GOLFMAGIC received a first look at the brand new PING G30 iron at St Leon-Rot Golf Club in Germany earlier this month.
On first look, the PING G30 iron has a slightly improved sole design and thinner face in relation to the PING G25 iron, a club that performed admirably in our latest Game Improvement Irons Test. G30 maintains the non-glare matte grey finish and that was particularly welcome out in the blinding Frankfurt sunshine while out on the practice range.
The sleek, thinner topline and moderate offset is a bonus and the overall shape of the club frames the ball beautifully in classic PING style. In comparison to the G-series clubs of years gone by, I much prefer the darkened finish and progressive thick sole of the G25 and G30 because that helps create a much wider and more appealing club at address. The soles of the G30 also appear slightly narrower than the G25, but saying that, they’re still a little oversized. The toplines look thinner and there's a little offset too which is a nice touch.
The benefit of using progressive offset is that it helps generate higher ball flights in the longer irons and penetrating, controlled trajectories with the scoring clubs. This was paramount during my half an hour testing session with the G30 iron. The slightly longer blade lengths were increasing forgiveness, most noticeably in the 4- through 7-iron.
G30 features small improvements against the look of the G25 iron but there is nothing dramatically different. The blue and black colour design is perhaps more inspiring and generally has a little more shelf appeal than its older brother.
There are definite improvements when it comes to sound and feel, however, without sacrificing the forgiveness and distance that golfers have come to love with the G25.
Sound at impact is superb, aided by a soft elastomer badge that enhances feel and sound in the perimeter-weighted design, while ball flight was slightly higher than normal. The CTP structure of the G30 is located lower down to help produce a higher ball flight that lands like butter. This tuning port supports the 17-4 stainless steel face to provide the solid feel I was experiencing on centre hits.
G30, with its undercut cavity, is the perfect iron if you're playing on fast running greens this summer because it lands so soft. I also found it to be very forgiving across the board from the 20 strikes I enjoyed. Even on several off-centre hits, the ball still popped up nicely and travelled out to decent yardage. This is a very forgiving golf club, just like the G25.
When it comes to distance, there's certainly a little more firepower here. Okay, PING has cheated somewhat as lofts have been cranked in the 4- to 7-irons (i.e. G30 6-iron is 27-degree in relation to the 29-degree on the G25), but I was receiving a three-yard gain on 6-iron carry yardage from 165 yards with the G25 to 168 yards with the G30.
Spin also rose by approximately 250RPM to just under 5000RPM which was more than pleasing for someone who tends to struggle with maximising spin with the longer irons.
The 4-iron (21-degree in relation to 23-degree on the G25) was also particularly easy to hit. I felt like I could see the back of the club, which aided confidence at address, and there was little offset to speak of with a long blade length. Everything sets up for take off with the longer irons.
In typical G-Series fashion, PING has improved the look slightly at address without sacrificing forgiveness and distance. A couple of yards here and there might not be worth upgrading to if you've already got the successful G25 irons in the bag, but if you haven't, the G30 is more than a worthy option for the game improver or even the single-figure handicapper who likes the larger looking iron this season.
PING has clearly made a focus on gaping with the G30, lengthening certain clubs and tweaking lofts, but this only creates consistent stepping between clubs and makes it easier to bridge the gap between longest iron and woods.
Not the cheapest option at £86 per club in steel and £100 in graphite, but as is always the case with G-Series clubs from PING, the G30 represents one of top-rated game improvement irons out there in 2014.
G25 6-iron (29-degree, 37.25"): 165 yards carry, 4600 spin
G30 6-iron (27-degree; 37"): 168 yards carry, 4850 spin
Click here for PING G30 iron owner reviews