G25 is next up in Ping's G series evolution

In recent years the G series has defined Ping in many ways.

The G clubs (drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons) appeal to a wide audience from touring pros all the way to rank and file amateurs. Purchase the proper shaft, and the forgiveness of the G series can be very, very helpful.

Bubba Watson won the 2012 Masters using a G20 driver. Forget the stories about touring pros not needing forgiveness. Watson was crazy about his G20 driver, and he said so over and over.

“We don’t like to talk about offcenter hits,” Watson said, “but when I miss one, this driver saves my butt.”

Next in the evolution of the G series: the new G25. At the PGA Merchandise Show on January 24-26 in Orlando, Fla., Ping will showcase this new line.

Watson has switched to the G25, as has fellow Ping staffer Hunter Mahan.

Some significant design changes were implemented in the G25 line that are noticeable throughout the set.

From address perspective, the size of the driver head is the biggest from front to back that Ping has ever made. It’s still 460 CCs, which is the maximum volume, but the crown was enlarged without increasing the overall size. The result is a powerful look at address.

Furthermore, the balance point of the G25 driver was raised even higher than it was in the G20. Those who believe in backweighting (placing additional weight in grip end of the club) might love this driver.

“We use higher modulus carbon fiber (lightweight graphite) materials for the majority of the shaft, and then we use extra material in the butt end of the shaft to raise the balance point,” said Ping club designer Marty Jertson, who qualified for the PGA Championship in 2011 and ’12.

There are several theories about the benefits of a higher balance point, most of them focusing on improved control and acceleration of the club. In his prime Jack Nicklaus backweighted most of his clubs to raise the balance point.

The G25 driver also continues the Ping philosophy of moving the center of gravity lower and toward the back of the clubhead.

“The effect is that you can launch it higher without having to play more loft,” Jertson said.

The G25 irons underwent a distinct renovation from the G20 model. The sole isn’t quite as wide, and the overall size of the head is marginally smaller.

“It is a very versatile, sleek looking club that has the same forgiveness factor as the G20,” Jertson said. “We put a lot of technology into the back cavity (including a badge made of aluminum and elastomer) to keep that same forgiveness.”

The irons are designed with progressive size, the longer iron heads being slightly larger for forgiveness and the shorter iron heads being slightly smaller for playability.

The G25 hybrids exhibit another big change: Ping moved away from iron-style hybrids and went back to a more traditional wood shape. The result is a hybrid series with a classic profile.

The internal weighting was manipulated to produce more spin on the lower lofted hybrids (for a higher trajectory) and less spin on the higher lofted hybrids.

The hybrid range is immense -- 17 to 31 degrees of loft -- and Jertson was enthusiastic about the performance of the hybrids with more loft. “We reduced the backspin, and those hybrids like the 31 don’t balloon up there and spin out of control,” he said.

The G25 fairway woods are similar in size and shape to the G20 fairway woods. However, the weight configuration inside the heads was altered. The result, according to Jertson, is a lighter clubhead that allows for the addition of a sturdy yet extremely lively face.

“We did the same thing with the CG that we did in the driver,” Jertson said. “We’ve got the CG lower and farther back, and this launches the ball higher with the same loft.”

All the G25 clubs are scheduled to be in golf shops around Feb. 15.

Retail costs: driver $349.99, fairway woods $229.99, hybrids $199.99, irons (set of eight) $699.99

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