Ping G425 Driver

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Editor’s Conclusion
To be completely honest here, I was slightly less impressed with the LST. It is - as is expected - much less forgiving. If you can hit it out of the middle every time, you’ll get great results. But anyone with even a slightly erratic strike pattern is going to find distances and direction going wonky.

It’s definitely a club aimed at better players who want maximum distance, but in that case, I’d probably lean towards a SIM or Callaway, which seem to go further.

The SFT, very similar to the MAX, is a great club, and it genuinely seems to work in increasing draw bias. However, the MAX’s adjustable weight can give a very similar effect, so if I were you, I’d lean towards the MAX and set the weight in the heel. That way, if you’re swing changes over time, you can switch it back to neutral, and the club won’t be redundant.

Overall though, this is a really great range from Ping. I love the looks, and the forgiveness is amazing. I’d highly recommend any golfer looking to hit more fairways give the G425 MAX a try.

Key Features

I always find Ping sitting in a slightly strange area in the golf equipment market. If you think drivers, you think Taylormade. Irons, Mizuno. If you’re looking for classic players clubs, you will head towards Titleist if you’re after exciting new tech and modern looks, Cobra or Callaway.

Ping seems to sit somewhere in the middle, and there’s perhaps an excellent reason for that: they make good clubs all across the board. Not the sexiest, not the most exciting, perhaps, but just undeniably good. The G425 driver range is a definite trend continuation and might turn a few eyes this season.

The G425 Driver range comes in three models. The first is the MAX, which is the one aimed at most players. It’s designed - as all drivers are these days - to be forgiving, fast, and long, and should appeal to a wide range of players from single figure to twenty plus handicaps.

The second model is the LST, which stands for Low Spin Tech. This club is aimed at better players with faster swing and ball speeds who are looking to reduce spin and maximize distance. The final model is the most niche: the SFT - Straight Flight Technology - is very similar to the MAX, but with the weighting in the heel to encourage a draw.

It’s a club specifically aimed at golfers with a slice looking for more help getting the ball into the fairway.

All three models boast some pretty impressive and interesting design features. The crown of the club features what Ping calls ‘Dragonfly’ technology - which, it must be noted, is a great name. The crown is ultra-thin and therefore ultra light, with the Dragonfly tech allowing the weight to be redistributed within the head and back weight.

This increased MOI - the moment of inertia, essentially a measure of how forgiving the club is - optimizes the center of gravity, all of which should lead to more distance and forgiveness.

Moment of Inertia will be a big phrase when addressing these drivers, especially the MAX, and we’ll come onto it more when I assess the performance. But a key feature of this club is that it’s got an insanely high MOI - pushing 10,000, which Ping claims is a record.

The club also boasts a ‘Precision Forged Face,’ designed to maximize flex at impact and increase ball speed, and ‘Internal Ribbing’ to reinforce key sections of the clubhead. This seems similar to Callaway’s jailbreak technology, essentially stabilizing the clubhead for better sound and feel.

There’s a decent amount of adjustability on these clubs as well. The MAX and LST both have a moveable weight at the back, allowing the driver to be set up to draw, fade, or neutral depending on where you need more help.

All the models also come with an adjustable sleeve (which Ping has named the ‘Trajectory Tuning Chart,’ which I quite enjoy) which enables golfers to alter the loft up or down one and a half degrees, as well as to have the option to flatten the lie angle to help prevent the big miss left.

The Looks

The G425 range falls somewhere between the space-age design of Cobra and Taylormade and the more classic look of brands like Titleist. It’s an understated design, all blacks and whites, and greys, which I have to say I’m a big fan of.

The club's bottom is quite busy, but not in an offensive way at all - it just looks like it’s full of tech - and the top of the club is pretty simple. The big aesthetic thing to notice is the turbulators, those grooves that run across the clubhead's top.

These are designed to reduce aerodynamic drag through the air, resulting in quicker swing speed, better ball speed, and long-distance. Will a few bits of titanium shaping actually affect how far you’re hitting the ball that much? Probably not. But they do look cool, and the other benefit of the turbulators is that they help with alignment, which is a big plus.

There’s minimal variation in looks between the three models. The MAX and SFT are practically identical, apart from the lack of adjustable weight on the SFT. The LST is very similar in terms of design but is just slightly sleeker.

The head is smaller and more pear-shaped than the big rounded MAX, again to minimize spin. This will appeal to better players who like to feel more control, but the MAX’s size definitely inspires more confidence over your tee shots.

Overall Performance

I have to admit; I’m not a massive Ping fan. I’ve got nothing against them. Just something about their clubs doesn’t fully excite me. But I’ve got to say, I’m so impressed by this new range, especially the MAX.

All the testing from golfers across the board comes back with the same result: the G425 MAX is almost ridiculously forgiving. And that forgiveness goes in all directions! The drop-off in distance on poor shots is negligible, and even the big toe and heel strikes were staying relatively straight.

Ping’s marketing goes on about that extremely high MOI, and apparently, for a good reason. This driver goes very, very straight.