August 11, 2023
Perhaps someday someone will invent the perfect golf club, but it hasn’t happened yet.
That doesn’t mean folks don’t make the effort. The “engineering mindset” describes those who look for constant improvement from the way things are to where they could be.
Among the major club companies, Ping enjoys perhaps the broadest reputation for keeping that perspective in the forefront of their work.
At the 2023 PGA Show, I met again with Erik Henrikson, a Ping engineer I interviewed at the 2019 Show. We first discussed the new Ping G430 driver models, which social media influencers and golf magazines have raved about since the clubs were introduced.
I think the last time the buzz about Ping drivers was this loud was a few model years back with the Ping G400, a popular and successful product for the Arizona company.
Henrikson’s description of the G430 design changes highlighted some of the challenges in creating a successful new product. “Measurable improvement is required,” he said. “Some of our models after the 400 lost what was so appealing in the G400, like the sound it created. Product launches are sometimes delayed because the first few versions don’t produce the improvement level we thought we could get.”
For the G430, the changes add up. The face height is a tiny bit shallower and thinner. The roll radius on the club face was adjusted to reduce spin on low mishits. The club head’s center of gravity location was slightly moved. The interior structural elements within the driver cavity were altered to “recover the desired sound and feel,” Henrikson said.
In the meantime, the company continued to emphasize what it calls “spinsistency,” the attempt to retain spin speed across the entire club face.
The result is a 1-mph improvement across the entire G430 line, along with better flight characteristics. As Henrikson said, “You’re making marginal gains across a variety of elements that make up the total driver, while still following the rules.”
For G430 fairway woods and hybrids, a similar set of “all these knobs” were adjusted, as Henrikson said. For example, installing the fly wrap carbon top saved 10 grams, giving the engineers the ability to lower the center of gravity and improve energy transfer at impact.
He also said the new SFT model, already designed to promote draws, now has two settings: “draw, and really draw.”
We also discussed Ping’s custom putter fitting program, using the new PLD Oslo putter as an example.
Available in person or online, a Ping attachment holds a smart phone in place on the putter shaft as the golfer makes several standard putts.
The customer sends the performance data collected by the app to Ping staff for suggestions on how to best fit a putter to the player’s tendencies.
Those changes might be marginal, but they should still help.
Lydic and Brockstedt at U.S. Women’s Amateur
Congratulations to high schoolers Sarah Lydic of Ocean View and Sawyer Brockstedt of Rehoboth Beach for their performance at the U.S. Women’s Amateur this past week at Bel Air CC in Los Angeles, CA.
Lydic missed the cut for match play by 3 strokes. Brockstedt came in three strokes behind Lydic.
Rookery club champions crowned
The Rookery Golf Club held its club championships Aug. 5-6.
Justin Stolba won the men’s championship, with Steve Kaminsky in second. Becky Caprano won the ladies’ championship, followed by Vicki Sama.
Claire McArdle won the ladies’ senior category, with Deb Ronemus in second, Denise Tamburo in third, and Jeannette Beaulieu in fourth. Tom Rudden won the men’s seniors, with Dave Bergh in second.
Sid Simon and Steve Noonan tied for first place in the men’s net division, with Tim Gallagher in third. Ronnie Dannerhoj won first place in the ladies’ net division, with Janet Montague in second, Linda VandeWiele in third, and Lisa Orem finishing fourth.
Korn Ferry event
The Korn Ferry Tour, source of many current PGA Tour stars, returns to the mid-Atlantic Aug. 17-20 at Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson Township, NJ.
The Magnit Championship field includes most top Korn Ferry players as they attempt to earn their ticket to the big show. It is the closest event on the tour’s calendar for the Cape Region.
The course is about a two-hour ride from the Cape May terminal end of the ferry, or a two-and-a-half-hour ride traveling north on Route 1.
Might be worth a day trip. For tickets go to MagnitChampionship. Com.
Local club competition results
The Mulligan’s Pointe Ladies 18-Hole group held a two-player team event Aug. 8, won by Maxine Ansbach and Brenda Lewis.
Terese Kane and Chris Allisonn took second place, with Peggy Claussen and Linda Townsend in third.
The Kings Creek CC Ladies 18-Hole group played an individual net Stableford game Aug. 3.
Donna Deely won the first flight, with Gale DiBona in second and Sharon Denny in third. Ana Dittel took the second flight, followed by Jeannine Doane in second and Ruth Lauver in third.
Robbie Monkman won the third flight, with Polly Donaldson in second and Leslie Ledogar in third.