Ping G30 driver
Monday, July 7, 2014
Ping, mostly a quiet and conservative family-owned club manufacturer, is unusually enthusiastic about the official July 3 introduction of the G30 family of clubs. The family includes irons, hybrids, fairway woods and drivers.
"Very inspirational," said Marty Jertson, senior design engineer at Ping.
Perhaps such inspiration has something to do with the fact that two-time major champions Bubba Watson and Angel Cabrera have quickly switched from their G25 drivers to the new G30. Cabrera made the decision after one day of testing at the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic.
"He picked up 3 miles an hour of ball speed and more than 6 yards of distance," said Pete Samuels, Ping's director of communications.
Also in Cabrera's bag, according to Samuels, is a new G30 3-wood.
Watson, meanwhile, visited Ping headquarters in Phoenix several weeks before Greenbrier. Jertson said that Watson also saw an increase in ball speed of about 3 mph, as well as a distance increase of about 8 yards.
"It's the best he's ever hit one of our new products," Jertson said. "Everybody is excited. This is powerful stuff."
Where does this extra yardage originate? Ping would say it’s from new materials.
"We have many material innovations this year," Jertson said. "New materials allow us to move some of the weight around. For example, the face of the G30 driver is made of T9S, a titanium alloy. The 9 refers to the aluminum in the alloy. It is lighter in density and stronger in yield strength. This allowed us to save about 4 grams from the face and helped us get the CG (center of gravity) even lower and further back, compared to the G25."
The G30 project involved research and testing on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, from material studies at University of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England, to wind tunnel testing at Arizona State University.
All this research resulted in the addition of so-called “turbulators” to the crown of the G30 driver. These turbulators are a series of ridges visible on the crown of the club. The design is reminiscent of automobile turbulators located on the outside sideview mirrors of some luxury cars. The purpose is to improve aerodynamics, reduce drag and contribute to an increase in clubhead speed.
"They create kind of an angled dimple pattern, so to speak," Jertson said. "You also see them on the end of small aircraft wings, or cycling helmets, or downhill bobsledding helmets. They help keep airflow attached to the crown longer and therefore reduce drag."
What does this mean for average golfers?
"Compared to the G25," Jertson said, "the average golfer will get about three-quarters of 1 mile per hour of clubhead speed. This could result in 3 to 5 extra yards of distance.
"Furthermore, this is the most forgiving driver we've ever made. It is supercharged, if you will, to give you more clubhead speed."
Standard G30 driver lofts are 9 and 10.5 degrees. Also offered are SF (Straight Flight) Tec models with 10 or 12 degrees of loft.
The SF Tec drivers are aimed at average golfers who push, slice or cut many of their shots. These drivers feature more weight in the heel, which creates a draw bias. They also have a lighter swingweight (D1 for the SF Tec, compared with D3 for the regular G30 driver.)
The G30 driver head measures 460 cubic centimeters in volume, and the length is 45.75 inches.
New for the Ping G30 in both drivers and fairway woods is an altered hosel sleeve that allows 1 degree of loft change either up and down (a total of five settings). Previous Ping models offered half a degree of loft change.
Shafts in the G30 and the SF Tec drivers are the same. In addition to TFC standard shafts and a wide variety of custom shafts, Ping is introducing its own proprietary line of Tour shafts.
All the shafts for G30 drivers, fairway woods and hybrids are high-balance-point shafts. This means Ping engineers have removed some of the mass from the tip section. That mass has been redistributed closer to the hands, reducing the swingweight of the clubs and allowing the addition of mass to the clubheads.
The overall result, according to Jertson: "More momentum at impact and better launch conditions for golfers of all abilities."
The theme of new materials is continued in the G30 fairway woods and hybrids, both of which have stories to tell about their faces.
Lofts for G30 fairway woods are 14.5 (3-wood), 18 (5-wood) and 21 (7-wood) degrees. The faces of the fairway woods are made of super-strong Carpenter 475 steel alloy.
G30 hybrids come in lofts of 17, 19, 22, 26 and 30 degrees. Those clubs are marked 2H, 3H, 4H, 5H and 6H, respectively. Jertson talked about H900 heat treatment, resulting in greater face deflection in the hybrids. This process is designed to increase ball speed and distance.
All the G30 products are scheduled to be available in retail stores the first week of August. MSRP prices: driver $385, fairway woods $275, hybrids $242.50, irons with steel shafts $110 apiece, irons with graphite shafts $125 apiece.
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– Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the university where material studies took place, based on information provided to Golfweek.