Since the Ping Eye 2 clubs of the 1980s, Ping irons have become synonymous with distance and forgiveness and the G400s follow suit. These irons were built to give golfers towering distance with tour level distance and they have been getting rave reviews since they came out. They function well as a game improvement iron but they look and feel like blades in your hands. Some golfers report hitting the Ping 7-iron as far as their old 6-irons but with the height of an 8-iron. Basically these irons are easy to hit, launch as high as any iron you will find, and give you excellent control.
All About Ping G400 Irons
John K. Solheim, the President of Ping, calls the G400s their “game enjoyment irons” because they are so fun to play. Here are some of the things that set them apart from other irons.
The Cor-Eye technology is the key to these golf clubs. It stiffens up the center of the face so that you can use the leading edge like a hinge at impact. It gives you higher ball speed and noticeably and substantially longer distance. Balls also fly higher and land more softly.
The undercut top edge means that weight was removed from the top edge and added lower to the club for a lower center of gravity. It also makes the club look better at address. A thinner top edge also gives you more flex at impact.
Hyper 17-4 stainless steel goes through a heating process that makes the face 40% stronger which means you can make it significantly thinner. This thinner face makes it faster and more flexible at impact as well.
With the extra flex and subsequent rebound after contact, many irons sacrifice vibration and feel for speed. Ping created a 3-piece elastomer badge to dampen those vibrations and to improve the sound and feel of the irons.
The ascending weight technology of the irons is unique in that the higher the iron, the higher the shaft weight. The lighter long irons helps you square the face at impact while the heavier shafts on the high irons improve trajectory, feel and control.
With most cavity-back irons, the first you thing you notice is a wider sole. The G400s are different. They have a thin top line and moderately sized sole that looks even smaller because of how it is shaped. While they perform like a game improvement iron, they almost have the thinness of a blade and they look really good at address. You get a firm and solid feel with each shot. The hydropearl finish looks great and it also reduces friction with the turf for less lost energy and fewer fliers out of the rough.
Any time you talk about Ping irons, the first thing you talk about is distance. These irons play longer than most irons in their class, but they also launch higher and are easier to control. Some players report adding 10 yards or more per iron compared to other, similar clubs.
While these clubs have similar looks to high end blades, they are actually very forgiving cavity-back clubs. If you hit it thin, they still fly pretty high, they have a low center of gravity because of the tungsten weighting, and the extra height helps them to land softly on the green. The wedges are great for chipping because of the streamlined heads and blade feel.
For game improvement irons, they have great feel both around the green and on approach shots. The vibration dampening elastomer badge takes away the vibration and gives you a really good sound when you make solid contact. They are not that easy to work around the course through draws and fades because they are built to go straight and high.
If you get your G400s custom fitted, Ping offers a “power spec” option. If you go with this option you get even more distance out of your irons as it strengthens the lofts of the 4-7 irons by 1.5-degrees, the 8 and 9 irons by 1-degree, and the wedges by 0.5-degrees.
Pros and Cons of Ping G400 Irons
Just like with any other golf club, there are some pros and some cons when it comes to the Ping G400s.
- Distance. These irons are as long or longer than any other iron in its class and can really stand up to any iron on the market. The faster and more flexible face makes these irons really long.
- The hyper 17-4 stainless steel face is 40% stronger than the stainless steel used in most irons which means the face is ultra thin and ultra fast.
- You get a blade look and feel with a cavity-back forgiveness and distance.
- The wedges cut through the turf well and have a lot of good forgiveness and feel around the greens and on approach.
- Even with the extra distance that these clubs produce, you get an incredibly high launch. This is great for beginners who struggle to get the ball off the ground, but it also aids in control and softer landings on the green.
- You get 4 wedges with the factory set, which is more than most iron sets out there.
- The quality of construction along with the aesthetics of the clubs set them above a lot of irons in their class. Ping is known for quality in general and these clubs do not disappoint.
- The ascending weight technology makes the longer irons easier to square and hit and gives the shorter irons better trajectory and feel.
- The 3-piece elastomer band helps fight vibration and give you better sound and feel at impact.
- They are great for beginners, but cost more than most beginners are willing to spend.
- They are difficult to draw and fade compared to other clubs. They are built to go high and straight, which is great for beginners, but not as good for players who want to work the ball around the course.
- The longer irons are more difficult to hit than other game improvement clubs.
What type of player is the Ping G400 irons right for?
The G400 irons will appeal to a wider array of players than any other game improvement irons on the market. Beginners will love them because they are really easy to hit, have one of the highest launches on the market, and will grow with your game for years. At the same time, the distance, looks, and forgiveness will appeal to intermediate and even advanced players as well. The sweet spot is probably players with between a 10 and 25 handicap, but there are a lot of scratch golfers who will love them.
How do the Ping G400 Irons compare to other irons on the market?
Every high-end brand out there has a game improvement iron option that is similar to the Ping G400. Callaway uses Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cobra makes irons with huge heads and big offsets, and TaylorMade has made some great irons over the years so that the market is pretty stout with competition. The Ping G400s have a higher launch than any of them. They also combine the look of a blade with the playability of a cavity-back as well or better than any of them. The stronger lofts on the irons give you added distance, but that added distance does not come with an equally decreased launch. If you are looking for a set of game improvement irons and distance and launch are your two biggest wants, the G400s are some of the best out there. Some of the other clubs are a little more forgiving and easier to hit, but none of them will launch as high or go as far as the Ping G400s. These clubs lend themselves more to the intermediate players who want that added distance and control.
Final Thoughts On The Ping G400 Irons
There are not that many players that would not benefit from the features and technology offered by the Ping G400 irons. They are really long and launch really high, but they are also as forgiving and easy to hit as any club on the market. Many players, regardless of skill level, are moving more toward forgiving and long clubs. Cobra has made a name for themselves in this space recently, but nobody beats a Ping iron when it comes to distance and accuracy. These irons look like blades, perform like game improvement clubs, and do great around the greens as well. Ping has been doing it since the 1980s, and the G400s will not disappoint.