Who is behind the clubs that we play and what motivates them when they are designing a new range of clubs?
I caught up with the designer of the Ping G25 driver, fairway, hybird and irons, Marty Jertson, at the 2013 PGA Show in Orlando. I asked him what Ping were trying to achieve with the G25 range of clubs, the differences between the G25s and other Ping models and what he learned from playing in successive USPGA Championships.
What I found most interesting about my chat with Marty was his experiences in the USPGA Championship. He is actually not the only current tour player on Ping's design staff, as Mike Nicolette is a former PGA Tour player who also tees it up occasionally on the Champions Tour.
Like the reviewers at Golfalot, Marty is a keen golfer at heart and to truly evaluate equipment you have to hit it in the heat of battle. It has to be used in anger and you have to trust that the club will do the job you want it to. Clearly Marty walks the talk with his clubs and the Ping Gorge wedges are obviously one of the highest spinning in the market and it was interesting to see that even he was surprised by how they compared to the other wedges.
The other key insight for me was how driving was the key to success at the highest level. Being able to hit it long and straight from the tee is one of the biggest factors in success in golf through the years.
Greg Norman was renowned for his prowess with the driver in the '80s and to an extent there is no-one these days, apart from maybe Rory in 2012, who stands out from the crowd for both distance and accuracy. It was heartening to hear that even in these days of even more forgiving and powerful drivers that this is still a factor.
Keep practising your chipping and putting, but remember to work on the big dog too!