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Review: PING G25 Hybrid
In HBO’s Game of Thrones, the North’s motto is, “Winter is coming.” In Minnesota we’re saying, “Winter won’t leave.” I ended up heading all the way down to Missouri to test the new PING G25 hybrids. The things we do to swing a golf club outside. Personally, I have been skeptical of PING and their hybrid offerings in past years and have tended to stick with TaylorMade or Adams, as their hybrids have performed well, for the most part, ever since hybrids became an integral part of most golfers’ bags these days. But I was pleasantly surprised.
PING still uses 17-4 stainless steel for their club heads and the G25 head is no exception. They positioned the center of gravity (CG) low and back to provide greater distance and more forgiveness on mishits. Ping lists the bottom of their G25 hybrids with a generous heel-to-toe camber and sole for all-around playability from multiple lie positions. The G25 has a squared up toe and heel for more forgiveness and makes alignment easy. To top it off PING gave the G25 hybrid a black matte finish, so no glare looking at back you.
The stock shaft is a TFC 189H, a PING proprietary shaft. Again, I tend to shy away from ‘stock’ shafts, but I was quickly convinced that this shaft would work for my feel and distance requirements. You can order custom shafts, but you should not have the need.
I tested the 20-degree G25 hybrid and compared it with my older 19-degree TaylorMade Rescue, both with stiff shafts. I was impressed with the fact the G25 had better carry distance than the TaylorMade and ended up being longer overall.
Accuracy and Forgiveness
Many other reviews noted how straight the G25 went, even with slightly off-center shots. They are not blowing smoke to pay for their equipment (and neither am I). On the driving range, I was taking dead aim at the 200 yard sign and consistently putting the ball directly over the sign. Even on some poorly struck shots, I noticed I was still keeping it in play toward the target. My old TaylorMade did not fare so well. Once on the golf course, I was standing about 210 yards out and hit 10 balls to the green. 8 hit the middle of the green, one was just off the green and one was a flat-out top. I’ll take 8 out of 10 every day.
Launch and Spin
Back at 2nd Swing Minnetonka, I put the hybrid to the test on the PING nFlight launch monitor. I personally liked the higher launch I was able to achieve, since my plan is to use the PING G25 hybrid as a long-iron replacement for shots into the green that I can trust to land and not roll much. If you tend to hit the ball high already, then you may want to consider something else.
I really liked the simple design: no offset, which I’m seeing more and more manufacturers move away from (too many people trapping or hooking their long hybrids, I suspect), and the black, non-glare finish gives the hybrid a great look. I found it very easy to set up and align when getting ready to make my shot.
Again, my skepticism reared its ugly head even before I hit a single ball. A stock shaft, a 17-4 stainless steel head, and a standard PING grip…it pretty much screamed to me that I was going to hate it. I was wrong. Impact on the face was soft. The shaft was very responsive and gave me very good feedback on how well/poor I had hit the shot. And the standard grip from Ping was actually pretty good — very comfortable in my hands.
I need to write a few more articles and work some more hours during the weekends at 2nd Swing because I need to put one of these hybrids in my bag. I will need to work with the club-fitters to find the right combination so the hybrid will fill the gap I currently have (around 205-212 yards), but for 2013, you can’t go wrong with the new PING G25 hybrids.