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Driver "Ping-i-ness"
By Terry Koehler, The Wedge Guy

Terry Koehler has been in the golf industry for over 30 years and currently spends his days as the President of EIDOLON Golf, a small premium wedge company in Victoria, Texas. He's been blogging for over 3 years and has written hundreds of articles ranging from golf tips to equipment issues. His blog will appear on ClubSG twice per week. You can reach Terry to have your golf questions answered at askme@thewedgeguy.com.

I thought I'd choose today's question from a recent comment on a previous Wedge Guy post. "jem_porter's" question has to do with drivers:
"When people talk about drivers, I sometimes hear them refer to how "pingy" the clubface is. I think this refers to how much of a trampoline effect a given material and design produce when the club face contacts a golf ball. Is this an important consideration when choosing a driver? Or any other golf club for that matter, or are most modern drivers designed at about the maximum allowable "ping-i-ness"? And is there a measure of this ping-i-ness that the average golfer can understand?
Well, "jem", the "trampoline effect" refers to a club's COR or Coefficient of Restitution, and is regulated by the USGA to not exceed .830. Since that’s the limit, that's where most modern drivers have nested, so to speak. Modern golf manufacturers have pushed all USGA imposed limits on technology to the max, which has really created a pretty level playing field in driver distance, ball performance and groove geometry.

My guess is that what you hear other golfers refer to as “ping-i-ness” is the specific sound of the driver at impact. Many of them today I describe as sounding like a rock off an empty beer can. I’m an “old guy” (turning 59 in March, thank you very much), and the sound of many of the larger drivers just is more than I can stand. I grew up with the solid “crack” of a balata ball off a persimmon driver, and believe the sound the ball makes off the club is part of the joy of golf, as well as a source of feedback to you regarding how well it was struck. So for my own use, I evaluate any driver . . . and fairway wood/hybrid for that matter . . . very much by the sound of impact.

I won’t pick on brands, but some of the drivers out there today really sound “ping-y”, tinny, “beer-canny” or whatever you want to call it. Some are so loud you can hear a tee shot from a hole away. Maybe they work fine, but that just doesn’t add to my aesthetic enjoyment of the game. Call me square if you want.

For my own bag, I’ve become a fan of the Alpha drivers – partly for their very solid sound – and have two primary ones that I rotate between. My 9* 400 cc head with a UST ProForce V2 at 261 cpm is my choice for firmer courses or when the wind is blowing. When the course is soft, or it’s not as windy, or if fairways are narrower, I opt for the 420cc 10.5* with a UST AxivCore Tour Green at 265 cpm. Both are built to 44.75” length, but I typically grip down ½ to ¾”, sometimes more.

Sorry I kind of got off track there, and away from the topic, but I hope that answered your question “jem” and congratulations on your new wedge.

And for you other readers, please send in your questions to “The Wedge Guy” via the link below. We’ll be giving away a free wedge every week.


* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.

photo source
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
Golfdude3 says:
Agree...it is the sound.
1/13/11
 
seochris says:
What I dont get is why so many pros are signed up to Taylor Made? I recognise they make great equipment but when I watch the golf channel it appears that at leat 50% of the pros re using TM. That is just my observation but they cant be that good....are they?
1/15/11
 
[ post comment ]
Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

Click here to learn more about Terry.
 
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