PING G425 Fairway Woods, Hybrids and Crossover

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • More consistent spin through modified face roll
  • Increased model variety
  • MSRP: Fairway ($327.50), hybrid ($292.50), Crossover ($250)

The PING G425 fairway woods and hybrids focus on small improvements that serve as steps toward a larger goal. For those familiar with PING, this comes as absolutely no surprise. PING rarely makes egregious design mistakes. Then again, it rarely swings for the fences. The benefit of such an approach is that each subsequent release builds incrementally off the previous one. Major rebuilding efforts are rare and typically unnecessary.

PING’s design philosophy is clear: Maintain class-leading MOI (the basic measurement of forgiveness) and explore opportunities to increase performance in specific areas.

With the PING G425 fairway woods and hybrids, PING has two clear objectives. First, provide golfers with more consistent spin, particularly on thin shots. Next is to create more separation between models.

PING may not be the most exciting equipment manufacturer from an advertising and marketing perspective. That said, such a pragmatic approach is part of the reason why, in our surveys, PING tends to draw positive associations from readers regarding terms such as engineering, performance, integrity and humility.

PING G425 Fairway Woods

In terms of distance and ball speed, PING’s fairway woods and hybrids rarely rank among the leaders in annual Most Wanted testing. In 2019, the G410 SFT produced the tightest shot area of any fairway wood tested, a nod to PING’s emphasis on forgiveness. However, its ball speed was 19th (out of 24 models tested).

It’s probably not entirely fair to suggest speed isn’t a priority for PING. It’s more so that it hasn’t been enough of a priority so it was willing to increase distance at the expense of playability and forgiveness.

PING G425 Face Wrap and “Spinsistency”

With that as a backdrop, the two key design elements of the PING G425 fairway woods (and hybrids) are Spinsistency and Face Wrap.

Face Wrap is relatively straightforward and similar versions are in use by a majority of equipment manufacturers.

Face Wrap is a single piece of maraging steel that extends beyond the topline and leading edge, connecting to the crown and sole of the club. This is in contrast to a face insert design where a piece of metal (slightly smaller than the face) is affixed to the body just inside the perimeter formed by the sole, face and crown.

The benefit of a cup or wrap design is that it allows for more dynamic face movement which often translates into increased ball speed.

What’s clear is no one on PING’s marketing team suffers from a speech impediment. Honestly, try saying “Spinsistency” five times fast. I’ll wait. See, you can’t do it.

While more complex than Face Wrap, Spinsistency is a simple concept. The objective is to create more consistent spin regardless of impact location. Faces on metalwoods aren’t flat. The slight curvature is called bulge (heel to toe) and roll (top to bottom). As such, a fairway wood or hybrid has a different loft depending on where it’s measured on the face.

Typically, thin shots launch lower with appreciably less spin. It’s the nosedive shot all too familiar to amateur golfers. With the G425, PING altered the roll radius in order to retain more spin on shots struck low on the face.  Interestingly, the modified roll actually slightly decreases the launch angle. However, it retains enough spin to keep the ball in the air a bit longer. The net result, according to PING, is a 1.4-percent boost in MOI and an additional 1.5 mph in ball speed.

Again, PING isn’t making any wild distance claims or hyperbolic performance guarantees. That said, if PING’s internal studies translate to Most Wanted player testing, it’s reasonable to think the G425 might surprise some people this time around.

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PING G425 Fairway Models

Compared to the PING G410 series, the G425 line offers more separation between the three discrete models. But before we discuss differences, there are several commonalities to note.

Each model features PING’s Trajectory Tuning 2.0 that adjusts loft +/- 1.5 degrees and also has three flat lie-angle settings. You’ll also likely notice the absence of turbulators. Instead, PING places three light-grey dots that sit flush with the crown. Why three, you might ask? Well, the largest dot in the middle is in line with the geometric center of the face. However, some golfers prefer to line the ball up slightly toward the heel or toe depending on the shot. Thus, the two smaller dots.

Moreover, the turbulators didn’t have much functional value as an aerodynamic design element. They didn’t negatively impact performance and helped support a consistent look throughout the line. The crown sans turbulators, I’d argue, is a cleaner look at address that will likely appeal to more golfers.

The PING G425 MAX generates the highest MOI of the three models and should fit more golfers than the LST or SFT options. Compared to the G410, the G425 Max is up to 4.5 yards longer, according to PING’s internal testing.

The low-spin PING G425 LST targets the golfer who is looking to increase distance by dropping some spin. Comparatively, it spins roughly 200 rpm less than the G410 LST.

The G425 SFT (straight flight) is more draw-biased than the G410 SFT. PING puts the number at six additional yards of draw bias. All things being equal, this gives the G425 nearly 20 yards more of anti-slice flight correction than the PING G425 MAX.

PING G425 Hybrids

In terms of the tech story, the PING G425 hybrids mirror that of the G425 fairway woods. Face Wrap and Spinsistency. Rinse and repeat.

A little more MOI (four percent) and several additional yards of carry (3.5) make for a fairly compelling elevator speech.

Some will scoff at the notion of mentioning such a small increase in MOI. I get it. On one hand, four percent doesn’t sound like much. On the other hand, it’s still a net gain. This is quintessential PING engineering. Take the profit, even if it’s marginal.

The bump in carry distance is potentially more significant. As with the G425, a majority of the increase is due to the Spinsistency face design. As an aside, the hybrid market is trending toward more speed-centric rescue clubs. If PING wants to legitimately compete in this space, it needs a requisite amount of horsepower.

PING G425 Crossover

If there’s a golf equipment purgatory, it exists somewhere between fairway woods and whatever the longest iron is in a golfer’s bag. You have fairway woods that function more like hybrids and hybrids that are effectively uber-forgiving driving irons. Then you have larger, wood-like hybrids and more robust utility irons that look like small hybrids.

It seems that each club in this category is some sort of equipment cross-breed.

With that, the PING G425 Crossover is designed to be higher launching and a little longer than the comparable iron while still looking pretty much like an iron. The face is seven percent thinner than the G410 Crossover and produces a peak height roughly one yard higher.

The face on the G425 Crossover flexes more and behaves somewhat like a diving board. It’s not to the same degree but the lower portion of the face “hinges” and behaves more dynamically than the upper portion. Hence, the slightly higher ball flight

Additionally, PING boosted MOI by six percent and gave the G425 Crossover more curb appeal by way of a PVD “hydropearl” stealth finish. The upside of dark finishes is that they look sleek and polished. Also, as my wardrobe will attest, black is slimming. Well, hopefully. The primary drawback is that dark finishes such as PVD show wear faster than standard finishes.

If you’re the person who can’t stand stray marks on a chalkboard, you’re likely better off with a typical satin or chrome option.

PING G425 Stock Shafts

As with the G425 driver line up, PING has a reasonable array of stock shafts.

The PING ALTA CB Slate is the evolution of PING’s in-house ALTA line. It’s a lightweight, heavily counterbalanced option that should produce the highest launch (and spin) of any stock offering.

The mid-launch option is the Mitsubishi Tensei Raw Orange.

The PING Tour remains in the lineup as a mid-low launch option and the Adila Rogue While 130 fills the low-launch, low-spin slot.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Beyond the technical details and stated improvements, the G425 release marks the first time PING is offering Arccos grips as standard across an entire line. The message here is that performance tracking systems are quickly becoming integrated into the golf retail market. Arccos now is involved with three of the five largest golf manufacturers and I won’t be at all surprised if No. 4 and No. 5 sign on in the near future.

Forgiveness is a term golf equipment companies throw around as a nice catch-all meant to imply some degree of assistance on poorly struck shots.

But, ultimately, forgiveness is only a real benefit if it addresses a specific weakness in YOUR game. The move toward increased differentiation between models in a single line isn’t unique to PING. It’s becoming something of an industry trend.

That said, for golfers to really benefit from this approach, it’s necessary to take an honest assessment of your game to determine the technologies that best align with individual areas of improvement.

 

PING G425 Pricing and Availability

MSRP for all PING G425 fairway wood models is $327.50. The MSRP for the G425 hybrid is $292.50 and the MSRP for the G425 Crossover is $250.

Fitting and pre-sales start immediately. Full retail availability begins Feb. 4.

For more information, visit PING.com.