With the ever increasing pressure to become longer and straighter of the tee, finding a driver that fits your game is a critical piece in the puzzle of shooting more consistent rounds. Labeled as the glamor club of the bag, one that has a lot of show but, in many short ball hitter’s opinions, does not produce the dough, a common misconception of many golfers about the driver is that it is the least important club in the bag.
However, as new driver technology continues to emerge, making these clubs lighter, larger and more consistent, the pressure to make a driver upgrade continues to rise. Now, despite the urge to go out there and find the club that produces the most distance, one that will allow golfers to flex their muscles by bombing tee shots, there are more important aspects of a driver to consider.
How quickly does the ball get in the air? How much spin does the driver produce on mishit drives? What kind of bend does the shaft experience when bringing the club head through contact? These questions are essential for golfers to find the right fit, questions that Ping has taken very seriously in their development of the Ping G20 Driver.
Ping faced an uphill challenge in convincing me to replace my TaylorMade R7, a club that has been loyal to me for many years. However, what has impressed me so far about the G20 is its ability to get my drives in the air quickly and with far less spin than I have experienced with the R7. In large part this characteristic is due to the club’s advanced center of gravity technology that assists in getting the club in a square position more consistently, causing the golf ball to get off the ground faster. The increased weight on the back of the club also provides significant assistance to this process. The combination of these two characteristics has shown me that the G20 is a driver that many mid to high handicappers could turn to as a game changer.
Beyond the carry factor, what impressed me about the Ping G20 was the reduction in spin my ball generated when coming off the club face. This reduction was especially evident when I put a less than ideal swing on the ball (about 75% of the time). In most cases prior to hitting the G20, I could instantly tell without looking up that my poor swing would result in me hitting my third shot off the tee. However, what surprised me about the G20 was that, even when I was certain my ball would be found in the trees, I would look up to see that amazingly the ball had remained in play and in some cases was even sitting in the fairway!
Technologically speaking, this amazing feat can be attributed to the increased club head stability of the G20, a stability that despite the poor swing keeps the club head reasonably in line with the ball. This stability was able to get the ball in the air quicker all while reducing spin, a feat that amazed me throughout my 18 holes, saving me at least 4 penalty strokes.
As most golfers will attest, confidence is everything when executing shots. One issue I have had with all of my drivers is dealing with the bend in the shaft that is generated by the over sized club head. When I began my downswing the bend in the shaft would give me one extra thing to think about at the worst possible time. What really impressed me when swinging the Ping G20 was the reduction in this bend due to the additional weight that was placed above the center point of the TFC 169D shaft. This added weight greatly reduced the clubs flex in both the back swing and address, allowing me to focus more on my shot. As a result, I began to experience an increased level of confidence off the tee, a confidence that lead to far better swings.
We all have to make our sacrifices when it comes to the clubs we choose to have the honor of sitting in our bag. This is especially the case when it comes to a club that we hit less than 15% of the time during most rounds. However, despite the urge to throw the driver on the back of the priority list for the upcoming golf season, the Ping G20 driver could be one of those clubs that makes more of a difference on the scorecard than any other. As a result, the many great characteristics of the Ping G20 driver have given me a significant reason to consider making the driver switch in my own bag, one that I would surely not regret.
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