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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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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Philip

    Jan 15, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Okay, the last version reduced from 460 to 445 which helped to make it more forgiving and now they go back to 460 to make it more forgiving (with all of the other stuff for each version to of course). I wonder how they measure forgiveness … is it having 1000’s of real average golfers hitting balls and then tabulating the results between versions? Is it using a machine with a perfect swing? Or, is it more marketing fluff than anything else?

  2. Robert Parsons

    Jan 15, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I would want to try a G400 Max LST.

    • Carl Schillinger

      Jan 15, 2018 at 4:03 pm

      Not available in the SFT or LST head.

      • Walter

        Jan 15, 2018 at 4:18 pm

        IOW it’s a gearhead hacker driver promising power and distance. Nothing new here.

  3. Watson

    Jan 15, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Highest loft is 10.5º which means it’s only good for 100+++mph swing speeds.
    I just bought, for $40, a mint condition PING G2 400cc driver with 15.5º lofts to match my declining swing speed. It’s got a 47″ stock TFC 100D with Soft Regular shaft with ‘Tip Flex Control’ feature.
    It’s an oversized 3-wood which I can confidently hit 220+/- yards. The flex is high but I can handle it with my slower swing speed. It plays like a whippy hickory shafted driver!
    A perfect club for an aging golfer who once hit 250+ regularly. Fortunately my short game and putting is still fantastic.

  4. Jerry

    Jan 15, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    I can see pros swinging at 115-130 wanting more forgiveness. But I’m swingin at max 95 mph and with a decent swing, I really enjoy the sweet feel/sound and uber forgiveness of the G400.

  5. mM

    Jan 15, 2018 at 11:30 am

    I love this advertorial… it says the Max is larger than the 445 of the original G400. But doesn’t say what size it is.
    Well done Ping. Not.

    • Milton Gombo

      Jan 15, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      460cc. Shape may be more like the original ‘G’ design, which I preferred anyway.
      If you want to rant about Ping- why can’t they arrange a head-only exchange program, as there is nothing wrong with my G400 Tour 65 shaft? This new Max w/ Tour shaft runs $470, and the PGA trade in value for my 1 month old G400 is $135. They would have locked me in sight unseen with a head-only exchange program. Now I’ll be testing other brands as well.

      • Jerry

        Jan 15, 2018 at 1:38 pm

        Doubt if 15cc will make a difference. Find the shaft you like and bomb away. I did not like any of the stock offerings, did not care for the Tour Shaft, nothing special to me, and it took several months to find a shaft – using a VA Shafts 55, and have a TPT Golf 54g shaft when they release the new version this month after the show. I think shaft is key here. More than enough forgiveness.

    • Carl Schillinger

      Jan 15, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      It has a 460 cc head.

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Whats in the Bag

Rory McIlroy WITB (2020 ZOZO Championship)

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @8 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6X (45.5 inches, 59.25 lie, D4)

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 @13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX (43.25 inches, 58 lie, D4)

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (19 @ 18.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7MB (3-PW)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 7.0 (6.5 in PW) 

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (54-10SB, 60-08LB)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 6.5

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper (34.25, 2.5 loft, 70 lie)

Ball: 2019 TaylorMade TP5 (#22)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (58R 1+1, logo down)

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotted: 2021 Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers on USGA Conforming List

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When it comes to drivers, Mizuno isn’t usually the company that comes to the top of mind for many golfers, but starting with the ST-190, and then the ST-200 series in 2020, they have quickly changed the perception of their metal woods thanks to wins on tour and more players choosing to put them in play—most recently Brandt Snedeker as a non-contracted player.

This morning, with the update of the USGA and R&A conforming equipment lists, we are getting a sneak peek at what Mizuno will have in store for 2021 with the release of the ST-Z and ST-X drivers.

What we know

Based on the information provided in the USGA submission by Mizuno, the ST-X will only be available in right-handed (10.5 and 12-degree lofts), while the ST-Z will be available in both right (9.5  and 10.5 degrees) and left-handed (9.5 degrees only).

ST-Z

Based on the images from the USGA list and our experience with the Mizuno product line, it appears that the ST-Z is the next step in the evolution of the standard ST200 with no adjustable CG but with a customizable weight in the back of the head.

We haven’t seen any images of a moveable weight driver in this new ST series, so it could be that the G-woods are getting phased out in favor of more internally biased weighting, but since those types of drivers often take a bit more time to get just right, it could be a matter of time before a “G” type driver hits the list.

As for technology, it has Mizuno’s standard wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and based on the images, more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole. I would also expect to hear a new face material or design story to complete the package and to boost MOI and ball speed.

ST-X

Based on the image from the USGA list and our experience, it appears that the ST-X is the next step in the evolution of the ST200-X driver, which is the lighter weight, more upright, and draw-biased driver from Mizuno. Don’t think draw bias always means it’s for higher handicaps either, because Mizuno staff player Chris Kirk got along very nicely with his out on the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours in 2020, including a win.

The tell-tale sign is the more heel biased weight in the back of the driver and what looks to be some sort of textured area to create “visible technology” towards the heel of the clubhead.

Beyond being draw-biased, when it comes to technology, it shares a lot of similarities to the ST-Z with Mizuno’s standing wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole, and in the case of the ST-X, on the sole.

We don’t have any information on the release of these new drivers, but considering Mizuno didn’t adjust product release schedules in 2020, I would imagine it will be doing the same in 2021, and we can expect to hear more about these ST drivers either late 2020 or early into 2021.

To see what other golfers are saying about the newly spotted Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers, check out the GolfWRX forums and join the discussion: GolfWRX – New Mizuno drivers spotted on USGA Conforming List

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Equipment

5 hybrid vs 5 iron – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the logic behind removing their 5 iron from their bag. WRXer ‘rwl’ asks whether any fellow members have experiences doing so, and WRXers have been sharing their thoughts and experiences in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • RobertL.: “I replaced my 5 iron with a 5 hybrid. I find it far easier to hit than my 5 iron. I also took my 6 iron out of the bag, so now my longest iron is a 7. I now carry a 3, 4, and 5 hybrid since they’re so much easier to hit than long irons. Makes a big difference for this senior golfer.”
  • JohnKHawk: “For last 2 seasons I’ve played with a Cobra F9 5 hybrid. It’s 24 degrees & gaps perfectly between Cobra OS 3-4 hybrid at 20.5 degrees & Apex19 6 iron which is 26.5 degrees. The 5 iron was just getting to be to undependable. Misses with the 5 hybrid were more playable than the 5 iron. Use what works best for your game.”
  • Abe21599: “Never a bad idea to have both a 5i and 5h options in the trunk, just gotta watch lofts.”
  • nitram: “I know it sounds so “old man” but if you want to make a change in your 5-iron slot and can’t seem to get along with a hybrid, give the 9-wood a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.”

Entire Thread: “5 hybrid vs 5 iron”

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