Perhaps we all thought Ping would stand pat with its G400 driver and who could have blamed the manufacturing giant if they did.
Not only did they create a driver that was easy to hit in the G400 Driver but it was quite popular and sold well.
Of course it might not have been the perfect fit for golfers who want the maximum size head available under the rules today - 460cc.
So they took the head shape and tweaked it, essentially adding size in all the right places to give golfers the biggest, and best Ping can deliver.
The G400 Max Driver is going to be yet another game changer from Ping, which has been ahead of the curve in technology since its inception in Karsten Solheim's garage in the late 1960s.
Key Features of the Ping G400 Max Driver
The G400 Max Driver features a Forged T9S+ face, which is intended to create more flex and as we all know by now, when the face flexes, it creates ball speed and ball speed equals distance.
Ping also included a high-density back weight for the deep Center-of-Gravity which has become a staple of their drivers recently created. Ping claims this is the deepest Center of Gravity ever on a driver.
This produces a high Moment-of-Inertia (MOI) (Ping claims its 9900) and delivers impressive forgiveness on those dastardly off-center strikes.
The Dragonfly Technology is back, generating a thinner crown, which should create additional weight savings.
The turbulators and Vortec Technology create improved aerodynamics and less drag. Ping also eliminated the aerodynamic slot on the back of the driver clubhead, which existed in the previous G400 series drivers.
Multiple shaft options are par for the course with Ping: The Ping Alta CB 55 is the stock shaft but it's always recommended that prospective buyers try a host of different choices before making a selection.
The Ping Tour 65 and Tour 75 are also excellent choices that fit a wide array of players.
The Project X Hzrdus Yellow and Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver Dual Core TiNi as well as the Alta Distanza and Aldila X-Torsion Copper are interesting options and top-of-the-line shafts.
The G400 Max Player's Test
Aesthetics - The Ping G400 Max is big and beautiful. Where other 460cc drivers on the market can appear bulky and cumbersome, the textured crown and infinity edge combine to create an attractive driver.
The black matte finish is not going to blind you on those extremely sunny days either. Also, Ping used both in-depth research and extensive computer simulation coupled with music theory to come up with yet an innovation in the golf club industry.
The Ping engineers patented a rib architecture, fine-tuning the frequencies to produce a deeper, more muted and pleasing sound which is also designed to enhance feel.
Distance - She's hotter than Kate Upton on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The 460cc head combined with the ample technology - generating a club that's easier to swing fast and maximizes the ball speed once contact is made.
Again, finding the correct shaft and loft combination is always important to maximize speed and keep spin at a manageable number.
Forgiveness - This is where the G400 Max really sets itself apart from Ping's other recent offerings. The G400 Max has a supersized sweet spot, which should increase its appeal for the target audience - mid-to-high handicappers.
Ping promises its combination of CG and MOI will produce a tighter dispersion between the good and bad shots.
Workability - If the draws and fades, high and low balls off the tee are your pleasure, the G400 Max should probably not be your first choice.
It is designed to produce a long, high, straight ball flight with minimal curve. And I'm not sure that particular ball flight should ever bother anyone who enjoys playing golf.
How does the G400 Max Driver match up with recent Ping offerings like the G400 and the Ping G?
Well, for starters the higher your handicap and the less consistent your swing, the bigger the club-head should be on the driver in your bag.
It's hard to see a scenario where the G400 Max would not be an upgrade for golfers who are struggling to find the center of the face and the center of the fairway on a regular basis.
Every time Ping releases a new model, it's just slightly better than the one before.
Check out our full review of the Ping G400 driver if are looking for a non game-improvement driver. Or, if you are interested in getting a deal on an older model, our review of the Ping G driver should be your next stop.
How does the G400 Max Driver compare to other drivers on the market?
It will quickly earn its position right at the top of the line with the Callaway Epic or Callaway Rogue offerings.
Generated for mid-to-high handicappers, it won't be surprising if the G400 Max finds its way into the bags of some better players who feel the need for speed or feel they are leaving a few yards on the tee box.
Forgiveness and distance are a beautiful combination.
The Bottom Line
From the deeper profile to the aerodynamic head, to the bolder turbulators that are designed to reduce aerodynamic drag, the Ping G400 Max Driver has left no stone unturned as it tries to continue advancing the game of golf and making it more enjoyable for every golfer to play.
The key to building a 460cc head is to also make it look appealing to a wide array of golfers.
Ping has delivered in this regard again.
By putting the weight in the back, shifting the center of gravity to its most effective point and raising the Moment of Inertia to unforeseen levels, Ping continues creating drivers that make it easier to launch shots into the air and give golfers with varying swing speeds more distance overall on their tee shots.
Hats off to Ping for cracking this code.