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The OFFICIAL PING Anser Driver Fitting & Review Thread


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#1 HipCheck

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 07:46 PM

A few weeks back, we asked for GolfWRX members to apply to test one of 3 new Anser Drivers and share their experience with the membership.  We received hundreds of applicants, but ultimately could select only three.  They are:
  • gunner22
  • Floycota
  • joeclothing
This thread will be used for the testers to give not only a review and ongoing feedback on the Anser driver, but give you insight on the PING fitting process.

Let's keep this thread open until the reviewers start posting and then feel free to comment!

Thanks!

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#2 Gunner22

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:59 PM

Hello WRX.  A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the PING Anser driver testers on behalf of PING and WRX.  So first and foremost, I want to thank both PING and WRX for the great opportunity to do so.  I appreciate very much.

When I came home from work this past Thursday afternoon, my Anser driver was sitting on my doorstep courtesy of PING.  I am wicked excited to get on the range for a few sessions, and on the course with it over the next few days here for some New England fall golf so that I can provide a proper review and some adequate feedback on PING’s newest creation. Since I won’t have my full review done for at least a week or so, I wanted to share my in initial fitting experience with WRX because it was truly awesome and I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about doing so.

First off, the guys from PING are great and are obviously exceptionally committed to ensuring that I had the best fitting experience as possible based on my interactions with them.  After a few emails and calls back and forth and swamping of schedules, Mike from PING was nice enough to set my fitting up at a private country club, Clinton Country Club, in Clinton CT.  It was about an hour drive for me from Rhode Island, but well worth it the short trip.  When I arrived at the course for my fitting, the club pro was awaiting my arrival.  He showed me around the club briefly, grabbed me a few Gatorades, and then took me over to the very well kept range.  I was thirty minutes early for the fitting, so the pro told me that I could hit as many balls as I wanted to while I waited for the PING van to roll up.  There were about 15 mini PING staff bags on the range filled with balls waiting there to be sent on their way.  After about twenty minutes of warming up, the PING van pulled up.  There were two PING fitters there ready to go so we got started early which is always nice.

The head fitter’s name was Jeff and from the very beginning, I could tell he knew his stuff.  While Jeff set up the launch monitors and synced his iPad to them, he asked me to take a few swings with my current driver – 8.5* Titleist 910 D2 with an Oban Devotion 04 Stiff 65g.  Even before the monitor was up and running, Jeff said that based on my tempo and swing speed, he could already tell I was probably creating way too much spin with my current setup and losing distance as a result / exaggerating my bad swings.  And he was right.

Once Jeff got the monitor up and running, I hit ten balls with my D2, and sure enough, I was spinning the ball at about 3200-3600 RPM’s w/ an average distance of about 277.  Most of the balls that I hit had a slight high cut on them, as always, and 7/10 ended up in the “fairway” that we created on the range between a few of the flagsticks a couple hundred yards out.  All in all, I was not all that upset with the performance of my trusty 910.

After that, Jeff gave me a full rundown from ‘A-Z’ regarding the new Anser including its overall technology, weight distribution characteristics, head shape and head finish (matte black which is pretty sweep compared to anything else out there right now) and all of the new mechanics surrounding PING’s new driver adjustability.

Jeff had me hit about 25 balls to start off with a 9.5* Anser head.  While I was hitting balls with one shaft/head combo, Jeff was preparing the next one right next to me while reading the monitor.  In all, Jeff had about 15 different heads, and about 10 different shafts at his disposal.  Jeff was very informative after every swing as he relayed all of the specs from the iPad.  I could obviously distinguish the good swings from the subpar ones, but, it was interesting to hear the different numbers I was creating with the Anser compared to my D2, and the distinct comparison between the different shafts.

After about 45 minutes with the a 9.5* and 8.5* head, with the many stiff shaft combinations that Jeff was swamping in and out, he determined that based on the my spin rates, launch angles, and total distance, the 8.5* head was by far a better fit – but I was still around 3000 RPM’s.  So I figured that we were done there, but we weren’t.  Jeff went back to the van, which was like a club ho’s heaven on wheels, and came back a few X flex shafts.  Now I have messed around with some X flex shafts in the past.  For about 25 minutes, Jeff swapped out three different x flex shafts in the 8.5* head and that’s when I really started to get impressed with the club, and the fitting.  I hit about ten balls down the middle and they were coming off like rockets.  At that point, Jeff measured my hands and asked if I use any wraps under my grips – which I normally use one.  Not anymore.

So after about an hour of swinging, with probably a minute in between shots while discussing numbers, Jeff had me dialed in perfectly.  I ended up with an 8.5* Anser head w/ a Diamana Ahina 70g X Flex with no wraps under the grip.  My average distance went up about 7 yards to 284 – with a few over 290.  The ball flight was much more penetrating with the Anser, and I felt like I had much more control over the ball while trying to work it in either direction.  Best of all, my RPM numbers with the x Flex Ahina were down to 2500-2600 which was nice to see.  Jeff explained to me that he would have liked to see my launch angle to go up slightly from about 11* to closer to 12*.  However, I was creating the least about of spin w/ the 8.5* head and Ahina x Flex without sacrificing on all that much distance.

I usually run 4 times a week and play basketball twice a week.  However, I’m not going to lie, I was tired at that point.  I took out my 60* and just hit a few soft shots into one of the greens on the range about 50 yards away while Jeff starting gathering up all of the heads, shafts, and launch monitor gear.  When Jeff came back from the van about ten minutes later, he had the new Anser fairway and hybrid in hand and asked if I was interested.  So you guessed it, I had to hit a few more.


I spent about another 30 minutes on the range while trying out the new Anser hybrid and fairway and talking to Jeff about golf trips, Pebble Beach, the PING factory in AZ, the Ryder Cup, etc.  It was a good time and a great experience – and I was custom fit for a bomber of a club.  A week later, I received my club from PING.  While I was anticipating it coming in, the guys from PING were awesome about keeping in touch and letting me know when my club was going to get built and shipped.

I played a quick nine holes with my new Anser this afternoon, and it was pretty impressive overall.  The ball flight and distances were identical to the results I was getting with Jeff on the range.  And the sound of the club is perfect in my opinion.  There is nothing worse than an unnecessarily loud driver.

I can’t wait to get a few rounds in with the new club.  Once I do, I will be sure to get a very detailed and specific review up here on the thread for you guys.  All in all, I am aware of how important getting fit for clubs is.  My irons, wedges, and putter were all fit to me, but I never really went through a whole driver fitting process because I am a club Ho.  Nevertheless, I could not be happier and more excited about my new driver and could not be more impressed with the efficiency and success of PING’s fitting process at this point.  I’d love to answer any questions if you guys have any.

Full review to come,
Gunner22

Edited by Gunner22, 14 October 2012 - 09:57 PM.

PING Anser 8.5 Ahina X
TM Tour RBZ 14.5 Ahina X
PING i20 17* White Pearl KBS X
TM Tour Stage 2 22* Matrix Ozik X
Titleist 712 AP1 & SM4s
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#3 Gunner22

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 09:07 PM

[attachment=1378605:001.JPG]
[attachment=1378609:002.JPG]
[attachment=1378613:003.JPG]
[attachment=1378621:PING_Man_Visit.jpg]
PING Anser 8.5 Ahina X
TM Tour RBZ 14.5 Ahina X
PING i20 17* White Pearl KBS X
TM Tour Stage 2 22* Matrix Ozik X
Titleist 712 AP1 & SM4s
Custom Scotty Cameron Fastback

#4 Kadin 25

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:43 PM

Very nice review. Sounds like its worth a look for sure. Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed account of your experience.

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#5 Gunner22

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:47 PM

You're welcome.  I  hoping to have a full review of the club up soon.

PING Anser 8.5 Ahina X
TM Tour RBZ 14.5 Ahina X
PING i20 17* White Pearl KBS X
TM Tour Stage 2 22* Matrix Ozik X
Titleist 712 AP1 & SM4s
Custom Scotty Cameron Fastback

#6 boycer11

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:36 PM

Looking forward to the review. Hearing a lot of good things about this stick.

#7 heffe78

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 10:42 PM

Nice review, I've played 2 rounds with a demo - 10.5* w/ Ping stiff shaft. Once at 10.5*, once turned down to 10.0. Me like. Über forgiving and plenty long. Need to get serious about fitting though to make a real decision.

The one thing I am searching for is how to tell if I need 9.5* turned up to 10.0* or 10.5* turned down to 10.0* (or the same to get to 9.0*). Gunner: Did you gain any insight on this during your fitting? Did Jeff share anything about that at all?

Cheers.


#8 KPH808

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 10:54 PM

Great review. I've heard great things about the Anser, want to give one a try.
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#9 kirksingleton

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:10 PM

Great review, it is on my short list with the 913.
I had a really hard time reading your font though.

#10 lbhitter

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 07:50 AM

View Postheffe78, on 12 October 2012 - 10:42 PM, said:

Nice review, I've played 2 rounds with a demo - 10.5* w/ Ping stiff shaft. Once at 10.5*, once turned down to 10.0. Me like. Über forgiving and plenty long. Need to get serious about fitting though to make a real decision.

The one thing I am searching for is how to tell if I need 9.5* turned up to 10.0* or 10.5* turned down to 10.0* (or the same to get to 9.0*). Gunner: Did you gain any insight on this during your fitting? Did Jeff share anything about that at all?

Cheers.

I think it depends on what looks right to your eye at address.  I was fitted outdoors with a LM, and my best numbers were with the Anser set at 9*.  So I tried an 8.5 at the + setting and a 9.5 at the - setting.  One looks slightly open and one looks slightly closed.  I liked the ever so slightly closed look, so I went with the 8.5.  That's what I am used to.  It also gives me the option of going down more in loft when I play on windy days.

Your options may vary.

I would also note that the stock Ping shaft is very good.  My SS is ~105, and my launch, spin, and distance only varied slightly between the stock Ping stiff and the Ahina.

LB

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#11 heffe78

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 06:35 PM

View Postkirksingleton, on 12 October 2012 - 11:10 PM, said:

I had a really hard time reading your font though.

I know, it's feels like an Italian restaurant menu!

Edited by heffe78, 13 October 2012 - 06:36 PM.


#12 floycota

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 07:53 PM

I got the PM that everyone on GolfWRX wants to see in there inbox, “PING Anser Driver Feedback and Testing” from HipCheck (Rob).  I think it took me about 20-seconds to send a reply e-mail confirming I was still interested.  I’ve never been selected for testing clubs before.  Needless to say I was pretty pumped.  So a big thanks to Ping and GolfWRX.

Mike from Ping called and we discussed schedules.  He told me he wanted to arrange a private fitting for me and Jim (Gunner22) and they ended up holding it at the Clinton Country Club in CT.  Jim was in full-swing by the time I arrived.  I quickly introduced myself to the two product specialist Jeff and Patrick, while trying not to disturb Jim as he was unleashing some drives down range.

Patrick told me, “The range is yours, loosen-up then we can start getting you dialed in.”  Patrick left me by myself for a few moments as I tried to make some spastic lunging type moves at the ball with a wedge to loosen up.   After a few minutes of wedges and 7-irons, Patrick and I began to talk about my current set-up and what I like and dis-like in a driver.  I currently play a 9.5* Cleveland 310TL with a 45.25” NVentix Nunchuk shaft.  So as you can probably guess, I like a heavy feeling driver  with low-spin high-launch, like just about everyone else.  I was fit for my current set-up and I’m very happy with it.  The 310TL tends to sit open quite a bit which I like.  My natural shot is a draw and but I try to hit the ball straight or fade it slightly if possible for control.  The shot that haunts me is the big snap hook.  Nothing makes you want to throw-up on a tee-box more than trying to hit a fade on a dogleg right only to hit a low line-drive to 3rd base.

I hit some shots with my current driver and was hitting the ball pretty well.  Patrick grabbed the launch monitor and iPad.  This was pretty cool; I’ve never seen iPads integrated with launch monitors.  I’ve always seen LMs attached to laptops or desktops in fitting studios.  I hit a bunch of balls and we came back with number around 11.5* launch, 3000ish, and 167mph BS.  The LM was giving me a carry of 279 and totaling in the 290s.  I wish I was 6’4” with a huge swing arch, but I’m lying when I tell people I’m 5’10”.  Patrick said, “Nothing wrong with that” on a few drives.  Then he said, “OK, I know we can do better.”

Let’s take a minute to talk about how the club looks.  I’m sure Deerslayer would give this his seal of approval for the finish (http://www.golfwrx.c... murdered ping).  

This is the first thing I thought of:

Posted Image

It’s a mean looking club.  It’s probably the nicest looking finish and head on the market right now.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Matte black, nice looking shape, it’s 460cc but doesn’t look too big or too small.  

Posted Image

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I don’t know how they did it but the hosel is hidden.  I know there are some other drivers on the market with adjustable hosel that dominates your view when you look down.  This lightweight aluminum hosel sleeve is aesthetically a success, you don’t even notice it.

Posted Image

Posted Image

After talking for a bit, Patrick went back to the van and put together their heaviest stock shaft (Diamana ‘Ahina 70) with a 9.5* head.  We started off testing in the neutral setting.  The neutral setting looks like it sits slightly open to me, definitely not closed at all.  

OK,  full disclosure here, I don’t have any Ping clubs in the bag at the moment but I have owned them in the past.  I’m somewhat of a non-hoe with my drivers.  I tend to try a bunch of drivers but I don’t change drivers unless I find something significantly better.  I got fit for my current driver last year and the driver I had before that I had for almost 4-years.  The first drive I hit with the Anser was one of those “wow” shots;  high, straight, long; not a bad combination.  I believe the first shot was 13.7*, 2600, and 174 for a carry of 304.  I went on to hit a bunch of more drives with the 9.5* and ‘Ahina.  Everything went fairly straight and my dispersion was much better than my current gamer.  Out of about 20+ balls there wasn’t a single snap-hook.  I had a few slight draws and I was able to turn a couple over when I wanted to.  I thing that I really liked about the Anser was that I was able to hit a cut fairly easily.  I’m terrible at describing the sound of a driver.  What is better than a forgiving driver that you can manipulate if you try?  It’s a louder more metallic sound than my current driver.  It’s not extremely muted or extremely tinny to me though.  I couldn’t argue with the averages – 169-170mph, 2600-2700rpm, 12.6* - carry average of 289 and totals over 300.  Nothing like picking up 10-yards of carry in under an hour, this was all with the stiff ‘Ahina.  

Patrick next put together something completely different, the 9.5* head and the lightest shaft in the stock offerings the Phenom 50.  That didn’t go so well.  I hit a few balls; snap-hook, block, snap-hook,……  The Phenom wasn’t a good fit.  It was way too light compared to what I was used too.  I didn’t have a good sense of where the club was during the swing and the head felt very loose/torquey through the impact area for me.  I did swing this club slightly faster but that was about it.  There was no reason to look at numbers with this combo.  The Blur was pretty much the same story for me.  The last shaft I hit was the TCF800D.  I was surprised.  It was a little light feeling but launched higher than the ‘Ahina ball speeds were similar but the launch and spin were higher.  My misses were definitely bigger with the TCF 800D, Mr. Snappy made an appearance or two.

Patrick went over and stole the ‘Ahina X from Jeff and Jim.  Based on swingspeed I have traditionally been told to play and X.  My clubfitter knows me better than that though.  I swing differently with a X than a stiff.  I really feel that I have to work extra hard when swinging an X which leads to Mr. Snappy interrupting my round.  I swing just as fast with a stiff but it’s much smoother.  I hit the ‘Ahina X with the 9.5* in the neutral setting.  Again the first ball was awesome; high, dead- straight, and long out of the back of the range.  I didn’t have a complaint about that at all.  After a bunch of balls we figured out what the problem with this combo was going to be – spin.  I always fight drivers being too high spin.  I think you are going to find that the Anser is a low-spin monster.  I was not spinning the ‘Ahina X and the 9.5* head enough.  My spin numbers with the X were about 2200 on average, but there were some really low numbers that were coming up also, 1700-1900.  The X was only launching slightly lower, it had a little better dispersion, and the same ballspeed.  The spin on shots that weren’t perfect would produce some knuckleballs.  The 1700rpm, 169-170BS, 12*, were brining my carry yardages back to around 275.  We went back and forth between the X and Stiff ‘Ahina and it became pretty obvious that the stiff was a better fit, numbers don’t lie.

Admittedly, after hitting balls for well over an hour I was getting tired.  Patrick and I started playing around with the settings.  I was really surprised how much of a difference a half degree made.  I didn’t know what Patrick changed the setting to but I had a good idea after hitting the first few balls.  He upped the loft to 10* which closed the face slightly and it was a higher flight but also more left.  We went back in the other direction 9* and I left a bunch of balls out to the right.  I began to compensate and started hitting them straight.  I was pretty spent by this time so we decided I could play around with the setting when I got my club.  We established it would probably be neutral or 9* (open setting), the 10* (closed setting) was most uncontrolled set-up.  

Patrick brought over the Anser hybrid and 3-wood and I took a few swipes with those.  They are both really nice (Hey, Patrick, Jeff, Mike – if you are willing to let me demo those let me know.   I don’t think it would be a problem fitting those into my bag. Hint, hint, wink, wink.)   Jeff finished with Jim’s fitting and we all talked about the whole Ping fitting process and some fitting horror stories.  Patrick and Jeff are extremely knowledgeable and I really enjoyed discussing clubs with them.   Thanks to everyone involved in this.  I’m getting ready to put the Anser through some on-course testing in Florida soon.   I’ll try to answer any question people have.

Edited by floycota, 14 October 2012 - 08:13 AM.


#13 jefftomahawk

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 08:08 AM

Nice reviews so far, I could not wait to see if i was selected, so i went out and purchased the Anser 9.5 w/ahina s flex from Carlsgolf land thru some pretty intense testing with our local Ping rep. Mr. Moore, my numbers on the range and course have gotten better than my previous drivers in both reducing spin and increasing a few yards in distance.
Ping customer service also gets an A+++, had a few questions and custom work done to the driver, they turned it around in a few day process.

Edited by jefftomahawk, 14 October 2012 - 08:24 AM.


#14 mdb0103

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:38 PM

Great reviews so far. This driver is on my shortlist and I will most likely get properly fitted this winter.

I'm curious though how you guys decided on proper length; was it just what felt comfortable or was it a suggested length?
Titleist 913 D2 TS 6.2
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#15 Gunner22

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:43 PM

View Postheffe78, on 12 October 2012 - 10:42 PM, said:

Nice review, I've played 2 rounds with a demo - 10.5* w/ Ping stiff shaft. Once at 10.5*, once turned down to 10.0. Me like. Über forgiving and plenty long. Need to get serious about fitting though to make a real decision.

The one thing I am searching for is how to tell if I need 9.5* turned up to 10.0* or 10.5* turned down to 10.0* (or the same to get to 9.0*). Gunner: Did you gain any insight on this during your fitting? Did Jeff share anything about that at all?

Cheers.

Yes he did. We discussed and tried the 9.5 and brought it to a 9* as a comparison to the 8.5* head once we decided on the right shaft.  The numbers did not change all that much, other than a slightly higher launch angle.  At that point it came down to personal preference on the ball flight and I liked the more piercing ball flight with the 8.5*.

PING Anser 8.5 Ahina X
TM Tour RBZ 14.5 Ahina X
PING i20 17* White Pearl KBS X
TM Tour Stage 2 22* Matrix Ozik X
Titleist 712 AP1 & SM4s
Custom Scotty Cameron Fastback

#16 Gunner22

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:45 PM

View Postheffe78, on 13 October 2012 - 06:35 PM, said:

View Postkirksingleton, on 12 October 2012 - 11:10 PM, said:

I had a really hard time reading your font though.

I know, it's feels like an Italian restaurant menu!

I dont know how that happened. lol.  Changed. Sorry
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#17 highergr0und

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:52 PM

Great stuff so far guys......  the fitting experience sounds awesome.

#18 Gunner22

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:56 PM

View Postmdb0103, on 14 October 2012 - 12:38 PM, said:

Great reviews so far. This driver is on my shortlist and I will most likely get properly fitted this winter.

I'm curious though how you guys decided on proper length; was it just what felt comfortable or was it a suggested length?

This was the suggested length from the fitter Jeff.  It is about the same length as my D2 was, so it was actually a pretty easy adjustment.
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#19 highergr0und

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:59 PM

Did he have you try different lengths to see the impact on smash factor / center face contact or was it more of a feel thing?

#20 Gunner22

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:08 PM

Guys, don't let floycota fool you.  The range was pretty deep and he was mashing balls to the tip of it over and over again.  I could not help but notice when I was wrapping up.

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#21 Gunner22

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:11 PM

View Posthighergr0und, on 14 October 2012 - 09:59 PM, said:

Did he have you try different lengths to see the impact on smash factor / center face contact or was it more of a feel thing?

It was more of a feel thing and a comparison to my current driver.  It would have been interesting to see if there were any drastic differences w/ longer/shorter lengths.  With the finish on the Anser face though, it was pretty easy to see most of my contact was in the sweep spot so I was satisfied with that.
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#22 robengel

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 09:59 AM

great reviews guys, maybe someday I'll be lucky enough to get to do the same, awesome!
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#23 mosesgolf

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 10:48 AM

Fantastic guys.  Floy 289 carry average?  Awesome.  Can't wait to hit mine.  Should be arriving today w/ an Ahina 70 x.  I also have a stiff flex shaft coming in a couple weeks.
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#24 floycota

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:31 PM

View Postmosesgolf, on 15 October 2012 - 10:48 AM, said:

Fantastic guys.  Floy 289 carry average?  Awesome.  Can't wait to hit mine.  Should be arriving today w/ an Ahina 70 x.  I also have a stiff flex shaft coming in a couple weeks.
I was yelling POWWWWWW! After each drive, Gunner22 was looking at me like I was strange.  Doesn't everyone do this for an extra few yards?

Edited by floycota, 15 October 2012 - 08:31 PM.


#25 Gunner22

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:49 PM

View Postfloycota, on 15 October 2012 - 08:31 PM, said:

View Postmosesgolf, on 15 October 2012 - 10:48 AM, said:

Fantastic guys.  Floy 289 carry average?  Awesome.  Can't wait to hit mine.  Should be arriving today w/ an Ahina 70 x.  I also have a stiff flex shaft coming in a couple weeks.
I was yelling POWWWWWW! After each drive, Gunner22 was looking at me like I was strange.  Doesn't everyone do this for an extra few yards?

Well, not many guys sound like Serena Williams when they are hitting balls on range. :taunt:

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#26 Gunner22

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:57 PM

QUICK INTRO to the ANSER
OK WRX. I have 4 rounds under my belt with my new PING Anser driver that I got fitted for a few weeks back.  I’ve also had a few range sessions with my 8.5* Anser since my fittings.  I began this thread with my fitting experience with PING.

I am a 9 HCP currently (I was an 8 to start the year but my wife and I had a baby girl in March so more diapers/bottles and less range sessions/putting).  I tracked my numbers from my sessions on the launch monitor since I’ve gotten the Anser.  My average club head speed is about 111 MPH, with a ball speed of approx. 163 MPH.   With my new Anser, I have also been generating a launch angle of just under 12* and a spin rate of around 2600 RPM.

The numbers do not lie.  The Anser driver is definitely producing better numbers and results for me with the X Flex 70g Diamana Ahina than my old 8.5* D2, which had a Stiff 65g Flex Oban Devotion.  Most specifically, after getting fit for the Anser, my spin rates are down considerably (600-700 RPM’s) and my dispersion has been much tighter.  My misses are obviously are far less exaggerated with the Anser based on the decrease in spin.  My total distance with the Anser has been consistently around 287 total yards with a pretty piercing ball flight – I had a much higher, “majestic” ball flight with the D2, but, I like my new trajectory just as much.

[attachment=1384813:015.JPG]
[attachment=1384815:016.JPG]


PROS
For me, it’s the overall look and sound of the club.  I love the matte black finish the most of all.  The club head looks more like a weapon then a golf club and there is no glare or distractions on the head.  The traditional PING alignment aid is still there which is nice.  I am a big fan of the shape of the head as well.  All in all, it lines up very nicely behind the ball.  I am partial to the matte black to begin with, but, I prefer this far more then the glossy finish of the D2, or the white TaylorMade finishes I’ve played in the past.

As far as the sound, it is perfect.  There is nothing worse than an unnecessarily or overly loud driver.  I would not consider the sound muted, or “tingy” either.  For me, it provides outstanding immediate feedback on the balls that are hit on the screws.  If it is even possible, I would say the head just sounds very “solid.”  In my opinion, PING has really got this aspect of the head right.  I would say it also a definite upgrade to anything that PING has produced to date.

CONS
Initially, I would say that most Ho’s or golfers who like to tinker and experiment with their driver settings often may not be able to have as much fun with the Anser.  Compared to the Titleist 910 or the TM R11s for example, there are far fewer adjustment setting options available with the Anser.  So if you like to mess around in that respect with your driver, this one might not be for you.

PING has always believed and stressed the importance and advantages of getting properly fit for your clubs – and the design and technology of the Anser obviously speaks to that principle.  The lack of adjustment options (compared to its competitors) is most likely something PING wanted to limit because of the belief that if you get fit properly, one should not have to constantly adjust the loft, lie, etc. of the club.  Again, some may see this as a negative.  Personally, I do not, but, to each his own I guess.

Lastly, I would have liked to see the Anser have a better headcover.  I know its just a headcover and what were actually using to hit the ball.  But for the purpose of my full disclosure review, a less “boring” and generic headcover would have been nice.

BOTTOM LINE
The two drivers that I have played primarily over the last few years have been the R11 in 2011 and the 910 D2 this 2012 season. Also, over the past few years, I have hit everything.  This is by far the best driver for my swing that I have hit in a long time.  I think PING has truly outdone itself with the Anser.  It is a great feeling knowing that I can step onto any tee box and take a rip at the ball and know that I have the properly fit club in my hands that is going to perform the way that I need it to.  This club head with the 70g shaft just feels super solid.  I will be keeping the Anser in my bag for the 2013 season for sure.

LOOK
I know that I have already spoken about the look of the club previously, but I can not say enough good things about it.  Other than the sick looking matte black finish, the hosel also adds to the Anser’s distinct attractiveness – and in this case, less is more.  Unlike some of the adjustable driver predecessors in the industry with large, bulky, and distracting hosels, the Anser is the exact opposite.  Compared to the D2 for example, it is hard to believe that the club is adjustable considering how discrete the hosel is.  I feel that this also truly adds to the aesthetics of the club especially, and most importantly, at address.  Trying to hit a golf ball is hard enough without having any unneeded distractions.

[attachment=1384829:023.JPG]
[attachment=1384811:014.JPG]
[attachment=1384817:018.JPG]
[attachment=1384821:019.JPG]
[attachment=1384823:020.JPG]
[attachment=1384825:021.JPG]

PERFORMANCE
I spoke previously about my improvement in regards to my launch monitor numbers with the Anser.  I have the clubhead at the standard setting which sets the face pretty much dead square.   With the Anser, I am able to work the ball pretty easily in both directions.  My preferred ball flight is a slight left to right cut.  I feel as though I am able to control the ball better with the Anser thus far.  I have hit a few draws and fades with the Anser when called for on the course, and the club performed very nicely.  So from a workability standpoint, I feel as though most mid to low handicappers should be able to work the ball either left-right or right-left without too much extra effort.

To date, the Anser is the best driver that I have hit.  With the added distance that I got, in addition to the tighter dispersion, I am highly impressed with performance overall with the club.  The X Flex Ahina has also helped to not exaggerate my misses as well.  For me, I have also found that the X Flex has eliminated my misses left.  Just like H. Haney says, the key is to eliminate the big miss, and this club has done this for me.  In my four rounds with the club, I have it 76% of my fairways.   And as we all know, golf is much easier and fun when your second shot is out of the fairway.

FEEL
The club overall feels unreal, especially when you catch one on the screws.  The club face is very hot and the ball jumps off the clubface for sure.  I feel as though the weighting of the club head and the technology that PING incorporated in the face makes the club pretty easy to hit overall.  I did notice on the range, and on the course, that the Anser does provide you with immediate feedback on the balls hit towards the heel or the toe.

As a comparison to the Anser, one could definitely get away with an off center miss far more often than not with a G20 or RBZ for example.  However, with the 70g shaft, the overall club feels very solid and gives me the impression that I have some serious mass behind each swing.   Basically when you flush one with this club, there are few out there right now that even come close from a feel standpoint.

[attachment=1384827:022.JPG]

OVERALL
We all know how fun the honeymoon period is with a new club.  It can last a few rounds or even a few weeks.  For me, the Anser is one of the best drivers that I have ever played.   It is the total package, especially the look, sound, and feel of the club.  Not to mention the fact that it added just under ten yards for me compared to my D2 with a lower spin rate and tighter dispersion.  I would have liked to see PING fabricate and create a higher quality / design headcover to showcase the Anser.  The headcover is slightly disappointing compared to how nice the club performs.  And it performs like a beast.

In the future, I am interested in possibly trying out my Anser head with some different X Flex shafts.  I think that it will also be fun to see
how my Anser stacks up against its most prominent rival this fall, the 913.

Overall, the Anser is a winner for PING.  I again want to thank WRX and PING for the opportunity and would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.



- Gunner22
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#27 Fatz

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 09:17 PM

Recently had a rep re-contact me saying Ping will be distributing tipped shafts on special orders through dealers very soon and to atay tuned.

Good news as I am willing to pay for the cheapeast shaft just to have a tip.

#28 Doc Mcstuffins

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 09:28 PM

Great reviews boys! Just received my club in the mail and can't wait to chime in! :yahoo: Stay tuned for some launch monitor stats, photos, and my findings with all the different shafts I tested. All I can say is WOW! :smilie_ping:
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#29 Gunner22

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:09 AM

View Postjoeclothing, on 15 October 2012 - 09:28 PM, said:

Great reviews boys! Just received my club in the mail and can't wait to chime in! :yahoo: Stay tuned for some launch monitor stats, photos, and my findings with all the different shafts I tested. All I can say is WOW! :smilie_ping:

Awesome
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#30 Doc Mcstuffins

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 11:18 PM

Here we go gentleman! :superman: club is finally in hand and I'll be testing it out this weekend. Can't remember a time when I've been so excited to put a new club in play.

First, hats off to Ping for putting this together and doing it right. :hi: Rather than just going off my specs, they emphasized the fitting process and I had a chance to spend over 2 hours with the regional rep John McGannon hitting every shaft combo on the planet until I finally dialed in one monster of a club. :crazy: Truth be told, thank God they went this route because the shaft I had been playing for 2+ plus years now (Tour Ad Di6) wasn't doing me any favors. In fact the first ball with the stock Fujikura Blur shaft went 20 yards further. Now, part of that obviously was the Anser head doing it's magic, but the Tour Ad seemed to float up in the air and just fall out of the sky, compared to the Blur that had a flatter trajectory with more roll out. I mean, if you can find a shaft that works for you, I can almost guarantee you won't find a better head on the market to pair it up with. Low spin heads and forgiveness are pretty much an anomaly, yet PING was able to build these two characteristics into the Anser head. :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:

Mind you, I'm a pessimist by nature and forgiveness in a driver head has never been on my radar. I tend to deviate towards smaller heads because it's what fits my eye, and have always just figured if you miss one you miss one...don't expect technology to bail you out. For me, after playing the G20 head for the last month, and now the Anser, I will never look back. During the fitting I hit the ball pretty well. There were a few shots that I knew right away I hit thin and and out on the toe, and couldn't BELIEVE carried online and almost as far as some of my best shots. This head simply allows you to get away with some stuff I couldn't have dreamed of with previous drivers. :taunt: Oh, and even though it's 460cc's it does have a smaller look profile than the G20 head. :rap:

NOW, some of you may say "Joe...of course your going to say nice things about this driver, PING had you fit on their dime". :nono: While this is true, and I do appreciate the opportunity, I as well as some of the reviewers will tell you, PING wants us to be open and honest with our findings. Obviously they are confident in how well the Anser performs and want to showcase it, but at the same time it's not doing them any favors if we sugarcoat things. If somethings a miss with the Anser I want them to know, cause as a club nut I love seeing OEM's take the feedback from tour pro's and amateurs and improve on their products.

Since I haven't had a chance to take the Anser to the course, my findings thus far are simply based on my initial fitting experience. During that time my fitter had me start out hitting the four stock offerings in a 9.5 head. Quite honestly they are all good and 99.9% of players out there will find one of these will suit them just fine. Of the four the Ahina and Blur were the best. I could play either of them. Ahina may be a little too low torque for me and the Blur was much easier to swing overall. If you need a low/low shaft the Ahina is about as good as it gets for a stock shaft. I'm neither a low or high spin guy and prefer a low/low-mid shaft. The Blur seemed to do the trick and got me some really great numbers. :superman2:
Moving on from the stock offerings we made our way onto some of the exotic shafts. I was able to hit some amazing combos. First, the Kuro Kage. A really nice shaft, but not much better than the Blur for me. I mean, if I'm going to pay for an upcharge shaft, I need to be able to justify it. :yes: From the Kuro Kage we moved onto the Graphite Design stuff. I was able to hit my favorite shaft of all time (Tour Ad Di6) back to back with the Tour Ad BB6. Between the two the BB6 won hands down. :yahoo: The BB6 had that pleasing feeling in your hands that many love about the Di series, yet spun the ball less and had a piercing flat trajectory. :man_in_love: Going forward I think you'll see a lot more of these shafts in play on the professional tours.

From the GD's we moved onto the Fujikura Speeder series shafts. Started with the 7.2 Tour Spec. Man, that thing is no joke. Instantly I knew where my bread was buttered, and that's in a 60+ gram shaft. We then moved onto the 6.2 and WOW what a great shaft! Firmer feeling than the GD's but gave me similar numbers, and out of all the offerings my dispersion was a little tighter with the Speeder. Going forward I'll be testing out these shafts in the Anser head for your viewing pleasure. :victory:

In the next few days I'll post up a few launch monitor screen shots and will go into more detail about the fitting process, and what I ended up with. I've got so much more to write about, but wanted to chime in here. For now I'll just say PING has done something special with the entire Anser line up. So impressed I had John fit me on the spot for a fairway, and hybrid with exotic shafts. YES, they are that good! :good:

Here's what my bag will look like in the coming weeks:

Anser Driver D3 45.25" 9.5.......

Anser 4 wood D4 42.5" Fujikura Tour Spec 7.2 Stiff tipped 1/2"

Anser 20deg. Hybrid UST VTS Black 85 X

S56 blue dot 4-PW Nippon Modus3 Stiff +1/4"

Ping Gorge 52/56/60 Nippon Modus3's

Ping Anser 5 Milled 34"

PING G20 8.5 Di6-X
PING G25 15* 7.3TS
Adams VTS LSP 20* 8.8TS
Titleist 712U 23*
Bridgestone J40CB
Fourteen RM12 51* 55* 59* S400

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