E R - Members Posts: 2,223 ✭✭
    Anyone tried the good old ZZ65 shaft in these? Played them in the i5s and i15s and always enjoyed them a lot. Thinking of getting the i25 with them as well.
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  • TimanatorTimanator SFClone Members Posts: 3,321
    Thanks for the review Asleep, Another Houstonian here.



    Was wondering, what shafts did you use in your previous irons, and do you find the CFS to go higher or lower in comparison?



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  • AsleepAsleep Marshals Posts: 9,056 mod
    My apologies, I thought I was subscribed to this topic. image/pardon.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':pardon:' />


    JanKo wrote:


    Anyone tried the good old ZZ65 shaft in these? Played them in the i5s and i15s and always enjoyed them a lot. Thinking of getting the i25 with them as well.




    Have not but think they'd be a good fit if you're familiar with them.


    Timanator wrote:


    Thanks for the review Asleep, Another Houstonian here.



    Was wondering, what shafts did you use in your previous irons, and do you find the CFS to go higher or lower in comparison?




    CFS in i20s, CTapers in Anser Forged.



    I think the CFS compliment the i25s better.
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  • StarFleetGolferStarFleetGolfer Members Posts: 10,530 ✭✭
    These are great irons

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  • tdelamtdelam Club Junkie Members Posts: 3,515 ✭✭
    Great review, I agree about that 4-iron, it's become one of my favorite in my bag, I often use it as a driving iron on tight par 4's, it's very easy to hit and hit long!
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  • KingLeoKingLeo Banned Posts: 276
    If I am only looking to put 5i-PW into my bag, is there going to be much of a difference between going with the i25 over the S55? From what I have been reading, the main difference between the two is the forgiveness of the longer irons. But seeing as that I will not be putting said long irons in the bag, I am wondering whether I will get close to the same forgiveness out of the S55 short irons compared with the i25's...



    Any and all feedback would be very much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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