Last week, I joined fellow journalists from across Europe at Golf Club St Leon-Rot in Germany to get the first look at the new G30 family of clubs. Here I give you a look behind the scenes at the Ping's global launch for the G30 line...
We arrived at Golf Club St Leon-Rot and what a place it was. The venue for the 2015 Solheim Cup, it's owned by computer software company SAP, whose global headquarters sit a matter of metres from the entrance to the club. One of the things that most impressed me is that it's a real hub for junior golf in the area, with over 500 youngsters learning the game on its fine layouts.
The launch itself began with a presentation from Ping chairman and CEO John A. Solheim and Marty Jertson, Ping's senior design engineer. After a short introduction from Mr. Solheim, it was left to Marty to talk us all through the ins and outs of the new Ping G30 line - including the innovative turbulators.
An amusing video from Bubba Watson showed Bubba-Long just got even longer and we got a close-up of Bubba's bright pink driver, too.
Next, it was our turn. After a short buggy ride to the range, we were greeted by the Ping Tour van and bags full of the equipment for us to try. Obviously, the driver is the place to start. As someone who has had the Ping's i25 in the bag since the start of the year, I was looking forward to starting off with the driver.
What came next, though, was perhaps the biggest advert for custom fitting anyone could have ever asked for. I picked out a driver that appeared to the eye as though it matched my current set-up - 10.5 degrees, standard stiff shaft - only for the ball to nosedive out of the air each time about 20 yards from where I stood.
A few tweaks from Ping's expert fitters later and I really got to see what the G30 driver has to offer. Long, high, straight, consistent - it was an absolute delight to hit, not to mention hugely impressive.
The fairway woods and hybrids both flew like a dream, too, while the irons went high and straight, offering the forgiveness of the game improvement category that Ping has moved the G-series irons into since the G25 iteration was released.
Ping G30 prices
The G30 driver is available in two different models, the standard and the SF Tec, with prices starting at £299. The fairways woods have an RRP of £210, hybrids are priced at £175, and the irons are £86 per club (steel) or £100 per club (graphite).