Exclusive – Podcast #243 John K. Solheim, PING G400 Irons
In this episode, we discuss the up and coming G400 Irons, the face flex technology in the G400 irons that launches the ball off the club face to provide tour like distances, how they can improve the average golfers game and the importance of getting fit by a professional to get the most out of your irons.
Welcome to Golf Better at Worldwide Golf Shops. Hello, everyone. My name is Tom Brussell. Thanks so much for joining us. So glad you’re joining us today. If you’re a first time listener or long time subscriber or maybe somewhere in the middle, it doesn’t matter. We’re just glad that you’re here today. Our guest today joins us from Scottsdale, Arizona, the President of PING Golf, Mr. John K. Solheim. John, thanks so much for joining us. Great to have you with us.
John Solheim: Well, thank you. It’s good to be here.
Tom: John, all new the G400 irons, the feedback has been phenomenal. Every time I look at one of the videos that your tour players have put out with they’ve been testing and I’m just so impressed. Talk about the new G400 iron.
John Solheim: To me, the most exciting thing about the G400 iron is it goes really far but the launch that it’s giving golfers, the average golfers, are very similar to tour-like launch conditions. We know tour players tend to like to play a Blade, kind of a muscle back type golf club. That allows them to really work the ball and do that stuff, but they do give up a lot of ball speed, a lot of the higher launch and stuff. When a golfer goes with these G400’s, they start hitting their 7 irons close to the distance the tour players do. The one interesting … Andrew Rice, who’s one of our ambassadors, he’s a great instructor. He’s posted on Twitter his stats. He’s a better than average golfer, but he doesn’t have tour type swing speeds. He’s showing how his swings, 10 miles an hour lower than a tour player, but his ball speed’s a couple miles an hour faster than the average tour player. It’s the way we do it. It’s the face flexing technology we have in the G400.
It’s like a diving board so it’s really bending at the bottom there. If you impact the ball, not only does that give it a spring-like effect to launch the ball further, it also increases the launch angle. With that, we obviously were able to take some loft off these clubs. When you take loft off the clubs, all of a sudden the ball speed gets even higher but we’re still launching at the right angles for a 7 iron. There’s a lot of talk out there that we just jack the lofts but really if we didn’t do that to the lofts, these things would just go to the moon. You wouldn’t like that at all so we’re getting the right bore ball flight. A 7 iron when you hit it, it looks like a 7 iron. It has less loft on the club but it’s launching. The ball height, it’s every thing that you’re used to in a 7 iron. It’s just going further.
Tom: Yeah, I like what one of your tour players said when they were testing it. It’s like I’ve got a 7 iron, I’m hitting it like a 6, but the window it’s going through off the face is going through an 8 iron.
John Solheim: Yeah. They’re super forgiving, too. A little more compact shape than what we’ve had so the concerning golfer, I think it’s going to be comfortable over this club. It’s got a chrome plate finish so it’s a very nice looking club, but it’s super forgiving. I was playing in Japan two days ago with them. I hit a shot and hit it really nice, looked down and I barely caught the grooves on the face. I’m showing my group. It felt like a good shot. I didn’t even feel the head rotate. It’s just so solid through impact. Had no idea I’d missed it that far out of the toe, and it was up there about 10 feet from the hole.
Tom: That’s what we’re looking for. That’s what the average player is looking for, not necessarily when you hit it right there on that nickel size dot but what happens when you miss it a little bit.
John Solheim: Yeah, exactly. For me, I play a little bit but not enough. Don’t hit it right on that dime in the center every time so I need a little forgiveness if I catch a little heel or toe side, or high or low.
Tom: How about some set makeups, John? Just your traditional, I guess, four through pitching wedge and then also some other wedges. What can we look for there?
John Solheim: It goes all the way through an L-Wedge. It’s got a traditional L, S, gap wedge wedge up to the 4 iron, I think. I don’t even know if there’s a 3. I got to check. I don’t play 3 irons anymore so I don’t think there is a 3 iron in there, but I’m not sure. You have to go to our website. Really got all the options and it blends really in-that we’ve got the crossover, hybrids, and fairway woods. They all blend very nice together so wherever you want to cut your irons off we’ve got a crossover, a hybrid, or even fairway woods that you can go right into.
Tom: Talk just briefly, John, before we close on this about the crossover club. The video of your players hitting it, your tour players hitting it, was really, really intriguing.
John Solheim: That one, for my personal game, I’m most excited about. We really improved the ground impact. Before the crossover’s a great technology because it brings the hybrid distance with the straightness of an iron. Going from our first generation now to the G400, the second generation of it, we really improved the ground impact. Before, my issue was I had to hit it a few times before I figured it out. On the golf course, that doesn’t work that good. This one, it’s just like an iron for me. It’s just super forgiving so I can go straight from hitting driver to crossover, hitting a pitching wedge to crossover, and not have to worry about making any adjustments to my swing, and just it goes further. We actually made these launch a little higher. The first crossover’s were super hot so these go a little higher so they’ve got more stopping power on the grain.
Tom: John, before we close with regards to the G400 irons, it seems like when you and I talk our conversation always goes to this. Share with us the importance of being custom fit for these clubs. Don’t just grab a set off the rack and play them. It’s super, super important to make sure you’ve got the right one.
John Solheim: Yeah, exactly. With irons, we’d have our color code fitting system that we’ve been using for a long time. The style-thin, the lie of the golf club, really big on irons especially to get more and more loft on the club whether your misses go right or left of having just the right lie. It’s just that easy. You get the lie right and your shots go straight. We also have power spec available in these clubs. If you are looking for a little more distance, you can power spec them so that’s a slight adjustment to the loft across the whole set. Then obviously, shaft type, shaft length, all those are important factors because every golfer’s different. Go to one of our trained fitters, and they’ll dial you in and get you exactly what you need.
Tom: John K., thanks so much for joining us. You guys have done it again, knocked it out of the park. Hey, final words for our listeners as we close on G400 irons?
John Solheim: My final word and my big sell is, you know what, just go out and try it and see for yourself. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. I’m confident you’re going to be excited when just trying the G400 iron out.
Tom: Hey, John, thanks so much. Great catching up with you again.
John Solheim: Thank you.
Tom: Well, PING has literally hit it out of the park again with the G400. As John said, make sure to give them a try. Then make sure to invest a little bit of time to get custom fit to make sure not only do you have the right set makeup for your game but also the right lie angle, the right color code, all that’s available down to the right grip and the right grip size. It just take a few minutes. Make sure you arm yourself with the right equipment in a new G400 series. Well, special thanks to John for joining us and to you our listeners. We’ll do it again next time when we have another episode of Golf Better at worldwidegolfshops.com. So long everyone.
For more information on the G400 line of clubs, check out our recent “New PING G400 Series” blog post that highlights the technology, head options and much more that come standard in the G400 line. For information on the G400 Driver, check out our previous podcast interview with John K. Solheim at “PING G400 Driver.”