Ping G15 and i15 Drivers
Over the years, Ping has had only a marginal amount of success when it comes to their driver line. From their early Karsten 1 & Eye 2 laminated heads to their adjustable hosel TISI & Si3 titanium drivers, Ping's offerings have been called "quarky" & "behind the times". But this year's G15 & i15 drivers are out to prove Pings critics wrong!
The G15 is Ping's successor to their popular G10 driver from 2007. Most noticeable is the G15's longer head from front-to-back, designed to increase MOI and make the G15 one of Ping's most forgiving drivers to date. Compared to the G10, the G15 also has a 7% larger clubface, maximizing stability and forgiveness through impact. An external weight pad on the sole of the club creates a deep and low center of gravity in the G15, producing a high launch low spin ball flight. In my short time with the G15 at the range, I was impressed with its look at address. Since their G2 model from 2002, Ping drivers have stayed very traditional looking, but the G15 has a slight 'Oversize' look to it, especially when compared to the i15. Distance was what I expected, the sound off the tee was very PING like & the feel was not to indifferent compared to the Rapture or G10 drivers.
Designed for the better player, the i15 will turn heads with its tour inspired, black smoke, titanium carbon finish, a look designed to make the clubhead appear more compact at address. The i15 also showcases a more traditional, rounded shape when compared to the G15. The less forgiving of the two drivers, the i15 comes loaded with features that appeal to the low-handicap golfer who values workability and tour caliber performance. What makes the i15 unique is its longer-than-normal hosel. Set farther back from the clubface than most traditional drivers; this design characteristic blends with precise internal weighting to produce a more penetrating, low spin ball flight while promoting a slight fade bias, preferred by better players who like to work the ball off the tee. I found the i15 a lot less forgiving compared to the G15, especially with off-center hits. Distance was about the same and surprisingly, I felt that the 2 were equal when it came to control off the tee.
Though Ping's iron success has definitely overshadowed most of their driver offerings, their new G15 & i15 have set a standard craftsmanship & performance for them to build on.