Ping K15 Driver
From Golf Magazine (March, 2011)
Category: Max Game-Improvement Drivers
We tested: 9.5°, 10.5°, 12° with Ping TFC 149D graphite shaft
Key Technologies: "Straight Flight Technology" positions 10 percent of the head's mass toward the heel, promoting more face rotation and a straighter ball flight. The clubface is longer toe to heel than the G15 to increase ball speed (and forgiveness) on off-center hits.
OUR TESTERS SAY: Among the top-rated drivers for feel, playability and distance; head of its class for accuracy/forgiveness.
DISTANCE: Some testers gain up to 10 to 15 yards; minimal distance loss on less than perfectly struck shots.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Straight is this driver's M.O.; bad shots are even playable; little directional loss on toe hits.
FEEL: Most like center-hit feedback; good stability across the entire face.
PLAYABILITY: Draw bias is the gold standard in the max game-improvement category, and this one delivers in spades; testers rarely lose shots to the right, the perfect antidote for the slicer.
LOOK: Massive, elongated crown inspires confidence; small visual aid on crown draws some praise.
Minority of testers find that impact is heard more than felt; a few faster swingers experience a high-spinning, ballooning flight.
From Golf Magazine (December 2010)
It's for: Max game-improvement players
Ping drivers are known to promote faster ball speed across the clubface. To that end, the K15 boasts a large face profile and high moment of inertia (MOI). K15's bread and butter, though, is to help guys rotate the clubface to a more square impact position and, subsequently, hit straighter shots. The head tries to "square up" dynamically (as you swing) due in part to a meaty, heel-side external pad along the sole.
From The Shop Blog (August 31, 2010)
Last year Ping released two new drivers, the i15for players who like to work the ball off the tee and the G15for players who wanted slightly more forgiveness and a higher launch angle for more distance.
Now, for players who simply want to cream the ball as far and as straight as possible, the company has released the K15.
When Ping's club designers and engineers, including Vice President John K. Solheim, decided to make a new super game-improvement driver, they saw that most of the clubs already on the market have closed faces. That made sense because many golfers in the market for super game-improvement drivers are slicers.
"But what we thought these players really wanted was to aim at a target and hit the ball in that direction," Solheim said. "So when we designed the K15, that's what we had in mind. Let's just create a driver that is really easy to hit straight."
The key to making that happen is Ping's Straight Flight technology, which is essentially a weight positioned near the heel of the club which encourages the face to square at impact.
"As you start to swing down, the weight wants to rotate the clubhead and close it to square," said Solheim. "The nice thing is that the K15 doesn't have a draw face or a closed head, so it really doesn't want to go past the square position. It really just wants to go back to square and stay there."
To lower the club's center of gravity and help golfers get the ball into the air more easily, the crown of the K15 was made especially thin. In some areas it is about the width of two business cards.
"We've tried other stuff, but we keep coming back to the traditional shape that's been evolving since the Ping G2 driver," Solheim said. "We've been pretty successful with that shape and haven't seen a big reason to go too far from it."
While the K15 and the G15 are both 460cc heads, the K15 will play bigger. "It's got a larger profile when you look down at it," Solheim points out. "It's face is also larger."
The K15 drivers are arriving in pro shops now in 9.5°, 10.5° and 12° lofts. They come standard with Ping proprietary TFC 149D graphite shaft for about $300, but custom shaft options are available.