When Ping recently brought out the GMax irons, the key feature was the COR-Eye technology in the face and this is now fitted into the more compact G iron.
You can see the COR-Eye as the circle on the back of the head and it is essentially bringing the variable face thickness from woods into irons to increase the ball speed.
The COR-Eye structure means that the face is 32% thinner than the previous G30 iron and can therefore bend up to four times as much at impact.
As well as the design of the COR-Eye, the use of Hyper 17-4 Stainless Steel for the head maintains the strength whilst allowing for the face to be thinner. It is created by using 17-4 Steel heat treated in a 6 hour process at temperatures up to 1040°C to be 40% stronger.
The face is almost free standing as the cavity has been made deeper and the usual Ping Custom Tuning Port (CTP) is now positioned in the trailing edge of the cavity.
This is essentially a weight pad to change the Centre of Gravity (CG) location of the club to make it fractionally deeper by 0.38mm and improves the MOI or resistance to twisting of the head on off centre hits.
The feel and sound is moderated by a thicker adhesive behind the silver aluminium badge on the back of the head that has a 22% larger surface area than on the GMax. This results in sound and feels feedback that is just what you would expect from a premium game improvement iron.
The sole is the usual generous size for a Ping G iron and with that redesigned cavity the sole is a little wider than the G30 with a straighter trailing edge as the design allows more weight to be pulled back.
The trailing edge is also cambered up to reduce the effective playing area and help it get through the turf, which it does very well.
At address it may look like the G iron is more compact than the G30, but it is actually the same as there are a couple of optical illusions going on.
The hosel transition has been modified to make the offset look smaller and some contouring on the top edge aims to make it look thinner without affecting the mass required on the top of the head for the optimum forgiveness. We could all do with a bit of that.
Compared to the GMax the G Iron looks more like the one who stops at the salad bar, with a more compact head and a reduced top line and everything else besides.
The G iron comes in a CFS Graphite shaft and also a new Ping AWT 2.0 steel shaft, that stands for Ascending Weight Technology.
Basically the shafts get lighter as you move from the short irons to the long irons in order to improve distance with long irons and accuracy with the short irons and it will offer great performance for all levels of player.
The G irons themselves felt very good and you can sense the COR-Eye and deeper cavity really offering consistent performance across more areas of the face than the G30.
Having the deeper cavity does change the type of feel as the G30 irons gave a little sharper feel at impact, but I would say that I prefer the overall feel of the G irons.
When I took the G iron on Trackman I could see that the COR-Eye was generating more ball speed than the G30, even allowing for the difference in club speed.
The G also went further than the Ping i-iron, but you have to factor in the 2° weaker loft of the 6-iron from that set. The lofts of the G irons are the same as the G30 and the GMax so these comparisons are more direct.
What was also interesting was that the G iron performed almost the same as the GMax, except in one area. The GMax uses its larger head to create more MOI and therefore is more accurate as you can see in the Trackman dispersion results below comparing the blue circle of the GMax to the white circle of the G iron.
If I was a mid-handicapper I could see myself having one of those 'why would I not go for the more forgiving GMax irons' moments, because quite frankly, I was pretty taken aback with how accurate they were whilst still feeling as good as the G.
However the reason is clear when you remember the chunkiness of the GMax, so maybe a couple of the longer irons could be worth swapping in.
The shorter G irons do look good, especially the wedge that again uses those visual cues to be one of the best looking and feeling wedges Ping has created in a G set of irons.
With all this extra distance you may need to watch the gap at the bottom of the set to the wedges in your bag and I would consider filling them with the 50° U-wedge option from the set before heading to your specialist wedges.
Overall in terms of distance, looks and feel the G iron is a step up from the G30, which is saying something since that was one of the best selling irons in the market.