The Ping i25 irons are an evolution of the Ping i20 irons and the advancements in technology have widened the appeal of this iron. It is still for better players, but maybe a few more in the 5-10 handicap range who aspire to be lower could consider these irons.
One of the main changes is the slightly bigger cavity that designer Marty Jertson talked about in our i25 interview. This is a good example of how the forgiveness that game improvement irons have developed over the years is now filtering down into better player models without any loss of playability.
The soles are a little wider than before in the longer irons to help get the ball up and increase the forgiveness. The back edge of the cavity is unfortunately still just in view on the 4-iron, but this is much less noticeable than it was on the i20.
Despite this the heads are a little shorter and there is less offset than the i20s and this is most noticeable in the i25 long irons. They felt just as forgiving and sat a little better behind the ball for our testers. However I felt the sound was a bit more hollow than some other better player long irons because of the bigger cavity, which detracted a little from the set.
As you move down through the set, the mid irons irons have a progressively smaller offset and the head size is pretty much the same as the i20s. Here the Custom Tuning Port (CTP) on the back of the head comes into its own. It is lower and less noticeable than before and in the mid irons you get a much better feel and sound than the long irons.
As a low handicapper myself, the trajectory that the CTP and the stablising bars on the back of the head gives is right where you would expect it to be throughout the set. Using Ping's excellent custom fitting service will get you the right lie and shaft to fine tune the flight further.
The quality continues down through the short irons to the PW which is a strong at 46 degrees. What is most noticeable on the shorter clubs is the subtle camber on the back of the sole which looks good. This starts in the long irons but it is more prominent in the mid to short irons as it narrows the effective area of the sole making it play thinner than it is, whilst keeping the forgiveness of the deeper cavity.
Most sets would stop at this point or chuck in some fairly average wedges that you would never buy, but Ping have done something different. They have designed a gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge to go with the set and carry on the principles of the i25 model right through to the most lofted club in the bag.
This reminds me of the old days when wedges came as part of the set. With gap wedges and even sand wedges being used for a lot of full shots, it makes sense to have them all in the same design for consistency. The gap wedge is called a U-wedge and is 50° and is great for those mid pitch shots. The S sand wedge is strong at 54° and followed by the L lob wedge at 58°.
Ping claim that the short irons have a 'flatter trajectory' thanks to the wider stablising bars on the back of the head and certainly the flight was just right for a wedge and the distance and accuracy was very consistent.
All three wedges are very good for most types of shots and the subtle grind on the rear of the sole and around the heel make them a viable alternative to the specialist Ping Tour Gorge wedges. The only thing is that the bounces are quite high at 13° to 14°, so they will suit steep swingers or those who play in soft conditions more, so try before you buy.
Overall I would have to say that the Ping i25 irons are a improvement on the i20s. The look a lot cleaner, the sound and feel is great from the mid-irons downwards and I like the wedge options as I could see myself adding at least the U wedge my set.
With each generation of the i-range of irons, Ping manage to get their cast, cavity back irons looking and feeling more like forged, better player blade/cavity irons and that is about the biggest compliment I can give them.
So if you have been avoiding Ping over the years because of how they looked, then now is the time to take a look at the Ping i25 irons. If you are a Ping die-hard then you won't be disappointed either.