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2019 Official Forum Member Review-Ping G410 Driver

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On ‎04‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 11:13 PM, fixyurdivot said:

Ping G410 Plus Driver Review - Stage 1

Hello to all my fellow MGS’s who visit the Official Product Testers sub forum for some no-nonsense, candid Intel about all the new products that promise to rock our golf world.  For me personally, this sub forum and the product reviews written by the staff are what made MyGolfSpy my choice as the golf forum to spend time being part of.   

First off, a HUGE Thank You to MGS and PING who, along with other manufacturers, make these product testing opportunities possible!  What a fantastic way to engage us mere mortal, non-professional golfers, and get feedback from a wide cross-section of players.  Seriously, the whole “product tester” thing is crazy cool and I am both honored and excited to have been selected for the Ping G410 Driver testing!!

I would also like to give a quick shout out and Thank You to George at Desert Hills GC, Yuma, AZ for offering to do my club fitting.  When I told him the situation (being selected by MGS as a product tester), he scheduled me right in so I could get the data back for the order.  If you are ever in Yuma, AZ, play a round at Desert Hills and say hi to George and Drew - great guys doing a fantastic job running that course.

My Background

So, just who is this @fixyurdivot dude?  My name is Bill, now 58 and I started golfing about age 7 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  My Dad absolutely loved the game and introduced me to it.  A used set of junior Chi-Chi Rodriguez clubs and a plaid golf bag became the tools of my trade. On Saturdays, myself and a couple of other neighborhood friends would get dropped off at a course where we’d get lessons and then play a small par 3 until late afternoon when someone would pick us up.  A year later, I was playing in Junior Golf of America (JGA) and spending Saturday’s chewing up courses around south Florida which included Doral CC, Jackie Gleason Inverrary and Bonaventure GC.  I never won a single event but the memories are still with me.

I continued to play the game all my life – with bursts of focused effort/interest followed by periods of lackadaisical play. While in the Air Force, I once again got the bug and played quite a bit.  I shot my lowest round ever (74) at Mather AFB in Sacramento, CA.  Upon getting my Mechanical Engineering degree, my wife and I relocated to WA where I went to work for Boeing.  I soon joined a work golf league and played pretty regularly – up until the last 5 or so years of my 30 years with them when travel, workload, and responsibilities made finding time a challenge.

In 2016 I opted for early retirement and we moved to the golf capital of the world – Montana! 😀 Now I must confess that fly fishing is my #1 passion and I handle a 5 weight much better than a 5i, but golf is a really, really close second and I soon found myself playing the local courses.  Combine that with our “snowbird” travel from Nov-Mar here in Yuma, AZ, where I play 3 times a week, and my fly rods are feeling left out.

My Golf Game

My current game has been pretty steady and I typically shoot in the 80’s.  I don’t keep an official handicap, but my math has me at 13 presently.  My best official handicap (11) was in the early 90’s. Inconsistency tends to be my nemesis – shooting a 38 on one side and a 47 on the other.  Staying clear of “blow-up” holes when having a good round going is also problematic and most often it’s a drive gone OB that was the cause.  I would say iron play is my strength as is my chipping.  I have a pretty compact swing (not a huge rotation), not a really long hitter, and my typical driver ball flight is straight to slight fade.  Another challenge I have is keeping swing tempo down.  I’ve really been focusing on that the last couple of years and made BIG improvements, but I still get in trouble with that.

I find myself playing courses much smarter these days then years ago.  I lay up a bit more rather than trying to reach a par 5 in two – and to be honest, I’m still hitting as far, or further than a decade ago.  While I still take aggressive lines off the tee, particularly when I’m driving well, I pay more attention to course conditions when choosing to do so.  The “swing for the fence” mentality has slowly changed to a “manage the course” approach.  I also find the "swing easy, hit well and far" approach to work for me.

What’s in my bag?

Well, let’s just get right to it – I still play PingEye 2 irons. 😱  I purchased these new in 1988 and have been playing them ever since.  Up until last year, I gamed a Callaway Great Big Bertha, 8.5 degree driver.  What can I say; I’m German-Irish stubborn, frugal, and not easily hooked by slick marketing and bling. It was only after repeated suggestions (ok, harsh teasing) from friends, that I needed to move into the current century in golf technology, that I purchased my current Callaway Razr-Fit driver in January 2018.  I was fitted for the driver and it was among three I tested at the Kartsen Golf Facility at ASU.  I immediately saw significant improvement in driving distance, accuracy, and forgiveness – silently asking myself why the hell I did not make that upgrade years earlier. 🙄

Bill's Antique Clubs:

6i.jpg.1a25ec801e33c218d96d78bf5c6a6c0b.jpg

So, this opportunity to test PING's newest driver technology is really interesting in my case.  Having just made a logarithmic shift in driver technology, 1990 to 2014 circa, how much more could I possibly be missing?  I am hitting the Razr-Fit very well and have confidence with it.  The G410 Plus has a steep hill to climb. Will it reduce those OB score killers?  Will its selectable “draw/fade” weight option, or 8 position shaft tuning feature allow me to get more draw ball flight? Will it yield faster club head speeds and carry distance?  We shall see…. we shall see.

First Impressions

To be brutally honest, I do not find the G410 to be the sexiest looking driver.  In fact, to me, it has a Chevy Truck vs. Lamborghini look to it.  More utilitarian than posh, it has a brutish appearance that simply says “I’m ready for work”.  The black, matte finish crown has no contrasting sheen areas, no logos, and no ball alignment mark.  The “Turbulators” (small raised humps) on the crown are carried over from the G400 for improved aerodynamics – faster club head speed.  At 455 cc in size, the G410 looks pretty compact compared to many of its competitors.  This is a plus for my taste as I really dislike the “VW Bug on a stick” look.  In comparison to my current driver, which is also smaller in look for a 458cc size, the G410 gets a thumbs up.  At address, it looks great to my eye. The head cover is of nice quality and well made; sporting the PING logo and G410 designation. The graphics on the Alta CB shaft picks up the red accent on the driver head quite nicely and looks great.  

The Spec Sheet:

1953113683_PingSpecSheet.thumb.jpg.6f7d47a6e2160955de969411d20259f7.jpg

1039532598_G410top.thumb.jpg.b8aa373013b47788c1ab8904ce582f29.jpg

1409696755_G410front.jpg.531d15e93419a3265c8da59f7824672b.jpg

The sole of the driver, interestingly enough, provides a bit more glitz with the PING name in bold chrome letters along with the G410 moniker.  The leading edge of the sole has a black mirror chrome appearance which transitions into a v-shaped wear area.  The forged face is fairly nondescript having a milled finish with contrasting white and light grey groove marks.  It's as if PING is saying “it’s not the bling on the outside, but what’s under the hood that really matters”... and I'd be the first to tell you I'm good with that.

G410.jpg.23b8c2d1427b68739bcf77464c83fd63.jpg

Ping’s first “moveable weight” system for ball flight control is likewise kept demure with only a thin, red pin stripe following the arc of the weight track along the trailing edge of the head.  The weight can be moved from the center “neutral” to either a forward “fade” or rear “draw” position.  This feature is the principal difference between the "Plus" and "SFT" - the latter having a fixed periphery weight designed to prevent fade/slice ball strikes.  On the surface, these seem a bit "gimmicky" to me. I'm really curious just how this feature will affect ball flight.  I still tend to push more than pull shots and would love to see this feature work as advertised. This is something I will be evaluating and reporting on. 

 

391640770_G410adjust.jpg.99e6ed0f42fc973e668221083a615083.jpg

My Fitting

My fitting took place at the range and using the ES14 launch monitor. George had all of the available driver lofts and the four shafts.  Both my Callaway GBB and my current Callaway Razr-Fit are 8.5 degree loft.  Because I tend to still hit these pretty high, I told George I think the 9 degree would be a good baseline for me - he agreed. I started off warming up with my 6i and he used that to get some initial impressions of my swing and speed.  He suggested the Alta CB Red in stiff, standard length. I hit the first half dozen or so shots well, fairly straight, and out just past the 200 yard marker.  I then had a couple of hard pulls left.  He switched me to the regular stiffness shaft and I again hit the first handful pretty straight and to about the same distance, but with higher trajectory.  We then change from the neutral (0) to the (-) position - which changes loft from 9 to 8 degrees.  I started seeing a bit more fade and contact marks out towards the toe. We changed back to the stiff shaft and with the same (-) setting. I was back to hitting more to center, with lower trajectory.  He felt I could probably make either the regular or stiff work, but that I would likely see more accentuated pull and fade with the regular when I really lean into the shot.  I asked about the other available shafts; (Project X Even-Flow, Tour, and Alta Distanza) and he said that except for the Distanza the others were more tailored for a player with much faster swing speed. 

What's Next

OK Mr. G410 you’ve peaked my interest, but this is range time, not game time.  What are you bringing to the course?  Next up are some initial rounds with the Razr-Fit left at home – providing no emergency backup 😲.  Hopefully I can squeeze in another day at the range using their LM for some further fine tuning of the loft/lie and some head to head data against my Razr-Fit. We will then be heading back home to Montana where I have scheduled some time later this spring with a club fitter in Bozeman that has a ForeSight GC Quad launch monitor.  My plan is to repeat the comparison with my current driver, but also get ball flight data using game balls.  As the snow and frost clears, more rounds will be played ultimately seeing if PING's new “top gun” is better than my $60.00 Razr-Fit.  Stay tuned for updates and Stage 2.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Man, I've been waiting for this one! Great work out there! Fun read and I hope the initial success continues on!

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On 4/3/2019 at 1:02 AM, 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.   

292995241_hole5.jpg.478eb594118a906c9bd9e4b2cd7857e7.jpg

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.  

 Ping_stage1pic1.thumb.jpg.ed68b54382532731785a40bf9fa87f98.jpg

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.

ping_stage1.thumb.jpg.46f1cd58b63f9cb9298f3d6904745b78.jpg

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

IMG_5852.thumb.JPG.1e1d7a32112325cb9893f11ae114efd1.JPG

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.  

IMG_5876.JPG.14fe9f0605c8184733396b3a69dd3eb1.JPG

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.

ping_stage1pic6.jpg.a7cd7b64f72937df0034ce8153d4ef72.jpgping_stage1pic4.thumb.jpg.a71b4229832f328bf073adfbc5c8c659.jpg

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!

 

Pretty good old man,  "would have made a fishing hook proud"........ 😉      I still have my Ping G400 Max as I find Ping drivers hard to beat!   Looking forward to your take on this one.

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Great start fellas! @tony@CIC I think I have to come up and play one day, your course looks fantastic!

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36 minutes ago, MattF said:

Great start fellas! @tony@CIC I think I have to come up and play one day, your course looks fantastic!

Just name the day! Would love you have fellow Ohioans here - well maybe a just a  few from Michigan as well! 😎

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5 hours ago, PING Apologist #9 said:

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!

Thanks bud! That Par 5 is my nemesis - both the fairway AND the green slope towards the water. FYI all of our bunkers have soft fluffy sand except for that green side bunker. You get in there and there's no hope staying out of the water. 

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On 4/4/2019 at 1:15 AM, PING Apologist #9 said:

Man, I've been waiting for this one! Great work out there! Fun read and I hope the initial success continues on!

Thanks and likewise.  Love the trash talk/banter going on between your drivers and the fishing photo!  A Beaverhead River resident from last summer.  Now back to golf. 😉IMG_7769.thumb.JPG.adbffd57b243cb0abce3a040dbb9b8e8.JPG

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2 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

Thanks and likewise.  Love the trask talk/banter going on between your drivers and the fishing photo!  A Beaverhead River resident from last summer.  Now back to golf. 😉IMG_7769.thumb.JPG.adbffd57b243cb0abce3a040dbb9b8e8.JPG

Beauty! Damn...I need to get out and fish...😏

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2 hours ago, tony@CIC said:

Just name the day! Would love you have fellow Ohioans here - well maybe a just a  few from Michigan as well! 😎

Hmmm.

@MattF, we should plan a trip!

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8 minutes ago, jlukes said:

Well tomorrow will be a fun day.  I will be going to Club Champion to get some numbers on the G410 Plus, test out the different adjustable positions, and even try to new shafts to see how Ping's proprietary shaft holds up to the big boys.

The best part about it?  I will have a writeup in this thread about my experience - no more waiting until Stage 2 !

Testing other shafts against the Ping shafts - can't wait to see the data. 

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Nice work guys.  This is just making me want to go hit the course today even more.  Bonus credit for @PING Apologist #9 for the comic inspired cards.  This is going to be a great test!

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1 hour ago, MaxEntropy said:

Hmmm.

@MattF, we should plan a trip!

You know I'm down for a road trip!

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2 hours ago, MattF said:

You know I'm down for a road trip!

Oh and being that my daughter and SIL live in Tasmania, we can understand Aussie, mate! 😂

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6 hours ago, JohnSmalls said:

Nice work guys.  This is just making me want to go hit the course today even more.  Bonus credit for @PING Apologist #9 for the comic inspired cards.  This is going to be a great test!

What? Your clubs don't speak to you..? I hear.......      Voices.......😜

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Well tomorrow will be a fun day.  I will be going to Club Champion to get some numbers on the G410 Plus, test out the different adjustable positions, and even try to new shafts to see how Ping's proprietary shaft holds up to the big boys.
The best part about it?  I will have a writeup in this thread about my experience - no more waiting until Stage 2 !
Interesting...I have tried a few others against the Ping Tour shaft and it wins out every time. I think it was a $30 up charge, so that was a bonus. Does that come as a stock option on the 410's?

Sent from my SM-A600A using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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17 minutes ago, romeopapazulu said:

Interesting...I have tried a few others against the Ping Tour shaft and it wins out every time. I think it was a $30 up charge, so that was a bonus. Does that come as a stock option on the 410's?

Sent from my SM-A600A using MyGolfSpy mobile app
 

Yes, Ping Tour 65 and 75 are stock options 

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Great start guys. Looking forward to your progress.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Great write ups! This is one u got a close eye on. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on the 410!


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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      @SteddyGolf               Stage 1            Stage 2
      @TR1PTIK                   Stage 1            Stage 2
       

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