What? You haven’t tried the Ping G400 fairway woods yet? What have you been doing all summer? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Yep, our pleasure.
For us, it’s been a Ping G400 fest recently, as we sampled the driver too, and were hugely impressed. It thus followed that our expectations were going to be sky-high as we set about giving the next cog in the Ping G400 wheel a go.
Then again, with the prowess and beauty of the Ping G fairway wood still fresh in our minds, it was always going to be a hard act to follow. So, does this new range do enough to justify being billed as a major upgrade?
Only one way to find out…
Our Ping G400 Fairway Wood Review featured as part of our analysis of the Best Fairway Woods Review, click here.
If you already own a Ping G400 Fairway Wood please leave your review in the customer review box at the end of this article.
Ping G400 Fairway Wood Review
The Ping G400 fairways are more of a consolidation of the excellence of the G range than a head-turning game-changer. Certainly, when you put the club(s) down, the striking similarities are hard to get away from. That’s no bad thing though, and there are some incremental enhancements. A thinning of the crown means weight can be redistributed to improve CG and MOI. The 3 wood definitely offers up higher ball speeds and distances. And all the previously-seen features like loft adjustability and the impressive Ping Alta CB shaft are present. If you are in possession of the G fairway woods, there probably isn’t enough here to justify a trade in. But, for the rest of you, this is a very well-engineered club whose launch, consistency and overall performance cannot be questioned. And, at a relatively competitive price to boot, it’s well worth a look.
Pros and Cons
- Combination of forgiveness and ability to shape shots will appeal to a wide range of golfer
- Like the G400, the sound at impact is delightfully solid, with good feedback trough the hands
- Strong natural trajectory of the 3 & 5 wood compounds the extra distance on offer
- Price isn’t unreasonable
- None, except that ground-breaking improvements on the G fairways are in short supply
|Product Details||Ping G400 Fairway Wood Review|
|Handicap Range||Low – High|
|Hand Availability||Right & Left Hand|
|Lofts||13° (3), 14.5° (3), 16° (3), 17.5° (5), 19° (5), 20.5° (7), 22° (7), 23.5° (9)|
|Shaft Type and Name||Ping Alta CB 55|
|Grip||Golf Pride Tour Velvet|
Ping G400 Fairway Wood Review Detailed Review
A lot of the technological improvements resonate with those of the G400 driver, such as the gold weight in the sole, which is 30 per cent denser than the one at the back of the G.
This all forms part of the quest to move CG further down, and to boost MOI.
The crown is comprised of 17-4 Stainless Steel, and, in some places, is just 0.48mm thick. Again, this saves weight, which is redistributed to augment the lower CG.
The face is really impressive though, as it’s made from Maraging Steel. This is a much lighter (and sturdier) material than stainless, and, in terms of the numbers, Ping says this results in the face being around 28 per cent thinner, and with up to 30 per cent more flex.
Obviously, this gives ball speeds a nudge too – an increase of 2 per cent if you believe what the manufacturer says.
The other point to mention is the Ping Alta CB shaft, which is a bit heavier in the base area in order to enhance MOI. It’s a fine piece of machinery too, and with the different flex options, is a pivotal part of getting in the groove with these impressive woods.
Control & Performance
The most eye-catching – or should we say ear-catching – feature of using these clubs is the sound they make, and the feedback they provide. The ball really feels like it stays hit when you get hold of it, and even though it isn’t the loudest off the face, it is very satisfying.
And while these woods are very forgiving, it doesn’t mask the feedback when you catch it thin, or don’t find the middle. It all registers.
One of the surprising things was that the trajectories were higher than I expected for each respective loft. I mean that in a good way, and this is probably a direct result of the easy launch and low CG.
It’s just worth noting that you might want to avoid simply taking the loft numbers at face value, and be sure to fine tune these clubs to suit you when you’re getting custom fitted.
But the overall performance of these woods is simply excellent. The ball flight is strong, the distance and numbers were definitely higher than when we sampled the G, and the most impressive element of all was the workability of these clubs, particularly the 5-wood.
You aren’t just coming down at it with a big, forgiving barn door on your downswing.
For the better players, it feels like you can manoeuvre the ball, which is ideal. And of course, if you mishit it slightly, there is plenty of cushion – something we can all appreciate.
Design & Appearance
The view from above? Well, as is the apparent theme of this review, it isn’t all that different from that of the G. For starters, the classic matte black crown is certainly a familiar sight.
Then again, the Turbulators on the crown protrude a bit more, and the keen eye will also notice that the rear is rounder, and is therefore smaller and more compact.
However, there are some appreciable differences in the sole. For starters, it’s slightly flatter, especially as you move towards the sole.
This allows the club to really hug the surface underneath, which is ideal for shots off the deck, and negotiating tricky lies.
Interestingly, only the 5, 7 and 9 woods have actual grooves, with the ones on the 3 just being a bit of paintwork.
Understandable, given that the aim is to keep the face as thin as possible, while the higher-lofted woods need grooves to dispel water and dirt, and provide a bit of spin control too.
The only other point of significance is the gold weight on the back of the sole, which, like the driver, is smaller than that of the G. Although like the G, it isn’t easily adjustable, and it will be best to get this fixed when you go in for the fitting.
Value for Money
Perhaps it is because the improvements on the G fairway woods are only incremental, but we’ve been interested to see one or two pundits highlight this as being an expensive product.
Sure, if you’re looking for bargain goods, then this is something you’ll want to give a wide berth. But these are high-quality metals, whose performance can rival just about anything on the market today.
They look good. They feel even better. They sit beautifully on the turf at address. And they are remarkable in that they strike the perfect balance between being forgiving, and allowing you to work and shape the ball.
In other words, these woods keep the door open to anyone on the spectrum between low and high handicap.
So yes, while the launch of the G400 fairways hasn’t shifted the tectonic plates, they bring a heck of a lot to the table. And for $270 a pop, we have no hesitation in branding them as “good value”.