Ping has long been one of the top club manufacturers of game-improvement clubs. Their latest innovations continue along this track as they plan to release two new sets of cavity-back irons, the G10 and i10, along with a new addition to the G-series of drivers with the G10 and G10 Draw Drivers. And that's not all: Ping is also releasing new fairway woods and hybrids to accompany the drivers and irons.
Let's take a look at Ping's latest clubs.
Ping's new game improvement irons employ a new cavity design to increase the performance of the large-headed forgiving irons. Ping engineers utilized several techniques to ensure the consistency of these irons - low toe weighting to increase the moment of inertia (MoI), a new cavity shape, and a wider sole top the list.
Ping engineers also moved the center of gravity in the club away from the face and lower in the club, producing a ball flight with a higher launch and less spin. The new cavity shape is fitted with a Custom Tuning Port (CTP) and stabilizes the hitting area for consistent ball velocity across the club face.
The final addition to these irons is the elastomer insert in the CTP, which Ping says produces a better feel and sound from the clubs. Ping hopes that these advancements will make a game-improvement iron that can appeal to a variety of golfers.
While the G10 irons are primarily game-improvement irons, the i10 irons look to be a step up for players who prefer a more blade-style club that still has the forgiveness of a cavity back. From address the irons appear to be blades with a thin topline concealing the cavity beneath. The new, smaller cavity design was engineered to create a solid feel across the club face.
Like the G10 irons, the i10s contain a Custom Tuning Port (CTP) which stabilizes the face, increasing the clubs consistency. Unlike the G10s, the i10 irons have a center of gravity closer to the face allowing a lower, more piercing ball flight. While the i10 irons appear to be superior players' irons, they have enough "performance enhancers" to help the capable mid-handicapper as well.
G10 Driver and G10 Draw Driver
The G-series drivers continue for Ping and these two models appear to be following the same mold as the previous models, Ping's G5. Both with 460cc bodies, Ping follows suit of other major club manufacturers using a taller face and deeper crown to produce a higher moment-of inertia (MOI). Although it appears only minor tweaks have been made in the creation of the G10 drivers, Ping's worldwide tour staff, including Chris DiMarco and Angel Cabrera, have so far enjoyed the small changes.
The G10 Draw Driver is Ping's answer to TaylorMade's r7 Draw driver. Like TaylorMade's version, the G10 Draw Driver uses heel weighting to produce a right-to-left ball flight. Perhaps John Solheim, Ping's Vice President of Engineering, sums up the new G10 Drivers the best: "We've engineered a lot of little improvements into the G10 driver which added up to significant performance gains."
Ping fans know the G5 was little more than a warmed over G2, and the G10 appears to be little more than a warmed over G5. While one warming over usually doesn't result in too much change, two such iterations may be enough to warrant a purchase.
G10 Fairway Woods and Hybrids
As with the G10 drivers, Ping's G10 and G10 Draw Fairway Woods have undergone some minor tweaks. One of the largest is a lower center of gravity created by a large weight pad on the sole. This allows for a higher ball velocity with reduced spin.
The G10 Hybrids are available in six lofts to allow players to replace anywhere from a 1-iron to a 6-iron. As in the drivers and fairway woods, the center of gravity is well back in the clubhead to increase launch angle, which should aid players in escaping from tough lies and to reduce spin for added distance.
New Shaft Technology
In addition to releasing new clubs, Ping has released new technology in the shaft department. With both the G10 and i10 iron sets Ping uses an Ascending Weight Technology (AWT) shaft design. The longer the clubs, the lighter the shaft will be and the shorter the clubs, the heavier the shaft will be. The aim in this design is to provide the golfer consistent weight progression with clubs and to increase clubhead speed in long irons while adding consistency and control with the short irons.
In graphite shafts, Ping is releasing the TFC 129 and 129i shafts. These are the standard shafts for the G10 Drivers and are available in numerous flexes to match each player's swing type.
Availability and Pricing
All of these products begin shipping on September 1, 2007 and stick to the usual Ping price range. The G10 Drivers will be available at $350, the fairway woods at $255, and hybrids at $150. Set pricing for the irons haven't been released as of yet but invididually the G10 and i10 irons are both available at $107.50 with steel and $135 with graphite shafts.
In the End…
Technology changes every day and club makers have to rush to keep up with the new and latest advancements. These clubs follow new advancements in golf technology.
Ping continues to assert itself as one of the leaders when it comes to golf club manufacturing. However, with such minor tweaks and no major jumps in technology Ping may have a hard time getting their existing users to upgrade. I expect that most of their marketing will be towards attracting new customers to the Ping line.