Ping G400 Driver Review
The Ping G400 driver certainly looks smaller, sleeker and more streamlined than the previous Ping G model. While this may reduce confidence over the ball for some, they can gain assurance from the fact the MOI (resistance to twisting on off-centre hits) is actually higher despite reducing in size.
The infinity crown with what looks almost like perforated detailing on the back of the head perhaps make the head look even smaller than it is and with the wider turbulators just behind the leading edge, it looks cutting-edge and modern without being overly in your face.
On the first swing with our G400 LST model, it immediately felt lighter and quicker through the air and at impact, we were greeted with a quieter, duller thud sound compared with the louder clang we got from the G driver. Both feel powerful, but the new G400 is a stark improvement in this area.
Looking at our premium ball, Foresight Sports GC2 launch monitor data, while we didn’t see an increase in club speed we did experience a reduction in spin and an increase in carry distance of two yards over the G driver.
It certainly felt easier to shape the ball when we wanted to and overall, the driver just felt more solid across the face. The shorter Tour shaft compared to the standard option also helped enhance our control of the ball’s direction.
Generally speaking we would predict those switching from G to G400 will experience marginal gains, but gains nonetheless in all areas of performance – distance, accuracy and playability. While those with a G30 model or older will notice tangible improvements.
As always, only a custom fitting session will highlight if this is the case and which clubhead of the three is best suited to your game.
Ping G400 Driver Review – The Tech
The goal of the Ping G400 was to make a driver with improved sound and feel as well as forgiveness levels and Ping has done this by creating a faster, more streamlined shape and adjusting the internal structure.
Updated Dragonfly technology, with its ultra-thin crown and new infinity edge, means designers had three times as much discretionary weight to play with to make the G400 a much more user-friendly offering. This is the lightest crown ever used on a Ping driver.
Weight saving sections on the sole and an internal rib structure also help optimize weight positioning but also the sound and feel of the driver, creating a duller, more muted but no less powerful acoustic.
At 445cc, the Ping G400 driver is much smaller than the outgoing Ping G driver, which maxed out at 460cc, but is still the most forgiving driver Ping has made in terms of MOI (resistance to twisting). The smaller size, assisted by more pronounced turbulators on the crown and Vortec Technology at the rear, help reduce drag and maximize clubhead speed for more distance.
The deepest (centre of gravity) CG Ping has ever created in a driver helps maximize launch and stability on off-centre hits, boosted by a new forged T9S+ clubface that is thinner, lighter and flexes 16 per cent more than on the previous driver for added power. It also allows greater precision on thickness and its bulge and roll properties to help get the ball back to the fairway on off-centre hits.
As well as a fixed copper-coloured weight in the rear of the sole, Ping has also used denser tungsten weighting to drive the CG low and back and help tighten overall dispersion.
The premium copper shaft features colour-shift paint that transitions to black as you address the ball to minimise distractions. The counter-balance design of the Alta CB allows for more mass in head to increase energy transfer. Also new on the G400 driver is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet grip that comes as standard.
To fit every type of golfer, the G400 driver range comes in Standard, SFT (Straight Flight Technology), which has more heel weighting to increase the draw bias, and LST (Low-Spin Technology) that reduces spin by up to 300rpm compared to the standard driver. All clubheads have adjustable lofts +/- 0.6° or 1°.
One final change on the G400 driver is the stock grip, which switches to the Golf Pride Tour Velvet. The thickness and type of the grips is coloured coded on the top of the butt, as shown above.
Specs, availability and pricing
The standard G400 driver comes in lofts 9˚ and 10.5˚. The G400 LST driver comes in lofts 8.5˚ and 10˚ while the G400 SFT driver comes in lofts 10˚ and 12˚. The stock shafts are the Ping Alta CB and the Tour 65 and Tour 80. The RRP is £389 and they go on sale from July 27th, 2017. After market shafts include the Kuro Kage 60, Hzrdus Yellow 75 and X Torsion for a £60 upcharge.