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Game Improvement Iron with Great Look and Feel with Forgiveness

A Review On: PING G30 Irons

PING G30 Irons

Rated # 49 in Irons
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Pros: Cosmetically pleasing, high launch with increased distance, forgiveness with feel, easy fitting system

Cons: Less workability

I recall my first experience with Ping irons. They were rental clubs that I used quite a few years ago when I made a trip home and did not bring my clubs. I do not recall what the model was, but I remember looking down and thinking they were huge. I remember that they played pretty well, but there was a distinct lack of feel in them. I’ve never given Ping a serious look when shopping for irons because of that memory. Aesthetics are big factor with me in selecting golf clubs.



I am currently playing Mizuno MP-60 irons, but I still have a set of Mizuno MX-23’s that I am quite fond of. I previously owned a set of Adams A2-OS irons and switched to the Mizuno brand due to lack of feel and the larger appearance of the Adams irons, although I did like the semi-hybrid 5 and 6 irons as well as the hybrid 3 and 4 irons. I expected a similar look and feel from the Ping G30s but was pleasantly surprised when I saw them. Perhaps it’s the darker finish, but they do not look like the massive and clumsy clubs that I rented way back when, and they have a sleeker appearance than the Adams A2-OS.




They are just nice looking clubs all over. The have a sleek modern design that is pleasing to the eyes. Previous Ping irons had a highly noticeable line where the shaft meets the hosel. In the G30s, there is a curve there which makes it stand out much less. There is also a ¼” groove in the bottom of hosel close to the heel of the club. I’m not sure is there is a technical reason for this if or if it simply for aesthetics.




Now that I am over my impression of these as big clumsy irons, I will move on to how they play. As a 15 handicap, I need a fair amount of forgiveness. I make decent contact most of the time, but I find that less than decent contact will really hurt me with my current Mizuno irons. An off center strike will cause a stinging vibration in my hands and the ball flight can go anywhere. They have a nice feel on shots from the center of the clubface, but that doesn’t happen nearly as often as I like.


Ping claims that G30 irons provide more distance, forgiveness, with a higher trajectory.


From Ping.com


“Progressive lengths and lofts and a thin face will help you launch the ball high yet significantly farther, while still providing the added control you need to consistently attack the flag. Faster ball speeds are provided by a Custom Tuning Port that sits very low and supports a thin face. The CTP and a low-back CG optimize launch and forgiveness while ensuring a solid feel. Slightly longer heads also boost MOI, and a new sole design ensures solid contact.”


Although I am finding only modest distance gains, the rest of their claims seem to be valid. My misses left are right are significantly less with these irons. My friend even commented that I seem to be throwing more “darts” into greens. The trajectory certainly seems higher, and my wedge shots are hitting the green with more bite. A few have actually backed up a bit which is quite unusual. Perhaps the overall length of my shots has not increased, but instead, shots have more carry and less roll. I certainly feel more confident that I can play shots to the hole which comes in handy for front pin positions or a back pin that is on an upper tier. A bad miss hit will still produce a bad result, but there is nothing in a club that will fix a thinned lob wedge from taking a line drive over the green.


The long irons have a more penetrating flight than I am used to. I played a 4i over a pond filled with tall cat tails the other day, and it took off like a laser beam right towards the hole. It ended up just a foot or so off the green when I thought it would be 10-15 yards off the green as well as I struck it. It seems that even the longer irons still land soft. They still have a nice feel with well struck shots and even some not so well struck shots.


Technical Information


Here are the loft settings from Ping:


2014-08-29 09_00_28-PING.jpg


Comparing these to standard iron lofts, the 4 iron is about where a typical 3 iron is and so on. The wedge lofts are pretty close or dead on to standard except the LW which is 2 degrees stronger like the longer irons. When looking at this information, I would expect the ball’s trajectory to be lower with the same iron, but quite the contrary is true. Even the 7i which has the biggest difference in loft at 2.5 degrees launches higher. It is quite baffling how they achieved this, but they are true to their claim of more distance with higher trajectory. I was playing with another Sand Trapper the other day in a scramble and had him hit the SW into a green. He was amazed at how high the ball went. I have also tried SLDR irons which have even higher launch. As a matter of fact, the launch was so high that it seemed uncomfortable. Strengthening the loft was a great call by Ping. As I get older and my swing is slowing down, the additional length and height of shots is beneficial.















































The heads on the G30s were also made longer to increase moment of inertia (MOI) which theoretically increases forgiveness by resisting angular twisting of the clubhead. I do not have a way to measure this, but off-center strikes seem to be less noticeable in feeling and ball flight. The size does not seem to be overly large to my eyes.


There is also a soft elastomer badge on the back of the club that is claimed to enhance sound and feel. I will pass on removing it for testing and take their word. Again, they do have have a nice sound and feel whatever the technical reason might be.


The more rounded front edge of the sole helps to keep the irons from digging into the turf. I am noticing smaller divots as these clubs do not cut into the turf as harshly. They also seem to glide through the rough easier in the rare occasion that I am playing from it.


There are 7 shaft options for the G30 irons. CFS Distance steel shafts come in Soft Regular, Regular, Stiff, and X-Stiff. TFC 419I graphite shafts come in Soft Regular, Regular, and Stiff. There is a flex chart online to help you decide which would be the better option for you. Ping does a nice job putting information online so that you can research and be informed before heading to the golf shop even if you aren’t a gear-head.


Final Thoughts


I do not have much in the way of negative feedback on the G30 irons. If anything, I could hit a low draw to get out of trouble with my Mizuno irons and have some difficulty working the ball with the G30 irons. It is also a bit more difficult to keep the ball flight low with trouble shots. Additionally, I cannot say that my scores are significantly lower since playing them, but I do believe that my iron shots are better. In all fairness, I’ve only had them a few weeks and with more time will most likely figure out how to work them better.


There are some other benefits that I would like to mention. The Ping fitting system ensures that you get the right lie angle if you follow the fitting system. One of the problems with cast game improvement irons is the risk that they will break when having them adjusted. I remember cringing as I had my brand new Adams A2 OS irons bent years ago. Fortunately they didn’t break, but the professional was only comfortable taking them 1 degree flat which left them a tad upright for me. With the Ping system, I have a cast game improvement iron that is properly fit for me. The color code chart is easy to follow and requires 2 simple measurements, your height and the distance of your wrist to the floor. After just a few minutes, I was able to confirm that I am a purple dot which is 1.5 degrees flat which is consistent with previous fittings I have had. Here is a link to the online color chart to find your proper fit.




It is a small thing, but I like that they put the iron number on the face of the club (see image below). This gives you another check to make sure you didn’t pull the wrong club. It’s not something that happens very often, but it never ends up well when it does other than by accident.






I would definitely recommend these especially for the mid to high handicap golfer looking for more forgiveness in a game improvement iron. The use of a forgiving club can actually allow a player to work with an imperfect swing, so I would definitely recommend monitoring your swing with the guidance of a PGA professional. I can even see a better player using these. They have an excellent look and feel and the play very well. The price tag is also very competitive for a full set of irons.


They do look nicely slimmed down from earlier G-series irons. I know a few people with G15s and they love 'em, but they make me want to vomit.
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