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2019 Official Forum Member Review-Ping G410 Driver

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Follow our five  testers of the G410 line as they put the first adjustable driver from PING through the paces.

 

 

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@jlukes                Stage 1                        Stage 2

@tony@CIC          Stage 1                        Stage 2

@fixyurdivot         Stage 1                        Stage 2                

@PING Apologist #9     Stage 1               Stage 2

@GolfSpy STUDque     Combined Stage

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Stage Two - Review of PING's G410 Plus Driver

Again, THANKS SO MUCH to MGS for this opportunity!  If there is a cooler golf program going on anywhere on the i-net, I haven't found it. Also a shout out and thank you to George at Desert Hills G.C. in Yuma, AZ, and Woody Spainhower (PGA) of Pureshot Golf in Bozeman, MT for their assistance.  I really appreciate it guys! 

Looks (8 out of 10 points)

As I stated in my Stage 1 review, to my eye, the G410 is very modest in appearance.  As compared to say Callaway's Epic Flash and Cobra's F9 Speedback, the G410 kind of reminds me of the Ford Bullitt Mustang - minimal pinstriping, chrome, and badging. You know, that modest looking car that pulls up alongside the hot rod and then watches the hot rod vanish in the rearview mirror.  It's not to say the G410 is dull in appearance, but that it's not among those on the rack that jumps out at you with bold colors and bling. From address, it has a very subdued silvery-black matte finish. The small raised "turbulator" ribs on the top of the crown are the only features that really stand out. I do like that, for a 455cc size head, it is a compact design and does not come close to the "turtle on a stick" look.  The matte finish has actually grown on me since switching from my Razr-Fit which has a high gloss, deep black finish.  

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The adjustable weight nests inside a slot running around the periphery and is not visible at address.  It is a clean look and well designed.  The forged face is likewise low key having typical V-shaped ball strike zone with alignment marks to each side. The modest amount of bling is on the sole plate where the chrome PING logo and G410 label are located.

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Sound & Feel (8 out of 10 points)

The G410 ranks high in both sound and feel.  Admittedly, I'm not one that is picky or pays much attention to how clubs sound.  Perhaps that simply due to the fact that I have such a limited resume of clubs played.  I find the sound of this driver to be acceptable and very similar to the handful of modern technology drivers I have tested in recent years.  At some point, I should scout out a brand/model that sounds like a sledgehammer striking a Sequoia tree and one that sounds like ball peen hammer striking a garbage can lid - so I have a good reference 🙂.  I place much more value on feel and find the G410 quite solid.  I don't notice that much difference in feel be it a slight mishit or hitting dead center.  

Range Performance (19 out of 20 points)

Much like that nondescript Mustang Bullitt, the G410 does all its talking on the track.  Those who are getting to know me on the forum know by now that I am not a golf tech junkie.  I always suspect the marketing folks as being 97% baloney.  Combine that with the frugal side of me and you have a "hard sell" - the customer the sales guy/gal would prefer to pass on.  My recent switch from a Callaway GBB Warbird (90's circa) driver to my Razr-Fit (2014 circa) driver definitely made a positive shift in my game.  But, to be totally honest, I would in no way have considered buying a PING G410 thinking it would offer improvement commensurate with the investment. 

At the range during my fitting, I was immediately seeing a difference in ball flight - a bit lower, more piercing path.  I followed this session up again with a head to head test against my Razr-Fit.  I had no doubts that the G410 was a top shelf driver.  It follows the extremely popular and highly rated G400 driver. My personal interest, and hopefully of interest to others who, like me, fall on the "show me, I'm from Missouri" side of buying decisions, is just how much better can a handful of years make in golf driver technology?

Club Smash Factor         Spin Ball Speed Club Speed  Carry Distance
           
Razr-Fit 1.47 2132 128 87 206
Driver 1.46 2203 130 89 209
  1.46 2218 131 90 211
  1.42 2394 128 90 206
  1.47 2174 132 90 213
  1.51 1978 133 88 215
  1.48 2102 130 89 213
  1.50 2096 129 90 212
  1.46 2223 130 89 210
  1.49 2138 131 90 214
  1.47 2165.8 130.2 89.2 210.9
G410 Plus 1.52 1954 137 90 222
Driver 1.51 1978 133 88 218
  1.47 2160 131 89 215
  1.43 2386 132 92 213
  1.51 1978 133 88 215
  1.44 2404 133 93 215
  1.52 1936 134 88 217
  1.51 1978 133 88 215
  1.46 2248 134 92 217
  1.50 2042 135 90 219
  1.49 2106.4 133.5 89.8 216.6

So the numbers show improvements across the board. Is an extra 6 yards of carry distance worth the price of admission?  I wish the LM had total distance as well because I suspect the more piercing ball flight increased this data point even more.  I followed this test up with a comparison at Pureshot Golf in Bozeman, MT.  Woody Spainhower is my golf fitter and recently opened this very nice facility in June 2018.  When I asked him if he would be willing to help out with this review, using his state-of-art launch monitor equipment, he said absolutely!  

Once again I chose to test the Callaway Razr-Fit to the PING G410 Plus.  I know some suggest these reviews shouldn't necessarily focus on comparing the feature club to a competitor, but for me, it really helps make the review meaningful.  I look at it this way; if I'm about to spend $500.00 on the latest technology driver, it needs to prove itself against my regular gamer. We started off with the Razr-Fit (which I hadn't hit for over two months now) and then switched to the G410. Worth noting is that we had just completed a second iron fitting exercise which lasted a good hour (more on that in another thread).  But, to be sure, I was warmed up - perhaps even working on the bottom half of my tank.  Oddly, I wasn't striking the G410 as well as I've been and Woody immediately asked what base loft and adjusted loft setting I had (9 degree nominal, set to 7.5 degree).  He noticed that my spin rate and ball apex was too low.  He adjusted it to the (+) setting, or 10 degree loft.  That change got my spin rate into a range he liked and raised my ball height.

MGS's 2019 Most Wanted Golf Swing (Don't blink or you'll miss it 😂)

Initial data with G410 as I had it set and playing it:

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Woody Spainhower at PureShot Golf (pay no attention to the man at the controls 😉)

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My standard ball flight (yeah, don't I wish 🙂)

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We also noted that the with the change in loft setting, my ball strike zone had shifted back towards center.  The last thing I asked him about was the "sliding weight system" and whether they really work. I explained that I purposely chose the Plus model for the versatility of adjustment.  Swings can/do change over time and I really like the pretty wide range of adjustability this driver offers.  We switched from my "neutral" setting to "draw" and, indeed, we saw a slight shift (lessening) of my typical left to right fade.

Shift in strike area

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On-Course Performance (40 out of 40 points)

Well, I wouldn't have anticipated it, but the G410 proved even better on the course than it did on the range.  I now have 14 rounds played using this driver and the results are very good. Both of my lowest scoring rounds in Yuma were with this club in the bag. I know it's not the reason for the scores, but in both rounds, the driver was working well. Still capable of slicing one into the canyon or duck hooking one into the creek - oh sure, absolutely.  But much like I saw with the switch from the Great Big Bertha WB to the Razr-Fit, those are much less frequent and mishits change from slices to fades and hooks to draws... these modern drivers are just much more forgiving.  I'm still making small adjustments with the club.  Most recent has been lowering my tee height slightly.  I found myself tending to hit a bit high a time or two a round and skying one straight but short. With today's ball flight analysis and loft and CG (neutral to draw) changes, I'm excited to see of even better course performance in is store!

Play it or Trade it? (18 out of 20 points)

So this is both an interesting and difficult question.  Would I choose to pay $500.00 for the relatively marginal gains in ball flight data/performance?  The answer is no.  Now if the changes were on the scale of improvement the G410 and the Razr-Fit offer to what I'd been playing for the better part of 20 years - absolutely, and this would be a 20 out of 20 score.

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Actually, that's not true.  I know exactly what I'm going to do.  It's staying in the bag and is my new gamer driver unless it starts misbehaving badly at which time the Razr-Fit will be gassed and ready to go. 

Conclusion (Final 93 out of 100 points)

The PING G410 Plus is everything as advertised.  With a nice selection of no upcharge, high end shafts, it is, IMO, a top shelf competitor.  When I was shopping for a new driver in 2018, I tested TaylorMade, Cleveland, PING, Adams, Callaway, and Titleist - both current and prior year models.  All had their pro's and con's but all did offer a significant shift in forgiveness - and most improved distance performance as well.  I settled on the used Razr-Fit mostly by chance and have been really happy playing it since January 2018.  On a whim, I stopped at a PING Demo while in Yuma, AZ and tested the G400... I hit it well and there was something about it I really liked. Had I not just purchased the RF, I would likely have pursued a G400.  When I was selected to test the G410, I was thrilled.  Everything I'd been reading suggested that this driver was an improvement over the G400 - with the added benefit of more adjustability. Based on my testing of this driver, I agree. 

Thanks for following along Spies. I hope I've done this review justice and you find the information helpful.

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Looking forward to seeing how much better the G410 is than some one their current equipment. Its great club and in some instances, the guys could benefit from the tech but most importantly getting the right fit with the shaft will make a world of a difference.

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Nice start boys 👏 I have the G400 LST in the bag and it's a beauty so I will be watching with interest to see how you all go....😁😎

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Great start boys! I’ll be clicking the subscribe button for this one. Send it!

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Great stuff so far.  @jlukes  I am surprised that the Ping G410 unseated the fitted TS2 so quickly.  I have always been under the expectation that the differences between 2 well fitted drivers would be fairly small.  I know you don't want to give away too much right now but I am curious if you saw more distance, better dispersion, or both?

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1 hour ago, blackngold_blood said:

Great stuff so far.  @jlukes  I am surprised that the Ping G410 unseated the fitted TS2 so quickly.  I have always been under the expectation that the differences between 2 well fitted drivers would be fairly small.  I know you don't want to give away too much right now but I am curious if you saw more distance, better dispersion, or both?

Mitigation of the big miss was the big factor. Flat lie angle + weight in toe on the G410 is proving to be very beneficial. 

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On ‎04‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 11:10 PM, PING Apologist #9 said:

Stage 1 placeholder

Hey Spies!!!! My stage-I is up. I hope you have a chance to check it out!!!

Digest it if willing and fire away with any questions or comments. I really didn't elaborate on my "initial impressions" so much, so reply here and I will be more than glad to answer your questions about anything about my experiences so far with this baby. Remember, I am here to help you and I want you all to have a great reading experience about it, so if there is anything I can help with, go ahead and respond here...Standing by.😎

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On ‎04‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 10:59 PM, jlukes said:

Ping G410 Plus Driver - Stage 1 Review - jlukes

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Well it has been almost 2 whole years since I participated in official MGS forum testing and I have to admit, it feels great to be back in the fold!  I have previously tested the Sun Mountain 3.5LS Stand Bag (which I still use), Evnroll ER2 putter (which I am taking to my grave with me), and Mizuno JPX 900 Tour irons (the only reason I am not still gaming these is that through fitness and lessons I increased my swing speed to the point where I needed to change shafts).  What you should notice is that I do not apply to test everything and anything, and when I do apply to test something, it is a product that I am sincerely interested in doing a thorough long-term review for.

I am going to use some of the background from previous forum reviews because a lot of that information hasn’t changed! My name is Joe and I am from Central NJ.  I have been playing golf for about 23 years (since I was 12) and I am about a 4.1 handicap at the moment.  I started hitting balls when I was much younger - my grandfather cut down an old 9 iron and 5 wood and gave them to me so I could hit balls in my backyard.  I remember my first 9 holes being when I was about 11 years old - I shot 63 with my dad.  I started playing in County tournaments when I was about 13 years old and played varsity golf in High School.  My first job when I was at the local driving range/mini golf, and all through High School I worked at golf course taking care of the carts, running bags, and eventually became the starter.  I have always enjoyed being around the game of golf in any capacity and I have found that it is truly a game for life.  My son is just over 2 and he is already addicted to the game.  I hope that he continues to see what a fun game this is and it becomes something we can bond over for years to come.

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When it comes to my golf game, I would say I have quite a few strengths.  I am a long hitter (Carry my driver > 270 yards), I have an okay wedge game, and I am a good putter.  Time is my enemy when it comes to golf; not being able to practice and play as much as I’d like (more than once a week or so) prevents me from being consistent.  I have rounds where I am pounding it off the tee, but I can’t hit a GIR, and then I have rounds where I am a little wonky off the tee, but my short game saves me.  Everything finally came together for me in November 2016 when I shot a personal best of -1 71, beating my previous best of +2 74.  I am the type of golfer that can be extremely competitive, but I also love fun, no-pressure rounds with my buddies.  A lot of the guys I golf with are not as good as me, but I do not care in the least.  I enjoy playing with all skill levels and I have no problem giving advice and helping someone with their game if asked (and only if asked).  I enjoy walking the course as much as possible and nothing frustrates me more than long rounds.  I see no reason why an average round should take over 4 hours, no matter what the golfers’ skill levels are.  

If you want to know a bit more about my swing, I have a swing overhaul thread I have been chronicling here:  

 

It has been an interesting spring as I work to keep the momentum up from my winter lesson programs and I will update that thread with updates on my swing changes as the season goes on.  But for the sake of this review, you should know that my driver swing speed is around 113-116 MPH and I play a bit of a draw.  I have an upwards angle of attack and my miss is primarily a hook.  Here is a video of my driver swing from the end of February 

 

 

For me, driver is my weapon.  I play aggressive off the tee because if there is anything that modern analytics and “strokes gained” has taught us, it is that distance is king and that taking advantage of my ability to hit it long is key to me scoring low.  I pull driver every opportunity I have.  I am no more accurate with my fairway wood or hybrid, so there is no reason for me to sacrifice distance by laying up off the tee unless a hole absolutely calls for a lay up.  I try to get on or close to all Par 5s in two, and I try to get myself as close as possible on all Par 4s so that I can be hitting a wedge into the green if the yardage dictates.

I wasn’t always a great driver of the ball.  I used to have quite a negative attack angle which resulted in low launch and high spin.  No amount of head and shaft changes (much to my dismay) could correct a bad attack angle, so in 2014 I went through a swing change and learned to hit up on my driver.  Once I got a positive angle of attack locked in, I noticed I gained 15+ yards of carry on my drives!  

I have been through quite a few drivers since high school - some were great, others were mistakes (due to lack of knowledge about fitting and purchasing on a whim)

TaylorMade 320
TaylorMade r5
TaylorMade r11
TaylorMade RBZ Tour
Cobra Amp Cell
Callaway Big Bertha Alpha (fitted)
Cobra Bio Cell+
Srixon 545
TaylorMade M1 (fitted) 
TaylorMade M2 (2017) (fitted)
Cobra F8+ (fitted)
Titleist TS2 (fitted)

When the Ping 410 Plus testing was unveiled, I knew it was a testing that I wanted to put my name in the hat for.  Ping received such outstanding reviews on their G400 line and I knew that that the G410 had to be something special in order to follow the G400.  With that being said, I have never gamed a Ping club before.  I do have a few old Ping putters, but I never really even given an extensive look to Ping Metalwoods and Irons.  Thankfully, I was selected for this great testing opportunity and I get to see what Ping is all about!

There are a number of selling points/claims that I will be keeping an eye on throughout testing:

Turbulators - do they really increase swing speed?

IMG_4022.thumb.jpg.63ffa137be4accf1bcf57cf1f3932182.jpg

Adjustability - Well the G410 Plus is the most adjustable driver Ping has ever made.  Does the weight track (3 fixed positions) actually work?

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Hosel Adjustment -  The G410 Plus features a brand new adjustable hosel from Ping, one that now includes “flat” settings.  Do they make a difference?

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I will put these three elements, as well as the general performance of the G410 Plus to the test over the coming months with the hope of providing the best information for the MGS forum.

At the time of being selected for this review, I was gaming a Titleist TS2 driver that I was fit for at Club Champion.  I truly believe that fitting is necessary to maximize what a golf club can do for a player.  I chose the TS2 during my fitting because it provided me with the best combination of distance and accuracy.  The Cobra F9 and Epic Flash SZ were longer, but I had trouble with both distance and lateral dispersions.  

When I was selected for G410+ testing, I immediately went to my local range, who happens to be a Top 100 Ping fitter, and got a basic fitting for the G410+.  Unlike other OEMs, Ping does not offer a wide selection of no-upcharge shaft options.  The only two shaft options that were really even under consideration for me were the Evenflow Black and the Ping Tour.  However, I know from past fittings that I do not get along with the Evenflow series, so it came down to the Ping Tour.  We set up the G410+ in a 9-degree head a Ping Tour 65X shaft and it was clear right away that it was the combination I would submit to Ping for testing. I asked Ping that it play 45" at a D3 swing weight.  After I received my club I tested the swing weight and length at a shop and wasn't surprised to see Ping delivered on the nose.  

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During the testing period I will be testing the G410 on the range, on the course, and on launch monitors.  While I will be touching on how the club fits me, I will try to remain focused on validating the performance claims from Ping to see if the G410 stacks up with the rest of the drivers on the market.  I want my review to be as interactive as possible, so please ask me as many questions on this testing thread and I will attempt to address them all.  You won’t have to wait for my Stage 2 to head how things are going.  All testers will be actively participating in the thread to provide updates as we go - so we can continue the conversation from day to day.

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So I mentioned that the TS2 was my gamer going into this testing, but if you are a regular on the forum, you would have noticed that as of this Stage 1 (April 3rd), I have sold my TS2.  Without divulging too much right now, my 3 range sessions and 2 rounds were enough for me to know that the G410 Plus was going to be better for me going forward.  Furthermore, I believe a good testing write-up should be about the individual club in the test and not about a club going head to head with another club.

So does the Ping G410 Plus carry the torch that was lit by the G400 series?  Early results are positive and I look forward to sharing the rest of my thoughts with the MGS community as the testing progresses.

I've watched yer damn swing vid a dozen times and I'm here to tell you that I H8U...!😜 I need just a bit of that mojo..! Nice work on this so far Bud! Can't wait to hear more!

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On ‎04‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 11:02 PM, tony@CIC said:

Stage 1 

First and foremost, thank you MGS Mods for selecting me to be an official tester for the G410 SFT.

My name is Tony, I just turned 72 and even though I started playing after I retired, I am obsessed with this game. Prior to retirement I always thought golf was a silly game – after all, how hard could it be to get that LITTLE white ball into that BIG hole. Numerous times on the way home we would pass several fairways at our Club’s golf course and on those cold, or rainy days we would invariably see someone out there playing. My son and I would laugh and talk about those crazy guys out there – what could they be doing or thinking, playing golf in the cold or rain! And then it happened for some unknown reason my wife and I decided to start playing golf. It took one game for me to catch the bug and become obsessed with the game!

 We’re fortunate to live adjacent to a combined Marina and Golf Club with an Arthur Hills 18-hole Links course in northwest Ohio. It is a picturesque course adjacent to Lake Erie, with strong headwinds and it is also a qualifying course for the U.S.Open.   

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These past few years have been a long journey. After being fit for G20’s, I took lessons from the head pro which was interesting to say the least, as he was telling me to do several things at once. It reminded me of that Einstein story of taking up golf where he threw 5 balls back at the instructor and said catch, the instructor responded I can’t do that – yes exactly!  With those lessons in the back of my mind I went off to the driving range. The irons weren’t too bad, but my drives had a beautiful slice that from an aerial view would have made a fishing hook proud.

Enter instructor 2 at a Muni. We worked on a lot of things, but he always focused on Position, Grip and Alignment.  Several lessons later: the driver had become more of a fade with a too frequent slice, the irons were ok, and the chipping was a big improvement (due to lots of practice in the backyard).  At this point my index is still in the 30’s because when the driver is working, the irons aren’t and vice versa. Exit this instructor as he decided to move to South Carolina.

I found a new instructor, who immediately recognized a couple of issues and I started working on the improvements, including spine angle and a stronger grip.  Now it’s a consistent draw. Not so bad since most of our penalty areas (aka water hazards) are on the left (remember I’m a lefty).  In the meantime, my driver evolved into a GBB with an Aldilla SR flex shaft. With lots of work at the range, reading and playing as much as possible, my index dropped last summer to a 22 and I did break 90. Oh, and as a side note I was an Official Tester for W/S C300’s – thank you Mods!

This past Fall, we got to play at our course until late November – my index did bump up slightly but only because there’s something about shivering in cold weather that’s not conducive to golf.

 Overall game evaluation 1-10 with 10 being best/most consistent

Driver = 5

Irons = 7

Wedges = 9

Putter = 6

This past Winter I spent my time reading even more and watching instructional videos and when weather allowed, a few trips to a heated driving range. Since I was working on my swing, I intentionally slowed it down to around 76-80 mph (using my SC200) to focus on accuracy. With the slower SS I was getting a much narrower dispersion.  I didn’t pay much attention to distance since it was cold, generally windy and the range was using their “winter” balls. Next step will be working on SS. 

Then the MGS Official Testing for the G410 SFT happened and I was lucky enough to be selected. My reason for applying was threefold: #1 gain more consistency resulting in a narrower dispersion, #2 distance, and #3 sound. Note: with my G20 I could tell by the sound when I had a mishit.  On our course, the first two priorities take the penalty areas out of play for me, along with the potential for higher % GIR’s.

First impression:

With the GBB and SR flex shaft as background, and a prior fitting with the Ping G and SR shaft (which I didn't buy), I ordered the driver with 10.5* loft and the Alta CB 55 shaft in SR flex which is about 10 grams lighter than the Aldilla. The G410 also came with Tour Velvet grips. I’m a big fan of MCC+4 and with my XL glove size, I decided to order it with the orange option which is their jumbo grip.  

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The driver arrived very quickly, especially given the “less than common” configuration of a lefty head and a SR shaft. The grip initially felt too large – but I did have a pair of FJ rain gloves on when I tried it. Putting one normal golf glove it felt fine. However, at some point I'll replace with the MCC+4. The head is what I expected with a satin finish on top. What was a nice surprise is how good the bottom looks with the red “streaks”.  I never noticed that in the stores.  It looks so good in the bag – I hate to put the cover over the driver.

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The head cover, however,  is good looking and a nice improvement over previous Ping covers.

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The one thing that was a slight surprise, but only because I didn’t pay attention to the online description is that the weight on the SFT is fixed. In the scheme of things that’s not a big issue for me. However, if you want a sliding weight, you’ll have to move to the G410 Plus.  

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The connector is easily adjustable, and the instructions are clear and concise. If you happen to lose the instructions – no worries the connector is clearly marked and has eight settings. Of course, the club did come with a wrench, however, I doubt I’ll be adjusting it once it gets set at the Fitter’s.

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Next steps;

Get to a fitter to set the correct loft adjustment. My guess is that it’ll be either set at neutral or .06*  configuration. While I’m at the Fitter, I’m bringing my GBB as well to do a “head to head” comparison. It’ll be my Ping vs. Callaway challenge so stay turned for that.

Additionally, with 2 lesson certificates that my wife gave me for Christmas – I’m going to use one to further improve my drives. My expectations are that the 410 SFT gets me 7-10 additional yds.  plus, a much narrower dispersion and looking for that 5 to move to at least a 7 or 8. .

Let the battle of my drivers begin!

 

Oh man tony, that opening pic is just absolutely breath-taking..! What a great write-up too! I'm very excited to hear what you have for us on stage-II! Cheers Pal!

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