Ping G30 fairway woods

The new Ping G30 fairway wood.

The trend on the PGA Tour and among accomplished club players is to view a 3-wood as a secondary driver and hit it primarily off the tee.

Think about it: While players may hit a 5-wood or a hybrid on the second shot into a long par 5, how often do accomplished players need a 3-wood?

With the release of the new G30 fairway woods, Ping is trying to blend the ball speed of today's driver-alternatives with forgiveness.

"We have a club that serves as a 2-wood, or a driving fairway wood, in our Rapture," said Marty Jertson, senior design engineer at Ping. "Our goal with the G30 was basically to make it as hot as the Rapture but still provide the high launch angle and the versatility of the G-style fairway woods."

The G30 fairway woods have a chassis made from cast 17-4 stainless steel, and the hitting area has been designed with Carpenter 475 steel, a material Ping claims is 44 percent stronger. This allowed the company to make the face thinner, which increases the amount of flex created at impact, while still maintaining durability.

"The face is able to bend more," Jertson said, "so more energy is stored and is returned to the ball at a faster rate. In our testing, we're seeing about 2 mph more ball speed when compared to the G25 fairway woods."

The trampoline effect caused by the face flexing at impact is measured in Characteristic Time (CT), and Jertson said the G30 fairway woods boast a CT around 225. That's up about 65 points from the G25, the G30's predecessor. As a reference, drivers typically have a CT of around 235.

To optimize the launch angle, the center of gravity (CG) position shifts in the G30 fairway woods based on loft. The 14.5-degree 3-wood's is the lowest and farthest back, which makes it easier to get the ball in the air. The 18-degree 5-wood's is slightly higher and more forward, and the 21-degree 7-wood's is the highest and farthest forward. Typically, 5-woods and 7-woods have enough loft to get the ball airborne, so they don't need the CG to be as low and deep as a 3-wood.

All three of the G30 fairway woods feature a new 5-position adjustable hosel system that allows golfers to increase or decrease loft by up to 1 degree.

Golfers who like to sweep the ball off the turf will appreciate the more-rounded leading edge and smooth sole design in the G30, as well as the boxier shape.

While Ping touts the aerodynamic benefits of the fang-like crown “turbulators” in the G30 driver, Jertson said their addition in the G30 fairway woods primarily helps golfers frame their shots more easily.

"It's more of a visual thing," he said. "It does improve airflow and makes the flow stay more attached to the crown, but the actual benefit on clubhead speed was not to a point where we could make a claim about it. But it certainly looks cool and captures part of the G30 family."

The adjustable weight on the bottom of the club allows fitters to tinker with the club's swing weight; it is not removable by consumers.

The G30 fairway woods come standard with Ping's high-balance point TFC 419F shaft. Because more of the shaft's weight was designed higher, near the handle, Ping was able to make the G30 fairway wood heads about 3 grams heavier, which inherently makes them more stable.

The G30 fairway woods also will be available in a PVD-finished Ping Tour 65 and Tour 85 shaft.

All the G30 products are scheduled to be available in retail stores the first week of August. MSRP price for fairway woods: $275.

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