Ping continues its success in the game-improvement iron category with their new G20 irons. The engineering department at Ping had a huge task in front of them when they were asked to design something to outperform the popular G15 irons. With improvements in some key areas like feel, distance, and overall performance, the resulting G20 iron is shaping up to be one of the most forgiving and easiest to hit irons for the coming 2012 season.
While the look of the iron might not seem radically different than the G15, the benefits of the G20 lie deeper than just it’s looks. Materially, the G20 irons are still made of a very high quality 17-4 stainless steel that promotes solid shots and tremendous performance. The feel of the new G20 irons are much different from previous models because of the refinement of the Custom Tuning Port (CTP). Ping has used the CTP technology dating all the way back to their I3 irons. This version is described as “floating” in the back cavity, which allows for a thinner clubface, leading to more ball speed and distance. The primary CTP device is now partnered with two other multi-material “badges” that provide the softer feel and enhanced the overall sound of the club at impact.
While the G series has always been geared toward game-improvement and helping golfers hit more consistent, better performing shots, the G20 provides enhanced accuracy and better control than previous models. The change is due in large part to the increased moment of inertia (MOI). With the thinner face and a deeper cut in the back cavity, the engineers were able to lower the center of gravity and pull weight further back for added stability upon impact.
In addition to the changes in the club head, Ping has engineered a new steel shaft to work optimally with the G20 iron. The new CFS (Control, Feel, Stability) steel shaft was designed to increase the transfer of energy from the swing to the golf ball while providing better feel and trajectories. Available in soft-regular, regular, stiff, and extra stiff flexes, there is an optimal flex available for every golfer. Weights range from 94 grams in the soft-regular flex up to 114 grams in the extra stiff flex. As a graphite shaft option, the new TFC 169i is offered as the stock option. This shaft was designed with some of the same feel attributes as the CFS steel shaft, but with graphite, the player will experience a more active tip, thus producing higher initial launch. The TFC 169i is available in ladies, soft regular (senior), regular, and stiff flexes with weights ranging from 40 grams (ladies) to 84 grams (stiff).
Ping continues to do a great job with their G series irons by offering golfers a full array of club options to custom build his/her set. The G20 irons are available from 3 iron all the way through lob wedge (58*) so that golfers can create a set with fewer gaps in loft and better continuity in feel and performance. Pitching wedge loft on the G20 iron is 45 degrees, which matches up nicely for a 50 degree gap wedge option. For fitting purposes, standard length of the G20 7 iron is 36 ¾ ” and the well known color code options for lie angle are available from maroon (4.5 degrees upright) all the way down to gold (3.75 degrees flat).
A side-by-side test was run comparing a G15 7 iron with its stock AWT steel shaft to the new G20 7iron with its CFS steel shaft. Data was collected using TrackMan, a doppler radar based launch monitor, over a 10 shot sample size with each club. Both clubs were standard length and were properly fit for lie angle before the test started. The tester was fit for a red dot lie angle (0.75 degrees flat) using the Ping AFS Cart, which is available for fittings at Miles of Golf in the Cluboratory.
|Club||Ball Speed (mph)||Launch Angle (degrees)||Spin Rate (rpm)||Carry Distance (yards)||Dispersion (yards)|
|G15 7 iron||116.4||17.9||7150||159.3||9.6 left|
|G20 7 iron||117.9||16.8||7058||161.7||8.1 left|
All the technical data aside, the club still needs to perform, and the G20 delivers. TrackMan launch monitor data showed that the G20 had an increased ball speed by an average of 1.5 miles per hour. While initial launch angle and spin numbers were relatively similar, the increased ball speed resulted in an increased carry distance of about 2.4 yards while landing 1.5 yards closer to the target line. While the small jump in distance is nice, the tighter shot dispersion is much more valuable when it comes to irons. The tester also preferred the feel of the G20 iron to the G15 because it felt softer and more consistent, shot after shot.
Ping is continuing the long and successful G line with these irons. Looks wise they are fairly similar to the G15’s. Where we see the improvements is in the technology and performance. The Thinner face combined with the floating CTP port creates faster ball speed, better feel, and increased accuracy. The new CFS and TFC 169 shafts provide great stability and a great feel. One of the most important things you can do if you chose to purchase these irons, is make sure you get fit for the proper shaft, lie, loft, length, etc… And you can do that in the Miles of Golf Cluboratory.
Great to hear, Murray. You are a great example of exactly what Ping wants to showcase with their “G” series equipment. The i20’s look great but aren’t for everyone. It’s not a surprise that the G20’s were easier to hit and more consistently accurate.
I’m an 11 handicap, and play twice a week. In April I bought a set of Ping i20′s. I was so excited to have the clubs I pined for. The first thing I noticed is that I started hitting a trap draw, with side spin. I hit some of the best shots of my life. More, and more I noticed that I was leaving the ball right side, and when I started to aim mid green, the trap draw would occur more often than not. Here I was… trapped as a 11 handicap without knowing what was going to happen on any given shot. One day I played with a 4 handicap who had a set of G20′s. He was obviously better than me, and I asked him why he played the G20′s over the i20′s. He said the G20′s are more consistent and that he likes a vertical spin ball rather than a side spin ball. Well, he planted an evil seed in my mind, and every shot I mist hit, I could see where he was coming from. So, I save my cash, and hit it from my wife, and bought a set of G20′s for myself. So… the advice you about to hear is from a avid golfer who has BOTH sets of clubs.
The G20′s are tons easier to hit. The ball flights 20% higher. The longer irons are sooo much better that it’s weird. To be honest, the 9, W, U of the i20′s are better, but they are not much better than the G20′s. The 4,5,6,7,8 of the G20′s are light years better than the i20′s. I have the luxury of having the clubs of choice in my bag, but if I had to have only one set, I’d go with the G20′s – by far. The verticle spin of the G20′s makes the ball spin backwards, and the balls stop better on the green. In summation – Now I aim at the pin, and the ball mostly flies at the pin. I had 3 birdies the first round I played with them, all because I was nearer the pin.