Pros: The shallow design of the G25 fairway woods makes them easy to hit off the fairway and the tee, and the look of the G25 hybrid is much improved over the driving iron-like G20.
Cons: They’re not adjustable, and might be too high spinning for golfers with a lot of clubhead speed.
The Bottom Line: The matte black finish and traditional shaping make the G25 fairway woods and hybrids are as good looking as any others. They’re also performers — the combination of a low, rearward CG and high MOI makes the G25 fairway woods some of the most forgiving available. The hybrids are winners as well, with progressive CG positions that creep forward to keep the higher-lofted hybrids from ballooning.
The G25 fairway woods have a higher launch, higher ball speed and more forgiveness than the G20. These changes were possible through the removal of weight from the perimeter of the faces. That not only made the club faces hotter and more forgiving, it allowed weight to be moved lower and deeper in the head. That created a higher launch and more forgiveness, particularly on shots hit low on the face.
The G25 fairway woods are available in 3 (15 degrees), 4 (16.5 degrees), 5 (18 degrees) and 7 (21 degrees) with Ping’s TFC 189F stock shaft. It comes in Soft R, R, S, Tour-Stiff and Tour X-Stiff flexes), and costs around $229.
Each of the new G25 hybrids, which are available is 17, 20, 23, 27 and 31 degrees, has a center of gravity that helps to create the ideal ball flight. In the low-lofted hybrids, the CG is positioned low and deep to help golfers launch the ball higher and with more spin than their iron equivalents, resulting in more playability and a greater carry distances.
But Ping’s higher-lofted hybrids (23 degrees or more) had a tendency to spin too much for most players in the past, leading to shorter carry distances and less control in windy conditions. That’s why the CG of the 23, 27 and 30-degree hybrids creep forward to help golfers reduce spin.
The G25 hybrids also feature a generous amount of camber and sole relief for playability from different surfaces. They’re available with Ping’s TFC 189H stock shaft in Soft R, R, S, Tour-Stiff and Tour X-Stiff flexes, and cost around $199.
Like Callaway’s X Hot fairway woods, the G25 fairway woods are extremely versatile from the fairway and light rough because of their shallow-face design. But the G25’s are higher launching, thanks to their lower, deeper CG position. They’re also more forgiving thanks to their higher MOI, which leads to extremely straight shots even on mishits.
Above: The shallow faces of the G25 (bottom) and G20 (top) fairway woods, which improves playability off the ground.
The higher launch and spin won’t be for everyone, but it will be the golden ticket for slower swing speed golfers who struggle with center contact and carry distance.
The sole design of the G25 hybrids makes them playable from just about anywhere. My 20-degree G25 hybrid had a much higher ball flight than my 3 iron, which it replaces. But it was not so high that it negatively affected distance or was troublesome in the wind. I was pleased to find that the hybrid had 10 percent more carry distance than my 3 iron, and it was also more forgiving and much more playable out of the rough.
Looks and Feel
Golfers who like the G25 driver will like the G25 fairway woods, because they have a very similar look and feel at address. The matte black finish is easy to get used to and a welcome change from the glossy club heads that had become standard in the industry.
The thinner face of the G25 fairway woods provides more of the trademark Ping “crisp” sound that company has become known for, and the understated look of the stock shaft and grip are a nice match to the G25’s all-business appearance
Above: The G25 hybrid (left) has a much more traditional shape than the G20 hybrid (right), which looked more like a driving iron.
I can’t say enough about how good the G25 hybrids look at address. The minimal offset and hybrid shape seem just right, and Ping players will enjoy the seamless transition from a G25 fairway wood to presumably one of Ping’s forgiving iron sets.
Above: The matte black finish of Ping new G25 fairway wood (left), compared to the gloss finish of last year’s G20 (right).
With the G25 fairway woods and hybrids, Ping looks to have found a way to add forgiveness to the hardest-to-hit clubs in the bag.
Many other manufacturers have struggled to provide game-improvement woods and hybrids that can transcend the power and feel needed off the tee, as well as from the fairway and deep rough. That should provide confidence for even low handicap players to really get into the new G25’s across the board.
Including the G25, Ping currently offers three different fairway wood and hybrid lineups (G25, Anser, i20) for the most demanding of player preferences and yardage gaps. The mid-level cost of the G25 will appeal to most high-handicap to mid-handicap players who want the latest in all-around performance without breaking the bank. But with a proper fitting that identifies the right shaft, the G25 fairway woods and hybrids can work for golfers of any ability level.
Clubs reviewed by GolfWRX Contributor Roger Genise