Review: Ping i25 Hybrid

Controlling the Yardage Gap
Hybrids might be the clubs that have the greatest variety of design after putters. Irons and wedges are generally of a similar shape, as are drivers and fairway woods, but hybrids come in many different shapes and sizes from very compact and iron like to very large and fairway wood like. Even if two are in a similar style, their head shape and sole design can be very, very different. But no matter the shape, design or style, a hybrid should have one function: be easy to hit for yardages longer than your iron and shorter than your fairway wood. Ideally it can hit that yardage from any lie, fairway, tee or rough (within reason). The Ping i25 earned a spot in my bag because it is easy to consistently hit the same distance.
The Ping i25 hybrid was in my bag with the i25 irons for 2 winter trips south and it might have been the best club in my bag during all 10 of those rounds.  It didn’t stay there by accident, it performed like a champ from the first swing and on.  The shape is more compact than other hybrids, especially fairway wood shaped ones, like the G25.  It is more boxy than some previous Ping hybrids too.  I have to say the look inspired confidence for me, big enough to feel like it had power, but compact enough to get through moderate rough.

While the rest of the woods in the i25 line have racing stripes, the hybrids do not.  It does however have the tungsten weights in the back of the sole to create that amazingly solid feel found in all the i25 woods.  It also sets the weight low and back for easy launch.  Even though it is a quick launching head the spin is lower and trajectory is fairly flat.  The forward hosel helps move the CG forward toward the face to keep everything in balance.

Not only did the trajectory serve me well with this club, so did the dispersion.  I had really great accuracy with it too.  I had a couple of eagle looks because of this hybrid hitting the exact line and distance I needed.  The control of this hybrid is outstanding.  I like to hit it straight and this club does that.  It also can hit creative shots.  I was able to create a few shots I needed because of a tree in my way or the wind, or a dogleg on the hole.  It was comfortable from the first shot and still 10 rounds later.

The turf interaction is really nice with the Ping i25 hybrid.  It has a flatter sole and less bulge and roll than some hybrids making it glide across the turf and pick the ball cleanly from fairway, tee or rough.  Because of the compact shape it can cut through some fairly thick rough with only minimal lost distance.  If you are in normal rough, the ball will come out like normal and very little distance is lost.  Obviously between the tee and the rough there is a difference, but not major.  I’d say about 15 yards tops.  I could stretch this hybrid to about 220 off the tee and was consistently hitting it 205-210 from other lies.  That right there, is why it is in the bag.  I had really great accuracy with this hybrid.

The stock shaft is very good.  It has a smooth feel that kick firmly through the ball.  It seems tight too, no wild snaps or board like results, just consistent control and feel.  At a nice 80 gram shaft, the tour stiff really is a solid shaft in this 19*  head.

The Ping i25 hybrid is a really impressive club.  It might not be the longest, (not that I want that anyways) but it is so easy to control the distance and accuracy.  As of right now, it is my hybrid for 2014.  It has already given me a number of good looks at eagle and birdies; the on course performance doesn’t lie.  It takes control of the yardage gap.

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Quick Hits
+Excellent distance control
+Solid feel
+Quick launch
+Compact look
+Great stock shaft offerings

–More of a players hybrid