No matter where a golf equipment manufacturer places the center of gravity in its latest driver, one thing is true; modern driver heads aren’t very aerodynamic objects. Ping’s new G30 driver doesn’t change that, but the company’s engineers found a way to improve its aerodynamics without compromising the framework that has made Ping’s line of G-Series drivers some of the best performers in the industry.
The improved aerodynamics come in the way of turbulators, which are six ridges on the front of the G30’s crown that reduce drag forces. According to Ping, the turbulators helped Bubba Watson increase his driver club head speed 2 mph, which lead to 7 to 10 yards of extra driving distance.
“What turbulators do is give you a little bit of turbulence that makes the air stick to the surface,” said Marty Jertson, Ping’s director of product development. “Air sticking to the surface is a good thing … The air already sticks to the surface of the sole of a driver pretty well, so we don’t need turbulators there.”
Golfers who swing faster create more drag forces, so they’ll gain more club head speed from the turbulators than average golfers, who can expect gains of about 0.7 mph according to an internal Ping study. All things being equal, that equates to about 2-to-3 yards of more distance than Ping’s G25 driver. All things aren’t equal between the G25 and the G30, however, which is why golfers might be able to hit the company’s new driver a little more than 2 or 3 yards farther than the G25.
The G30 uses a new T9S titanium face, which is thinner, stronger and lighter than the company’s previous driver faces. The new material saves 4 grams of weight from the driver’s construction, which was redistributed low and rearward in the driver head to boost the G30’s moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of a club’s retention of ball speed on off-center hits. Its MOI is even higher than that of the G25, which was already the highest MOI driver on the market. The lower, more rearward center of gravity (CG) also makes the G30 about 150 rpm lower spinning than the G25 driver, according to Ping.
Moving the weight lower and more rearward has another advantage, Jertson said. The position of the weight helps the driver head swing more upward heading into impact, something that’s known as “increasing dynamic loft.” That helps golfers launch the G30 driver higher, creating more of the high-launch, low-spin conditions that can lead to more distance.
The G30 will also be available in Ping’s SF Tec model, which stands for “Straight Flight Technology.” The G30 SF Tec drivers are nearly identical to the standard models except that their face angles sit more closed at address and they have CG’s that are shifted slightly toward the heel. That helps golfers who tend to fade or slice the ball to more easily square the clubface at impact. The SF Tec driver heads are also 3 grams lighter (203 grams instead of 206 grams). Those combined changes can increase driving distance as much as 12 yards, the company claims.
The G30 drivers are available in lofts of 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees, and have a new adjustable hosel that’s the same weight and diameter as Ping’s fixed hosels. The drivers can be adjusted as much as 1-degree up or down from the driver’s printed loft and allows golfers to adjust loft incrementally as well: 0.6-degrees higher or lower from the printed loft. The stock swing weight is D3.
The G30 SF Tec drivers are available in lofts of 10 and 12 degrees. They have the same adjustable hosel as the G30 and have stock swing weight of D1.
The G30 and G30 SF Tec drivers come stock with the company’s new TFC 419D shafts, which are counterbalanced and have a stock length of 45.75 inches. They’re available in the following flexes: Soft R (53 grams), Regular (55 grams), Stiff (59 grams) and X-Stiff (63 grams).
Both the G30 and G30 SF Tec drivers carry an MSRP of $385 and are currently available for pre-order. They’ll hit stores along with the G30 fairway woods, hybrids and irons in late July.
New Ping Tour shafts
Golfers who prefer shafts that are a little shorter, heavier, stiffer and have less torque can also opt for the company’s new “Tour” shafts, which have a slightly lower balance point that creates the same D3 swing weight while being 0.5 inches shorter (45.25 inches). They also launch a little lower than the TFC 419D shafts.
The Tour shafts are not exclusive to the G30 launch, which means they’re available for all current Ping metal woods in Tour 65 and Tour 80 models, as well as a Tour 90 shaft that’s designed for hybrids.
G30 Fairway Woods
Like Ping’s G30 drivers, the G30 fairway woods have turbulators on their crown to help boost clubhead speeds through improved aerodynamics. That will lead to some distance gains, but won’t have nearly the impact on their performance as their new carpenter 475 steel faces, which are 44 percent stronger than the 17-4 steel faces used on the G25 fairway woods.
According to Jertson, the thinner, stronger faces will give the G30 fairway woods approximately 1.5-to-2 mph more ball speed than the G25 models, which along with other changes make the G30’s much more of a distance threat than their predecessors.
At address, golfers might notice that Ping made the heel height of the G30 fairway woods a bit taller, creating a little more surface area that causes the face to flex more at impact.
The new faces and improved manufacturing techniques also freed up more discretionary weight for Ping to move the CG of the G30 3 wood (14.5 degrees, 167 cubic centimeters) lower and more rearward like the G30 driver to raise its launch, lower its spin and increase forgiveness. The higher-lofted G30 5 wood (18 degrees, 151cc) and 7 wood (21 degrees, 145cc) have CG’s that are moved slightly forward to help lower their spin, which creates a more penetrating trajectory that’s less likely to “balloon.”
For the first time in a G-Series fairway wood, Ping has also made the G30’s adjustable. They use the same adjustable hosel as the G30 driver, giving them a 2-degree range of adjustability.
The G30 fairway woods come stock with Ping’s TFC 419F shaft in Soft R (63 grams), R (64 grams), S (68 grams) and X (69 grams) flexes and carry an MSRP of $275. Stock swing weight is D1.
The G30 hybrids use a new heat-treated 17-4 stainless steel face that improves strength by 19 percent, boosting the CT of the hybrids by 20 points. That will give them a little more ball speed than the G25 hybrids, and with their similar trajectory that means they’ll likely carry a few yards farther for most golfers.
There’s no turbulators due to their smaller, more aerodynamic size, but the shape of the hybrids was tweaked to include a flatter top rail and a higher heel section that gives them a more square appearance at address.
The G30 hybrids are available in lofts of 17, 19, 22, 26 and 30 degrees and use progressive CG locations that are low and rearward in the 17- and 19-degree hybrids for maximum forgiveness and peak height, and more forward in the 22-, 26- and 30-degree hybrids to create a flatter trajectory.
They come stock with Ping’s TFC 419H shaft in Soft R, R, S and X flexes and carry an MSRP of $242.50. Stock swing weight is D1.
Ping’s G30 irons have thinner faces than the company’s uber-forgiving G25 irons, but their design doesn’t follow the industry trend of making thinner, unsupported faces to create more ball speed and more distance.
“The faces are not unsupported,” Jertson said. “We want to be able to control the [flexing of our iron faces] to give our irons more consistency.”
With Ping irons, there’s almost always an effort to reposition as much weight around the perimeter of the iron as possible to create more forgiveness and the G30 irons are no exception. But first things first, Ping engineers wanted the G30 irons to fly a little farther, which isn’t an easy thing to do when the iron faces can’t be made to flex more. The company achieved its goal by giving the irons slightly longer shafts to help golfers create more clubhead speed and a higher launch angle. The longer shafts, along with the slightly stronger lofts, also provide better gapping throughout the set.
Sound like a simple fix? It is until you consider this: when you make a club longer and don’t want to increase its swing weight, you have to remove weight from the club head. And since Ping engineers didn’t want to make the G30 irons less forgiving than the G25’s, they had to do more with less and needed to execute several different design plans to accomplish their goals.
They started with slightly longer blade lengths, which are most noticeable in the 4-iron through 7-iron clubs. That gave the engineers a larger canvas that made it easier to redistribute weight around the perimeter of the irons. The G30’s were also designed with a deeper undercut that lowers their CG to boost the their MOI, which helps iron shots that are hit off-center fly closer to the distance of shots hit in the center of the face. The soles of the G30 irons are wider as well, which moved the CG of the irons a little lower and deeper to further boost MOI. The soles have their extra width positioned on the club’s trailing edge, where it is not really a factor in turf interaction.
Add up those changes and the G30’s not only fly higher than the G25 irons, but the 4 iron is about 7 yards longer, according to Ping estimates, and the 7 iron is about 3 yards longer. The MOI of the irons is also 2 percent greater from heel-to-toe and 1 percent from top-to-bottom despite the lighter head weights.
Visually, the G30 irons have less offset than the G25 irons, a change that is most noticeable from the 6 iron down. There’s also a softer elastomer badging that helps improve the feel of the irons.
The G30 irons are available in 4-PW, UW, SW and LW and have the same lofts and shaft lengths as the company’s Karsten irons. The 4 iron’s stock loft is 21 degrees, the 6 iron is 27 degrees and the PW is 45 degrees. They carry an MSRP of $110 per club with the company’s stock CFS Distance steel shafts (Soft R, R, S, X flexes) and $125 per club TFC 419i graphite shafts (Soft R, R and S flexes).
Justin Thomas WITB 2021 (October)
- Justin Thomas what’s in the bag accurate as of the CJ Cup.
Driver: Titleist TSi2 (9 degrees, B1 SureFit)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60 TX
3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Blue 85 TX
5-wood: Titleist 915 Fd (18 degrees @18.75)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X
Irons: Titleist T100 (4), Titleist 621.JT (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Raw SM7 (46-10F @47.5, 52-12F @52.5), Vokey SM8 (56-14F @57), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60T @ 60.5)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (46), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (52-60)
Putter: Scotty Cameron X5 Tour Prototype
Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour
Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord
What Adam Scott said about his new 681.AS irons
- Editor’s note: We originally filed this piece for the Equipment Report on PGATOUR.com.
Adam Scott has used the same irons — Titleist Forged 680 — for the better part of 10 years.
“When you’re old and stubborn, you like what you like,” the 41-year-old told PGATOUR.COM.
Indeed, as he has transitioned into Titleist’s latest woods and wedges, the 14-time PGA TOUR winner has remained steadfast in playing his 2003 680 irons with KBS Tour 130 X shafts.
It was interesting, then, to see Scott with a different — but very similar — set of irons in the bag ahead of THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT.
At a glance, the visually stunning irons look identically shaped to the 680s we’re used to seeing in Scott’s bag — similar large muscle pad on the rear of the club, similar hosel transition, similar generous amount of offset, similar topline. However, the irons looked substantially less worn and were stamped with 681.AS on the hosel.
What’s going on here?
Titleist declined to comment, but PGATOUR.COM caught up with Scott, who shared some details. As it turns out the new irons are the same…sort of.
Before digging into the 681.AS, we asked Scott why he doesn’t simply continue playing 680 irons, and when a set wears out, replace them with another. The answer, he said, was simple. Titleist “just ran out of original sets,” which the company stopped producing in 2005.
What to do? Scour eBay and used club stores? Frequent garage sales?
Scott indicated Titleist engineers took a different tack: They made CAD (computer-aided design) copies of his beloved 680s and CNC-machined what he called, “basically the same clubs.”
“Thanks to technology,” he said, “they’re as exact a replica as you can get, but with the way they’ve been made, I could argue it’s a more solid head with a more solid strike.
“I’ve been stuck on the 680s for a long time now,” he added. “…We’ve tried some stuff here and there. We tried bending the 620 MBs earlier this year, which I actually used at the Masters. I’ve been looking for 12 months for that new fresh set with good feel in the hands and good vibes, and we just couldn’t get there, so they took this project on.”
He continued: “It’s very nice for me that Titleist was able to do that. I know what I know. I’ve played it so long, I’m at a point where I think it’s detrimental to go searching and trying to change. I know how I play, and I know what I need to play well.”
Update: Titleist offered this statement, “This week at the PGA TOUR’s CJ CUP, Titleist Brand Ambassadors Justin Thomas and Adam Scott are each putting new sets of prototype Titleist muscle back irons in play. Feedback from the best players in the world is a cornerstone of the Titleist R&D process, and these prototype irons (621.JT and 681.AS) have been developed in collaboration with each player to better understand some key design variables such as shaping, sole design and CG placement – that ultimately may find their way into future Titleist iron development. We look forward to sharing additional updates on these prototypes as we gain feedback and learn more from each player’s experience.”
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (10/15/21): Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini
At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.
We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini
From the seller (@Hunter01): “Rare Tour Issue Odyssey Stroke Lab mini putter. From the tour van with tour crimp on hosel. 35” long with grip options available. This putter never came to retail but we’re made available to the tour in limited quantities. 329 firm.”
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini
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