The latest woods from Ping seriously impressed our equipment guru, who’s thinking about adding them to his bag.
COST: $799 (driver); $499 (fairway).
TESTED BY: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Writer (GA Handicap 9.4).
MODELS PLAYED: G410 Plus driver with 10.5˚ loft, fitted with Project X Even Flow shaft and G410 LST 3-wood with 14.5˚ loft, with PING Alta CB Red shaft.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The look of both new G410 woods is classically PING in every way. From the shape of the heads to the now-standard Turbulators, both models scream PING at address, with the stealth-like matte black finish really appealing to my eye.
Starting with my first hit with the driver, the immediate takeaway was the sound. The G410 Plus driver is loud but certainly not offensively so. The feel is a powerful one and the fairway wood matches up nicely in this regard to offer consistency throughout the bag.
From a performance aspect, the forgiveness of the driver stood out (it is a PING driver after all), as well as the ball flight from both the driver and fairway wood, which was penetrating and long.
HOW THEY PERFORMED: I have always been a fan of PING’s drivers and fairways and the new models certainly didn’t disappoint.
My first outing during my testing came on the course without having hit either club before standing on the first tee. A powerfully-flighted 3-wood straight down the middle of the fairway on the first hole suggested I was in for an enjoyable round despite the less than ideal preparation.
As time went on and I managed to get some time on the range to tinker with the settings ... The G410 driver showed why PING’s approach to taking its time with new technologies works.
The G410 Plus is the company’s first driver with adjustable weight and the system is easy to use and affects forgiveness less than admittedly more friendly systems. Ping has arguably waited so long to jump into the adjustability market to maintain its reputation for delivering forgiveness and the new model blends both very well.
Moving the 16 gram weight across the three settings delivered noticeable ball-flight changes, while placing the weight in the toe also improved the feel for me, with my typical strike in the toe better aligning with the centre of gravity.
Once I had my preferred settings in place, the driver was outstandingly consistent and offered a great combination of minimising the distance and accuracy loss of mis-hits while also producing long drives.
The launch of the driver was in the perfect window for me, while the spin was certainly lower than my current driver, which resulted in a nice penetrating flight that was terrific in the wind.
The G410 can turn the ball both ways when required, but the slight fade I achieved time and again with the loft set open and weight in the fade position was perfect for me to aim down the left side of the fairway and rarely, if ever, miss left.
Compared to my own driver, the G410 Plus was consistently a little longer as well – and although I typically prefer a more muted sound off the face, I was used to the louder PING in a very short time.
Like the driver, the G410 LST fairway’s flight was a true standout. The LST version possesses a centre of gravity that is lower and more forward for a lower launch and spin that really suited my game.
In the same way that adjusting the driver took its performance to another level, the flat lie angle setting of the fairway wood gave it an even better look at address – and helped to eliminate my dreaded left miss, too.
The consistency of the G410 3-wood was another of its highlight features. Hitting multiple tee shots or approaches into par-5s during my testing meant a very short walk between shots to collect various golf balls. This resulted in a real confidence boost when taking the headcover off and taking on a par-5 in two.
Again, the sound was a little higher pitched than I am used to, which wasn’t worse or better than my own 3-wood, just different.
The engineers at PING had a big job ahead of them to best the previous G400 – and the addition of the movable weight to allow more fine-tuning during fitting of the G410 Plus, while maintaining the forgiveness PING drivers are known for, certainly does so in my opinion.
Having rarely changed 3-woods during my golfing life, it generally takes something special to get me to take notice and consider a change. The G410 LST certainly did just that. The flight and consistency constantly impressed me, while the look at address was as close to perfect as it gets for me.
FACTS AND FIGURES
SUITABILITY: With the adjustable weight technology, various lofts and shafts offered as well as the SFT version for players fighting a slice, there is a G410 driver for every golfer. Similarly, with multiple head options, lofts, shafts and an adjustable hosel, the G410 fairway wood is capable of being fitted to suit any level of player.
SHAFTS: ING Alta CB Red shafts come as standard, with PING Tour, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange and Project X Evenflow Black shafts also offered at no upcharge.
LEFT-HANDED: All l G410 woods are offered in left-handed.
PING SAYS: Significant advancements in custom fitting while delivering golfers the highest moment of inertia’s (MOI) and ball speeds available highlight the PING G410 Plus and G410 SFT drivers.
In the G410 Plus model, three positions (Draw, Neutral, and Fade) for the ultra-high density tungsten back weight shift the centre of gravity (CG) location. By positioning the weight on the extreme boundary of the clubhead, the moment of inertia increases compared to the original G400 driver.
The G410 SFT (Straight Flight Technology) model is engineered with a fixed ultra-high density tungsten weight positioned on the clubhead’s extreme perimeter and 50 percent more heel-side CG than its predecessor to ensure straighter ball flights.
A new “creased crown” design provides stiffening properties and combines with patented ‘Dragonfly’ technology on the inside to create an ultra-thin crown structure, which saves weight for optimizing the CG location and increasing forgiveness. Together with more aggressive and efficient ‘Turbulator’ technology, the 455cc head’s crown design provides a clean, powerful and faster look at address while making alignment nearly effortless.
The unique forging and patented heat-treatment process of the T9S+ face powers a thinner, hotter impact area that is precision machined to elevate ball speed across the entire face for more flexing and faster ball speeds.
Powered by a forged, maraging-steel face, the G410 fairway woods are engineered to launch the ball easily and deliver faster ball speeds on a penetrating trajectory that maximizes distance. PING engineers positioned the low-back CG slightly forward of the G400 model to deliver more energy from the shallower face while providing greater stability.
For more information and full specifications, visit www.americangolf.com.au