Pros: The G25’s are more compact than the G20’s in every way — especially the short irons, which our reviewer called “downright svelte looking.” But despite the smaller size, Ping managed to make the G25 irons longer and more forgiving. The long irons also fly higher than previous models, and do so without adding too much spin.
Cons: The G25’s soles are narrower than the G20’s, but they’re still oversized. That means they’ll have a tendency to snag in the rough. And while they G25’s offer improved feel, we’re still talking about an oversized cast iron from Ping — not a buttery forging.
The Bottom Line: The G25 irons look, feel and perform better than the G20’s, which was no small accomplishment considering how many golfers love their G20 irons. These are worth the upgrade, particularly for better players. They’ll get a lot more performance from the narrower soles and higher-launching long irons, as well.
G Series irons from Ping are traditionally game-improvement irons, which means they’re designed to help average joes hit higher, farther and straighter shots.
But Ping’s last two renditions, the G15 and G20 irons, were trending toward the “super game-improvement” category. Their extremely wide soles and large amount of offset was too much for many golfers, particularly those who enjoyed the look of Ping’s smaller irons but didn’t have the game to play them.
That’s why this year’s G25 irons are considerable more compact than the G20’s. But here’s the thing — typically, when irons get smaller they also become less forgiving. But the G25’s actually perform better than the larger G20’s. In the words of our reviewer, they’re “rainmakers” that are “sinfully forgiving.”
The G25’s sell for around $700 for a set of a set of eight irons, and are available with Ping’s CFS shafts in Soft R, Regular, Stiff, X-Stiff flexes or Ping’s lighter, higher-launching TFC 189 shafts in Soft R, Regular and Stiff flexes. Check out the spec sheets below for more information.
Rarely are we able to say that a new iron has considerably more forgiveness and feel than a previous model, but that’s exactly what the G25 irons deliver. The biggest change Ping made to the irons was positioning the CTP, or custom tuning port, lower in the head. It was positioned so low, in fact, that Ping had to make it smaller because it now collides with the sole.
What that change did was line up the center of gravity with the line of force at impact, which results in a more efficient transfer of energy (aka more ball speed) on center strikes. But because Ping is Ping, and its engineers strive to make each iron as forgiving as the size of the head will allow, the G25’s also have more perimeter weighting.
Where did that extra weight come? Well, Ping made the faces of the G25 irons thinner. That didn’t necessarily make the faces any springier, but what it did do was free up a few extra grams of weight for Ping to sprinkle around the cavity, which makes the club more stable on off-center strikes to make those shots fly close to the same distance as solid hits.
Our reviewer summed it up nicely when he said:
“These G25s are more forgiving than your favorite grandmother.”
But what might be more important to better players than the extra forgiveness and ball speed are the G25’s narrower soles, which will perform better from the rough and improve turf interaction on tight lies.
According to our reviewer, there’s even more good news for better players. The G25 3 iron is so long and high-launching that golfers might be inclined to trade out the troublesome hybrid in their bag.
Looks and Feel
The great thing about positioning more mass behind the line of force at impact is that it not only boosts performance — more mass behind the ball at impact boosts feel as well. But Ping went even further to dial in the feel of the G25 irons — engineers changed the materials, shape, size and adhesion of the multi-material cavity badge to soften the blow, resulting in subtle, yet powerful sound at impact.
Visually, the reduced offset, thinner top lines and more progressive sole widths look beautiful at address, and pair nicely with a graphite finish that makes the irons look even stealthier over the ball.
“Can I say the G25’s are more blade like than the G20’s in the short irons?,” our reviewer said. “It’s crazy to use that comparison, but much of what appeared to get in the way — a bit too much meat on the bone — has been redistributed out of the way. You’re unlikely now to see the back of the PW standing over it at address. The soles are narrowed significantly, and play effectively even narrower as there is an added trailing edge relief grind. The sense is, if we were to put the G25’s and the G20’s in a wind tunnel … the G25’s look like they’d win with a lower coefficient of drag.”
The Ping G25’s aren’t the best looking irons on the market, and they’re not the best feeling, either. But that’s not what Ping was after.
Our reviewer found that his shots were often flying the right distance and on the right line, even when his contact wasn’t in the right place. In a game of misses, that might be the most a golfer can hope for, and that’s why Ping designed them that way.
Ping isn’t claiming that the Ping G25’s are going to fly farther than everyone else’s game-improvement iron, but they’re plenty long. And after hitting a few of these thin, on the heel and on the toe and still watching them fly long and straight, we know that Ping squeezed every ounce of forgiveness possible from the smaller size of these new irons. And that’s what modern iron design should be all about.
Reviewed by GolfWRX Moderator Todd Hibbert (Asleep in the forums)