The Ping i20 Driver
What Ping has to say….
The 460cc head is built from Ti 8-1-1, a light low-density alloy that enabled PING engineers to optimize weight distribution for increasing forgiveness. Dense tungsten sole weights elevate MOI across the clubface and position the CG for low-spin, penetrating trajectories and long, accurate drives.
The aerodynamic crown is engineered to reduce drag for maximizing clubhead speed and ball velocity, resulting in greater distance. The i20’s striking matte-black finish absorbs light to eliminate glare and reflections.
Info from us…
Shaft Info – The i20 comes with 1 of 2 stock shaft choices: The Project X Black or the Ping TFC 707D. Our tester came equipped with the Project X Black which is the lighter of the 2. Project X shaft rates their flexes a bit different then most companies. Instead of the standard R, S, X they go with a number system to give players more choices; 5.5=R, 6.0=R/S, 6.5=S+, and 7.0=X. We got a 6.0 which should have been a 6.5. I think if we would have had the firmer flex Ian’s impression of the i20 would have been a bit different.
Ian, 13.5 Handicap:
It’s no secret that if you read our review of the Ping G20, that thing knocked my socks off. I may be playing an R11 right now, but that’s only because my Golfchops partner in crime Jason zoomed away with the G20 in his trunk giggling as I cried in his rear view mirror. I’m still convinced that is the best driver I have ever hit. With that said I was really excited when the new i20 from Ping showed up on the doorstep.
I’m not one that needs a “players” driver, but that G20 was just so amazing to me I expected this golf club to be nothing short of the space shuttle. Out of the box it’s a pretty angry looking golf club and I really liked that. A really cool black matte finish, with an all black stock Project X stiff shaft and black grip. I love Ping’s traditional approach on some things. It’s not white, it doesn’t come with a wrench or a bicycle pump, and you don’t have to take it to a fitting center for someone to set it up for you. Here’s the golf club, it looks bad ass and we hope you pound it.
Range: Well, we’ve given it a visual so now time to see what it does. Right out of the gate the first thing I notice is that this stock Project X Shaft, marked as stiff is really whippy. I remember how solid that shaft on the G20 felt through out the swing and this couldn’t have been more different. I actually had to visually check the shaft a couple times to mentally confirm there was an “S” on the shaft. Looking at Ping’s website I don’t see any specs on the shaft, which is weird, but it sure feels like one whippy stiff shaft.
Ball striking wise it just never clicked for me in two separate range sessions. In the first session I blocked it right on nearly every shot, in the second session I hit it better, but still had no predictable ball flight. Even when caught correctly on the center the club didn’t give the feedback or noise to think I got one well. When you flushed that G20 it seemed like the clouds parted and angels sang, but the i20 just gave me a slight mute pop no matter how or where I hit it. My only hope was that Jason crushed this thing so that I could take the G20 out of his bag.
Overall: Well, it was like owning a Ferrari and not being able to afford the gas. Its looks great in the bag, but I couldn’t hit it for the life of me. I’m usually into this pear shaped, “players” head look, but this one just never inspired any confidence in my stroke. When I stood on the tee with the G20 I was confident I was about to hammer the ball. With the i2o it was a guessing game for me.
Jason, 8.2 Handicap (Should be about a 20 given my play of late):
With the i20 in hand I have now played all of Ping’s last 4 driver offerings. I have to say that the i20 is by far the best looking of the bunch. When the G20 was first launched I couldn’t figure out why they chose to paint it grey. Now that I’ve hit the i20 I get it; the G20’s lighter color makes the head appear slightly larger giving higher handicapped players more confidence at address and i20 with its flat black head give the better player that classic pear shaped look that lets them know if they need to curve their tee shot around a dog-leg this club will do the trick.
After my first range session (before a round at The Home Course) I was not confident with what I was about to do. I must have hit about 15 balls with the i20 at the range that morning and not 1 of them was good. That all being said I had committed to playing the i20 for the entire round. I then proceeded to have one of the better driving days of my life with the i20. I hit 10 of 14 fairways and the thing is long! I was 300+ several times and on a cool early spring day I was very impressed.