‘It’s a fly swatter’: Pro explains outrageous driver setup

Ping G430 driver 2023

The Ping G430 is a popular driver with pros and amateurs alike

Ryan Barath/GOLF

As golfers, we find plenty of different ways to describe our golf clubs: big dog, sand saver, flat stick, safety club — you know the drill. But Korn Ferry Tour player Chandler Phillips found a new one last week when he called his Ping G430 driver a “fly swatter” thanks to its unique build specs.

Ping G430 Max driver
Ping G430 Max driver face
Ping G430 LST driver
Ping G430 LST driver crown
Ping G430 LST driver face
Ping G430 SFT driver
Ping G430 SFT driver face
Ping G430 drivers at address

Ping G430 Max, G430 SFT, G430 LST Drivers

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After a surprising T2 finish at the Wichita Open, Phillips revealed to reporters that his Ping gamer driver had none of the specs typically associated with a pro-caliber driver. In fact, his regular-flex G430 was as plain-Jane as exists in the world of club manufacturing.

“You can go to Dicks Sporting Goods literally right now and buy my driver,” he said. “You can literally buy it right now off the rack. It’s the stock Ping shaft, 55-gram stick, not an [extra-stiff shaft].

“It’s a fly-swatter, but hell, it works,” he said. “Don’t ask me, I don’t get it. It doesn’t make sense to me either.”

You see, most pro golfers opt for a stiffer-shafted driver, because the reduced whip allows them to tighten the dispersion of their shots and improve important launch characteristics. But the specs Phillips uses are more fitting for your average weekend golfer — a rare development in the bag of a high-level player.

The trend of lightweight, softer shafts in elite players has increased in popularity in the last few years. It’s most noticeable with long drivers like Martin Borgmeier, who use the extra whip created by the bendy shaft to deliver higher ballspeeds and better distance.

Bendier shafts even started making their way into bags of Tour players over the last year, with notables like Adam Scott and Jimmy Walker putting the highly publicized Autoflex shaft into play during PGA Tour events. These types of driver shafts are especially helpful to golfers in the moderate swing speed category since the lightweight profile allows greater club length, which adds speed and distance off the tee.

So whether you’re a moderate swing speed golfer or someone on the higher end looking to get every last yard out of your swing, maybe it’s time to work against conventional wisdom and test out a lightweight and softer flex shaft. In other words, maybe the fly swatter is just right for you.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.

Ryan Barath

Golf.com Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.

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