Pros: The most forgiving driver Ping has ever made. Sleeker, more pear-shaped head improves aerodynamics. Thinner crown adds forgiveness, creates higher launch.

Cons: The Dragonfly-inspired crown and Turbulators may distract some golfers at address. No CG adjustability.

Who they’re for: With three distinct models (Standard, LS Tec, SF Tec), the G drivers can suit everyone from Tour players to beginners. Most golfers will do best with the Standard model, while high-spin golfers will gravitate to the LS Tec. Chronic slicers will enjoy the SF Tec, which offers more draw bias than the G30 SF Tec.

The Review

The G-Series drivers are the follow up to Ping’s incredibly successful G30 line, the best-selling drivers for the majority of their 18-month product cycle. There were several keys to the success of the G30 drivers, the most important of which was their low, rearward center of gravity (CG) that made them golf’s most forgiving drivers, according to our 2015 Gear Trials Panel. Along with their big balls speeds, our Panel also noted that the G30 drivers were able to produce a high launch angle and maybe most importantly, much less spin than previous Ping drivers.

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With the G drivers, Ping continues to show off its ability to move weight lower and more rearward in its driver heads, achieving a CG position that’s 0.05 inches lower and 0.07 inches deeper. That gives the G drivers a 6 percent higher moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of a club’s forgiveness, on shots contacted vertically across the face and a 1 percent higher MOI on shots contacted horizontally across the club face.

While every last bit of improvement counts in the highly regulated space of driver design, golfers who currently own a G30 driver won’t notice a significant difference in forgiveness if they upgrade to the new model. What they will notice, however, is a change in the shape of the new drivers, which improves their aerodynamics.

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All three G drivers use Ping’s high-friction face finish, which reduces spin. In the G30 line, only the G30 LS Tec used a high-friction face finish.

The G drivers employ more traditional, pear-shaped club heads made possible by an eye-catching change to the geometry of their crowns. Ping calls it “Dragonfly Technology,” and it occupies the space behind the company’s “Turbulators,” which were introduced with the G30 driver. The crown pattern was inspired by a dragonfly’s wings, and allowed thickness to be reduced from 0.52 millimeters in the G30 to 0.43 millimeters in the G – about the thickness of three $1 bills stacked on top of each other. It also freed up 8 grams of discretionary weight that was used in head reshaping efforts.

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At Address: Ping’s G LS Tec (left) and Ping’s G30 LS Tec. All three G drivers have the same head shape and aerodynamic features.

While other companies have used carbon composite constructions to make the crowns of their drivers lighter, Ping continues to push the limits of low-density, Ti 8-11 titanium bodies that also debuted on the G30 driver. The all-titanium construction, which includes Ping’s T9S titanium club face, is one of the reasons the G drivers will likely sell for about $399 ($435 MSRP), whereas most of its competitors are selling its premium drivers for $449 and up.

Another contributor to the G’s relative affordability is Ping’s decision to exclude moveable weights from its design. While that may irk tinkerers, the three different G drivers create three different trajectories, and one of them is likely to suit majority of golfers interested.

Ping G LS Tec

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  • Ping’s lowest-spinning driver because of its slightly lower, more forward CG.
  • Face angle is slightly open (1 degree), and lie angle is 1-degree flatter than the G.
  • Heavier, D4 swing weight also creates more fade bias. Head weight is 207.5 grams.
  • Available in lofts of 9 and 10.5 degrees.

Ping G

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  • Square face angle for neutral ball flight.
  • D3 swing weight, head weight is 206 grams.
  • Available in lofts of 9 and 10.5 degrees

Ping G SF Tec

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  • 1-degree closed face angle and lighter D1 swing weight. Head weight is 203 grams
  • More heel-biased CG creates roughly 10-12 yards more draw bias (compared to G).
  • Available in lofts of 10 and 12 degrees. 

Aerodynamic Improvements

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The crowns of the G drivers are more “domed” compared to the G30 models, which like the Turbulators allows airflow to better “stick” to the surface as the driver head approaches impact. The Turbulators themselves were also tweaked slightly in the new drivers, as they’re flared more outward. Even the space in front of the turbulators was smoothed out, which also helps create a smoother airflow.

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The G drivers use a new 7075 aluminum hosel sleeve, which is compatible with G30 models. It’s adjustable +/- 0.6 degrees or +/- 1 degree from stock loft.

The new aerodynamic feature that golfers will notice first, however, is called Vortex, which like the trailers being employed on the back of semi-trailers reduces drag forces on the very back of the driver.

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According to Ping, the combined aerodynamic changes reduce drag by 11 percent for the entire downswing, and creates 37 percent less drag at the moment of impact. Ping says the real-world benefits of all this will be between 0.75 mph and 1 mph more swing speed for the average golfer, but the faster golfers swing the more they’ll benefit. In our test, we saw an swing speed increase of 1.43 mph, on average, for our two testers who swung between 108 and 118 mph.

The Test

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To test the performance of the G drivers (Standard, LS Tec and SF Tec), we took them to Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where its Trackman Master club fitting team tested the three new models against their predecessors at its Launch Pad Fitting Center.

The two testers hit the drivers in the same loft (9 degrees in both the G/G30 and G LS Tec/G30 LS Tec, 10 degrees in the G SF Tec/G30 SF Tec) and with the same shaft (Ping’s Tour 65X at 45.25 inches with no tipping), and the outdoor test employed premium balls and Trackman’s normalization feature.

The Data

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Since the drivers were not optimized for each player, the carry and total distances are not as important as the differences in swing speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin rate.

That being said, it’s clear from our testing data that the G and G30 drivers are quite similar, although the G drivers do appear to have an edge in both club head speed (+1.43 mph) and ball speed (+0.71 mph) on average across the three models. The G drivers also proved to be slightly higher-launching (+0.31 degrees) and higher-spinning (+342 rpm). That fits with Ping’s recommendation that golfers will get the best performance from a G driver if they use less loft than they needed with G30 models.

According to Ping, its tour players are using between 0.25 and 0.5 degrees less loft with the G drivers, on average, than they did with the G30 drivers. Using less loft in a driver is beneficial because, all other things are equal, less loft at impact creates more ball speed and therefore more distance.

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The G’s stock shaft is Ping’s new Alta 55, which uses an extremely high-balance-point design. Ping’s Tour shafts are available for a $30 upcharge, and have an overall stiffer, lower-torque profile.

Given that the launch monitor numbers are quite similar between the three different G driver models, the most important part of the buying decision for most golfers will likely be choosing the model that creates the best dispersion. Keep in mind that each of the G driver heads are the same size (460 cubic centimeters) and have the same head shape, with the only differences being swing weight, face angle and internal weighting.

Player 1 Dispersion

Player 1 Dispersion ( G30vs G)
Click to enlarge.

Player 2 Dispersion

Player 2 Dispersion
Click to enlarge.

Almost robotically, Player 1 validated that Ping’s G SFT driver will offer golfers the most draw bias, while the G will offer a neutral trajectory bias and the G LS Tec will offer the most fade bias. Player 2’s results weren’t quite as clean, but reflected the same general pattern.

The Takeaway

It’s likely that the greatest weakness of the G drivers will be that golfers will compare them to Ping’s already excellent G30 drivers.

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We did not see the same performance leap with the G drivers that we saw when the G30 drivers were released, but the aerodynamic improvements, as well as the more traditional shaping of the drivers and their lower-pitched sound at impact, makes the them one of the most intriguing new launches of 2016 — even for golfers who currently own a G30 driver. For golfers using an older Ping driver, upgrading is a no brainer for more distance and consistency.

Compared to the other new drivers on the market, the G drivers will continue to benefit from their high-MOI design. Few competitors will be able to match the G’s balance of big ball speeds, a high launch angle and impressively low spin.

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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.

43 COMMENTS

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  1. Been trying the G Ls tec, I find it very harsh when hit,fade biast but it beats my i20 by 15-20 yards into wind,not a lot of difference down,yes tour shaft set at 8 degree,wish I could get it to draw slightly!!!

  2. At my golf store, I hit the G LS Tec and the SF Tech (LM) with the Alta and Tour 65 shaft and the ball explodes off the face. Strangely, the driver felt and worked for me better then the G30 by far. I hit other drivers of the same launch monitor and I was registering 80 mph but with these drivers I was registering 85 mph. Also, the G driver feels light and therefore fast. When this driver is released, I’ll consider it but my 2014 Big Bertha has the sliding weight in the back which helps me enormously.

  3. Do agree with certain commenters that they could use a 95-100 mph swinger with a 6 index in their test like myself and many others. Someone with a fairly repeatable swing that you could extrapolate meaningful data from, not a 20 index even though that does make up the majority of golfers.
    * Looks like Ping could have sent their r&d guys on vacation for a year and saved some cash although the G does look cool.

  4. STOP STOP STOP AS PRIOR POST STATED, USING ALL HIGH SWING SPEED TESTERS PLEASE!!! MANY OF US ON THIS SITE, IN FACT THE MAJORITY OF MALE AMATEUR GOLFERS SWING AT 90-100MPH. USING A GOLFER AT 107 AND ONE AT 115 IS STUPID AND USELESS UNLESS YOU PUT ONE IN AT 100!!!! MATTER OF FACT, YOU SHOULD ALSO HAVE A 90MPH GOLFER, BUT IF YOU ONLY HAVE 2, THEN USE THE 90-100 AND 100-110 GOLFER.

      • Exactly. How reliable is some chimp who duffs every third shot going to be? These numbers should only be used as a guide. Nothing is going to beat doing your own testing.

      • My SS tops out at 101. Current index: 0.0. State Am qualifier, All-Navy team, etc. etc. etc. Assuming that every player with a 100mph SS is “sh****” is probably not a good idea. Personally I agree with Mikec, for the sole reason that the vast majority of players (like over 90%) fall in that 90-105 range. I’d like so see that range represented.

      • I have to agree with Mikec, there are great golfers out there with slower golf swings. I’ve competed with a lot of high SS golfers and won most of those matches. Yes agree I am not going to play from the tips of a 7200 yard course with a slop of 148 but who really cares. I will hit mine down the middle with a 245 to 255 yard drive, and my opponents can swing hard just incase the catch one, but you will be out scored on the putting surface. so here is to the 90 to 100 SS players.

  5. The sound was the main reason I didn’t play G30, that and my 815 DBD was awesome. Unfortunately it broke and Callaway sent me an 816 which I don’t like as well. So being that I am in the market for a new driver, I really hope this one sounds better.

  6. I have a G25 which I will not part with. I had a couple of G30’s which I got rid of.

    They are all fine drivers – for me it just matters which shaft works the best. We’ll see if the stock shaft in the G driver measures up.

  7. I’ve hit this in person side by side with G30, only meaningful difference I found was the G sounds much, much better (muted, solid) than the G30, which sounded like an aluminum baseball bat.

  8. Not sure how the Ping G Series gets a 5 star review. For the 2nd player, it clearly underperformed the previous offering. And yes, at the end of the day, carry distance, total distance and dispersion are what really matter. We conveniently discount those because it doesn’t fit our story.

  9. Aesthetically, it looks like something Batman would whip out of his Bat-Belt. Whether it’s the Turbulators, the flat black top, or the Vortec extension on the back, this head feels like a throwback to the days when swinging a toaster-sized golf head was stylish, but not in a good way. Is it bigger? It sure looks bigger, and I’m positive that’s not the impression I want when I’m swinging. I’m also sure it’s very forgiving. Having currently employed a couple of Ping’s hybrids in my bag, I’m confident I can hit the fairway. For me, it’s a psychological thing. Bigger (or, more specifically, longer in shape) isn’t necessarily better.

  10. Broke my shaft on the G25 and went back to my Callaway Ft9 with Fubuki 63g tour shaft
    Hit is as far as the G25 but will reshaft with a different brand maybe Adilla phenom.What I am saying is if you don’t need to change don’t.I had some extra cash and purchased the G25 and more than happy with it.

  11. When is Golf WRX going to use some realistic testers for these clubs. We hear all the time that the average golfers clubhead speed is 85 mph. Yet WRX continues to test and make recommendations based on testers with clubhead speeds exceeding 105+ mph.

    For once, it would be nice to know what these clubs will do for the average golfer!

    • It’s even worse when they use these guys for iron testing – last test they did the launch angles were so low (8 degrees with a 4 iron I think, PGA tour average would be 15 or so) as to be doubly meaningless.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I love WRX, but the review section becomes less relevant for me when their only testers are relatively young, high swing speed fellows. That bears little resemblance to my 58 year old body swinging at 88 to 90 MPH. Come on WRX, why don’t you have a few fellows above 50 years of age with a more average swing speed test drivers, fairway woods and irons? I’ll bet if you do, those reviews will be a lot more meaningful to many of your loyal readers. I have a G25 driver. I love it. It is very forgiving and as long or longer than any driver I’ve had. It would be so helpful to see the numbers of a more moderate swing speed tester in a comparison between the new G and any older model Ping driver.

  12. Have a G15, and had a G20 (traded for G30). 15 was better than the 20 for my swing but the 30 blows them both out of the water. Hated the 25 when I tried it at the range. I won’t be upgrading to the G from my wonderful G30.

  13. How about a tour option without all the b.s. on the top and muted sound and a smaller head. It’s amazing, every year I find myself searching for equipment from past years not because I want to save money but because they keep crapping up the clubs with stuff on the crown.

  14. If i was rich i would say “I guess we will just have to wait and see what the other Ping engineers can come up with at PXG”. But I am not rich, or at least i prefer to spend my money on golfing.

    $400 on lessons will make me hit my old driver better then $400 spent on a new toy that is 1% – 6% more forgiving. I have more then 1.43 MPH variance from swing to swing as well. So instead of buying a faster club i can just swing faster.

    • Sounds like a trash can being hit with bat! Sort of like the old King Cobra. Found G30 far superior in sound and play-ability and quickly returned the G to the retailer. I tried three shafts and one preformed OK, but nothing to justify a new driver. As mentioned found the G30 far superior.

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