PING enjoyed great success with its G fairway woods and hybrids and one of the main reasons for their popularity was the ease with which players were able to launch the ball from the turf, which can be a source of anxiety for many golfers.
In designing the G400 fairways and hybrids, PING engineers sought to maintain the impressive playability that G offered while incorporating even more ball speed and distance. That mission has been accomplished and was done so most notably by utilizing new materials in the manufacturing process.
“It’s really fun in our work environment to work on different areas of technology,” said PING Director of Product Development Marty Jertson. “And the primary pathway that we gain some incredible performance benefits with the G400 fairway and hybrid was through the metallurgy, so a new material for us called maraging C300.”
What did the use of C300 steel allow Jertson and his team to accomplish in terms of performance?
“This is one of the strongest steels in the world that’s used in landing gear for example because it’s very strong and flexible,” Jertson added. “It has twenty percent higher strength than the Carpenter 455 we used previously and twenty percent more flexibility. What that’s allowing us to do is on both the fairway and hybrid to get the face to flex another thirty percent more during impact and the end result to the player is two MPH more ball speed on both the fairway and the hybrid.”
Using a stronger material in the construction of the clubface to improve flexibility was only one of the advantages. The C300 also enabled engineers to create a thinner clubface, which enhances performance and playability, specifically in terms of being able to reposition weight to increase forgiveness.
“One of the benefits of the face material being stronger is that we can make the face thinner,” Jertson explained. “And when we make it thinner, we save weight from the face and we place it lower and deeper. We’re utilizing the same high density back weight as the driver on both of these products, and both the fairway and the hybrid have inertia gains of about five percent, so they fly even straighter.” Also helping to strategically position weight lower and deeper in the clubhead is a new 17-4 stainless steel crown that has been cast to 0.48 millimeters for added weight savings, which helps contribute to the higher MOI of the G400 fairways and hybrids.
Players can also, as mentioned previously, expect the G400 fairways and hybrids to offer the same effortless launch conditions as their predecessors, as maintaining that playability advantage was critical from a design standpoint. And fueling those launch conditions is PING’s Cascading Sole design.
“It’s something we really worked on with the G fairway wood,” said Jertson when asked about the sole and the launch conditions it creates. “That design property maintains here with the G400. It basically allows the lead edge to sit really low to the ground so that it moves the impact point on the face automatically higher on the face. When you hit it higher on the face, you’re going to hit better shots off the ground.”
G400 fairway woods are available in 3-wood (14.5 degrees), 5-wood (17.5 degrees), 7-wood (20.5 degrees), and 9-wood (23.5 degrees) models. There’s also a ‘Stretch’ 3-wood that at 13 degrees was designed to be utilized both from the fairway and for increased success off of a tee.
Additionally, PING is again offering SFT (Straight Flight Technology) fairway options that have been designed to help players who struggle with a block or a slice square the clubface more easily.
The SFT models feature weight that has been positioned more toward the heel and a lighter swingweight, a combination that helps players release the toe of the club at impact. The SFT models also have more loft and a larger overall profile than the standard G400 fairway woods.
The G400 SFT fairways are available in 3-wood (16 degrees), 5-wood (19 degrees), and 7-wood (22 degrees) models.
In terms of the G400 hybrids, they are being offered in lofts of 17, 19, 22, 26, and 30 degrees.
Both the fairway woods and hybrids come with the Alta CB as a stock shaft, the 65 model for the fairways and the 70 model for the hybrids. The Alta CB is a counterbalanced shaft that’s being utilized to work with a heavier clubhead, a union that enables optimal energy transfer at impact.
The G400 fairways and hybrids also feature the Golf Pride Tour Velvet as a stock grip.