G-series irons have been an incredible success through the years, as PING has time and again delivered golfers with an iron that has offered industry-leading playability.
Given their unwavering popularity, in advance of the release of the brand new G400, we asked PING Director of Product Development Marty Jertson what the blueprint was when it comes to creating a G iron.
“Our G (series) iron, we like to think of it as a game-enjoyment iron,” he said. “This iron is a lot of fun to hit, and there’s a lot to this iron. What we’re out to produce with this product is an iron that goes high, goes far, and gives you a lot of stopping power, but also feels really good for a distance-minded iron. That’s a really unique combination.”
Based on its early reviews, it appears as if the G400 has checked all of the boxes that Jertson mentioned and that PING has actually taken G-series playability to new heights, while also improving look, feel, and acoustics.
“We were on a mission with this iron to produce distance but do it in a very unique way that gives this iron a direct competitive advantage in that it does several things that other distance irons on the market simply don’t do,” said Jertson of the G400. “Number one, it goes really high, so you can hit towering iron shots. It doesn’t have hot spots, so even though it’s hot you don’t have those impacts on the face that go flying ten or fifteen yards over the green. And for a distance iron, it feels amazing.”
The increased distance and higher launch conditions that the G400 irons are offering players are a result of the combination of COR-Eye Technology and a new Toprail Undercut Cavity.
Working in unison, they allow a clubface that’s 40 percent thinner thanks to the use of Hyper 17-4 Stainless Steel to flex 18 percent more at impact when compared to the G iron, with the result being faster ball speeds and higher launch.
It would seem obvious that the increased flex would create additional speed, but how does PING use the additional flexing of the clubface to increase launch?
“It all comes down to the flexing mechanics, and the way the face moves in that diving board behavior allows us to achieve that unique combination of high launch and the appropriate amount of optimized spin so you can achieve that landing angle to stop (the ball) on the greens,” Jertson said.
What makes the effortless, high launch conditions all the more impressive is that the G400 lofts are actually slightly stronger when compared to the G.
“Even though the lofts are a little bit stronger than the G, the peak trajectory is about five percent higher,” Jertson added. “We’re getting more dynamic flexing of the face to launch the ball up in the air.”
But PING understands that loft alone can’t be the only pathway to distance, which is why engineers made sure that the G400 irons spin enough to optimize performance and provide workability and consistency along with the launch and distance they provide.
PING also hasn’t compromised when it comes to the forgiveness that G-series irons have been known for, and the G400 is actually more forgiving than its predecessor.
Amazingly, those MOI gains have been accomplished in an iron that has a much cleaner, more compact profile than the vast majority of its competitors in the game-improvement space.
“We’ve saved weight from the (thinner) face; the iron is higher inertia by about four or five percent compared to the G, so it has tons of stability,”Jertson said. “But you look at it in the playing position and a lot of players look down and think this is an i-series iron. The iron still has size to it but it looks very clean and very inspirational in the playing position. This iron is going to have a very broad appeal to it.”
Adding to aesthetic value of the G400 irons is a new Hydropearl Chrome finish, which PING has also utilized most recently in its iBlade and i200 irons. In addition to offering an elegant look, the Hydropearl finish offers playability advantages, as its reduces friction through the turf by 40 percent, which helps produce more consistent results in wet conditions or from more challenging lies in the rough.
Additionally, a full cavity badge has been implemented in the design to produce the G400’s soft, crisp sound and feel, something that’s not typically found in most game-improvement irons.
In terms of shaft options, PING is offering its proprietary AWT 2.0 steel shaft as a stock choice for the G400 irons, as well as the new Alta CB as a premium graphite offering.
For players who need a different profile, however, PING has several premium aftermarket shafts available at no upcharge, including the Nippon Modus 105, Project X, KBS Tour, True Temper Dynamic Gold, and True Temper XP 95.
Also new for the G400 irons will be a new stock grip, as PING has chosen to go with the highly popular Golf Pride Tour Velvet.