Ping G20 Fairway Wood Review
Here’s my take on Ping’s new line of G20 fairway woods. The exact club I tested is a G20 15* 3 wood with a TFC Tour stiff shaft.
Great forgiveness, especially when it comes to putting air under the ball due to a shallow face and some weighting EXTREMELY deep in the head. Like other G series clubs, the size inspires confidence. Excellent off the tee and good fairway lies. Excellent stock shaft choice.
Large profile and alignment aid may not appeal to better golfers. Not the longest option out there. Not made to carve out specialized shots all over the course or from non-ideal lies.
This is a fantastic fairway for anyone looking for consistency and a little air under the ball
The G20 from Ping continues their G series tradition with multiple game improvement features packed into a great looking package. Compared to the G15, they’ve added a little more size (165cc vs 154cc), a little more of a “swoop” in the profile, dropped the standard loft from 15.5* to 15*, and changed up the paint scheme.
Honestly, I was surprised at how big this club looked and to find that it was only at 165cc. The swooped profile really lets the club get thin in the back and affords more of the real estate to be spread around. My copy sits very square, and in browsing the stock at my Edwin Watts, it seems that’s close to the norm. The move to the gray paint scheme doesn’t bother me at all, and I view the half crescent alignment aid as just part of Ping clubs. It doesn’t really add or detract to the look, and since it’s there, I’ll use it. I will admit that I got 100% over the initial size issue after I spent a bit of time with it. It doesn’t seem to alter the playability of the wood compared to anything smaller. The new paint scheme on the TFC tour shaft is a very cool touch. While it is a stock shaft, it doesn’t shout it like some other offerings. The headcover looks good as a standard nylon / elastic combo with a gray / black / red scheme, however it is a little tight and a pain to get on and off that head. In the end, the club really inspires confidence, is easy to line up, and should be a good fit in any bag.
Of course, this is where Ping shines year over year with the majority of their offerings, and it’s no different with the G20. My first swing with this club saw the ball go sailing high, tight, and straight. That pretty much summed up my first range session and the two rounds I’ve played since getting it. The ball launches into the air, under control, with the help of the TFC tour shaft, a great offering from Ping. The shaft lets me go at the ball pretty hard while maintaining a high level of control, definitely a rare thing in off the shelf shafts. I’m consistently sending the G20 higher and longer than my old 16.5* 4 wood. The length I figured would be a given, but the height is a plus since it’s nice to be able to hold a green and is the reason I’ve stayed away from 15* heads for a while. I’ve experienced zero ballooning.
Moving the ball left / right / up / down is not as easy here as should be expected with the GI head. It’s possible to work the ball, but the design to go straight will fight you a bit. On a plus note, the weighting in this head, while very far back for height is neutrally located. Definitely a plus for lower caps or anyone looking for the GI features that hates the typical heel side weighting in them. The smooth sole allows the club to glide through the fairway, but there’s nothing to cut through any sort of thick rough, so don’t expect great performance there.
Click here to see more photos and read the discussion in the forums
Forgiveness is exactly as expected. I’ve found that heel hits don’t cost me any control and just a little bit of distance. Toe shots seemed a bit more penal all around, but still leave satisfactory results. The sweet spot does seem to be rather large which lead me to very consistent results during my two rounds.
I do believe distance suffers just a bit with ball flight and GI features. I’ve played a few fairway models over the last seasons that were a bit longer, however they were better only on perfectly struck shots. The G20 is not by any means a short club, and I’ll take a consistent dispersion over occasional max distance any day. I’ve really enjoyed this club off the tee as it really does perform like a mini driver.
First and foremost, the G20 delivers a very satisfying “crack” with impact. I won’t go as far as saying it sounds as good as my 510TP, but it sounds better than any fairway I’ve used before. It’s not too loud either, which is always a plus. The feel moving across the face of the club gives you slightly different feedback on misses, but I still find myself checking to see where I hit on occasion since the sound didn’t tell me. The length of the club and profile of the head give it a good visual balance, so I don’t feel like I’m praying to make contact with a tiny head on the end of a long shaft. This is especially relevant off the tee.
OVERALL BOTTOM LINE
Ping has another winner on their hands with the G20 fairway wood. For the first time ever, I have a 3 wood in my bag that I have a high level of confidence in. While I’m sure I will hit a bad shot on occasion, everything with this so far has been acceptable. It’s a winner from the ability to get the ball in the air from many positions to the predictable distance and landing control. This club could easily be put in play by anyone. While the larger profile and GI features may lend more towards higher caps, the square face, neutral weighting, and ease of use could fit right in with lower caps who don’t need max flight control. If you’re trying this club, give the stock shafts a shot. The tour TFC really seems to be a good fit for controlling the higher flight. Like all Ping clubs, this looks to be built like a tank and the sandy range and balls didn’t do anything to the face or sole paint.