First test! G v G400

How the lat­est model com­pares to the hugely-pop­u­lar out­go­ing driver

Today's Golfer (UK) - - New Gear - WORDS SI­MON DAD­DOW PIC­TURES TOM CRITCHELL

The ques­tion ev­ery­one wants an­swered when a ma­jor equip­ment man­u­fac­turer launches a new driver is al­ways: Is it any bet­ter? And if it is, how much bet­ter and is it worth spend­ing the cash to up­grade? We roped in our TG test pro Chris Ryan to hit both the old G and new G400 in the same spec on a launch mon­i­tor so we could get some data to see how they com­pare.

Sound

For us it’s the big­gest area of im­prove­ment in the G400. The sound is un­like any Ping driver we’ve heard be­fore, and ob­vi­ously played a huge role in con­vinc­ing tour play­ers to put it straight in the bag. Com­pared to pre­vi­ous Ping driv­ers, which could be called “loud”, the G400 is premium, dull, muted and pow­er­ful.

Looks

We love the “in­fin­ity edge” crown on the G400, the square face an­gle, the tiny new crown spots (which soften the body’s shape) and the new cop­per-and-black colour scheme. The best-look­ing Ping driver ever? We’d say so.

Per­for­mance

We tested the stan­dard G400 and, sim­ply, it’s one of the most for­giv­ing driv­ers we’ve hit this year. That tung­sten back weight­ing low­ers and deep­ens the cen­tre of grav­ity (as the mass is po­si­tioned right on the edge of the head) so you get higher ball speeds on off-cen­tre hits. But be­cause there’s more weight at the back you get a higher launch an­gle. This means play­ers are able to use a lower loft, which adds very wel­come ex­tra ball speed.

The num­bers

They speak for them­selves. The G400 in­creased ball speed by 2mph, launched shots higher (the key to hit­ting it fur­ther) and gave Chris 15 ex­tra yards over G.

Shaft

We saw no rea­son to put any­thing other than the Tour 65 in our test pros’ hit­ting sam­ple. For golfers who in­sist on branded shafts, Ping offer three up­grades (for an ex­tra £60): Grafal­loy HZRDUS Yel­low (low launch); Mit­subishi Kuro Kage Sil­ver (mid); Aldila X Tor­sion (high).

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