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January 10, 2024 44 mins

Shane and Marty welcome to the pod PING Innovation Manager, Cory Bacon, the lead designer of the new G430 MAX 10K driver. They discuss our highest MOI, most forgiving and straightest driver to date, the G430 MAX 10K, the research and development process, the entire G430 driver family, and PING’s commitment to optimization without sacrifice.

 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
The guys from Ping. They've kind of showed me how
much the equipment matters. I just love that I can
hit any shot I kind of want.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
We're gonna be able to tell some fun stories about
what goes on here to help golfers play better golf.

Speaker 1 (00:11):
Welcome back to the Ping Proving Grounds podcast. I'm Shane Bacon,
joined as always by Marty Jerts and Marty. We have
talked about a lot of things over the last six, seven,
eight months on this podcast, but as we know, life
comes back to the driver, and I'm so excited today
to talk drivers with you and our good friend Corey Bacon,
who doesn't just share a name with me, but you know,

(00:33):
we've played golf together, We've competed against each other and
one of the great dudes at PING. So pumped about
this conversation.

Speaker 2 (00:40):
Yeah, the driver is the most important club in the bag.
It's the most fun to hit, and this is gonna
be super fun. I think let's lead off with the
set and the record straight. Are you guys related, Shane,
that's what everyone else you know, We're not related.

Speaker 1 (00:54):
I think if you watched our games you would really
understand that. Very different in terms of the way we play,
Corey a lot more dialed, a lot more consistent. I
can be slightly more radic at times on the golf course.
But yeah, I don't, Corey. I want to ask you this.
On that note, I don't get to talk to a
lot of people with the last name Bacon, obviously. How

(01:14):
what is your response when people go, so, are you
related to Kevin? Because I don't really have a good
response to that, but I get it all.

Speaker 3 (01:19):
The time, Shane. I'm in the same boat as you.
I have no idea how to respond to that. And
you know, it's one of the questions you always get
growing up in the nineties, right is like, hey, are
you related to this famous actor Kevin? And I would
just go no, not related, and just leave it at that.
There's no real good way around it.

Speaker 1 (01:38):
Yeah, I lean into the I lean into the I
wish a lot, you know, I kind of smile and
do the I wish that'd be great if he was,
you know, my uncle or something. And I got a
little bit of the the movie of residuals. But yeah,
I don't. I don't ever have a good response. It's
a little bit of like being a lefty and they say,
you know you're hitting from the wrong side of the ball,
and it's kind of the dad joke. You you chuck
last smile and try to move on exactly exactly.

Speaker 2 (02:00):
I think Shane talking about driver design, Corey is the
perfect one to do it because he is the ultimate
driving machine here at Ping. He does really good on
tough golf courses because he can drive the ball very far,
very straight. You know, I know we've talked about this
concept of having skin in the game. Being a product
designer and having to use your own product in competition

(02:23):
when it counts, just really elevates the care factor, the
amount of passion you put into it. So Cory's the
perfect one. He's been leading our last few driver designs,
and yeah, Corey, I would say, let's kick it off
with some high level perspective on Let's say Ping's like
last decade. Let's say you look at it from ten

(02:44):
to twelve years or so. On our journey, we've been
very strong on drivers. You've seen our numbers go up
on tour, nonstaff players playing our driver leading the driver
counts golfers from all over the world enjoying our technology.
What is your perspective kind of big pick. Sure on
what's given us that kind of anchor to perform so

(03:04):
well in the driver category in general?

Speaker 3 (03:07):
Yeah, I think we've experienced a lot of growth in
the driver category because we kind of approach driver design
in a very balanced way, you know, and a lot
of every time we have come out with a new driver,
we talk about an improvement or a new feature, but
that new feature gets put on the driver without sacrificing

(03:32):
anything else about the total driver performance. So I think
that's a strength of ours, is balancing. You know, you
want a really high ball speed driver, but also a
really playable driver, so a high MOI driver. And then
on top of that, I think we've done a really
industry leading job in terms of offering a lot of

(03:54):
driver skews specifically to fit a diverse set of players, right,
And so I think like the G four to thirty
family really encapsulates that, right, is you have the low
spin driver for players who struggle with spin, an SFT
driver for shot bend correction, left right shot ben correction,

(04:16):
and then the max head being kind of the maximum
forgiveness driver. And so I think it's you know, like
I said, to kind of recap that it's a balanced approach,
is kind of optimizing all the things that matter for
driver performance without sacrificing anything else, and then industry leading
fitting options.

Speaker 1 (04:34):
Corey, can you take us back to the first time
you were a lead designer on a driver? What driver
was that? What was the feeling personally for you? I mean,
I in my you know, my business. I remember kind
of the first time I called golf and I was
like the main dude doing it, and I mean, it's
it's a wild moment. It's a lot of responsibility, but
it's also kind of what you were you were pushing

(04:56):
to get to at some point in your career. So
what was that in world and how did it feel
the first few days you were kind of lead designer
on a golf club.

Speaker 3 (05:05):
Yeah, it was. It's a very surreal moment for sure.
And it's uh so the first driver that I designed
was actually the G four to thirty driver family, and
you know, I had been working in design for you know,
about eight years prior to that. I did a lot
of work on fairway woods and some iron designs. But

(05:27):
you know, the driver leads all the other product categories
and so it's definitely like the the main project that
everyone wants to get on, and it's a lot of
responsibility and so it's it was, you know, nervous, but also,
you know, very proud moment because you have a sense
of responsibility to the company and really yourself to do

(05:49):
the best job you can. And the other crazy thing
about the G four to thirty project family was that
whole development process happened during kind of the COVID plant
plants shut down. Just a crazy time for me personally,
you know, trying to work on a driver design mixed
with you know, stuff outside of work that was happening

(06:10):
that was maybe outside of our control. But I think,
you know, despite all of that, I think I'm really
proud of, you know, the work that we put forward,
and I think the results in year one of the
G four to thirty family really speak for themselves.

Speaker 2 (06:26):
Shane, what was the first event you called?

Speaker 1 (06:29):
Twenty sixteen US ameter. I believe I think Joe Buck
was sick and so it might have been twenty fifteen
US amitor actually, and I was. I was. I was
supposed to drive from Connecticut to Arizona and my wife
was going to fly and I called her and said,
you've got to fly to Dallas and drive the rest

(06:49):
of the way because I've got to fly to Chicago
and call this us AMATE. So yeah, that was That
was the first first time I was in the big
chair there is.

Speaker 2 (06:58):
I brought that up court and I were trying to
remember if you called the fur ball Corey playing with
Matt Simone, our medallurgist right the right in the USA
Fourball and Olympic Club.

Speaker 1 (07:08):
That that was the first fourball, right, Corey, Yeah, first four ball.

Speaker 3 (07:11):
I think it was twenty fifteen, and I remember Joe
Buck was calling it at the time, but I wasn't
sure if you were there or if you got hired
on after I was.

Speaker 1 (07:20):
I'd done digital broadcast into the US Open, so they
hired me to do I think I hosted featured holes
at Chambers Bay and then I didn't really have any
other job with Fox at the time to do any
other golf, and the producer at the time, Mark Loomis,
kind of liked the job I did, and it asked
me to come on. But I was not a part
of the men's fourball, but I did. I was a

(07:40):
part of the women's fourball, which was at Pacific Dunes
Abandon Dune, so that was actually core. You'll like this.
I was abandoned calling the women's four ball, so you know,
you get there a couple of days early. I think
the coverage was two or three days, and then I
had my dad, my uncle, and my best buddy from
Arizona flyout, So I in total is that Bandon Dunes
for I think like ten or eleven days. The last

(08:03):
day I got breakfast at Bandon Trails and the waitress
walked over and went, oh you again. I was like,
I think it's time for me to leave, Like I think,
I think this is the this is the longest stint
anybody spent at Bandon Dunes. But yeah, that was that
was fun. But no, I wouldn't.

Speaker 2 (08:18):
I wouldn't.

Speaker 1 (08:18):
I wouldn't around for Olympic. How long did you guys
go into that? How far do you make it?

Speaker 3 (08:22):
We made it into the the last eight teams, so
we made match play and then we won two matches
and ironically we lost to Sam Burns and Austin Connolly,
So a future Ryder cover was you know, it was
we played really good. We ended up losing on seventeen,

(08:43):
but you know, just knowing that lost to a future
Ryder cover is is good. You know, I'm okay with that.

Speaker 1 (08:50):
I have a question for the both of you guys
on this because I have an experience and I'm sure
you guys have an experience as well. Corey, you mentioned
playing with Sam Burns. Is there somebody that both of
you and Marty I'll start with you, that both of
you guys played with it. Maybe you didn't know a
ton about or was it amateur or a high schooler
that when you played golf with him for the first time,
you went, oh, man, this is this guy's the real deal.

(09:13):
This guy's gonna potentially play tour golf, win golf tournaments,
things like that.

Speaker 2 (09:18):
For I'll go first there. The most impressive for me
was soon you'll know s Y No. I played second
stage of Q school with him, and I had no
idea who he was. He had no idea who he was,
and he he came in second Q school, he made
like a ten on a hole and he absolutely dominated,
Like he hit it so far, so high, I felt
like I was playing with tiger woods. And he went

(09:39):
on to win on tour like shortly thereafter. Then. I
think he had his stint in the military.

Speaker 1 (09:44):
Or something right, he's back now.

Speaker 2 (09:46):
But he was the most impressive that I had never
heard of and I played with and he just exploded
right after that.

Speaker 1 (09:53):
Do you have anybody?

Speaker 3 (09:55):
So Sam Burns is the one that stands out to me.
And just there's even a little bit deeper background story
there is. Matt and I actually played a practice round
with them prior to the tournament. So when you go,
you know, you can go to the USA events, you
get two practice rounds on the courses, and we ended
up getting paired with them in one of them, and like,
I just remember, after the first couple holes, I was like,

(10:17):
this kid's going to be on the PGA Tour in
a couple of years. I mean, the difference between him
and me was very dramatic. And then you know, five
days later we ended up playing them in a match,
and I knew we had our work cut out for
us that day. And then the other one was Ken Tanigawa,
the Assassin. He assassin baby, yeah exactly. So I actually

(10:43):
played him in the Arizona Amateur in twenty sixteen in
the finals, and he had won the Arizona am in
twenty fifteen, and then I beat him in the finals
in sixteen, and then he won again in seventeen, so
he I was the only person between him and a
three pet And shortly after that, when he turned fifty,
he got through Champions Tour Q school and then won

(11:05):
a major I think the Senior PGA, and then also
the Champions Tour event out at Pebble Beach. But you
could tell right away how consistent and straight he hit
it that he was going to do good things on
the Champions Tour.

Speaker 1 (11:19):
Yeah, going back to ping for a moment to buddy
of mine, Casey Brodis, who grew up in my small
town in Texas, I mean twenty thousand people. He was
the stud in golf kind of coming out of high
school and played college golf and then played the tit
Lights Tour at the time. And I remember he got
paired with Bubba and this was, you know, miny Tour

(11:39):
Bubba and he said, the first hole, Casey hit it,
you know, like two seventy five down the middle of
the fairway. He said, wind was blown in the face
and he said this Lefty ames thirty right of the
fairway and hits like a knee high cut about three
hundred and ten yards in the middle of the fairway
and he said it's the only guy he ever called
his dad after the route and said, remember the name, Bubba,

(12:00):
it's you. You're gonna hear it again. At some point
he said he said he'd like hand painted a shaft
pink at the time because obviously he didn't have a
club deal. But you know, I mean, there are those
certain players that you just see in person and you go,
you know, this guy is the real deal. And Corey,
I mean you mentioned some of your accolades. I mean
not just Arizona Amateur winner, you want Arizona strokeplay. In

(12:21):
twenty nineteen, Marty mentioned a little bit of this. But
and that's something I see so much at Ping is
there are plenty of handicaps across the board in terms
of design team and marketing and everybody that works on campus.
But to have players like you and Marty that are
working in terms of design has got to be so
helpful because, as Marty has talked so much about on

(12:42):
this podcast, being able to go out on the proving
grounds and hit clubs and test them out and to
use your great abilities on the golf course to lean
in a new product is so helpful to a golf
company because you know, you've got the ability to go
out there and see what it's about.

Speaker 3 (12:58):
Yeah, it's it's definitely something that we look for when
we hire club designers, and it's you know, it's it's
nice to as an engineer to be able to design
something and then test it for yourself. So, and like
Marty always says, it's it's skin in the game. And
I think that the more you can understand the problems

(13:19):
that golfers face every day, you can do a better
job solving those problems. Right. And the way you understand
it is you play golf with people, you play golf yourself,
You observe things that they struggle with, and kind of
all that plays into the empathy of understanding what they're
going through and how can we deliver better product to

(13:42):
make their experience on the golf course more fun. So, yeah,
it's I think it's really important.

Speaker 2 (13:48):
Yeah, that's a good point, Corey, is that and Shane
as we talk about this, is that as better players,
we can you know, maybe get more nuanced in the feedback,
but at the same time we can't be out of
touch with the everyday golfer. Right, It's a great point worries,
you know, I think building the empathy skills, building those
observational skills, knowing that hey, what works for me might
not be the right solution for everybody is also something

(14:09):
that we work on and really curate in that space. Corey,
I want to go back to driver design. I think
you nailed a point that's very important there in terms
of not a balanced approach. I think another way I've
kind of looked at that is, you know, I think
an important point for the listener is that driver designs
and technologies isn't just zero sum. And I think that's

(14:32):
something that a lot of golfers think, like, oh, the
manufacturers need to uh are going to make it more aerodynamic,
therefore they're trading something else off. The cg's deep, therefore
it's going to be high spin. You know, it's high inertia,
therefore it's going to be slow.

Speaker 1 (14:47):
Right.

Speaker 2 (14:47):
We know that we can compound those things and they
can be additive together. So can you talk a little
bit about how some of the technologies and driver designs
that have been more positive some as opposed to, you know,
having to make trade offs for.

Speaker 3 (15:02):
Sure, I think the easiest one that we can point
to on a ping driver that makes it stand out
from the rest are our turbulators. So that's an example
where we made significant aerodynamic improvements without having to modify
the crown shape and sacrifice CG location or other mass

(15:22):
properties like MI. Another one on the G four thirty
family is the face height. So we made the faces
just a little bit shorter, which allowed us to thin
the faces out a bit more and get you know,
a pretty significant ball speed jump on on G four
thirty drivers. And that was without sacrifice to any of

(15:44):
the other you know, characteristics that we that we think
about or that we care about. So like typically with
a shorter face, you might get a lower inertia driver,
but with G four thirty family, that's that's not the case.
And then I think the last thing would be that
you know, the composite crown right and just the fact

(16:07):
of like we wanted to do it in the pingway
where not only do we get a ton of crown coverage,
but we wrap it onto the soul as well, and
really like no sacrifice, maximize the amount of composite coverage
and replacing the titanium to really free up as much
mass as we possibly can to achieve the holistic design approach.

Speaker 2 (16:30):
Corey, A lot of people have asked us that question,
like why why composites? Now, you know what changed? What
limit did we hit in design manufacturing technology that tip
the scales that the time was now with the four
thirty family to integrate composite.

Speaker 3 (16:45):
Yeah, I think that the really we just hit the
limit for our casting technology. And so, you know, the
casting process is how we form our driver and iron heads,
and it's basically involves, you know, pouring molten metal into
a mold, and the thinner you make the walls or

(17:07):
in this instance, the crown of a driver, the harder
it is to get that metal to flow through the mold.
And so we got to a point on our drivers
where we were designing the crown at you know, seventeen
to twenty one thousands of an inch thick, which is
basically like four to five pieces of paper thick. And

(17:27):
we just couldn't go any thinner just due to the
laws of physics, right, And so we look, we started
looking for alternatives, and that alternative came in the form
of composits. And the benefit of composits is the density
is about one third of titanium so you can make

(17:52):
a part of similar to even slightly thicker, but it
will weigh significantly less, and it also still has the
structural integrity and stiffness that that you need in.

Speaker 1 (18:04):
That part of the driver.

Speaker 3 (18:06):
So it was really the casting limit that drove us
to composites. And I really think that it's it'll be
the future for ping driver design. And yeah, it's a
platform that we're well, we'll look to build on in
the future.

Speaker 1 (18:20):
Corey. I know, we're just getting out of the holiday season.
I always think about this in terms of club design.
You know that's scene in LF where like Christmas is
done and then the head ELFs like and let's start
preparing for next Christmas and everybody starts cheering. I mean,
you think about the the G four to thirty family
and this driver, which has easily been my favorite ping

(18:40):
driver that I've ever had, And this is on top
of pretty much, you know, consistently being my favorite driver
I've ever had in the bag, I mean dating back
to pre turbulator days. How do you continue to build
on an amazing product like this and gain speed, gain distance,
gain accuracy? What are what are you looking at?

Speaker 2 (19:00):
Like?

Speaker 1 (19:00):
How do you go back to the drawing board to
create something that's new, that's an innovative, that that performs
better than something that's already so great for golfers and
so great in terms of modern technology.

Speaker 3 (19:14):
That's a that's a great question, Shane, And I always
make this analogy for people who ask me that question.
If if you've ever done like home renovations in your house,
and you know, when when you do the work, you
notice all the little imperfections, right, Like you know, we
just recently redid in our kitchen and I can see

(19:35):
every little thing that I messed up. But if you're
looking at a big picture, no one's going to see that, right.
And I think the same can be said for you know,
club design, and you know, you as a customer are
looking at the bigger picture, and how do you hit
it on the golf course? Is it helping me play
better golf? Am I having more fun?

Speaker 1 (19:56):
You know?

Speaker 3 (19:56):
Me as as an engineer, I'm like critiquing it and
looking at all the little things that I think I
should have done better, right, And so there's always you know,
regrets that we have at the end of the project
that really spur on the drive to you know, make
it make the next one better. And I actually think
that the G four thirty Max ten K driver is

(20:19):
a good example of of an example of a regret
that I had in the G four thirty family development project.
You know, it was we got to the point in
the timeline of the G four thirty driver family where
we had to make a decision on when do we
put the put or what skews do we put carbon

(20:39):
fly wrap on? And how you know, are we do
we think it's ready to you know, produce or take
to the market and mass produce it. And we ended
up choosing to put it only on the LST driver
at the time. But I think, you know, a year later,
this is us delivering you know, technology that we feel

(21:01):
very strongly about to everybody in our highest m y
and biggest performing or largest footprint driver. And so I'm
really excited about this addition to the G four thirty family.

Speaker 2 (21:14):
Corey, Let's dive. Let's dive deep into the ten K.
Let's dive real deep into the Max ten K driver.
What are golfers gonna notice? How's it going to uh fly?
How's it going to spin? You know, I think when
when you first put it down, Shane, you've hit it.
I'm personally playing it. I love the big shape, Like
how big is it?

Speaker 1 (21:33):
And what are with you?

Speaker 2 (21:34):
What are some of those key characteristics of the of
the driver corps.

Speaker 3 (21:39):
Yeah, it's it's It's really unique in that it's a
blend of the G four thirty Max driver, So the
big footprint high m I very consistent for mishits, but
has a little bit lower spin profile, uh, closer to
the LST driver. And I think that a unique combination

(22:02):
in our G four to thirty driver family that will
really unlock performance differentiation and especially for certain players that
need this specific combination of attributes.

Speaker 2 (22:17):
Yeah, I totally agree, Corey. We've been having a lot
of success one thing from the fitting side, and Shane,
we've talked a lot about this kind of the sweet
the holy grail of performance and equipment. My mind is
like a Venn diagram of like the best designs with
the perfect fitting. And one of those pieces we've been
doing with the Max ten K in our early fittings
at the Pink Proving Grounds is golfers can play it

(22:41):
in a little bit longer length because it's so forgiving,
because the spin is low, like Normally, when you go
shorter on your driver length, A, it's because you're trying
to center your contact. You know that your dispersion on
the face a little bit, and B a lot of
times in the fitting will go shorter in length to
lower spin. Well, now at the ten K you get
some freedom in impact dispersity, you get the lower spin.

(23:04):
So golfers have been able to play it a little
bit longer length. So Corey talk a little bit about that,
like in terms of you know, where does the forgiveness stand?
What does ten K stand for? In any tips and
tricks you have for golfers out there are going to
look at the different models in the family and maybe
trying to identify if the ten K might be the
right driver for them.

Speaker 3 (23:26):
Yeah, so the ten K stands for total MOI And
what that means is when you measure the forgiveness in
the heel toe direction and the top bottom direction. When
you add those up, the total is over ten thousand
and so I think, like we already talked about a

(23:46):
little bit, this driver fits in to our driver family
really nicely, and I think it completes it. So now
we have a family of four and I talked a
little bit about the other models, and then a little
bit about the Max ten K. I think that if
you're looking like the person that would be best suited
for a max ten K driver is perhaps someone who

(24:10):
doesn't hit the middle of the face very often, someone
who has a level to downward attack angle and might
need a little bit of spin reduction, or someone who
hits it really far because they, you know, m y
kind of a People think that moy is for solictening

(24:32):
speed drivers, but high MOI drivers actually mean the most
too faster golfers, and the further you hit it, the
more it matters. And so I think that if you're
you know, if you hit it really far, this driver
could be for you as well, because it'll straighten out
your your bigger misses. And so funnily enough, I think
that if all these things I'm mentioning, Shane is probably

(24:55):
going in the back of his mind, Yes that's me. Yes,
that's me, Yes.

Speaker 1 (24:58):
That's me. Oh it's in the bag, Cory, it's not
coming out. You know what's funny is I had a
good buddy of mine, a high swing speed guy doesn't
hit the center of the face a whole bunch. He
messaged me a couple of days ago and said, what
driver do you have in the bag right now? And
I told him I have the new ping driver, the
ten K in the bag and he goes, should I wait?

(25:20):
Should I wait to hit this driver when it's available
to the public, And I said, I mean absolutely. And
a lot of this was after reading Cameron Champ talking
about the driver in twenty twenty three, him talking about
how much he fell in love with this golf club
and I mean nobody swings the club faster in professional
golf than Cameron Champ. He was talking a little bit

(25:42):
about a marriage. He felt like with this driver between
the Max and the LST, do you get that sense, Corey,
does it feel like you're kind of marrying like the
two drivers that were available in the four to thirty
family almost into one.

Speaker 3 (25:54):
Yeah, definitely. And I think like if we go back
to those kind of characteristics of you know what players
would really benefit or fit into this driver category. Cameron
Champ ticks a lot of those boxes, right, So he
swings it really fast and hits it really far, So
MI matters a lot for him because it will correct
his slight mishits that for the average consumer might end

(26:17):
up five yards offline, but because Cameron Champs hitting it
three point thirty, those misses go fifteen to twenty yards offline.
And then the other thing is Cameron tends to hit
down a little bit on his driver. I think the
last time I checked is he was maybe down two
on his attack angle. And then the third piece that
I think why Cameron really likes the max ten K

(26:40):
driver is he tends to tee it a little lower
and maybe hits the ball a little bit lower on
the face than other PGA tour pros, and the lower
CG lower spin characteristic of the Max ten K driver
really gives him optimal performance for where he hits it,
his attack angle and his speed. So I think that

(27:02):
that's that's kind of a tour level success, but maybe
taking it to the consumer level of you know, why
why should you choose the Max ten kid driver, I
would really focus on, you know, if you need lower spin,
or if if you really use all of the face right,
if you have inconsistent impacts around the face, this driver

(27:24):
will maximize your ball speed on on mishits and really
help your stroke skain driving.

Speaker 2 (27:30):
Corey, Let's talk about those thin hits a little bit more.
That's the biggest thing I think I noticed going into
the ten k is when I thinned it, I'm playing
at longer length still, so because it's so forgiving and
the head's bigger, it doesn't feel that much longer.

Speaker 1 (27:45):
Marty, what do you what are you playing it at
right now?

Speaker 2 (27:47):
It's forty five and seven eights? Okay, you know, but
I'm all in on this. This is really fun. I
still when you thin it or mishit it, it's not
like the feedback goes away. Like you as the golfer.
You still get incentive is to hill it hit the
center of the face. But when I thin at Corey
and I'm hitting it on track, man, I get as

(28:08):
high or sometimes even higher ball speeds when I hit
it low on the face. It might be because when
I hit it low on the face, my angle of
attack gets a little steeper, to my delivery might be
a little bit different. But talk about that interplay of
the shots low on the face and then spinsistency. We've
talked a lot about that over the podcast. How the inertia,
the ten k impacts high low on the face all

(28:30):
kind of play together.

Speaker 3 (28:31):
Yeah, I think what you're experiencing is what a lot
of golfers will experience where the Max tank K driver
is exceptional on hit shots hit everywhere around the face,
but especially low on the face. And I think it's
the marriage of a lot of technologies kind of what
you were talking about before, right, compound interest returns, and

(28:53):
this is us stacking technologies on top of each other
and really improving the performance where we see a lot
of pain points with golfers.

Speaker 2 (29:02):
Right.

Speaker 3 (29:02):
So typically on a thin hit with a driver, you'll
get a really low launching, low ball speed, high spin
trajectory that may come up, you know, fifteen to twenty
yards short of where you're expecting. And I think that
a combination of the low CG of the Max ten
K driver with the with the carbon fly wrap spinsistency,

(29:24):
so modifying the role profile where you get a little
bit less loft low on the face, which that lower
loft is going to deliver more speed and lower spin.
And then on top of that you get the really
high MI like industry leading top bottom MI, so that's

(29:44):
going to be the MI that helps you on mishits
up and down the face. So you know, stacking all
these things one on top of the other. Is why
you know, some people may even see higher ball speeds
from a point two inch low hit or a quarter
inch low hit compared to a center hit. Right, I
would say that it's still not going to go as
far as the center hit. To your point about, we

(30:05):
still want to incentivize the center hit, but it's going
to be way better than you know, drivers that we
may have launched, you know previously.

Speaker 2 (30:15):
Yeah. I just saw Andrew, our friend Andrew Rice a
post about you know reck he I love how he
makes very complicated topics simple for the everyday golfer. He said,
you should play with two T heights, have a low
T height and a high T height. And I think
in practice I do that. I hit my kind of chip,
but I don't want it to go short. I t
it low for control, take the left side out. There's

(30:36):
some factors with that, some some biomechanical things, but I
love that I can t it low and have super
high ball speed. I'm actually love that freedom of the
of the ten K. Corey talk about just the fitting
of the ten K relative to the other models. I mean,
one way I like to think about driver fitting is

(30:57):
you fit the vertical direction. We use our optimal launch
and spin our tools and copilot for that to dial
in your like perfect launch conditions based on your angle
of attack. And then the horizontal the left right, so
kind of paint the picture of how the ten K
falls in both of those directions from a three D
fitting standpoint.

Speaker 3 (31:16):
Yeah, absolutely, so the like like we talked about a
little bit before, the max ten k is a nice
blend of low spin with really high forgiveness. So vertically
this is going to fit probably between the low spin driver,
the LST which is our lowest flight to driver, and

(31:38):
a little bit so it'll be a little bit higher
than the LST but a little bit lower than the
G four thirty max. And then our s FT driver
will be the highest flight to driver.

Speaker 1 (31:49):
And you know, we.

Speaker 3 (31:50):
Did make one small fitting and design sacrifice on this driver,
and it was a trade off of you know, maximizing
MOI at the sacrifice of a fitting lever. And I
think that fitting lever that is everyone will notice is
missing in the Max ten K is the CG adjustability
or you know, being able to move the high density

(32:12):
tungsten weight into the heel or toe position and promote
more draw or more fade. So all of the other
drivers in our G four to thirty family, the Max,
the LST, and the SFT have CG adjustability, but the
Max ten K is a single position weight, and really
the design choice was, you know, we're going to go
all out for lower CG and high MI at the

(32:34):
at the trade off of adjustability. So I think for
golfers who have a miss in a predominant miss in
one direction, whether that's left or right, you'll find that
the three drivers with CG adjustability will be easier to
fit into you. If you generally hit it pretty straight,

(32:55):
then you know, I would definitely rope in the Max
ten K. So I think maybe that's one of the
common questions that we'll get is you know, how is
this driver different than the G four thirty Max? And
I think that's a very distinctive difference.

Speaker 1 (33:07):
Corey, I've got a question for you, so you finished design.
I don't know what happens when you're like finalized the project,
if you submit it to somebody, or Marty takes papers
from or whatever the case may be. But how hard
is it to finalize a design and then wait to
put it in the bag as a good golfer. I mean,
what's that is that?

Speaker 2 (33:26):
Like?

Speaker 1 (33:26):
Is that like December eighteenth for a seven year old
where you're just like, get me to Christmas for goodness sakes,
like get me to the day where I get to
open these presents.

Speaker 3 (33:34):
Absolutely, yeah it And I think that you know, we
you know, we we see the first sample run of
the Driver, you know, a year ahead of consumer launch
right right right right, so like we're we're seeing the
future really of like what everyone will get to experience,
and and we're trying to evaluate, you know, how the

(33:56):
Driver performs. You know, is it is it meeting our
durability requirements and stuff like that. And I think with
really good products, it becomes kind of this common knowledge
of just like after you go out to do a
player test and you come back in and you're like, Wow,
this product's going to be really good. I can't wait
to put it in my bag, and it just kind

(34:17):
of spreads through the engineering group of like and everyone
gets real excited and the you know, everyone's waiting for
the date it goes out on tour and you know,
the first images get put up on the internet, and
you know, we get to see the world's first reaction
to the driver, and I think, like, like Marty and you,
I have this Max ten K driver in my bag

(34:38):
as well. I've played a couple of rounds with it already,
and it for me, it's I knew it was going
to be the driver for me because I love large
profile drivers and I really value the consistency of miss
hits and keeping balls in play and kind of, like
like Marty mentioned, that's one of the strengths in my game,
and so pairing that, like the highest moy driver in

(35:01):
the family for me was a clear win and I
don't see it leaving my bag for a while.

Speaker 2 (35:08):
Corey. One thing I think that is super important to
golfers that we tend to not talk about maybe enough,
is like sound and acoustics. I mean, for g four
to twenty five driver was amazing. Obviously, I think we had,
you know, some golfers out there yearning for a little
different acoustic and we made that a very big priority
of ours. From the innovation design side, talk about what

(35:31):
makes the how how is the Max ten k gonna
sound relative to the other models in the four thirty family,
and then just talk a little bit about how we
improve the acoustics, what tools techniques that we used to
improve the acoustics, because the four thirty driver family, I
think all of them sound amazing. The LST has a

(35:54):
little different signature. So kind of compare and contrast all
the different models and talk a little bit about what
we've done on the acoustics side.

Speaker 3 (36:01):
Yeah, so the Max ten K driver from a sound perspective,
will be a little bit louder than the rest of
the G four thirty family, but still I would say
in the good range of sound, like a majority of
consumers will, we'll hit the driver and be like, yeah,
this driver sounds pretty good. And I think, you know,
we're we're holding ourselves to a very high standard given

(36:23):
the acoustic improvements that we made on the rest of
the G four to thirty family. And I think this
is another good kind of example technology of adding layers
and stacking technology for compound gains. Right is you know,
throughout the entire G four thirty family, we made a
pretty significant jump in the satisfaction in the sound that

(36:48):
the driver produces.

Speaker 1 (36:50):
And so.

Speaker 3 (36:51):
Without really sacrificing any other performance characteristics. And the way
we did that was really taking a fresh look at
you know, what parts of the club are vibrating and
pressurizing the air and creating the sound that we hear,
And how do we attack those areas of the club
and stiffen them, and and and and make the driver

(37:13):
you know, really solid sounding and feeling at impact. And
so some of those tools that you know that we
use with innovation team and the simulation team are you know, modal.
And even we run you know, through a full acoustic
simulation where we can get you know, a sound file
out the on the back end after we run the

(37:35):
driver through a sound simulation. And I think that the
you know, just like the adjustability uh the CG adjustability
piece on the Max ten K, the the sound is
a small trade off in you know, going for a
very low CG high m they head and stretching the
footprint out is you just have a little bit less

(37:56):
mass to play with. So the the two big ribs
that go across the soul are just a little bit shorter,
so they're not quite they don't stiffen the soul quite
as much as the G four thirty Max or the
G four to thirty ls T head. But like I said,
this is not we're holding ourselves to a very high
standard here. I think overwhelmingly people will say, oh, this

(38:18):
driver sounds pretty.

Speaker 1 (38:19):
Good, Marty. I don't know who came up with the
tagline for the Max ten K, but I think it
sells itself straight or flies farther. I mean, yeah, it's like,
can I hit it straighter? Yes? Does it go as long?
If not longer? Yeah? Sorry, sign me up.

Speaker 2 (38:33):
I'm in absolutely absolutely. I think. Another fun thing about
the ten k is Corey just mentioned was that it's
it's it's pretty much up. It's approaching the limit on
the USGA size, Like, you know, there's one of the
rules we need to play with in is this you know,
five inch by five inch box ten k is pushed
right up to that limit. Uh, and it still sounds

(38:55):
amazing and spins low like There's been other drivers that
have pushed pushed that, but they haven't sounded very good
and they haven't Ben Ferry forgiving on the top bottom
of inertia standpoint. So that's really fun, Corey. One other
area I wanted to ask about was the HL builds,
Like we have a you know, and talking about our

(39:16):
holistic design, we have a build called the HL stands
for High launch, talk a little bit about who that's for,
what goes into it from a chef, grip, total weight standpoint,
and who might be a good customer or who would
be somebody that might be a good target for that
HL build. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (39:37):
Our so our.

Speaker 3 (39:38):
HL build is taking our four g four thirty heads
in our driver family, but customizing the build to specifically
target slower swing speed golfers. And so through our research
we found that, you know, two hundred and five gram
headweight isn't necessarily optimal for every golfer. It's kind of

(40:00):
a middle of the bell curve where you know, most
people will find success with that headweight. But what we've
seen is is that the slower you swing it, the
lighter you want your head mass, the lighter you want
your total weight of the golf club. And so the
HL build, you know, reduces the head mass target from

(40:22):
two five to two oh six down to the mid
one nineties, you know, anywhere from like one ninety three
to one ninety six. And then we combine that with
a forty five gram HL shaft and then a forty
gram grip, so both of those are in the ballpark
of ten grams lighter than the standard components. So when

(40:42):
you put that all together, you get a lighthead and
a light total weight. That so swing speed golfers can
swing faster and actually get more ball speed. And I
think one of that's another cool aspect of this Max
ten K driver is in the HL build, uh, you
will be getting the heaviest backweight that we can offer

(41:04):
in the entire G four to thirty family.

Speaker 1 (41:07):
And so it's it's.

Speaker 3 (41:08):
Really like, if you're an HL golfer, I would still
strongly consider this Max ten K driver. It's not just
for people who hit down or higher spin, because it's
the most forgiving driver on the market built at lighter headweights,
and that's the trade off that we always struggle with.

Speaker 2 (41:28):
Yeah, So Corey, a couple of things on the HL.
One is there's that different optimal headweight for different swing speeds, right,
and that comes into that momentum optimization, which is mass
times velocity. And then also squaring the club, right, you
make the headweight lighter, total weight lighter, you're gonna get

(41:48):
in general, you're gonna get a more close faced path.
Would that be kind of correct in the research we've done.

Speaker 3 (41:55):
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, So faster club at speed more ball speed,
optimizing the momentum for slow swingspeed golfers. And then yeah,
the lighter you make your head, the easier it will
be to square the face. So if you have a
right miss tendency, the lighter headweight will really help you out.
And that's why we build our SFT drivers a little

(42:16):
bit lighter as well.

Speaker 2 (42:17):
Yeah, that's a good tip and trick for the fitters
listening out there is consider the HL build that are
looking for a lower lofted SFT sfts our most kind
of by default CG in the heel goes the most
left for the right right handed golfer, but the max
ten k with the HL, or take the max put
the CG shifter in the draw position and go lighter

(42:39):
on the swingweight. Couple great options there to get a
lower lofted head that still has a lot that you
can fit for the left right standpoint exactly, Corey.

Speaker 1 (42:50):
I did an interview one time where it was me
and Rex Hoggard, so Bacon and Hoggard interviewing me a
ham and I thought that that would be maybe the
most kind of curated meat you know, interview I ever did.
This might surpass it two Bacons involved is something I've
been excited about for a long time. So appreciate the insight.

(43:14):
Appreciate all the hard work on this because, like I said,
I mean, this is in the bag, and you said it, Corey,
I'm gonna say the same thing. It's not coming out
anytime soon. I mean, this driver is exceptional and I'm
so excited for people to get a chance to see it.

Speaker 3 (43:26):
Yeah, I appreciate the time. Shane and Marty enjoyed the conversation,
and yeah, happy New Year and let's have a good
twenty twenty four.

Speaker 1 (43:34):
Got to be an excellent twenty twenty four. Marty, We're
gonna have to get together soon and play a little
New Year's golf at some point. I mean, we need
to see the Max ten K in person. I'm looking
forward to it.

Speaker 2 (43:44):
Yeah to me, Elon Musk has this simple quote like
engineering is magic, and when you experience the Max ten K,
like all the tech that Corey just went into, it
literally is magic on the golf course. So let's let's
go out there. Shane. Make it a little.

Speaker 1 (43:59):
True, get a little magic in your life, get involved
with Max ten K.

Speaker 3 (44:04):
Corey.

Speaker 1 (44:04):
Appreciate the time. This is the Ping Prewing Grounds podcast
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