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Callaway Lightens Up with Ultra-Premium GBB Epic Star Line

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Callaway’s new Epic Star line targets golfers seeking maximum distance from lighter golf clubs: think seniors, juniors, women, and other slow-swingers.

The new drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, and irons incorporate the same technologies as Callaway’s flagship Epic products, but they’ve have been lightened up with head design tweaks and lightweight, ultra-premium components to help golfers hit higher, faster, and longer shots.

The new clubs are available for preorder on September 22 and in stores September 29. Learn more about each of them below.

GBB Epic Star Driver and Fairway Woods

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Callaway’s Epic Star Driver (12 degrees).

The Epic Star driver is an import to the U.S. market, where the lightweight driver is the No. 1 seller in Japan. Its Japan-inspired theme continues through the shaft and grip. The stock shaft is an ultra-premium, 39-gram Mitsubishi Grand Bassara shaft that’s made at Mitsubishi’s renowned Japan facility. The driver also comes with a Golf Pride J200 grip that was also designed for the Japan market. It has a smaller diameter than standard grips, helping it tip the scales at a mere 41 grams.

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“There are pockets in the U.S. with some [golfers] who are looking for a premium experience with Epic, but in a more lightweight package,” says Callaway Brand Manager David Neville.

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Like Callaway’s GBB Epic driver, the Epic Star (available in lofts of 10 and 12 degrees) includes the company’s Jailbreak technology, two titanium bars located behind the club face that stabilize the crown and sole to improve energy transfer at impact. The new driver also uses the company’s extremely lightweight crown and sole construction, highlighted by its 9.7-gram triaxial carbon crown.

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The Epic Star is different in two important places, however, starting with its sliding rear weight that weighs just 11 grams — that’s seven grams lighter than the GBB Epic’s sliding weight. Callaway also saved seven grams from the driver by shifting to a fixed-hosel design, allowing the club head to weigh just 190.3 grams. The total weight of the driver is a mere 286 grams, making it Callaway’s lightest driver in history.

Callaway-GBB_Epic_Star_Fairway_Wood

The Epic Star fairway woods (available in 15, 18 and 21 degrees) also have a fixed-hosel design to reduce clubhead weight. Their Mitsubishi Grand Bassara shafts weigh in at just 49 grams.

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Callaway’s Epic Star 7 Wood (21 degrees).

The GBB Epic Star driver will sell for $699. The GBB Epic Star fairway woods will sell for $399.

Epic Star Hybrids and Irons

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Photo Courtesy of Callaway Golf.

Callaway’s new Epic Star hybrids are available in three lofts (18, 20 and 23 degrees), and like Callaway’s Epic hybrids, they bring golfers more distance by way of 455 Carpenter Steel Face Cups and an ultra-light, carbon triaxial crown. They also have a center of gravity (CG) that’s concentrated low and deep in the club heads via a metal-injection molded process (MIM) and a tungsten-infused standing wave. This technology, combined with their 50-gram, Mitsubishi Grand Bassara shafts, helps golfers send their hybrid shots higher and farther down the fairway or toward the green.

Callaway_Epic_Star_Irons

The new Epic Star irons come stock with 55-gram Mitsubishi Rayon Grand Bassara shafts, as well as a Black PVD finish that gives the irons a sleek look at address. They’re available in 4-9, PW, GW, and SW.

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Like Callaway’s Epic irons, the GBB Epic Star irons showcase a 360-degree Face Cup design that measures just 1 millimeters at its thinnest point to help golfers maximize distance and forgiveness. They also share the company’s Exo-Cage design, a lightweight, steel framework that provides rigidity to help the irons deliver more ball speed at impact.

“There’s kind of a lighter, longer, stronger spec in order to maximize distance,” says Luke Williams, Senior Director of Global Product Strategy for Irons and Putters. “We’ve seen that there’s sort of an emerging category here and an emerging segment in certain players that really are looking for this type of product. So while this isn’t a broad offering for us — it’s a really targeting offering — there is a market.”

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In conjunction, a hollow-hosel design helped Callaway engineers shift more weight toward the center of the Epic Star iron heads to provide a better feel and optimize the launch conditions of each iron. In the long irons, the CG is positioned lower in the club heads to improve distance. In the short irons, the CG is positioned higher in the club heads to improve trajectory control. According to Callaway, each of the irons are close to achieving the USGA’s legal limit on COR, or coefficient of restitution, a measure of ball speed retention.

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The Epic Star hybrids will sell for $299 each, while the Epic Star irons will sell for $300 each, or $2,400 for an eight-piece set.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Epic Star line, as well as more photos of the clubs. 

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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.

40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Peter in Parker

    Oct 1, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Will any good samaritan buy me one …….. that price of that driver is almost my monthly rent. Wow oh wow.

  2. Ron

    Sep 15, 2017 at 1:29 am

    I have an xxioo driver 41gm shaft 10.5*I am 71 years old it’s fantastic. Bought it last year love it 220-230 that’s all I have but I am in the fairway.

  3. Mike

    Sep 13, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    New gear from Callaway, gee it must be at least a month since they promised we could win everything with there last offering. Might wait another month to see what changes the world and then there’s Christmas. Old Mr Callaway would be so dissapointed at these cowboys

  4. Double Mocha Man

    Sep 13, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I am not a slow swinger (108 mph swing speed with the driver) so 7 years ago I bought the Taylormade Superfast TP Burner driver at 284 grams. Then I removed the 50 gram grip and installed a 25 gram grip. Sucker swings fast. Still have it. Still outdrive everyone in my foursome by 25 – 60 yards, averaging 265 to 295 (300 downhill, downwind, firm ground :)). But I will be checking out this new, lightweight, Epic Star. If you put a good swing on it a lightweight club will go… and go… and go…

  5. Mark

    Sep 13, 2017 at 11:08 am

    The original should have been black and gold. Kinda like the John Player Special Lotus F1 cars of the 70’s.

  6. Lemming

    Sep 13, 2017 at 3:17 am

    OK, I’ll bite. Got me hook line and sinker. I’m a sucker. Take my money. I’ve got plenty of it. lol

  7. UnclePhil

    Sep 13, 2017 at 1:59 am

    Uhhh….would this driver be considered a “game improvement” club? Lol! Hahahahaha!! What’a riot!!

  8. GolfKnut

    Sep 13, 2017 at 1:38 am

    Ultra-Premium ‘Star’ SGI Clubs…. only for the discerning golf gearhead who has more money than brains or talent.

  9. XO

    Sep 12, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Looks like the big OEMs are concentrating their marketing to the upper 1% where price doesn’t matter, and neither does performance because rich guys are mostly incompetent. Their personal clubs are only for show and status symbols.
    An $800 driver is equivalent to $8 for a multi-millionaire….. and a $3000 set of clubs is like $30….. and a $100,000 car is like $1,000 ….. get the drift? And that’s the market the golf OEMs are targeting with their new offerings because multi-millionaires are bigger suckers for glitzy clubs.

    • LITM

      Sep 12, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      Why don’t you get the rest of the trailer park to chip in and y’all share

  10. Orville

    Sep 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    If you have a slow (<90 mph) swing speed and dropping yearly, equipment will not compensate significantly to restore speed. Your aging body just can't put out any more swing speed effort and if you believe an $800 "driviagra" will rejuvenate you, you are clinging to hope based on fantasy.
    Just buy a simple economical driver with extra face loft and that is the only prescription for retaining distance. Of course if you want to send your money to Japan ……

    • James

      Sep 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      Have you seen any testing with XXIO? Keep holding onto that idea that equipment won’t effect distance as your swing speed slows.

      • XO

        Sep 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm

        No I have not seen any testing with XXIO clubs and I just don’t trust manufacturers data on their own clubs. I have read the many promises made by the company here:
        http://www.xxiousa.com/
        …. but I am still dubious. If you are with XXIO send me a set of forged clubs and I will test them for you.

        • LITM

          Sep 12, 2017 at 7:23 pm

          Or pawn em so he can buy jimmy frank’s shotgun

      • Double Ace

        Sep 21, 2017 at 12:48 am

        As they age they will see things differently, unless they are the old guys who still think they drive it 290 when it’s closer to 150.

  11. GB

    Sep 12, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Greatest clubs since apple pie was stolen by Yanks

  12. Wally

    Sep 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Went on the website and saw the specs C-8 SW and the 7 iron has a 26* loft. Not for me.

  13. Swingman/Jerry

    Sep 12, 2017 at 10:49 am

    So you are getting a lighter Epic with a $450-500 aftermarket shaft in the driver. I own that shaft – in R Flex, it is 43g and is incredibly stable with a smooth kick. If you are using a 60g shaft, you may pick up 2-3 mph in this shaft.

    The issue is whether a liteweight shaft fits you – if you are a 70-90 mph speed with a smooth transition, odds are you will like it if you can get sufficient clubhead feel – swingweight D2 or so – to get a consistently high smash factor. Like any other club, get fit.

    I think it’s a club for the 55+ club who don’t have the greatest swing and just want to play, and range time is not play time.

    • GB

      Sep 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      U will only have a stable shaft with this 39gram Bassara if the driver head weighs very little. 190 grams is still on the heavy side, so I’m surprised that Callaway didn’t go sub 180gram, as this shaft will bend a lot because of that 190 weight and might make the ball spin too much. But to put that Epic head on it, this is as much as they could have done. And they didn’t want to put a heavier grip on, obviously, nor shorten the club.

    • James

      Sep 12, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Anyone who thinks that you’re getting the $500 Grand Bassara is greatly mistaken. Please look at the link and tell me where there are the 49 gram wood options and any resemblance of an iron shaft with Grand Bassara name. You also do not own a 43 gram Grand Bassara shaft. You may own the GG or P Series, but not the Grand Bassara.

      http://www.mca-golf.com/products/grand-bassara%E2%84%A2

  14. Steve Hamer

    Sep 12, 2017 at 10:31 am

    is it made of gold not for me at that price

  15. B-Man

    Sep 12, 2017 at 10:04 am

    There is no opinion given by the author in this article. Therefore it appears as nothing more than an advertisement.

    • Robert Parsons

      Sep 12, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      That’s wrx for ya! The owners and staff get free equipment plus they get invited to all the corporate outings. Of course they’re more than willing to run these ads. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. And believe me, these guys are fed well!

  16. Dat

    Sep 12, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Callaway will be going the way of TaylorMade sooner than most think (holding company). Laughable price tag and product strategy.

    • XO

      Sep 12, 2017 at 6:10 pm

      The big US car companies are surviving only on sales of hugely overpriced pickup trucks for the macho midgets who use them for personal transportation. Little men in big trucks.

      • OX

        Sep 13, 2017 at 2:44 pm

        So you mean to say little geeky men will want to own the TM GBB Star SGI drivers because they suffer from TD (Trajectile Dysfunction)?

  17. Jon

    Sep 12, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I see the Epic Star line more of a competitor to the XXIO Prime line of clubs rather than PXG.

  18. Marc Oreille

    Sep 12, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Slow swingers on WRX?

    • Casa Nova

      Sep 13, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      I have an 85 mph swing speed and launch the ball over 250 yards carry. My Smash Factor is 1.65 !

      • Kym

        Sep 28, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        A Smash Factor of 1.65 when only 1.50 is possible. You should perhaps do your homework before posting such a non-sensical comment

        • Kym

          Sep 29, 2017 at 11:32 am

          Further if we take your Club Speed of 85 mph, even on your best day you will only see 229 Carry (Club Speed X 2.7)

          With an impossible Smash Factor of 1.65 and a Swing Speed of 85 the Ball Speed would be approaching 140+ which is very unlikely with a Club Speed of 85

  19. cgasucks

    Sep 12, 2017 at 9:01 am

    It seems that every OEM is trying to get on the PXG bandwagon…

  20. Scott

    Sep 12, 2017 at 8:27 am

    $800 driver, $300 each iron. Laughable. Heads should roll at Callaway for this strategy. I’m pretty sure they’ve misread the market….

  21. Mark

    Sep 12, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Being a senior golfing, this REALLY had my interest until the price… are you kidding !!!

    • Swingman/Jerry

      Sep 12, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      You can always pull the shaft and re-use it – it is a great shaft for the market it fits and its aftermarket price is $450.

  22. Scott

    Sep 12, 2017 at 8:06 am

    $800 driver!? Bye

    • Shadow

      Sep 12, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Agree bye! Geeze you really getting ripped off in the US with this driver. First of all it comes in 10.5 & 12*. The 12* is not even offered in Japan. Overall you are getting a recoloured driver from Japan. The grip mentioned, not even stock or an option in Japan – I cant find it here in Japan. The bassara shaft is just a one off option in customisation for Japan. They don’t even make this driver/shaft combination to buy off the rack!

      The stock offering in Japan is 9.5 & 10.5*. The stock or base model Epic star weighs 289grams just 3 grams more than the US version. Stock shaft is 49grams. The Bassara in Japan also comes in 32.5 & 35.5 grams. The “speeder” option shafts come in weights of 29.5, 33 & 35.5 gram options.

      Save yourself money and buy the stock Japan version through Rakuten @ about US$450.

      For US$799 I would look at the GBB Epic Forged driver direct from Japan.

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Equipment

Ping’s new Glide 2.0 “Stealth” wedges, and Vault 2.0 putters

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Today, in addition to the G400 Max driver and the G700 irons, Ping also launched Glide 2.0 Stealth wedges, and the Vault 2.0 putters that we first spotted at the 2018 Sony Open in Hawaii. Each of the products are currently available for pre-order. See below for tech info, photos and more about the offerings.

Glide 2.0 Stealth wedges

Unlike the original Glide 2.0 wedges, which were made from 431 stainless steel, the Glide 2.0 Stealth wedges are made from 8620 carbon steel for a softer feel. More obviously, they have a different, darker finish that reduces glare and “makes the wedges seem smaller,” according to Ping. The finish is applied using something called a Quench Polish Quench process for greater durability.

The wedges also have a milled, wheel-cut “half-groove” near the leading edge of the higher-lofted wedges (56, 58 and 60 degrees) to increase spin on shots hit low on the face.

Like the Glide 2.0 wedges, the Stealth versions also have progressive groove designs, which means the grooves in the lower-lofted wedges (46, 50 and 52 degrees) have a larger edge radius than the higher-lofted wedges. Therefore, the lower-lofted wedges will perform a bit more like irons, while the higher-lofted wedges will have additional spin for more control around the greens.

The Stealth wedges come in 17 loft-grind combinations, as listed below:

  • SS Grind (46-12, 50-12, 52-12, 54-12, 56-12, 58-10 and 60-10)
  • WS Grind (54-14, 56-14, 58-14 and 60-14)
  • TS Grind (58-06 and 60-06)
  • ES Grind (54-08, 56-08, 58-08 and 60-08)

They come stock with either Ping’s AWT 2.0 steel shaft ($150) or Ping’s CFS graphite shaft ($175). Additional shafts are also available at no upcharge.

Click here for discussion and more photos of the wedges

Vault 2.0 putters

Ping’s new Vault 2.0 putters have a greater focus than ever on fitting. Using a new custom-weighting system, the putters are available with either steel sole plates, tungsten sole plates that are 15-grams heavier than steel, or aluminum sole plates that are 15 grams lighter than steel. Putters between 34 and 36 inches use steel, putters 36 and longer use aluminum, and putters 34 inches and shorter use tungsten. This allows golfers to have a putter with the correct feel and balance no matter the length.

The 100-percent-milled putters also use Ping’s True Roll technology in their faces, evident by the pattern of cross-hatched grooves that are varied in depth across the face to increase speed on off-center hits. The goal with this face design is to get the speed the golfer needs on longer putts, even if the contact is on the heel or toe.

Five of the putter models (aside from the Ketsch) are made from 303 stainless steel and are available in three finishes: Stealth, Platinum and Copper. The Ketsch mallet is available in two finishes, Stealth or Slate, and combines a 6061 Aluminum body with a stainless steel sole plate. Grip options for the putters include the PP60 (a midsize design with foam under-listing), the PP61 (an “exaggerated pistol” with a rubber under-listing), the PP62 (over-sized with a rounded profile) or the CB60 (the standard counterbalanced grip).

Get the specs for each of the new Vault 2.0 putters below, which sell for $325 apiece.

Vault 2.0 Dale Anser

The new Dale Anser is “inspired by one of the original Anser putter molds created by Allan Dale Solheim and detailed by his father, Karsten Solheim,” according to Ping.

  • Weight: 350 grams
  • Toe Hang: Slight Arc
  • Standard length: 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie Angle: Adjustable +/- 4 degrees

See more photos here.

Vault 2.0 Voss

  • Weight: 350 grams
  • Finish: Available in Stealth finish (Copper or Platinum available on special order)
  • Toe Hang: Slight Arc
  • Length: 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degree
  • Lie Angle: Adjustable +/- 4 degrees

See more photos here.

Vault 2.0 B60

  • Weight: 355 grams
  • Finish: Available in Stealth or Copper finish (Platinum available special order)
  • Toe Hang: Slight Arc
  • Length: 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie Angle: Adjustable +/- 4 degrees

See more photos here.

Vault 2.0 ZB

  • Weight: 350 grams
  • Finish: Available in Platinum (Copper or Stealth available special order)
  • Toe Hang: Slight Arc
  • Length: 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie Angle: Adjustable +/- 4 degrees

See more photos here.

Vault 2.0 Piper (Mid-Mallet)

  • Weight: 360 grams
  • Finish: Available in Stealth finish (Copper or Platinum available special order)
  • Toe Hang: Slight Arc or Straight
  • Length: 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie Angle: Adjustable +/- 2 degrees

See more photos here.

Vault 2.0 Ketsch (Mallet)

  • Weight: 365 grams
  • Finish: Available in Stealth finish (Slate finish available special order)
  • Toe Hang: Slight Arc or Straight
  • Length: 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie Angle: Adjustable +/- 2 degrees

Click here for discussion and more photos of the putters.

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Ping’s new G700 irons are its “longest, highest flying” irons ever

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On the same day Ping launched “the most forgiving driver in golf” with its G400 Max driver, it also launched the company’s “longest, highest flying irons to date,” according to Ping. To achieve that level of distance and forgiveness on the G700 irons, Ping gave them hollow-body constructions with 17-4 Stainless Steel bodies and maraging steel faces.

The hollow body and geometry of the G700 designs, according to Ping, positions weight away from their faces. Like the design of a metalwood, this allows the face to flex, thus raising ball speeds on shots hit all over the face. Also like Ping’s metalwoods, the G700 irons use C300 maraging steel — “one of the strongest alloys in the world,” according to Ping — on its faces. Since the material is so strong and the faces can be made thinner, the faces flex more than previous Ping irons, without sacrificing durability; this leads to greater ball speeds and more forgiveness on off-center hits.

“The desire for golfers to hit their irons farther continues to grow,” said John Solheim, president of Ping. “We want to provide options that greatly increase distance without sacrificing other performance attributes, such as consistency, forgiveness and feel. With the G700 iron, we’ve been able to accomplish all of that in a very appealing design with a sound that screams distance from the moment golfers hit it.

The high-performance construction also comes in an iron design that is aesthetically reminiscent of the iBlade, although the G700 irons have a larger profile, more offset, and thicker soles for more forgiveness through the turf. The lower and more rearward CG (center of gravity) will also help the ball fly not only straighter and farther, but higher, as well.

Like Ping irons of recent years, the G700 irons also have a HyrdoPearl chrome finish that enhances something called hydrophobicity, or the ability of an object to repel water. That means the irons are designed to reduce the effect of water between the golf and the golf club.

The G700 irons (4-9, PW, UW and SW) comes in 10 different color codes, or lie angles, and they come stock with either Ping AWT 2.0 steel shafts (R, S and X), or three different graphite options: Ping’s Alta CB (counterbalanced), UST’s Recoil 760 ES SmacWrap or UST’s Recoil 780 ES SmacWrap. The irons, which are available for pre-order now, will sell for $160 per iron in steel or $175 per iron in graphite. Additional after-market shafts are available for no upcharge, including True Temper’s Dynamic Gold series, Project X LZ shafts, Nippon’s N.S. Pro Modus 105, KBS Tour shafts and more.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Ping G700 irons in our forums

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Ping launches new G400 Max driver, the “most forgiving driver in golf”

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As initially expected, the Ping G400 Max driver that officially launched today is made for more forgiveness, with a larger construction than it’s original G400 family members. In 2017, Ping launched its G400 driver line that included a standard model, a draw-biased SF Tec and a fade-biased LS Tec, each of which measured 445cc — below the 460cc legal limit of the USGA. Despite the smaller sizes, which helped reduce drag for more club head speed, they were actually more forgiving than their G-family predecessors due to aerodynamic improvements, thinner crowns, strategically-placed Tungsten weights and a new TS9+ titanium face.

Now, Ping’s new G400 Max driver has even more forgiveness than the already super-forgiving G400 drivers due to its larger size and additional weight in the rear of the golf club. Like the original G400 drivers, the G400 Max has a rear tungsten weight, except it’s even farther back and actually wraps around the sole of the G400 Max. The design means CG (center of gravity) is extremely low and rearward in the club head, and MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness) is the highest reported on the market… or in other words, according to Ping, it’s the most forgiving driver out.

“Our engineers focused on increasing the forgiveness of the driver while maintaining the distance gains and powerful sound of the original G400 driver,” said John Solheim, the president of Ping. “It’s remarkable how long and straight the G400 Max flies. The forgiveness is off the charts and leads to tighter dispersion, which reveals just how consistent your distance and accuracy results will be on the golf course. We encourage all golfers to get fit and look closely at their dispersion, not just their one best shot on a launch monitor.”

When you hear about max forgiveness, you typically assume it’s a game-improvement driver that’s made for high-handicappers, right? While this driver will help recreational golfers who need help on off-center hits, the G400 Max driver is already in the bags of Ping staffers Aaron Baddeley and Seamus Power, and non-staffer Tony Finau, one of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour. According to Ping, despite having a larger size than the original G400 drivers, the G400 Max is still able to produce speed because of its forged, heat-treated T9S+ face that has a “thinner, hotter” impact area that raises ball speed.

Like the G400 drivers, the G400 Max comes stock with an Alta CB (counterbalanced) shaft that uses special, color-shifting paint technology to look great on the shelf with its copper color, but it looks black at address to reduce distractions. Read more about the shaft technology here. Ping’s Alta CB shaft is available in 55 (SR, R, S or X flex). Additional shaft options include Ping’s Tour 65 or 75 (R, S or X) for a $35 upcharge, or the following aftermarket shaft options for a $75 upcharge: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi 60 (R, S or X flex), Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75 (5.5, 6.0 or 6.5 flex) or Aldila’s X-Torsion Copper (50R or 60S) shaft.

Ping’s G400 Max drivers, which are available now for pre-order, come in 9 and 10.5 degree options and with Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grips. They start selling for $435 apiece, plus any additional upcharges for shafts.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Ping G400 Max drivers in our forums.

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