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Prodi G Junior Clubs

Bringing you insights from the PING Proving Grounds, where our talented team of engineers, researchers, fitting experts and data scientists design and develop the newest product and fitting technologies to help you play better. Using the most advanced tools available, we’ll explain and explore the science behind golf-equipment performance. We’ll separate fact from fiction with the goal of helping you make informed decisions when choosing the PING equipment best suited for maximizing your performance.





Prodi G: Custom Engineered,
Custom Fit for Kids

by Marty Jertson

This is the story behind Prodi G, our industry-leading junior product for girls and boys, and how it is Custom Engineered, Custom Fit, and Custom Built with the same passion and rigor as our Tour players’ equipment – and Mom’s and Dad’s clubs.

In 2020, golf for kids is booming, and we could not be more excited about what that means for the collective future of the game. The National Golf Foundation has estimated that junior golf participation for ages 6 to 17 has grown 20% in the last year, when 2.5 million juniors participated in the sport. For juniors golf can be a proving ground for character development as witnessed through the First Tee’s Nine Core Values system: Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, and Courtesy.

If you are getting a junior into the game, you are probably wondering where to start with equipment. Cut down your old clubs? Order a boxed set? Both have their shortcomings.

When it came to developing our Prodi G line, the Custom Engineering came first. What does this mean, exactly? We brought in dozens of juniors, ages 7 to 13, to the PING Proving Grounds in Phoenix, Arizona, and measured everything about their biometrics and performance. They went through a full array of testing on TrackMan launch monitors, studying the ballistics, stat areas, club delivery, and launch conditions. We studied how they individually responded to various lengths, lofts, weighting, shaft flexes, lie angle, and other variables to inform both the design and fitting guidelines.

 

Compared to the top-selling junior driver, the Prodi G goes 15 yards farther – and the high MOI lets juniors develop speed at a time when it is so developmentally important.

We did set gapping with them. We interviewed them, asking about the colors and style, and what they wanted their product to represent. We then leveraged this research to optimize the designs with the same engineering horsepower as our adult product.

Let’s take a technical dive into the Prodi G driver. From our Optimal Launch and Spin Chart you can see that the best launch conditions for a level Angle of Attack (AoA) for 80mph to 90mph ball speeds is 18° and 2,300 rpm spin. At slower speeds, launching the ball high is vital. This led to the final spec for the Prodi G driver being 15°.


Optimal Launch and Spin
Optimal Launch and Spin Chart highlighting the optimal launch angle and spin rate for junior golfers based on clubhead speed and angle of attack Legend 325y 297m 300y 274m 275y 251m 250y 229m 225y 206m 200y 183m 175y 160m 150y 137m 125y 114m Angle of Attack -10° -8° -6° -4° -2° 10° Driver Ball Speed 180 mph 290 km/h 3450 3.6° 3250 4.9° 3050 6.2° 2850 7.5° 2700 9.0° 2550 10.4° 2400 11.9° 2200 13.3° 2050 14.8° 1950 16.4° 1800 17.9° 170 mph 274 km/h 3500 4.3° 3300 5.7° 3100 6.9° 2900 8.2° 2750 9.6° 2550 11° 2400 12.4° 2250 13.9° 2100 15.3° 1950 16.8° 1800 18.2° 160 mph 257 km/h 3500 5.2° 3300 6.5° 3100 7.7° 2950 2750 10.3° 2600 11.7° 2400 13° 2300 14.4° 2100 15.9° 1950 17.3° 1800 18.7° 150 mph 241 km/h 3500 6.2° 3350 7.4° 3150 8.6° 2950 9.8° 2750 11.1° 2600 12.4° 2450 13.7° 2300 15.1° 2150 16.4° 2000 17.9° 1850 19.3° 140 mph 225 km/h 3550 7.3° 3300 8.3° 3150 9.5° 2950 10.7° 2800 12° 2600 13.2° 2450 14.5° 2300 15.8° 2150 17.2° 2000 18.5° 1850 19.9° 130 mph 209 km/h 3500 8.4° 3300 9.4° 3150 10.6° 2950 11.7° 2750 12.8° 2600 14.1° 2450 15.3° 16.6° 2300 17.9° 2150 19.2° 2000 20.6° 1850 120 mph 193 km/h 9.6° 3450 10.6° 3250 11.6° 3100 12.7° 2900 13.8° 2750 15° 2600 16.2° 2450 17.4° 2300 18.7° 2150 19.9° 2000 21.2° 1850 110 mph 177 km/h 10.9° 3400 11.8° 3200 12.7° 3000 13.9° 2850 14.9° 2700 15.9° 2550 17.1° 2400 18.2° 2250 19.5° 2100 20.7° 1950 21.9° 1850 100 mph 161 km/h 13.8° 2800 12.9° 3100 13.9° 2950 14.9° 2800 15.9° 2600 16.9° 2450 18° 2300 19.1° 2150 20.3° 2050 21.4° 1900 22.6° 1750 90 mph 145 km/h 12.7° 3050 13.9° 2950 15° 2800 15.9° 2650 17.8° 2350 18° 2350 19° 2200 20° 2100 21.1° 1950 22.2° 1850 24° 1600 80 mph 129 km/h 13.8° 2800 14.5° 2650 15.8° 2600 16.9° 2450 17.8° 2350 18.8° 2200 19.9° 2100 20.8° 1950 21.8° 1800 22.9° 1700 24° 1600 15.9° 2600 16.9° 2450 18° 2300 16.9° 2500 18° 2350 19° 2200 17.8° 2350 18.8° 2200 19.9° 2100
Due to slower clubhead speeds, junior golfers require more loft for maximum distance.



The Prodi G Junior Driver
The Prodi G Junior Driver Top and face view of Prodi G Junior driver.
The Prodi G junior driver incorporates many of the same technological features as the PING drivers played on Tour, including Turbulators and Vortec technology for speed from improved aerodynamics, and Dragonfly technology for CG optimization.



 
Launch Efficiency Analysis
Launch Efficiency Analysis Chart comparing ball flights for junior golfer using an adult's driver cut to the proper length vs. a Prodi G driver. 0 50 100 150 Distance [yards] 0 10 20 Height [yards] Optimal Launch Window Driver A Prodi G Launch Angle 8.0 15.7 Spin Rate (rpm) 1,630 2,046 Launch Efficiency 69.3% 99.3% Carry Distance (yards) 69 110
Driver A is an adult driver cut shorter to fit a junior golfer. The low loft, stiff shaft and mis-balanced weighting contribute to poor launch conditions and extremely short carry distances.


Compared to the top-selling junior driver, the Prodi G goes 15 yards farther, and the high MOI lets juniors develop speed at a time when it's so developmentally important.

We took a similar approach to the lofts, CG placement, and weight-balance for the fairway wood (22°, or the loft a traditional 7-wood) and hybrid (27°, the loft of a 5-hybrid). The irons also have loft gaps that are optimized based on our research and modeling capabilities.

When it comes to short game, we felt compelled to design wedges and putters that encourage and enhance creativity as kids develop their proprioception, or spatial awareness skills. At address, Prodi G wedges have the beautiful tear-drop shaping of our Glide line, and the grinds are designed to unlock shot-making as kids are having fun developing a wide array of shots around the practice chipping green.

With putting, we did not want juniors growing up with a big mallet model that could inhibit their clubface-orientation awareness. We instead opted for the blade-style Voss, a modern twist on the Anser chassis that is paired with our iconic, pistol (Impact of Pistol) shaped PP58 grip. The Voss still has our staple heel-toe weighting and the design requires focus from the junior because of the ball-width alignment. 

When it comes to Custom Fitting, and as a parent myself, I realize it is an easy mistake to invest in sports equipment that will be the right size for them in a year or two – instead of fitting them properly now. To proactively solve this problem, we created the Get Golf Growing Program. This is an industry-first initiative that offers custom-fit and custom-built junior clubs that include a one-time, no-cost adjustment to sets of five clubs or more (purchased in one transaction) as the golfer grows, addressing the all-too-common occurrence of juniors playing ill-fitting clubs that don’t set them up for success.

 
Our philosophy is that we don’t want to give kids too many clubs, or overfill their bags, when they are just starting out.

Our philosophy is that we don't want to give kids too many clubs, or overfill their bags, when they are just starting out.  For example, if your junior hits their driver 120 yards or less, we recommend only a five-club, custom-fit set. They will have proper distance gapping between clubs and can express their creativity in shot-making with fewer clubs rather than too many. Unlike a boxed set, we custom build every order; you can simply order more clubs as they grow.

Every Prodi G product is Custom Built like our adult clubs, using the same calibrated techniques to customize the length, lie angle, shaft flex, and weight of each club during the assembly process. Using your junior’s biometrics (height, wrist-to-floor) and pairing that with their current driving distance enables a very precise custom fitting that works equally as well for girls or boys.

We’ve packaged our proprietary fitting algorithms into an easy-to-use online fitting tool that configures length, flex, color code (lie angle), and set make-up by simply inputting your junior’s height, wrist-to-floor measurement, driving distance, and dexterity. Give it a try. WEBFIT® for Junior Golfers

I hope you have enjoyed going behind the curtain and learning about what we do at the PING Proving Grounds. Let’s keep growing this great game and helping our juniors play their best.




References:
National Golf Foundation "Pandemic Could Spur Junior Jump of Half-Million Golfers" August 2020


 

Marty Jertson
Vice President of Fitting & Performance

Marty has worked in golf R&D since 2004, including roles as Chief Engineer and Senior Designer, and is a named inventor on more than 125 patents. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. Marty is also a Class A PGA member and has played in six major championships. He made the cut at the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, and competed in the 2020 U.S. Open.

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