Ping G20 Driver Review


The Ping G20

Club Reviewers: Ian Favre – Jason Gilliland – JR Falkenhagen

Circa 1992, I am 15 years old just blazing my wooden Ping Eye 2 driver down the fairway at my first ever employer Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club in Federal Way, Wa. Nearly 20 years later and I am finally putting another Ping driver in the bag, for the next 18 holes at least, at Chamber’s Bay Golf Course in University Place, Wa.

As with most weekend warriors I have had an ever-changing ferris wheel of drivers make their way in and out of my golf bag. My brother being a golf professional provided an access to new sticks that no man should ever meddle with. As such, I have tinkered and changed drivers on a never ending cycle praying to find “The One.”

 Ping G20
For our demo’n pleasure, the fine folks at Ping Golf sent us their latest driver offering: the Ping G20.

Here’s the specs on what we got:

Ping G20 – Loft 9.5 – Shaft: TFC 169D Tour Stiff – Length: 45.75

What Ping Says: (Via the Ping website: http://www.ping.com/clubs/driversdetail.aspx?id=9918)

Distance and Accuracy Optimized: by an external weight that optimizes the center of gravity position to generate high launch and low spin. The G20’s large, variable-thickness face generates faster ball speeds and increases MOI for maximum forgiveness.

The 460cc club head is made from Ti 8-1-1, a lighter, lower-density alloy. Ti 8-1-1’s high strength-to-weight ratio allows for additional weight to be strategically placed for increasing the MOI on both the vertical and horizontal axes. Weight savings from varying wall thicknesses in the crown and body are positioned to optimize performance and durability.


Our testing and testers:

2 driving range sessions, 1 launch monitor session, Q & A with Ping, and 18 holes at the 2015 US Open host Chamber’s Bay Golf Course.

Testers:

Ian Favre – Handicap 13, Currently playing: 09 Taylormade Tour Burner, Aldila NV Stiff

Jason Gilliland – Handicap 10, Currently playing: 2011 Ping G15

JR Falkenhagen – Handicap 13, Currently playing 09 Taylormade Tour Burner, Proforce V2 Stiff

Feedback / Results


Impressions:

Only took me a couple practices swings to notice how balanced the club was. I mentioned to Jason that I felt like I could hold it upside down and not tell the difference weight wise. It feels really solid and put together in the back swing, which encouraged me to get after it as compared to babying or steering the driver as I currently tend to do. This stock grip is no joke either. It’s tacky to the point where is was digging into my hand the last few holes at Chamber’s. Maybe I was choking the club to death but it was the first time I’ve said “man, that grip damn near hurts.”

Looks:
The all gray look is pretty sweet and not distracting in any way. It doesn’t give you an overwhelming, “I am going to crush this feeling,” it’s more of a “eh, this is a pretty good looking stick.” Some of the features on other clubs that have been turn-offs (colored head, ridges, slots, etc) are not featured. Only the traditional Ping alignment aid shows on the top.


Sound:

Most of the time is gives a pleasant muted sound off the club face. More than any driver I have ever hit this club gives you a different sound for each region of the club face that you strike. The sound gets more and more muted as you move away from the center. Now, when you hit it dead nails flush….which only happened twice. I mean it has to be a pin sized circle, it makes the most horrific crack I have ever heard. Jason was standing next to me when I flushed it and jumped two feet in the air he was so startled. Wow. I can’t over state how loud it was. I thought I broke it.


Performance:

I really want to say that something was off. I don’t want to write a review about a club that a manufacturer sent us and make it sound like we are giving biased praise. Basically, I don’t want you, the reader to think we are kissing Ping’s ass. That being said, I think it’s the best driver I have ever hit. Honestly, it made my Tour Burner look silly. I wish they had sent two so that I don’t have to fight anyone else for the right to put it in my bag.


On the Course at Chamber’s Bay:

All 3 of us retired our current drivers for the day and played the G20 in very wet and windy conditions at Chamber’s. We started at the Chamber’s Bay driving range and right out of the gate I could see a significant difference when JR was hitting it. We’ve played 100’s of rounds together and I know his ball flight. He was creaming the G20 at the range. I can’t remember the last time a stopped hitting balls on the range to watch a buddy do it. He was blowing it past his Tour Burner easily.

With that, the theme of the day had been established. We clobbered the G20 all day along at Chamber’s Bay. After a few holes it only became a matter of who was going to keep it after the testing was done…we all wanted it. For me, it was epically straight regardless of where I hit it on the club face. My tendency is to miss on the toe side of the driver, which I did a couple times with it, but I still got really good ball flight and rewarding distance. The most unique thing about it was how confident I felt with it. Every time I stood over the ball I expected to hit it straight.  That is a huge benefit for the weekend warrior who doesn’t have a swing coach and a mental trainer. How many times as a double-digit handicap have you had that feeling over the ball of “I am going to smoke this” and then actually do it? Repeatedly. Not very often.


A couple other tidbits from the course:

JR & I walking up 18: Me: “JR, I think this is the best driver I have ever played.” JR: “Easily, not even close. I want one.”

14th hole tee box: Me: “Good lord JR, that’s the biggest bomb I’ve ever seen you hit before!” JR: That felt incredible.”

16th hole tee box: Me: “Jason, I am going to stab you in the back in the parking lot, steal that driver and leave you. Jason: “…….”

Launch Monitor Results: (best 10 out of 15 swings)

Ian:
Swing Speed: 96
Ball Speed: 140.1
Total Carry: 260.5
Ball Flight Pattern: Middle to Slight Draw

Jason:
Swing Speed: 105
Ball Speed: 157.2
Total Carry: 275.9
Ball Flight Patter: Middle to Slight Fade

Q & A with Ping:

Q: What is the process for matching a shaft with a club head?
A: Jason – Here is the answer to your question. If you’re curious Marty Jertson, one of our Senior Design Engineers answered your question…

“Regarding the shaft development, we simply don’t ‘match a shaft’ to a clubhead, but instead design them both together simultaneously to optimize the performance gains on the entire system working together.  The TFC169D, with proprietary high balance point technology, is designed with the club’s length, head-weight, inertial properties, and hosel position in mind as we develop the EI profile (bending stiffness), GJ profile (torsional stiffness), diameters, and materials to give the best launch conditions and feel for each respective flex.”



Golfchops.com Reviewer Score: 24/25

Look:   5/5 – Nice, clean, simple stick.  Jason prefers the look of his all black i15 to the gray G20 style.

Sound:   4/5 – Watch out for that flushed noise! Whew!

Feel:   5/5 – Most balanced, put together feeling driver to date for us

Distance:   5/5 – Bombs, flat out bombs

Accuracy:  5/5 – Almost oddly straight on misses, is this thing legal?

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2 thoughts on “Ping G20 Driver Review

  1. Just a side note about Ping Senior Design Engineer Marty Jertson. Not only is Marty an engineer for Ping but he is also a very accomplished player. In August of this year he qualified for and competed in the PGA Championship. Pretty cool that a guy that designed the clubs was able to use them to compete in a major championship!

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