By Mike Stachura
Ping G425 Driver
There’s a new Ping driver on the USGA conforming list, but odds are that you’ll have to wait patiently to see it in your local golf shop. The new G425 drivers, which come in three versions, look to be the followup to the company’s high-stability G400 and G410 drivers of the last few years.
The G425 was put on the conforming list this week, and a Ping spokesman said the driver would be available for some LPGA of Japan players at this week’s Nitori Ladies tournament. The club is expected to be introduced to the Asian market in the coming weeks, but there is no official word on when the drivers might make their debut elsewhere, which likely means not any time soon. Technically, of course, a driver that appears on the conforming list for the R&A also appears jointly on the USGA’s conforming list, whether that driver is or will be available in the U.S. market, and that driver is free to be used in tournaments anywhere that employs the conforming driver list as a condition of competition.
From photos linked to its appearance on the conforming list, it looks like the G425 will follow a similar family tree as the company’s previous G drivers. There will be a G425 LST, which traditionally has been the low-spin offering in the family; a G425 SFT, which traditionally has draw-biased weighting in the heel (and which is visible in the image on the USGA’s website); and a G425 Max, which seems to be following in the footsteps of the G400 Max, a 460-cubic- centimeter driver that joined the G400 family in 2018 as the driver with the highest moment of inertia (stability on off-center hits) in Ping’s history. It had combined heel-toe and up-down MOI of around 9,900 grams-centimeters squared, likely the highest of any major manufacturer at the time.
For all three drivers in the G425 family, it again appears that a tungsten weight will be part of the construction. In the G425 Max and G425 LST, the word “TUNGSTEN” appears in the rear of the sole and looks to be the kind that shifts between DRAW and FADE positions in addition to a centered or neutral setting, while on the G425 SFT, there are no DRAW and FADE markings and the word TUNGSTEN is fixed on the heel side of the sole. Ping’s G410 Plus and G410 LST were the company’s first drivers with an adjustable sole weight to dial in a player’s center of gravity preferences.
The conforming list images also call out a Forged Face. Both the G400 and G410 drivers used a forged titanium alloy face insert.
According to the listing, the G425 Max will be offered in 9-, 10.5-, and 12-degree models, the G425 LST comes in 9 and 10.5 models and the G425 SFT in a 10.5. Each also had a left-handed version on the conforming list.
Typically in years past, Ping has launched its G-lineup of drivers in mid- to late summer on the professional tours and into marketplaces worldwide by early fall. With the global coronavirus pandemic halting manufacturing operations both at the company headquarters in Arizona and with its manufacturing partners in Asia, it seems likely to surmise that those led to delays in a global launch. It looks like that delay is coming to an end in the Asian market, but for the immediate future, the world’s largest golf market will have to wait.