January 2 2014
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
With distinctive racing stripes on the crown, there's no question PING's i25 driver has a different look than its predecessor, the i20.
While the two drivers have the same matte-black, non-glare finish on the crown, PING designers decided to add black stripes for one reason in particular: to improve alignment.
The stripes, which took several years to perfect — due in large part to the shape on the driver's crown — only look straight when the club is square at address. If the club is open or closed at address, the stripes have a slight curve to them.
Of course, the racing stripe design wasn't the only noticeable upgrade on the i25. The multi-material driver, which is geared for all ability levels, has a 460-cubic centimeter head with a Ti 8-1-1 body and variable-thickness Ti 6-4 face that's thicker in the center and thinner towards the heel and toe for increased ball speeds and forgiveness.
The low-spin, high-launch driver — it has a move forward CG than G25 that helps reduce spin — also features PING's Trajectory Tuning technology, a lightweight, adjustable hosel system made from high strength aluminum (the loft sleeve also includes an adjustable titanium screw) that allows golfers to add or subtract loft by 0.5 degrees.
To improve the club's Moment of Inertia (MOI), engineers added heavier tungsten weights — the new tungsten weights make i25 five grams heavier than i20 — to the sole of the club to make it more forgiving.
The driver will come with PING's new PWR shaft that offers three unique weights (55, 65 and 75 grams) and stiffness profiles without altering swingweight. To keep the swingweight the same, the balance point was varied slightly in each shaft.
Along with the i25 driver, PING unveiled i25 fairway woods, hybrids and irons.
The i25 fairway woods have a slightly taller variable thickness 17-4 stainless steel face that, similar to the i25 driver, is thicker and the middle and thinner towards the heel and toe for increased ball speeds and forgiveness — especially on mis-hits.
The fairway woods also feature an adjustable hosel and the racing stripe design on the crown. Compared to G25, the CG is also more forward in i25, which gives it a penetrating trajectory with less spin.
PING's i25 hybrids have the same 17-4 stainless steel face as the the fairway woods, as well as a more-forward hosel axis and iron-like design with less bulge and roll.
The result of additional offset is a higher launch; the reduction of bulge and roll gives the hybrid a flatter face, straighter leading edge and more squared-off toe that promotes accurate aim and alignment.
The compressed profile and shorter heel-toe length improves turf interaction and contact from any lie. In an effort to maintain functional gapping, the CG was moved father-back in the lower-lofted hybrids for a higher launch; a more-forward CG in the higher-lofted heads reduces spin.
Due to the compact size of the head, the i25 hybrids don't feature the racing stripe design on the crown. Instead, they have a simple non-glare, matte-black finish.
The i25 driver will be available in February for $440 and comes in three loft options (8.5-, 9.5- and 10.5-degrees) with PING's PWR shaft. The i25 fairway woods cost $275 and come in three lofts (14, 15 and 18 degrees), while the i25 hybrids will be available in four lofts (17, 19, 22 and 26 degrees) for $242.
For more on PING equipment, check out the PGA TOUR SUPERSTORE.