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Tour Report: Seeding week for Ping G425

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As we saw just a few weeks with the tour launch of the Titleist TSi, whenever a big OEM teases their new gear out on Tour, it’s a huge deal—especially for the gear heads. Is it better? Longer? More stable? Who is putting it in play, and on and on…

This week in Vegas (Shadow Creek CC) at the CJ Cup, it’s Ping’s turn to throw their hat in the ring with the new G425 woods. It’s just that time of year: All the heavyweights come out swinging with new ideas, and tech which hopefully results in better scores for the rest of us.

From where I sit, the Ping G410 was/is hands down the most stable brick wall of a driver on the market. If you look at the players that lean towards this profile (LST or MAX), they tend to be high-speed players (Finau, Champ, Watson, Woodland). At that speed, extra distance isn’t necessarily a priority—stability is up always front. Not to say those drivers don’t pack a punch, they are plenty long, but as a golf club built for accuracy, it sits as king of the mountain.

The big question is, “What direction did Ping go in with the G425?” My hunch is they found a way to keep the stability and crank up the distance volume even more.

As its too early to get into the tech story, I did want to get a feel for what early testing was looking like, so once again I tapped my old buddy Kenton “K.O” Oates from the Ping tour team to get the inside look.

JW: First reactions across the board…what are players saying?

KO: First, the amount of work and effort that went into this launch from everyone at Ping worldwide was simply incredible. It is hard enough to launch a full line of clubs across multiple tours across the globe under normal circumstances, and I think we can all agree 2020 has been far but normal.

In Phoenix, I think we knew from early testing results with a few of our staff players that this was going to be overall a very well-received launch this week in Vegas and across the pond in Scotland. If we needed any further fuel for the fire for this launch, look no further thann Tyrell Hatton winning at Wentworth with three new G425 metal woods the first week in play.

JW: Max vs. LST. What are guys leaning towards at first testing?

KO: Players right away loved the clean rich look of the G425 Max and LST drivers. The biggest takeaway is how forgiving these drivers are with zero sacrifices to playability or speed. Ping drivers have long been known for their stability, and the G425 takes that baton and keeps running. The coolest thing we noticed was how easy it was to control and optimize the launch and spin of the bigger super stable G425 Max and how straight the smaller, sleeker low spinning G425 flew. We will see more G425 LST in play due to its extreme forgiveness in a lower spinning package—felt like you could give a player G410 Plus forgiveness with G410 LST launch conditions.

JW: How are the reactions to the new Fairway woods?

KO: From a looks standpoint, players were generally shocked to see fairway woods and hybrids without turbulators for the first time since G25/I25 fairway woods and G30 hybrids. Along with a fresh new look, players saw nice performance gains in terms of ball speeds, launch conditions, and distance with both our G425 Max and LST fairways with the same forgiveness, playability, and stability of their G410 fairways. Both players who put G425 hybrids in play this week needed the same adjustment…more loft as it was flying too far in the standard-setting.

JW: Any fun testing stories?

KO: In previous months, both Viktor Hovland and Cameron Champ tested longer driver length options. Both players gamers are short, 44 3/4 for Hovland, to very short 44 1/4 for Champ. In the previous testing, Hovland could not control spin or right miss enough to feel comfortable gaming longer option and Cameron could not find enough stability out of his preferred LST head option at his speeds.

Right away with Hovland, 425 reduced his right miss and lowered his spin at his gamer length, it wasn’t long into the fitting he looked at us and goes, “We need to build the longer one with this head.”  So, we left Viktor both options, and over the last 10 days, it was fun to get screenshots of Trackman from Viktor as he approached and then surpassed 180 mph ball speed.

In Cameron’s case, he has wanted to play a longer shaft but to do so, he felt he needed to switch into our 410 Plus head to give him the extra forgiveness and stability. We started Cameron’s G425 testing with slightly longer options and were able to optimize his launch conditions with a 9-degree LST in the small plus setting. Tuesday, we tested his gamer, shorter length on Trackman, and course. The longer length gave him additional 10 yards of carry, 4 mph of ball speed, and was still more stable than his old gamer.

All said and done Hovland will play a driver an inch longer at 45 3/4 and Cameron will go with a 45-inch shaft.

Ping G425 woods in play this week at CJ Cup

Staff

Champ                LST Driver           Max 3w               19* Hybrid

Conners                                             LST 3w                19* Hybrid

Hatton                LST Driver           LST 3w                Max 7w

Hovland             LST Driver

Hughes               Max Driver          Max 3w               Max 5w

Munoz                Max Driver

Niemann                                           Max 3w

Oosthuizen                                       Max 3w               Max 7w

Thompson         LST Driver           Max 3w                Max 7w

Watson               LST Driver                                        Max 5w

 

 

 

 

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Delta1

    Oct 18, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    This website is not secure. Beware!

  2. matt

    Oct 16, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    do we have head size info on these… I assume the LST is less than 460?

  3. Carolyn

    Oct 16, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    Great new drivers that will give the over 110 MPH Swing that benefit of face “COR”…I think it is so funny that guys swinging up to 130 MPH or more are getting added benefits and hitting the ball 350 yards or more while the guy with the 85 MPH or less and paying $500 or more for his/her driver are only gaining a few yards if the club is adjusted right for their swing. You want to stop this horrible distance problem in Pro Golf just change the legal limit of “COR’ and within days those 350 or more drives will come back without changing current ball limits. If the face does not rebound fast enough even Bryson will be swinging out of his shoes to get 320…

    • The dude

      Oct 17, 2020 at 5:53 am

      Someone needs a box of Kleenex….

    • Clay

      Oct 19, 2020 at 1:13 pm

      I don’t really want to see any changes, but if a change was made it’s easier to change the ball because they are cheaper and everyone goes through multiple boxes over the course of a season. Telling everyone to start buying the new, legal ball would go over much better with the golfing public than telling every golfer in the world they need to buy a new $500 driver because their gamer is now illegal.

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U.S. retail golf equipment sales exceed record $1 billion mark

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This summer, golf saw a surge in business as states emerged from COVID lockdown and equipment sales is one of the areas that has been booming.

On Wednesday, Golf Datatech, an industry research firm, announced that U.S. retail golf equipment sales surpassed the $1 billion mark for the third quarter – which is the first time sales have reached $1 billion for July, August and September.

That figure also represents the second-highest quarter ($1.013 billion in Q2, 2008) of all-time, and per Golf Datatech, golf equipment sales for 2020 are up a whopping 42% over the same period in 2019.

Speaking on the incredible surge in equipment sales, John Krzynowek, Partner, Golf Datatech, LLC, said

“The story keeps getting better as golf continues to surge coming out of the shutdown, and Q3 equipment sales suggests that 2020 will likely end up positive for the entire year. Year-to-date sales for total equipment are now up 0.2% compared to 2019, and considering the size of the hole created by the shutdown in April and May this recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. While the US economy will not enjoy a ‘V Shaped Recovery’ in 2020, if golf continues on this trajectory we will be there soon.”

Per the company, the best selling items for September were golf bags at +19% and wedges at +18%, while golf shoes were +2%.

Overall, the golf club category was +0.9% for the month, with balls and gloves trending slightly lower at -2.7%. Krzynowek also revealed that rounds played was another area with surging numbers:

“These month-over-month sales records are unlike anything we’ve ever seen since Golf Datatech started tracking performance data in 1997. Our Rounds Played data also shows similar record-breaking growth over the past several months, which is a strong indication that avid golfers and newcomers alike are driving the sport to new levels right now.”

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‘Play a big driver. Why not big irons?’ – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the case for big irons. WRXer ‘2Down’ plays a Ping G410+ driver and has recently put Ping’s G710 irons in the bag, saying:

“Wondered how many play a large headed driver and play a draw or fade off the tee but when they pull an iron it’s some blade size thing so they can “work” the ball.

Recently I put G710 in the bag and answered my question for myself. They feel different for sure, but I am quickly adapting to only bringing the putter with me to the green.”

Our members have been discussing the combination in our forums.

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.

  • Itsjustagame: “Personal preference but big irons tend to have more bounce, more offset and wider soles some or all of which may not suit a particular player.”
  • Fairway14: “Driver is played from a lie with the ball sitting on a tee, irons are played from a variety of lie types.”
  • J13: “They don’t really make “big” irons for players. Most have offset low CG for high launch, and super strong lofts.”
  • LeoLeo99: “I love my big irons. G400. Best I’ve ever used.”

Entire Thread: “Play a big driver. Why not big irons?”

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What GolfWRXers are saying about using a 60+ degree wedge

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the use of 60+ degree wedges. WRXer ‘chipa’ plays a hilly course with small and hard greens and has recently ordered an off-brand 68 degree wedge to see if he can pick up 5-6 lost strokes. Our members have been commenting on the logic of using 60+ degree wedges in our forums.

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.

  • PhlashPhace: “I recently made the switch from a 58 to a 60 because I was losing strokes around the green. It took me some getting dialed in from 95-100 with the 54, but now I’m much more effective around the greens, and one of the things I didn’t anticipate was I’m much better from 95 yards with the 54 because it hits and stops rather than generating tons of spin.”
  • MPAndreassi: “My home course small, fast and sloping greens. When I play there, I carry a 64 degree wedge to help pop it up out of the thick rough around the greens, but when I play other courses I drop the 64.”
  • Fairway14: “Cleveland RTX 64* wedge. Good for 50 to 70 yard carry shots.”
  • Phil Major: “I still carry Callaway original PM Grind 64* for those shots and short side bunkers. I can’t live without my 64* wedge! You can close it a little bit to get more spins. I never need to play it open, just straight or close it.”

Entire Thread: “60+ degree wedges”

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