The Ping Sigma 2 Valor 400, a new model in the company’s flagship putter family, is geared very much to some of the company’s original tour principles of stability on off-center hits while at the same time responding to the new interest in the most stable kind of putting stroke in the game.
The Sigma 2 Valor 400 offers a mallet shape with a high moment of inertia, or resistance to twisting. That’s enhanced with its 400-gram head weight (10-15 percent heavier than standard head weights), which as it turns out is an ideal size, shape and weight for the arm lock style of putting that’s been employed by a number of players in recent years. That includes Ping players Bubba Watson and Andrew Landry who’ve used their own individual Ping prototypes with the arm lock style.
The heavier head combines with a heavier shaft and in many cases a longer, counterbalanced grip, said Ryan Stokke, Ping design engineer. The Sigma 2 Valor 400 is built on the same shape profile as the original Valor introduced last November.
“What’s worked really well with this mallet design is that it’s very stable,” he said. “When you set it down it just squares up to the target line.
“Our intent with this design is a number of specific builds that this can fit with some of the more alternative putting methods.”
The Sigma 2 Valor 400 is designed to fit a 38-inch or longer shaft and is counterbalanced with a 50-gram weight in the butt end of the grip.
The head features the same face technology as the Sigma 2 line. That includes spiraling grooves with varying depth and pitch to equalize off-center ball speed with center hits. The face is backed with dual layers of a Pebax polymer, a running shoe material designed for improved rebound and feel. But it’s the feel of the overall putter system—head, shaft and internal weighting—and how it works with the stroke that is key with this new addition.
“This style works well with that stroke because it provides so much stability, promotes more of a pendulum like stroke and helps players not be as wristy,” Stokke said. “There’s just not as much manipulation.”
By adding the Valor 400 to the line, Stokke believes it might inspire golfers to consider the new stroke as an option.
“What we’re seeing in this space is an eagerness to try, but just a lot of uncertainty in how do I build it, what does that club look like,” he said. “That’s what we’re really trying to help service with this.”
The Sigma 2 Valor 400, whose 3-degree standard loft can be customized by plus/minus two degrees, is available in stores now ($235).