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2019 Official Forum Member Review-PING Long Game Gapping Testing/Review

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26 minutes ago, russtopherb said:

Loving the details so far in the fitting reviews. Were there any clubs or shafts that the fitters recommended that you nodded along with but in the back of your mind you were thinking "oh boy I really don't know about this..."?

Great question, and I can honestly say yes.  It was the 6 hybrid instead of the 6 iron.  Over the years I've had no problem giving up the 4 iron for a hybrid, then more recently the 5 iron for the hybrid.  But I don't know if I was ready to hear that in regards to the 6...ha

So when I placed my iron order on my own, I went ahead and ordered a 6 iron, one reason was when you go to trade or sell most require you to have a minimum of 5 irons in the set.  So 6-P will accomplish that.   Also I figured I could always have the 6 as a backup to the hybrid.   But  guess what, the 6 is still sitting in the "extra" bag untouched.    And the 6 hybrid was the club that I got the hole in one on.   So he knew of what he was speaking, and I'm happy I went along with the recommendation. 

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On 6/25/2019 at 11:21 AM, revkev said:

2137464731_PingFitting.jpg.3ba25637bbb12998a7e717940b4094ca.jpg

 

From the second that I saw the announcement, “Ping Long Game Gapping Testing/Review”, I knew that this was not an ordinary opportunity.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed and appreciated every testing opportunity that I’ve been a part of through MGS.  But this one?  A Ping specialist sent just to fit me with properly gapped clubs between my longest iron and my Driver?  How could I lose!

 

Because of the additional step of the gapping test and the need to have it done by either a Ping area rep or certified fitter there was a lag in time between our selection and the actual fittings.  In the long run that wait will prove valuable as it allowed me to compile stats from my old set up through my shot scope system.  IMO comparing those stats, average yardage with each club as well as proximity to the hole or success rate when laying up will be the best possible comparison as to this test’s success. 

 

In the past I’ve generally used trackman sessions for such things but hitting balls into a net on trackman does not a golf score make.  Hitting a 9 wood from 172 over a trap from the left side of the fairway on an approach or threading a five wood lay up between two fairway bunkers on 17 to set up a short pitch into the green with a match on the line, that’s what we are really testing here.  It’s more than raw numbers for certain!

 

2071938122_FitterSteve.jpg.62269039c6f2958acd93f830a61f37e2.jpg

 

After some back and forth my Ping fitter, Steve Bersch, arranged to drive over from Orlando, FL and meet me at 10 AM on the Tuesday after Memorial Day at Clearwater Country Club in Clearwater, FL about half an hour from my house (nearly two hours from his).

 

895300060_dalyclearwatercc.jpg.7d02781bcfd666da299bae14dc3237ec.jpg

 

Don’t let the name fool you.  Clearwater CC is an old school family owned property originally designed in 1920 by Herbert Strong.  It is open to the public and it’s most famous “member” is John Daly who regularly plays in the Friday skins game held there each week at noon.  It was a very comfortable place to go for the fitting.  Rather than the range which was being sodded, they had Steve take me to a par 3 fairway and hit over a grove of small trees onto the range.  They also supplied us with nice clean (but slightly experienced) Pro VI’s and Pro VI x’s for test.

 

trackman.jpg.4cf8aa91d6f4b06eac567fab3fc2062a.jpg

 

Steve explained that Trackman has a feature that converts range ball flights to premium balls but he believed that the sound and feel of a similar premium ball to the one that I regularly use (Pro VIx) would yield the best possible results for accurate long game gapping.

 

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I mentioned in my Stage 1 review that I was coming off of a subpar round just two days prior to the fitting.  After stretching and hitting a few balls it was easy enough to tell that I still had that swing (it’s deserted me again at the moment BTW).  The first thing we did once I was warmed up was determine what my longest iron should be.  Steve also agreed to make recommendations on irons and Driver for me if he felt a change were in order there.  I hit 3 8 irons, 3 7 irons and 3 6 irons.  He then had me alternate between 8 and 6 for a few shots and then hit my 5 hybrid. 

 

At this point he paused and said that 6 iron was the point where I started to lose trajectory.  My distance gap was right between 7 and 6, low 140’s carry/152 total to 164 total for the 6 but my carry distance with the 6 was inconsistent and only one of the balls reached 80 feet high – the average height of my 7 and 8 irons.  My 5 hybrid was even lower still and there was very little gap between it and 6 iron, 4 hybrid was a little better but out of kilter long because of lack of spin and ball flight.  I went from 168 average total with 5 hybrid to 188 with 4 hybrid, something that I have been acutely aware of when playing.

 

Armed with that data and having already noted my shallow AoA coupled with my average swing speed, (81 MPH with 6 iron) Steve handed me a 9 wood to test as a substitute for my 5 hybrid - bang, zoom, problem solved there, 2 balls that flew 80 feet high and carried 168 yards, 175 with the run out.  7 wood quickly followed with the same result approximately 12 yards farther.  We then tried 6 hybrid to replace the 6 iron but there was not really much difference between the 2.  I ended up with the hybrid anyway but that will be a battle to see which club wins out.  I seem to hit the 6 iron pretty well on the course for real to be honest and the shot scope data bears me out.

 

The last part of the Ping gapping test was to determine what wood would be my longest club before driver.  I hit my current 3 wood very well off the tee and almost passably off the turf.  But in the test with trees to carry it was easy to see that I didn’t hit it high enough.  The trees really helped the testing process as I knew that there was an issue if I failed to carry them with a club.  We tried a Ping G410 3 wood turned up first but the best I could muster there was 184 yards of carry and a 40 foot apex – it ran out pretty well but that’s not what we were looking for.  So out came the 5 wood which I hit great.  Apex of 75 feet, carry right around 190, run out to 205 plus.

 

As long as we waited for the fitting the clubs arrived in a just a few days, exactly a week after the test in fact.  Below are comparisons between what I had and what I was fit for.

 

213027904_boxedclubs.jpg.53a673c4a08de9e48aab91d22e22f2eb.jpg

 341682536_5wood.jpg.fc0b4fef71b671373769d4ef8574ef24.jpg

The G410 5 wood with an R flex Alta CB 65 red shaft (on all three woods) set to neutral (on all three woods) - this club replaces my 3 wood.

 

942042166_7wood.jpg.d97435efec91403f0721f2383827bbca.jpg

 

The 7 wood replaces my 4 hybrid

 

1117085218_9wood.jpg.baa2b58b2ca1ee2190fef0fe956d4f8b.jpg

 

The 9 wood replaces my 5 hybrid. 

 

Please note that the lofts are extremely strong on these clubs 17.5,20.5 and 23.5 respectively.  I got to the range two days later and have been working at it with each ever since even playing three nines and a full 18 yesterday with them in the bag.  I'm now beginning to gather the data that will form the basis of my stage 2 review.  I noted the strength of those lofts to one of the pros at my club.  He was watching me hit 7 wood and couldn't believe how far I was hitting it.  I touched 200 with it a couple of times in that session.  Below is a reading from my voice caddy device for the 5 wood off the turf during a recent range session.  I have a couple of 220 yard plus positional tee shots already with that club already according to my Shot Scope app.

 

1857554061_5woodvoicecaddy.jpg.8c0dfa957c54ce09ae195ac82765e34b.jpg

 

In closing, I would like to extend special thanks again not only to Ping and MGS for picking me but to my fitter Steve for taking time out of his week to drive over and fit me as well as Clearwater Country Club for allowing us to use their facility.  I should note that Steve recommended that I keep my irons and current wedges.  He did however claim that he could get me some yardage with a radical driver set up.  I ordered the driver from Clearwater as a thank you for their hospitality – it was a full ten yards longer than mine and far straighter.  I've tag along with the Ping G410 driver group to make comments on that club so head there if you want to read about that set up, it's as wild as the 9 wood!  The questions have been great so far.  Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any others about the fitting, the gapping or the clubs.  We will have great data to share from Shot Scope once its time for the Stage 2’s to hit.  Until then its fairways and greens to all of you!

 

 

 

Love this Rev!   Adding in the fact of having to hit over trees to truly know if the ball flight was high enough had to be an unplanned but welcomed addition to the fitting.    

That is incredible support and effort on the part of Steve and PING to make that drive for a complimentary fitting.   Great Stuff!

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2 hours ago, russtopherb said:

Loving the details so far in the fitting reviews. Were there any clubs or shafts that the fitters recommended that you nodded along with but in the back of your mind you were thinking "oh boy I really don't know about this..."?

Not with these - but with the driver, yes!  Remember I was a SuperSpeed tester - my driver SS has gone from 84.5 when I was fitted as a part of the G400 testing over a year ago to 95 now.  When I was fitted for the G400 I had too much spin so we went LST and heavier shaft.  I've always preferred a bit heavier shaft in driver than my swing speed might indicate.

As it turned out I wasn't launching driver high enough (it looked high enough to me) and I was not getting enough spin on it.  He handed me a driver shaft combo and said, "Don't look at it, just hit it."  First swing I thought I popped the thing straight up - it was dead straight and as long as my longest driver out of the four I hit with the G400 LST.  I then peeled off 4 more, high, just the slightest hint of draw.  Average launch was 14.5, spin rate around 2800, carry over 220, average distance around 235.  It was a 12 degree G410 max, turned down 1 degree with a 45 gram senior shaft in it. 

 

Dead opposite of what I expected.

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39 minutes ago, revkev said:

Not with these - but with the driver, yes!  Remember I was a SuperSpeed tester - my driver SS has gone from 84.5 when I was fitted as a part of the G400 testing over a year ago to 95 now.  When I was fitted for the G400 I had too much spin so we went LST and heavier shaft.  I've always preferred a bit heavier shaft in driver than my swing speed might indicate.

As it turned out I wasn't launching driver high enough (it looked high enough to me) and I was not getting enough spin on it.  He handed me a driver shaft combo and said, "Don't look at it, just hit it."  First swing I thought I popped the thing straight up - it was dead straight and as long as my longest driver out of the four I hit with the G400 LST.  I then peeled off 4 more, high, just the slightest hint of draw.  Average launch was 14.5, spin rate around 2800, carry over 220, average distance around 235.  It was a 12 degree G410 max, turned down 1 degree with a 45 gram senior shaft in it. 

 

Dead opposite of what I expected.

That part I bolded red above, I have already had something to say about it in another thread, and will be saying more.  But it's something that I think a lot of golfers of our age and swing speed should look at.  They might be surprised. 

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Did anyone catch that Nate Lashley’s bag included a G410 7 wood?




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1 hour ago, revkev said:

 It was a 12 degree G410 max, turned down 1 degree with a 45 gram senior shaft in it. 

 

Dead opposite of what I expected.

Did you say 410 Max? 

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14 minutes ago, revkev said:

Did anyone catch that Nate Lashley’s bag included a G410 7 wood?




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I did see that.  Pretty cool huh!! 

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Just now, Thin2win said:

Did you say 410 Max? 

He did.  But it was just a typo on the good Reverends part.  Don’t get excited ✋

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37 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

He did.  But it was just a typo on the good Reverends part.  Don’t get excited ✋

I was very excited. Like, wondering who was holding out on me and why I was unaware of its existence. 

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1 hour ago, Thin2win said:

I was very excited. Like, wondering who was holding out on me and why I was unaware of its existence. 

I'm sure you weren't the only one.   That said he did have a private one on one with the the rep.  Maybe he let something slip.  Ha. Just kidding. 

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I was very excited. Like, wondering who was holding out on me and why I was unaware of its existence. 

 

I’m so sorry I meant 410 plus. The accidental Max may have been alcohol induced - two beers during the round followed by a couple of scotches at home afterwards - 36’s excite me at this stage of my life.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, revkev said:

 

I’m so sorry I meant 410 plus. The accidental Max may have been alcohol induced - two beers during the round followed by a couple of scotches at home afterwards - 36’s excite me at this stage of my life.

 

 

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Understandable. But my emotions took quite the roller coaster of jealousy. My heart rate has returned to normal and I'm back to being only 87% jealous after reading all the stg 1s/fittings. 

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Loving the details so far in the fitting reviews. Were there any clubs or shafts that the fitters recommended that you nodded along with but in the back of your mind you were thinking "oh boy I really don't know about this..."?


The G410 5W was the only one that I was pressing ‘I believe’ for, but he ended up thinking the 2H was a better fit so that’s what we ultimately settled on. For shafts, once he started seeing the spin range he liked it narrowed down the options quickly. I was happy with the process as it was straight forward and Joey was super helpful. I’m comfortable with the clubs and have been enjoying the performance I’m seeing on the course!
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@Rob, just reread your fitting, I’m curious why the 3 wood turned up to 17 over the 5 wood at neutral?

Did you guys try that one? If so what were the differences that made him go 3 wood?


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On 6/30/2019 at 11:11 AM, PING Apologist #9 said:

My latest addition to my bag is a G410 SFT 7w with a stock Alta (s) shaft. It is really amazing and fit right into an awful gap I had between 5i & 3w. For some reason, I had troubles with my 4i and confidence with it was always low. Knowing that I hit FW's pretty well and consistently, it blended right in with them and solved that gap issue and has had an immediate positive impact on my game.

I've read al the posted stage-1's so far and nice work everybody! Really dig this review and am looking forward to watching you all progress.

The SFT fairway woods are legit! I have the 3 wood and absolutely love it!

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1 hour ago, revkev said:

@Rob, just reread your fitting, I’m curious why the 3 wood turned up to 17 over the 5 wood at neutral?

Did you guys try that one? If so what were the differences that made him go 3 wood?


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@revkev Well as we can all attest to we were overloaded with info during these fittings, and relying on our brains to recall everything without double checking is dangerous.  As you did with the 410 Max vs Plus, I am guilty of a typo.  I got the the 3 SFT in the standard loft of 16 degrees, not turned up to 17.    It was chosen over the 5 as I was hitting it solid enough, he liked the flight from it and the few extra yards I'd get from it.  

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45 minutes ago, PAgolfer2017 said:

The SFT fairway woods are legit! I have the 3 wood and absolutely love it!

This is so true, I hope most don't get turned off by the SFT designation, thinking it's only a club for high handicappers who fight a horrible slice.  It's not just that. 

 While there is some internal weighting to help promote a right to left flight.   It has a higher MOI than the standard 410 FW's so it's more forgiving and has a higher launch, for those that may not have enough spin or swing speed to get the height out of their FW's that they would like.

 

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[mention=16651]revkev[/mention] Well as we can all attest to we were overloaded with info during these fittings, and relying on our brains to recall everything without double checking is dangerous.  As you did with the 410 Max vs Plus, I am guilty of a typo.  I got the the 3 SFT in the standard loft of 16 degrees, not turned up to 17.    It was chosen over the 5 as I was hitting it solid enough, he liked the flight from it and the few extra yards I'd get from it.  


Totally understand - even during the fittings themselves there were things that I wished I had asked but didn’t. Also once the fitter found the launch, apex and spin rate that he wanted he wasn’t going to suggest trying something else unless I asked for it. Why would he?


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55 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

This is so true, I hope most don't get turned off by the SFT designation, thinking it's only a club for high handicappers who fight a horrible slice.  It's not just that. 

 While there is some internal weighting to help promote a right to left flight.   It has a higher MOI than the standard 410 FW's so it's more forgiving and has a higher launch, for those that may not have enough spin or swing speed to get the height out of their FW's that they would like.

 

Honestly I was one who got turned off by the SFT designation, but hard to argue with the results! Really tempted to see what the driver head would do...haha

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