The eagerly anticipated follow up to Ping’s hugely successful G410 irons, comes in the shape of their brand new Ping G425 irons. Billed by Ping as a club that launches the ball higher, further and with more stopping power, you’ll surely understand why we were keen to take a look for ourselves and share our findings with you.
Ping are keen to draw your attention to a slightly smaller head in comparison to its predecessor. Once positioned behind the ball, it does appear a little more streamlined, however it’s a subtle difference and would still inspire confidence in the majority of golfers. Those specifically looking for a larger head size may be better looking towards the Ping G710 irons where the difference is more pronounced.
Aside from the overall head shape, the main change in aesthetics lies in a shift from the red and black of the G410 range, to a stealthy and sophisticated, perhaps even minimalistic colour palette of black and silver.
When combined with Ping’s silky matte Hydropearl 2.0 finish, the result is a golf club that exudes a feeling of premium quality, befitting of the investment you’ll be making to pop a set in your bag.
The G425 irons are aimed at the largest segment of the golfing market in terms of player ability, namely those with mid-high handicaps, and therefore forgiveness for inconsistent ball striking ought to be a given.
As with the previous model (Ping G410’s), tungsten toe and hosel weights help distribute more of the overall head weight to the perimeter, giving greater stability on off centre strikes. Ping proudly state that the G425 iron has an increased MOI (resistance against twisting for off-centre hits), and in testing the clubface did feel noticeably easier to control through impact.
In addition, Ping have utilised 17-4 stainless steel in the clubface. This is a material used in their fairway woods, it provides greater ball speed from all areas of the face, and consequently a larger sweet spot.
On the whole, Ping have certainly delivered a club that is tremendously forgiving in relation to its head size, and will suit the majority of players in the 14-28 handicap bracket.
For those who suffer from more pronounced inconsistencies in their ball striking, we would recommend looking at a game improvement iron with a larger overall head size, of which there are many out there to choose from.
Power & distance
“Higher and further” is Ping’s claim, keep that in mind as you read on. Greater ball speed equals greater distance, right? Now this is where we get into the nitty gritty details.
First of all, there was a small overall gain in ball speed against the Ping G410, largely owing to the metal wood face construction, that provides greater flexion on impact. Whilst the standard spec lofts remain the same across models, both with a relatively strong 30 degree 7-iron, we found that the G425’s launched the ball around 1-2 degrees lower but generated greater backspin.
In terms of peak height, the Ping G425 irons may have just had the edge owing to that added backspin. This resulted in a steeper landing angle for the G425’s and ensured that there wasn’t a noticeable gain in distance.
So the Ping G425’s may not be noticeably longer, however let’s bear in mind the purpose of an iron is to propel the ball a specific distance and controllably land near to your intended target. Unless you are playing on a supremely long golf course with big soft greens, high carry and low spin irons aren’t usually a great advantage.
Ping mention ‘an enhanced vibration dampener’ in the form of their redesigned multi-material badge plate that sits inside the cavity on the back of the head. A sweetly struck shot gives a satisfying sensation, but one we’d describe as solid and powerful, rather than especially soft. On the whole, we’d assess the feel as fairly similar to the G410 irons and no great shift forwards. Sorry Ping!
If feel is your eminent requirement, the i230 from Ping would certainly be an option to consider, although bear in mind that the head is smaller, the lofts are weaker (they can be strengthened if required), and this head will be less forgiving than the Ping G425.
We’d also advise you to consider trying some of the irons from Mizuno. Their expertise in forging gives rise to some of the softest feeling irons on the market. The closest comparison to the G425 would be the Mizuno JPX921 forged irons.
Click here if you want a full run down of the Ping G425 irons vs the Mizuno JPX 921 irons.
Control, launch & shot shaping
Control is the one area we feel the Ping G425 irons have taken a big step forward. As discussed above, greater backspin allows for your approach shots to stop quicker on landing, and makes controlling distance easier for you.
This is something that top-level players strive for – if your distance is correct, you’re only as far away as you are wide. And the greater MOI in the Ping G425 irons also helps with getting your clubface square at impact too.
The Ping G425 irons allow for greater workability and shot shaping compared to competing cavity back game improvement irons. Albeit, this is more of a side benefit and likely not critical to the level of golfer these irons are aimed at.
The Hydropearl finish is not just for looks, it is designed to help prevent fliers out of wet grass, so we expect these to perform well when you miss the fairway. In addition, a key improvement in the G425 is the introduction of the specialist glide 3.0 wedge grooves to the wedges of the set. This again adds another layer of control to the key scoring clubs in your bag.
Worth noting is that these irons have relatively little offset compared to some other game improvement options. Whilst this will suit a player whose bad shot tends to be of the pull or hook variety, those who struggle with excessive slicing will typically be better off looking for alternatives with a little more offset.
For a brand new release packed with the latest technology, the Ping G425 irons are more than reasonably priced, certainly when compared with alternative options. A set of 6 irons in steel will set you back in the region of $850 (£690), but expect to pay a little more for graphite shaft options.
It’s also worth noting that Ping, like Cobra, are now offering the Arccos Caddie smart grips as standard in their G425 range. This is also true of the G710, but the same set of 6 irons will cost an extra £200 or so.
The Arccos grips when paired with an app utilise smartphone GPS to build up an accurate database over time of the distances / dispersion you create with each club. These will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and it should be noted that the initially free access to the software will eventually become a charged annual subscription in the region of £75 per year.
Ping offer ten different stock shafts covering graphite and steel options in a wide variety of flexes, so a competent custom fitter should have no difficulty in finding the ideal shaft for your swing and ball flight.
It is always important to create the optimum launch conditions for each individual golfer, comprising of launch angle, spin rate, and this will be relative to ball speed. For those with smoother slower swings, a lighter softer shaft may well provide additional clubhead speed without sacrificing control.
Their recently introduced Alta Distanza 40 graphite being the lightest of all and a great option for those looking to generate greater speed and a higher trajectory.
Also of note is Ping’s proprietary AWT steel shafts (made by Nippon Shaft in Japan) which have relatively lighter long iron shafts to help with squaring of the clubface at impact, whereas shorter iron shafts are heavier giving feel and control for approach play.
Ping G425 irons review – Golf Insider verdict
When any manufacturer releases a new product, they will try to tell you it’s their best ever, and claim improvements in an array of different areas that benefit their target golfer. The proof however is always in the hands of the beholder.
Whilst the Ping G425 may not fully provide the added distance and softer feel proclaimed by Ping, they certainly represent a considerable improvement on their predecessor (the Ping G410 irons).
In the marginally more compact head, you have an iron that is more stable through impact, generates better than expected spin for greater control, and doesn’t sacrifice ball speed. That’s on top of looking great when placed behind the ball.
Whereas, we felt the G410 and G710 performed fairly similarly, the Ping G425 feels like it better bridges the gap between the better player-focused i210 and the ultimate game improvement iron in the G710. If you’re a golfer primarily looking for greater distance and a bigger head, we would recommend giving the G710 a hit.
If we were teaching any mid to high handicapper, who turned up with a fitted set of Ping G425 irons in their bag, not only would we fully approve, but we’d be a little jealous too!
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