Ping is one of the most innovative companies in golf, with a long history of ground-breaking products, from the first heel-toe-weighted putter to the original perimeter-weighted irons. The late Karsten Solheim, who founded the company 50 years ago, was dedicated to making the game easier and more enjoyable to the great mass of average players. That remains Ping’s mantra today.
The adjustable driver was not a Ping invention. In fact, it was a few years after TaylorMade launched the category before Ping offered its first version, The Anser, which I reviewed here a few months ago. Ping’s next iteration of adjustable driver, the G25, just debuted, and I found it to be a big improvement over its slightly older brother.
First, some similarities: The G25 and The Anser are made of the same titanium, and both are available in four set lofts—8.5, 9.5, 10.5, and 12 degrees—each adjustable half a degree more or less, effectively opening or closing the face slightly. The hosel that connects the shaft to the head, and is the key to adjustability, weighs the same as the hosel on the company’s fixed-head drivers; a heavier hosel would negatively affect feel and performance.
As I wrote in that earlier review, Ping is not a “me-too” company, meaning it follows another manufacturer’s lead only when it can bring something new to the party. Ping’s new idea with The Anser was to match club-head adjustability with shafts of different weights. The G25 is available with only one shaft choice, but it feels great and has been built for speed. That and a number of other changes make the G25 a more forgiving and consistent club.
Most noticeable is the head shape, slightly elongated to be more aerodynamic and boasting a very big face. This design, topped by a very thin crown, repositions weight around the perimeter of the head and moves the center of gravity lower and further back than in any previous Ping driver. The result isn’t only straighter shots—having tested it, I can attest to its forgiveness—but also low spin rate and high-trajectory shots, which taken together produce more distance.
I hit The Anser and G25 together and the differences were immediately obvious. The G25 has a lighter, faster feel, and once dialed in with the optimum specs it markedly narrowed the range of my misses.
Part of what makes Ping clubs work so well is club-fitting. Numerous shaft flexes, lengths, and grip sizes are available, and it’s easy to test different combinations side-by-side. Working with an experienced fitter, I hit many G25 configurations and could see the results both in the air and on the launch monitor. The differences were most dramatic when I tried the G25 with a shorter shaft: The standard shaft is 45.75 inches, half an inch longer than the standard Anser. Shortening the club just that little bit radically affected the feel of the club as well as the drives.
If you’re thinking of taking the G25 for some test drives, do so with a trained Ping fitter. In fact, no matter what driver (or other clubs) you’re considering, take advantage of whatever fitting the company (as well as your favorite pro or off-course store) offers.
And if you are in the market for a new driver, I strongly recommend trying the G25. Even if you’re not in the market, give it a go: I think you’ll like it.
Having learned from its first adjustable driver, Ping made some smart improvements to its new model
By: James A. Frank