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Ping aims to make golf “more fun” with its new G400 irons

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“We want to help every golfer hit it like Bubba,” Ping says. “We want them to hit it high and stop it near the pin.”

For golfers not named Bubba Watson, hitting high-flying iron shots that go at the target isn’t an everyday thing. That’s why Ping aims to create the highest-launching, easiest-hit-irons that it possibly can for golfers who may not hit the center of the club face on every shot.

Ping says these aren’t “game-improvement” irons, but rather game-enjoyment irons. So with its new G400 irons, compared to its G predecessors, Ping has increased launch, raised MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness), added ball speed, and changed the looks, feel and sound to “make the game more enjoyable” for golfers.

Fair enough. But what exactly has changed?

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For its G400 irons, which are made from Hyper 17-4 stainless steel, Ping says it has “enhanced the entire back cavity,” and it has also added an undercut behind the top rail for more face flex at impact. The top rail works by “relaxing” at impact, which helps to “catapult” the ball higher in the air. To support the flex of the face, Ping’s back cavity has its COR-Eye technology, identified by the circular structure at the center of the club head. The performance enhancements lead to a 4 percent higher launch, a 4 percent increase in MOI and 5 yards of more total distance.

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You’ll also notice a large badge on the back cavity that overlays the COR-eye technology. The badging is made from elastomer and aluminum, a combination that Ping says will dampen the sound and enhance the feel quality.

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At address, the club heads will also look a bit more compact, according to Ping. That’s because the flange has been smoothed out, and there’s a sharper face radius. This will also help to conceal the offset of the club. Ping says the iron may “look slimmer even though it’s a larger iron.”

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For the first time in a G-Series iron, Ping has made the finish of the these irons out of HydroPearl Chrome, which you may recognize from its Glide 2.0 wedges and the G400 Crossover. This finish is said to increase face friction and better repel water to reduce fliers and produce a more consistent ball flight in a variety of turf conditions.

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The stock shaft in the Ping G400 irons (4-PW, UW, SW, LW) is an Alta CB graphite shaft powered by Ping’s AWT (ascending weight technology). The shafts range from 85 grams in the short irons to 68 grams in the long irons — the lighter long irons will help golfer create speed, height and distance, while the heavier short irons will help maximize control. Other available shafts include Nippon Pro Modus3, True Temper XP95, Ping AWT 2.0, KBS, Project X and Dynamic Gold shafts.

For more distance, a lower trajectory or both, Ping will also offer its familiar Power Spec option, which means the lofts are bent strong; between 1.5 and 2.5 degrees depending on the loft (higher-lofted irons have less bend compared to the standard lofts).

Ping’s G400 irons will sell for $125 apiece with steel shafts, and $137.50 with graphite.

Related

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Ping’s G400 irons

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team while earning a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Frank Peterson

    Oct 28, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    After 3 months of trying new clubs I have ordered a complete set of ping G400 clubs that have been custom fitted to me. In testing other brands including Calaway, Titleist, Cobra and TM, I settled on Ping G400 as they surpassed all of the other brands as far as feel, workability(for game improvement irons) sound and appearance. What a giant improvement over past Ping clubs and I have owned most of them. I find no one has the quality of fitting and ease of finding a fitter than Ping. Also their understanding of metallurgy is only equaled by Mizuno.

  2. Scott

    Aug 4, 2017 at 11:03 am

    As a seasoned club fitter I must insist, stronger lofts don’t always equal more distance. Loft is just a number to gauge the angle of the club face. Stronger lofts would always equal more distance ONLY if every club were made the same, out of the same material(s).
    Trajectory, not distance, should be closely examined when looking at lofts. If you have two irons, (both 8 irons for example) and one is 2 degrees stronger than the other, but both are flying the same height and trajectory, is loft really a factor?
    example: 43 degree wedge flying higher than a 45 degree wedge and going 5 yards less. Shouldn’t the 43 fly lower and go 5 yards farther than the 45 degree wedge? Yes, ONLY if they are the same make, model, style, material etc etc etc.

    It happens ALL the time.

    The way clubs are made- what they are made of, how they are weighted and designed- help to determine the “loft” club companies must produce clubs with. Nowadays, club companies have to make them “stronger” (than standard) because if they didn’t, the ball flight would be much too high. Way higher than optimal.

    Try this for yourself. Test a blade at your local golf shop on a monitor. Then try a newer game improvement iron (same iron ie. 8 iron to 8 iron) with a “stronger” loft. Try to keep the shaft flex and weight similar as well.
    I guarantee the “stronger” lofted club goes higher.

  3. Power Fade

    Jul 15, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    I recently had a club fitting and tried out the G400’s against Cobra F7’s and Mizuno JPX 900s. I did research in advance to understand their lofts, lengths and lie compared to my current Mizuno 825 Pros which are already +1″ and +2deg UP (I’m 6’6).
    I wasn’t surprised by the lower lofts of each brand as they compete to say their clubs hit longer and straighter than other brands. If people fall for the gimmick, I feel sorry that they don’t do their research.
    I was hitting the g400 slightly better than the other 2, I liked the sound and feel as well as the frosted look because it wasn’t glaring at me on the hot sunny day as was the case with the F7s.
    I probably would have been happy with any of the 3 though. Aesthetically, the g400’s are a little “fatter” than the other brands I tried as well as my current set, but I can overlook that as it’s on the bottom of the club which I don’t see while hitting the ball. I decided to go with the G400’s as I also plan to get the new driver which I was hitting farther and straighter (see my name) than other drivers I’ve tried (Cobra F7, JPX-900 and 2017 M2 driver) and I like less club brands in my bag. I also like Bubba.
    The other nice thing about their lofts being lower (and I’m one to tell people what degree loft I hit as opposed to a club number when they ask) is that I need to buy less clubs. My old set is 4-GW…8 irons. In the G400’s I only need 6-UW….2 clubs less and less money spent.
    Appreciate everyone’s thoughts and comments on these. Buy em if you like em, avoid em if you don’t.

  4. Rich Douglas

    Jul 15, 2017 at 8:37 am

    You want your irons to go 10 yards farther you say? No problem. Just paint new numbers on them. Now a 9I becomes an 8I and flies 10 yards farther than a 9I. See how simple that was?

    Absurd, you might say? That’s EXACTLY what’s going on with irons. Stronger lofts and longer lengths are what define the next iron up in a set.

    The higher COR brought about by slots (pioneered by TM, copied by a lot of others, including Ping now) add distance irrespective of changes in loft and length, certainly. But the rest is a con. Be sure you’re not being taken in by claims of longer lengths if the increase is due (in part or in full) to lengthening the shaft and/or strengthening the loft.

    Oh, and if you DO go for longer lengths, be sure to get fit. Your lie angle just changed and you’re going to need flatter lies than usual. But I suspect most people suckered in by this stuff just grab ’em off the rack and go. (Ironic, since Ping pioneered the idea of pre-fit lie angles with their dot system).

    These Ping G-400 look like great clubs and are a technical advancement over the Ping G. But if you already play the Ping G, don’t expect much (if any) real improvement. The distinctions do not necessarily add up to a real difference.

  5. Dave R

    Jul 10, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Really like the look finally a club that looks better than the last bunch they produced.

  6. The Drop Zone

    Jul 10, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    g400max please

  7. Rich Douglas

    Jul 10, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Nice to see Ping decided to sell Taylormade PSi irons. Ho hum.

    Higher launch angles mitigated by stronger lofts with higher COR. So they go a little farther, in part by fudging the specs so the 8 is really a 7, the 5 is really a 4, etc. The other part is the everyone-is-doing-it speed slots to increase COR.

    None of this is bad. But none of it is new. Except for Ping, that is.

    Still the 17-4 steel. Better get the dot color right, ’cause you ain’t bending them much.

    Having a set add 5 yards, especially when part of those come from jacked-up lofts and longer graphite shafts, is a distinction without a difference. Your game won’t improve a bit with these compared to the previous G series.

    There have been very few real leaps in irons over the past 5 decades:

    — Cast irons (cheap)–Spaulding
    — Cavity backs (forgiving)–Ping
    — U grooves (spin, then banned, but really never left)–Ping
    — Cavity backs with forged steel (forgiving and soft)–Hogan Edge
    — Slots (higher MOI and COR)–Taylormade
    — Single-length irons that actually work–Wishon, Cleveland, et al

    That’s the list, I think. These new irons by Ping are a few years late.

    • JThunder

      Jul 10, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      And the point made is what? That every new iron release should have new, groundbreaking tech? Completely, absolutely literally impossible. That new irons should only be released when new tech has been developed? In modern capitalism, essentially impossible. Like every other golf company, they feel pressure to “introduce” new products once or twice every year, replacing their entire lineup more or less every two. If they don’t, they will be the easiest target in the world for competitors’ marketing; Ping has been left behind, Ping is standing still; Don’t play with 5 year old technology… And they would likely lose their tour presence.

      The solution would be to dial back capitalism and increase education; smarter consumers with less hyaenas trying to tear all the money out of their pockets at every turn. Both of those goals would be moving further away currently – at least for the USA.

      On the other hand – golf is a luxury to begin with, so it’s not the first place to show grave concern with hyped marketing and phantom tech. In this arena, there isn’t a shortage of choices, including an eBay full of enough clubs to last eternity, and last year’s models with significant discounts.

      • Rich Douglas

        Jul 11, 2017 at 12:25 am

        You’re looking at it from Ping’s perspective. I was commenting from a player’s perspective. And from that player’s perspective, this release offers nothing new. This is just Karsten catching up.

  8. Guia

    Jul 10, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Nice write up, a few more changes than I expected. I will check them on a launch monitor and compare them to the last model. I will purchase or not dependent upon the outcome.

  9. Dat

    Jul 10, 2017 at 11:28 am

    5 yards more distance? Love to see a breakdown of that claim.

    • joro

      Jul 10, 2017 at 11:47 am

      Break it down this way, make you wedge 44 degrees instead of 47, simple. oh, and add a half inch while you are at it. Wow, is this Wedge long. As PT Barnum said, there is a sucker born every minute. But, PING is also is and has made the best clubs, they are just cheating to sell em.

      • Cory

        Jul 10, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        loft is always relative to the geometry of the head, tuning the trajectory. Old lofts would create a ballooning effect. PING uses a progressive length chance where the long irons a +1/2 – +1/4 longer and it transitions to the “old” standard in the control clubs like a 9, PW, etc. If you like the old lofts, PING is 100% custom and will accomodate!

  10. Ted Thompson

    Jul 10, 2017 at 11:20 am

    These look like anyone with a 10+ hdcp would do well by giving them a try. No gimmicks like slots or cage bars. I tend to gravitate towards a shiny metal rather than the frost that these have. Ping will sell a lot of these if the distance is really there

  11. Clubber Lover

    Jul 10, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I love the look of these new improved G400s. I particularly love the HydroPearl Chrome finish. I don’t want my clubs reflecting glare at address cause it’s too annoying. These are lovely awesome clubs and will find a place in my bag soon. Good job Ping.

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pga tour

Andrew “Beef” Johnston WITB 2017

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2017 RSM Classic (11/14/17).

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 70TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 80TX

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H2 (19 Degrees)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 90HY TX

Driving Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 2 & 3 Iron (17 & 20 Degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Irons: Titleist 718 MB (3-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (46-10F, 50-08F, 54-10S)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat I GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport 2
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat II GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

WITB Notes: Beef was testing a variety of putters ahead of The RSM Classic. We will update this post when his choice is confirmed. 

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Beef’s clubs. 

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Equipment

The hottest blade irons in golf right now

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As we’ve written before, the decision to put a new driver in the bag is usually obvious. Better numbers at testing, perceptibly longer distance, and as long as your bank account allows, you have your new gamer.

The iron switch, however, is a trickier beast. Comfort with the variety of shots one needs to hit is key. Confidence from one’s long irons through the higher lofts is critical. Thus, even the greatest enthusiasm for a new iron release isn’t always followed by a mass exodus to gaming said irons. This is doubly true at the professional level, where the tools are critical to a player’s livelihood.

That said, the combination of forum chatter, GolfWRX member enthusiasm, and what we’re spotting in our WITB photos from tour stops are a reliable indicator of the hottest irons in the game.

And judging by the response to our recent Instagram post, we’re confident that these four models are the hottest blade irons in golf right now.

Callaway Apex MB

Buzz built steadily for the Apex MB iron when we first spotted them in Tour players’ bags at the beginning of 2017. The irons are the product of direct feedback from the company’s Tour staffers, according to Luke Williams, Director of Product and Brand Management at Callaway. Forged from 1025 Carbon Steel, these irons have the shortest blade lengths, the thinnest soles and the smallest overall heads in the vast line of Callaway irons. They’re designed for maximum workability, and for tour-desired turf interaction.

Related: Callaway (finally) launches new Apex MB and X Forged irons

Mizuno MP-18

The pioneers of Grain-Flow Forging, Mizuno went back to its roots with the MP-18 iron model. A throwback to the great muscle backs in the company’s history, Mizuno was shooting for the look of an iron that could have been forged a century ago. Shorter blade length, cambered top line, sharp, compact wedges, all combined with the most minimal badging make the MP-18 an instant classic that set the GolfWRX forums afire.

Related: Mizuno brings the MP family closer together

TaylorMade P730

TaylorMade’s P730, particularly in its prototype incarnations, made quite a splash on the PGA Tour. Building on the heritage of the TP-MB irons, P730 was developed in collaboration with the very best players in the world. The 1025 carbon steel irons irons feature a smaller profile and crisper lines than the MB series irons. The combination of the clean look and a deep rear groove have players drooling. Discussing working with Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose to design the P730, TM’s Senior Director of Irons, Tomo Bystedt said, “What these players need is a very low-inertia club that they can [manipulate] easily, almost like a surgeon’s scalpel.” Behold the scalpel.

Related: Taylormade expands forged offerings with P730 and P790

Titleist 718 MB

“For the purist there is no substitute for a one-piece, muscle back iron. The 718 MB is the modern choice for those desiring a traditional forged look and feel,” says Titleist in the 718 MB marketing materials.

It’s hard to argue with that statement from the “appearance of a classic forged iron” standpoint. Purists appreciate that the 718 MB maintains Titleist’s traditional lofts (the 6-iron is 31 degrees, the pitching-wedge is 47 degrees), thin top-line, minimal offset, and limited badging. In short, if it ain’t broke…

Related: Titleist’s 718 irons offer endless possibilities.

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Whats in the Bag

Austin Cook’s Winning WITB: The 2017 RSM Classic

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution TX-Flex

3 Wood: Ping G400 Stretch (13 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujifuke Motore Speeder VC 7.2 TX-Flex

Hybrid: Ping G400 3 Hybrid (19 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91X

Hybrid: Ping G400 4 Hybrid (22 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91 X

Irons: Ping S55 Orange Dot (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour S-Flex

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 SS (50-12, 56-12), Ping Glide 2.0 WS (60)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne 
Grip: SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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