Ping G30 3H
P-andP Ranking      4.0 / 5.0        Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 9.01.23 AM

Ping G30 3H

As much as I love golf, and its a lot, I do not keep up with club technology very much. I just don’t have the money to replace clubs all the time. I may keep a club 10 years or more before getting a new one. It is my curse but it allows me to keep costs under control. It is not often I shop for new clubs so it made me very happy when, towards the end of last season, I determined I needed a rescue club to hit out of the rough or to hit when I am about 200-230 yards out. This tends to be a bit of an awkward distance for me. I can use a 5 wood but I tend to spray it a bit and it is not great for me out of the rough. My 4 iron only goes 210 at the absolute most , and thats if I absolutely crush it. I can expect this only 1 out of every 10 shots. So, I went to my local GolfSmith store to hit a few clubs and maybe solve this problem. It became apparent to me pretty quickly the old typical rescue clubs that Adams made famous (Tight Lies), were not really prevalent anymore. There are one or two clubs (Adams still makes a Tight Lies) , I saw labeled as rescue clubs but there wasn’t a ton to choose from. There was however, a similar type of club in abundance, and that was hybrids. pingG30These aren’t exactly the same as rescue clubs and aren’t really intended to be so but they are a bit similar. In my mind, if I am to describe a rescue club, I think of a low profile 5 wood with a sole that is extended out towards the ball for getting through rough or tricky spots. It is one that will get through the rough with ease but still carry at least a couple hundred yards. It was intended for a pretty specific purpose. It helped golfers hit the ball a decent way (180+ yards) out of some difficult lies. It also can be used for regular shots as well and has a lot of utility in one’s game. So while I saw the Adams rescue club, I also noticed another club that I couldn’t take my eyes off, the Ping G30 19 degree hybrid. It was a real good looking club. The sleekness, the colors, it was just calling to me. I just kept coming back to it and so I grabbed it and a handful of other similar clubs. I scooped up an Adams, a Cobra, a Calloway, Taylor Made, and 1 or 2 others and headed over the the screen to hit them. I tried to hit each club the same number of times and compared a few criteria:  how it felt, ease of address, shot shape, and distance. I also just went with gut feelings.  Let me say that hitting clubs into a screen off a mat is not always the best way to figure out what works for you. I also recognized that I did already have the G30 in my mind as a club I wanted. I tried my best not be swayed by desire and focused on the hitting results. I hit each club and some definitely felt better than others. A few seemed great at address but I just couldn’t get any distance. Other clubs just didn’t feel right when hitting the ball. One thing that was striking to me was the distance I got with the Ping G30 3H. I was hitting this between 225-250 !!  I couldn’t believe it. I know I was hitting into a screen and that it is probably jacked up to get people to buy clubs but still, it felt so good to hit.

ping-g30-hybrid-2

Easy to address with a hook

Not everything was perfect though. One negative aspect was the tendency to hook this club. At address it is easy to set this up to hook. There is a little bit of an optical illusion at address. Maybe it is just me but my initial address sets up for a hook. I really had to take my time and get set up properly. For me, it was important to focus on the leading edge and not the club shape when addressing the ball. Sounds simple, and it is, but it is easy to get wrong if you aren’t paying close attention. Once I realized this, I started driving the ball straight and long. The Taylor Made also felt nice but it wasn’t going as far and by about 10 yards. Lots of thoughts were going through my head and it was a hard decision. It came down to the Taylor Made and the Ping G30. The salesman was pushing the Taylor Made for some reason, maybe a better commission, but the Ping G30 went farther and felt great when solid contact was made. So , I went with my gut and grabbed the Ping G30 3H. It was not cheap at $215 but I was punch drunk on the opportunity to buy a new club and pulled the trigger. pingG30HeadcoverIt came with a nice head cover and a graphite shaft in regular flex. I also had a new grip put on to match my current Winn grips. I was thrilled and I couldn’t wait to get out there and pound this down the fairway. Even though I went to Golfsmith to get a rescue club and came away with a different club, I was satisfied that it would help fill the gap in my game that I needed. I felt this was a wise purchase, despite the inflated price. Time would tell.

Real World Test: Ping G30 3H

It is fall in the Boston area now and I am out on the course for one of the last times of the season with my new Ping G30. I have 2 opportunities to hit the new club and I hook both of them. I didn’t concentrate at address and just whacked away. It happens, and I will live to play another day. I am disappointed but since this is the last round of the year, I am still not regretting my purchase at this point. I know I will have tons of chances next year to try this out and get used to it. That’s the beauty of golf, theres always another hole, another round, or another season to fix it. I am also super competitive and it bothers me when I struggle with something like this. I expect to hit it perfectly every time. That never happens, but it bothers me and I can’t wait for another shot to redeem myself.

Fast forward to March 12, 2016. I am about to fix it. Unusually good weather, and low snowfall totals for the year have allowed me to play a rare March round of golf. I can’t wait to get out there and try the new Ping G30 3H again. I was also testing a new golf ball (see post here) and trying a new putter I acquired for free. We teed off at BrookMeadow CC (see post here) and I had the chance to hit the new Ping on several occasions. All 3 times I pulled it out of the bag, I crushed it. After the fist hit, I gained confidence to use it again and each subsequent time I was rewarded with a solid golf shot. The distance was pretty good as well. It wasn’t as long as the Golfsmith screen hits but I would say I hit it ~210 yards, which is totally acceptable. The weather was also cool and the ball just wasn’t carrying as it does in the dog days of summer.  As I gain more confidence with the club, I expect to be able to drive the ball farther but I am completely happy with the results thus far. I am more concerned with being able to put it where I want and less with distance. I solved the hooks by just paying attention to the club position before beginning my backstroke. I did see the hook set up and was able to adjust before hitting. This club is amazing when you hit it pure, as it jumps of the club. I can see loving to hit this club for many years.

Conclusion: Ping G30 3H

Overall, despite a bumpy start, I really am happy with the Ping G30 3H. It is visually beautiful and when hit properly, it can really take off. I thought the price was a bit much but if it works as well as they say it does, then I guess it is ok. So far so good for me. Based on performance and the feel of the club I am giving this a P-and-P Ranking of 4.0 / 5.0 stars.  I took a half point off the ranking for price as it really was expensive for a single club that is not a Driver, even a year after it came out. I do recommend this club as it filled a need for me and I suspect for others as well. I hope this look at the Ping G30 helps others who are considering buying this great club. Happy Golfing !