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Review: Ping G30 Driver

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Updated: This review was originally published July 3, 2014. 

Pros: More forgiving and lower spinning than Ping’s G25 driver. The turbulators (ridges on the front of the crown) actually work, creating an average of about 1 mph more clubhead speed in our testing.

Cons: The new adapter adds an additional 1 degree of adjustability, but it’s not compatible with Ping’s previous adjustable tips. Really high-spin golfers still might not be able to get their spin to an optimal range with the G30.

Bottom Line: Ping took golf’s most forgiving driver, the G25, and made it even more forgiving. Even more impressive is that the company was able to lower its spin, too, which was the biggest knock on the G25. With its turbulators, the G30 also delivers a novel (and real) way to boost distance. We buy Ping’s claim that the G30 is about 7 yards longer than the G25.

Overview

If we were to make a list of golf’s perfect driver, it would probably go something like this:

  1. We would want it to go really far — like farther than all the other drivers — even when we miss the sweet spot.
  2. We would want it to go as straight as possible — like straighter than all the other drivers — even on mishits.
  3. We would want it to launch really high so we could carry it over things like trees and bunkers.
  4. We would want it to look, sound and feel really good.

The G30’s predecessor, Ping’s G25 driver, was one of the most awarded drivers in our 2014 Gear Trials: Best Drivers list because it is — at least before the launch of the G30 in late July — golf’s most forgiving driver. It also happens to be one of golf’s highest-launching drivers, and more golfers do like the way it looks, sounds and feels than do not. The only real strike against the G25 was that it didn’t quite go as far as some top drivers because it tended to launch with too much spin.

Ping could have simply lowered the spin of the G25, called it a G30 and still patted itself on the back for making a great driver, but the company did what it tends to do: it engineered another classic with new, visible technology that actually works.

Click here to read our tech story on the new G30 drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons.

Turbulators

ping g30

The first thing golfers will notice when they pick up a G30 driver is that its crown has six small ridges that the company calls “turbulators.” You can watch the short video below to see exactly what they do, but the basics are this: thanks to the turbulators, the 460-cubic-centimeter G30 has the aerodynamics of a driver that measures about 100cc smaller. That will give golfers an average of 0.7 mph of extra clubhead speed compared to the G25, according to an internal Ping test.

Do I really want a rearward CG?

Ping also made the G30 driver about 150 rpm lower spinning than the G25 by doing exactly the opposite of what TaylorMade has been doing in recent years to make its drivers lower spinning. Ping gained 4 grams of discretionary weight with its new titanium face material, T9S, which is lighter and stronger than the G25’s Ti 8-1-1 face material. Instead of using that weight to move the G30’s center of gravity (CG) lower and more forward, Ping moved the CG of the G30 lower and more rearward.

ping g-30 driver review

When the CG is moved forward in a driver, it decreases what’s called its moment of inertia (MOI), or its retention of ball speed on off-center hits. Whether a forward CG driver is better for your game than a rearward CG driver is up for you and a qualified club fitter to decide, but with all other things being equal we’ll take a low, rearward CG everytime because it does the following:

  1. It increases MOI, which means that off-center hits won’t lose as much ball speed.
  2. It encourages a driver to swing more upward into impact, which is one of the easiest ways for golfers to add distance to their drives.
  3. It creates more face closure at impact, which helps golfers minimize their slice or fade.

Do we have your attention? Great, we’ll talk more about performance in the performance section below. For now, we’ll list the necessary specs.

ping g30 drivers

The G30 driver (9, 10.5 and 12 degrees) comes stock with Ping’s counterbalanced TFC 419D shaft, which measure 45.75 inches and weighs between 53 and 63 grams depending on flex. The shafts are available in Soft R, R, S and X flexes, and come with a new adjustable hosel that allows golfers to increase or decrease loft as much as 1 degree from the printed loft. There’s also an intermediate adjustment, 0.6 degrees up or down, on the new adjustable hosel.

The bad news? It’s not compatible with Ping’s original adjustable shaft tips.

post-1-0-80271300-1404077171_thumb

Above: Ping’s Tour 65 shaft is shorter, stiffer, lower launching and has less torque than the stock TFC 419D shaft.

Golfers can also buy a G30 (or any of Ping’s current drivers) with the company’s new Tour 65 or Tour 80 shafts, which come stock at 45.25 inches in a driver and are a little heavier, stiffer, lower launching and have less torque. Regardless of what shaft you choose, the stock swing weight of the G30 driver will be D3 unless you specify something different.

Ping is also launching a G30 SF Tec driver (10 and 12 degrees), which stands for “Straight Flight Technology.” The drivers are nearly identical to each other with the exception that the SF Tec models have a more closed face angle and a CG that’s closer to the heel, which can help faders and slicers straighten out their ball flight. The head weight is also 3 grams lighter (203 grams vs. 206 grams), giving the SF Tec a swing weight of D1.

Both drivers are currently available for pre-order and will hit stores in late July. They carry an MSRP of $385.

Performance

According to Ping, Bubba Watson added about 10 yards with the G30 when compared to the G25 driver he used to win the 2014 Masters and you can see him demonstrate that in the short video below. But most golfers aren’t Bubba Watson, so what did the G30 driver show in our internal testing?

Ping’s improvements for the G30 created a driver that was — as much as we hate this expression in golf equipment reviews — better than its predecessor in every way. The added ball speed from the turbulators are not going to be as effective for 99.9 percent of golfers as they were for Bubba because of his PGA Tour-leading clubhead speed, which creates more drag forces than golfers who swing slower, but the gains were noticeable for us and they’ll likely be for you, too.

One of our testers, who swung a G25 at about 100 mph, saw an average of 1 mph more clubhead speed with the G30. Another, who swung a G25 driver at 114 mph, saw his swing speed increase by an average of 1.5 mph. That equated to about 2 and 3 mph more ball speed, respectively.

post-1-0-63682400-1404077198_thumb

Since the turbulators don’t really change anything about the G30 other than the way the driver looks, there’s no reason not to have them on the club, even if your swing is not fast enough to get much benefit. After all, the G30 has a few other ways to improve your performance without turbulators.

Remember those 4 grams of weight Ping saved with its new face material? Their position lower and more rearward in the club head is said to make the driver more forgiving, but the difference isn’t so great that it was easy to notice. We saw clearly, however, the 150 rpm of spin that Ping claimed it scrubbed off the G30’s launch on our Doppler radar launch monitor. For our high-speed tester (116 mph swing speed), the G30 proved to be even a little lower spinning than that.

ping-g30-ls-driver-1021x580

Related: Ping’s G30 LS Tec driver offers a lower-spinning trajectory than the G30. 

Ping claims the G30 is 7 yards longer than the G25, and between the added speed from the turbulators and the lower-spin launch, we saw at least 7 yards of extra distance. Golfers coming from an older Ping driver will probably see even more yardage gains.

Looks and Feel

Some golfers are going to love the turbulators, but since this is the internet, I’m sure we’re going to hear from plenty of golfers who hate them. Our opinion is that they’re a pretty non-intrusive way to get extra performance, and we don’t really mind those six bumps on the front of the crown. They actually frame the ball pretty nicely at address, too.

ping g30 driver review

Traditionalists will likely continue to praise Ping’s matte black crown, which returns with the G30. Those who wanted a little more “pop” in a Ping driver should enjoy the bright blue accent colors on the driver’s sole and on the headcover.

Ping described the G30’s sound to us as “more robust” than the G25, but we actually thought the G30’s sound was a little more muted. It’s still not the quietest drive on the market, but the sound won’t cause golfers on the range to take cover either, which we think is a good thing.

ping g25 vs the g30

Above: The Ping G30 driver (left) has a 0.040-inch taller face than the G25 driver.

 

One thing about the G30 that’s part performance, part feel is its counterbalanced TFC 419D shaft, which has a higher balance point to help give Ping’s heavier-than-standard, 206-gram G30 driver head a conventional swing weight of D3 at 45.75 inches.

The good news about counterbalanced shafts is that players who tend to care about things like swing weight generally play aftermarket shafts that are shorter than 45.75 inches. That will work to their advantage with the G30, as installing a non-counterbalanced shaft of a shorter length in the G30 will keep the swing weight in range better than a lighter driver head.

ping g30 woods

Above: Ping’s TFC 419D shaft, which weighs between 53 and 63 grams depending on flex.

 

There’s always a lot of talk about stock shafts not being as good as aftermarket models in our forum, but our high speed tester actually got very similar launch and spin from a stock X-flex TFC 419D as he did with his Mitsubishi Fubuki K 70X (tipped 1 inch) at 45.5 inches. We’re not saying that the two shafts play similarly, because different shafts work differently for different golfers, but we want to point out that there’s no reason to believe that the TFC 419D will perform any better or any worse than an aftermarket model.

Go into a fitting with an open mind, and if a stock Ping shaft shaft happens to be the best option you shouldn’t be surprised.

The Takeaway

ping g30 series

Remember that list we made at the beginning of the review of the things we’d like from the “perfect” driver? Here it is again:

  1. We would want it to go really far — like farther than all the other drivers — even when we miss the sweet spot.
  2. We would want it to go as straight as possible — like straighter than all the other drivers — even on mishits.
  3. We would want it to launch really high so we could carry it over things like trees and bunkers.
  4. We would want it to look, sound and feel really good.

The Ping G30 is going to be golf’s straightest driver when it’s released in late July (No. 2), at least until the other OEMs start to roll out their 2015 models this fall. And history tells us that it will probably continue to be golf’s most forgiving driver until Ping makes something even more forgiving.

The G30 also launches higher and carries farther than the G25 thanks to its turbulators and lower, more rearward CG, which covers No 3. As for No. 1, is it the longest driver on the market? It could be and it could not be. Go get fit and find out.

Finally, there’s not really anything bad to say about the looks, feel or sound of the G30, which satisfies No. 4.

With the G30, Ping reinvented what was already one of the best drivers on the market, keeping the forgiveness and high launch that we loved while improving what we didn’t; its tendency to spin too much.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

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210 Comments

210 Comments

  1. Golfandpuff

    Oct 8, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    I honestly don’t get the trolls and haters in these review threads. It is what is seriously wrong with this country these days! What a waste of time to get on here and trash or write negative things about anything having to do with this site. I am anxious to try many of the new clubs and can get a deal with value with just the slightest bit of bargaining. Whining about price of mfgs lying or stealing ideas and marketing is a complete waste of time and purely lacks intellect. Thanks to the staff here for making these reviews possible…I would like to try the ping against a slew of new drivers when time allows.

  2. briansagolfer

    Jul 9, 2015 at 10:33 am

    My brand new G30 – i was hitting my tee ball, swing speed around 90 mph, about the 25th ball hit with the club. Ball goes 230 into the left side of fairway, PING TFC419 regular shaft SNAPPED in two- about 7 inches below the grip!!!!!
    Ping said they would NOT cover it under warranty! I went hermitile on them and they relented, sending me a new shaft. Hope it is better than the first.
    I would think a Co like PING would want to not only make the customer happy, but would want to find out why the shaft was so SHI&*Y.

  3. zbetts

    Feb 18, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    I was hitting the g25 made the switch to the g30 SF TEC It has helped me to straighten out my drives. I now when needed can achieve a draw on demand. My placement in the fairway is more consistent toward the middle, I am hitting the ball about 10 yards further, the low handicap players tell me they have never seen me hit the ball as well. This club is not a miracle I have still had to work at my swing however this club has helped my find my swing. It is more forgiving than any other club I own. Spin rates don’t mean much to me, what matters to me is can I stand in the T-box feel confident that I will hit this next shot and I do with this club. There are many different clubs just like there are many different golfers. We don’t all have to like the same thing and that is part of what makes the game of golf so fun. Find what works for you and swing with confidence.

  4. killerbgolfer

    Feb 8, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    anyone hit the LS Tec version yet?

  5. Billy

    Feb 4, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Heres another great review on the Ping g30 I found!

    http://www.golfreviewguy.com/ping-g30-driver.html

  6. leftright

    Jan 1, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    All you guys that don’t spin the driver must play on courses you don’t have to carry any problems and the fairways are like concrete. For carry and under wet conditions you want more spin. Physics does “not” allow a club hit at the “same swing speed, same loft, same shaft, same face degree” to go further with less spin….period. It is impossible. Players are lofting up because they heads “don’t” sping, same difference as playing less loft with more spin. The 17 at 1700 theory is just not true not unless you generate extremely high clubhead speed which 95% of golfers do not. I could hit my Stage 2 tour further than my G25 on hard fairways but that was it. The G25 I carried further and was able to take angle over traps and trees I couldn’t take with TM. If I upped the loft on the TM it went slightly shorter than the G25 so which driver is longer? Only real world conditions matter, anything else is secondary. If you think knowing a car repair book inside and out will help you repair a car it’s not until you actually work on a car that you become competent. That is why college graduates don’t make 100k a year out of college because they merely filled a discriminator checkbox that gives them the privilege of working in a job that might pay that down the road. After a certain point golf is head game anyway, psychiatry lessons would probably be more prudent than swing lessons.

    • RG

      Jan 7, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      Most intelligent post I’ve read about driver (or clubs in general) on this site in awhile.Carry and total are totally separate and THE BEST is relative to the condition and course. Well said leftright! HERE, HERE!
      P.S.
      And what I need is trajectory.

    • jj

      Feb 18, 2015 at 2:00 am

      Good 1

  7. leftright

    Jan 1, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    The trackman is the biggest hustler on the planet. I sucks in guys and they go spend hundreds on new drivers they can’t hit because the trackman is usually wrong and they get fit by a guy who wants to sell so many of these and so many of those and could care less what you hit or how you hit it. You have to hit the drivers in the real world with real golf balls and real tees and real weather and real fairways or driving ranges with real people watching. I don’t know about the G30 but Ping makes the best mass produced golf clubs in the world by far. They also have real good stock shaft offerings if you give them a chance. I had a TFC 129 S put a motore speeder in the closet. Golf shafts do not have to cost 400.00 to be good.

  8. clay

    Dec 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I know the head makes the most impact on spin, but I have a fujikura pro shaft, 67 grams, in my g30. I play it at 45″ length d3 swingweight in an x-flex, cpm wise it plays closer to stiff. Anyway this setup is amazing, i have a 110 to 115 ss, and anything hit center line or higher on the face produces a knuckle ball. I went into golfsmith and my spin numbers were 1600 to 1800, on good strikes. Strikes low on the face were still staying in the 2400 to 2800 range.
    I hit up on the ball and hit the ball very straight, tiny draws or fades, I know this helps me keep spin down. Bottom line this head and shaft combo is long, low spinning, and the forgiveness is amazing. I think Ping has made a great club, and with the right shaft is a monster. I have never drove the ball so straight or long I hated the head shape when i got it, I have since learned to love the turbulators!!! I am also not loyal to ping, I play what i think is the best for me, Score wedges, Callaway apex irons, and TEE cb4 fairway woods. I hope this persuades some minds to try this club with some different shafts.

    • clay

      Dec 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Also I have played roughly 25 rounds of golf with this club. Got it the same week it came out.

  9. Joe Golfnerd

    Dec 5, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    damn these reviews are all the same anymore…what are they talking about the really high spin players can’t get optimal with this club? what are they comparing it to, a SLRD? weak, unoriginal review.

  10. Chip

    Dec 2, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I wish the article stated specifically why the G30 received an A+ similar to the review of the 915 driver which directly stated at the end of the article why it got an A-

  11. john

    Nov 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Ihave the g30 S Ftec. A good driver, But there are marks on the head already, and this is after three rounds. I look after my clubs and all have rubber covers. Sent the driver back to ping to check it out , to see if there was any flaws. Their answer was we do not send out flawed drivers. But there is still a V mark underneath the paint work .Has anyone else had this problem, if so , could you post your reply

  12. Nathan

    Nov 20, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I have been loyal to Taylor Made for almost ten years. I started playing with better players recently and was getting out-driven by most of the older guys in our skins game. Frustrated, I took my SLDR with tour Oban x flex shaft to the new Golfsmith store in Las Vegas to try out different drivers. I hit the Titleist 915, Callaway BB Alpha, and Ping G30. I liked the feel, sound, and look of the Ping the best so I focused in on that.
    My average numbers with my SLDR were as follows:
    Swing Speed 105
    Ball Speed 148
    Launch angle 13
    Spin rate 3800!
    Carry 247
    Total distance 263

    Ping G30 with stock Stiff shaft:
    Swing speed 108
    Ball Speed 155
    Launch angle 11
    Spin rate 2700
    Carry 283
    Total distance 299

    You have to try it out to see for yourself, I bought one on the spot and unless you are already playing one, you might do the same. I played it yesterday and outdrove by buddy by an average of 30 yards on most holes. I also feel like I don’t have to kill it to get it to go. I can swing easy and let the club do the work.
    My Taylor Made had the worst thuddy sound as well. The Ping has a great solid (loud) sound that has literally turned people’s heads at the driving range. A couple of guys stopped their conversation and watched me hit a few.

    • other paul

      Dec 4, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Looks more like you relaxed and swung it faster, hence the 3 mph boost. Crazy spin on those sldr shots. I would have loft down.

    • Teaj

      Dec 8, 2014 at 10:49 am

      In no way am I a Taylormade guy but I do look at specs and results based on a verity of swings. I’m baffled how you were able to get such high spin from the SLDR and lower spin with the G30, in any other case it would usually be the other way around as far as spin characteristics.

      G30 = highest MOI due in part to its reword weighting allowing it to be more stable on miss hits, reword weighting produces higher spin and launch.

      SLDR = Lowest MOI from my understanding so when you miss you miss, weight moved low and close to the face produces lower spin and launch.

      In now way am I saying that your data is off its just Bizarro world to me how that was even achievable. the only thing I can think of is that the difference in weight altered your swing and you were hitting more down with the SLDR.

    • brett w

      Dec 17, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      looks more like more of a shaft problem than a head problem. The SLDR head will be much lower spinning than the G30 head. probably has something to do with your tempo and the way you load and unload the club. The G30 is a great driver though. Couldn’t get over the look of the driver but the 3 wood is going right in the bag

  13. JEFF

    Nov 19, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I hated the thing. Super spinny and an obnoxious tink clink sound out of a dead center strike….. comes of with a higher launch than expected, looks like it’s on it’s way then falls out of the sky. Tried it w/ multiple shafts and same results. Maybe in a 7.0 or 8.0…. no thanks! I will stick to my anser!

  14. Christo

    Nov 18, 2014 at 4:31 am

    Just brought mine week ago got fitted and the accuracy and consistancy is amazing. Really great club Cen not remember the last time I Hit 12 Fairways

  15. Bruce

    Nov 13, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Compared my Titliest 913 D2 45 inch long Blue 62 gram Diamana shaft to the G30 recently. I am 66 with a swing speed of approx. 80 mph. Played an 18 hole demo with the G30 10.5 degree regular flex shaft and hit 7 out of 14 fairways. The following week I Demo’d the G30 SF TEC 12 degree with the soft regular shaft dialed down to 11 degrees. Although I feared that this would either hook or be hard to control I managed to hit 11 out of 14 fairways and misses were not that far off. The club felt like it was swinging itself., Not wanting to make a mistake on which one to purchase I went to see a local fitter who put me on Trackman where I saw a 2 mph gain in swing speed vs the 913 D2 which I gather came from the added .75 shaft length and the lower G30 spin with help from the head design. Bottom line is I was fitted with a 10 degree SF TEC head and SR shaft dialed up to 11 degrees . The fitter told me I actually generated more distance ( lower landing angle ) with the 10 degree dialed up a degree vs the 12 degree dialed down a degree ( drops straighter down with less roll out) . So, do yourself a favor and get fit. This club is the real deal.

  16. Paul

    Nov 11, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Thank you Ping. I have gained 20 yards and a new ball flight over my old (sold) R1.

  17. Bar

    Oct 28, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Recently got fitted for a G30 SF Tec by the local ping rep. He fitted me for a 12 degree with the tour 65 shaft. I currently use a Titleist 909 D2 stiff 65gm shaft ( swing speed 95/100 mph). At the fitting he told me that I was getting about 15/20 yards extra as my launch angle with the Titleist was too low at 8 degrees. When I got the club I assumed that it was tweaked to the same specs that were showing at the fitting as being the correct ones for me. Unfortunately I never saw the specs as they were given to my pro who sold me the club. Anyway to cut a long story short I started playing with the 12 degree and developed an amazing hook ( not a draw ). I noticed that the club actually sat with a hook at address and asked a guy I know who works at American Golf what I should do as my pro was too busy having a laugh at me. He told me to dial it down to 11.5 degrees . Amazingly when I did this the clubface actually opened at address and I got a nicely flighted straight strike. The ball is going no further than the Titleist but the dispersion is better. Needless to say I am not too pleased with either the rep or my pro.

  18. Bert

    Oct 19, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    I was a naysayer but tried a G30 today. I quickly got past the fins and was hitting it pretty good. The Ping fitting van representative changed me to a G30 SF Tec with a Soft Regular shaft and I started moving it out there a little better but much straighter. I also noticed it seemed easier to swing. I really wasn’t interested in a $350 driver, but I purchased one today. I’m almost 70 and have a slow swing speed. I score OK, but drivers are my frequent shortfall. It’s tough banging it from 200 out of the rough. We’ll see how it goes but for now I’m confident I’ll get a little more consistent and perhaps a few yards longer.

    • Bert

      Nov 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Received my G30 from Ping and it’s a real dud. I’m been down this road before and should have remembered; what you test and what you get are not the same things. As mentioned in my previous post the Demo Club and shaft fit me well. The club I received has a very weak Soft Regular shaft and I cannot stop the ball from dying to the right. I even over-emphasized a hook and it still ballooned to the right. Don’t like the shaft, the sound, or the feel.

      • Scooter McGavin

        Dec 5, 2014 at 9:18 am

        If you think there’s something wrong with the club, send it back. But it is most likely your swing that is the issue. The demo woods are the same thing as the ones you buy off the shelf or order from Ping.

  19. James

    Sep 29, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I’m not a fan of the G30. I didn’t care for the sound, feel or ball flight. That being said, I am sure there are those who would love this club. Not all clubs are for all players in my view. That’s just the nature of the beast.

  20. avargas3

    Sep 23, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I think the G30 is absolutely easy to hit. I like to be able to work the ball off the tee, and with club i can do just that. I was leaning towards purchasing the TaylorMade SLDR but now thst I’ve hit the G30, it’s definitely going in the bag!

  21. Alex T

    Sep 19, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    I hit the G30 the day it was released in the UK and wasn’t bowled over. Don’t get me wrong, the G30 is a great bat, but it’s no better than anything else out there. I game a Callaway optiforce 440, which incidentally claims to be designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve speed just as the G30 does, and there was no discernible difference. No gains, no losses. No extra distance, no less. If you’re gaming a driver from 5+ years ago then the G30 will beat it hands down but compared to any other driver from 2013-2014 it doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking. However, what the G30 does offer is forgiveness, there is no doubt in my mind it’s the most forgiving driver ever made. When I tried it I felt like I could hit it in my sleep. The G30 felt like a shotgun compared to the rifle of my optiforce- with the G30 you just have to aim in the general direction of your target and you can’t miss, whereas you really need to be on it to hit the optiforce. You won’t see players who hit the middle a lot jumping ship to the G30 but if you are a little wayward with your strike you need to try the G30.

    • SBoss

      Sep 22, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      I’ve now played with a half dozen players who’ve made the switch to the G30 and ALL were blown away with the distance they were getting. I’m 15-20 yards longer, and more accurate with the G30.

      I’d be careful telling people that their distance will be the same as any other driver over the last 5 years. It simply isn’t true. Frankly, I hit that Callaway Optiforce and it was dead as a doornail for me. I’d recommend that people hit all drivers and do a detailed analysis to find the driver that is best for them.

      But, this G30 is a monster. My ball rolls out an obscene amount. My trackman average was 267 carry with 293 yards total. Again, the best part is I’m right down the middle. This driver is a difference maker for me. But, we’re all different so find that best weapon for your swing.

      • marcel

        Oct 1, 2014 at 12:50 am

        horses for courses… i dont think you are able to replicate same shot to compare… and unless you are a pro than no one can… if you feel this driver works for you then perfect… but such claims has every single golf equp. company… longer – straighter – more forgiving… bla bla bla it comes down to your proper technique

  22. mizuno 29

    Sep 18, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I like the fact that Ping only comes out with the G series or the I series every two years, not every 6 months like Taylor Made does, wait? No new Taylor Made driver since the SLDR S, and that was just to make the SLDR cheaper so more people could afford it, I wonder what they are coming out with next? Anyway, I own a G 30 driver and it’s really good, really accurate, seems as long as the G25, I don’t have tour like swing speed, only about 95 or so.

    • Wessel

      Oct 5, 2014 at 1:20 am

      I am a senior playing of 4 handicap with only 93 mph swing speed. Had G25 now G30 both standard stiff, but it seems the G25 is better. Any reasson? Maybe shaft to light for swingspeed? Have anyone seen comparison between drivers for std stff shafts (not just pro tour shaftes) ?

      • Ron

        Dec 5, 2014 at 10:09 pm

        I am 60 yrs old play the G25 with a swing speed of 106 mph 8 1/2 degree tuned up to 9 hit the ball 260 and roll to about 275 Got the G30 Same shaft got 9 degree staight up I can only get swing speed to 98 Ball launches higher and travels about the same. no better. Iam one of the cases where the turbulators and weight seam to slow things down , I would be disapointed but it is at least about the same, I will experiment with the lie angles and maybe shafts, Any ideas from anyone?

  23. ChuckB

    Aug 28, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Are the Tour 65 and Tour 80 shaft offerings also “High Balance Point” ?

  24. Pete

    Aug 21, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Former 7 handicapper that has been away from the game awhile with back and elbow ailments. Trying to get back into it, and decided to start with a new driver. Did the Trackman test vs. my old similarly-equipped Titleist D2 – Wow! G30 9* Stock Stiff was +11 mph ball speed faster with a 1050 rpm drop in spin rate, +5.5 mph faster clubhead speed, +30 yds carry and +35 yds total distance.

    Couldn’t pay for it fast enough!

  25. J. T. Parker

    Aug 17, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I bought a g30 after hitting it on the range. Felt good and solid but after I got on the course I discovered it is 10 to 15 yards shorter than my callaway octane. My guess is I have the wrong shaft. I have a swing speed of 93 or 94 and swing smooth and let the shaft kick. Anyone know which ping shaft would work. I have the stiff stock shaft

    • Bruce

      Aug 27, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      i went from 200 to 238 (on the machine) by switching from regular to senior. swing speed went from low 80s to 87. the fitter told me i had a smooth swing so i could utilize more flexible shafts without spraying it all over the place.

      my boss has a green-headed callaway driver, 10.5, senior flex and i hit that about as far as my nike cover v1 but the callaway went way higher (i have my nike set at 8.5)

      based on my experience i’d say it’s worth getting on the machines and trying out different shaft flexes and lofts to see what happens.

  26. jack kelly

    Aug 17, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Why are Ping persisting with the black” painted face” on their woods which gradually wears .The other top brands are moving away from this back to steel

    • Ivor

      Nov 6, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Yes have to agree, tested G30 last week at range and the evidence of previous trialists was all too evident. Not a good long term sign and it’s not even as though Ping have nitride coated it for lower spin.

  27. GG

    Aug 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Not one to post comments but couldn’t resist.
    I have played the G25 the last two years. Had some proshop credit ($200) from an event and have no need for more shoes/balls/bags/shirts etc. Figured I’d consider applying it to a new driver if it seemed worthwhile.
    Tried the G30, fitted with the local Ping rep, on a launch monitor. My G25 is stiff shaft (I’m right on the cusp with a swing speed around 92-95 mph – this too was fitted by Ping at the company HQ 2 yrs ago), 9.5 degrees.
    WIth the G30 the local rep recommended the tour 65 shaft, regular. Said that it’s lower torque, stiffer than the stock shaft so that the regular would fall between stock regular and stiff. Made sense.
    10.5 degrees was giving me less spin, higher launch, more carry, more distance overall as compared to the G25. Ordered one which has since come in and have hit it on the range side by side with the G25.
    The difference is clear as day. Definitely longer, and a fair bit so (10-15 yards I’d say) and this is without a Bubba-like swing speed. Dispersion is tighter. Like the more incremental adjustments available on loft.
    No buyer’s remorse. No regrets. None at all. Within 2 range sessions, both with remarkably similar results I’m comfortable leaving the G25 in the trunk and the G30 in the bag.
    Blue is the new red.

    • Dan

      Aug 16, 2014 at 10:44 am

      Hi guys,
      Just wondered how does this club sit \ appear at address? An open or closed bias?

      • Rc

        Aug 26, 2014 at 7:22 pm

        Adjustable heads should be square at standard setting

  28. Pingger

    Aug 14, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Bought one today, tried sldr, sldr s , callaway berthas hit bout 20 balls with each and this was consistantly straighter and longer, best driver ive ever hit cant wait to try it out on the tee on saturday

  29. Truth Teller

    Aug 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I hit the G30 stock stiff today. Going back tomorrow to hit it on a track man. I was crushing it long and high. Seemed way better than my G15 with a Graphite Design AD shaft. As far as the look at address, I really liked it. Let’s face it, confidence before you pull the trigger can be more important than any gimmicks.

    • Truth Teller

      Aug 14, 2014 at 1:08 am

      Trackman numbers for the G30 today:

      Swing speed avg: 104.9
      Ball speed: 155.7
      Smash factor: 1.48
      Launch angle: 12.3
      Spin rate: 2752
      Carry: 261.5
      Total distance: 284
      Max height: 98.6

      My G15:

      Swing speed: 103.6
      Ball speed: 151.9
      Smash factor: 1.47
      Launch angle: 11.5
      Spin rate: 2102
      Carry: 247.4
      Total distance: 280.4
      Max height: 73.3

      I hit several other drivers including the Big Bertha and the. Bio Cell. I ended up buying this G 30.

      Ball don’t lie!

      • Robert

        Aug 14, 2014 at 7:55 am

        Thanks for the complete data comparing those 2 clubs.
        I have used a G20 for the past 3 years and have been very happy with this club. At the same time, I’m curious to know the numbers if someone goes to compare the G20 to the G30.

        Many thanks

      • SBoss

        Aug 14, 2014 at 11:41 pm

        I had been hitting an Amp Cell Pro and was not looking to change drivers. I hit the G30 driver while at the local golf store getting other things and was stunned at how straight and long it was…I took it to the range to see if the performance was the same and it blew me away.
        I was more accurate and crazy long with it. In my first round with it yesterday, I reached the fringe in two on a 560 yard par 5 after a 320 yard drive and hit two other drives over 300 yards. I occasionally reached 300 with my Amp Cell Pro but I suspect that the G30 spin numbers were a lot better. My swing speed averaged 114 last week while on Trackman but my distance was not reflective of it.
        The G30 explodes when it hits and the roll out is amazing.
        I’d already hit the G25 driver awhile back and this G30 driver is NIGHT and DAY different. Maybe it just suits my swing. But, its an amazing driver and incredibly forgiving to go along with the longer distance. If your looking for a new driver, I’d put this on your list to try.

      • WHY!?

        Sep 24, 2014 at 11:49 am

        You carried the 30 so much farther than the 15 but ended up with about the same numbers. Looks like the numbers say you are lauching the 30 a lot higher. Are you going to tweak it to get the launch down. You should be almost 300 yars total with the 30 based off your 15 numbers.

        • Truth Teller

          Nov 6, 2014 at 9:24 am

          Sorry I took so long to respond to this question. You are right, I could gain additional distance by dialing down the launch angle. But the trade off is loss of some accuracy and carry. I actually enjoy being able to check out distances to bunkers and say to myself “I can carry that” as opposed to having to hit my second out of a trap. I have been hitting the G30 now for about 3 months. Big misses are way down for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still miss fairways. Just miss them fewer times and by less on average.

          I’m not saying the G30 is for everyone, but it works for me.

          On the negative side, the flat black finish has picked up quite a few scratches on the top quite easily. Does not look very good. Ping needs to do something about this on their future drivers.

      • JEFF

        Nov 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm

        I doubt you hit it 280 with that swing speed…..down wind possibly!

        • Truth Teller

          Dec 6, 2014 at 12:50 pm

          Kind of a silly statement, since I posted only the actual Trackman numbers. But out on the course in normal conditions on balls in the fairway I have averaged a little over 270 yards. This includes of course balls hit dead center of the face and balls hit slightly off face one way or the other.

        • Jacob

          Jan 7, 2015 at 8:35 am

          Test it for yourself. His numbers are pretty accurate.

          http://flightscope.com/products/trajectory-optimizer/

  30. Bruce

    Aug 12, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I went to a golfsmith event for the G30 launch and tried out the driver expecting to be impressed but i wasn’t. the first one they gave me had an extra stiff shaft and i could barely get it in the air. even with a regular shaft i could only manage about 200 yards. then i got my nike covert 1 driver from the car and was consistently hitting that 245 yards. so for me the G30 driver was a bust. but i’m 51 years old and not a big hitter.

    on the plus side i really liked the G30 irons and am thinking about getting fitted for a set of those.

    • John

      Aug 14, 2014 at 3:13 am

      Well Bruce I’m shocked you asked them for an extra stiff shaft when you should be using a soft or R flex. I also hope you not like 90% of the guys hitting it in the 220-245 range with a driver and playing the back tees? It’s the biggest reason for slow play and it’ll only hurt your game more and make you look bad. Unless people play at tour levels, they should not be playing tour equipment. And that goes for everything. Balls too.

      • Bruce

        Aug 27, 2014 at 12:30 pm

        i didn’t ask for the extra stiff shaft, that’s just what the lady handed me when i went to the demo day. it only took one swing for me to know that wasn’t going to work! the fitter at golfsmith says i have a smooth swing and that allows me to utilize the more flexible shafts.

        i don’t usually play from the tips although sometimes i’ll do it on a particular hole just for fun. i normally play in the afternoon and the golf courses here are basically deserted so no worries about slowing things down. when there’s a third set of men’s tees i’ll often use those because it’s more fun to approach with an 8 iron than a 3 wood.

      • Bruce

        Aug 27, 2014 at 12:37 pm

        regarding the comment about tour equipment, what equipment should amateurs be using then? i just try to find what works best that’s on offer in my local stores. with the nike covert there was a tour version and a regular and i got the regular.

        with the Ping G30 7 iron (regular shaft) i was going 166 (about 150 carry) which is better than my current 7 iron. i’d like to try it again with senior shaft.

    • Bruce

      Aug 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      i managed to win the drawing for the G30 driver. went to the store last night and tried a 10.5 regular and was only getting about 200 yards but then they gave me a 9 degree head and i asked if they had a senior flex shaft. voila. 238 which is closer to my nike covert v1 which was averaging 245. i’ll definitely try it out against my nike.

      • Bruce

        Aug 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm

        with the regular shaft my clubhead speed was in the low 80s but it went up to 87 with the senior flex. i wasn’t trying to kill it so maybe i could do 90. woo hoo. senior tour for me :-;

  31. Hamish

    Aug 9, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Ping G30 Blows the SLDR away…easy!

    I am a Clubmaker 24 years…this is the best all around driver PERIOD!

    • Tony Anson

      Aug 10, 2014 at 7:10 am

      Hamish
      Have a look at the bangomatic 401cc
      It has a scalloped rear end, resistance is really reduced. Amazing and I believe the longest driver yet,

    • David crawford

      Aug 16, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      In your opinion Bruce SLDR i game is 25 yds longer than G30 I’ve stock shaft on my TM tried stock Ping shaft, not even in the ball park for me so your comments make little sense in my mind

  32. Joe

    Aug 9, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Thats one fugly driver, if TM came out with that thing all you TM haters would be screaming gimmick.

    • Frank Garrett

      Aug 9, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Stfu

      • Joe

        Aug 12, 2014 at 9:30 am

        Truth hurts

        • SBoss

          Aug 14, 2014 at 11:49 pm

          Actually, it’s a damn good looking driver. Maybe you don’t like it because it doesn’t have a big slider on the back? Or, because it’s not white? Or, because they only release a new model every two years instead of 4 every year?
          Get some glasses. And a little perspective.

    • Teaj

      Dec 8, 2014 at 11:35 am

      based off of TM’s history your probably right.

      when I first saw the G30 I thought the same but when I put it down behind a ball the Tabulators frame the ball quite nicely almost acting as an alignment aid.

  33. Matt

    Aug 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Purchased the new Ping G30 driver, it arrived today, and I spent a good part of the afternoon at the PGA learning center hitting it.

    One word……….AMAZING!!! Without a doubt the best and most consistent driver I have ever hit!

    Previous drivers were a Big Bertha, SLDR, G25. Totally impressed with my new Ping G30 🙂

  34. JEFF

    Aug 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I turbulated in my pants again!

  35. AWIT

    Aug 2, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    This driver feels great. Just got fit for the 9 degree in the -1 setting with the tour 65 X stiff shaft in 45.25 inches. Previous driver was an I20 with an 80-x Bimatrx. The head feels great, looks good, and on my toe mis-hit is much straighter. I highly recommend this driver. Cant wait to get it in.

    • Zedsded

      Aug 3, 2014 at 3:50 am

      Abba, where are you?

      You are the loudest, misinformed person in this thread. Let me shed some light for you. TaylorMade buys the count. Do a little research and tell me how many players on the PGA Tour play a TM Driver and don’t get paid for it? The number would be very close to zero, if not zero. The reason that we as amateurs should not be playing the TM SLDR is because it is the lowest (by far) MOI driver on the market. The reason the TOUR guys can get away with playing it is because they don’t miss. All of the rest of us do. Go hit a G30 and see your ball speed go up vs your precious TM driver….and…hit a lot more fairways

      • adam

        Aug 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm

        I beg to differ. This G30 was not for me. Fits some to a T but not everyone. People need to quit with the “this driver is the best driver, hands down” comments. Because everyone has different swings.

  36. RJA

    Jul 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    My club has some demo G30’s. I have not tried any club in the last couple of years that was better that my g10 – until now. don’t focus on the turbulators; this club is longer and straighter than anything else I have tried. BTW, the one I’m referring to is the SF tec model.

    • Jim

      Jul 31, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Hi im jim im a junkie just got my g30 and am waiting for the epoxy to dry cuz i swapped out oem shaft for motore speeder 7.2 ts cant wait to pummel this thing on the course.

    • Ping Kong

      Aug 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      I keep buying the new pings and they end up on ebay. My G10 still is the one I go back to again and again. 7.5 degrees and a hot forgiving face

  37. Rick

    Jul 23, 2014 at 7:45 am

    The turbulators may look a little odd but have you ever really looked at the bottom of any Taylor Made driver? They look like the cockpit of a 767. I’m always scared the bottom of those drivers are going to get caught in the turf on my downswing.

  38. Matt

    Jul 22, 2014 at 11:19 am

    “Turbulators” I know this may sound funny to all of you, but this is the same technology they have introduced with the new Toyota Camry but they call them “Vortex Generators”. According to the sales pitch before we bought ours, with the addition of the vortex generators, the new Camry has a 0.27 drag coefficient which supersedes the McClaren sports car at 0.28. GOOGLE IT!

    At any rate, I am a PING guy through and through and am not ashamed to admit so. I think its kinda cool…worth the upgrade? maybe not, but I admire PING for making sure their new technology actually works before they give it to the public.

    Anywho, dont bash until you try it. 🙂

  39. jc

    Jul 17, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I hit one at lunch…it is LOUD!!!

    too loud…sounds like the original nike driver..you would hear those 300 yards away.

    • snd1

      Jul 19, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Well I’ve tried it and I think its great. I don’t get the noisy reference at all – this is not a loud club and if anything, has a duller impact sound than the G25. I like it.

      I’m actually not that bothered about extra length but I do want to hit more fairways and this club felt and went really well.

      Mine is now on order, waiting for the UK release date of 1 Aug. It will also have the shaft shortened by half an inch at no extra cost.

    • Inthejonzone

      Jul 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      Completely disagree there. It was far quieter than the G25 and felt almost muted.

    • chris

      Aug 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      It doesn’t sound any different than the G 25

    • Bruce

      Aug 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      i agree that my nike covert v1 has a sound that scares wildlife and little children. but i didn’t feel that way about the G30, at least in the fitting booth. i’ll see how it is when i get it out on the course.

  40. Spinball

    Jul 17, 2014 at 10:57 am

    One of our testers, who swung a G25 at about 100 mph, saw an average of 1 mph more clubhead speed with the G30. Another, who swung a G25 driver at 114 mph, saw his swing speed increase by an average of 1.5 mph.

    So, for the vast majority of golfers who have a swing speed of below 90 mph, there will be an almost zero difference from the G25 to G30.

    • Barry goodman

      Jul 17, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      More forgiving.
      Higher launching.
      Regards,
      Barry

    • Val

      Aug 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      I am a chick that hits about 200 average with my G25. I compared and contrasted my G25 stock shaft at 10.5* and the G30 with both stock and tour shafts – also at 10.5* today. All were regular flexes. Results:

      Swing average for all 80 mph.

      Club club head mph Ave Drive Distance
      G25 119 209
      G30 Tour 114 205
      G30 Stock 121 215

      The moderate increase in difference – while cool – is not yet worth the $349 price tag. Maybe with a sale and trade in special …

      Hope this helps!

    • FCruz

      Aug 7, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      I just tried a my trusty 9.5 G25 head with the new G30 shaft, and found it softer than the stock G25 shaft TFC (non tour). The G30 (blue shaft) tip is softer, that explains why the ball goes higher, and right…. The G30 has a better sound. I swing 96 to 99 MPH. The G30 goes higher and spins >30 to 90 rpm less for me, that makes it 3~7 Yards longer than my G25. Ball velocity was the same, may be a bit higher with my G25 because I trust it more. I will wait for the G35 with the Hydrostatic perturbators.

  41. Chris

    Jul 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I am a mechanical engineer, golf ‘geek’, club aficionado who trys every single club on the market. Yesterday I had the opportunity to hit the G30 driver, in a 10.5 set to the 9.5 position. First let me state that when I heard about the turbulators, I thought ‘gimmick’ and was surprised that Ping would promote this, that is until I saw and hit it.
    The ‘turbators’ really don’t look bad, and a lot less gawdy than I thought they would look, and they actually work! The club is a straight up bomber…. I like the look a little better than the G25 and the it sounds and feels more solid than the G25. I also had a pro state that it was the first club that he has hit in a long time that has made him say ‘wow’ and he now plays a TM. Give it a swing before you bash it. Ping is on to something here and it works. This will be one of the top rated drivers of the year.

  42. Pingback: New Release - Important information & Specifications on new Ping G30 Lineup | Hodson Golf

  43. Jerry Stidham

    Jul 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Your article states G30 comes in 9, 10.5, and 12 degree lofts.
    Ping website doesn’t indicate a 12 degree G30, only a 12 degree G30 SF Tec.

    Will this change?
    Thank you.

    LB

  44. bluedevilgolfer

    Jul 4, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    I love PING Drivers… always have. However, for a company that is such a positive advocate for helping golf be easier (through proper fitting and easy to hit products)… Why does PING insist on 45.75″ as the standard length of its drivers? This is ridiculous. Make the standard about 44 or 44.5″ if you want the average golfer to actually hit the center of the club face on a regular basis. Second, PLEASE offer up the custom tuning port weights for sale through your authorized retailers! You make your drivers way too long, force golfers to shorten the shafts, and then make it a pain in the you know what to get our hands on the CTP weights. Sell them like TMAG has done historically. Thank you! By making these simple changes, you’ll make a great PING Driver offering even better.

    • KK

      Jul 5, 2014 at 1:20 am

      Hair dryer, divot tool and cotton balls. Your G25 will sound like the ones the pros play and no more swing weight problems.

  45. 85020

    Jul 4, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    I’m gonna wait for the G35. I understand it will have turbulators and a Flux Capacitor.

    • RG

      Jul 5, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Yes, this is true. But can you generate the 1.21 jigawatts of power necessary to activate it?

      • Bandrz

        Jul 5, 2014 at 11:32 pm

        You only have to hit 88 mph SS to achieve this

        • bradford

          Jul 8, 2014 at 3:48 pm

          Marty never would have made it back, the lightning rod would’ve grounded the charge in the tower (Especially once Doc dropped it)and prevented the strike from ever happening…

        • Teaj

          Dec 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

          ok wait, so what happens at 88mph?

          I just pictured the driver head disappearing just before impact.

          hahaha Flux Capacitor….. get out of hear

  46. Norma Stitz

    Jul 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    If the doggone thing works like Ping says it does, who gives a turkey about a couple of bumps on the crown? If a driver keeps me down the middle and delivers shorter approach shots I’ll get used to it quickly! Lots of pretentious golf snobs out there going on and on about nothing! GET A GRIP and embrace what technology is doing to make our great game more enjoyable.

  47. Pingback: Review: Ping G30 Driver | Spacetimeandi.com

  48. Chris

    Jul 4, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Argh! Another stock shaft that needs to be shrunk at least .5 to .75 inches. I would normally jump at the opportunity to to try the g30 but why bother when I already know that the final cost of the club is going to be bumped up an additional 33% to obtain a club in a usable length.

    • MHendon

      Jul 4, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      All you got to do is cut .5 to .75 off the butt end then re-grip it.

      • bluedevilgolfer

        Jul 4, 2014 at 10:48 pm

        If you want to lose 3 points of swingweight! PING needs to either 1) get rid of ridiculous length stock shafts… Or allow golfers to easily buy custom tuning port weights to add weight to the head when they inevitably shorten the shaft or use a custom aftermarket shaft at a shorter length.

        • MHendon

          Jul 4, 2014 at 11:54 pm

          Big deal if losing 3 points of swingweight really bothers you that much wrap a little lead tape around the butt end before you putt on the grip. Hell I cut 1.5″ of my driver and it went from really good to great and couldn’t feel the difference in weight.

          • Joe Golfer

            Jul 25, 2014 at 2:24 am

            MHendon: You don’t put the lead tape on the butt end. That would make the swingweight even lighter. Lead tape goes on the clubhead to bring the swingweight back up.
            And for those of you worried about flex change, trimming from the butt end has almost no change in that regard.

        • rgb

          Jul 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm

          You’re getting upset over losing the weight of a half inch of graphite, something you’d not feel holding in your hand? This is the definition of a snob golfer. IMHO.

          • bosse

            Jul 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm

            its not the weight of the lost half inch mr rbi. taking that off makes the club shorter, and thus needs to make the head heavier to feel the same.

    • JH

      Jul 4, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      uhh, OR the club will be the exact same price when you order it 0.5″ shorter than standard from your Ping authorized dealer.

  49. JDB

    Jul 4, 2014 at 7:56 am

    COOL!!! Now I can buy the g25 for $250

  50. Martin

    Jul 4, 2014 at 6:12 am

    I think the Turbulators look kind of cool, I will give it a try.

  51. San

    Jul 4, 2014 at 4:14 am

    All the comparisons are with the G25. I have the older G20. Do you think it would be worth upgrading from this to the G30?

  52. Jack

    Jul 4, 2014 at 3:22 am

    I am 93 years old, a plus 5, and hit my 6 iron 270. I don’t need this diver.

    • Steve

      Jul 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      OK…and I am Santa Claus and obviously you don’t need anything this Christms. LOL.

      Gotta hand it to you…your tongue-in-cheek post was the funniest I have read in a month.

  53. Ben

    Jul 3, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Now we are seeing the new direction golf companies are going to go. I can see the future now, “Rudder Fins” to keep the square through impact with highest MOI ever!! Haha.

  54. Mark Combs

    Jul 3, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    I hate the ribbed crown thing – yuck…I’ve play many, many Ping Drivers…this looks like something TM would do…plus the move to blue after years of a black and red motif, looks desparate after TM went blue with the SLDR, and then the Callaway BB went blue…I’m waiting for a Titleist 915 D2, a driver that i’m sure will quietly exceed all expectations and match meet the requirements of the “perfect driver” list proposed in the story

  55. Dick

    Jul 3, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    We can obviously see who has who in their pockets?

  56. jc

    Jul 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    yes, I can’t wait to go out and spend 400 bucks for a 1.7 difference in swing speed and 4 more yards…I will then trade all my g25 fairway woods and hybrids in also because blue paint goes further than orange paint.

    Then I will go on tv and buy the hammer..

    • Jeremy

      Jul 3, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Don’t hate, progress comes in small steps. If you’re saving your $400 for them to release something that magically adds 100yds of distance over last year’s model, spend it on a nice golf weekend instead.

      • Abba

        Jul 4, 2014 at 1:15 am

        Progress? Carrying the ball the same yardage as it’s predecessor and rolling two and half yards further isn’t small steps. Should of measured it in feet instead of yards might of got to a double digit number distance.

        • Jeremy

          Jul 4, 2014 at 4:01 am

          Fine. Exactly how many yards further would you say it needs to go beyond its predecessor in order for it to be worth putting on sale?

          All I’m saying is the expectations here are a bit unrealistic, as are the implications that improving aerodynamics and reducing drag are nothing but a “gimmick.” Furthermore, no one is putting a gun to your head telling you to buy a new driver every year. But if every year they add a couple yards then guess what, when you replace your 5 year old driver you’ve got 10 extra yards. That’s an 8 iron instead of a 7 iron for your second shot.

          Again, progress comes in small steps.

          • MHendon

            Jul 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

            I think the problem is there was this company not to long ago claiming to add 17 yards with their new club from the previous model just 6 months earlier and a lot of people actually believed it? Where the hell are those people when I’m trying to sale them some beach front property in Oklahoma? lol

          • Abba

            Jul 6, 2014 at 12:09 am

            No one is putting a gun to my head to buy it but if Ping wants to sell drivers they better come out with a driver that hits it 5-10 yards further. Who gives a crap about the guy that buys a driver every five years. That’s a small market. You want to captivate the golfer that buys a driver EVERY YEAR! Over 1 million Golfer’s buys a new driver every year. That G30 needs to CARRY farther and be longer in total distance to move buyers. Your telling me that they can give out all these stats (ie ball speed, spin, carry) but not total distance. Their is probably a good reason for it – it’s not further. Everyone wants to hit the driver FARTHER! I along with everyone else am not looking to turn my 7 iron approach to an 8 iron five years from now. I want to do that now and the Ping G30 is not the answer based on those numbers!

          • Markus

            Jul 29, 2014 at 1:50 pm

            Go HIT it. I’m getting 10-15 more yards than my G20. Easy…

  57. Dick

    Jul 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Will they make this G30 for the average lady golfer ?

    • rgb

      Jul 3, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      I see in the pre-order at GolfTown in Canada (at least) that there are two of the six drivers with shafts for women. All are the same price, but its a nice touch.

    • MHendon

      Jul 4, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Why are you worried about whether they’ll make the G30 for the average lady golfer, hmmmm is that your name or what you like?

      • Joe Golfer

        Jul 25, 2014 at 2:29 am

        Way to keep things classy. That’s probably funny… to someone in the fourth grade.

        • Truth Teller

          Aug 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm

          I must be in fourth grade then. Just sayin…

  58. KJ

    Jul 3, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    A little annoyed with people comparing it so much to TM because of the turbulators and color. For one TM and PING have completely different philosophies on how to make products and marketing. The electric blue color was introduced in hoofer and pioneer lines last year as a new and limited color option so it was introduced before the SLDR released. Secondly TM is a company built on marketing through the tour and spending money to get the most brand recognition in the big box stores. Not saying TM products don’t go far, but when PING says, we can help you pick up a few extra yards, with their R&D, they probably mean it.

    • Abba

      Jul 4, 2014 at 1:37 am

      Justify spending 400 to upgrade from the g25 to the g30 for three yards please. Thought so.

      • KJ

        Jul 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm

        What are you expecting? At least PING is realistic and doesn’t tell you it goes “20 yards farther than any driver ever!”

        • Abba

          Jul 6, 2014 at 12:16 am

          Problem is based on these stats I don’t think the G30 is farther than the G25. So your telling me PING should market their new driver on the fact that it’s two yards further than the G25? That makes a lot of sense. Hey upgrade to the new G30 and we promise to get you 72″ down the fairway. Trust me 72″‘sounds better then 2 yards. Being realistic and saying that it’s not 20 yards further is fine but your product better perform better then the model before and according to the stats above this one does not! #Turbafailure

          • mjv7

            Jul 8, 2014 at 7:00 am

            When that 2 yards is the difference in carrying a water hazard or bunker, it’s a big deal!

      • Joe Golfer

        Jul 31, 2014 at 2:03 am

        That’s a good point, but one must keep in mind that many golfers aren’t going from a G25 to a G30.
        Many have a five year old driver, could be any brand.
        So this advertising is for them as well, trying to convince them that the new G30 would be the best way to improve their driving.

    • Ben

      Jul 4, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      guys, think back for years in times of G2 and G5… it is all about this poppy blue. be happy, G30 is looking great and as always it performs very well
      PLAY YOUR BEST

  59. Archie Bunker

    Jul 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    How about some stick-on plastic turbulators for your present driver? Great marketing opportunity!

  60. chad ryan

    Jul 3, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    That’s great…but….where is the landing gear for this airplane?
    I’m sure it does improve something like 1.23% but it’s 20% more distracting at address. not a fan

  61. jason

    Jul 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Question for the author. After swinging the G30 can the author tell me if the club is less, more, or the same with the respect to the “wind” noise the club makes on the way to the ball during the downswing. I for one have always looked forward to drivers that are quiet during the downswing. For whatever reason that matters to me and for whatever reason TM drivers for the past 5-6 years have been the loudest. The faster I try and swing R1, R11s, etc, the more resistance they seem to have and the more noise they make and it just makes me want to swing harder with bad results. I’ve stuck with Cleveland drivers as they deliver and are silent during the downswing. The turbulators have me interested to at least try it.

  62. Stan

    Jul 3, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I’m not a fan of the term “turbulator” as well so I’m calling them Satan’s Spoilers.

    • rgb

      Jul 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      I’ll call them “the driver with the Klingon forehead”.

  63. DaveMac

    Jul 3, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Disappointing to see that the Tour shaft options cost more, you would think a company with custom fitting a main belief could offer a few alternative shafts at no additional cost. The additional cost to Ping for what is their own design shafts would be minimal.

    This issue is compounded with the significant price hike over the previous G20 and G25 models.

    • MHendon

      Jul 4, 2014 at 11:14 am

      I’m more disappointed that the Tour shaft option is black instead of that pretty blue.

    • RG

      Jul 5, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      what about “Fly Far Fins?”

  64. Randy

    Jul 3, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Will the lower spinning of the G30 still benefit swing speeds in the low 90’s or not? The ball you play can lower/raise driver spin as well. What golf balls do you test with GolfWRX ? thx.

  65. Tommy

    Jul 3, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Ping sells engineering and performance. Taylormade sells funny names (rocketballz, graphics, speed slots that they bought Adams to get , etc) and hype. Depends on what you want in your equipment.

    • marty

      Jul 3, 2014 at 10:55 am

      In case you have not noticed. The sldr has been dominating on the tour.

      • MHendon

        Jul 3, 2014 at 4:25 pm

        In case you have not noticed, Taylormade pays more pro’s to play there drivers than any other company by far. Taylormade’s CEO admitted to paying 92 pro’s no less than $50,000 a year to play there driver. All the major OEM’s make very good equipment it just comes down to personal preference. Moral to this story is, don’t buy into statistics that are financially determined.

        • Abba

          Jul 4, 2014 at 1:43 am

          Average tour guy makes over a million dollars on the tour. Don’t sit there and tell me that titleist, ping, Callaway, etc tour players are not getting paid close to 50,000 to play their product. Fact is if these guys get paid a HELL OF A LOT more to place in tournaments with the best product in their hands instead of the 50k to play a particular company’s product. That 50k is chump change compared to what they make on the tour (unless your tiger woods) nike gives him a few bucks. They play the product because it’s the best product!

          • MHendon

            Jul 4, 2014 at 11:24 am

            Sure to most of these guys 50,000 is chump change but if you have (A) driver which is really good but to play it you get know money then you have (B) driver which is really good and they’ll pay you 50,000 to use it which one do you think your going to play? Point is they all make great drivers and will work with a pro for hours to make it just right but Taylormades CEO said and I quote we want to be the number one driver on tour and they pay anyone who uses their driver at least 50,000. That’s anyone not just a Taylormade staffer. Not all those guys have big endorsement deals. 50,000 will probably cover their travel cost for the year or pay their caddy. So believe what you want but that’s why Taylormade is number one on tour in driver use.

          • Abba

            Jul 6, 2014 at 12:22 am

            2013 TaylorMade was the #1 driver and iron in golf. What’s your explanation for them being the #1 irons in 2013?

          • MHendon

            Jul 6, 2014 at 10:17 pm

            My explanation for them being the #1 iron in golf is they weren’t, Titleist was. Hell half the guys with Taylormade staff bags don’t even have Taylormade irons in them. Look don’t get me wrong I can tell your a Taylormade fan and I think they make fine equipment. If I were in the market I would definitely consider the SLDR driver and fairways along with the tour preferred CB irons but they do buy their number one status in driver use. Your right in assuming if their drivers sucked $50,000 wouldn’t be enough to get guys to use them, they wouldn’t. But that’s also why Taylormade has several versions not available for retail so they can fine tune what each player wants. Trust me every OEM can make a driver for these guys they’ll love but they won’t all pay them to use theirs. On another note, the driver heads the guys use on tour from Titleist and Ping are the same ones available for retail. They may have some different weights in them or hot melt but the heads are the same.

          • Barry goodman

            Jul 17, 2014 at 11:55 pm

            Also Ping has the highest standards when it comes to the number of their clubs in the bag. I believe they have to have 12 clubs in the bag in order to be sponsored by Ping.
            Other companies pay players to put their name on the bag but may or may not have any clubs in the bag.

            Don’t be nieve, Taylormade pays the most that is why there is so many golfers using their product.
            Yes they produce a good product, but no where near the best.
            Regards,
            Barry

          • Desmond

            Jul 18, 2014 at 7:59 pm

            TM makes a great product for better players, and I haven’t heard of many better players and pros who don’t like the SLDR.

            At the same time, all manufacturers make great product, and TM is known for a large stable of Tour Pros. When push comes to shove, even if you like one product a bit more than TM, that $50k in your pocket is the push. Pros are people, too. They rationalize that the TM product is better, even if the other club may perform better on the course. They can talk themselves into thinking the TM product is better.

            But you can make a similar argument with any product. Irons? TM is paying a lot of people. Like I said, pros are human. They rationalize just like us. TM persuades them that they can make their irons perform just like the Pro’s old Titleist, Ping, etc. And TM has more money. So why not go to the dark side?

    • James

      Jul 3, 2014 at 11:32 am

      ‘Turbulator’ sounds more gimmicky than ‘speed slot’ IMO

      • rgb

        Jul 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm

        Yea, its like ‘discombobulator’.

      • froneputt

        Jul 3, 2014 at 9:02 pm

        Better than “drag breaker”, “aeromaster”, “sldrspoilier”

    • Lawrence Williams

      Jul 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      SLDR is far from hype my friend. ……in fact the performance of all my taylormade gear is based on testing and it beat out all comers

      • Barry goodman

        Jul 18, 2014 at 12:02 am

        Muzuno had a sliding bar three years before Taylormades’.
        Look it up.
        Taylormade steals from smaller companies, when they are threatened to be sued, they buy up the smaller company.
        Regards,
        Barry

  66. Kirk

    Jul 3, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Good write up…However, I would disagree about the G25 head being too high spin. This is obvious in how almost all their tour guys switched to it immediately, including from the very low spin Anser. I do demo day events for spin and the head being too high spin was virtually never a complaint or an issue when using a launch monitor. The proprietary shaft could be argued was too high torque in the Tour Stiff and X, with G25, but not the head.

    Enjoyed the write up though, just disagree with that being listed as a con from the G25.

    • FCruz

      Aug 7, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      I just tried a my trusty 9.5 G25 head with the new G30 shaft (new socket), and found it softer than the stock G25 shaft TFC (non tour). The G30 (blue shaft) tip is softer, that explains why the ball goes higher, and right…. The G30 has a better sound. I swing 96 to 99 MPH. The G30 goes higher and spins >30 to 90 rpm less for me, that makes it 3~7 Yards longer than my G25. Ball velocity was the same, may be a bit higher with my G25 because I trust it more. I will wait for the G35 with the Hydrostatic perturbators.

  67. Ross

    Jul 3, 2014 at 10:23 am

    I think the turbulators are ugly. Then again, I also think the eye-2’s are hideous. The bottom line is PING only cares about what works, and that’s why they’re an industry leader.

    • MHendon

      Jul 5, 2014 at 12:02 am

      eye-2’s wow you went back in time there. But those where some damn good irons, I’d put those up against anything today.

  68. Dave Incardona

    Jul 3, 2014 at 10:19 am

    The G25 is the longest and most forgiving driver I have ever hit. At 67 and a scratch golfer, I average 260-270. I cannot wait to buy the new G30. Ping, you are the BEST!

    • Scooter McGavin

      Jul 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      I’m an 84 year old +4 handicap that averages 315 yards off the tee.

      • Jeff

        Sep 2, 2014 at 5:07 pm

        84 and +4 averaging 315 off the tee? You are not in heaven yet pal. Keep dreaming.

    • MHendon

      Jul 3, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      You’ll spend $400 to pick up 1 more mph of clubhead speed, which use to equate to about 2.5 to 3 more yrd of distance. Not quite sure where the 7 yds is coming from.

      • froneputt

        Jul 3, 2014 at 9:03 pm

        Thinner face, lower spin … possibly. It varies.

        • MHendon

          Jul 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm

          1 mph is 1 mph doesn’t matter if the face is thinner or not. Spin and launch angle can effect distance some and that’s why it’s approximately 2.5 to 3 yds per mph. That’s just physics.

  69. Dave

    Jul 3, 2014 at 10:17 am

    The G25 gives very accurate and long drives, 260-270. At 76 yrs. old and a scratch player, I cannot wait to buy the new G30. PING, you are the BEST!

  70. Kevin

    Jul 3, 2014 at 10:16 am

    I’m sold but I already have 2 drivers. Time to let one go. I will probably try the entire G30 iron/wood/hybrid set too if they are not black faced irons.

    • rgb

      Jul 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      They are black faced. And the 30 irons are dark grey as opposed to the chrome of the 25 irons.

  71. Dave

    Jul 3, 2014 at 10:14 am

    The G25 is fantastic and accurate! AT 67 years old, I am scratch, very straight and hit the ball 260-270. I cannot wait to buy the new G30! Ping you are the BEST.

  72. Steve

    Jul 3, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I have to laugh at the comments about the “looks” of the turbulators or the look of the club in general and people who won’t be caught dead going to the Tee box with it.

    Thirty years ago, we would have laughed at the idea of 460 cc Drivers…. or putters, even some from PING and Scotty Cameron, that look like a kitchen utensil or something you’d spackle a wall with.

    Regrettably, there is no room for “tradition” anymore unless you dare to go back to using a Bulls Eye Putter and a persimmon driver.

  73. JEFF

    Jul 3, 2014 at 9:46 am

    WHAT A GIMICKIE CROCK!

  74. adan

    Jul 3, 2014 at 9:44 am

    You can blow all the smoke you want, PING. Staying with my SLDR.

    • Frank Jones

      Jul 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      …Which is also a great driver. In the right hands there are any number of drivers that will find the fairway a long way out – SLDR, Big Bertha, BIO Cell…

      I don’t think this is blowing smoke though (except in the wind tunnel test) I think this is just another great option for people looking to upgrade.

      • MHendon

        Jul 3, 2014 at 4:38 pm

        Your right Frank and that’s what I’ve been saying all along but so many people have strange allegiances to company’s that don’t pay them a penny, instead take their money to use there equipment. The fact is major advancements in technology ended over 10 years ago and most of the things manufactures are doing is more gimmicks then anything. Sure these turbulators do work, physics prove it to the tune of 1 whole mph. Nothing really significant in my opinion.

  75. Josh

    Jul 3, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Does anyone know the butt diameter of the shaft?

    • MHendon

      Jul 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Not sure why that matters but most are .600

  76. Josh

    Jul 3, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Does anyone know the butt size or butt diameter?

  77. Kyle

    Jul 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Lost me at turbulators. Would never show up to the first tee with one of these things. Just awful.

  78. Curt

    Jul 3, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Hmmm, 1.52 Smash factor. Illegal?

  79. Rob

    Jul 3, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Anyone know if the TFC 419D shaft is actually made by Ping or is it made by another company?

    • GolfWRX

      Jul 3, 2014 at 9:12 am

      UST is the manufacturer of Ping’s shafts.

      • Joe Golfer

        Jul 13, 2014 at 1:36 am

        Thank you, @GolfWRX.
        I did not know that UST made the shafts.
        I wonder if the bend profile is similar to any of their existing aftermarket shafts?

    • Chuck

      Jul 3, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Interesting; a stock-offering 80g driver shaft.

  80. Brad

    Jul 3, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Low forward CG. ….Now there’s something new……. cough cough SLDR cough

    • Rob

      Jul 3, 2014 at 9:01 am

      “Ping moved the CG of the G30 lower and more rearward.”

    • Jobba

      Jul 3, 2014 at 9:47 am

      You need to read the article again. The Ping driver is the exact opposite of the cough cough SLDR cough.

    • wcavanau

      Jul 3, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Jim, you need to read it again. Ping moved the new found weight lower and to the back to increase the MOI.

  81. JP

    Jul 3, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Ping continues to impress. Cant wait to test this bad boy out.

  82. Rich

    Jul 3, 2014 at 8:35 am

    I’m impressed. You can’t beat Ping’s engineering. They have a brief they believe in and they stick to it. I’m starting to like those turbulators too! Ping, you’ve done it again!

  83. Tony

    Jul 3, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Im in.

  84. CJ

    Jul 3, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I’m sold on the tech but those turbulators just look so wrong to me.. I’ll try it out when I can and if the performance is really great then my r1 which has been just perfect for so long might get kicked out of the bag.

    • Rob

      Jul 3, 2014 at 9:04 am

      I don’t mind the look of the turbulators as much as I hate saying “turbulators.” I also play an R1 and can’t quite imagine replacing it after all these years.

      • Joe

        Jul 3, 2014 at 9:44 am

        Replacing R1 after all these years?? R1 hasn’t been out that long…

        • Rob

          Jul 3, 2014 at 10:02 am

          Jeez, you’re right, I just looked it up and I’ve only had it a year and a half. In the meantime, TMAG has come out with 7 new drivers, so I guess it felt a lot longer than it actually was.

          • ACGolfwrx

            Jul 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm

            Hahaha, well said!

          • MHendon

            Jul 3, 2014 at 4:41 pm

            In that same amount of time Ping and Titleist have come out with one.

          • Abba

            Jul 4, 2014 at 1:34 am

            Titleist came out with a new driver since the 905T? Couldn’t tell, no one plays it

          • RG

            Jul 5, 2014 at 9:44 pm

            They just released a new one while you were typing. It’s called the “Rocketjetturbosuperballz” and they have actually moved the MOI into the 4th dimension, which of course will add 8-10 yds to your drives.

          • Abba

            Jul 6, 2014 at 12:32 am

            Funny you say that RG, SLDR still the #1 selling driver that’s been on the market for over a year. You will have to wait for the “rocketjetturbosuperballz” driver for next year.

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Driver Reviews

Review: Ping’s G400 and G400 LST Drivers

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I still remember the first time I hit Ping’s G30 driver. It was July 2014, and I was at Ping’s HQ in Phoenix. Super low-spin drivers were all the rage at the time. With their forward center of gravity, they were helping golfers optimize their launch conditions beyond their wildest dreams: crazy high launch, ridiculously low spin. Many in the business, including myself, had one of these drivers and spent many launch monitor sessions trying to figure out how to get more distance from these high knuckleballs. The bad news was that forward-CG drivers, by nature, were really unforgiving. Bad shots were really short and crooked.

Before I knew the G30 was a big deal, Marty Jertson, Ping’s Director of Product Development, explained to me his vision for the perfect driver inside a conference room at Ping Headquarters. In his eyes, the perfect driver didn’t have the low, forward center of gravity (CG) that was being touted at the time. Its CG was located as low and as rearward in the driver head as possible, which he said would offer the best of both worlds: optimized launch conditions on good shots, as well as the best possible forgiveness on bad shots.

Building the perfect driver was a long way off (and still is), but Jertson was excited where Ping had landed with the G30. When it was released, the driver was a powerful testament to his vision. Its rear-CG design created great distance on good and bad shots, and it was also a very straight driver. The G30 sold incredibly well and, as a result, the industry mostly shifted away from forward-CG drivers.

It’s been nearly three years since the release of the G30, and Ping has just made another counterintuitive driver release. The company shrunk the size of its new G400 drivers in a climate where full-size drivers have become the norm. Granted, it’s only 15 cubic centimeters smaller, but it’s noticeable at address. Compared to the Ping G drivers they replace (which replaced the G30), the G400’s look like they cut carbs.

Despite their slimmer frames, however, the G400 drivers are actually more forgiving than the G drivers (which were even more forgiving than the G30). That’s why Ping representatives say smaller is actually better in the G400’s case. The drivers have the lowest, most rearward CG of any Ping drivers ever, and their smaller size is said to improve their aerodynamics so golfers can swing them fractionally faster. The other big change is a new face material made of T9S+ titanium, which is thinner and more flexible to help golfers generate more ball speed.

Ping_G400_LST_2

For this review, I wanted to put the G400 and G400 LST to the test against the G and the G LST drivers that they replace, so I took them to the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. I hit five shots with each driver on Trackman IV, and to ensure as much of an apples-to-apples comparison as possible, I tested each driver head with the same shaft. Each driver head was adjusted to the same loft, or as close as possible.

Note: The G, G LST, and G400 drivers I tested were 10.5-degree heads adjusted to 9.5 degrees. The G400 LST had a loft of 10 degrees, and it was adjusted to 9.4 degrees.

The Test

PingG400_2017

In my personal driver tests, I don’t usually see a huge uptick in distance or accuracy when comparing the latest drivers to the most recent models from the same manufacturer. Improvements generally come in the form of improved head shaping, a better feel, or enhanced adjustability. That’s why I was surprised to see such a big change in my launch conditions and dispersion with the G400 drivers.

G400 Test Results: With the G400, I launched my drives an average of 1.6-degrees higher than I did with the G while dropping spin an average of 416 rpm. That led to a significant improvement in distance. With my swing speed and ball speed staying about the same, I added an average of 7.2 yards more carry distance and 8.7 yards more total distance.

G400 LST Test Results: First, a note about the G400 LST. It has a CG that’s slightly lower and more forward than the standard G400 driver to help golfers reduce spin. Like the G30 LST and G LST, it’s still very much a rear-CG driver, but its design helps high-speed golfers who can consistently find the center of the club face maximize distance without highjacking forgiveness. When I test Ping drivers, the LST is generally the model that creates the best performance, and the G400 LST was no exception. I saw an average of a 1.2-degree higher launch angle with all other things staying about the same when I compared it to the G LST. The result was an average of 6.6 yards more carry distance and 3.1 yards more total distance. It was the longest and straightest driver I hit in the test.

Note: Ping also sells a G400 SFT (Straight Flight Technology) driver, which has added draw bias. To learn more about it, click through to tech story on the G400, G400 LST and G400 SFT drivers. 

Dispersion

G400_Dispertion

One way to explain the improved launch conditions is that I hit the G400 drivers more consistently. As you can see in the Trackman dispersion chart, I hit the G400 and G400 LST drivers straighter on average than the G and G LST. Is that its slightly enhanced forgiveness shining through? Maybe, maybe not.

To me, the changes Ping made to the look and feel of the driver were just as important as the performance difference I saw on Trackman. I’ve always preferred smaller driver heads, or at least 460-cubic-centimeter drivers that appear smaller than their size. For that reason, I felt more confident with the G400 drivers in my hands. I didn’t mind that I didn’t see any added swing speed or ball speed from the smaller driver head. I was sold on the looks alone.

I also preferred the sound of the G400 drivers to the G drivers. There was definitely much more of a “thwack” than a “ping” at impact, which made the G400’s feel more powerful. Looks and feel are subjective, of course, but to me the improvement was night and day. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that my fondness for the looks and feel of the G400 was at least a contributing factor to my improved performance in the test, if not the most important factor. When I like the way a club look at address, I tend to hit it better, and I know I’m not alone.

I do want readers to keep in mind that this was a one-person test and I hit a limited amount of balls. Yes, it’s a great indication that the G400 driver can be measurably better than a G driver, but it’s not a guarantee.

I also want to address the weaknesses of the G400 drivers. While they’re few, they could push golfers into another driver model in a fitting. Unlike Callaway’s GBB EpicTaylorMade’s M1 or Titleist’s 917 drivers, the G400’s don’t have CG adjustability. That means there’s no way to fine tune ball flight outside of a shaft or loft adjustment. A bigger deal for some golfers might be the G400 crowns. Despite their smaller size, there’s still a lot to look at address, as was the case with the G drivers.

Ping_G400_LST_4

Aerodynamic features on the front of the crowns, “Turbulators,” have been thickened for the G400 release. There’s also Ping’s “DragonFly Technology,” a geometry on the back of the driver crowns that helps push CG lower and more rearward in the driver heads. I personally think the G400 crowns give the drivers an old-school, muscle car-like look, but there’s no question they won’t fly with all golfers.

Whatever your thoughts about what’s on top of the G400 drivers, there’s no question that what’s under the hood can offer something the G and G30 drivers did not. Maybe you’ll like the smaller head. Maybe you’ll prefer the quieter sound. Maybe the improved forgiveness will show up on a launch monitor or on the course. Or maybe you’ll just flat out rip a G400 farther and straighter down the middle like I did.

If that last bit happens, try not to second-guess it.

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Driver Reviews

Members Choice: The Best Driver of 2017

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What determines the best driver on the market; is it the opinion of professional club fitters, professional golfers or testing results from a group of amateurs?

At GolfWRX, we believe all three sources can lead golfers to an answer. Being a website founded by passionate golfers with a mission to serve passionate golfers, though, we place a special emphasis on the opinions of our GolfWRX Members — the most knowledgeable group of golfers on the planet. No other group of golfers in the world tests golf clubs as frequently or as extensively as GolfWRX Members. So who better to poll to get an initial indication of the best performing drivers so far in 2017?

So we asked them, “What’s the best driver of 2017?” They voted for the three drivers they felt most worthy of the title and provided feedback about their selections in our special forum thread. You can see the results below (as of the first three weeks of voting), as well as quotes we pulled from GolfWRX Members about the drivers from our forum.

Remember that our polls will remain open for voting throughout the year, and we’re going to keep an eye on the percentages as more and more golfers have an opportunity to test these drivers. We’re also working on another Best Driver list, which will evaluate clubs in another important way. Stay tuned!

Keep in mind that there’s no single driver on the market that is the absolute best option for every golfer: that’s why nearly every manufacturer makes at least two different models. As this list indicates, however, some drivers are working better than others this year. Happy Testing!

Note: Forum posts were minimally edited for grammar, style, spelling and clarity.

Cobra King LTD Black (3.00 percent of votes)

3f7f45629f386b15ed7bbbaa529e0826

  • The General: All-black LTD is really clean looking. I’m about to cover up the orange on my LTD with lead tape. Orange is played out
  • mh7vwLove my LTD, but wish the black finish (or even this gray) didn’t have that subtle checkering you see in some like. Prefer plain black.
  • dbleagI am a fan of the black/orange combo. The performance and sound of the LTD is very appealing to me. I also like that the standard length is 45 inches. For me, that helps it be super-accurate. With the low-spin design, I hit it longest of the current offerings and can’t remember the last time I missed a fairway. Straight, solid, low spin and nice.
Further Reading

Mizuno JPX-900 (3.20 percent)

Mizuno_JPX_900_Driver

  • johnnythundersJPX goes straight. Best real-deal shaft and is long and very adjustable.
  • KT35That blue head looks awesome sitting on the ground. I hit balls off the toe and heel and didn’t see the big drop off in distance like the previous models.
  • nmortonThe JPX-900 is definitely more forgiving compared to the JPX-850, and sounds much better. Though they did sacrifice a bit by going with a little larger profile, but it’s easy to get used to. The graphics are so so, but this driver performs. I’m really digging the Evo II (shaft).
  • jay65I can see that Mizuno is really making a decent effort with its drivers/fairways in terms of tech and aesthetics, and they compliment the new JPX-900 line of irons really well, but if they’re going to make any inroads they really have to address this issue of their custom shafts options. It’s rubbish.
  • bok006The JPX-900, after being properly adjusted by the fitter, gave me an extra 20 yards just like that. My swing speed suggested I was borderline S to X (flex), but the fitter said unless I was fighting a hook I should stick with the S.
  • bubbagump: …the JPX-900, when properly fit, is just as long on a consistent basis than all the new models I tried in real life situations. It looks great, sounds solid and just knows the way to keep the ball in play.  
  • ChazbI’m 69 years old, have a swing speed of 91 mph and played nine with the JPX-900 this morning. It was in the 40s with a brisk wind hit it around 220 to 230 yards. It was a fairway finder, has great feel and is one of the easiest to control drivers I have ever hit. I can’t wait ’til it is warmer and can dial it in more. So far I have the two weights all the way forward for a lower flight and the other set with a draw bias with 10.5 degrees of loft. This driver is the real deal; it may not be the longest or the shortest, but it is a fairway finder which IMO makes it a winner.
Further Reading

Ping G (3.80 percent)

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  • Wesquire: Ping G is the most forgiving so it wins.
  • bopper53: Ping G hands down. Great distance and the most forgiving.
  • Dannydubbbs: The Ping G series is just too forgiving. The distance is comparable between most models, but Ping always seems to win out with forgiveness.
  • Bruin BearThe Ping G is going to be overlooked because it’s looked at as “game improvement,” but this driver is a beast. I liked the LS, but it requires a faster swing to get results and in the cold outdoors I just don’t have that all the time. I think the G is the perfect blend of performance and forgiveness.
  • cmrl1986Only reason I switched from the Ping G25 was that the G felt less harsh off the face. Same distance just about.
Further Reading

Cobra King F7+ (3.90 percent)

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  • EntourageLife: Ball really flies off face. Driver head controls spin well. Not one drive “ballooned” and trajectory was high and best of all… very easy to work ball right to left for a confident draw.
  • GollieThe F7+ is another great offering from Cobra… I didn’t get the “MAN, this is gonna take my LTD out of the bag” feeling, but it has very good sound, feel and performance.
  • J13F7+ is a great offering from Cobra and IMO is in the top-3 drivers this year. Epic is the standout for me numbers wise, then M series and F7+ are right behind it. Love the Agera (shaft) in there!!! Such a great shaft; I can’t seem to get mine out of the bag.
  • Golfer from MOHit both Cobras lefty and as a lefty the LTD is the shizzle. Last year it was the LTD and Big Bertha down to the absolute wire… the F7+ is more workable than the LTD, but not longer and a little worse on mishits.
  • BoognishI took a few swings with the F7+ at Golf Galaxy yesterday. 9.5 degrees with heaviest weight forward. The stock shaft is actually the same model I play in my GBB (albeit in smoked black instead of yellow). Ball flight and distance were similar to my GBB with good consistent sub-3000 backspin. Sound was OK, feel was harder than the GBB.
  • thechief16Just from the range (no LM), I didn’t see a noticeable performance improvement with the F7+ over the original King LTD. And I like the look and sound/feel of the LTD better.
Further Reading

Ping G LS Tec (4.90 percent)

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  • drvrwdgeI played the G LS with the Ping Tour 65X (shaft) tipped an inch for about a year. Just put the HZRDUS Yellow 75 6.5 tipped an inch and never thought it was possible, but it’s longer and straighter. Best driver shaft combo I’ve ever hit. You can feel that HZRDUS throughout the entire swing. Really gives you a solid connected feel.
  • Mtngolfer1: I am not sure that I would consider this a 2017 Driver, but my vote went to the Ping G LS Tec. The fact that my G is still holding its own against the latest 2017 releases has me very excited to see what Ping will release later this year.
  • 3woodvt: Fairway finder and plenty long.
  • pitchinwedgeI’ve found the LS to be nearly as fade biased as the M family. I get pretty good results with the LS by making a conscious effort to make more of an in-to-out swing. Any lapse in concentration and everything goes right. The M’s require even more effort, which is the reason I stayed with the LS instead.
  • 3 Jack ParAfter an up and down year with the G LS, I’ve actually recently gone back to my G30 LS head. I only have a couple of rounds as a sample so far, so I can’t really draw a conclusion about whether one or the other is better, but with the same shaft it seems like my G30 head might be a little longer. Honestly, the performance differences are pretty minimal if you really compare the two generations.
Further Reading

Titleist 917D3 (5.30 percent)

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  • GavaThe 917D3 is in my bag now, and I’ve found it incredibly long with a recently purchased Graphite Design Tour AD MJ 7TX shaft. Feel and accuracy has been a real improvement as well.
  • Togatown22I find my 917D3 to be just as forgiving as my 915D2 was, and man do I prefer looking down at the head shape and color versus the 915. Very confidence inspiring.
  • NIxhex524I would definitely give the D3 a whirl. I feel like Titleist has made great strides at making the smaller head way more hittable for us ams.
  • KPH808So in conclusion, I was hitting the ball about 9 yards further on average and 3-4 mph faster ball speeds with the 917D3 vs. the 915 D4. The biggest thing for me was the forgiveness between the two; the 917D3 was more forgiving on mishits.
  • brushieThe 917D3 head feels soft like the 910 and sounds great. I never had an issue with the 915 sound; it wasn’t great, but it didn’t bother me too much. This is much better, though. The 917D3 head shape is perfect to my eye as well. The area where the 917 shines is forgiveness. 

Further Reading

TaylorMade M1 440 (5.35 percent)

TaylorMade_M1_440_Feat

  • Tigermatt31: The M1 440 is best driver I’ve had ever.
  • TollBros: The M1 440 is definitely lower spin than the M1 460 or M2 from last year. Launch angle isn’t really any lower, but spin is lower for sure.
  • specimania: This year’s 440 is more forgiving.
  • MCozYes, this 440 is more forgiving, and yet it also appears to be more workable than both of the previous M1 and M2s.
  • nitramTo save you a bunch of reading and crunching numbers, I quickly concluded there was a little more forgiveness and exactly +0.4 mph ball speed with the 440. By forgiveness I simply mean this: A 1.48 smash 440 will give you the same ball speed and distance as a 1.49/1.50 430. But if you get a 1.50 from both there is no measurable gain. Side-to-side dispersion was better by 4.7 feet with the 440. Workability was a wash between them, although the 430 seems a bit more fade biased whereas I’ll describe the 440 as a scosche more neutral.
  • tj24: I hit the M1 440 with my Aldila RIP at an 80-gram X-flex. For me, the spin numbers were around 1700 rpm which is probably to low for my swing. I did, however, like the shape of the head and I felt like I could easily work the ball both ways.
  • halfsumoI really think they nailed it with the shape of this 440 head. Nice pear shape, no weird bulges or ridges that you have to get used to.
Further Reading

Titleist 917D2 (6.65 percent)

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  • tsletten: Love the sound of the 917D2.
  • bladehunter: No doubt the 917D2 is an accurate, forgiving driver that doesn’t look as big as it is and sounds fantastic.
  • JStangMaybe it’s just me, but I find the face to be more shallow (top to bottom) with the 917D2 than other drivers that I’ve tried lately.
  • LuckyLowbrowI was actually spinning it too low with the D4. Going up to the D2 normalized my spin rate, but led to such an improvement in consistency across the face.

Further Reading

TaylorMade M1 460 2017 (11.81 percent)

TaylorMade_M1_460-Feat

  • Ereim: I ended up going with the M1 460. It gave me a slightly tighter dispersion, and I liked looking down at it slightly more.
  • jdenham15: The 2017 TaylorMade M1 is a great driver, but I tend to miss wide right and struggled to turn it over.
  • ZBigStick: The M1 460 gave me the best results. Was able to increase launch without much added spin with the (T-Track) weight. Feel is good and felt forgiving; dispersion results backing that up.
  • BillMurrayGolfingThe face is hot, receptive, thin and makes a nice sound. I like that.
  • JStangSound and feel were both fantastic. I couldn’t ask for much more in the sound and feel department than what this club offers. Plenty of feedback was provided based on impact as I would expect. I could easily tell where I missed based on feel.
  • tnordJust as another tester found, moving the weight back and forward absolutely does impact how the club sounds. I’m much more a fan of the weight back.
  • chickenpotpieMoving the slider to the draw position made the feel of the driver a little harsher. Feel was much much smoother with that weight in the middle. I didn’t see any such changes with the front/rear slider.
Further Reading

TaylorMade M2 2017 (11.86 percent)

M2_Speed_Pocket

  • ZBigStickI liked the feel of the new M2 but seemed to get better results and numbers with the new M1. Could be the extra 5 grams of head weight?
    It was dynamite with the GD TP-6 (shaft)!
  • erock9174On Trackman it didn’t put up the most ball speed, but counting all shots the M2 had the longest average distance.
  • gripandripThe M2 seems to have a little bit of a fade bias for me. And the head is HUGE. Maybe it’s a mental thing to be able to turnover a head that large.
  • Bomber_11M2 has very big shoes to fill, as the 2016 M2 was arguably one of the best drivers of the last 3-4 years.
  • LONG&STR8It’s hard to ignore the sound of the new M2. That may be TaylorMade’s biggest fail with that driver, as the sound and feel was one of the best things about the first version that I’ll have in the bag until something better comes along.
  • Z1ggy16The new M2 was terrible for me, not sure why. Unsure if it was the shaft I used but it spun up like a monster and ball speeds weren’t any better than previous M2.
  • Peanut191I don’t really think that the new M2 was much of a step backward, probably more that it doesn’t seem like a big step forward compared to last year’s model. I was hitting my 2016 M2 against a 2017 M2 indoors (which usually amplifies the louder, more obnoxious sound) and I didn’t notice that much of a difference in sound. It could have been that I might have just happened to get a hold of a head that was more muted than normal with the new one, but I just didn’t notice much difference. Performance wise, I could tell that the 2017 was slightly more forgiving than the 2016 model, but I was basically getting the same ball speed and spin numbers, so I didn’t see the need to upgrade.
  • gioguy21: Played 54 holes this weekend. The M2 was as reliable as it could get. I hit 11/12 fairways Friday, 10/12 Saturday and 5/9 or so yesterday (windy). Controllable, just wants to go straight. The sound no longer bothers me. I think it’s when hitting indoors or in range bays that it gets unbearably loud. Makes a different sound when hit on the screws I’ve found, similar to last years M2/M1 with less high-pitched ring. The forgiveness is very obvious, as I hit a couple that were close to center of the face but either high or little out toward the toe that flew similar trajectory and distance to how a well struck shot would react. I think where this driver really shines is the ability to either tee it high and hit it with higher trajectory or the ability to hit it lower with a low tee (3/4 of the ball under the crown) and hit laser beams that don’t move left or right.
  • G-BoneFrom what I’ve seen on Trackman, 2017 M1 was a big jump from 2016; however, 2016 M2 was so good, 2017 is a minor jump.
Further Reading

Callaway GBB Epic (14.91 percent)

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  • HDTVMAN: I hit both the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion and Epic with a 44.5-inch UST Recoil F3 shaft and the results were very close. From customer testing, it appears the Epic is longer for those with higher (95+) swing speeds. I have also seen that 44.25-44.5-inch lengths promote tighter dispersion with customers, no loss of distance and better over-all drives.
  • mbbrewer: Tried them all and for me Epic was the one. Fastest ball speed, lowest spin and tightest dispersion.
  • Ereim: Epic felt great, looked great and the numbers were basically 99.9 percent optimized for my swing.
  • johnnylongballz72There is Epic and there is the M series… then there is everyone else. The votes here show it, the PGA Tour use shows it and launch monitors everywhere show it.
  • misplacedtexan83: GBB Epic/Sub Zero pushed the envelop in design and materials to produce increased ball speed and gains. For once a driver did what a company said it would do.
Further Reading

Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero (16.91 percent)

GBB_Epic_Sub_Zero_Hero

  • jdenham15: I tested the Epic Sub Zero and Epic against my 2016 TaylorMade M1 and the ball speed was 5 mph higher on average, which gave me about 10 yards more carry disstance. That was great, but the part that sold me was the forgiveness. I love my Epic Sub Zero. I feel like it’s easier to turn over and I can work it both ways.
  • Z1ggy16Sub Zero was hands down the best, including my gaming M1 (yeah, not even top-3) due to the combination of lower spin, good forgiveness and feel and looks.
  • jimhaire: I had a 2016 M2 and went with the Epic Sub Zero. The look at address suited my eye and the feel off the face was better for me. And the club went straight.
  • Sef: I have tested a lot of these drivers and for me the Epic Sub Zero was so much better than everything else. I wish I could just apply all three votes to it.
Further Reading

Members Choice 2017

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Driver Reviews

GolfWRX Members Gain 7 Yards on Average with 2017 TaylorMade M1, M2 Drivers

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5 GolfWRX Members
Gamer vs. 2017 TaylorMade m1/m2 Drivers
+7.01 Yards Distance Gained on Average
-615 RPM Spin reduction on Average

What can the new 2017 TaylorMade M1 and M2 drivers do for your game?

Five GolfWRX Members found out last week when they pitted their drivers against TaylorMade’s latest models at The Kingdom, the custom-fitting facility at TaylorMade’s headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif.

The event was the first of #TaylorMadeTuesdays, a series of TaylorMade-sponsored events that are exclusive to GolfWRX Members. The five members received Trackman 4 fittings for their drivers, which were built immediately afterward so that they could test the clubs the next day at Aviara Golf Club, home course of the LPGA Tour’s Kia Classic.

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Our editorial team was present to observe and document the fittings, where they saw the five GolfWRX Members add an average of +7.01 yards to their drives with a new TaylorMade driver. Key to the success of TaylorMade’s 2017 M1 and M2 drivers was their ability to remove excess spin from the drives of each GolfWRX Member (-615 rpm on average). As a result, each player was hitting longer drives on their best shots, while achieving a straighter ball flight that was less affected by wind.

Every GolfWRX Member gained yardage with a new TaylorMade driver; the largest distance gain was an impressive +10.1 yards, while the smallest was a very respectable +4.8 yards.

TMDrivers2017_groupshort

Our testers were better players, but they covered a range of handicaps (+1 to 7.1) and swing speeds (95 to 117.5 mph) within the better-player category. Learn more about the five GolfWRX Members, their new drivers and their experiences in our individual recaps below.

Andrew Harveson (drewtaylor21)

Andrew_WRX_Aviara-4864

  • Distance Gained: 4.8 yards
  • Handicap: +1
  • Swing Speed: 117.5 mph

New Driver: M2 D-Type (9.5 degrees, set to 9 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Elements Prototype PT6F5 (65X)

Old Driver: TaylorMade SLDR (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya ProForce VTS 6X Silver

Andrew Harveson brought a TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees) driver with him to his fitting, which was already optimized for his game. He fits into a group of golfers who are often hard pressed to see distance gains from new clubs. The former college golfer, now 34, has an ability to consistently contact drives in the center of the club face. He also has an upward angle of attack with his driver (+3 degrees on average) that helps him maximize the distance of his drives.

Nonetheless, TaylorMade’s fitters helped Andrew find an average of +4.8 yards with a new TaylorMade driver, but it took some experimentation and outside-the-box thinking.

TMDrivers2017_andrew

Andrew’s SLDR driver was set to a neutral loft and lie setting, but to combat his tendency to hit shots that slid to the right his SLDR’s front weight track was shifted to the max draw setting. According to TaylorMade fitter Jason Werner, the SLDR is a more draw-biased driver company’s current M1 460, M1 440 and M2 models. After seeing the ball fade too much with those drivers, Jason had Andrew try the company’s M2 D-Type driver (9.5 degrees), which is designed with more draw bias to help golfers eliminate excessive left-to-right curvature.

Andrew’s Dispersion Chart

Andrew_Harveson_Dispersion

Andrew achieved slightly more left bias with the 2017 M2 D-Type, which was what he wanted for his tee game.

The M2 D-Type gave Andrew the confidence to play his preferred cut shot off the tee without fear that it would drift into the right rough. Actually, it created a bit too much draw bias for him, which is why the loft setting was lowered 1-click to 9 degrees. The change helped him lower his spin rate -553 rpm on average, while also opening the club face slightly to take the left side out of play.

“While the averages don’t really look better with the D-Type compared to SLDR, I had a few mishits in the D-Type grouping that, if removed, would have shown a more accurate picture of the results,” Andrew wrote in the forums.

The last piece of the puzzle for Andrew’s fitting was finding the correct shaft. He tried several low-launching shafts that proved to have too little torque for his swing, exacerbating his rightward miss. He ended up seeing the best performance from his gamer shaft, UST Mamiya’s ProForce VTS Silver 6X, which has a mid-torque design. TaylorMade’s Tour Department also provided him with a similar alternative that they thought he might like, UST’s Elements Prototype PT6F5 (65X), which proved to be a winner on the course the next day.

“[TaylorMade] gave me the newer [better] UST Elements Chrome Platinum Prototype PT6F5!” he wrote. “Supposed to be a very similar profile to the [Aldila] Rogue [Silver] 125. I was a bit anxious to see if it would hold up as the right fit, but after just a couple swings on the range at Aviara, I was convinced! It’s a bomber.”

With the M2 D-Type, Andrew’s good shots got better. His peak ball speed went from 175 mph with his SLDR to 178 with the M2 D-Type, enhancing his distance potential. He was also seeing a lower ball height from the new driver — his peak height was reduced from 135 feet to 122 feet — that he “really liked.”

“It was a bit amusing though, everyone at [TaylorMade] seemed shocked that I got put into the D-Type,” he wrote.

You wouldn’t expect the fastest swinger and most accomplished player in the group to be a fit for TaylorMade’s most draw-biased driver, as the model is generally reserved for slower swingers. As a traveling +1 handicap, however, Andrew’s needs were very specific and met perfectly by the 2017 M2 D-Type.

In Their Own Words: See what Andrew said about his experience

Brian Ussery (BCULAW)

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  • Distance Gained: 5.5 yards
  • Handicap: 6
  • Swing Speed: 106 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 6X

Old Driver: Titleist 915D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Black 60S

Brian Ussery arrived at The Kingdom with a Titleist 915D2 (9.5 degrees) driver that he knew wasn’t right for him. The 43-year-old was aware of the fact that his low-launching, high-spinning drives were costing him distance, but he wasn’t sure how to improve.

As it goes in a lot of fittings, Brian didn’t swing as well as he wanted to at The Kingdom, but his outlook on the game of golf allowed the fitting to be a success. “Golf is my therapy and my chance to find peace, quiet, time away and fun,” he wrote in the forum. Spending time with the former minor league baseball player who’s now a lawyer, his commitment to improving his game was immediately apparent. On this day, getting better required patience with his swing and an open mind to the recommendations of his fitters. He was up to the task, and in the end he was rewarded with a new solution for his tee game.

TMDrivers2017_brian

The TaylorMade fitters started Brian with an M2 D-Type (9.5 degrees) driver, but he struggled to hit it high enough to be effective. He found much more success with an M1 460 that had more loft (10.5 degrees). Excessive spin was still an issue, however, especially with the added loft, but the M1 460 had a solution. By sliding the driver’s Back Track weight all the way to the front of the driver, he achieved a lower-spinning trajectory that not only allowed him to hit straighter drives but achieve more roll-out, too. It helped negate his negative angle of attack of -4.5 degrees, which was the main culprit for his low-launching, high-spinning trajectory.

It was at this point in the fitting that Brian had to make a decision. Did he want to continue to chase more distance or did he want a driver that would help him hit more fairways? With his busy work and family schedule, he’s only able to play nine holes of golf per week. That made the choice obvious; he was going to target consistency.

The TaylorMade fitters recommended Brian try a shorter driver. His 915D2 measured 45.25 inches on TaylorMade’s ruler, and he was advised to try a driver that measured 44.75 inches. With the shorter driver his consistency was immediately improved, and it was time to dial in the right shaft.

Brian’s Dispersion Chart

Brian_Ussery_Dispersion

Brian hit most of his shots with Fujikura’s Pro Tour Spec 73X shaft, which produced good results, but in the end he made the decision to go with Graphite Design’s Tour AD-DI 6X. It provided the stiffness he needed for straighter drives, but offered a smoother feel (Note: since Brian hit limited shots with the AD-DI 6X, the data displayed in the chart above shows his performance with the Fujikura shaft). His fitter, Jason Werner, supported his shaft decision. And as Brian put it: “Based on my on-course play … it would seem he is pretty spot on.”

With the M1 460, Brian saw an additional 5.5 yards of total distance over his gamer, but more important to him was the increased accuracy. Even at a higher loft, he was able to reduce his spin rate an average of -744 rpm. So now when his drives hit the fairway, they will keep rolling. And Brian expects to be hitting a lot more fairways.

In Their Own Words: See what Brian said about his experience

Chris Scheeweiss (Schnee)

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  • Distance Gained: 10.1 yards
  • Handicap: 3
  • Swing Speed: 112 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (8.5 degrees, set to 10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex)

Old Driver: TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue 75TX

Chris Scheeweiss was the biggest gainer of the five GolfWRX Members, finding +10.1 yards on average when compared to the TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees) driver he brought with him to the Kingdom.

Key to Chris’ success, a 3-handicap with ample club head speed (112 mph), was reducing the spin caused by his big miss, which was high and to the right. While that isn’t Chris’ typical miss, it’s what showed up at the Kingdom. TaylorMade’s M1 460 proved that he could handle that miss, as well as any other miss he might encounter on his journey to improve his game thanks to its wide-ranging adjustability features.

TMDrivers2017_chris

During the fitting, the M1 460 scrubbed -627 rpm of spin off Chris’ drives. To do so, TaylorMade Fitter Jason Werner gave Chris a 8.5-degree M1 460, but he increased the loft of the driver to 10.5 degrees, maximizing the full range of TaylorMade’s 4-degree Loft Sleeve. Adding two degrees of loft closed the club face, which helped eliminate Chris’ slice spin.

Jason made the adjustment without telling Chris, however, and he was glad when Chris said he didn’t notice the change at address.

The reason Chris didn’t notice the more closed club face? The crowns of TaylorMade’s 2017 drivers are engineered to look as square as possible at address regardless of what setting is used due to their cleverly designed black-and-white graphics. Chris had recently been fit at a local club fitter for a 2017 M2 driver (10.5 degrees), but this setup was “much better than the combo I was previously fit for,” Chris wrote in the forum.

Finding the right shaft was a faster process that Chris expected. Project X’s HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex) offered him the lower trajectory and added stability he needed to hit his best drives.

Chris’ Dispersion Chart

Chris_Scheeweiss_Dispersion

“Jason … didn’t think we had to go much further,” Chris wrote in the forum. “I wasn’t completely sold on the combo, but I deferred to his knowledge. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust the combo itself, it’s that I wasn’t hitting ANYTHING all that well, so I didn’t know how it would perform on course when my swing was better. I’m glad I trusted him, because it was AMAZING on course.”

As Chris works to eliminate the right tendency in his swing, Jason recommended that he try lowering the loft of the driver, which will open to face to reduce left bias. They agreed that at some point in the future Chris may be able to return to the 8.5-degree loft setting, which could net him even more distance. And if he needs more spin to optimize his launch conditions at that point, he can gradually slide the Back Track’s weight rearward to achieve it.

In Their Own Words: See what Chris said about his experience

Darrin Sloan (DNice26)

Darren_WRX_Aviara-4675

  • Distance Gained: 7.1 yards
  • Handicap: 1
  • Swing Speed: 110 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M2 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65 (6.0 flex)

Old Driver: Ping G (10.5)
Shaft: UST Mamiya ProForce AvixCore 69 Red (Tour-S flex)

Darrin Sloan, 36, knew exactly what he wanted from a new driver. He arrived at his fitting with a Ping G (10.5 degrees) that was giving him the height he wanted, but he was looking for a straighter ball flight.

The 1-handicap, former college golfer started his fitting with a TaylorMade M2 (10.5 degrees) with a Project X HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex), a combo that significantly lowered his launch angle and spin rate. While it was giving him more distance, the ball flight was too low for his needs despite his 110 mph swing speed and average angle of attack of +2 degrees.

TMDrivers2017_darrin

Darrin told TaylorMade Fitter Jason Werner he needed a higher ball flight to cut the corners of the doglegs at his home course, where he plays 95 percent of his golf. So the two starting experimenting with different heads and different shafts in search of a more familiar trajectory, as well as more distance.

He actually preferred liked the look and the feel of TaylorMade’s M1 460 driver, but there was no denying the performance of the M2. It offered him nearly +4 mph of ball speed on average over his gamer, an incredible improvement.

Once the M2 (10.5 degrees) was linked up with a Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65 (6.0 flex) shaft, it was clear Darrin had a winner. The counter-balanced shaft helped him launch his drives higher, giving him the trajectory he needed to tackle his home course. It also helped him eliminate his miss to the right and easily execute his preferred right-to-left ball flight.

In terms of distance, Darrin was also able to sightly increase his carry distance (+0.6 yards) while significantly increasing his roll out (+6.5 yards). His total yardage gain with the new driver was +7.1 yards.

Darren’s Dispersion Chart

Darren_Sloan_Dispersion

The takeaway for GolfWRXers is that TaylorMade’s new M2 driver can offer more ball speed than the company’s M1 driver for certain players. And if you’re struggling with either a ball flight that’s too low or a rightward miss, a counter-balanced shaft like Project X’s HZRDUS Yellow can help.

In Their Own Words: See what Darrin said about his experience

George Cellette (GC70)

George_WRX_Aviara-4360

  • Distance Gained: 7.6 yards
  • Handicap: 7.1
  • Swing Speed: 95 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-BB 6S

Old Driver: Callaway XR (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujkura Speeder Evolution 565 (S-Flex)

Like a diesel engine, George needed some time to warm up during his fitting. But once he did, he began pounding drives down the left center of The Kingdom’s range.

At first, it looked as though George might post a ridiculous distance gain with a TaylorMade M1 460. He increased his distance more than 30 yards over the Callaway XR ’16 he hit at the beginning of the fitting. As he and TaylorMade Fitter Jason Werner dialed in the loft, shaft and CG setting, however, Jason noticed that George’s swing speed had jumped nearly 10 mph from 85 mph to 95 mph since he first started hitting balls. He asked George to retest his Callaway to make sure that the final data would reflect a fair comparison of his old and new drivers.

TMDrivers2017_george

The result was a smaller average distance gain with his new TaylorMade, but still an impressive one.

George first tested TaylorMade’s M1 460 with 8.5 degrees of loft, but because George was fighting a slice he closed the face to 10.5 degrees to create a left bias. As George loosened up, however, his slice turned into a gentle fade. For that reason, he switched George from the 8.5-degree head to a 9.5-degree head in a neutral setting.

While George’s warmed-up swing was the biggest contributor to the improved trajectory, a new shaft and weight setting also helped. At first Jason gave George a Project X HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex) shaft, a low-launch shaft with ample stability to help him reduce spin. It would have been a good combo, but George wanted to test a few more shafts to see if there was more distance available to him. The winning shaft ended up being Graphite Design’s Tour AD-BB 6S, which gave George an even lower-spinning trajectory.

The adjustable weight settings of the M1 460 further optimized George’s ball flight. Since he already had enough height on his drives, Jason was able to slide the M1 460’s Back Track weight all the way forward to decrease spin. He also slid the driver’s Front Track weight all the way to the heel to maximize draw bias. The two changes had George hitting high-launching, low-spinning bombs that barely had any curvature.

George’s Dispersion Chart

George_Cellette_Dispersion

When all was said and done, George was able to scrub an incredible -908 rpm of spin off his drives. And along with his straighter trajectory, he walked away with +7.6 yards of added distance.

In Their Own Words: See what George said about his experience

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