- The PING G425 Driver family has landed on the USGA Conforming Clubs List
- There will be three models in the G425 Driver family
- Retail availability isn’t expected until 2021
If you’ve been paying attention to Most Wanted Driver testing over the last few years, you can understand why the PING G425 Driver is the one we’ve been waiting for. The good news is that it just popped up on the USGA Conforming Clubs list. The bad news is that if you’re holding out for the PING G425 Driver, you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer.
When COVID effectively shut down production at the golf equipment companies this spring, PING decided to delay its scheduled launches until 2021. That means no G425 Drivers this year.
A booming equipment market coupled with social distancing rules on factory floors is leading to significantly longer than average lead times for equipment orders. That’s especially true for companies like PING, who do 100% of their assembly in the USA.
Rather than compound the delays (for many brands, keeping up with orders means not falling further behind), PING is sticking to its plan to hold its G425 driver (and everything else) until early next year…mostly. The ripple here is that, while you won’t see it in the USA until 2021, other parts of the world, including Japan and Australia, will be able to get their hands on the G425 lineup this fall (as Australia rolls into its summer).
The PING G425 drivers are expected to be in play on the Japan tours this week. PGA Tour players will get a crack at them sometime in October.
For average golfers in the USA and Europe, January-ish seems about right. Sorry.
So with those unfortunate details out of the way, here’s a quick look at what’s on the USGA list.
3 PING G425 Driver Models
As has more or less been the case with previous releases, the PING G425 Driver lineup will feature three models.
PING G425 LST Driver
We can safely assume that the G425 LST is what it has been for the past two generations – PING’s lowest spinning model. I think it’s reasonable to say that the LST series has surprised PING by how well it has performed across the fitting spectrum.
I’m confident that if we surveyed our staff, the LST would be the #1 rated driver of the MyGolfSpy era.
The point of curiosity here is whether PING has done anything to further lower spin and create more separation within its lineup. That’s a possibility. The safer bet is that, with the G425 LST, PING has chosen not to fix what isn’t broken. One way or another, I expect PING to carry-on with arguably the most playable low spin driver on the market.
PING 425 MAX Driver
By name (and number), the PING G400 MAX is the oldest driver in the PING lineup. There was no equivalent for PING’s MAX(imum) MOI driver in the G410 lineup. In the G425 series, it’s the PLUS that’s the odd man out. I don’t expect that will change.
There will be no PING G425 PLUS driver. No worries, the G410 PLUS remains a damn good driver.
MAX is effectively replacing PLUS, and while we can’t share specifics, based on PING’s recent history in the driver category, we can reasonably assume that PING was able to push MOI high enough in its middle of the market offering that offering a PLUS and a MAX in the same lineup would have been a little confusing for consumers and plenty redundant for fitters.
When the details come out, you should expect MOI for the G425 MAX is going to be a big – likely market-leading – number. I can’t reasonably say that the PING G425 MAX will be the most forgiving driver on the market in 2021, but I’m confident that was PING’s objective.
PING G425 SFT
The quiet, perhaps underappreciated workhorse of PING’s driver family, the SFT (Straight Flight Technology) is PING’s slice killer; consistently producing the most left-side bias of all of the drivers we’ve tested since the first SFT hit the market.
The caveat is that Callaway’s Big Bertha B-21 reads like it has serious potential to kill spin with a fundamentally different approach. Still, until testing reveals otherwise, for golfers fighting a slice and desperate to take the right-side out of play, the PING G425 SFT will be the one to beat.
PING G425 Drivers – Other Observations
All three of the PING G425 Driver models feature adjustable hosels. The adapters and degree of adjustability will be unchanged from the G410.
The PING G425 LST and PING G425 MAX both feature adjustable weight anchored to the extreme rear of the club. You can reasonably expect that the iterations from G410 will play heavily in both the MOI and shot-shaping portions of the PING G425 Driver story.
In addition to the Tungsten weight (there’s always Tungsten), the USGA photos suggest a 3-position (draw, neutral, fade) movable weight. The span of the positions appears narrower than G410’s. The simple formula for the effectiveness of movable weight technology boils down to how much weight is being moved over how large an area.
With that in mind, I suspect PING is trading a little bit of range for a higher concentration of mass at the rear of the club. The result should be similar trajectory control paired with higher MOI. Whatever the performance result of the new design, it appears to function identically to the G410.
As I said, we should consider this an early preview. The PING G425 driver family isn’t expected to hit retail in the US until early 2021.
That kinda sucks, but if there’s any upside, I suppose it’s that you can score a G410 for $100 under the original asking price. That’s something, I guess.
More information as we’re able to share it.