It could be argued that Ping doesn’t do really do ‘new’… But what they do offer is consistency—both in their philosophy and their club’s performance. Ping isn’t about breaking something that works or reinventing the wheel. Instead, they prefer to slowly but surely build and advance on previously proven technologies.
Case in point: the Ping G425 LST, SFT, and Max drivers. You’ll find a blend of a few subtle tweaks along with some existing technology. Does it work? Absolutely! Each of these drivers is made for a slightly different golfer profile; check out our full Ping G425 driver review below!
Quick Breakdown of the Ping G425 Max, SFT, and LST Drivers
The Ping G425 series is the latest iteration of the ever-popular Ping G drivers. They have been modified and given numerous small updates to suit different types of players.
All of the drivers in the G425 have shared features. These are as follows:
- Excellent aesthetic appeal with a matte black crown and clean lines.
- An aerodynamic design to reduce drag and increase swing speed.
- An adjustable trajectory tuning 2.0 hosel
- Internal ribbing and Dragonfly structure to promote rigidity and ball speed.
- A bias in shot shape and direction
- T9S+ maraging steel forged face
And here is their key features and who they are for: –
Ping G425 Max driver: Best for players needing forgiveness and accuracy, who don’t need to work the ball
- Fully adjustable 26-gram rear weight with a draw, fade, and neutral setting
- 460cc head
- Best in class for forgiveness
- Long and consistent distance
Ping G425 SFT Driver: Best for players who have a significant and consistent fade bias to their shots
- No weight adjustment, 23gram fixed heel based weight
- A draw-biased driver (heavily, up to 25 yards)
- 460cc head
Ping G425 LST Driver: Best for mid to low handicappers who are comfortable working the ball, who are relatively consistent.
- Fully adjustable 17-gram rear weight with a draw, fade, and neutral setting
- Smaller 445cc clubhead
- Big on distance, but much less forgiving
The Ping G425 Drivers | What You Need to Know
The Ping G425 drivers are the latest iteration of Ping’s immensely popular G-series. It all began with the Ping G driver back in 2016. Since then, year on year, Ping has refined, tuned, and tweaked their clubs’ performance while trying to keep a basic premise in mind. Offering a blend of power, distance, and a fair helping of forgiveness when you need it most.
We all need forgiveness on a long par five with the ‘big stick’ in our hand. It’s a fact.
You’ll find one or two things a little different in this year’s drivers. Note I said a little different. Ping has shown a fair amount of restraint and held back against the golf industry’s tendency to add as many buzzwords and gimmicks as it can.
Suppose you have played with Ping drivers at all over the last 5 years. In that case, you’ll find a few familiar things, alongside a few small improvements that promise to make this a really firm favorite in the golf season to come.
I’m going to begin with the Ping G425 MAX, which promises to be one of Ping’s best all-around drivers. From there, we’ll go to the slightly more specific LST and SFT drivers, discuss the differences and who each club would be best suited to.
Let’s dive straight in…
G425 Max Driver Review
The Ping G425 is the basic ‘vanilla’ version in this three-driver series.
Actually, scratch that. ‘Vanilla’ doesn’t do the club justice. It is packed with features that all combine to make up a great whole…
I’d say that this driver is one of the best that I have ever tried when it comes to overall performance. I didn’t get a massive increase in distance, but I did gain 3-4 yards on average.
What I really want to talk about in the Ping G425 Max performance is the level of forgiveness. I found it pretty amazing. My average carry is around 270 yards. Over 20 shots, I managed to hit 274 yards on the launch monitor.
Wait, weren’t we talking about forgiveness? Yes, indeed… Here’s my point, that was a true average with very little spread between my ‘bad’ shots and my good shots.
Let me put it another way…
Whether I found the exact middle or not, the ball went pretty much the same distance.
My line was more consistent too. I do have a shape to my shots, but this was completely minimized, and I was never more than a few yards from where I wanted to be. I don’t hit perfect shots and am not always the most consistent, but this driver did seem to make my shots go straighter.
Sound and Feel
Want to turn heads when you crush one into the distance? This thing is loud, seriously loud. You don’t get the subtle ping or porcelain clink of something delicate with a well-struck shot.
This thing sounds like you’ve smashed it. A loud metallic crack is what you are rewarded with every time.
The feel is as you’d expect coming from ping. I knew when I’d hit it sweet and straight without ever looking up as there was little feeling of impact. When I missed the middle, you’d get only minor vibration, and as I said, the ball still flew well and was fairly accurate too.
When I first removed the headcover, here’s what I said…
And I meant it. This thing looks absolutely stunning. It’s seriously classy. The crown and a large portion of the sole are covered in a matte black carbon-style finish. This isn’t so much Ferrari, more like… Batmobile.
There are elements and accents of polished chrome, along with the leading edge being a rather shiny gloss finish. The entire look is based around blacks and greys.
When it comes to how the club looks at the address, it is fairly unassuming. The matte black finish goes a long way to preventing reflections and glare.
Here’s something that won’t be for everyone, and it bothered me. There are no dots or chevrons for precision alignment. Instead, you place the ball between two of the angled ‘turbulators’ found on the crown.
For an experienced player who knows where the ball goes, this won’t be a problem. For a beginner or new entrant into the sport, this could lead to a sub-optimal setup. It is minor, but I just wish they’d thought about it.
Alignment lines aside, the driver boasts a 460cc head, the legal maximum. When paired with the black finish, it looks supremely hittable and seems to make a contrasting white golf ball look absolutely unmissable.
You will find a range of options in the Ping G425 Max. For those who need to keep the ball down and don’t struggle particularly with adverse shot shapes, there is a 9° available. For the intermediate player who still needs a little loft and spin, there is a 10.5° edition. Finally, for those who need heaps of forgiveness, you’ll find the 12° gives enough spin to stop the ball from going sideways!
The Club Face
Ping has kept the visual appeal going while also adding some clever technology in the face.
Here’s the thing.
It’s forged and made from T9s maraging steel. This material is super strong, very hard, and is designed to flex slightly on impact to promote supremely fast ball speeds and give extra distance.
The G425 driver has a unique shape. When viewed side-on, it looks ever so slightly like an airplane wing. This low profile design is made to reduce drag, allowing any player to squeeze every last MPH out of their swing.
You’ll notice that the entire clubhead is covered in small channels, ridges, and grooves in tandem with this.
Yep, that’ll be the turbulators. Along with the clubhead shape, these are designed to channel the air that flows around the club during the swing, reduce the drag and increase your swing speed.
One of the key areas that a club needs to get the ball well and truly airborne is a low center of gravity. With drivers, you’ll also find that most manufacturers want this to be somewhat behind the clubface.
The dragonfly technology is Ping’s effort. Due to a lightweight crown and clubface, Ping has given themselves room to manipulate and move the weight around using a lattice structure. This isn’t visible on the outside of the club, but trust us, it’s there, and it works.
While I am ‘under the hood’, it is worth mentioning Ping’s internal ribbing structure. While the face is designed to flex, it needs something to flex against. Ping has given the G425 Max an internal ‘skeleton’ that gives the clubhead greater strength and promotes great sound and feel.
It is rare to find a driver today that doesn’t allow you to tweak one or two settings. Thankfully Ping hasn’t been too traditional in their approach. The G425 Max features an adjustable hosel.
This actually ticks a couple of boxes.
You can change the loft of the club from anything +/-1.5° in 0.5° increments…
And there’s more… You can also change the lie angle to vary between ‘flat’ and ‘neutral’.
Ping G425 Max Specific Features and Differences
Now that you’ve seen the standard Max model let’s discuss one or two specific features.
First is the adjustability. The hosel alteration can be performed on any of the three driver models. However, the G425 Max has something unique.
It features a moveable weight located in the extreme rear of the club.
You’ll notice a couple of things when you see the weight. First, it isn’t a sliding adjustment. You will be able to choose between three positions. Left, right, or middle.
(for a right-handed golfer)
Heel bias is used if you are trying to prevent your shots from going right, left bias to reduce a hook or pull and center if you can hit it straight consistently (humble brag, really?)
You’ll notice that the weight doesn’t move by much regardless of the position.
Wait, what? Why?
Well, I’m not going to delve into deep physics with you, but what I will say is that moving a small weight a long way from a pivot point is the same as moving a big weight a shorter distance.
Ping has chosen the latter. It creates the same effect without creating a messy-looking club head and weighs 26 grams. That’s pretty heavy, so it doesn’t need to go far to have the desired effect.
Want my opinion?
I like it, and it works. On the launch monitor, I noticed the trend indeed favored the side I had ‘selected’. I even blind tested it to be sure I wasn’t subconsciously hitting the ball to meet my assumptions.
Who is the Ping G425 Max Driver for?
If you are an average mid to high handicap player who is looking for a helping of distance. Or you want something that will keep you on the fairway more often, then the Ping G425 Max would be a fabulous choice. It has plenty of forgiveness and the option to fine-tune your shot shape with adjustable weights and hosel.
G425 SFT Driver Review
Next in the lineup is the Ping G425 SFT driver. There isn’t a great deal of difference between this and the Max, but a few little things make it a different club to play with.
The ‘SFT’ of the Ping G425 SFT stands for ‘straight flight’ technology. The aim is that it will reduce the tendency to slice the ball.
The club features most of the technology found in the G425 Max, with a couple of alternative features.
The clubhead is the same size, boasting an eye-watering 460cc head. The ball will still look unmissable.
And yes, you’ll still find the T9S forged face, turbulator lines, dragonfly structure, and internal ribbing…
Ping G425 SFT Differences…
When it comes to looks, you’ll have to pay attention if you want to spot the difference. It’s more to do with performance than aesthetics. You’ll still find a gorgeous-looking matte crown, complete with batman-esque lines and grey stripes.
Unlike the G425 Max, this club is only available in one loft, 10.5° however it still features the trajectory tuning 2.0 hosel, so you’ll be able to change it from 9° up to 12° before hitting the golf course.
The difference in the club is only really apparent once you’ve hit the ball.
It is designed to promote a right to left shot shape that should counter the beginner’s old friend, the fade (or slice).
How does it achieve this?
The G425 Max had a moveable 26-gram tungsten weight to provide a shape to your shots. The Ping G425 SFT has a couple of unique differences.
First, the weight in the rear is lighter. At 23 grams, you get slightly less effect than with the G425 Max weight…
The second area where the weighting differs is that it is fixed.
That’s right, it doesn’t move! Ping claims to have added around 25 yards of left to right shot shape by fixing the weight permanently towards the heel. That’s a fair amount of curve
Does it work?
Indeed, it does! Perhaps too well. I absolutely couldn’t get the ball to leak right. It was an effort to get it to fly straight. Everything suddenly became a draw. If you hit it a long way right, then this should help to straighten you out in short order.
One often-overlooked difference is the swing weight. In the SFT driver, you will find that it has been adjusted slightly to be lighter (D1) to add a further correction to wayward shots.
Who is the Ping G425 SFT Driver for?
The Ping G425 SFT would be ideally suited for a player who has consistency… In hitting it right, always. Remember, it adds 25 yards of right-to-left bias. That’s a lot of movement. If you normally hit straight with the occasional leak, the G425 Max would be a better choice; otherwise, your ‘new’ bad shot will be a pull or a hook.
G425 LST Driver Review
And now we have our final model from the lineup. LST… Low Spin Trajectory, there’s a clue lurking in those three letters as to what this driver is all about.
Have I saved the best until last?
Well, that all depends on what kind of player you are and what you are looking for.
If the G425 Max was aimed at people who were looking for forgiveness and a helping hand, the Ping G425 LST is more of a ‘grown up’ club that leaves you to get on with it, for better or worse.
It shares many of the great features you’ll find in both the Max and the SFT. This includes a precision forged face, a highly aerodynamic design (complete with turbulators), and an adjustable hosel.
However, there are some things that you are going to want to be aware of.
Ping G425 LST Differences
The first relates directly to how the clubhead looks. Unlike the Ping Max and SFT, you’ll find a clubhead that is more compact and reduced in size. At 445cc, it is actually pretty noticeable (especially when you’ve hit 100 balls on the range with the previous two drivers). When you hit the ball, you can see, hear and feel the difference.
Ping says that it will offer up to 400RPM less spin than the LST. When teed up on the launch monitor, I am inclined to agree. I found that my perfect shots with the G425 Max suddenly weren’t quite as perfect, and unwanted shot shapes began to creep in.
This is great if you have the control to purposefully work a draw or a fade around a hole, not so much if you’d give anything to hit it straight.
The LST doesn’t feature the same breadth of lofts as the Max. It is available at 9° and 10.5°. Again, you do have the option to fine-tune the loft with the adjustable hosel.
As we said at the very start, Ping hasn’t made huge changes in their driver setups on the face of it. It would appear to be the little things that count.
The Ping LST driver does feature a moveable weight that can be shifted by the same magnitude as in the Max. The difference is that this weight, at 17 grams, is much lighter. Therefore its effect and forgiveness are somewhat muted.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If you can catch this club consistently, it will perform with the best of them.
But that’s a big if.
Although this is a real players driver, I didn’t find my performance improved based on the launch monitor stats. I still got the same average carry as with the G425 Max.
So, what was the problem?
I said average. For better or worse, I found minimal variation between my good and bad shots with the Ping G425 Max… It really was a true average.
With the Ping G425 LST, it was a different story. When I struck the ball, it really flew, and I was pushing 300 yards when I really caught it. The downside came when I didn’t. This led me to suffer a significant loss in the distance (10 – 15 yards) that has brought the average of all those big drives right down.
My accuracy was nowhere near as sharp with this club. But, all that said, that’s not the club’s fault.
What I’m saying is that this won’t mask your bad shots anywhere near as effectively as the G425 Max.
Who is the Ping G425 LST for?
This is a real players club for those around mid handicap and lower. The weight adjustment has much less effect and won’t do much to dig you out of trouble. This, combined with the smaller clubhead and less produced spin, means that you won’t find as much forgiveness. Remember, this driver looks identical to the other models. If it’s the visuals you are after, choose one of the other options.
The Ping G425 Driver | Final thoughts
I really admire Ping. They haven’t tried to be a ‘jack of all trades’ and promised the earth with one club. They have been smart and made a tool to fit each job. Want forgiveness? Go for the Ping G425 Max. Looking for shot correction? Give the Ping G425 SFT a whirl. For those who are bold and confident and want a real players driver, the G425 LST is a real big boys club.
Whichever you choose, be honest about your own ability and pick a club that works with you, not one that you will have to fight against. I hope you enjoy the benefit of whichever driver you choose. See you on the course!