The reality is that iron lofts aren't what they used to be. That's a point of contention in equipment design, with some golfers concerned that they're not playing irons matching the numbers stamped on the bottom. But the truth is that most golfers want more distance, and they'll rule out any iron that can't keep up.
So, in lieu of strengthening iron lofts as part of a design strategy to increase distance, what can an OEM do to appreciably improve distance and overall performance?
For Ping, they believe the answer is in their G425 irons, which bring some facets of driver and fairway wood face design to an iron with the hopes of packing a punch.
That means the evolution of COR-Eye, which had been in Ping's game-improvement irons for years. Now, they've moved on to a variable face technology design more reminiscent of its metalwoods. The end result is the face flexes more while delivering stability across the face. That means higher ball speeds with a higher launch and a steeper angle of descent. They fall out of the sky to stop quicker after going longer. That's a good recipe.
The Hyper 17-4 stainless steel face is thinner than the previous generation, meaning it can flex more and aid that VFT in delivering ball speeds, particularly with more of the face unsupported.
The G425 irons are actually smaller than their G410 predecessors, but the moment of inertia rating is 3 percent higher. Ping achieved this by altering the face geometry and placing more weight in the toe and heel regions. A multi-material badge dampens vibration and helps with acoustics. The smaller profile actually helps golfers square up the club face because it takes less physical work to get that smaller blade back to square.
The hydropearl chrome finish deflects water off the face to prevent flier lies, and the wedges in the set have machined faces and grooves, like you'd expect in extra-set wedges.
The Ping G425 irons are available from 4-9, in PW, UW, SW and LW in standard, Power Spec and Retro Spec lofts. That means you can buy irons with what Ping considers modern lofts for their irons, with stronger lofts akin to their peers or weaker lofts, if you want that for some reason. The stock steel shaft is the PING AWT 2.0, and the stock graphite is the Alta CB Slate with AWT. Other optional shafts are available at no upcharge. The irons are $137.50 each in steel or $150 each in graphite.
Ping's Crossovers have been their long-time answer to golfers who want to replace long irons but not with hybrids. They get iron-like performance from the Crossover with additional forgiveness.
The G425 Crossovers are more iterative in performance compared to the G410s -- a little longer, a little higher-launching. Toe and hosel weights increase MOI, while the face flexes a little more to deliver that notable improved performance.
The PVD finish looks slick, as always, and they also have the hydropearl finish, too.
The Ping G425 Crossovers are $250 each and are available in 18-, 20- and 22.5-degree heads in the PING Alta CB 70 Slate stock graphite shaft. Other options are available without an upcharge.