Ping was quiet throughout 2020 (we'll not talk about why), but they’re back with a bang for 2021.
The launch of the highly anticipated G425 range is finally here and the whole Golfalot team is excited. Now we could have all guessed the name as Ping like to keep things consistent and as the old adage goes: 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.'
When you think 'Ping G iron range' you immediately think distance and forgiveness but also, “I’ll see a lot of these sets in the hands of players at my golf club”.
With the new G425 irons, Ping are aiming for a longer, higher, more forgiving iron with a better look and feel than ever before. They say “this iron is unparalleled by anything else in the market place.“
Time to find out whether it's been worth the wait and whether these claims are really true.
What's It All About?
Ping has tweaked quite a lot with the shaping of the G425 iron compared to the G410. It features a smaller head than G410 but still manages to keep a similar sole and bounce. This sleeker profile means it is also easier on the eye behind the ball and also helps shelf appeal. Ping have gone out of their way to make the G425 look premium and well made.
The head features Hyper 17-4 steel, in which the strength has increased by 10%, which means G425 has the most flex deflection from a cast design Ping have ever produced.
The old core design in the head has gone, Ping have replaced this with the same technology seen in its metalwoods - also known as Metalwood VFT. By introducing this pretty big shift inside the head of the irons, surprise surprise, Ping are chasing even more distance and ball speed than ever before.
In an attempt to improve the overall sound and feel of the G425 irons, multi-material badging has been introduced also. This is an aluminium design with ABS material for a more consistent feel and dampened vibrations at impact. This is an area in which we thought the G710 irons let themselves down a little. On top of this, it should help in looks department as the back of the head looks less hollow, packing out the cavity nicely.
'Extreme weighting' also features. This is basically a pair of high density tip weights in the toe (the visible screw) and another one hidden inside the hosel on the end of the shaft. Because of these improved weighting placements, Ping state that this iron has 3% higher moment of inertia than the G410.
The Hydropearl 2.0 finish, first seen in the G710, features once again - a resilient, hard wearing finish with better feel and spin in all turf conditions and environments. We've tested this before and it's especially good in the wet at keeping spin high.
New in the G425 also, the wedges feature the same machined face and grooves as the Glide 3 wedge for increased spin and precision.
Finally, Ping have jumped on board with the likes of Cobra and have stuck the Arccos - GPS tracking system inside the grips. This allows the golfers to track real time data as well as giving Ping the ability to look at this data and improve their next set of irons based on where you and I are struggling.
All of these technologies aim to add a touch more distance than the G410 but the biggest improvement is eradicating the long left and the short right shots and improving the consistency with the G425 irons. Amateur golfers are said to see more of a tour players performance of missed left and right, not short and long.
I firstly hit the irons thoroughly inside on the Trackman 4 at LSH Auto, Mercedes Benz, Stockport using Titleist Pro V1x’s and then headed out to play a few holes at Prestbury Golf Club. Nice and simple.
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Ping G425 Irons Review
Looks and Feel
Let me start by saying I think the G425 looks like an older 'Ping i' (i10, i20, i25) shape from above at address and more like a 'Ping G' (G15, G20, G30) iron underneath and behind. The length of the blade is smaller than the G410 as is the top edge. The hosel moves cleanly into the face and head - there is an offset but its not strong and therefore won't put off better ball strikers. All in all the G425 looks very pleasing and very playable.
As with the shaping, the colour scheme has been toned down considerably too. The flashes of red in the G410 have disappeared and following on from the metalwoods and hybrids, a more contemporary black and grey comes into replace it. The design is simple but elegant and the multi-badge at the back of the head makes the head look clean and strong.
You aren’t looking down on this club and thinking ‘game improvement’, at all. I like how the G425 look and feel, they aren’t clumpy, too hot and sound alright.
Special shout out also to Ping for offering game-improvement iron set with wedges that aren’t like shovels. Ping have thought about styling their long irons differently to their wedges. So many times I have tried cavity back irons that look ok in a 6 iron and then I grab the wedge and think “what on earth?” ”how do I use that!?”.
Not this time, the wedges looks great and with the Glide 3.0 technology they were very workable when hitting half shots, chips and bunker shots. It’s nice to know Ping aren’t neglecting the precision part of the game. However I can’t say these clubs are true distance irons either, which leads me nicely on to...
Firstly, compared with the last set of game-improvement irons Ping released that I tested (G710), the numbers I produced on Trackman were notably down in terms of distance, as well as compared to TaylorMade SIM Max and OS. I would say this club is trying to be in line with the TaylorMade Max category-wise, but was around 5 yards shorter on average. The lofts difference on a 6 iron is 25 degree SIM Max and Ping is 26.5 so this could explain it. But spin and height was better on the SIM Max. I also grabbed a TaylorMade P770 from the Golfalot lockup and they produced nearly exactly the same numbers as the G425 which is interesting.
Ping wanted to keep the 'best and worse' distances closer together, the difference was 11 yards in the G425 and 8 yards in the SIM Max, in fact every area was more consistent in the TaylorMade than the Ping, apart from the dispersion left and right which is something Ping have always been excellent at - unbelievable club face stability at impact.
I can’t help thinking that the new compact shape and loft is hindering the distance compared to other game-improvement irons, but as I say - dispersion was impressive.
A huge positive for me was 100 yard shots and in with G425. These clubs are a massive improvement for feel and precision. I controlled flight, distance and managed to spin a few back into tight flags on the short 6th hole at Prestbury GC.
I then dropped a few balls around the greens for chipping with a wedge and 8 iron. I never once got the trampoline effected strike that I usually get in an oversize club (but this isn’t too oversized remember). I nearly holed a few too...
Shots from the tee were easy to shape in flight and curve with a bit of help in the strike when I caught one heavy.
Out of the rough it was ok in straightness but again it didn’t pack the punch in distance in certain scenarios.
Ping G425 Irons Verdict
All of my testing suggests that this is a very good midway iron, similar to a TaylorMade P790 rather than a max 'distance iron'. Which makes me think, are Ping going to bring another iron out or market the G710 more in this area? The G has become smaller, softer and more compact over the generations, and when you think the eye 2 was a phenomenon then maybe they’re onto something...
It’s a decent looking performance iron and Ping have thought about each of the irons individually. Massive bonus to have the same technology in the wedges as their speciality wedges used on tour by the likes of Lee Westwood. Ping have shown once again that they value all abilities of the game in their products.
I thought it looked and felt too good to be a distance iron, and it is. Ping have always made great cavity back irons which cater for the mass market and this iron will sell very well once again as just that.
Who's It Aimed At?
This is a really hybrid iron in my opinion, which will suit a wide range of handicaps, I expect this to make it into the bag of anyone with handicap 25 or below, even a single figure player who struggles at times with the launch and strike of their irons.
It’s an iron than can last the journey of improving golfers (or declining golfers for that matter), the golfer getting better or stronger as well as being a good replacement for a player looking to leave the forged iron market.
If you are a shorter hitter or higher handicapper that wants the club to do the work for you then there are longer irons on the market. If that's what you're after go and buy the Ping G710’s.
On a final note… The i210 is gamed by Lee Westwood, Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton, we would all expect them to use Ping iBlades or Blueprint blades, but they don’t. My point is I think G425 is the iron which will do the same in the amateur game - more players should use it instead of the i210. Maybe it’s worth playing what you should rather than what you think you should.
That being said, with the improved shelf appeal of these irons and the nice addition of Arccos I can see plenty of players giving them a try.
Would I Use It?
I could easily play this iron, but I don’t think I would reap the benefits. As I could get the same distance out of a slightly more players iron like the Ping i210’s.
- Looks better than any other distance iron on the market
- Straightness of flight is brilliant
- Wedge face is the same as a Glide 3.0 and because of this feel is great
- Consistent performance across the board
- I found it not to be as long as Ping made it out to be
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