Anser is Ping’s first adjustable driver, and it is much more.
Louis Oosthuizen has been playing the driver. All he did at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he finished fourth, was average 328.8 yards off the tee.
But forget him. He’s a touring pro, and most of us are amateurs. Still, we take the game very seriously and we are always looking for more distance, accuracy or both.
The Anser driver is part of a new generation of low-spin drivers. To take advantage of low spin, players need sufficient ball speed to propel the ball into the air. Without proper trajectory, low spin can mean less distance, not more.
To get the right driver with the right shaft in the hands of all golfers — young or old, fast or slow — Ping is offering a choice of four shafts at purchase. This means any player can select a shaft with the correct flex, as well as the clubhead loft, that fits his or her game.
Sure, it takes time to go through the fitting process. But Ping is betting golfers will understand the benefits of a personalized driver.
By identifying the optimum clubhead loft and shaft performance, most golfers should be able to take advantage of Ping’s low-spin entry in the driver category. With proper speed and trajectory, a low-spinning ball should fly farther in the air and produce more roll when it hits the ground. That’s why low spin off the driver has long been one of golf’s Holy Grails.
Anser lofts are 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees. The four shafts that are available without an upcharge are Ping’s proprietary TFC 800D, Aldila Phenom 50, Fujikura Blur Red 60 and Mitsubishi Diamana ‘ahina 70. MSRP for the driver is $440.
The driver is adjustable for loft – half a degree up or half degree down.
Ping also is introducing Anser fairway woods that are adjustable within the same one-half degree loft choices in either direction. Stock lofts are 14.5, 16.5 and 18.5 degrees. MSRP is $275.
The adjustable hosel on the drivers and fairway woods is the same size and weight as Ping’s normal non-adjustable hosel. This means no weight compensations were required in the clubheads, and it also means the hosels do not look obtrusive at address.
Ping is calling the Anser family its “super premium” line of clubs. Another new product, the Anser hybrid (17, 20, 23, 27), is not adjustable. MSRP is $255.
Ping’s introduction party also includes clubs without the Anser name — Tour wedges with Gorge Groove technology, an adjustable-length long version of the Nome putter (previously introduced in conventional and belly lengths) and a new women’s line of clubs called Serene (drivers, fairway woods, putters and a combo set of hybrids, irons and wedges).
The Tour wedges are extremely ambitious, providing an assortment of lofts and sole configurations. Golfers can choose among lofts of 60, 58, 56, 54, 52, 50 and 47 degrees and sole configurations of TS (Thin Sole), WS (Wide Sole) and SS (Standard Sole).
“The grooves are amazing,” said Mike Nicolette, Ping senior product designer. “We think we’ve got a process that allows us to go right up to the edge. We’re right on the (USGA) limit. We don’t have any manufacturing tolerances (for mistakes).”
Nicolette said the wedges produce “more spin with a little lower launch. The grooves kind of bite into the ball, and there is a very consistent response off the face.”
The Tour wedges have an MSRP of $140 with steel shaft and $167.50 with graphite shaft.
The Nome putter, used at conventional length by Hunter Mahan to win two tournaments in 2012, has seven inches of adjustability at belly length (39 to 46 inches) and has 10 inches of adjustability at long length (44.5 to 54.5 inches).
The long Nome costs $380.
“Our newest products continue our emphasis on custom engineering — designing technology that meets the needs of distinct player profiles,” Ping chairman and CEO John Solheim said. “Through extensive research and analysis, which includes player testing of every skill level, both men and women, we’ve advanced performance in several categories.”
Retailers are receiving the new Anser clubs in late August.