Pros: Big forgiveness, low spin. The ball speed, launch angle and spin rate are very consistent, even on mishits.
Cons: Not as low spinning as leading drivers with low, forward CG designs. Golfers looking for a compact head shape won’t find it here.
Who’s it for? Those who need less spin or more fade bias than the G30 offers, or any high-spin golfer seeking the ultimate in consistency.
Ping’s G30 LS Tec driver is only slightly different than the company’s widely acclaimed G30 driver, but for the new driver’s target market – high-speed, high-spin golfers – it’s the little things that make the difference.
At address, the LS looks nearly identical to the G30. It’s the same size and shape, and has the same matte black crown and turbulators – six ridges on the front of the crown that help improve its aerodynamics.
“Under the hood,” so to speak, is where Ping made its changes.
The sole of the LS was shortened slightly from front to back, which moved the driver’s center of gravity (CG) lower and more toward the face. That’s the main reason the LS launches with about 350-to-400 rpm less spin than the G30, according to Ping, with a marginally lower launch angle as well.
The lower, more forward CG, combined with the driver’s 1-degree more opened face angle, also gives the driver slightly more fade bias than the G30.
Like the G30, the body of the LS is made of Ti 8-1-1 alloy. Its T9S face material is the same, but it has a bit rougher texture than the G30’s face.
“IT SOUNDS COUNTERINTUITIVE,” SAYS MARTY JERTSON, PING’S DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT. “BUT BELOW A CERTAIN SPIN LOFT ANGLE, YOU CAN ACTUALLY ROUGHEN THE SURFACE AND REDUCE THE SPIN SLIGHTLY.”
So how do you know if you’re better off with the G30 or the LS?
- Try the G30 if you want to maximize distance and accuracy on shots hit across the face.
- If the G30 spins too much for you, or you want more fade bias, try the LS.
I played the G30 for about 10 rounds this summer – very happily, I must say – and was interested to see if I could get a few more yards from the lower-spin design of the LS. I’m also a good candidate for the LS — a high-spin player who’s willing to trade some consistency for the possibility that I can hit my best drives a little farther.
What stood out during my testing was how forgiving the LS was, even when I compared it to the freakishly forgiving G30. I hit both drivers on Trackman and saw only a slightly lower launch angle (less than 0.5 degrees) and about 350 rpm less spin with the LS.
On mishits, my ball speed rarely fell below my average and peaked 2 mph faster than I’d ever seen with the G30. The lower spin was giving me a little more carry and roll, and for that reason I was able to hit the LS about 10 yards farther than I’d ever hit my G30 on a Trackman.
My results, however, are simply that – my results. If you’re a low-spin player or struggle to hit the sweetspot consistently, you’ll likely hit your longest drives with the G30. You probably won’t even want to consider the LS unless you’re looking for more fade bias.
If you read our reviews, you know that we think the G30 was the best performing driver of 2014 (and possibly 2015).
Think of the LS as more of a fitting option within the G30 driver family instead of a completely different driver. It’s a needed extension of the G30 line for golfers who need less spin than the G30 can provide.
There are lower-spinning drivers than the LS, but none that offer the same level of consistency.
Lofts: 9 and 10.5 degrees (RH or LH)
Head Size: 460 cc
Shafts: Ping TFC 419D (45.75 inches — SR, R, S and X flexes), Ping Tour 65 (45.25 inches — R, S and X Flexes), Ping Tour 80 (45.25 inches — R, S and X Flexes)
Swing Weight: D3 (head weighs 206 grams)