The new Ping G425 driver has finally arrived!
Having watched Tyrrell Hatton (see his What's In The Bag here) dominate at Wentworth in the BMW PGA Championship back in October 2020 with this new Batman-mobile-like driver, I have been waiting for this release for months so thank God it's finally here!
Since Tyrell's win, it has now found its way in to the bags of Tony Finau, Cameron Champ and many of the top LPGA players heading into the 2021 season. Should it be going into my bag, but more importantly should it be going into yours too?
The Ping G410 was the driver many of the other top manufacturers were trying to emulate, and I felt that it was the most forgiving driver on the market, especially when compared to the other offerings from the 'big four'.
So how are they looking to improve on such a high-performing driver in the G410? Well, Ping have combined two technologies from the G400 and G410 to produce the new G425. They say it’s faster, more forgiving, longer and will suit all types of golfers. Let's get into it.
What's It All About?
Ping are going all out with 'extreme weighting' in order to improve their drivers for 2021. The G400 had a fixed weight at the back, and then in the G410 we saw the first moveable weight in a Ping driver for greater adjustability.
The G425 however, features a heavier moveable weight along a shorter track at the back of the head, which is said to maximise ball speeds and improve the centre of gravity without sacrificing any forgiveness.
Ping has added a new Face Wrap technology, which is a single piece of miraging steel that wraps around the cup face. This provides 100% face flex with a purported increase of 1.5 mph in ball speed. Basically, as the face wraps around the crown and sole more it increases the area that flexes, resulting in higher ball speeds.
Another big change worth highlighting is the face shape itself, it has been changed from a traditional circle to more of an ovoid (egg) shape. This shape captures those mishits from the top and bottom of the face better, and therefore keeps the spin numbers closer to a strike out of the middle for more consistency across the face.
Usually strikes from the bottom of the clubface have increased spin, and strikes from the top of the face have lower spin. This new shape is said to equal those numbers out more.
Ping has made some pretty bold claims around the forgiveness of their driver from the G410 to the G425. The new weighting is said to add 7% of forgiveness in the neutral setting, 16% in the fade setting and 20% in the draw setting, whilst ball speed is also said to be increased with a T9S+ forged face, and is also "rougher" in order to reduce spin.
In the aesthetics department there is a lot of change too. The red is gone and a more sophisticated slate and black colour scheme suggests more strength and quality in the product in my opinion. The turbulators and dragonfly technology are still a feature from previous drivers, with Ping claiming that they have improved dragonfly and ribbing inside the head help with acoustics.
There is also the addition of Arccos GPS tracking inside the grips. This has been a feature in Cobra equipment for years, and now Ping have included them throughout the G425 range. In fact, even if you just buy a driver you can contact Ping to get the tags for your other non-Ping clubs too.
Seems too good to be true? Remember that all of the data capture companies can get in real time play (not robots or just tour players) is vital for them to see how their product performs and where they need to get better in the future.
There are three head options available for the new Ping G425:
Ping G425 Max Driver - 460cc sized head with 9,10.5 and 12 degree lofts
Ping G425 LST Driver - 445cc sized head with pear-like tour shaping. Available in 9 and 10 degree lofts.
Ping G425 SFT Driver - 460cc size head, weighted in the heel to promote a straight flight for those who slice the ball. Said to be 10 yards further left in flight than G410 SFT and 25 yards further left than the G425 Max thanks to its 23 gram fixed weight in the heel.
I went to Ping in October to get fitted for the shaft length and type which best suited me in the driver. I wasn’t allowed to hit the G425 (it was top secret back then) but I did trial the G410 heads and found the LST 9 degree was best suited to me, with a Ping Tour 65 shaft. So when I received the G425 Driver it was the LST model with the same shaft, giving me the club that is best suited to me so that I could give a true evaluation.
I compared the driver against the G410 LST inside at LSH Auto, Mercedes Benz Stockport using Trackman 4 and Titleist Pro V1x balls. I then visited Reddish Vale Golf Club to test it out during a few different rounds to see whether it was worthy of a spot in my bag.
You can watch my full review via the Golfalot YouTube channel here:
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Ping G425 LST Driver Review
Looks and Feel
Straight away the look of the G425 driver ticks all of my boxes! If you've read any of my driver reviews before then you'll know that I love a matte black, traditional, compact head shape with a simple design. Ping has delivered all of this.
The turbulators are softer, the colour has switched from a silver-grey to slate/black which is very classy, and reminds me of the Batmobile.
It's a bit of a throwback to the old Ping Anser Driver days, which was my favourite driver to play back when I was a Ping contracted Tour player.
Never underestimate the feeling of comfort in golf, it’s a place where we all play our best. I have comfort when holding and looking down on a Ping club, that looks like a traditional Ping golf club.
It’s been with me from the range sessions on a cold January night to the first tee of a US Open when you can’t feel your hands due to nerves, and you are breathing so heavily that you barely hear your name being announced. For every professional drive I hit on tour I had a Ping driver in my hand. And it never let me me down - the ultimate fairway finder.
Ping say that you hit the ball further when it lands on the short grass and that is where they focus their technology and R&D. But as someone who considers themselves an accurate driver of the ball, could it also help me start gaining a few more yards?
It also sounds like a Ping, it’s loud, high pitched and has that distinctive noise that everyone can relate to. This hasn't really changed from the last couple of driver models in my opinion. Just like they say that 'nothing feels like a Mizuno', I would also add that nothing sounds like a Ping either.
Hitting the G425 Driver indoors on the Trackman, I'd describe it as 'sneaky long'. My swing wasn't at it's best during the testing session, either speed or strike wise, but a few shots creeping out to 134 mph ball speed despite only a 90mph swing speed showed that there was the potential for some serious numbers when I was back up to my usual 92/93 mph.
If you compare this to the Titleist TSi3 driver, which was one of the best I tested throughout 2020, a 90mph swing speed produced 133mph ball speed with 219 yards carry (243 yards total), which is exactly the same as what I was producing with the Ping G425 during this test.
Bear in mind when testing that ball speed can easily relate to swing speed and how you are feeling in yourself on that particular day.
Ping state that the new G425 LST has on average 200rpm less backspin than the G410 LST. I did find this to be true in my testing also. When I removed a couple of mishits from each set of results, the G410s was averaging more than 2800rpm, whereas the G425 was just over 2500rpm on average.
The Ping G425 was very marginally longer in the air (2 yards) but the max ball speed on both drivers was exactly 136mph. These clubs were very similar inside on the trackman, and if I was to be completely honest I would say that my best shots came with the G425 but so did my worst.
The toe strike left was a noticeable flaw, which was down to me but the forgiveness wasn’t saving me as much as I'd perhaps have hoped.
Out on the course, the noise is still notably high pitched compared to other manufacturers and I don’t think Ping have dampened it as claimed, but as I said earlier I don’t think they should.
Looks and performance are far more important to me than sound, if a ball sails down the middle of the fairway do you care about the noise? If you are new to Ping, it would get some getting used to especially at the driving range or in the trees where it will echo. But I'm sure if it gets you hitting more fairways, it'll quickly be forgotten.
I decided to hit four balls off the first tee at Reddish Vale, two with the G425 and two with the G410. The G425 was a noticeable 10 yards longer when I reviewed the outcome on the fairway ([see video review for evidence.])
I did the same on the 3rd hole, and the G425 was longer again. However one ball went left and out of bounds. This was my closed club face, and although it didn’t feel too bad it was still Oscar Bravo. Which begs the question, has the lower spin made the club less forgiving?
Changing the new weight around in the back of the head did exactly what Ping said, even I hit a baby fade and on a day that the left of the golf course was getting a lot of action (due to my shut club face), this was pleasing to see and impressive stuff.
In fact when I took the driver out with my friends I missed the first few drives left, then took the key out and switched the weight to fade and it straightened up my flight for the remainder of the round (remember you can only change your weights during a friendly round, not in a competition).
Ping G425 Driver Verdict
The main thing that I have discovered from this testing is the weight shifting really does affect ball flight, so if you have unwanted curvature on your golf ball make sure you test out these drivers.
Ping's stability through the golf ball is what they are famous for. Their claim of a 25 yard reduction in your slice with the SFT compared to the G425 Max seems a lot, but if my testing on the LST's adjustable weight is anything to go by then you can’t just dismiss the argument that a golf club can’t save your slice. That's 'save', not 'fix' - there's a difference.
There are no tricks on the G425, no fancy bits hanging off, no 'out-there' names or colours. It’s a simple and premium looking driver which will suit all ranges of golfers. Will it find its way into non-contracted players' hands on tour? Possibly the ones looking for fairways rather than distance, which suggests that if you are struggling to hit the planet with your driver then you should be giving the G425 a go.
It's incredibly good looking and 'sneaky long', but yes it's also loud. I think some better players have been fooled into the idea that a loud sounding club means it must be for higher handicappers, but that's simply not the case.
Who Is It Aimed At?
If you are the player that struggles off the tee with finding a fairway then you have to try Ping G425 drivers, I can imagine the Max model being a huge win for a lot of players. They are still the most reliable in that area and now looked to have sneaked a touch more ball speed too.
Would I Use It?
I always wondered if I changed driver would I gain more distance whilst on tour and I believe I would have. I think TaylorMade and Callaway used to produce faster ball speeds and when I had a go every now and then it usually backed that up.
But they were certainly more wayward than the Ping. Now I think Ping are addressing this, they’ve nailed the stability and are starting to find a few more yards too. Looks like a winning combination...
- Fantastic looks
- Toned down turbulators is an improvement
- Head shape will suit better players' eye
- Weight adjustability worked well to aid ball flight
- Three models and adjustable weighting and hosels means something for everyone.
- Not as forgiving as others in the range
- Some may be put off by the sound as not as damp as claimed
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