Bubba Watson has led the TOUR in driving distance in his last two starts since the switch
February 20, 2019
By Andrew Tursky, PGATOUR.COM
- Bubba Watson showed off his new custom Ping G410 Plus driver in Mexico City, with “Bubba” painted onto the half-pink, half-black crown. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Ever since Bubba Watson won the 2012 Masters with a custom pink-colored Ping G20 driver, he’s used a pink version of the newest Ping driver models. At the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open and the 2019 Genesis Open, however, Bubba was using the matte-black stock version of Ping’s new G410 Plus driver head as he led driving distance in each event.
No more pink driver for Watson? Not so fast.
After testing the new Ping G410 driver, Watson saw a significant reduction in his spin rates, according to Ping TOUR rep Christian Pena. By reducing the spin, Watson could hit his patented “big slice” shot harder without losing distance, and it made the ball flight of his low, 30-yard cut shot “stronger,” says Pena. Along with the stronger flight, Pena also says Watson picked up significant ball speed and distance.
Seeing these performance increases, Watson wanted to switch into the new Ping G410 plus head even though Ping didn’t have a custom pink version immediately available. In the meantime, with the new matte-black Ping G410 Plus driver -- which was made to match the exact specifications of his previous Ping G400 driver -- Watson led driving distance in the Waste Management Phoenix Open (326 yards) and the Genesis Open (309.3 yards).
Ahead of the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship, however, Watson showed off his new custom Ping G410 Plus driver, with “Bubba” painted onto the half-pink, half-black crown.
Every year, it’s somewhat of a competition to see what pink driver design Watson ultimately elects to put in play.
“With every new model, our industrial designers present a couple of pink-themed options (artist renderings) for internal approval by John and John K. Solheim before showing them to Bubba for him to choose the version he likes best,” a Pete Samuels, Director of Marketing at Ping told PGATOUR.COM.
“After we introduced the G20 driver in 2011, Bubba asked for a pink version to go with the pink shaft he had been playing. Since then, we’ve made him a pink version every time we’ve come out with a new driver. The G410 Plus marks the sixth version of a Bubba pink driver and they’ve all been very unique. He’s a very creative and generous person, so he’s been able to bring a lot of attention to his charitable efforts by playing pink PING drivers. It’s been a great concept for all involved," Samuels added.
From the designs he was presented, Watson chose the “Bubba” version, which he will likely put into play this week, according to a Ping representative.
Below are the exact specs of his new Ping G410 Plus driver:
Loft: 9-degree head with 7.5 degrees of actual loft
Length: 44.5 degrees
Shaft: Grafalloy Bi-Matrix X-Flex
Tipping: 0.5 inches
Swing weight: D4
Weight setting: 10 grams of weight in the neutral setting
Grip: Ping 703-Gold, 15 wraps under left hand and 13 wrap under right hand