Published on January 2nd, 2014 | by 2nd Swing0
PING i25 Fairway Woods
Summary: Best-looking, most functional crown graphics we've seen anywhere. A great performer off the tee, deck and light rough.
As you’ve probably noticed, the PING i25 fairway woods utilize the same racing-stripe concept as the driver. Here’s how lead PING engineer Marty Jertson described the research behind these crown graphics when we met with him to discuss the i25’s:
“No. 1, it’s cool. But it’s cool with some science behind it. It has all these alignment benefits depending on how you use it – Bubba Watson loves how it can help him visualize his starting point, for instance. This is because it helps make the connection between the face angle of the club and the actual flight path of the golf ball. This crown helps create that visual cue of the proper face-to-path ratio that you’ll hopefully see during dynamic impact. We experimented with and optimized the tone, so that it’s definitely there without being too overwhelming or blunt.”
The real trick here, which took years of trial and error to perfect, was to overlay two straight lines onto a curved crown and come out with the desired result at the end. Jertson and his colleagues also had to determine from which angle a typical golfer looks down at the crown at address and how the club is sitting in their hands at that point. Nailing down the perspective was critical: next time you watch a golf tournament on TV, think of how the camera angle makes pros often look like they’re lined up way left or right of their target, and you’ve got an idea of how perspective can affect alignment.
PING has also made the i25 fairways visually more compact at address than in previous models, as well as adding depth to the face for a larger effective hitting zone and better performance if you’re hitting them from off a tee or from the first cut of rough. Inside the clubhead, the center of gravity has been lowered, which not only elevates launch angle but reduces spin, as well. The combination results in longer distance by increasing carry through the air as well as rollout after the ball hits the ground. You’ll generate some additional ball speed through the variable-thickness 17-4 stainless steel face.
The options you have to make performance adjustments and tweaks are nearly limitless. The i25 fairways come in three standard lofts, 14°, 15° and 18°, and each can be adjusted up or down a half-degree. So if you like that 14.5° setting, you’ve got two clubs to choose from that each offer different shot and shot characteristics.
Finally, there are the new PWR (Performance, Weighting, Responsiveness) shafts that are the stock offerings in all i25 metalwoods. The concept here is that you can pick from multiple shaft-weight options – for the fairways it’s the choice between 55, 65 and 75 grams – without changing the how the weight of the clubhead feels during your swing. This will allow you to neutralize your draw or fade tendency and keep the swing you’ve got.
The i25 fairway woods have an MSRP of $242 and are now available for pre-order, with clubs beginning to ship in mid-February.