Anyone remember the Ping Zing 2 irons? How about the Ping Eye 2 irons?
If you are old enough to remember, you know that Ping created some truly revolutionary golf irons back in the day. Ping has a long and proud history when it comes to making innovative golf clubs for players of all skill levels and budgets.
They continue the tradition with the introduction of the Ping G400 irons.
Although Ping classifies the G400s as game improvement irons, Ping suggests that even single-digit players may find them well suited for their advanced skills. That’s a pretty bold claim, but in our Ping G400 review we will attempt to find out if that is true.
Ping G400 Irons Review
Like all Ping irons, the Ping G400s play longer than most others in their class. Through custom fitting, Ping also offers what they call the ‘Power Spec.’
This option will yield even more distance by strengthening the lofts on the four to seven irons by 1.5°, the eight and nine irons by 1°, and the wedges 0.5°.
Despite their sleek lines, pearl finish, and blade-like looks, the Ping G400s function quite well as game improvement irons. Thinly hit balls fly almost as high as direct hits.
The low center of gravity and tungsten weight hidden in the Custom Tuning Port help keep the clubface square and moving forward on fat shots. Side to side mishits also fly surprisingly well. The “Three Piece Cavity Badge” provides a solid sound and feel on both good and bad hits.
Better players will truly appreciate these clubs on approach shots and greenside chips. Thanks to the improved distance and higher ball flight, most golfers will be able to go down one club on all shots.
Because of their smaller more streamlined heads, players should find chipping with the G400s a better experience than with other irons of this type.
The Hydropearl finish makes them one of the best-looking set of clubs in the game improvement club market.
Overall, the G400s look more like “player’s” clubs than game improvement irons.
One of the more noticeable features of the G400s is the black plastic circle over the COR-Eye. It dampens vibrations, creates a solid sound, and gives a slightly rubberized feel on contact.
This is especially apparent in the mid to short irons. The longer irons with larger cavities sound slightly hollower but, still solid.
COR-Eye Technology – Ping’s proprietary COR-Eye Technology design generates faster ball speed and substantially longer distance. Balls also fly higher and land softer. One tester stated that “the G400 7-iron has turned into my 6-iron but in an 8-iron window.”
Custom Tuning Port – A concealed CTP (custom tuning port) weight allows players to customize their swing weight.
Hyper 17-4 Stainless Steel – A more flexible face made from 40% thinner Hyper 17-4 stainless steel.
Top Rail Undercut Cavity – A Top rail undercut cavity also increases face flex for more distance and higher ball flight.
Three Piece Cavity Badge – Ping’s co-molded 3-piece cavity badge provides a powerful sound and enhanced feel.
Hydropearl Chrome Finish – The Hydropearl Chrome Finish reduces friction 40% and improves launch and spin from the rough and off of the wet turf.
Enhanced Hosel Geometry – The G400’s hosel geometry, combined with the chrome finish, creates a cleaner and more streamlined look.
Ascending Weight Technology – PING’s proprietary Ascending Weight Technology shafts get lighter as they move through the set from short to long iron. The heavier short iron and wedge improve trajectory, feel, and control. The lighter long-iron shafts help square the clubface on impact and increases distance and accuracy.
Alta CB Premium Graphite Shaft – The optional Alta CB Premium Graphite Shaft allows for extra weight in the head and improved energy transfer from the club head to the golf ball.
Options – Ping offers customers plenty of choices when it comes to customization. Along with seven different shafts in either steel or graphite, buyers can also choose from Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips in six different sizes and colors, or Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord in two different sizes and colors.
- Good for players of a wide range of skill levels.
- One of the sharpest looking irons out there.
- Extremely forgiving on both heel and toe, or fat and thin mishits.
- As much as one club extra distance compared to some other irons in their class.
- Excellent launch height through the entire range of clubs.
- The G400’s Hydropearl finish matches that of their Ping Glide 2.0 wedges for consistency and easy integration.
- Not quite as workable as better players might demand
- Not the best iron for absolute beginners
How do the Ping G400 Irons compare to the Ping G Irons?
Ping kept the same “G” line lofts on the G400’s but, do offer, through a fitting, an option to go for the ‘Power Spec’ lofts where the four to seven irons have their lofts strengthened by 1.5°, the 8 and 9 irons by 1°, and the wedges 0.5°.
Like the G iron and some prior models, the G400s have a tungsten weight hidden in the custom tuning port located on the trailing edge of the cavity on the back of the club head.
Overall though, both the Gs and G400s have a similar shape with a wide sole cambered to cut through the turf from all types of lies. Most golfers will find the G’s and the G400’s play similar, with the main differences being the better looks, sound, and feel of the G400s.
Ping just released their new G700 irons. The G700 irons are super game improvement irons, but unlike usual super game improvement irons, they are actually really good looking clubs. If you are a beginner or high handicapper, you should read our full review of the G700 irons.
What type of player is the Ping G400 irons right for?
Of all the game improvement irons out there, Ping claims the G400’s will appeal to the broadest range of players. While that is somewhat true, we think this club best fits handicaps between 10 and 20.
We will give Ping credit that there are features of these clubs that will appeal to a broad range of players:
- Higher handicappers will appreciate their forgiving nature on mishits while low handicappers will find their blade-like looks a big plus.
- Everyone will like the Hydropearl finish, the solid sound and feel, and the extra height and distance the G400s provide.
While beginners and high handicaps can certainly benefit from the features of the G400 irons, if you fall into that category we have a guide to the best irons for beginners and high handicappers that would be worth your while looking at. And also don’t forget about the Ping G700 irons if you are a plus 20 handicap.
How do the Ping G400 Irons compare to other irons on the market?
Every major club maker has their own proprietary game improvement iron technology. Callaway, for example, employs 360 Face Cup Technology, a Steel-Infused Polyurethane Layer, a hollow Bore-Thru Hosel, and a progressive center of gravity on their Rogue irons.
Cobra makes the Cobra King F8. The more substantial club head and stronger offsets on the Cobras appeal mostly to beginners and players who slice or frequently mishit the ball.
TaylorMade put five of their most successful technologies, from the past fifteen years, into their M4 irons.
With all that being said, we rank the Ping G400 just slightly behind the standard Callaway Rogue irons as the best all-around game improvement irons of 2018. If you are looking for game improvement irons and put a larger premium on distance, the Ping G400s are slightly longer than the standard Callaway Rogues.
The Bottom Line
Well, did Ping actually make a club that suits both high handicaps and good players?
Not completely, but we will say that Ping pulled off a small miracle with the G400 irons.
They created a set of clubs that look and feel like player’s irons but offer three of the most important features found in-game improve irons – more distance, forgiveness, and higher ball flight.
If you fall into the game improvement category, we highly recommend the Ping G400 irons.