Technical Editor Joel Tadman tests the Ping G410 LST driver to see how it compares with the impressive G410 Plus
The delayed arrival of this model compared with the G410 Plus and G410 SFT drivers has been well documented but the big question is, was it worth the wait?
Ping’s low spin options, like the G400 LST, have always proven popular, both on tour and among amateur golfers, because of how they combine that low-spin performance with decent levels of off-centre forgiveness and this looks to be a trend that has continued with the G410 LST.
At 450cc, it’s 5cc smaller in volume compared to the G410 Plus, but this isn’t especially noticeable. Nor does this make it any less user-friendly – in fact, Ping say it is three per cent more forgiving than the G400 LST driver.
At address, the Turbulators will continue to divide opinion although the creased hook effect at the back hides the moveable weight well and certainly makes the driver look faster.
On to the performance. With the G410 Plus impressing and earning a place in my bag for the 2019 season, the G410 LST was truly up against it.
Having set some fairly typical base numbers with my G410 Plus, in 9° with the Ping Tour stiff 65 shaft, I moved on to the G410 LST in the same spec.
The first thing to note was my clubhead speed increased on average by 1.5mph from 108.4 to 109.9 mph, which is not insignificant but also not necessarily just down to the club. Strikes and forgiveness perhaps weren’t as reliable, with the extra club speed on translating into 0.5mph more ball speed, with smash factor down from 1.43 with the Plus to 1.41 with the LST version.
Both drivers launched the ball at just over 13° but as expected, the LST driver did reduce spin but only by 85 rpm on average. Ping say golfers can expect a reduction in spin ranging from 200-400 rpm, perhaps my smaller reduction was because many more of the strikes with the Plus version were in the high toe, where spin naturally is lower.
The LST flighted the ball two yards lower and the average carry was the same with both drivers, a more than respectable 275 yards.
Dispersion seemed a little harder to control with the G410 LST although it offered up the same solid, powerful sensations at impact that makes the G410 Plus such a popular choice.
While we didn’t see big differences in performance, that’s not to say this will be the case for you as strike and delivery play such a big part. The G410 LST provides another option for faster swingers or simply anyone who would benefit from knocking spin off their drives.
If you’re a slicer, you have the option to move the weight into the heel for added draw bias and if you want to fade the ball, you have up to three degrees of flatter lie angles to assist you. So you can really dial it in to provide the launch conditions and shot shape you want to see, especially when you consider the wide shaft choices available.
I’ve not seen anything that would make me switch out of my G410 Plus – I’m happy with the spin sitting just under 2000 to help keep mishits in the air while still providing ample carry on centred strikes. But other players may well see more significant gains, especially tour players and very good amateurs who don’t miss the sweetspot all that much.
The G410 LST enhances the excellent Ping G410 driver range, providing another option for golfers that would add distance through reducing spin. It certainly looks to be one of the most forgiving ‘low spin’ drivers on the market complimenting the G410 Plus model well.