Recognize the driver pictured above? Well, maybe if it were hot pink and in the hands of Masters champion Bubba Watson you might! That's right, the same 2012 PING G20 Driver that lead Bubba to victory at Augusta is now available to anyone. This driver was designed for distance and optimized for accuracy. Earlier this week we got an opportunity to test it out for ourselves!
Image: Getty Images / Streeter Lecka
So what makes the G20 so impressive? For starters, it's built with a lighter, lower-density alloy called Ti 8-1-1. We're told that Ti 8-1-1 has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and actually allowed for PING's engineers increase the head profile and add additional external weighting while increasing the moment of inertia. All of this is said to make for a driver which delivers a higher launch trajectory and a lower spin rate. For those of you who are more visually inclined, just check out the image below...
Additionally, PING has outfitted the G20 with their propitiatory "high balance point shaft", which is the clubs power source. It's said to increase energy, momentum, and inertia. Simply put, it's built to go long!
Larger Club Face: creates more forgiveness across the hitting area and the G20's head rotation is neutral, allowing the golfer to deliver the club face straight at impact.
External Weighting: helps launch the ball high with low spin for maximum distance and accuracy.
Proprietary High-Balance-Point Shaft: extra distance is generated.
Last weekend we after several hours spent on the simulator and at the range we decided that it was about time we took the G20 to the course for some real feedback!
Design: (9 out of 10) The overall design of the PING G20 is somewhat classic, yet cutting edge without being gaudy in the slightest. There's no sole plates or our adjustable settings. It's simply a grip, shaft, and club head. Or so the designers of the G20 would have you believe. While it's simple in appearance, it's quite advanced in technology. In-fact the external weighting system which is centered low at the back of the club proved to provide a noticeably higher launch trajectory during our testing sessions on the simulator and driving range. If you step away from the specs and technology and just look at the driver itself you'll also realize it's just down right manly!
Distance: (9.5 out of 10) The G20 was 5.3 yards longer on average when compared to similar (new 2012) drivers we have on-hand. With much of the credit going to PING's high balance point shaft, which generates the force behind the distance. When compared to similar drivers of two and three years of use the G20 was 14.6 yards longer on average. If you couldn't already tell... we've concluded that this driver is LONG! Trust us.
Feel: (8.5 out of 10) Overall we like how the driver sets up at address, but weighting at the rear of the club head can take a few buckets of balls at the range to get use to. After that swinging the G20 is like second nature. Upon impact with the golf ball the G20 delivers an acoustic "ping" that is very pleasing and somewhat shocking if you're not ready for it!
Accuracy: (9 out of 10) On off-center shots the G20 remained incredibly accurate. Our testing on the simulator proved that the low CG and external weighting do in-fact produce lower spin rates, which in-turn keep the flight of the ball straighter overall. While we were very impressed with the G20's accuracy, we'd also like to say that it's not a miracle club. If you already slice the ball or hook it, you'll probably still hook or slice it with the G20, but with this driver your 17 yard slice could likely be cut to 10 yards.
Alignment: (8.5 out of 10) Nothing special here in our opinion. The leading edge of the crown sports two horn shaped guides that meet in the center. PING decided to keep it simple, and go with what works, and that's exactly what it does. It works.
Value: (9 out of 10) The G20's asking price is up there, but it's right on par with Nike, Cleveland, and Callaway. We feel that for the price you're getting one heck of a value!
The Bottom Line: We'd classify the PING G20 as a game improvement driver. It's great for all handicaps and should even bolster your tee balls further down the fairway! If you're in the market for a new driver this season we highly recommend you give the PING G20 some serious consideration. In-fact, give it a whirl yourself a the next time PING is in your area preforming a demo day. Or you can always head over to your local pro shop or sporting goods store for a test drive. Now that you understand why we enjoyed the G20 so much, check out what tour pros like Bubba Watson, Bill Lunde, Miguel Jimenez, and Angel Cabrera have to say about it in the embedded video below... Spoiler alert!!! They loved it too!
Bubba Watson Special Edition Pink G20: $399
April 24, 2012 11:36 AM | Golf