PING irons are well-loved by the golfing community. Their usual forgiveness means they are a feature for a lot of golfers’ bags – particularly those of a higher handicap.
Though, you may not know that PING was going for 10 years before its first iron came out. After being founded by Karsten Solheim in 1959, PING released its first club which was a putter.
A decade passed before irons became part of PING’s offering too. So, let’s have a trip back in time to look at PING irons by year, what makes them so special, and how you can choose the right set for your game.
List of PING Irons by Year
We went through the PING archive to find a list of all PING irons by year:
|PING iron release dates||PING iron|
|1969 – 1976||Karsten I, Karsten II, Karsten III, Karsten IV|
|1984||Eye2 EZ Lite|
|1985||Eye2 Square Groove|
|1994||Zing 2 BeCu|
|2000||i3 O Size|
|2004||S 59 Tour|
Will There be New PING Irons in 2023?
PING has already released some new irons in 2023. The G430s provide significant distance gains without impacting the forgiveness that PING is renowned for. They were released on January 26th. You can check today’s price on GlobalGolf.
Top PING Irons Sets Over The Years
PING Irons from the 2000s
The i3 irons, which come in blade or O Size options, featured new technology at the time for PING – Custom Tuning Port (CT). This got rid of unwanted vibration and also meant the weight of the club head could be controlled so hosel weights or shaft weights were not necessary.
G2 HL Irons
At the time it was the most forgiving iron PING had produced thanks to extreme perimeter weighting. They are brilliant game improvement irons. The club enables high-launching shots that would land gently. The year following its release (2004), it was the highest-selling iron in the United States too.
The Rapture irons came out in 2006. They were the first irons made by PING to have multiple materials in their construction. It meant the club had the highest MOI that PING had created at that stage and they were well-loved.
PING Irons from the 2010s
G Max Irons
This club took over the reins from the Karsten iron in 2015 to be the new huge PING iron in town. It comes with lots of forgiveness and the COR-Eye technology encourages faster ball speeds. So, those with a slower swing can make some extra gains.
The G400 irons, released in 2017, featured face-flexing technology for higher and faster launch on your shots. At the same time, there is stopPING power in the forgiving club.
Released in 2019, these irons are great for low handicappers. They are very workable, consistent, and offer a great sound and feel. They aren’t as forgiving as other PING golf irons but they do allow for more control.
PING Irons from the 2020s
These irons are best suited to golfers with a mid-range handicap. PING replaced its previous Core Eye Technology and opted for a design made in a metal-wood style. That helped create the fastest ball speeds in the G range when it was released. It also has ample forgiveness.
Read more: PING G425 Irons Review
The slick design of the i59s comes with workability and a great feel. Low spin can be produced for longer as it is a long iron. Though it isn’t a club that suits beginners and it comes with a premium price too.
These irons are another expensive set but for good reason. The i525 irons provide good forgiveness levels for a blade iron, they maintain ball speeds well, and they help produce consistently accurate shots. It is a fair shout that they are some of the best PING irons in history.
PING Irons Timeline: How They Have Evolved and Improved
Let’s take a more detailed look at the evolution of PING irons by year…
After the releases of the Karsten irons, PING brought out new irons every few years over the 80s and the 90s.
Game-Changing i3 Irons
The turn of the century saw a changing of the game with the PING i3 irons as we touched on before. Not only did they incorporate the CT to control club head weight, but the irons also provided golfers with a choice between players iron and a game improvement iron for the first time. The irons also improved the feel of the club by ridding it of unwanted vibration – a feature which has remained with PING over the next two decades.
Change in Materials With Rapture
In 2006, the Rapture irons were also game-changing for PING. It was the first time that multiple materials featured in the form of a stainless steel body, a thin titanium face, and tungsten toe weight. This contributed to creating the highest MOI that PING had made.
This tungsten toe weighting continued in clubs such as the S57 irons three years later to increase the MOI in these clubs.
The G Series Dominance
First brought out in 2003, let’s revisit the PING G series irons by year. The G2 line featured the standard model, the EZ model for slower swing speeds, a ladies club, and a high-launching club.
The G5s were released in 2005 and the G10s in 2007 – both great game-improvement clubs.
The G25s (2013) saw changes made to the feel thanks to the vibration-dampening medallion on the rear of the club face. Unlike their predecessors that suited more mid to high handicappers, these irons suit any type of golfer.
Numbers rose with the G400 (2017) and so did the ball speeds and distance associated with the iron as a result of face-flexing technology.
2020 saw the rise of the G710 which, at the time, was not only the longest and most forgiving club in PING G series irons history but in PING iron history.
Following the ever-so-forgiving G425s, the G430s now enable even faster shots and more distance without altering the famous PING forgiveness levels.
20 years on, the irons are still firing strong across courses to this day.
Tips for Choosing the Right PING Iron Set for Your Game
You probably have lots of PING iron models and years running through your mind, so let’s simplify this a bit…
Be Mindful of Your Handicap
Your handicap can be a good indication of what PING iron will suit you best. Game improvement irons will suit the higher handicappers. That applies to a chunk of the G series, but in particular, the G710 irons should suit you very well.
If you wish to improve the intricacies in your game and you are of a lower handicap, players irons are your best bet. They suit those primarily looking for distance control, workability, feel, and sound. The Blueprint irons should suit a golfer like this to a tee.
That doesn’t mean if you are a higher handicap you can’t eye up irons that suit those of a lower handicap. You should still aspire to be the best you can and if part of that journey is aiming to play with a set of irons you love, you can make that happen. Just be mindful that if you get them too early, they won’t suit you as well as they could in the future.
Don’t Go Over Budget
You need to consider how much you are going to spend on new irons. Picture this: you could have found a set of irons that, on paper, look and read like they will enhance your game. You have practically fallen in love with them, then you check the price tag – $1,500.
The feeling of temptation is there, knowing it may be out of your budget. Our advice is to not break the budget or the bank for the irons.
There will be cheaper alternatives and the irons you like should be cheaper down the line too if you still want them then. You may want to take a look at where to buy used PING clubs if this sounds like you.
They Need to Look the Part in Your Eyes
If your new PING irons look the part, you will probably feel the part too. If you are feeling positive about the look and design of your latest irons, it should inspire confidence that you can and will use them to the best of your ability.
If you have a thick topline in your club as a high handicapper, it could provide some comfort knowing that your iron is more forgiving than other clubs. This will only help your mental approach to the round and your performance.
Otherwise, if you just have a set of irons that you aren’t encouraged by with a design you aren’t very keen on, you may lack confidence in your setup. This could impact your swing and the next minute you have sent the ball into a bunker. It’s a quick turn of events but it is easier to do than you think.
Now you are aware of the full history of PING irons – hopefully, there has been no stone left unturned.
You can even probably recite each PING iron by year… but we mostly hope that your takeaway is that you are now able to use the information wisely when choosing your next PING irons.
Go and enjoy your irons making that beautiful ‘PING’ sound…
How Can I Tell How Old My PING Irons Are?
The best way to find out the age of your PING irons is to find the serial number – usually on the hosel – and contact the PING Consumer Relations Department. Either ring (800) 474-6434 or fill in a contact form online. Give them the serial number and they can find a manufacturing date for you.
How Long Do PING Irons Last?
In general, golfing irons like PING’s last for around 8 – 12 years or roughly 300 rounds. Of course, factors such as iron quality, the amount you play, and how you look after your irons will impact the longevity of the iron.
Jack was inspired by his Grandad Ron's golfing and grew up playing this great game. Now, he enjoys both playing and writing about it. He is also a big sports fan too. Jack is always looking for ways to find the edge on the course to share with readers.