RRP: £345 Best price: £289
Lie: 58-degree Length: 45.25” Swing Weight: D3
Shaft: PWR 55 Grip: PING 360 ID8
Summary: The new i25 driver features a high strength-to-weight ratio Ti 8-1-1 body that is joined to a variable-thickness Ti 6-4 face, ensuring maximum energy transfer for generating faster ball speeds for greater distance. High-density tungsten sole weights lower the CG to reduce spin for a flatter ball flight and a landing angle that maximises roll out. Strategic placement of the weights significantly increases MOI, which means golfers will spend more time in the fairway. Patented racing stripes create more-consistent clubface alignment at impact, a crucial ingredient to improved driving. Using Trajectory Tuning technology, standard lofts are adjustable +-1/2º.
Looks: The racing lines aid simple and consistent alignment down the target line and will help put more golfers in pole position on the fairway. We’ve seen something similar with the TaylorMade R1 and its red and black racing lines before, but this is much less off-putting or in your face as such. The subtle racing lines also took plenty of time for PING to design. Much research has gone into the creation. Three years in fact. The difficulty resulted in placing straight lines on the driver’s curved crown surface. According to PING, average players use a driver with a lie angle of around 58-degree. When placing the driver down at address, lie angle ‘actually’ measures around 45-degree. By perfecting the alignment position with the racing lines, PING has ensured the golfer is lined up perfectly. Sole looks similar to the i20. 4.5 (out of 5)
Feel: Three testers experienced a consistent, solid sound across the board with a very stable sensation from address through to finish, while one tester experienced a harder feel than others. A nice touch in the feel stakes here is PING’s industry-first PWR Series (performance, weighting, responsiveness) shaft family that is available in three different weights of 55, 65 and 75 grams. We favoured the 55 shaft, which tended to aid much better control and stable feel through the downswing than the 65. Each shaft has a specific balance point that keeps the swing weight of the club the same regardless of what shaft weight golfers choose (e.g. the i25 driver built with PWR 55-gram shaft has a lighter total weight than an i25 driver built with a 65g shaft. Yet with the lower balance point of the PWR 55g shaft, it allows both clubs to have exactly the same swing weight). It’s a welcome addition and makes custom fitting shafts a breeze. 8.5 (out of 10)
Performance: Above-average distance and certainly one of the most accurate performers in the test. Not too dissimilar forgiveness to the PING G25. While Tom (pro) and Andy (8) loved the low launch and low spin combination, they both found it wasn't the easiest to work. Very forgiving club, particularly on squiffy hits, the ball still jumps off the face and gets out there. 9 (out of 10)
Verdict: All testers love the fresh, new looks from PING. It might not suit the traditionalist but if you’re going to find more fairways, why wouldn’t you want to get involved? The racing lines to us aid terrific alignment and will help put more golfers in pole position on the short grass. Not the longest in the test but certainly a low spinning option with plenty of roll and it's also a slightly more forgiving option than the i20. By no means cheap at £345, however, and that may detract interest punters for the time being. 22 (out of 25)