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PING G15 Hybrid Review

Jan. 5, 2010     By     Comments (28)

With a club as easy to hit as the G15 hybrid, why fight a difficult long iron? The new G15 hybrid offers great distance, incredible forgiveness, and loads of versatility in a new package.

PING G15 HybridPING has been a major innovator in the industry for quite a while. No one can argue the significance of the innovations they've created to help all players. Even in PING's inception, Karsten Solheim made history as being the first to use heel-toe weighting in the custom putters he created. 50 years later, that tradition of forward thinking and advancement continues, as the new G15 lineup is evidence of how far along they've come.

Up until this point, my experience with PING clubs had been limited to their drivers and putters. Though I never pulled the trigger on it, the Rapture V2 was (in my opinion) one of the best drivers I had ever hit. The G10 however wasn't too far behind it, which is the reason I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to review the hybrid in the latest of PING's G-series.

The PING G-Series are a great option for anyone either new to the game or one who's looking for an all-around solid club with a good degree of forgiveness. Normally, hybrids fit in great with this demographic, though there are always golfers who want to play long irons over the hybrid counterparts. The G15 hybrid might be that perfect blend of iron and hybrid that changes some players' minds.

PING G15 Hybrid Lineup

Design
The compact shape of the G15 hybrid's 17-4 stainless steel head is much shorter in length (from face to back) than most other fairway wood-inspired hybrids. Instead, think of this hybrid as being more like a driving iron, similar to the hybrids made popular by Adams. The intention of this design is to make the player set up to hit this hybrid the same way they would with a regular iron.

Perimeter weighting is provided by a large internal toe pad in order to provide forgiveness and assists in locating the center of gravity low and close to the face for a high launch and low spin. In fact, PING is calling the G15 their longest and most forgiving hybrid to date, thanks to the previously mentioned toe pad.

G15 Internal Weighting

Esthetics
Again, the G15 hybrid looks much like a driving iron, but with a shortened, curving black head. The head design is very much a departure from its previous-generation, fairway wood-inspired G10 counterpart. The thickness of the face is immediately visible, as a couple of millimeters of grey steel face extend at the crown. The sole is mostly flat and clean, with the weight pads, the signature PING logo, the loft of the club, and the G15 stamping (all in the red and black common to the G15 line) being the only markings visible on the polished sole.

PING G15 Hybrid Sole

Looking down at the hybrid at address, the club maintains a clean appearance, though the offset may throw you for a loop. At first glance, you may actually forget that you're hitting a hybrid, thanks to the compact shape of the black head.

PING G15 Hybrid at Address

All in all, I was happy with the appearance of the hybrid, as I'm normally partial to any red and black color scheme. The color, along with the flat, uncluttered sole left me very happy with the overall appearance of the club and should please most traditional players.

Performance
To be completely honest, I wasn't very comfortable with the long iron replacement at first. Luckily, first impressions don't equate to the lasting opinion, and this club is proof of that. At address, what seems like a large amount of offset - if you'll pardon the pun - really threw me off. The irons I play have a very minimal amount of offset, and going from one extreme to the other took a little bit of getting used to.

The other problem I had was the stock rubber grip, which was a little too small. Still, this is such a minor issue, it's really barely worth mentioning. After having the grip swapped for a midsize New Decade Multi-Compound, my experience was considerably better. I'm not sure if it was a mental thing or not, but in my mind, it reinforces how important of a role the comfort of the hands play in the golf swing. As a side note, the red and black New Decade Multi-Compound was a great match for this club.

It was immediately obvious after my first trip to the driving range that this hybrid is a real beast. It didn't seem to matter where on the clubface contact was made, it still launched the ball long and straight. With that in mind, the feel isn't much different on a perfectly struck shot than it is on one struck near the toe (which can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on who you ask). This may be a drawback to some, but I don't think anyone could complain about the performance this club delivers.

PING G15 Hybrid Toe

Launching the ball off the deck was extremely easy. I believe this is partly attributed to the shape of the head in that I found myself less likely to go at the ball like a fairway wood, and more likely to swing it as intended, like an iron. This has been something I've fought in the past and is part of the reason I went back to a 3-iron instead of a hybrid. This hybrid makes me re-think that choice. The flat sole glides smoothly across the ground and I never had a problem with it getting stuck when I tried to attack the ball on a steeper angle. Every shot would land softly and roll out just a bit.

Off the tee was more of the same. In my first outing or two with it, everything off the tee went left with either a solid draw or a borderline hook. I attributed this to not being accustomed to the offset, but once I became a little more familiar with the club and made a few adjustments, it was as straight as can be. On the flip side, though I like to play a fade, (and am much more consistent with it than I am with a draw) I really couldn't get the ball to move to the right at all with the G15.

I don't see this is as a negative because I believe this club would be an exceptional choice for any mid- to high-handicapper who fights consistency with their long irons and/or an uncontrolled fade/slice. The flip side of this is the reduction in workability that I mentioned; however, this club is geared towards the golfer that shouldn't be concentrating on working the ball as much as they should be concerned with going straight.

Out of the rough, the club was simply outstanding. There was one situation in particular where the hybrid left me very impressed. On a longer par five, I was left with a side-hill lie in some pretty thick rough. When I took my swing, I thought that I had slightly topped the ball, but the G15 shot it out quickly and true to my line. The head really moved well through the thick stuff, and I never once got the feeling that the grass had caught it and opened it up or closed it down.

Aldila Serrano Shaft

The ball flight produced by the G15 is piercing and boring, but did get a little high for my liking. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't excessively high, just slightly higher than I normally like. With minimal wind, it definitely is not an issue. Regardless, I've been working on keeping the ball down on command, but this hybrid seemed near impossible to lower even though the Aldila Serrano hybrid shaft is listed as a mid-launch. I suspect you can thank the extremely low CG for this. The Aldila Serrano was a nice surprise. The weighting and flex profile fit me well, and even a near effortless swing still launched the ball high and long.

Contact feels extremely crisp, even on off center contact. So much so that I could barely tell the difference between square, flush, on-target contact. Shots struck near the toe were nearly identical in feel to a well-struck shot. Some may see this as a drawback, but let me again reiterate that this club is targeted to mid-to-high handicappers, where that quality is desired. The best way to describe the feeling is "deceiving", as in everything felt deceivingly good. Distance loss due to less than optimal contact was minimal, nearly unnoticeable. Every single shot was met with a soft but solid sounding "tink."

 PING G15 Hybrid Face

Specifications
Options and specs for the G15 hybrid are listed below:

Loft  Length   Lie      Swingweight   Iron Equiv.   Equiv FW
----  ------   ------   -----------   -----------   --------
17°   40.5"    60.75°   D1            2 iron        5 Wood
20°   40.0"    61.50°   D1            3 iron        7 Wood
23°   39.5"    62.25°   D1            4 iron        9 Wood
27°   39"      63°      D1            5 iron
31°   38.5"    63.75°   D1            6 iron

PING has three stock shafts available for the G15; their own AWT steel, the TFC149H, and the Aldila Serrano 85 Hybrid. I tested the 20° model with a stiff Aldila Serrano. As I previously mentioned, after a few rounds, I decided to ditch the stock rubber ID8 grip in favor of the New Decade Multi-Compound. Of course these grips, as well as a wide variety of other custom options, are available from PING. The MSRP is listed at $160 (steel shaft) and $185 (graphite shaft), though you can easily find both variations for $20 cheaper at various retailers.

Conclusion
Game improvement is definitely the name of the game with the G15 hybrid. The club is ridiculously easy to hit, and would be a great addition to any mid to high handicapper's bag. Better players may not like the amount of offset, but that will certainly help anyone that fights a slice. No one can deny the level of consistency this club can bring to your game, even if you have problems making consistent contact at the same area on the clubface. Though the G15 will not be the most workable club, you can be confident in the fact that it will get you out of any lie without a problem. All in all, my overall experience with the club was great, as it's very long and very forgiving. I'd undoubtedly recommend it to anyone looking for a great hybrid.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (28)

Discussion

  1. david forde f says:

    Looks like it's worth a try

  2. Poncho says:

    How do these hybrids compare to the Rapture V2 hybrids in terms of forgiveness and playing out of the rough and on the fairway?

  3. I'm not really sure, as my experience was with the Rapture V2 driver. Hopefully someone can reply here in the comments and give you a good comparison though.

  4. david forde f says:

    Had the rapture driver but swaped it for a G15 draw which helps my tendance to banana ball lol ~has good distance as well.

  5. Frank says:

    I expect something a little more hard core from Ping, these look like Cleveland Hibores which are hardly cool looking. Ping, Titelist, Mizuno, they are supposed to be pure business, not plastic capped senior clubs. There is no intimidation factor in these things.

  6. Poncho says:

    Could you post a picture of the red and black New Decade Multi-Compound grip that you used? Did you buy club directly from Ping? Can you get this grip from other vendors who sell Ping? What is the main difference between the TFC149H and Aldila Serrano 85 Hybrid shaft?

  7. Could you post a picture of the red and black New Decade Multi-Compound grip that you used? Did you buy club directly from Ping? Can you get this grip from other vendors who sell Ping? What is the main difference between the TFC149H and Aldila Serrano 85 Hybrid shaft?

    To answer your questions in order:

    1. It looks the same as every other red and black New Decade Multi-Compound.
    2. You cannot buy directly from PING - they have a retail locator for you.
    3. Virtually any place that sells PING clubs can order the grips for you - they're installed at the PING factory. So any vendor that sells PINGs can sell you these (unless you buy the clubs they already have in inventory, in which case they'd have to install the grips for you).
    4. The difference is listed here for you. The Aldila is a little heavier, among other subtle things.
  8. Kev Wittin says:

    Based on this review and the comments that followed I purchased the 27 degree model with a view to droping my 5 and 6 irons. However for me this club is more like a 4 and a half iron in length - but a lot straighter and easier to hit. Now I'm wondering about getting the 31 degree. Has anyone tried it?

  9. Bill (Chiang Mai, Thailand) says:

    I have the 31-degree hybrid as well as the rest of the G15 hybrid set--but did not buy the 17-degree version. I concur that the clubs take some time to gettting used to. I had been using my G10 hybrids with a lot of success and only time will tell which club set I will keep in the bag. I tend to pull many shots with the G15s and can attest that they are slightly longer than the G10s. At this stage I still feel more confident with the G10s. I use the 31 on shots between 130-140 yards and on good, clean hits it really soars. I think with continued swing improvements, I can get this 31 out to 150 easily. I am now dealing with a new problem and that is how to fill in the distance gap created between the 31 and my short irons. With continued practice using short irons, I am seeing gradually longer and straighter distances and expect this issue to disappear.

  10. mark combs says:

    how would you compare these to the more "shell" like hybrids. I'm stuck between these and the new Callaway FT-IZ hybrids. What is the trade-off between a shell hybrid and a driving iron hybrid?

  11. Derek Pearce says:

    Have never been a real fan of hybrids. In spite of all the hype I have never been able get the consistency I get with my fairway woods - Until now.
    I was persuaded to try the G15 hybrid for a round and I could not believe how easy these are to use. Almost impossible to slice and extremely forgiving. Bought one straight after playing.

  12. surfnspy says:

    I had purchased the 23-degree G15 and had mixed feelings about it after a few rounds. I assumed it was as good as it could get.

    After going round and round in my head, I traded the PING in and got my runner-up at the time which was the Cobra Baffler TWS 3R.

    Side by side, my experience has been the Baffler is much more forgiving and instills second shot confidence that I did not experience with the G15.

    At address, there is no comparison for me, the Baffler just looks like its going to connect. I don't mean to put the G15 down but the large black plastic dome doesn't help much either.

  13. Chris Margary. says:

    I tried them and purchased straight away,I previously used callaway diablo. The G15 hybrid is excellent in my opinion.

  14. Bobby_14hc says:

    I can not play offset clubs! I have a cobra 5 wood with offset and it is a hook machine and I use it only when I need a wild hook around trees.

    However I can vouch for the G15 23 deg hybrid...is definitely NOT a hook machine. It is easy to get ball airborne off the deck with this and it is easy
    to control direction with a slight draw. Very nice club! Worth $159 price!

  15. eporter says:

    Just played my first round of the year with my new G15 irons (5-UW) and added the 23 degree hybrid to my set. I used it about 4 times and it was consistently crisp and solid for me. I liked the look, so that did not bother me. I even used it once out of a fairway trap and caught it clean and took it for a good ride.
    It will take a few more rounds to really get my game in shape for the year, but I loved how it played.

  16. Thomas says:

    Bought a 17 degree today and walked onto the course, was looking for a Cleveland DST Launcher originally, but came across this at a good price.

    Loved it, fit the gap between my woods and TA3 Irons perfectly, does hit a little higher than I was hoping though. I hit a driver 9 degree and 3W 13 degree.

    Not awkward at address, not off-putting. Hit straight as an arrow every time.

  17. Don says:

    Howdy , new to the board, I just ordered a G15 set of Clubs, 10.5 Draw Driver , 17 and 23 Hybrids to go with the Irons set . I ordered AWT stiff shafts on the Hybrids, and Irons . I've yet to hear of anyone that has tried the Hybrids with Steel shaft let alone Stiff ones , any imput from those who have tried the AWT shafts on the Hybrids ? My Clubs are due next Monday can't wait to try them
    Don

  18. NR says:

    Very easy club to hit. I am 1 handicapper - was concerned about the slight offset and the size of the head. I went thru the PING custom fitting process and ended up with 17 deg bent to 15, with a longer ( + 3./4 " ) shaft. I have played a few rounds with it and it has replaced my 3 wood in the bag.

    Extremely forgiving, can work the ball with east both ways. Offset takes a little getting used to, but not a deal breaker. Shots fly high and straight. Tee it high, tee is low - provides a very consistent shot shape and a workable trajectory. Cuts thru rough like its not even there...

    Definitely a keeper.

  19. Bill (Chiang Mai, Thailand) says:

    An update to my earlier post...I eventually decided to pull the G10 hybrids out of the bag and am now using the G15 23-27 & 31. I hit the 27 degree 15 yards further than a 5-iron, and today saw 180 yds with it several times (on the range, using old range balls). My biggest problem was how to set it up correctly and avoid pulling or hooking it. I had tended to lean the shaft well forward and that compounded my error, plus delofted the club. I haven't used the 23 or 27 degree versions much though and am wondering what kind of distance I ought to see with them. I am however, very pleased with the 27. It is hitting further than my Ping G15 7-wood.

  20. 2left says:

    Bill -- I. Have the same problem pulling my 27*. Not a problem with any other club I own. Also tend to hit fat off tight lies. But straight and long off a tee. I'll have to keep practicing with it, although I'm kind of regretting not getting the 28* G10 hybrid instead.

  21. bobby_14_hc says:

    I have the 27 & 23 deg G15 hybrids. I can get straight shots without hooking but only when I am careful to set up the face square. With that considerable offset it is easy to fall into a closed set up, so check your set up every time you address the ball.

    I am not only hitting these clubs straight, but also hitting with much more consistent distance than any iron or other hybrid. The ball trajectory is medium high which is my preference.

  22. Keiko says:

    I have been playing the G15 irons for a couple of months and enjoy them more with each round. I have the G15 hyrbrids in 20, 23,and 27. Was hitting them so well I went out last week and added the 31. Played with it and it might just be my favorite club inthe bag. I like it for my 150 yard shots. Straight on a string. These clubs are great. I am even thinking of adding the 17 degree but that just might be too many hybrids in the bag. Still deciding that one.

  23. Mac says:

    I bought the 17 degree to replace my Cleveland 15 degree Launcher. I love this club and have been hitting it up to 245 yards off the fairway. I have the G5 3 hybrid and G10 4 hybrid and I think the driving iron style of this club is even better than those. Since I play Rapture irons and Tour wedges, I just hit this like my irons and I am always satisfied with the result.

    Not even missing my old 3 wood now, which is quite a shock!

  24. Alan says:

    Recently purchased the G15 3-wood and 5-wood fairways and am delighted. Looking for replacements for my old Cleveland 3i (22 degree) and 4i (25 degree) hybrids and wanting a bit more length, decided to try the 20 degree G15 hybrid. So far good off the tee and reasonable off the fairway but not so good from the rough. Pulling/hooking with a low flight and poor distance - in wet grass even more of a disaster. Is this just a case of getting used to the club, or does anyone else experience this problem. Have reverted to the Clevelands for the time being; although shorter, at least more consistent and I can trust them from the rough. Should I try the 23 and/or 27 degree instead? Advice welcome.

  25. Ryan says:

    I recently bought the i15 driver and fairway woods based on the golf pro recommendations and can't hit close to a fairway. I am going to exchange them for the G 15 sets what hybrid G 15 would you recommend to replace the 2 and 3 iron ?

  26. Allan Farley says:

    I play blade irons (Mizuno ) , and don't have a preoblem hitting long irons . These are just plain fun to hit . If you try em , you will love em . I'm not much for change , when it comes to something that works for me ( hence the fybrid that's been in my bag since they came out - still have the original ) . But a good swing on one of these clubs will put a smile on your face .

  27. Jmdmbike says:

    I tried the G15 in the simulator at our local golf shop - hit them great and decided to pick up the 20 & 23. Unfortunately a different story on the course - too many went left. The offset is just too much on these clubs for me. I now have Nickent 4DX hybrids - neutral and without offset and they are much more suited to my game. It's too bad, I carry a G15 driver and 4 wood and they are awesome clubs - the G15 hybrid just didn't work out for me.

  1. [... PING has been a major innovator in the industry for quite a while. No one can argue the significance of the innovations they've created to help all players. Even in ...]

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