Is the Ping i20 Driver Still Good? – Is it Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“The Ping i20 driver came out over a decade ago. So is it still worth putting in your bag if you’re a high handicapper?”
Something that anyone reading this should realize is that when the Ping i20 driver first came out, it was intended for mid to low handicappers.
It was released alongside the Ping G20 driver which was the one that was geared more towards high handicappers.
But a lot has changed in the 11 years since the Ping i20 driver was released.
Features that were once considered ideal for lower handicap players seem to be making their way into modern game improvement drivers.
So we wanted to see how the Ping i20 fared in 2023 as a potential game improvement driver. We tested the Ping i20 for ourselves and recorded our findings in the following review.
Is the Ping i20 Driver Still Good?
“The Ping i20 is a 460cc driver with a squared face angle. So we’re off to a good start.”
At address, the Ping i20 certainly does look forgiving. It has a sleek finish coupled with a crown that was built to be aerodynamic.
Plus, the footprint is fairly large. One of the things we liked the most about the Ping i20 driver was that it gives you that classic Ping “crack” when you hit the sweet spot.
But is the Ping i20 driver still good in 2023? If you’re after distance more than anything else, absolutely.
Without getting into too much detail, (we’ll save that for the next few sections) the Ping i20 driver is moderately forgiving.
And when we say “moderately forgiving” know that we are comparing it to modern game improvement drivers.
In that sense, it certainly keeps up with modern GI drivers; but it doesn’t quite offer as much.
Is the Ping i20 Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“Tungsten weights have been placed in the head to help reduce spin and keep the CG low.”
When compared to modern GI drivers, the Ping i20 doesn’t feel as weighty in the back.
Instead, you feel the weight more towards the center of the head. This does two very important things.
Firstly, the weight still feels low which lowers the CG. This will allow higher handicappers to loft the ball for optimal distance.
The other thing the weight does is reduce spin. We were very impressed with the spin rates we were achieving at the range.
For our entire testing party, the Ping i20 was staying in the 2100 RPM range. We were impressed; but not surprised.
After all, this was a driver intended for lower handicappers when it first came out.
For high handicappers, the best thing about the Ping i20 is distance. The low spin coupled with the ability to work the ball high or low resulted in increased distance for almost all of our testers.
Mis-hits will still be punished with erratic flight so we can’t say that the Ping i20 is the most forgiving driver we ever tested.
Ping i20 Vs Ping G20
“If you’re looking for enhanced forgiveness, the G20 should be on your radar.”
The G20 features variable face thickness which helps stabilize heel/toe mis-hits. The launch of the G20 was slightly higher than that of the Ping i20.
So you lose some vertical workability but gain assistance if you have trouble flighting the ball.
Ping i20 First Impressions
“We really liked the sleek looks of this driver.”
It really looks nice in the bag and behind the ball. At address, you get the sense that the Ping i20 will play fast – and it does for the most part.
Club head speed was up slightly for almost all of our testers.
Ping i20 Selling Points
- 460cc club head volume
- Aerodynamic crown design
- Tungsten weighting
- Limited offset
- Durable design
Ping i20 Key Features
“The features of the Ping i20 driver are basic yet effective.”
Aerodynamic Crown: The crown sports a sleek matte black finish and is designed to cut through the air.
Deep Face Profile: The deep face profile allows for more forgiveness when you mis-hit down near the sole.
Tungsten Weighting: The tungsten weights allow for a lower CG while reducing spin rates at the same time.
What Handicap is it for?
“While the Ping i20 driver was intended for low handicappers when it first came out, we would say that in 2023, it’s actually more suitable for mid handicappers.”
The reason we say this is because if you can’t make consistent contact, you will miss out on the benefits that this driver offers.
When you make contact with the dead-center of the face, it’s not unreasonable to expect 12 – 14 yards of extra distance.
When you mis-hit however, you really don’t know what kind of flight, spin rate or ball speed you’re going to get.
So you need to be able to hit the sweet spot more often than not. However, the Ping i20 driver is a bit on the bulky side and isn’t super-workable. It looks really forgiving at address as well.
With all that in mind, we would say that the ideal handicap range for this driver would be 14-19. It offers moderate forgiveness and impressive distance gains on accurate strikes.
Plus, it’s very consistent.
So long as you make contact with the center of the face, you can expect a line drive down the fairway, strong flight and impressive distance – even for a driver that came out over ten years ago.
Ping i20 Driver Options
- 5°, 9.5°, 10.5°
- Ping TFC 707D shaft
- Stiff, regular, extra stiff flex
Who Should Buy the Ping i20 Driver?
“Is the Ping i20 forgiving for high handicappers?”
The answer to that question is yes, with a caveat. While it is moderately forgiving for high handicappers, it’s not the most forgiving driver out there.
Still, it will give you room to grow into it and serve you beyond your neophyte phase.