Ping fairway clubs built for speed, forgiveness

Ping’s G400 fairway woods use a maraging steel clubface for more ball speed and greater distance. (Photo courtesy of Ping)

Ask any tour player and they will tell you that once they find a 3-wood they like, they hang onto it. The 3-wood is the hardest club to pry out of their hands.

Ping is hoping to engender such loyalty with the introduction of its G400 fairway clubs. To maximize distance in the fairway woods, Ping has turned to maraging steel for use in the clubface. It’s one of the strongest alloys and is often used in the aerospace industry. It’s also quite flexible so the face of the G400 fairway woods can produce faster ball speeds and therefore more distance.

“Our main goal in the G400 fairway woods and hybrids was to introduce significant distance gains while maintaining other performance benefits such as forgiveness and the ability to launch the ball easily,” said John A. Solheim, Ping Chairman and CEO. “With maraging steel, we have a material that allows us to go extremely thin with the face to give us the faster ball-speed gains we’re seeking for more distance and higher launch. The results have been amazing as we’re seeing face flexing equal to the thickness of the face.”

The G400 fairway woods are available in 3, 5, 7 and 9. The 3, 5 and 7 are also available with SFT (Straight Fit Technology) that will straighten out a slice for right-handed players. There is also a Stretch 3, which is a stronger 3-wood than Ping’s normal 14.5 degrees of loft.

In the G400 hybrids, the center of gravity (CG) is on the toe side in the 2- and 3-hybrid to help offset a left bias. The 4-, 5- and 6-hybrids are designed to help players launch the ball higher with more forgiveness.

For more, go to

Bridgestone’s Tour B offers something for everyone

Bridgestone Golf has revamped its popular premium golf ball line. Beginning Oct. 2, the company will introduce the Tour B series with four different models, depending on the individual player’s needs. The Tour B replaces the company’s long-running B330 series.

Bridgestone is noted for its ball fitting process and has a database of more than 3 million in-person and online ball fittings that it used in the development of the new Tour B models. They used this data to determine how specific characteristics would benefit different players.

The Tour B X and XS are for the low-handicap player who is seeking enhanced feel. Due to a softer urethane cover, the X and XS give the better player more spin and control around the green.

But that’s not all, says the company. The X and XS deliver more distance because Bridgestone’s signature 330 Dual Dimple design has been improved and enhanced. The X is for the player looking for more accuracy and the XS is for increased distance.

The RX and RXS are for low-to-mid handicap players and have a different Dual Dimple design, with 338 dimples. The RX will deliver more accuracy, the company says and the RXS is for players looking for better feel.

According to the company, Bridgestone owns more than 1,000 golf ball patents and has more than 900 engineers worldwide.

“The secret to our success is in the data, as we rely on our database of millions of swings to understand how golfers of all skill levels are hitting the ball,” says Elliot Mellow, Bridgestone Golf marketing manager.  “We then start to build out player personas based on trends and collaborate with third party golf industry data sources to further fine-tune each persona bucket.

“Once we have established exact needs of different players we determine which of our proprietary technologies can help them rise above the competition.”


Game improvement: New entry in Titleist’s AP irons

Titleist’s 718 AP family, including the new AP3, is built for more forgiveness and distance. (Photo Courtesy of Acushnet Company)

For years, Titleist golf equipment was thought of as strictly for the better player. But with the introduction of the AP series – which stands for Advanced Performance – the company started to appeal to a broader constituency.

Now, every level of player can benefit from Titleist’s new 718 AP offerings.

The AP1 has been Titleist’s game improvement iron and the 718 AP1 raises that concept to a new level. The AP1 is built for maximum distance and forgiveness, according to the company, and makes it easier for golfers to get the ball in the air and stop quickly on the green.

It does so by designing each iron individually with hollow body long irons along with undercut cavity mid and short irons. The company says it is the best combination for distance and trajectory.

Titleist’s AP2 irons have been a staple for many PGA Tour players and low-handicap amateurs ever since they were first introduced in 2010. Its forged feel and tour-preferred profile and blade length appeals to the better player.

The 718 version is an upgrade. Although it’s a cavity-back iron, the 718 AP2 has a thinner forged body and a thinner steel face insert that increases launch and ball speed. High density tungsten is placed in the heel and tow of the long and mid irons increase forgiveness, while still keeping the same look at address.

The new entry into the AP family is the 718 AP3, which the company calls the “players distance iron.” It’s a hollow blade design with high-speed face technology, taking the best from the AP1 and AP2.

The hollow blade construction with a thin face creates a high launch condition and greater distance. The AP3 has a high moment of inertia through placing tungsten low and in the toe of the long and mid irons, creating more distance on off-center hits. Best of all, it has a look at address of a players iron.

The new AP irons will be in stores beginning Sept. 29. But starting Sept. 1, golfers can register to attend a free trial and fitting event at hundreds of locations across the country. For more, go to​.

Tour Edge’s CBX fairway wood kills spin

Tour Edge’s CBX fairway wood is the company’s latest technology. (Photo Courtesy of Tour Edge)

If you’ve never heard of Tour Edge, ask better players who are savvy about equipment. They will tell you if you are looking for a hot fairway wood, take a close look at Tour Edge.

Located in Batavia, Ill., Tour Edge is one of the best-kept secrets in the game. Back in 2004, the company developed a fairway wood with a method it called “combo brazing,” in which it bonded titanium and steel with chemicals instead of welding. The result was higher tolerances in exact weight. It was called CB.

The result was a fairway wood that had a cult-like following in golf because of the prodigious distances it produced.

Now, Tour Edge is introducing the CBX, which the company says is 16 yards longer than the three best-selling fairway woods, according to results of an Iron Byron test. The CBX design alters the club’s center of gravity (CG) to manipulate initial launch angle and velocity, also reducing the amount of spin the ball will have on release.

A carbon sole unit moves mass forward to determine the precise CG location. The longer toe to heel and shorter front to back head shape provides precise weighting throughout the clubhead and optimizes performance with absolute CG location.

The higher CG location minimizes spin for optimal low-spin distance, making for a tour-caliber fairway wood that will provide amazing distance off the tee and from the rough.

The result of the higher CG is the lowest spinning, exceptionally versatile fairway wood capable of delivering amazing distances and less dispersion on mis-hits due to the reduced side spin.

“The distance gains from the independent test are phenomenal. Then we saw the spin numbers and started calling it the ‘spin-killer’ around the office,” said Tour Edge president and founder David Glod.

“Everything has lined-up for the CBX, the design, compilation of materials, and CG location to make it our next best fairway wood. It really has brought us back to full circle on where we were when we launched Exotics and provided a product that no one else in the industry could match numbers wise.”

The CBX will be offered in a strong 3 (13.5 degrees), 3 (15 degrees), 4 (16.5 degrees) and 5 (18 degrees). They will start shipping to retailers on Sept. 5.


Get a grip with MCC Align

Golf Pride’s MCC Align grips get a golfer’s hands in the correct position. (Photo courtesy of Golf Pride)

It’s a tough sell to convince golfers that a change in grips can make you play better golf. But think about it: The grip is your only contact with the club and if you feel good with the grip in your hands, shouldn’t that mean that you have a better chance to hit a good shot?

The folks at Golf Pride believe they have the answer to that question with their new MCC Align grips. The MCC was already the top hybrid grip on the PGA Tour – cord in the top hand and rubber in the bottom hand. But one important innovation was added – the Align technology that features a raised ridge at the back of the grip.

Reminder ridges have been available in grips for years. And the company says that 1 in 3 PGA Tour players play with reminders in their grips. What sets the Align apart is the notion that the ridge in the MCC has a diamond texture pattern and material that is 50 percent firmer than the rest of the grip to enable the player to have a more pronounced feel.

The result, the company says, is that the golfer has a better chance to lock his or her hands on the club the right way – every time. And if you follow the logic, that leads to a square clubface at impact much more often.

The grips are available in the MCC and the MCC Plus 4, which is larger in the bottom hand section. Both are available in regular and mid-size.

Smaller is better for Ping G400

Ping’s G400 driver is 445 cc, smaller than most

At a time when most equipment manufacturers are stretching the limits as to how large a driver can be, the engineers at Ping went in the opposite direction – they went smaller.

Ping’s new G400 driver weighs in at 445 cc, slightly under the industry standard of 460 cc, the largest the USGA rules will allow. Ping says the smaller size improves the G400’s aerodynamics for faster clubhead speeds and greater moment of inertia (MOI), which is the club’s resistance to twisting on off-center hits.

That is paired with a forged, heat-treated face that increases flexing of the face at impact by 16 percent, compared with other Ping drivers. The combination results in a 2 mph increase in ball speed.

The driver’s tungsten weight is positioned lower and farther back, which the company says makes the G400 its most forgiving driver, based on dispersion testing.

The G400 comes with three clubhead options for most every type of player. The standard model fits most golfers. The Straight Flight (SFT) model helps correct a left-to-right flight (for right-handed golfers) by positioning the tungsten weight toward the heel and features a lower swing weight to help players square the face. The Low Spin (LST) has the tungsten weight positioned nearer the face to reduce spin around 300 rpm for a stronger ball flight.

The stock shaft for the G400 is the 55-gram Alta CB, which is counter-balanced. The Ping Tour 65 and 75 are available at an upcharge as are aftermarket shafts Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi 60, Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75 and Aldila X-Torsion Copper.