While there has been ample discussion on the new iron releases from PING on the THP Community for many weeks now, today is the day we can officially discuss just what this release holds for the company. There is a significant swath of golfers who have not so patiently been waiting for the release of PING’s newest iSeries irons and iCrossover, and with that has come much speculation. How about we get down to reality instead?
It makes sense to lead with the portion of this release that always seems to move a bit under the radar for PING, the iCrossover. It has consistently been an interesting release from the standpoint of appearance, offset, and sound (feel). While there is no denying the success it has seen in the hands of PING’s Tour Staff, it has been a bit of a mixed bag amongst mortal golfers. This year, there appears to be a change to some of that, but perhaps not as some might expect.
According to the company this one is aimed at high swing-speed players who are of course looking for an alternative to long irons or hybrids. This is with the goal of keeping higher ball speeds than irons as well as a higher launch window which will blend into the rest of the irons within the bag. Shape wise, the sole remains similar to previous versions with a decent amount of bounce finished with a more rounded leading edge. The goal here was to ensure a more seamless blending into the i230 irons. Of note, PING has shortened the heel-toe length and decreased the overall offset which they believe will make for a more appealing overall presence at address.
Technology wise, the iCrossover is a 17-4 Stainless Steel body with a maraging steel face blended together to create more flex and thus energy into the ball. PING has also lowered the CG for better launch and descent angles with hopes of making the club more effective into greens. Internally, the hollow design has a smaller cavity than in the past, which is filled with EVA polymer specifically on the back of the face to hopefully address the feedback issues many had with the previous iCrossover models.
The iCrossover will be available in three lofts, the 2XR (18.0), 3XR (20.0), and 4XR (22.0). Interestingly, they are now 1/4” shorter than previous models as well. PING is using their MicroMax grooves and a matte black hyrdopearl 2.0 finish to ensure consistent launch and spin in all conditions. Perhaps most intriguing, they are bringing an adjustable hosel to the iCrossover, a first for PING, which will have eight settings and allow 1.5 degrees of loft and lie versatility. Price point will be $249.00 per club, with the PING Tour 2.0 Chrome 85 (R, S, X) as the stock shaft selection, with three other optional stock options available at release.
PING i230 Irons
Ah, yes, now we get to the main event for PING, so-to-speak. The i230 irons have been a long time coming, and also met with much speculation from the wild to the mundane. Truth is, PING wanted to get it right, and though they might not admit it, recent iSeries irons have not had the same effect on the segment as they have in the past. How do you address that? You get back to what the roots of the iSeries.
You see, the iSeries is a touchy ground for PING, they sit smack in-between two lineups which occupy the extremes of the skillset bell curve, as such, they have to be an extremely versatile iron which can keep Tour players happy with as much play as they get out there (it is a lot), and at the same time let the average golfer have success with an iron that fits their more discerning eye regardless of their actual swing ability.
So, design wise, the i230 brings with it some notable changes. First, the elastomer which PING uses in their iSeries (and why they have always crushed the notion that cast irons cannot have feel) has had a leap in advancement when it comes to weight. The material has allowed the company to take the savings there and re-position it throughout the clubhead which has improved stability (MOI) and also pushed the CG lower to help with launch. The other thing the evolved elastomer does is to support the face while allowing more flex than previously, which their testing compared to the previous iteration has shown a 3-yard increase. Add in PING’s use of tungsten in the toe and shaft tip, they are claiming the i230 to be the most forgiving iSeries iron ever.
Joining the elastomer is a newly designed and re-positioned cavity badge which filters our specific frequencies which people might consider sharp or harsh. The badging is now a four-piece design which is finished with a larger outer portion to keep the cavity as clean as possible, at least as far as iSeries irons are concerned. This is all, of course, about sound (feel), and in the iSeries PING seems to always get it right, so there is certainly reason to pay attention when they say it is a noticeable improvement on their part.
The rest of the story comes into the shaping and smoothing of the 431 Stainless Steel body. PING is very clear that they listened heavily to their Tour Staff in order to really massage the classic iSeries shaping. While the hydropearl 2.0 finish and MicroMax grooves provides durability and performance in all conditions, it is the physical changes in the long irons which will appeal to most. The set is still a progressive design, the 3-5 irons are now more compact heel-to-toe than the i210 were while the rest of the set remains the same length as previous. This makes for a more blended look throughout and addresses something many have long been hoping to see from PING in the long irons.
The i230 irons will be priced at $187.50 per club in steel, and $220 for graphite. Set makeup are available in 3-9, PW, and UW across 10 different color codes with Black being standard once again. PING is also continuing to offer Standard Spec (45.0 PW) as well as Retro (47.0 PW) and Power (44.5 PW) Spec loft orientations. Stock steel shaft is a True Temper DG 105 (R300, S300) and graphite are PING’s Alta CB Black (SR, R, S). However, as always there will be a variety of optional stock shafts available as well.
What do you think? Is PING back on track with the new iCrossover and i230 iron release? Jump in and let your opinion be heard below or directly on the THP Community!