Ping’s G-series irons have been the workhorse of the Ping iron family and one of the game's best-selling iron franchises since they were first introduced in 2003. For the most part, the main performance goal for these irons has been about forgiveness, but in the latest iteration, Ping's G410 irons, the bar has been raised to add speed while enhancing forgiveness—all in a shape that doesn’t go to extremes.
To answer the speed question, Ping engineers designed a more flexible, free-moving face to amplify ball speeds. They achieved this by de-coupling the weighting structure from the face to create a larger flexing zone, which performs like a hinge to launch the ball faster and higher.
“What we were trying to do is get as much distance and height as we could but do it in a package that's not as large as some irons," said Marty Jertson, Ping’s VP of fitting and performance. "We wanted a balanced approach to distance while getting more height and stopping power.”
Helping achieve that is the next generation of the company’s COR-Eye technology (a type of variable face thickness) along with the cascading sole design (where the sole gets thicker as it moves away from the face) and deep top-rail undercut. On the face, the thickness is the same as the G400 iron, but over a greater area of the face. The undercut helped save approximately eight grams of weight that, combined with other weight savings from the face and perimeter, was moved to the toe and hosel area in the form of tungsten weighting to boost the moment of inertia eight percent for better performance on mis-hits. They were able to do this while also eliminating the custom tuning port weight that had been a hallmark in the back cavity of previous G-series irons.
Although performance is always at the front of any club design, the aesthetic cannot be ignored. After all, how often have you seen a golfer take a club off the rack, place it in the address position and immediately put it back on the shelf?
The company's G410 irons addressed the cosmetic question by slimming the clubhead to produce a slightly shorter blade length (about three percent). The offset was reduced by 10 percent as well from the G400, providing a more traditional look at address. In addition, the radii around the face was changed to provide a crisper, sharper look.
Some of this provides performance benefits, too, says Jertson. "The contour on the lead edge radius prevents digging into the ground, and then the camber keeps the club moving forward instead of going downward. If you have a sharp leading edge it won't play as forgiving." The company’s hydropearl 2.0 finish also assists a smooth turf interaction experience.
Ping also has taken steps to make the G410 iron sound and feel better, along with producing better spin. A larger co-molded aluminum and polymer badge and the use of thicker tape is employed in the cavity to help sound and feel. On the groove front, for the first time ever in a G-series iron, Ping machined in the same grooves as on its Glide 2.0 wedges on the G410’s pitching wedge, U-wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge while also using the shaping of the Glide 2.0 wedges to inspire the shape of the pitching wedge.
Cast from a heat-treated 17-4 stainless steel (which strengthens the steel to allow for a thin face), the G410 is available in 4-iron through pitching wedge, as well as UW, SW and LW in 10 lie-angle color codes. The stock Golf Pride Tour Velvet grip is available in six sizes and the stock shaft offerings are Ping’s AWT (ascending weight technology) 2.0 steel shaft and the company’s Alta CB (counterbalanced) graphite shaft. A number of after-market shafts are available at no upcharge. Cost is $1,000 (set of eight) in steel and $$1,100 (set of eight) in graphite.