(This Ping G25 driver review was added on Jun 5, 2014)
I think PING’s older irons aren’t much to look at, but I’ve always loved their woods and drivers. As soon as I read that the G25 driver won a Gold Medal on Golf Digest’s 2013 Hot List, I knew I had to try one.
The review of this PING driver is based on my experiences with a 10.5-degree club that was fitted with the stock shaft in regular flex. The driver is also available with 8.5-, 9.5- and 12-degree heads. The lofts of all four clubs can be adjusted by half a degree up or down.
This club represents the sixth generation in the company’s long-running “G” series, but it’s the first of the six that features a user-adjustable loft. The “G” series clubs have always been designed to be played mostly by average to high-handicap golfers, and the PING G25 driver fits smack into that description. Even so, Bubba Watson plays a custom pink G25 on the PGA Tour. PING has always been known for the consistent quality and performance of its clubs, and the G25 meets that standard too.
The face of the PING G25 driver is larger and the crown is thinner than those of the older PING G20. In fact, the G25 has the largest profile of any driver PING has ever made. It also has the lowest and furthest-back center of gravity and the highest Moment of Inertia (MOI) of any of PING’s current drivers. As a result, a good bit of forgiveness is built in and well-hit drives tend to fly high. The lightweight (53-gram) stock shaft has a high balance point and is intended to boost your swing speed. It’s also 45.75 inches long, which is up to an inch shorter than many other driver shafts.
PING calls its adjustable hosel system “Trajectory Tuning™.” A little wrench (it comes with the club) makes it easy to adjust the head’s loft. I played around with it some, but in the end I kept my test driver’s loft at the 10.5-degree setting because that’s the loft I normally play. You can adjust the loft up or down by half a degree, so I could have set mine at 10 degrees or 11 degrees if I’d wanted to.
The black color of the driver makes it look sleek, powerful and
confidence-inspiring, at least to me. I was impressed by its looks,
especially for a driver that’s user-adjustable. It looks ready to rip
as soon as it’s put behind the ball.
Once I hit the ball I realized that the PING G25 driver is a solid club. The shorter-than-normal shaft made the club easy to control and the ball flew high even though I’m not lucky enough have a fast swing. It was easy to find the sweet spot, too. Most of my drives went straight and high, but I was able to hit a draw when I wanted to (hitting an intentional fade was a bit more difficult).
When I flushed the ball it seemed to jump off the face, and it certainly went long enough. Sound at impact was (to me) solid and fulfilling. There wasn’t any of that “tin can” sound you get with some drivers. The feel was just as solid as the sound.
My off-center hits still flew pretty far, although there was some loss of distance. Generally, my miss-hits managed to go pretty straight.
As it almost always does with its clubs, PING hit one out of the ballpark when it created the PING G25 driver. If you’re an average to high-handicap player and you want some extra distance but need all the forgiveness that PING can provide, I think this would be an excellent driver to consider. Better players (like Bubba and his pink model, for example) can use it to work the ball, but it’s also a solid performer for the rest of us. The stock shaft is built for speed, distance and control. You can even adjust the loft up or down half a degree (by the way, when you decrease the loft you’ll also open the face slightly; when you increase the loft you close the face a bit). The only real drawback I see is its MSRP, which is $385. Other than that, the PING G25 driver makes it a lot easier to enjoy this challenging game. You could always look for one that’s been gently used.