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Ping G25 Irons: In-hand photos and story



Ping is known for making great game improvement irons, but the company’s G25 irons for 2013 will be special. Over the years, many PGA Tour players have used Ping “G” series irons because of their forgiveness. The difference between the 2013 G25 irons and previous G-series irons is that this year’s model is the total package — it has all the benefits of a game-improvement iron without the usual bulky soles that are inherent in the GI class.

Marty Jertson, a senior design engineer for Ping, said the company wanted to re-align the size of the new iron to be more in the sweet spot of the game-improvement category.

“We felt like we were going past that with the sole widths on models like the G20,” Jertson said.

The G25 irons feature thinner, more progressive sole widths, thinner top lines and moderate offset, which will appeal to golfers of all skill levels. The progressive sole widths provide higher-launching, more-forgiving long irons, and short irons with added playability and control.

Click here to see more pics and read the discussion in the forums


A staple of Ping’s irons, the Custom Tuning Port (CTP), was repositioned lower on the face on the G25s — so low that it required engineers to halve the size of the CTP from previous models, as it now rests against the sole of the club.

g-25 iron
This increases the efficiency of the irons, better aligning the impact line, a line perpendicular to the loft of an iron, with the club’s force line at impact. According to Jertson, this means the face won’t rotate as much at impact, resulting in less energy loss and more ball speed.

Engineers also thinned the faces of the G25 irons. The face deflection (read: springiness) of the face hasn’t changed — it’s actually similar to the deflection of the G20 irons. But the thinner faces do allow for the redistribution of weight in more optimal places. This allowed Ping to increase the forgiveness of the long irons, and design short irons that have a flatter trajectory.

“The easiest way to get inertia is to just widen the sole,” Jertson said. “But we didn’t want to do that. [With the G25 irons] we wanted to give the same forgiveness package as the G20 irons, but with more versatility.”

Support bars in the cavity of the G25 irons stabilize the 17-4 stainless steel face to ensure a solid feel and exceptional distance control throughout the set. Engineers also also tweaked the materials, thicknesses, density, weight and even the process of adhesion of the multi-material cavity badge, proving that that badges are much more than a sticker that’s glued to the back of an iron for aesthetics. They’re factors that can make or break the performance and feel of a cavity back iron.

Click here to see more pics and read the discussion in the forums


There is a significant change in the width and the “effective” bounce on the G25 soles on the 7 iron through pitching wedge.The soles are more narrow, and a trailing edge grind means the soles of the G25 are closer the the size of the Ping’s i20 and Anser Forged irons. This will translate into more control for better players, because more sole width and bounce can interfere with a player’s trajectory and ability to make crisp contact out of the rough.

The grinds will reduce the working or “effective” bounce on the sole, meaning the club head will rip through the turf with more ease. That will give lower-handicap players an exciting opportunity to experiment with a more forgiving irons without the typical drawback of wide soles. Bravo to Ping.

Below is a chart where we measured sole width at the center of the face with calipers to compare the G25 to other Ping models, as well as comparison photos:

Click here to see more pics and read the discussion in the forums


The word that came out of our mouth when we opened the box for the first time was “badass.” Pardon our french, but it is to hard to describe our reaction without just saying it. These irons look sinister — dark and high tech. The non-glare grey finish reminds us of the murdered out carbon fiber panels of the Audi R8 super car. A high-tech, modern oozes from this design.

Ping says the G25’s thinner top lines and moderate offset offer a look that will appeal to a wide variety of golfers that are looking for a high-launching, extremely forgiving game-improvement model with a chassis that resembles a players iron. At address, the toplines look great and the overall shape frames the ball nicely.

In addition, the non-glare matte finish will help reduce reflections in bright conditions. The finish begs to hit the range, and will fade with use in a way that will add character over time.

Tech Specs

Click here to see what people are saying about Ping’s G25 irons in the “Tour/Pre-release equipment” forum. 

Click here to see what people are saying about Ping’s G25 irons in the “Tour/Pre-release equipment” forum. 

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  1. Wayne

    Jan 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Been hitting the Ping G25 irons the past year. Probably 20 rounds with range practice. Really like them for their forgiveness and solid, smooth feel at impact. I am a little disappointed in wear to the face and overall fading of the dark grey finish. Not so much the fact that they have gotten lighter but they look splochy. Wondering if anybody has had the same experience.

  2. Regis

    Sep 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Went to an Outdoor fitting with a trackman today. A rarity on Long Island. $50 refundable fee with the latest offerings from Mizuno Titleist and Ping. I’ve been playing Mizuno irons for years. Spent a fair amount of time with the fitter and different head shaft combos from Mizuno and Titleist. Nice but no game changer for me. Fitter put together a G-25 for me and I took one look at the sole and was about to leave. Then I set up. G-25 had a relatively thin top line so I decided to hit the club. About 150 balls later the credit card came out. No one could have made me believe that I would have ever abandoned Mizuno especially for Ping. The GI features are hidden on address and the consistency and flight of the iron is like nothing I’ve ever hit


    Jul 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm


  4. ranmou

    May 23, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    what is under the CTP cover on the G25 irons? I’ve read that it may be foam? or is it a solid metal insert?


  5. Deaus7

    Feb 25, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    SGI clubs may make the game more fun, But it does not improve scores. Average handicaps have not gone down forever. Hitting your irons farther does not improve your scores. If you take a old 9 iron(45*loft), Say an Eye 2 from pre-1984(v-groove) that still has grooves in very good shape and a modern SGI PW with a loft of 45*, the distance gains will be minimal. Scores have not improved noticeably for the golfing masses. They are called Game Improvement clubs when they should be called Game Enjoyment clubs. Sure its fun to turn to your group and say i hit that par5 in 2 with driver 5-iron, But your not hittin a 5iron, it was 3.5 iron. Just my opinion

    • Jeffrey

      Jul 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      I’m going to disagree with you completely. My father who is in his mid sixties, switched from Ping ISI irons to the G25. He’s playing better golf this year than in the past five. New technology like multi material irons has allowed this iron to be smaller than the G20 and yet be more forgiving. I’ve watched him hit shots that are quite a bit off of the sweet spot and still end up on the green, with a reasonable putt. Now, of course he was fit for these clubs. The issue is, if you’re going to drop that kind of money on clubs, you’d be a moron to buy them off of the rack. If the clubs don’t fit, you’re probably not getting the best out of the new technology.

    • Frank Garrett

      Dec 20, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      If it says 5 on the sole, it’s a 5 iron
      That’s how it works…
      How many of you “purists” out there still
      have hickory shafts

  6. Sunday Golfer

    Feb 15, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Ordered my G25 irons and expecting them any day now. I hope I don’t have the same issue as you Dennis. I will be sure to inspect them more carefully though now. Compared them side by side to the G20 and the G25 definetly look nicer but it was hard to see a real difference between the amount of offset. I could see the difference in the sole width in the lower irons but the difference was not that significant. The biggest differences between the 2 sets for me was the darker color (which looks great!) and the thinner top line.

  7. Dennis Thompson

    Feb 13, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Just received my new G25 irons and the weight was not inserted into the 4 iron.{ no quality control here} I also have a concern with the 5 iron weight but will talk to the Ping rep. I ordered with the graphite shafts and have to say they look sic. I have played pings for many many years so if they do not fix this problem I will be sure and tell all.

    • Dennis Thompson

      Feb 19, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Ping rep was very disappointed on the missing weight. The club is going back for warranty work and should be back in a week. He did explain the weight is not as flush to the head as a more lofted iron is. We looked at others in a GT store and they all had the same gap. He assured me that if the weight did ever get lost or fell out that warranty would apply. Time will tell I guess.

  8. D Easton

    Feb 6, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I own a set of ping anser irons . When the irons after One year showed excess wear and the weight started to fall out I made an attempt to have the problem rectified ,. After shipping the clubs back to ping at there request the weights were reset and the clubs cleaned ? They were returned to me. Many further conversation that appeared to be justo frustrate me a further request to send back to ping and I have given up. Given the response and actions it has left me with the attitude that warrantee after one year was not met . I have given up and will neither buy ping in the future or recommend any one else do so . Great for pr or advertising . Don Easton Maple ridge B.C.

    • Hrocks

      Mar 18, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      D. Easton…I’m really surprised to hear of your displeasure with PING’s customer service. I have had the exact opposite experience with them over the years. I have sent various sets of irons back to have the loft/lie adjusted or set back to the original color code on a number of occasions. One of my I15’s had a badge come loose and they said to ship the whole set back to check and replace any that might become loose. NO CHARGE. (just paid the postage) We visited PING while on vacation, and we brought in my young son’s PING putter to be cut down and the L/L adjusted, along with an old set of G2 irons I had trashed while playing in the desert. The fixed them ALL WHILE I WAITED…NO CHAEGE (except $3.13 for a new putter grip that they installed!!!) There’s no other club manufacturer that will deal directly with the consumer like PING. I’m sorry, but they get my vote for best customer service bar none!

  9. Goreje

    Feb 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    One thing to consider and remember, some of us play for the “FUN” of the game and if these help high, or “super” high handicappers ENJOY the game more then great. If you don’t like the offset, then go buy a different model. Just because it is made/produced doesn’t mean you “HAVE” to buy it or like it. “Moderate” offset or substantial offset, those that are buying the G series could really care less due to the fact that most are looking for a “Game Improving” club set. Those that don’t need it, go buy and play “blades”. We that need the extra help and confidence in our clubs, swing and game appreciate the innovation that Ping brings to the table.

    Drive for Show, Putt for Dough

  10. Biebs

    Feb 1, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I was fit for and ordered a set of these Wednesday, was very surprised by how good they look at every shot I hit was easy and straight. Started with the CFS stiff and wasn’t all that impressed, had the fitter put in a DG S300 and the difference was amazing, I knew in one swing that was what I was getting. Am pretty sure I saw Bubba Watson playing one of these at the Waste Management yesterday? Only downfall was the DG shaft was a $10 upcharge, but should be worth it. Cheers.

  11. Spinit

    Jan 31, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    I am a huge Ping fan and the asthetics of these new G25’s look great. Ping’s quality control and customer service are the best in the business and their product is exemplary. I am too handsy for the G series, too much offset even in these, so I await the i25’s. I currently play the i15’s and absolutely love them.

  12. Sunday golfer

    Jan 30, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I’m thinking of getting new irons and am currently in-between the g20 and g25. Why does this article show images comparing the g25 to g15? It’s the same as when comparing the sole widths. I’m actually wondering if it is worth the extra $$ to but the g25 set or spend ~$150 less for a g20 set. Any replys would be appreciated.

    • Halofan24

      Feb 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      I was in the market for a new set of Pings. Tried both the G20, G25 and Taylormade rocketbladez. Not much difference in the Ping’s. Im a mid handicapper and have had trouble with consistancy in my irons. The rocketbladez actually played a club down. Exp the 7 iron G20 went as far as the RB 6 iron. Best bet is to go to your local shop and try them out. My final purchase was the G20’s. Found on ebay in excellent condition 4-SW for 388 shipped. Couldnt of been happier. I have some extra dough for green fees in 2013

  13. Mike

    Jan 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Ordered the set yesterday after spending time being fitted. Giving up my Raptors. They look as good or better then the I20’s.

  14. naths

    Jan 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    i’m getting a set, just sold my i20s, if these make the game easier then great!!!, my plan is to use these for this season then move up to the i25s next season, loved the i20s but i’m just not consistant enough for them, mind you looking at the 25s even if i was scratch, these look lovely….

  15. John K

    Jan 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I just ordered mine this past Monday! Have to wait until February 11th to get them…boooh! Just not good enough anymore for a players iron.

  16. Ray M

    Jan 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    @Joe Golfer. You’re right. I didn’t mean to come off as attacking you. All the companies make their new clubs sound like they are for everyone. I get what you are saying. It all comes down to what makes the player comfortable. Play well Joe Golfer.

    • Frank Garrett

      Oct 5, 2013 at 8:46 am

      Its all about $$$$… they are jacking the lofts to make people buy the gap wedge and make people with 3 yr old or more irons set thinkin “update for improvement and distance” ……it’s always about $$$$

  17. cody

    Jan 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    ill be getting a set when do they come out

  18. pack7483

    Jan 7, 2013 at 8:17 am

    There will be tour pros playing these just as there are some playing the G15’s and G20’s. They seem to do just fine with the offset. These look much sleeker than the G15-G20s. I bet these sell really well.

  19. Austin

    Jan 5, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Nice looking SGI clubs. This just makes me want to wait for the update to the S56 before I decide what direction I am going to go!!!!

  20. Joe Golfer

    Jan 5, 2013 at 3:01 am

    Regarding FCM’s comment: my complaint about Ping’s offset is that they state, twice, that these new models have “Moderate” offset.
    Yes, the G series are Game Improvement clubs.
    But don’t say they have “moderate” offset if they still have a massive amount of offset compared to most other brands.
    Yes, loads of offset works for players who can’t square the face or get the ball up into the air, so it fits a certain category of player.
    Ping shouldn’t try to tell us that this new G series club is now moderate offset, with a thin sole, so it fits the better player also. It doesn’t. It’s still “perfect for high handicappers”, exactly as you mentioned. The beef is with the advertising. If they listed the offset in millimeters, as some companies do, knowledgeable golfers would know that they still have a tremendous amount of offset.
    Some golfers order a new set of irons without ever seeing them, as they just have to have the latest model or club du jour, or need to own the latest model every year, like having both the i20 and the G20.
    Describing this particular G25 as having moderate offset is inaccurate and midleading. The clubs are still high quality and “perfect for high handicappers”, but they’re certainly not perfect for the better player, and the description given by Ping is midleading.

    • Jerry

      Mar 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Your complaint is with marketing???? Dude, do you pay attention to marketing with ANY company??? That is what the marketing hacks are paid to do…make it sound like their product is the next best thing. If you hit these or any clubs, do some research on your own and get some professional advice on what you should buy who cares what marketing angle they use? Thats a ridiculous arguement because clearly you are well versed enough on golf and the equipment that you saw through the “marketing” right away so whats the issue?

    • Ken

      May 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      I have a 2 handicap and I play the G25’s, the best iron I have ever hit and got that club back I lost between 50 and 56 years of age. Slight misses go on the green and the shorter irons are as or more accurate than the S56’s I replaced. I hit the i20’s and the G25’s and it was no comparison. People talk about working the ball. I’ve been playing golf for 41 years and have played at the national amateur level and seldom do golfers “work” the ball not unless they are in trouble. I can cut my 4 iron 190 if I need to but why. I play golf with my buddies from 0-6 and we have a blast and I was the last diehard. The 0 has been playing GI’s for 2 years and recently qualified for the Senior Amateur in Jersey. You shoot 78 with your mizuno blades and I’ll shoot 72 with my G25’s, makes no difference.

      • schengi

        Aug 31, 2013 at 6:36 pm

        WELL TOLD!

      • Rick

        Nov 9, 2013 at 10:01 pm

        Agreed. I am 54 with a 6 HC. Have played pings all my life except for the last two years. For some reason I bought a set of taylormade 2.0 burners. They are long but sometimes in a bad way. Got the G25s yesterday. Had them fitted. Played today with them today. These irons are so much more consistent, better feel and ooooz with confidence. Will never ever play anything but pings again.

    • Tom

      Feb 12, 2014 at 11:18 am

      My handicap is +1.6 and I went and got fitted at ASU Karsten golf course two weeks ago. I hit every iron with different shafts and came to the conclusion that the g25 with the Cfs shaft was the correct fit for me. I am 51 years old and like the so called game improvement irons

  21. collingsom1asb

    Jan 3, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Its funny that when Pings does something well, allot of people thrive on finding something negative to say. I say, bully!!!!! Ping lovers are gonna just love the new irons!!!!! These may be the best, well thought out and carefully engineered irons they have made to date. People who play Ping have come to realize that Ping just continues to make good stuff —– from an engineering standpoint and quality control, NOBODY does it better!!!! I say, well done Ping. Bravo!!!!!!!!!!! Carry on, ole chap!!!!!!

  22. FCM

    Jan 3, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    …and don’t even compare Ping to TM on jacking up the lofts. TM is so overrated. They are backed adidas , so they have unlimited marketing funds. That’s why Nike will be one of the big boys in the next few years. Marketing $$$ is king. Ping does it with quality products year after year.

  23. FCM

    Jan 3, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I hate how people complain about the offset on the G series. They are GI irons, so they are supposed to have offset. Ask anyone and they will tell how easy G series irons are to get in the air. They are perfect for high handicappers. I have the i20, but still use my G20 on occasion.

  24. Joe Golfer

    Jan 3, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Looking at the specs on Ping’s website, one can compare the offset between these G25 irons and the previous model, the G20. Barely any difference, despite this article twice stating that these new irons have “moderate” offset. Bah, humbug 🙂
    Compared to most brands, these still have a huge amount of offset, with only a few other irons categorized as super or max game improvement comparing as similar, such as Callaway’s Diablo Edge irons.
    Converting to millimeters to give folks a better idea, the new irons have only about a half millimeter less offset than the prior model, the G20.
    The five iron is still close to 7 mm’s in offset, which is a huge amount, so these would hardly be considered to have a moderate amount of offset.
    The term may be used as a selling point to those who order online without seeing the clubs in person, but these really do have a lot of offset.
    If you slice or push the ball, they may suit you well. Otherwise, get ready to start hooking the ball and hitting it higher than normal due to the offset.
    The Ping i20 will still give you forgiveness without the tremendous amount of offset of the G series.

  25. Joe Golfer

    Jan 3, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Beautiful looking finish, and the rest of the description sounds great.
    Photos still show an awful lot of offset, regardless of what the description says.
    Ping has always been king of massive offset in their G series of irons.
    I think the i series looks better while still offering forgiveness.

  26. kj

    Jan 2, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    26 deg 5 iron… starting to crank the lofts like Taylor Made i know its only 1 deg but this is how it starts

    • rob

      Jan 3, 2013 at 3:43 am

      The lofts on the G25 are the same as the G20 and the G15….so I don’t understand your point.

    • Joe Golfer

      Jan 6, 2013 at 2:39 am

      Nowadays a 26* 5 iron isn’t too bad, considering that everybody is strengthening the lofts. Titleists are much stronger now too. Callaway’s latest model is much stronger than previous ones. Even Mizuno is strengthening the lofts, more so on the JPX models.
      TaylorMade RocketBallz has the five iron at 23*, I think. Now that’s ridiculous, but then again, it’s TaylorMade. I still recall Nick Faldo shilling for them in a video, saying how he hits the new (at that time) Burner 2.0 five iron way further than his own five iron. He doesn’t mention that his own five iron had been a Mizuno MP model forged iron, so the loft was at a minimum a full club less. So even Faldo will play the huckster if the money is there.
      Eventually folks will need two gap wedges just to fill the void between PW and SW on many sets.
      These Ping lofts actually aren’t that bad compared to most companies, and you can probably factor in another degree of loft considering that the Ping G series are very high ball hitters due to lots of offset, so that by the time the face catches up to the shaft, you’ve got a bit more loft than the stated amount built in already.
      Check the Golf WRX homepage, as Tom Wishon has a great article about how many golf companies are ruining things by beefing up all the lofts so much, leaving little room between long irons and too much loft gap between the short irons.

      • Chris

        Jan 7, 2013 at 11:38 am

        Dude, what a whiner you are. Who cares what the loft is or wht number is on the sole? Bottom line, does the club perform well and help folks play better? TM is doing this and I think Ping is too.

        • t

          Jan 12, 2013 at 12:40 am

          its ruining the the game. the numbers and lofts due matter. people are hitting these clubs thinking “OMG, i just added 15 yards to my five iron”, when in reality the new 5 iron is the same loft as your old 4 iron. same goes for the TM rocket ballz 3 wood. it goes further, but its an inch longer than the old 3 wood. its deceitful.

          • Mork

            Jan 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm

            Yes, they due.

          • Chris

            Feb 16, 2013 at 4:59 am

            So what? At the end of the day it is all about what did you shoot and how much do you owe me!

          • tim

            Mar 18, 2013 at 9:54 pm

            So, we should all go back to Hickory shafted blades too?

            I have the RBZ irons, not that I love them, but they are helping while I get my swing more consistent. 145 yard par 3, who cares what you pull out of the bag! I hit a 9 or pw based on hole location and wind. I’ve played with guys you hit 5 wood to 145 and they get closer.

            Your game is YOURS.

            Forget about jacked up lofts and what they stamp on the bottom, go play Golf. Once I get my swing right again, I’ll upgrade to AP2’s and have to remember how far my 5 should go.

      • Frank Garrett

        Oct 5, 2013 at 8:40 am

        Titleist has a 44* pw and two gap wedges
        48* and 52* then a 56* sw……

  27. collingsom1asb

    Jan 2, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Just ordered a set!!!!! Can’t wait to get ’em!!!!!! These really look slick!!!

    • Mark Tingey

      Feb 14, 2013 at 10:39 am

      Me Too !! Going the entire line, driver, fairways, hybrids, and irons!
      After reading the reviews, this is much more of a players club than what one might think.

  28. luke keefner

    Jan 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    waaayyy too much offset.

  29. Kadin Mahmet

    Jan 2, 2013 at 11:23 am

    They look great! I have always liked Ping.

    • Mike

      Jun 19, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      I cannot believe how far I hit my 4 iron. I would mention it, but not many would believe me. Coming from MP-60s, I do not like the looks or not being able to dig the ball out (wide soles), but I did just shoot my best league round ever (was putting well too). I’ll give them this season to see if they grow on me or whether I go get a set of MP52s or 53s.

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pga tour

K.J. Choi WITB 2018



Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Valero Texas Open (4/18/2018).

Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6x

Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees)
Shaft: Ozik Matrix MFS M5 60X

3 Wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7x

5 Wood: Ping G400 (17.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-8x

Hybrid: Ping G400 (22 degrees)
Shaft: Atlus Tour H8

Irons: Ping G400 (4-PW)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 120X

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (50-12SS, 54-12SS, 58-10)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping Sigma G Wolverine T
Grip: Ping Pistol

Putter: Ping PLF ZB3
Grip: Super Stroke KJ

Putter: Ping Sigma Vault Anser 2
Grip: Ping Pistol

WITB Notes: We spotted Choi testing a number of clubs at the Valero Texas Open. We will update this post when we have his 14-club setup confirmed. 


Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Choi’s clubs. 

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went



Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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Titleist AVX golf balls passed the test, are now available across the United States



Titleist’s AVX golf balls first came to retail as an experiment in three markets — Arizona, California and Florida — from October 2017 to January 2018. AVX (which stands for “Alternative to the V and X”) are three-piece golf balls made with urethane covers, and they’re made with a softer feel for more distance than the Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.

After proving their worth to consumers, Titleist’s AVX golf balls are now available across the U.S. as of April 23, and they will sell for 47.99 per dozen (the same as Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls) in both white and optic yellow.

According to Michael Mahoney, the Vice President of Golf Ball Marketing for Titleist, the AVX is a member of the Pro V1 family. Here’s a basic understanding of the lineup:

  • AVX: Softest, lowest trajectory, lowest spinning, less greenside spin and longest
  • Pro V1x: Firmer than the Pro V1, highest spinning and highest trajectory
  • Pro V1: Sits between the V1x and the AVX in terms of feel, spin and trajectory, and will appeal to most golfers

Different from the Pro V1 or Pro V1x, the AVX golf balls have a new GRN41 thermoset cast urethane cover to help the golf balls achieve the softer feel. Also, they have high speed, low compression cores, a new high-flex casing layer, and a new dimple design/pattern.

For in-depth tech info on the new AVX golf balls, how they performed in the test markets, and who should play the AVX golf balls, listen to our podcast below with Michael Mahoney, or click here to listen on iTunes.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the AVX golf balls

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19th Hole