I first learned to play the game with a cut down half set of blades passed down by a family friend and it was a struggle at the best of times. Then I managed to buy a second handset of Ping Eye2 and my handicap tumbled.
PING had a formula of making irons that were forgiving and suited a wide range of abilities. The Eye2 was the weapon of choice for the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in their early years and could be found in the bag of many amateurs around the world up to the end of the 1990s.
Today PING has maintained that winning formula and their latest i525 iron is arguably as close to the Eye2 in terms of wide ranging handicap appeal. At first glance it resembles a slightly larger version of their i59 iron but when you compare the lofts they are poles apart. So it made sense to test the i525 along side the i59 to showcase the performance differences.
PING I525 Tech
Forged, Maraging Steel Face
The strength of the variable-thickness, maraging steel allows for a thinner, more dynamic face structure with an internal sole undercut in the 17-4 stainless steel body to increase flexing to launch shots faster and higher with predictability.
Tungsten toe and shaft tip weights combine with a tiered, dynamic face structure to expand the perimeter weighting while preserving ball speed through greater face deflection for added distance and improved accuracy.
A polymer is precisely injected onto the inside of the face to improve feel and sound without interfering with face deflection, the source of its increased ball speed
A precision-milled groove pattern allows for tighter spacing and a geometry that results in an average of four extra grooves to reduce fliers in the short irons and preserve spin in the long irons for greater control and consistency.
The players-style blade length and offset with a modest topline create a clean, compact profile favored by discerning players. The hydropearl 2.0 finish repels water to ensure predictable, consistent performance from wet and dry conditions.
The i59 nine iron had a peak height of 111 feet and carried 137 yards. The i525 nine iron peak height was 108 feet and carried 144 yards. The spin rates were 400 rpm higher with i59. The flight with the i525 was strong and you could tell instantly that this club was all about holding greens through drop and stop instead of spin. The low centre of gravity and strong loft combination is common practice with distance irons but to enable a 40 degree nine iron to still peak at 108 feet is impressive.
Do not expect to hold greens with a knock down shot. If you remember the i525 is all about drop and stop you can’t go wrong. Over the ball these are confident inspiring but the minimal offset might not suit players looking to combat a slice. The only thing that lets these clubs down is the feel. The polymer injection is designed to enhance the sound but the feel resembled a hybrid and not a forged iron. Finally we come to the price. Ping are now at the top end of the premium brands when it comes to price and the i525 is nearly double the price of other branded irons. The days of having mass market appeal seem to be gone but are Ping setting their stall out to become a boutique brand like PXG?
Having set of i525 irons and matching Ping Glide 4.0 wedges is serious bag bling.
Pros: Looks, performance and durability
Cons: Price! Sound and feel needs enhancing
Price: i525 price per iron – AED 1,050