The Ping i25 fairway is the next evolution of the range and is a little bit larger and more forgiving than the previous Ping i20 fairway.
Evolution is the word here as the technical differences in the head are small incremental improvements. The face is a little taller and thinner and that increases the ball speed marginally at impact. It also improves the sound which was nice and solid at impact and much better than the higher pitched i20.
One of the main visual features on the sole of both models is the two tungsten weights, which are heavier than the 17-4 stainless steel in the rest of the head. This improves the Moment of Inertia (MOI) or resistance to twisting of the club at impact and in the i25 fairway they have made the weights bigger to increase the MOI by 7%.
The head volume on the 3-wood is up 11cc on the previous model to 152cc, which is good, but it is still a mid-sized fairway so it will suit better players who can hit their fairways well. Certainly for the for size of the head, this is a pretty forgiving club with a reasonable margin for error and again this is an improvement on the i20.
That's the head tweaking out of the way, as Ping have been highlighting the other new features of the club, starting with how it looks.
Now it is not like Ping to get all excited over graphics, so when they do you know it is done for a solid reason. One of the most obvious visial features of the i25 fairway is the 'racing lines' alignment aid on the crown, which also appear on the Ping i25 driver we reviewed.
They are the width of a golf ball and remind me of the classic bonnet lines from a Ford GT40 as they line you up with the centre spot on the face.
Alignment aids have been around for a while, but this goes the full depth of the crown and really helps pick out the sweet spot to align the club correctly to the target. Maybe it's a visual thing, but they did look a little on the inside of centre for my eye. However, trusting Ping's judgement I did feel that they helped get more centre hits, which is the key for more distance and better accuracy.
The lines are subtly done on the matt black crown and if you don't want to use them then they should not distract you, so I think this is a good feature.
In another first, Ping have added their adjustable hosel to an i-fairway for the first time. The sleek design allows for a half degree loft adjustment up or down, so it is more fine tuning than big changes.
There are a range of heads with lofts of 14, 15 and 18 degrees so using the adjustable loft means you can get most lofts in this range. However I would see it more as a fitting tool to tweak the flight of your ball to suit your swing and make up for any slight variation on the actual loft of the club.
The only visual change as a result of the adjustability is that the hosel is a little shorter and thicker than the i20, but this is hardly noticeable at address.
Finally, Ping have added a new style of shaft called PWR for Performance, Weighting and Repsonsiveness. They design all their own shafts so you know that it should suit the club head and give you the best result, although other custom shafts are available through their excellent custom fitting process.
In the stiff version of the 3 wood shaft, the PWR 75 was 66 grams, which is 15 grams lighter than the TFC 707 that was in the i20. This did make the club feel lighter and the stability and performance gave a little more feel for my swing.
Overall the Ping i25 fairway continues the dynasty well and brings incremental improvements to a proven head design. The graphics on the crown are a simple but effective visual change that adds to visual appeal and performance of the club.
It will probably still appeal to the same target market of better single figure handicappers, as the G25 fairway offers more forgiveness from a larger head. So whichever you choose, you won't be disappointed.