Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ping_rapturev2 Starting at the Barclays Championship, Ping's new 460cc Rapture V2 driver (right) started showing up on the driving range.
While Ping's original Rapture featured a composite head made of titanium and carbon, the V2, which will replace the original, features an all-titanium head. The head of the V2 also slopes slightly from front to back to move the center of gravity lower and further away from the face.
According to Matt Rollins, a tour representative for Ping, "They put two big tungsten weight pads on the heel and toe. In essence, they are trying to help guys launch it a shade higher, but this driver will spin the ball 200-300 RPMs less."
Rollins says that the flatter launch angle and lower spin rate should help produce drives that roll more after hitting the fairway.  That should make the Rapture V2 appealing to players who produce a lot of spin when they hit drives and tend to lose distance when the ball balloons. "If you don't you hit it high enough, you're never going to maximize what this driver can do," he said.
As you might suspect from a driver that is designed for heavy hitters, the Rapture V2 has a slight fade bias, which makes it easier to work the ball from left to right. "Out here on the PGA Tour, there aren't many guys who want to miss the ball hard left," Rollins said. "So for guys that were already playing the Rapture, like Chris DiMarco or Angel Cabrera, who like to cut the ball, this is it. This is great."
Unfortunately for Ping's biggest hitter, Bubba Watson, the company has not produced a version of the Rapture V2 with a low enough loft for him to play. While the bottom of his current Rapture driver says 7°, it is actually 6.7°.
The Rapture V2 has a suggested retail price of $500 and will be available later this fall.

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