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A Ping G400 Max driver appears on the USGA conforming clubs list

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In 2017, Ping launched its G400 drivers, which included a standard model, a fade-biased LS Tec model and a draw-biased SF Tec driver. Now, it appears there’s another G400 version coming: a G400 Max driver.

As of Monday, Jan. 8, there’s a new Ping G400 Max driver listed on the USGA Conforming Clubs list. The drivers are listed in 9 and 10.5 degree models, and in both right and left-handed options.

The “Max” nomenclature has historically been synonymous with forgiveness for Ping, so it’s likely this is a higher MOI (moment of inertia) offering in the G400 series. While the G400 drivers measure 445cc, maybe Max in this circumstance means they will measure 460cc? That remains to be seen, but we’ll be on the lookout for more information when it’s available.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the G400 Max driver in our forums

 

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. ImaPlayah

    Jan 9, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    I might test the G400 Max but I’m happy with my LS Tec driver.

    My Current WITB:
    Ping G LS Tec 9° – Mitsubishi Kuro Kage DC TiNi 60 @ 44.75″ – X
    Ping G 5 Wood @ 16.5° – Ping Tour 65 + 1/2″ – X
    Ping G 7 Wood @ 21.5° – Ping Tour 80 – X
    Ping i200 (5-PW) – KBS Tour Stiff + 1/2″
    Ping Glide 2.0 – SS 50°/ WS 56°@ 55°/ TS 60°- Ping AWT 2.0 Wedge + 1/2″
    Ping Redwood D66 (Starshot) – 34″ – Ping PP58 (Midsize) + 5 Wraps

  2. brad

    Jan 9, 2018 at 12:31 am

    Wow …. a conforming contraption …. no thanks

  3. SK

    Jan 8, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    2017 models: Ping G400 driver standard model… fade-biased LS Tec model… draw-biased SF Tec driver.
    Should I buy one of each to cover all the ball flights?!!
    Now, it appears there’s another G400 version coming: a G400 Max driver. It may be 460cc for more MOI to compensate for off-center hits and hooks and slices?
    OMG… when will it stop !!!!!

    • Boyo

      Jan 10, 2018 at 2:30 pm

      ? I’m a club ho and I’m OK ?
      ? I search all night ?
      ? and I buy all day ?
      ? I’m a club ho and I’m OK ?

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Dustin Johnson joins LA Golf as a partner, member of board of directors

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The No. 1 golfer in the world is joining the reigning U.S. Open champion. Dustin Johnson, who put an LA Golf Prototype shaft in play at the PGA Championship, is now an LA Golf partner and member of the company’s board of directors.

As a refresher, the company, which rose from the ashes of Matrix Shafts, features a unique structure and not only offers ownership stakes to professionals but also relies heavily on the feedback of the best golfers in the world in crafting future iterations of its shafts.

Not surprisingly, DJ is switching to LA Golf’s wares in the pursuit of greater accuracy and distance, according to the company.

As we wrote for PGATour.com, when Johnson put an LAGP shaft in play at the PGA Championship, Reed Dickens, LA Golf’s CEO had this to say about Johnson’s prototype: “We custom designed a low torque shaft for Dustin for lower trajectory and have been iterating with him for a few months. We’re excited that the No. 1 player in golf trusts LA Golf enough to put our product in play for the first time at a major championship.”

Johnson himself had this to say about his testing and the prototype development

“I…have been testing the LA Golf shafts for months. I have been really impressed with how much more consistent my ball striking has been and really like the ball flight I’m seeing. I don’t swing hard often, but with the LA Golf shaft, I can really go after it and know I am going to hit the ball more consistently in the middle of the club face. My misses have also been much better…”

CEO Reed Dickens founded LA Golf in 2018 after a tenure as the founding CEO of Marucci Sports. The small-batch company boasts the distinction of being “the only shaft manufacturer where each structure is co-designed with players and built in the USA,” and it has a particular focus on building shafts that perform at the top end of the swing speed spectrum.

LA Golf counts dozens of golfers on world tours among its partners, and the company has seen an uptick recently, with more than 20 pros signing on in the past three months.

LA Golf’s board is an interesting one as well, featuring not only Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau, but TV personality Amanda Balionis, entertainer Kelley James, Duck Commander’s Willie Robertson, and Marucci Sports CEO Kurt Ainsworth as well.

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Whats in the Bag

WITB Time Machine: Tiger Woods’ 2008 U.S. Open WITB

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Driver: Nike SasQuatch Tour 460 (7.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White 83 TX

3-wood: Nike SasQuatch2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 103 TX

5-wood: Nike SasQuatch2 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 103 TX

Irons: Nike Forged Blade (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Nike Pro Combo (56 degrees), Nike SV (60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball: Nike One Platinum

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

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Sweet Spot? Triple Play? Examining the Callaway Apex combo set options

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The combo set is not a new concept, and Callaway has been doing de-facto combo sets for a number of iron generations.

However, with the Apex 21 line of irons, Callaway decided to take the combo concept to another level, making a major investment in tooling and precisely calibrating loft, life, bounce, and blending in the Apex 21 irons to allow for uniform set makeup.

For Callaway, it was a serious endeavor and a thoughtful effort at the front end to design a family of irons for ease of combination, rather than an assemblage of combinations at the back end.

“With the rise of custom fitting, we knew we wanted to go beyond just a traditional combo set. By creating dedicated models and specialized tooling, we are making the transition to combo sets a seamless experience. It shows our dedication and leadership position in irons.”

–Dave Neville, Sr. Director, Brand & Product Management

Callaway offers a “menu” of four combo sets using ingredients from the Apex iron family — Apex DCB, Apex 21, Apex Pro 21, Apex MB.

Michael Vrska, Callaway’s Director of Custom Fitting & Player Performance, says the decision to offer four sets in general and their specific makeups was arrived at after lengthy discussions with the company’s network of fitters and the R&D team, as well as a close look at past iron sales and custom fitting data.

“Working with the R&D team to understand how they thought the different AI face designs, sole configurations, specs and other design details could be best blended together started the process, but working with our National Fitters Board and other top club fitters across the country was key to creating the four sets. We then used custom sales data and additional feedback from our internal fitting team to fine tune. I’m proud of the work we did and it’s been exciting to see positive the feedback from golfers about these new fitting options.” — Michael Vrska, Callaway’s Director of Custom Fitting & Player Performance

Sweet Spot

The first of Callaway’s four combo sets is targeted toward players who need more help in the long irons, the “Sweet Spot” combo features the Apex DCB in 4 and 5-irons and Apex 21 in 6-AW. It’s designed to offer maximum distance and forgiveness in the longest irons.

Mixed

According to Callaway, the “Mixed” set player is generally a mid-handicap who struggles to hit long irons but doesn’t want to replace long irons with hybrids. The Mixed includes Apex 21 in 3 through 7-irons and Apex Pro in 8-iron through A-wedge.

Triple Play

The “Triple Play” generally appeals to a similar player as the Mixed but one with a preference for more technology and a more compact look at address in the scoring clubs. It features Apex DCB (4-5), Apex 21 (6-9) and Apex Pro (PW-AW).

Player

Offering true blades in the scoring clubs, the “Player” combo set, appropriately, is designed for the better player. Outfitted with taper tip shafts throughout, the Player set is composed of Apex Pro irons in 3-7 and Apex MB in 8-AW.

The most popular of the new Callaway combo sets, according to Neville, is the Apex Mixed. The Mixed, again, features the Apex 21 in 3 through 7-iron and the Apex Pro in 8-iron through A-wedge.

Roughly 15 percent of Callaway’s full iron set orders are for combo sets. But with the embrace of customization generally, the continued growth of custom fitting, and fitters familiarizing themselves with the new “menu” — and who is best suited for each “dish” — that percentage will grow.

Ultimately, the Callaway combo set options — and the introduction of the Apex DCB — are evidence of the company’s commitment to offering not only viable irons but an optimal set makeup for every golfer.

For more details, and answers to the questions we know WRXers want to ask, we spoke with Michael Vrska.

GolfWRX: For the combo set, how does adjusting the lofts weak or strong affect the bounce? Will it affect playability?

MV: For the Apex Pro heads in the Mixed and Triple Play sets we actually do separate tooling for those, so the lofts are adjusted independently from bounce during the design phase. For the other Apex heads in the other combo sets we need to bend to get loft dialed in, we limit that to one degree so turf interaction differences are minimized. And remember, loft and bounce changes are a one-to-one ratio. One degree stronger loft equals one degree less bounce and vice versa.

GolfWRX: For the higher handicapper, is it more effective to have short irons that launch higher and land steeper, or is there a method to bringing down trajectory?

MV: For higher handicaps with slower swing speeds, they typically don’t generate a lot of spin on their own, so yes, descent angle and peak height are optimized so the player can still carry the ball far enough and limit roll out, though spin is still a factor to that player in terms of ball flight. On the other hand, some higher handicap players swing very fast and generate a lot of spin, but controlling that spin or having consistent contact may be more of their issue. And this is a good example of why we don’t like to fit for handicap, but we strongly recommend players get fit for their club delivery and ball flight. There are many different ways to become a 19-handicap, or a 2-handicap for that matter.

GolfWRX: For players who are married to taper tip shafts like Dynamic Gold. How do those shafts work in parallel hosels?

MV: Taper tip shafts work great in parallel hosels for those that want that. We can assemble taper tip shafts in both taper and parallel hosels and there are some players who love a shaft model that is only available in a taper tip. It doesn’t work the other way though. Parallel tip shafts do not work in taper tip hosels without boring them out, which is not something we generally recommend at it can negatively impact the structural integrity of the hosel.

GolfWRX: How do you optimize spin with the higher launching faster heads? Is it addressed through descent angle?

MV: Descent angle certainly matters, but we don’t like to put too much focus on any one single factor. For every player type and iron set we look at speed, launch angle, descent angle, peak height and spin to maximize distance, with proper gapping, and also to make sure iron shots will hold the green. There is no one size fits all answer to that. It’s why we offer multiple Apex sets, multiple Apex combo sets and recommend all golfers get fit.

 

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