ClubTest 2016: Ping G Driver
PING G DRIVER
CATEGORY: Game Improvement Drivers
WE TESTED: 9° (adjusts 8° to 10°), 10.5° (adjusts 9.5° to 11.5°) with Ping Alta 55 graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The aerodynamic design reduces drag during the swing by 37 percent compared with the G30.
DISTANCE: A boomer, baby -- and it doesn't really matter where you catch it; big carry numbers with drives that launch high and stay there; super consistent -- a high-ceiling club with a high floor to match -- what more could you want?
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: The best -- maybe ever; so straight it's almost boring; the entire face is the sweet spot, and heel/toe misses are basically absolved.
FEEL: A long, light club that still manages impressive balance; Gibraltar-stable, with a slight consoling nod to misses; a great, resounding whack at impact -- like smashing a mailbox with a metal bat, as one rambunctious fan put it.
PLAYABILITY: A point-andshoot golf club -- just play it straight and smile; a natural high-flier that manages to keep its head in the wind; really doesn't ask a lot of its operator, and it's as lowstress as a driver can be.
LOOK: The standout matte black G looks like a tool from Batman's belt; most guys actually go for the raised turbulators, and even for the enormous footprint: it looks easy to aim and impossible to miss -- which is about right, come to think of it.
For a few, the shaft's a little long, the crown's too busy, and the soaring flight's...um... too straight. If you can deal with that, and aren't after Rube Goldberg adjustability, there's not much to complain about.
BOTTOM LINE: Is this better than the G30? Parsing out the difference is more like splitting atoms than hairs, but who cares? It's long, straight and looks mean as hell. The testers' choice for driver of the year in the Game Improvement class works for just about anybody.
HOT STIX'S TAKE: This club builds on the G30's successful formula of maximizing forgiveness, aerodynamics and feel. Very forgiving on heel/toe misses. Designed for all skill levels. Launch: Mid; Spin: Low-Mid
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MORE INFO ON THE PING G DRIVER
From GOLF.com, January 11, 2016:
Like the popular G30, Ping's new series consists of three models -- the G, G LS Tec and G SF Tec -- that come with loft adjustability (+/- 1°), a high balance point shaft, and aerodynamic ridges on the crown. The ridges combine with a more rounded transition from the face to crown plus indentations a long the back of the head, to reduce drag by 37% compared with G30. The result is faster swing speeds and up to four yards more carry.
A new crown that's 8 grams lighter allows extra mass to be placed low and rearward, which increases MOI. Compared to the G, the LS Tec spins 350 rpm less, while SF Tec has up to 9 yards of fade correction. The standard and LS Tec heads are available in 9° and 10.5° lofts while the SF Tec comes in 10° and 12° lofts. -- Michael Chwasky