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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.