What we say...
The Ping G400 Irons have developed new materials and finishes on their latest irons, which not only fly further but higher too
Details: RRP £110 (s) £120 (g) per club. Availability: 4-LW. Stock steel shafts: Ping AWT 2.0 plus 5 upgrade shafts at no charge. Stock graphite shaft: Ping Alta CB.
Fact; truly outstanding game-improvement irons don’t come along very often. If you can name more than five, without checking Google, you’re either easily pleased or know something we don’t.
RELATED: Ping G425 irons review
The problems stem from how game improvement irons in the past have been viewed by designers as the poor cousins of better player alternatives. Golf club engineers thought – wrongly – that “average” golfers wanted forgiveness at all costs, and simply forgot to factor-in a decent looking head shapes that golfers would accept as being playable.
Ping were guilty of it themselves with the original Ping Zings, but thanks to modern tech things are changing.
As manufacturers have tried to out-do each other on distance, lofts have got stronger; but ball flights got flatter, making it harder to stop shots on a green. So a key design parameter for the G400 was longer, but only if it was higher, too. Ping are confident the Ping G400 irons deliver both.
REVIEWED: Longest 2018 irons Click here
The new G400 iron is engineered to give golfers tour-level distance and towering height combined with the forgiveness and control they need to hit more greens.
Its COR-Eye Technology combines with a new top rail undercut to increase face flexing in a catapult-like fashion for faster ball speeds that launch shots higher and farther with low spin for a strong flight. A unique heat-treating process produces Hyper 17-4 stainless steel, which makes the face 40% stronger than traditional 17-4 stainless steel and allows for a thinner face and 18% more face flexing.
“The G400 iron delivers phenomenal performance,” said John K. Solheim. “We like to call it our ‘game enjoyment’ iron because it’s so much fun to play."
"It provides tour-level performance while being very easy to hit and extremely forgiving with an amazing feel. Some golfers are seeing distance improvements as much as 15 yards, yet it is launching much higher and landing softer to give them more control."
"One of our tour players said it best during testing: ‘This G400 7-iron has turned into my 6-iron but in an 8-iron window.’ He got it exactly right. Golfers can expect one less club to the green with the height of two less clubs. That’s a powerful combination.”
Ping G400 Irons: Video Review
Ping G400 irons’ review: You Should Know
Ping say there’s no point hitting shots further if they don’t fly higher, as they won’t stop on a green. The multi-material G400 has undercut cavities in the sole and top rail to launch shots higher and further. Think hitting a seven iron as far as you’d usually hit a 6 but as high as you hit an 8 iron. There’s also improved forgiveness over the previous G model.
Ping G400 irons’ review: We Say
Ping have always been one of the best options for game improvement irons ever since they introduced the Ping Eye which both tour pros and amateurs loved. Even though the G400 was launched last year, it’s still a brilliant option for 2018. With a seven iron loft 3 degrees weaker than the Rogue X it was never going to be any testers longest iron but we can’t fault it’s fantastic overall speed, distance and forgiveness package.
Average swing speed golfers might well see a gain in distance going for the new Ping G700 but make no mistake the G400 are a top performer across the board. Ping irons also hold their value more so than virtually any other brand, worth remembering if you’re the type to chop and change equipment on a regular basis.
To see all 2018 Top Gear irons ranked by forgiveness Click here
Ping G400 irons’ review: Verdict
Ping have made brilliant game improvement irons for years and the G400 follow in the footsteps of their forbearers. We love how buying each iron individually means you only pay for the clubs you’ll actually use.
How much difference is there between blade and cavity-back irons? Click here
How do the Ping G400 compare to the G700?
5 things you need to know about the Ping G400 irons
➤ Undercut Top Edge
The Ping G400 irons have been on a serious diet; mass has been removed from inside the top edge and relocated lower to have more effect on forgiveness. A thinner top edge also lends itself to flexing at impact, which is part of the reason Ping are so confident the G400 delivers on its “higher and further” promise.
One Ping tour staffer summed it up, saying: “You’ve turned my 7-iron into 6-iron distance, but I’m hitting it through an 8-iron window.”
➤ Three-piece Elastomer Badge
A trade-off in making fast-faced irons in the past has been the vibrations created as the face flexes and rebounds, which can cause serious sound and feel issues at impact. Ping have taken inspiration from the car industry and used a three-piece elastomer badge to dampen vibrations. To you it means a more pleasing impact sound (think better player iron) and better feedback to your hands.
➤ Hydropearl Finish
This lovely finish, which is also on Ping’s iBlades and i200s, gives the G400 a real premium, quality look – and serves a purpose. It reduces friction with the turf, meaning less lost energy at impact, and better at dealing with moisture. Ping say it’s so good it even eliminates fliers from the rough.
Marty Jertson, Director of Product Devlopment at Ping, says: "We challenged ourselves to learn more about finishes and about what they can do for performance in a golf club. This finish repels water away from the golf ball so you get better friction and don't have those big fliers."
"It also has less friction between the sole of the club and the turf, 40% less friction, so it helps the club go through the turf better."
Watch as Marty Jertson, Director of Product Development at Ping, talks you through everything you need to know about the Ping G400 Irons
➤ Refined Shaping
Ping haven’t tinkered with the head shape too much from the G, but a sharper radius on the top edge and more rounding on the low toe area give a tour-inspired shape which isn’t something you often hear about a game improvement iron.
Marty Jertson says: "The head shape on the short irons are a little more tour style, cleaner and a little sharper, and we've also reshaped the top-rail thickness and toe lines a little bit. Even though it's a pretty big iron and a game enjoyment iron, the short irons look and perform with a lot of precision."
"In the long irons, we've made the flange very smooth so you don't see anything jutting out in the playing position."
➤ COR-Eye Face Technology
COR-Eye technology stiffens up the centre of the face, making it possible to use the club’s leading edge to act like a hinge, increasing face deflection and bounce back.
The Ping G400 irons in numbers
0.5 The G400’s are half-a-degree stronger in loft than the G, but they deliver a 4% higher peak height. That’s magic!
4% The MOI increase from G to G400 irons, which improves forgiveness.
6mph Ball speed increase Ping’s Director of Product Development (Marty Jertson) saw switching from the G 7-iron to G400.
12 yards Carry distance increase Jertson also saw switching from G to G400.
5 yards The extra carry distance Ping say an average swing speed amateur will see with the new G400 7 iron.
Tested! Ping G v G400 irons
Ping’s game improvement G irons have earnt a deserved reputation as being just about the most club golfer-friendly irons available.
Since the first set (G2s) in 2004 they’ve got progressively better, so it’s no surprise that unlike some brands Ping haven’t felt the need to tear up the blueprint and head back to the drawing board to redesign them for 2017.
Our test pro Chris Ryan hit both the old G and new Ping G400 7-iron on a launch monitor so we could accurately compare the old and new models.
We also travelled to Ping's HQ in Arizona and tested with Ping's Director of Product Development Marty Jertson, so that we could see for ourselves the difference in the two models.
Watch what happened when Marty tested out the Ping G400 irons against the Ping G.
Ping G400 irons’ numbers
Chris saw a significant gains in ball speed and carry (3mph and 13 yards) over the G – incredible when you consider G is only 18 months old. Ping certainly aren’t saying everyone will see such gains; five yards is typical from their testing.
But we saw similar gains with Marty Jertson, who picked up 6mph of ball speed and 12 yards of extra carry. That’s huge.
Ping G Ping G400
Ball speed: 126mph 129mph
Launch angle: 14° 15°
Backspin: 6112rpm 4750rpm
Carry distance: 181 yards 194 yards
Ping G400 irons: Our verdict
The Ping G400 iron is a stunning game improvement model. Ping has created a very premium game improvement iron. Our testing backs up Ping’s performance claims, too. We’re now saying all golfers will see double-digit distance gains.
But what Ping say is absolutely true, that “by hitting higher shots with less club into a green you’ll be more accurate and score better”. If making the game more fun was on Ping’s design brief for the Ping G400 iron, they have delivered in a very big way.