When PING introduced the game-improvement G20 series last year (awesome clubs, by the way), we were wondering how much longer we'd have to wait to wrap our hands around the successor to the i15 line.
The new i20 Driver features two tungsten weights along the rear edges, helping to enhance forgiveness and promote higher, lower-spinning drives. But what we really liked, from a design standpoint at least, is the matte black finish and the aerodynamic shaping. Black has never looked so darn good! At address, the rear section of the crown looks as though it reaches the ground (like the i15 did). We love that, as it lends a grounded, low-profile look without having to actually be a low-profile club. The face is actually a deep one, and yes, the tungsten weighting seems to make this PING's most forgiving "competition" driver yet. Better players who liked the i15 will notice a boost in forgiveness here, which is pretty incredible actually, since the i15 was forgiving in the first place.
Options: Comes in three lofts (8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°) with a wide variety of high-performance shafts to choose from.
i20 IRONS The beautiful new i20 irons are a mixed bag. Literally. The set is a progressive one, with more offset and a longer heel-toe profile in the longer irons, and a more compact, higher-face design with less and less offset in the mid and shorter irons. The result is as you would guess: the perfect blend of forgiveness and shotmaking capabilities. As for the tech, PING used a tungsten weight in the toe to better balance the head and lend more forgiveness, a tuning port to absorb vibration for a better feel and stabilizing bars for improved distance control.
Question is, what category do these irons belong in: game-improvement or advanced players? How about both? The i20 irons might be the best example of a true game-improvement set from which both better and average players will reap benefits. Average players will finally see what it means to have the ability to shape shots. Better players can enjoy some added forgiveness in the longer irons.
Options: Available in 3-LW in a variety of custom fits in stock or custom steel and graphite options.
i20 FAIRWAY WOOD When it comes to fairway woods, in our book, versatility and control are the two most critical factors (for us, at least). In the case of the i20 fairway woods, that's exactly what they promise. The matte black finish is here too, and a neutral head position and rear-perimeter weighting enables all sorts of workability. The CG is optimized for higher shots, making it a useful tool not only in the fairway but from the light rough, as well. Cosmetically, this club is already a winner, but what we really liked about it was the compact shape. Fairway woods don't need to be big; in fact, we've always preferred the smaller ones since they're easier to hit a variety of shots with. But, if that's not what you're looking for and you'd rather have a distance-oriented fairway wood, the G20 is a great choice. Lastly, we really like the stock TFC 707F graphite shaft. It had plenty of pop.
Options: Comes in three lofts (14°, 15°, 18°) with aforementioned shaft, Project X Black shaft or in a custom option.
i20 HYBRID Each i20 hybrid is designed with more clubface area lower on the head, making it easier to make solid contact, despite tricky or heavy lies. Other than that, you can pretty much sum up these hybrids as you would the fairway woods: compact, versatile and playable from just about anywhere on the golf course. By the way, many hybrid models available come with some draw bias, whereas the i20 does not. This is exactly what better players are looking for.
Options: Comes in 17°, 20° and 23° lofts, with TFC 707H graphite or Project X Black graphite shafts, or in custom options.