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Spotted: Ping G400 Driver

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Update: We captured in-hand photos of the Ping G400 driver at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. We also captured photos of Ping’s new G400 Fairway Woods, Hybrids and Crossover, as well as Bubba’s custom G400 driver (see end of the story). 

A new driver from Ping, the G400, has landed on the USGA’s Conforming Club List and is on the range at the U.S. Open. As in previous Ping driver releases, the driver is listed on the USGA Conforming Club List in three different models:

  • G400: 9 and 10.5 degrees (RH and LH)
  • G400 LST: 8.5 and 10 degrees (RH and LH)
  • G400 SFT: 10 and 12 degrees (RH and LH)

In previous Ping launches, LST stood for “Low Spin Technology,” while SFT stood for “Straight Flight Technology.” Those two specialty driver models from Ping have served to meet the needs of a minority golfers who need to reduce spin (LST) or add additional draw bias (SFT) to their tee shots, while the standard model (G400) meets the needs of the majority.

USGA Photo: Ping G400 Driver

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USGA Photo: Ping G400 LST Driver

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USGA Photo: Ping G400 SFT Driver

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Ping isn’t commenting on the new drivers at this time, but it’s clear that the company has made several important changes compared to its current driver line, the Ping G.

Each of the three G400 drivers appear to have a tungsten weight on their soles, a design that was last seen in a Ping driver in its i25 driver. The addition of the weights to the back of the driver’s sole in previous models helped push weight lower and deeper in the club head, improving moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of forgiveness that’s predictive of a driver’s ability to retain ball speed on mishits.

It’s also clear from that photos that Ping will carry on its “Vortec” aerodynamics package on the back of the driver, which in the G drivers worked synergistically with the company’s Turbulators, or “speed humps,” on the driver crown that helped reduce drag to improve swing speed.

The G400 drivers also appear to use dimples on the back portion of their crowns, which are equipped with ribbed structures known in the G drivers as “Dragonfly Technology.” Ping says Dragonfly improves structural stability and enhances weighting properties for more distance. As in golf balls, dimples on golf clubs can be used to improve aerodynamics.

We also captured photos of a G400 driver that could be used by Bubba Watson this week at Erin Hills.

Related: See more photos of Ping’s G400 Drivers, Fairway Woods, Hybrids and Crossover in our forum. 

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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.

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Jose Pro Se

    Jun 22, 2017 at 12:19 am

    Ok Zak, Bubba is playing a practical joke on you.

    That’s pan dulce. Good one Bubba.

    I’m not buying the pink jaw breaker trick either.

  2. SoonerSlim

    Jun 20, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve always liked Ping clubs, but won’t be buying any new metal woods anytime soon. Clubhead is way too busy for me. I like an clean looking driver head. I seriously doubt that all that fancy technology makes that much difference in distance if you hit the middle of the clubface. Sorry Ping. If I buy one of your drivers, it will be a previous version with a clean looking clubhead.

  3. Orvill

    Jun 14, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Pinky Pingy Pimpy

  4. Ill take the other

    Jun 13, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    PingXG 0811X!!!!!

  5. KCCO

    Jun 13, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    busy……i like the head cover;)

  6. BigBoy

    Jun 13, 2017 at 2:00 am

    If it comes with a blow off valve, I’ll buy it.

  7. CrashTestDummy

    Jun 12, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    It is really ugly but if it hits quality golf shots over and over again, then it doesn’t matter. Function over fashion.

  8. Deegee

    Jun 12, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    It will be 1/2 % faster, have better dragon flies, turbulence turbulators…and mugs will spend spend spend on a product that’s no friggin different to last year. These manufacturers are B.S.

  9. Old Putter

    Jun 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    I know this will never happen but….
    How bout a lie a lil flatter than 58*

  10. ooffa

    Jun 12, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    No, you are taking it the wrong way. I think you are great. I love your posts. It’s very rare to get to watch someone spiral downward so quickly. I wish i could help you get past this obvious tragic portion of your life. Unfortunately I cannot, so I am just observing your decline into delusion.

  11. Prut

    Jun 12, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Are the turbulators bigger?

  12. The Dude

    Jun 12, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    let’s get some numbers…….with the Volvik please..

  13. Egor

    Jun 12, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    My TaylorMade rep and I spent the day sipping mimosas and laughing at how hard Ping is trying to play catch up to the best club manufacturer in the world. Wild clubhead graphics are so 2014. If Ping would just get with the times, they might have a small chance of getting close to the greatness that is TaylorMade.

    • Alec

      Jun 12, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      Ummmmmmmmmmm ok

    • Barry

      Jun 12, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      Yea so that’s a complete lie. Taylormade is not a great company… they screwed themselves by having such a short product release cycle and ruined their reputation with green grass facilities. I know many courses that don’t carry Taylormade because it is a waste of money on inventory when they know they will have to discount it to sell it. They make decent clubs but throw money at the tour pros to play it. That’s the only reason that they are so “popular”

    • Desmond

      Jun 12, 2017 at 11:16 pm

      I think you drank a few too many…

    • LC

      Jun 13, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Egor, for one you were “sipping” mimosas (lose credibility there)… I am not against TM but Ping is up TM’s you know what as far as technology goes.

    • Count Dracula

      Jun 13, 2017 at 11:11 am

      Well said, my humble servant

      • SlapMyForehead

        Jun 13, 2017 at 9:21 pm

        ….. LC, Desmond, Barry have drunk too many… of each other’s Koolaids. You guys would be a hoot at a party not.

    • Boyo

      Jul 14, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      TM hahahaahahhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
      How long till they go under?
      The biggest bunch of bullshirt artists out of all of them….

  14. SH

    Jun 12, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Pretty soon somebody will bring out a driver with a cover that has the dimples from a golf ball. After all, we all know the ball is the most aerodynamically efficient design there is. Why tease us like this, Ping?

  15. xjohnx

    Jun 12, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    MOI is a measurement of the ability to resist twisting. Does it also have an effect on ball speeds or is that a mistake? Not calling you out, just asking.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jun 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks for the question, xjohnx. Yes, there is a direct correlation between the amount of twisting and ball speed retention. The less twisting, generally, the more ball speed.

  16. Tom1

    Jun 12, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    awww the co0lor pink, it brings out the best in all of us……

  17. Phil

    Jun 12, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Sweet Nike Vapor Flex 2017!

  18. LOLyoucantbereal

    Jun 12, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I would like to think you are kidding, but there are people in life that do not get it, that is why others succeed.

  19. ND Hickman

    Jun 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Now if they could sell the Bubba version at a reasonable price I’ll upgrade from my G30. Stick to pricing it higher than Callaway charge for the already ridiculous priced Epic’s then you’ve lost a sale.

  20. KC

    Jun 12, 2017 at 11:20 am

    That pink driver will look great in Bubba’s den as he watches the 3rd and 4th rounds of the US Open from home.

    • BMF

      Jun 13, 2017 at 8:08 am

      Belive it or not, i had a dream of bubba sending missiles all over the place after i read your comment. Even duffed afew shots. Lmao!

  21. drkviol801

    Jun 12, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Those turbulators are sick though

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Equipment

Fred Couples signs with Bettinardi, will continue to use FCB putter

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Fred Couples has been using his namesake Bettinardi putter, the FCB (Fred Couples Blade), for the past four years. Now, he’s officially joining Bettinardi’s Tour staff.

Couples, who has won 15 times on the PGA Tour and 13 times on the PGA Tour Champions, will putt exclusively with the company’s flatsticks.

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

“I’m really looking forward to representing Bettinardi and its beautiful range of hand-made putters, as they always give me great confidence when I’m standing over putts,” said Fred. “Having won 5 times already with a Bettinardi putter, there’s nothing I’d rather be putting with.

Couples averaged 1.70 putts per hole when playing in 12 events with the Bettinardi wand last year.

“Having Fred Couples join our Tour staff is a massive endorsement for Bettinardi Golf,” said founder Robert Bettinardi. “We’re so proud and excited to welcome him to our growing Tour staff. I’m sure he will prove to be a great ambassador for our brand, as he attracts huge crowds and media attention wherever he plays.”

Here’s a look at Boom Boom’s FCB putter.

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Odyssey’s new EXO 2-Ball, Works Red and Black, and Toulon putters

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There’s one thing Odyssey has never struggled with: giving golfers options. Today, the company launched a trunk-full of new putters, including eight Works Red and Black putters, Toulon Atlanta and Portland models, and an Odyssey EXO 2-Ball putter that gives the classic 2-ball design a very new, and premium look.

Most of the new putters, actually, are mallets. More specifically, they are mallets that Odyssey says feel like blade putters; that’s because they’re made with toe hang (like a blade putter) rather than face-balanced designs of typical mallets. Toe hang frees up the face of a putter to open and close, a stroke-style that many golfers employ — amateurs and pros alike.

According to Austie Rollinson, chief designer of Odyssey, there’s been a trend of blade users on Tour switching into mallets because of this toe hang, and that will continue to happen. Odyssey says that of the PGA Tour wins last year, 29 winners used mallets — 14 of those were mallets with toe hang — while there were 20 blade winners. Also, of the top-50 in Strokes Gained: Putting, 31 players used mallets, 13 of which were toe-hang mallets, and 19 players used blades.

Therefore, many of the new putters from Odyssey are toe-hang mallets. Check out all of the new putters below, with info on design, pricing and release dates.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new putters here

Odyssey Works Red and Black putters

 

The new Works Red and Black putters — adding on to the line of putters released in 2017 — continue to use microhinge face inserts that are designed to “grab” the ball to impart more topspin on the golf ball to get it rolling faster. The new offerings launched today include a No. 1 Wide S, No. 1 Tank, No. 7 Tank, 2-Ball Fang, Marxman, Marxman S, Jailbird Mini and Jailbird Mini S.

They will sell for $199 with a standard Winn AVS midsize pistol grip, and $219 with a SuperStroke grip starting on February 23.

See more photos and join the discussion about the Works Red and Black putters here.

Odyssey EXO 2-Ball

The new EXO 2-Ball, made with Rose Gold PVD, is a premium version of the iconic 2-ball shape. It’s CNC-milled with a microhinge insert, has an aluminum crown with a steel sole plate and Tungsten in the rear portion of the head. The EXO 2-ball also has black circles instead of the familiar white color for which 2-balls are known.

According to Odyssey, it’s a “statement product,” and it will only sell 5,000 of these putters globally. They will sell for $499.99 starting on February 2.

Odyssey says: “Our new Odyssey EXO 2-Ball is a premium limited edition putter unlike any we’ve ever offered. It combines one of the game’s most innovative and iconic putter designs with top-notch materials and meticulous production to create something truly special.”

Toulon Atlanta and Portland

Odyssey’s premium putter brand continues dipping its toes in the mallet style with its new mid-mallet Atlanta and Portland models. They have gunmetal finishes and are 100-percent milled from soft, 303 stainless steel. They also have Toulon’s familiar diamond-milled faces for improved roll.

The Atlanta and Portland models will sell for $399.99 apiece and hit retail on February 2.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Toulon Atlanta putter here

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Callaway launches Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X irons and hybrids

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With its new line of Rogue irons — consisting of Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X models — Callaway continues its search to answer a conundrum that’s plagued game-improvement irons for years; how do you make an iron that produces great ball speed without sacrificing sound and feel. The dilemma is that in order to increase ball speeds, engineers must make the faces of the irons thinner. The problem is, the thinner they make the faces, the more vibration is caused at impact, creating a longer-lasting, higher-pitched sound. Very few golfers want that off-putting, clicky sound, but they do want the ball speed and distance.

So, that’s why companies are experimenting with different materials and injections between the faces of game-improvement irons and their bodies. That buffer creates a dampening effect to reduce vibration, while still allowing faces to be constructed thinner to raise COR (coefficient of restitution, a measure of energy transfer) and ball speed. Companies such as PXG irons use TPE injections, and TaylorMade uses SpeedFoam in its new P-790 irons; Callaway says those constructions either constrict speed, or they don’t have a profound enough effect on vibrations.

For its Rogue irons that are made from 17-4 stainless steel, Callaway is using what it calls urethane microspheres, which are essentially little balls of urethane that it combines together, in the cavities of its irons. The difference between these spheres and other foams and materials on the market, according to Callaway, is that the material is porous. Callaway says the microspheres work to dampen sound without negatively effecting ball speed.

A look at the inside of a Rogue iron, via Callaway’s photography

The inner material in the cavity works in tandem with familiar technologies from previous iron releases such as Apex, Epic and Steelhead XR. Callaway says it has improved upon its VFT (variable face thickness) and Face Cup technologies, focusing on thinning out portions of the face where golfers tend to miss shots — low on the face, on the heel and on the toe. Each of the Rogue irons also uses Internal Standing Wave by way of Tungsten-infused weights that help control the center of gravity (CG) in the club heads; that means centering the overall weight between the scoring lines, and controlling where the CG is placed vertically throughout a given set (re: higher on the short irons for more control and spin, and lower on the long irons for more height).

For the consumer, all of this means getting performance-driven irons at a lower price compared to the Epic and Epic Pro irons. Each of the irons will be available for pre-sale on January 19, and come to retail on February 9. Read on for more info on each of the specific irons, and the Rogue and Rogue X hybrids that introduce Callaway’s Jailbreak technology into hybrids for the first time.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Rogue irons and hybrids in our forums.

Rogue irons ($899.99 steel, $999.99 graphite)

Callaway’s Rogue irons are the standard model in this line of irons, equipped with all of the technologies described above. According to Callaway, these are essentially Steelhead XR replacements, but have more compact shapes. In the Steelhead XR irons, Callaway used a wider profile in order to center CG between the scoring lines, but due to the inclusion of the Tungsten-infused weights in the Rogue irons, it was able to shape the irons more similar to XR and X-Hot irons of the past — more preferable shapes for GI irons, according to Callaway.

Stock shafts include True Temper’s XP105 steel shaft, and Aldila’s Synergy graphite shaft.

Rogue Pro irons ($999.99)

The Rogue Pro irons, as you may expect, have a more compact shape, thinner toplines and thinner soles than their standard-model-counterparts. Therefore, the Pro design will yield more control that better players will prefer, but they are still packed with all of the performance-enhancing technologies of the Rogue irons. They also have a chrome plating that better players may be drawn to.

Rogue X irons ($899.99 steel, $999.99 graphite)

Callaway described the Rogue X irons to me as “bomber irons.” They have lofts that are 3-to-4 degrees stronger than the standard Rogue irons, and they have longer lengths and lighter overall weights, but according to Callaway, they will still launch in the same window iron-for-iron (re: a 7-iron will launch like a 7-iron). Despite cranking down the lofts, they have bigger profiles, wider soles and more offset; those designs work to drag CG rearward, which helps to increase launch.

Combine that design with the Rogue’s VFT, Face Cups, Internal Standing Wave and urethane microspheres, and the result is an iron that’s “all about distance,” according to Callaway.

Rogue and Rogue X hybrids ($249.99 apiece)

As noted previously, the Rogue and Rogue X hybrids include Callaway’s Jailbreak technology. Like Callaway’s Rogue fairway woods, they use stainless steel bars behind the face instead of the titanium bars that are used in the Rogue drivers. Also, like all of the other Callaway clubs that use Jailbreak, the idea of the design is that two parallel bars inside the club head connect the sole with crown help to add strength to the body at impact, allowing the faces to be constructed thinner, thus, create more ball speed across the face. The Rogue and Rogue X hybrids also have Callaway’s familiar Face Cup technology.

The standard Rogue goes up to a 6-hybrid, while the oversized, Rogue X “super hybrid” goes up to an 8-hybrid. Similar to the Rogue X irons, the Rogue X hybrids have an oversized construction, a lighter overall weight, and longer lengths. The goal with these Rogue X hybrids is to create higher launching, more forgiving and longer hybrid options for golfers who need help getting the ball in the air.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Rogue irons and hybrids in our forums.

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