Gear: Ping G425 Max, G425 LST, G425 SFT drivers
Price: $540 with Ping Alta CB or Tour graphite shaft and Arccos-enabled Golf Pride Lite 360 Tour Velvet grip
Specs: Titanium body with forged titanium face, moveable tungsten weight and adjustable hosel
Over the past several seasons, Ping developed a reputation for building extremely stable and forgiving drivers. Clubs such as the G, the G30, the G400 and last season’s G410 Plus blend a high moment of inertia with custom-fitting features that help protect ball speed on off-center hits and keep shots from curling outside the fairway.
With the release of the G425 Max, G425 LST and G425 SFT, that reputation is being solidified even further.
Each G425 driver has an 8-1-1 titanium chassis attached to an extremely thin forged T9S+ titanium face. The variable-thickness face is designed to broaden the sweet spot across a larger area, and it has a rough texture that helps reduce spin. The clubs also have an adjustable hosel that allows players and fitters to increase or decrease the club’s stated loft by as many as 1.5 degrees and change the lie angle by as many as 3 degrees. On the crown, six fang-like pieces behind the topline called turbulators help make the clubs more aerodynamic on the downswing for increased speed.
Ping reduced the overall weight of the crown by making some areas thin while incorporating thicker, reinforcing segments in other spots. That created discretionary weight and allowed designers to add a 26-gram moveable tungsten weight to the back of the 460-cubic centimeter G425 Max. Last season’s G410 Plus driver also had a moveable weight, but this one is 10 grams heavier, pulling the center of gravity farther back while boosting the moment of inertia.
Referred to as a CG Shifter, the weight can be affixed into three settings: draw, fade or neutral. Because it is heavier, the locations do not need to be as far apart as the G410 Plus’s settings. As a result, golfers can still create a shot-shaping bias in the G425 Max, but the moment of inertia always will be higher. Ping said the G425 Max’s moment of inertia is 7 percent higher in the neutral position than with the G410 Plus, 20 percent higher in the draw setting and 16 percent higher in the fade setting.
For golfers who want added stability with less spin, Ping is offering the G425 LST (Low Spin Technology). This driver’s head is smaller (445 cubic centimeters) than the G425 Max, and it has a more traditional pear shape. While it features a moveable CG Shifter weight, it is lighter (17 grams), so the center of gravity is slightly more forward. As a result, the G425 LST produces 500-700 rpm less spin than the G425 Max. Golfers also should anticipate the G425 LST to produce a lower launch.
For golfers who battle a slice, Ping is offering the 460-cubic centimeter G425 SFT (Straight Flight Technology). Offered only in a 10.5-degree version, the club has a fixed 23-gram tungsten weight in the heel area that helps square the face on the downswing to reduce sidespin. Ping said the G425 SFT has 25 yards more draw bias than the G425 Max in the draw setting.
All three G425 drivers come standard with a Golf Pride Lite 360 Tour Velvet grip fitted with an Arccos sensor. Golfers who purchase one or more of the G425 driver, fairway wood, hybrid, iron (up to five) or Crossover are eligible for 14 free Arccos screw-in sensors and a 90-day app free trial for a $19.99 shipping and handling fee.
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