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Worldwide Golf Shops INSIDER PODCAST #330! In this installment, we chat with the President of PING Golf, Mr. John K Solheim! John talks PING’s NEW G425 Family of Drivers, Fairways, Hybrids, and Irons! Please Enjoy this INSIDER Podcast.
In a departure from recent iron models, PING’s experts re-engineered the face of the G425 iron by employing a metal-wood-style, variable face thickness(VFT)design. This greatly increases flexing for measurable ball speed gains that launch shots higher and farther with the stopping power to hold greens – a rare result with most of today’s distance-minded irons. In the process of creating the new face design, they developed a more compact head that sets a new standard for forgiveness for an iron its size. While shorter heel-to-toe than the G410 model, it boasts a 3% higher MOI due to mass savings from the new face geometry that have been re-allocated to the toe and hosel weights, which expands the perimeter weighting and greatly tightens dispersion. Extensive finite element analysis was used to help develop a multi-material cavity badge that covers more of the face to damp undesirable frequencies and ensure a superb feel and pleasing sound. The G425 irons feature a performance-improving, water-repelling hydropearl chrome finish. The grooves in the PW, UW, SW and LW are precision-milled to ensure control and touch into and around the greens.
In the G425 driver series, this model is named Max as it elevates the moment of inertia (MOI) to PING’s highest level in history and provide golfers the most forgiving driver in golf. To achieve the new performance levels in the G425 Max, PING engineers combined key technologies from the G400 Max and G410 Plus. The resulting increase in MOI in the 460cc head comes mainly from a 26-gram tungsten movable weight, which is made possible by weight savings attributed to advancements in the driver’s dragonfly crown technology.
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Welcome to the Worldwide Golf Shops Insider Podcast episode 330. Greetings everyone Tom Brassell here. Thanks so much for joining us. So glad that you did. Today is a great day to join us.
Because our special guest, he’s a regular, we check in with him every year at the PGA merchandise show, if not more than once a year. We catch up with him on the phone. He is the President of Ping Golf, Mr John K Solheim, John thanks so much for joining us. Great to have you on the show with us.
Oh, it’s great to be here.
Before we get going, it’s crazy times that we’re in right now. First and foremost, how are you doing?
How’s your health? How is your family and and everyone around you?
Alright, so I’m doing good. Been healthy. I feel like I haven’t had anything like a cold or anything for the last. I guess going on a year now. So things are going well, you know. Obviously we’re staying safe. Business is doing well, so I feel very fortunate to be, you know. And in an industry that’s done well through through the pandemic.
It really has been amazing what started out to be doom and gloom. Kind of finished with a flurry in 2020 we’ve got something on the horizon right now. Looks awfully special. the G 425 line for pink before we get into the clubs itself. Why don’t you take us backstage a little bit John and tell us what went into all this because this is fantastic stuff.
Alright, so yeah, a lot of great product coming out so the exciting thing with 425 do the to the pandemic and all the uncertainty last year is actually supposed to be launched in you know July or August of last year we made a decision kinda early in 2020 to push it off just because of all the business uncertainty out there. So it’s kind of the long awaited debut. But that extra time gave us a little more time to dial it in. Really working with a lot of tour players they’ve already been playing it for several months now. We’ve had great success out there. You know every product from the driver to the fairway Woods. Hybrids irons. All major improvements over the 410 product.
We’ve feedback that I’ve seen from the videos from some of your tour staff issues. Really been fantastic from you know, Bubba Cameron Tony everybody. But let’s start with the drivers. And because you have three drivers to 425 Max SFT talk about the drivers because that’s kind of where it also.
So the driver the Max is kind of the new offering. We had a Max with the G400. When we went to G410, we called it a plus because it wasn’t quite as oversized is what we designate a Max size. So with the 4:25 we now have the Mac and that really maximizes the forgiveness. It’s you know at the USGA maximum for size. I like. Personally, I’ve always been an LST guy ’cause I spend the ball a little more than I’d like, but with the 4:25 I’ve gone to the Max. Just he added forgiveness and it it’s a low spitting driver as well. It’s been perfect for my game, so I’ve reaped the benefits of not only hitting it further, but hitting a lot more fairways. Then we’ve got the LST, which is our most spin, so that’s going to take that Max driver so slightly smaller Head also you give up a little bit of forgiveness, but we’ve lowered the CG even more in the spin goes down about 500 RPM’s so a lot of the better drivers out there golfers out there really prefer that LST model ’cause they get a little more control and a little less been for a little longer ball flight and then the SFT is kind of for the person who’s fighting. That’s life.
I think 5 to 10 yards more left biased into it so the golfer who really struggles with this flight the SFT is just going to take that right out of their game.
From what I’m reading, lower spin, but you can launch it higher to get the roll out because of the low spin, is that right?
Yeah, so I would say relative to the marketplace all our drivers are pretty low Spin, LST is obviously our lowest spin, but even the Max in the SFT compared to most ’cause we’ve got that back in low CG strategy. So that really not only promotes forgiveness but also promotes a low spinning ball flight.
Low spin. It’s not always ideal, like if you get into like a lot of slower speed swings, you actually as you go through the trading process, you might want to add a little bit of spin, but for most golfers out there they’re spending it too much and by taking spin off the balls, not only flying further, but it’s got less backspin, so when it lands, it rolls out Further.
John, as far as your tour staff, I wouldn’t think the greatest players in the world would talk a whole lot about forgiveness, but my gosh they sure do and it means a lot to these guys as well. I heard Cameron Champ say the harder I swing, the straighter it goes, which is kind of a funny thing. Talk about that a little bit because they were really preaching the product in the videos that you guys put out.
Yeah, I think it’s interesting when you talk about tour players, you know I would say irons that they play compared to what most common golfers play or are totally different. But when it comes to Woods and then you know, hitting those 300 plus drive. They’re really looking for forgiveness, you know, the fairways are getting narrower out there. They’re all hitting it further. And when you’re hitting it further, you know 1 degree, right? It can end up in a lot more trouble than when you’re not in it further, so on the driver, they really want to maximize that. Forgiveness. Give him something where you know they know the trajectory. In the right, the left of where that ball is going to go.
Another thing that they said that was important to him and you think it wouldn’t be, but it really is, is the sound of the 425 share with us a little bit about what went into that. Yeah, so it. You probably be surprised how much time we focus. On the sound so kind of first and foremost is all the performance. Uh the Golf Club, but we know. A driver that sounds awful is not going to get a whole lot of, just it’s not very confidence inspiring and you know people are quickly turned off, so we spend a ton of time dialing in that sound, and that’s what the kind of what we conquered with the G425 Max. As we were able to go, the bigger you make it, the more hollow it tends to sound and kind of louder.
It sounds, but with some ribbing in there. We were able to really neutralize the sounds to make it more of a dampen sound, but a very powerful sound as well.
John, you mentioned fitting a couple times and when you and I talk we always seem to go down that go down that road and the importance of being fit you a low handicap golfer. Just me thinking right out of you know other shoot. I think I thought you’d be the LST driver but you’ve gone Max so talk a little bit about the importance of being fit.
Yeah, so I to me we could put all the technology into the Golf Club. If you don’t take the time to go get fit for it, you know you’re only taking maybe fifth of the image of 50% of the technology by going to get fit. That’s where you can see those huge 20 to 30 yard gains from your previous try. Work.
So it’s all about, you know, for me it was what you know what driver gives me the best launch window in the best forgiveness, you know, kind of. We look at this version, so I think I’m a state now.
More and more people are getting fit, but the mistake I think I see in making now is they they get fit for that single best shot. Rather than looking at, you know 10 to 20 shots with that driver where they all ended up and you know what’s the second shot from all ten of those, you know ’cause you’re going to hit 14 drives on day.
So to me, that’s where they I call it like kind of next generation fitting is not only you know which one gives you the optimal that one time, but when you look at the average in where all the misses are going, which driver is best for you? But that’s really what wanted out for me is, you know, on my best the best, the LST and the Max were about the same. Or when I looked at over like 15 shots.
I could see that the Max was providing me more balls in the fairway, and overall a larger or longer average. Distance as those methods were so much better.
Yeah, Bubba talked a lot about the windows that he was looking for, and that’s probably the same with you then. It’s not that one perfect shot, it’s getting it through that window for those other ones that you need as well.
I mean we all had that Miss Tendency into me. You know, minimizing that missed and realizing you know what my misses an OK shot and I you know I can still get on the green from there.
It is really, you know, we’re fitting. I think is going, and then it’s not just about what single shot did you hit the best, but of all the shots you hit. And you know what percentage you’re in play?
And So what provides you the best Golf Club for all your shots?
Yeah, what’s the whole family of clubs as well? It’s the fairways. Hybrids and irons. Share with us. Just as we close it off, John a little bit about that as well, because this is something you don’t want to miss. Let’s say entire family at 425 from being.
Oh for sure, so I’m super excited. I would say the biggest you know if you’re going from R 410 product to 425 fairways and hybrids. Are we going to see the biggest improvement distance?
We got the new face wrap technology on both those in on the fairway Woods it.
It’s outstanding how you know I gained 10 yards on my 3 would just bring a lot more part fives into reach for me and for all sorts of golfers out there so. We’re really excited about the gains we’re seeing in the Fairway Woods in the hybrid. You know R410 hybrid. We were number one and hybrids, which I always think it’s funny ’cause we never set out to conquer the hybrid market. But we just our product was so good and just through word of mouth you know we were number one in hybrids with a 410 and we’ve taken another jump in performance with the 425 hybrids in crossover so that. The Crossover I would say is a little bit more of a better players hybrid solution where it’s a little more iron like.
Where the hybrid is more of a traditional hybrid, more for those people who are looking to take irons out of play. Long irons out of play, and you know, kind of that hybrid.
But it’s always used for, so we’ve got 2 great offerings there with the hybrid in the crossover.
Also, I’m looking at the Irons as well. Beautiful, beautiful look. Share with us a little bit about the variable thickness, face, the geometry, and everything that goes into those.
Yeah, so I’m really happy with how RG Iron Pipeline is kind of evolved over the last call it 10 years.
You know, really started? You know, if the game improvement iron, but just over with each evolution of it, we’ve got made it better and better looking. So not only does the performance get better with every evolution in the 425 being the latest, but the cosmetics than just the comfort the golfer has over the ball so that you know the heads gotten a little bit smaller. But now we’ve got that tungsten weight on the toe, so the forgiveness still goes. Up ’cause we’ve got the improved heel to MI on that iron, but bounce angles have been optimized. The lofts are optimized so that these are high launching irons and because their high launching were able to take a little bit of loss so the trajectory window is still the same.
But that gives the golfer more boring flight, so they’re they’re hitting these irons longer.
And nobody likes, you know, being able to hit an 8 iron rather than a 7. Iron that just. Gives you more green tip and closer birdie putts.
John K Thanks so much for joining us. It’s always great to have you on the show with us.
How about some final words for our listeners? And I got a funny feeling I think your words might involve custom fitting in some way.
Well, yeah, of course go and get fit, but you know I would just say it’s been. It’s been good for golf this we’ve got more and more people playing golf. I think more and more people are finding out Golf is a great game. It’s a great sport to play with your friends to play with your family.
It’s safe so I just encourage everybody to go play golf when you’re playing golf, you’re going to want to play better golf. And paying the 1st place, you know, get a lesson and get ping clubs and you’re going to find out you’re even. Join your golf game. Even more.
John K. Solheim, it’s always a pleasure hooking up with you. Thanks so much for the time. Hey, let’s do it again down the road, my friend.
Sounds great, thanks.
Off that name is synonymous and originated custom Golf Club fitting and you want to make sure to do that again with these G 425 clubs mixture take the time, go to any worldwide golf shops. Retail location.
Ted, spend the time, invest the time and get custom fit for these clubs and you will. You will see a difference in your game. Will special thanks to John K Solheim for joining us and your listeners and we’ll do it again next time. We have another episode of the worldwide golf Shops Insider podcast here worldwidegolfshops.com so long everyone.