Ping, DiMarco, Masters, The Drive-icus

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, April 14th, 2005
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf MediaPGA Tour

I’m still coming down from my Masters high that I got last weekend. What a great tournament. What fun watching the underdog Chris DiMarco battling ETW. DiMarco vs Tiger, Ping vs Nike.

Ping’s web site is proudly touting the accomplishments of DiMarco as they should. But am I the only one who was amazed that Chris had to take his driver out of play because it was damaged?

“DiMarco put a new driver into play on the ninth tee after the head of the club he had been using came loose.” It is amazing to me that Chris DiMarco can swing hard enough to make his driver head come loose. I’d expect Tiger to do that, not DiMarco. Nike 1, Ping 0.

I’ve had the same problems with Ping woods myself. I used to own a TiSi Tech Titanium driver. I picked it up at right around $500. I loved this driver. It never went right. It was extremely long and I had a lot of confidence in it. I loved it so much that I picked up matching 3W and 5W for the set.

One day I hit a drive and heard a rattle. There was something loose inside the head. It was like a maraca. The funny thing my buddies and I noticed was that when I had a perfect tempo swing, the maraca didn’t make any noise. So this became a running joke. My driver was a maraca and a medicus. We called it the “drive-icus.”

Soon my 3W and 5W rattled. I didn’t want to send them back to Ping and wait because it was the heart of the tournament season. But one day my driver was very off. I’d take a good swing at the ball, and it would fly like I threw a corkscrew. It had no distance, and literally flew like a wounded goose.

I looked at the driver and the back weight was gone. That weight provided the center of gravity of the club. (Later models would soon have screws to hold the weight in).

I couldn’t get an immediate replacement for my TiSi and I had a tournament the next day of course. So I demoed some other drivers. I ended up with a Titleist 983k.

Ping’s engineering is awesome. I think overall they make the best putters in the world. But there are definitely some QC issues when it comes to their woods. Just ask Chris DiMarco.

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