In general, the larger a driver measures in size, the more forgiving it will be. On the flip side, the smaller it measures, the faster you’ll be able to swing it because it will have less drag through space. For golf club engineers, the puzzle is to design a driver that has the ultimate forgiveness, but it also needs to reduce drag, or air friction, to produce the maximum speed possible.
Speed and forgiveness often oppose each other, but Ping believes it has engineered a driver that reduces the tradeoff between them.
Ping’s new G400 drivers measure only 445 cubic centimeters — 15 cubic centimeters smaller than the now-standard 460-cubic-centimeter driver — but they’re even more forgiving than their predecessors, the G30 and G, both of which were industry leaders in forgiveness among their contemporaries. According to Ping, the company has managed 0.75 mph more club head speed and a 3 percent increase in MOI (a measure of forgiveness) with its new G400 drivers compared to its predecessors.
“We didn’t feel pressure to hit 460,” a Ping representative said. “Volume was a free variable for us… and we made it even more forgiving than the G. To be clear, this is not a Tour-only driver; it’s for everyone.”
To boost forgiveness, Ping looked to improve its Dragonfly technology, which it introduced with the G drivers. As you might remember, the Dragonfly design is highlighted by raised portions on the rear of the crown that look something like bear claws. Their overall goal is to remove weight from unwanted areas. In the G400, Ping engineers were able to eliminate even more weight from the Ti-8-1-1 crowns, and the soles, too. The result was a smaller club head that created a 15 percent reduction in drag, according to Ping, leading to the increase in club head speed.
“we’re continuing to reduce drag, which is becoming harder to do.”
You may ask: “Instead of using Ti-8-1-1 titanium, why doesn’t Ping simply use carbon fiber like everyone else if they want to lower CG?”
According to Ping, the titanium material it uses is much better for casting, and it allows the crowns to be made as thin as Ping feels is necessary. Company representatives also say that carbon fiber crowns don’t save weight as efficiently as some may think due to the welding, epoxy, and other accomodations that are necessary when using the material. Ping prides itself on the casting process — Karsten Solheim, the founder of the company, was a pioneer in casting in the golf industry — and says it has created the thinnest crown in company history with the G400 drivers.
By removing weight from where it’s not needed, Ping engineers were able to relocate it into the condensed back weight on the sole. Its copper-colored, and made of both elastomer and stainless steel. There are also tungsten weights — made of nearly pure Tungsten, according to Ping — in the driver soles that are located in different spots on the three different models for the three different trajectories they produce.
- SF Tec (10, 12 degrees): Tungsten is placed in the heel for 10-12 yards of draw bias, according to Ping.
- Standard G400 (9 and 10.5 degrees): Tungsten is placed at the extreme rearward of the sole for maximum forgiveness and wide-spread appeal.
- LS Tec (8.5 and 10 degrees): Tungtsen is placed more forward than the standard model, shifting center of gravity (CG) toward the face. This reduces spin, and encourages a penetrating flight. It also adds about 3 yards of fade bias. Ping says the G400 LS Tec is about 300 rpm lower spinning than the G LS Tec with the stock Alta CB shaft, and up to 500 rpm less spin with the Tour shaft, which 0.5 inches shorter.
The faces of the new Ping drivers are now made from T9S+ instead of the T9S material of its predecessors, they and have variable face thickness (VFT) to boost ball speeds on off-center hits. The new material is stronger and has 20 percent greater stretch, therefore, it can be made thinner and produce more ball speed at impact.
Along with performance improvements, the company has also addressed concerns about the sound of its predecessors, which produced a higher-pitched sound than golfers wanted, especially the LS Tec. With a new virtual analysis system, Ping simulated sound frequencies without actually building a prototype. Using the new tool, Ping was able to dial in the exact sound it was looking to produce with each of the driver heads. This process is revolutionary for the company, it says, which used to build prototypes and test sound on the range via headphones. Ping engineers describe the sound of the new G400 drivers as “powerful, but muted.”
Further enhancing the overall experience of the drivers, Ping engineers also worked on visual aspects of the club head to better appeal to the eye of golfers. You’ll notice Ping’s Dragonfly technology on the crown now wraps around the back edge. Ping calls this an “infinity edge.” According to Ping, this aesthetic softens the edge and is more appealing to golfers at address. The G400 drivers also have Turbulators, or raised portions on their crowns, that sit directly behind the face. They have been thickened up, and dots have been added to the back of the crown. Neither of these changes have any aerodynamic qualities, but improve the look of the drivers, according to Ping.
Another interesting aesthetic change to the Ping G400 drivers is their stock shafts, which use a special paint application that looks different at address than it does on the shelf. By using paint that refracts light in different ways, the Ping Alta CB (counter-balance) shafts have a copper color when they’re looked at fro face on, but they appear to be all black at address. Ping also offers a Tour shaft as a stock offering, which comes in two weights (65 and 80 grams) and has stiffer profile for high-speed golfers. Aftermarket shaft offerings, which carry a $75 upcharge, include the Project X HZRDUS 75 (5.5, 6.0 and 6.5-Flex), Aldila X-Torsion (R and S Flex), and Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 60. Ping’s G400 drivers will sell for $435 per club with stock shafts, and they become available on July 27.
- Ping introduces new face material with its G400 fairways, hybrids and Crossover
- Ping aims to make golf “more fun” with its new G400 irons
WATCH: Testing Cobra’s King Tec hybrid
Best wedges for a newer golfer? – GolfWRXers discuss
In our forums, our members have been talking wedges. WRXer ‘Luckydutch’ is new to the sport and is uncertain as to how to approach choosing his wedges, kicking off the thread, saying:
“I’ve just treated myself to a set of improvement irons running 5-GW. The GW is a 48 degree, so it occurs to me that I now need to think about wedges. What’s the conventional wisdom when it comes to buying wedges as a relatively new golfer? I can’t imagine there’s huge value in getting fitted since I wouldn’t have a clue what grinds etc. I like.
Do I go for just one chipping wedge to begin with then add to it over time? Or am I better off getting a set now? I suppose the advantage of buying one is it saves me some money in the short term. The disadvantage being I’m never going to learn how to use a 60 degree if I don’t get one, right?”
And our members have been sharing their thoughts and suggestions 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.
- iknowbagu: “KISS – Keep it simple, stupid. This really should apply to all of us, but it holds especially true for beginners. Find something you like the looks/feel of, and then get matching. That could be 52/58, 52/56/60, 54/60, whatever. Over time you’ll learn what you like, what you don’t, etc., and you can mix and match from there. But until you to a point where you are very specific with your wants/needs, there is no need to reinvent the wheel here. Only technical thing you really need to know is that bounce is your friend.”
- rjdivis: “I would say something like the Cleveland CBX 2 wedges would be a good place to look, or something similar. From a setup standpoint, I would go with either a 52* / 56*or just a 54. Learning your distances with the set GW will guide you on what lofts you will need. I always like to keep things simple and, as said above, stay away from the high lofted wedges. You don’t need a 58 or 60 at this time. You can always add down the road.”
- rsballer10: “If you are a beginner, I’d get a 56 (doesn’t have to be new) and learn to hit all the shots with that club. Depending on the loft of your PW you may want a 50/52, but I’d honestly keep the # of wedges to a minimum starting out. As you get better/more consistent you can add more wedges to the bag. Even to this day, I use my 54 degree for almost everything, and my 60 is a get out of jail club. If I was starting out I’d just get a 56 and dump the 60 altogether.”
- Macklessdaddy: “Local Costco and grab the Kirkland set, 52 56 60 for less than 200.”
More From The Forums
- From the Forums: New Odyssey Tri Hot putters from the RSM Classic
- Best forged game improvement irons? – GolfWRXers discuss
- ‘Best wedges (and general advice) for a terrible bunker player?’ GolfWRXers discuss
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (12/2/21): Miura Baby Blades
At GolfWRX, 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 – buying and selling equipment.
- Related: Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (12/1/21): Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport 1.5
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a set of Miura baby blades
From the seller (@Ionscicles): “Miura Baby Blades being listed. Set of 3-W, fitted with Project X 7.0 shafts. Fit with custom BB&F ferrules in black, navy, gold, white. Golf Pride MCC+4 grips. set was bent 1* strong, and 1* flat. Loft and lie due to softness of metal should be checked every season to ensure they have changed due to turf interaction.
“Being that Miura makes one of the softer irons out there, this set definitely shows wear a bit quicker than others. Has been games on and off over the last year or so, and has been a great set to me. Listing on here as my ego can’t take bagging these anymore and I definitely need to move to a more forgiving club. Despite use, clubs still have a ton of life in them. Asking $1250 OBO”
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Miura baby blades
Tiger Woods breaks down his famous ‘Nine Window’ warm-up drill
Tour Rundown: Hovland’s 3rd tour title, 2nd in Riviera Maya | Original Ko
Pat Perez and his lavish obsession with Air Jordans
Thomas Pieters WITB 2021 (October)
2021 World Wide Technology Championship: Best prop bets
Stunning St. Andrews apartment hits the market…for quite the sum of money!
‘This is my favorite game, by far’ – UFC star on his passion for golf
Symetra pro opens up on the harsh financial realities of life on Tour
The best TaylorMade drivers of all time – GolfWRXers discuss
‘Feels like we’re in body suits’ – LPGA star on strict Saudi International dress code
Jonas Blixt WITB 2021 (November)
Jonas Blixt what’s in the bag accurate as of the Sanderson Farms Championship. Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees) Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei...
Brooks Koepka’s winning WITB: The Match
Driver: Srixon ZX5 (9.5 degrees) Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70 TX (44.5 inches, tipped 1 inch) 3-wood: TaylorMade M2 Tour HL (16.5 degrees)...
Bryson DeChambeau WITB 2021: The Match
Driver: Cobra Proto (9 degrees) Shaft: LA Golf BD Prototype 60 X (45 inches) Driver 2: Cobra RAD Speed (5.5...
Davis Thompson WITB 2021 (November)
Davis Thompson what’s in the bag accurate as of the RSM Classic. Driver: Ping G410 Plus (9 degrees) Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana...
19th Hole2 weeks ago
Symetra pro opens up on the harsh financial realities of life on Tour
19th Hole3 days ago
Golf club forced to close after pigs attack golfers
19th Hole1 week ago
Bryson says Koepka’s treatment of him has been ‘disgusting’; Brooks: ‘I’ve never liked him’
Whats in the Bag2 weeks ago
Brooks Koepka WITB 2021 (Srixon)
19th Hole2 days ago
‘Don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this’ – Bryson has Eureka discovery with golf swing
19th Hole2 weeks ago
Phil Mickelson has cheeky response to Tiger’s swing video…then gets burned by his own sister
19th Hole3 weeks ago
Kenny G recounts classic Tiger Woods gambling story
19th Hole3 days ago
Viktor Hovland has hilariously understated response when asked what he does for a living