In January of 2017, Ping launched the i200 series iron, touting its boosted MOI and subtle aesthetic refinements. The net result was a players iron with game-improvement like forgiveness. Now, roughly 18-months later, Ping is replacing the i200 with the progressively refined and meaningfully modified, i210.
Consumers should be rightfully wary of expedited product cycles where products deemed new and improved are certainly the former, but mostly skip the later. Rushing equipment to market has never been Ping’s calling card. Case in point – consumers waited nearly three years for the iBlade to replace the S55, which improved upon the several-year-old S56 model.
The salient point is that when Ping releases product, it’s assuredly different in a way which matters both to the target audience and its tour staff.
SO WHAT’S NEW?
The end goal for the i210 was to produce PING’s most precise, best feeling players iron to date in a more visually appealing, crisper package.
As one would expect, the i210 is more of a nip and tuck and less of a complete overhaul. PING again utilizes a 431 stainless steel head and elastomer CTP insert. The i210 remains slotted for the player wanting workability and feel, but needing something a notch more forgiving than the iBlade. Count the likes of Lee Westwood, Daniel Summerhays and Tyrell Hatton amongst the target audience and 25%-30% of Ping’s professional staff playing on a major professional circuit (Web.com, European PGA, PGA Tour) bagging a 200 series iron.
The i200 series produces ample distance, though it doesn’t have the horsepower of the hollow-body i500. That said, a player with an average 4-iron carry distance of 185 yards should expect to pick up 4-6 additional yards of carry in the long irons (due to increased ball speed and higher peak apex) with the new i210. Also, for those still of the mindset that stronger-lofted irons launch lower, that’s not the case with the i210 and i500 which according to PING produce nearly identical initial launch conditions.
The charge for the mid/short irons was to become more exacting scoring tools, yet do so with a softer feel and traditional spin characteristics. The key to unlocking this combination is PING’s multi-material construction. The elastomer custom tuning port (CTP) is twice as soft and 30% larger than the CTP in the i200s. This results in 25% more CTP surface area to sit up against the iron’s face and with the elastomer more activated (it’s not just for glutes people) the sensation at impact is more dense and muted. Though physics doesn’t allow for it, the ball seems to stick to the clubface fractionally longer.
Generally, PING isn’t prone to hyperbole, but President John K. Solheim opined, “The soft feel of the i210 irons is unlike any we’ve ever offered.”
The sole of the i210 has more bounce than the iBlades and a wider sole than the i500s. This provides more forgiveness for shots caught fractionally heavy and more positive club/ball impact. Reduced offset and a cleaner, more defined look in the short-irons again shift the balance in the direction of the tighter look better players often prefer.
“Set” wedges are typically an engineering afterthought with little unique and targeted technology. With the i210, however, PING’s extends its Glide 2.0 groove technology to the pitching wedge and U-wedge. The milled faces and grooves impart up to 400 more RPM, according to PING, which makes it easier to control distance and trajectory from all lies, particularly those of the flyer variety.
Aesthetically, the i210 is sharper and a touch more sophisticated. The cavity, face, and grooves are all precision milled giving the model a posh, somewhat understated appearance. PING removed the toe area loft designation present in the i200s to negate any superfluous visual distractions and the updated HydroPearl Chrome 2.0 finish has more sheen but retains the low friction characteristics which help mitigate the effects when water and other debris are trapped between the ball and club face.
Specs, Pricing, and Availability
Like the i200, PING will offer the i210s in a stronger lofted, Power Spec arrangement, but new for the i210 is the Retro Spec array which builds off a 47° PW. This set up likely caters to the better wedge player, preferring a three-wedge -set up or the player who could benefit from additional spin and bounce throughout the set.
The i210 iron is available in 3-PW, UW at an MSRP of $137.50 (steel) and $152.50 (graphite). Stated prices include access to Ping’s standard suite of no up-charge shafts. Pre-Sale begins today (7/16/2018) with consumer availability starting 7/31.
It’s not revolutionary, but it is better – and while PING is never one to sacrifice performance for aesthetics, the i210 might serve as its best effort yet to combine the two in a single tour-ready package.