Ok everyone this is a draft that i will be editing/"fluffing" a bit tomorrow but I'm throwing it out here tonight.
I think we should start this thread sooner rather than later. For those of you that haven't made your late summer trip to the local golf store thinking there will be nothing new to see you might want to give it a shot. Here in the KC metro the Ping reps are making their rounds and setting up the fitting carts with all the new G30 equipment for preorders on the late July official release. In other words the demo's are out.
///Things I've learned so far//// ////////////////////////
Things are a changin at Ping.
New releases with more adjustability
Better performance and with, in my opinion, better looks with each release. "Well done PING!" Seems as though that is the theme around here lately but that praise is pretty undeniably well deserved. Ping has a strong reputation for doing things right, sticking to their core beliefs as a company, and generally being pretty damned impressive. I hear it everywhere , believe it, yet I only have a two Ping products in my bag. That doesn't mean I don't like their product I just use whatever best fits my needs without brand consideration( as much as anyone really can). Never the less I still get excited for the next new release each time hoping the next one will be one that I can game.
New releases are awesome...mostly
New club releases, especially drivers, are about as good as it gets. Chatter,excitement, even arguments...We get pretty keyed up over it one way or another. All the way up to the release and even after for a while there is no bigger Buzz in the game of golf! Its awesome and one of my favorite things about this game. Of course everything has its downside and new equipmentreleases, as much as I love them, are no exception.
One thing we all hate with new releases,, more specifically with the implementation of new adjustability,,,is that our collections of adapters and high end shafts become scrap that must be painstakingly parted out. New adapters must be found at what seems an extreme expense and often after a long wait for their already loyal customers. The price we pay for progress I suppose but at times it would appear they aren't exactly trying to make it easier for us.
Ping it seems is addressing this, at least in part, and making the transition a little smoother. Yes the new ping adapters are different and no you cant use your old tips in the new equipment. We wanted more adjustability and now we are going to get it. But this time however I am happy to share with you that Ping will now offer components for its new clubs in the G30 line including adapters and even shafts. Shaftoids get your epoxy ready! That's right no waiting 6 months for them to be available. You can call ping customer service right now for pricing.....or read it below.
$20/pc (must be purchased in three pack so your retailer may ask you to buy all of them ...maybe not )
I cant speak for aftermarket ( which i know went up from last year) but the stock shafts very reasonable as well 30 dollar upgrade for this shaft with the club but only 60 for a second shaft in a different flex *tfc tour price
To me this is news. Tinkerers like myself are not only getting the extra adjustability and wiggle room for an ever changing poor swing, we are getting access to more options at a better price and So whether this makes you want to run right out and demo all the new Pings....I dunno. But for me its just another factor in my consideration for "whose club do I choose" and for me the options any club affords me has always been a factor.
///My First Demo/// ///////////////////////
I was able to get my hands on the G30 yesterday at a local Golfsmith. I was hitting my own Prov1x balls and using a brand new Foresight Gc2 monitor to test. *Thanks as always to my friends at GS*
THE PING G30
PING G30 9 degree head set in std for this test....with the TFC Tour 65 in Stiff *would have preferred to demo the x but they hadn't' received that option for their cart as of yet.
Pings Tour shafts come cut to a shorter length of 45.25 vs the 45.75 of the Tfcd shafts
Adjustability as you know by now is up or down +/-.6 or +/-1.0 degrees. Double the adjustability of previous models
*I will come back later and update with further images of my own
"Trekky gets Trekkier"
I once saw a video review about the Ping Anser that called the crescent alignment aid, and I quote, "Klingon-Esq". This was a reference that I recognized but could not fully appreciate. Alright, I technically appreciated, yes I watched it but I was around 8 years. Cut me some slack. Anyway as soon as I saw this club I was instantly reminded of that review and I cant deny it this time, these clubs look star trek inspired. I'm not saying it looks bad I just posing the possibility that star trek has a fan in the design department in Arizona.....anyway..back to the review
First, I really actually do like the look of this club in person. This is one, that for me, was tough to appreciate in the online shots.
The Turbulators are not nearly as pronounced as i thought they would be in seeing the sneak peek images online and elsewhere. They do, as i've heard others say, frame the ball extremely well. I'm sure that purists will probably shy away from its razorbacked appearance but that is some the price you pay for being different.
Colors are back in ping and this time its bold, blue, and awesome.The blue is really cool mixed with matte and gloss. Putting all that together this might be the best looking club from Ping in quite some time.
The 460 head seems big and friendly down by the ball. Nothing new here from the the G25. It sits nice and square just like I like it and I have always been a fan of the matte finish. One other thing the turbulators do for me visually, which is an improvment over the G25, is that they draw my focus away from the large foot print of the club. Generally I dont do well with large heads and for whatever reason my misses generally tend to get bigger as "cc's" increase. Not the case here I do feel like I have to tee it up a bit further so that i can get my usual angle of attack but other than that probably unnecessary adjustment I felt very comfortable addressing the ball.
The TFC Tour optional shaft is a metallic pewter color that look great with this head. I might prefer the blue but only slightly and because I'm starting to like louder flashier colors personally, and because it matches the head.
I base this experience on my test of the G25. The G25 for one is very loud even on the best struck shots, very firm feeling, and has a "touch" that tells you that you missed but doesn't feel abysmal like one off the hosel of a bladed iron. The G30's feel is very similar but seems softer, in my opinion, because of the lower sound. It certainly isn't muted and it is still very metalic "clack".... but it is noticeable quieter and subdued. I would say the overall sound and feel for me, a person who prefers much softer dull sounding clubs, are down from obnoxious to the tolerable. At least my ears weren't ringing.
WORTH A MENTION
Very often with all there is to talk about in a new release there are inevitably details that get left out or set aside. One luxury I have in this format is not having to care about space, how many words are in the review, or am I going to lose a reader at any given point. Basically I can blather on for ever, ie see this paragraph, and nobody can say "boo" about it.
So with that lets spend a minute on a little spoken of aspect of this new line and what is actually a noteworthy change. The new grip.
The Ping 5L - From the website
"The 5L grip features a firmer texture in the upper portion to help control direction and a softer texture in the lower
portion for enhanced feel. It is available in two versions - round for clubs with PING's Trajectory Tuning+ Technology, and ribbed for the hybrids and irons."
I actually heard this was a new after demoing the club, or I should say I confirmed that it was because going in I had no idea. Anyway I noticed it. That is probably the most important thing to takeaway because everything else I tell you about the grip is strictly subjective. I was probably three swings in when I actually took a look at the grip. . Usually I have a hard time with demo clubs because I normally use mid sized grips and secondly because they are usually dirty, cheap, and impossible to hold on to without going white knuckle on them. Yes, these demos were brand new and practically unhit giving the 5L's a definite unfair advantage but regardless of that I really liked the feel. For those of us that refuse stock grips as an option I encourage you to give the 5L a shot.
Performance of course is where it all comes together. The G25 for my swing was never ideal. It would produce spins and launch combinations outside my personal range of "acceptable loss". I would have more shots than not that would produce spins that would were too high and would have to be in lofts that were lower than I wanted to play in order to keep them in check. The G25 always produced great ballspeed with supreme accuracy and forgiveness but the spin rates where simply not acceptable.
For the G30 something changed, whether it is due to the stock Tour shaft option, the head design itself, my swing changes over the past year, or it could be something else I haven't considered. Regardless all those problems seemed to have gone away.
As I mentioned I was testing in the Stiff Tour 65 and that i would have preferred to use the X flex as that it what tends to work best for me in most setups. Even with the looser shaft i was able to keep my spins and launch very close to what i consider to be ideal.
ballspeed average 15 shots= 165 (160 low - 168 high)
Launch average 15 shots = 16.5 (14.5 -low- 17.8 high)
Spin average 15 shots = 2300 - (ranging from 1900 to 2500 top to bottom)
If i had taken the loft down to the -.6 or -1 degree setting, or had the Tour X flex, or better yet both I could have easily gotten those spin rates down to the 1900 to 2k range.These numbers are good but not far off from what I have seen from any other club I have been testing that is set up properly for my swing.
That being said the thing that was notable, but not surprising, was the the dispersion. Two 5 to 6 shot groups would have fit in a space about as big as my driveway on group dead center of the fairway and the other just left 15 yds. The rest of the shots where misses that i over turned but kept in play.. I was having a good day but head to head with my current gamer this club was tighter.
As for shape bias i think I would have to say it has one, straight, the ball started straighter and stayed straighter than probably any drive I have hit. They say the more rearward and lower COG helps to close the face and i would have to say that from what have seen that is true. My shots generally are push draws. The G30 continually produced less of a push and less of a draw . Again and Again almost right down the line ...Lot of fun to hit really. And no fear on swinging away with the large 460 footprint. Again not really a surprise considering pings performance in their G lines for accuracy.
DO TURBULATORS WORK?
The big question. I don't doubt that they do something. I have seen others test this and I do trust Pings word. But as of right now I cant say whether I was able to achieve any more club head speed with this over the G25. At least not in this test. I did not have a trackman or my sc100 . Even if I did have either of those units I don't have the capability of testing identical setups for a truly valid test anyway.
I did average 2 mph more ballspeed with the G30 over the G25 but that could be attributed to better fitting shaft and heavier head weight. I will do further testing on another day to find out more on that. FWIW they do serve as a functional alignment aid that I grew more and more fond of them as the session progressed.
///Conclusion- a positive experience ////////////////////////////////////////
To sum it up I have to say that I would consider putting this one in the bag if I got a chance to test it outdoors on the course. I'm suspect I would lose on top end distance but only marginally so, maybe 5 yds. If I scored it the way MGS does with "true distance" I don't think it would even be much of a contest combining good days and bad. So if 5yds loss meant more confidence and hitting more fairways I'm sold. I think the important thing here is that I found this club capable of producing high launch and low spins that I am looking for with very high levels of accuracy and all with better sound and feel than last years model.
So what your experience? What do you think of the new blue? How about those turbulators? Lets hear what you have to say.
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