Ping fans have been waiting patiently for a new driver to get their teeth into and it appears they waiting is over. Ping have unveiled their new G30 driver, complete with it's own teeth.
Whilst other companies have been launching drivers with more and more frequency, Ping, as they do, have taken their time to improve the design of the Ping G25 driver and offer an improved look and performance.
We spoke to Ping's Director of Product Development, Marty Jertson, about how Ping approached the innovation and design of the G30 driver.
We don't settle on a lot of notions out there in the industry that driver design has maxed out or at the COR limit. We challenge ourselves to make our products better and be different. We don't want to sacrifice performance for something that might be easier or more marketable, or just to create something new.
Part of the challenge in creating G30 for Jertson and his team of designers was improving on the popular G25 driver design. Since its release in late 2012, the G25 has been enjoyed by amateurs and pros such as Bubba Watson, Lee Westwood, Angel Cabrera and Hunter Mahan.
Ping engineers coordinated with developers, compiling data from consumer and Tour testing and information via PING Man - a mechanical swing robot first developed in 1976 and adeptly perfect at emulating normal human swing conditions along with crazy 150+ mph swing swing speeds - to arrive at the next generation G-series 30.
No doubt, the majority of the attention will be focused on the fins or "Tubulators" that Marty Jertson and his team have added to the crown of the new G30 driver.
The idea behind the Turbulators was to increase clubhead speed without sacrificing anything. Ping could have made the size of the head smaller, allowing it to travel through the air faster, but that wouldn't offer the MOI or forgiveness of a larger head. Ping could have made the G30 longer in length, creating a larger swing path or arc and thus more speed. However, that would result in more dispersion and less control.
Ping say the six Turbulators provide measurable improvements that have reduced drag on the driver, which helps to increase clubhead speed for even more distance. Crucially, they don't believe it sacrifices forgiveness or performance.
John A. Solheim, Ping Chairman & CEO, said:
The turbulators are really exciting. Wind-tunnel testing verified with clarity the role they play in reducing drag on the driver head, but its real benefit was confirmed through our player testing. When Bubba Watson first tested the turbulators, he picked up two miles per hour in clubhead speed and four miles per hour in ball speed, which meant 10 more yards for him.
Among Bubba's crazy-long numbers, which included a total distance of 362 yards, was his hang time. His G30 drive stayed in the air for 7.5 seconds. How long is that? The longest average hang time on the PGA Tour last season was 6.9 seconds. Bubba's first test with the G30 driver stayed in the air nearly 10% longer than the best average on Tour.
Bubba says it's down to the new "speed bumps". Ping like to call them Turbulators.
Ping have also updated the G30 with a new higher strength, lighter T9S titanium face. The new design has saved four grams from the face and allowed Ping to better position the G30’s Centre of Gravity lower and farther back than the G25 for increased Moment of Intertia and more club forgiveness.
CG position and perimeter weighting have been further enhanced with the G30’s sole louvered thin walls that stabilize sound and have also saved weight.
Whilst Ping were cautious about entering into adjustability, concerned the weight of an custom hosel would negatively impact the performance of a driver, the G30 is now the company's fourth adjustable driver. Following on from the Anser, G25 and i25 drivers, the G30 now offers even more adjustability.
Where previous Ping drivers offered +/- 0.5 degrees of loft change, the G30 offers double the adjustability. The Trajectory Turning Plus mean players can now choose from five loft settings on either of the 9 or 10.5 degree clubheads: minus 1.0°, minus 0.6°, standard, plus 0.6° and plus 1.0° giving players 2 full degrees of adjustability.
Before you ask, the geometry of the sleeve, sitting at 72 degrees, meant 0.6 degrees was the nature in-between loft of the adjustability hosel.
The hosel itself is exactly the same mass and diameter as Ping's models with fixed-hosel so the designers have not faced negative impacts on centre of gravity position with more mass in the hosel area.
As well a standard 9-degree and 10.5-degree model, Ping have designed a 12-degree G30 SF Tec, or Straight Flight, model. The higher lofted SF Tec clubhead is based on the design of the Ping K15 driver and features a lighter swing weight and more heel weighting, designed to specifically produce a straight ball flight.
If you are familiar with Ping woods, you will know how much time and effort they invest in their shafts. Evident by their recent TFC and PWR shafts, Jertson and his team in the Ping R&D department look for the perfect shaft to match and enhance the performance of the clubhead.
For the G30, Ping have paired the driver with their own in-house Tour 65 or Tour 80 shaft that features a lower trajectory, even more added control, along with a premium Tour silver PVD finish look and feel and will have you swinging stronger and straighter than ever. A new TFC 419D high-balance point shaft is also available with the CG closer to the grip end to increase ball speed and MOI.