Jan 11th, 2016
The Brand New PING G Driver
The Exclusive First Hit!!!
Words: Daniel Owen Photography: Joseph Donohue (Video & editing)
Even big cheeses at golf companies get to go on holiday sometimes. But if you’re a Solheim, and golf and engineering are in your blood, you never truly stop thinking about golf equipment. When you happen across a dragonfly on a tropical island, you or I would think “Hmmm, pretty". John Solheim, grandson of the great Karsten Solheim, thought ‘innovation'.
The new Ping G driver (no numbers after the G anymore), looks like nothing else on the market thanks to John Solheim’s dragonfly sighting. He saw the insect’s wings and marveled at how they could be so strong yet light enough to keep it in the air, with supporting beams connected together by a very thin membrane.
The crown of the G features similar supports on the outside of the head that allows the driver to have a much thinner crown. While it doesn’t sound like much, this saves eight grams of weight, a shed-load in golf club terms, making the G the lightest crowned driver Ping have ever produced. The weight can be moved lower and deeper in the head to increase the MOI of the head.
The crown retains the Turbulator design from the G30. While they looked a little strange at first (Bubba once called them “speed humps”), the runaway success of the G30 proved that they help you hit the ball further. The idea is that that they disturb the airflow of the head to help you swing the golf club faster. Ping’s studies show on average a one mile per hour quicker swing speed when Turbulator’s are added to a club head – good for between three to five more yards of distance.
Brand new to the G Driver though is the Vortec. In car terms it would be a spoiler, and it reduces turbulence behind the head, again helping increase club head speed and stability. Ping have also used heavier heads, and counterbalanced shafts that feature more weight towards the grip, as another way to increase club head speed. With more mass in the head, you should be able to swing the club faster with more power.
Like the G30 there are three options in this driver: The standard G; a lower spin LS Tec (Low Spin) that has its weight moved forward for around 400RPM less spin than the standard model; and the SF TEC. The SF Tec (Straight Flight) is lighter, and features a heel-bias, making it much easier to hit straight rather than slice. Compared to similar clubs from other manufacturers, they look almost identical at address as the other Ping G drivers, they don’t make you look like a golfing invalid by making them offset, or wonky shaped. In fact, in the G30 this proved to be the biggest selling version of the year’s best selling driver (not to mention the G30 won the Best Driver Of The Year Award at the 2015 Staunchies! – Ed).
Ping’s new driver is totally unique, you couldn’t mistake it for any other brand’s equipment: It’s engineered rather than designed. But the overall shape is a bit softer than the G30 at address, and after a couple of swings we didn’t really notice any of the crazy turbulator business going on with the crown. It feels and sounds much better too. Apparently Ping worked hard on the acoustics. Consequently, it is much quieter and doesn’t have the 'hard feeling' of the G30 before it. All three models felt very forgiving, and just by eyeballing it, all we could do with the SF Tec was hit it left, exactly how this club should help. We’re not going to tell you we hit it any further than any other driver. it was six degrees Celsius the day we tried it, so we weren’t swinging anywhere near our fastest. But it was so easy to hit, and the flight with the LS Tec looked so strong, we can’t wait to try it properly as it warms up.
- Lofts 9 °& 10.5° in standard and LS Tec heads, and 10° & 12° in SF Tec head (adjustable +/- 0.6° or 1°)
- Std. Length 45.75”, D3, 206g (standard), D4, 207.5g (LS Tec), D1, 203g (SF Tec), 460cc
- Stock graphite shaft: PING Alta 55 (SR, R, S, X); Optional shafts (Std. length 45.25”): Tour 65 & Tour 80 (R, S, X)
- RRP £349