Of all the new i25 range of woods, the Ping i25 hybrid has undergone the biggest change.
Better players need a hybrid to be a iron replacement that gives more forgiveness with low spin, rather than a mini fairway that gives more spin to get it up. This is where the i25 hybrid comes in as Ping have revamped it with a definite iron look thanks to the shallower face and squared off toe.
The head has been reduced in size and is now shorter and not as deep front to back as the previous Ping i20 hybrid and this is a good thing.
The i25 also has less bulge and roll on the face, which in laymen's terms means it is flatter. You may think that this is good and it is for shaping shots, but not for forgiveness, as bulge and roll is there to help correct the flight on off centre hits using something called gear effect.
Technical terms aside, it was a little less forgiving than the i20 but not so much as to make it unplayable. Indeed it is still easy enough for most single figure handicap golfers to get the ball up and away.
The feel of the i25 was very good and the smaller head gave a nice solid, low pitched sound at impact. The flight trajectory was good and a little lower than the 20 degree i20 using the 19 degree i25 hybrid that we were testing and that was not just because of the loft change.
The lofts on the i25 hybrids start at 17°, 19° and 22°, with the latter two a degree stronger than before. This also gives a chance for a fourth loft of 26° to be added to the range, which seems a little high for better player hybrids. To help with the flight there is also a progressive Centre of Gravity (CG) that moves forward as the loft goes up to manage the spin and flight.
This is all good, but most players will probably fall into the 19° or 22° versions as the 17° will be quite strong and more suited to those who like to use a hybrid off the tee a little more than the fairway. The tungsten weights on the sole help this strong flight, combined with the addition of a weight screw.
The crescent styling of the tungsten weights looks good too, but there is something missing from the styling on the crown. If you have seen our reviews of the Ping i25 driver and Ping i25 fairway you will notice the racing lines that have been added to the crown of these clubs to help with alignment. Alas they are not on the i25 hybrid because Ping say they won't fit, which I think is a bit of a shame.
What has made it on to the hybrid is the same Ping PWR shaft that appears on the other woods. The stock PWR 80 shaft in stiff flex is a little lighter than the equivalent TFC 707H, but there is a heavier PWR 90 shaft if you need it. This is important as the heavier the shaft the more it will create a flatter, fade biased flight, depending on where you start from.
I found the PWR shaft felt a little firmer and 'heavier' to use despite being lighter in weight, but as always make sure you go to a Ping fitter to get the right shaft and loft combination to suit your swing.
Unlike the driver and fairway there is also no adjustability on the hybrid, but that is not a big deal as the lofts are fairly close. What that gives you is a sleek, no-nonsense, clean looking hybrid that does the job very well.
Overall the i25 hybrid is a another quality better player hybrid from Ping. The neutral flight, sleek looks and strong flight make it a good all-rounder from the tee and the fairway and is definitely worth the upgrade from the i20.