RBC Heritage

Harbour Town Golf Links

The Loop

Ping's latest players iron: the i200


For golfers who are a player but not quite a “play-uh,” the last five years of iron design have produced plenty of models highly suitable for such games. Another such iron was introduced today, the Ping i200—an iron with plenty of forgiveness that is still workable and with topline and sole widths thin enough to appeal to better players.

Making such irons is nothing new for the company, which has excelled with its i Series irons for some time. Boosting forgiveness while maintaining trajectory control was the marching orders for the design team. To achieve that goal a muscle-stabilizing bar and longer, larger (nearly double the volume of the i iron) elastomer “tuning port” helped enhance face flex while damping vibration in the 431 stainless steel head—important on an iron that has a face 30 percent thinner than the i iron.

Thinning the face and the larger tuning port created a weight savings that allowed mass to be redistributed to the toe and hosel areas to enhance moment of inertia for better performance on mis-hits both high and low, as well as heel and toe. A “hydropearl” chrome finish repels moisture, reducing the effects of “flier lies” in the rough and in wet conditions.

As you would expect from a club designed for better players (including some tour pros—Brandon Stone put them in play at the South African Open), the look at address needs to be spot on. The i200 features minimal offset, an easy to look at hosel-to-face transition and a sharp face radius. Turf interaction also is important and Ping addressed this area by adding bounce and a more contoured leading edge to reduce digging or too much bounce.

The stock shaft on the i200 is Ping’s proprietary AWT 2.0, which features shafts with a variable step pattern that rise in weight from long irons to short irons to assist trajectory (aiding launch in the long irons, helping keep the flight down on short irons). Other shafts are available at no upcharge. Cost for a set of eight irons is $1,080, with graphite shafts available for an additional $15 per club.

“It’s a shotmaker’s iron by design, but it will fit a lot of golfers because it’s so easy to play,” said John A. Solheim, Ping’s chairman and CEO. In other words, exactly what the modern-day players iron is supposed to be.