Tour players are looking for the slightest advantage in tech to reduce their scoring average, so when a player changes a club it’s normally for that reason. Irons and putters rarely get swapped out, as it’s the long game where players are chasing the yards and tighter dispersion. So, when Ping launched the G430 it was going to be interesting to see how many switched out the highly successful G425 driver and fairway metals.
Victor Perez won in Abu Dhabi with the G430 driver and G430 Max five wood in the bag and he’s not alone in shifting to the new model. Tyrrell Hatton, Thriston Lawrence and Sahith Theegala have also put the G430 metals in play.
If you read our G430 driver review, you would know how impressed we were with the performance but equally important was the improved acoustics. The question we were dying to find out was whether the fairway woods were singing off the same hymn sheet.
Models and difference
The metals are available in two models G430 MAX and SFT and both share the same technology, but the SFT is designed with a draw bias to help square the toe through impact.
More carbon benefits
When it comes to technology it’s all about the ability to shift weight around in the head to optimise speed and forgiveness across the face. In order to do this Ping has joined the carbon party. Both G430 MAX and G430 SFT fairway woods feature a Carbonfly Wrap crown which weighs 8.5 grams but frees up 10 grams of discretionary weight.
There are two main benefits of using carbon. First, it helps produce a more acoustically pleasing sound at impact. Secondly, PING has used the 10 grams of saved weight to push the CG lower where it also increases ball speed.
More ball speed
The fairway metals have kept the same Spinsistency technology from the G425. This means the face features a modified roll profile, especially low on the club face where the loft decreases. This helps normalize spin and increase ball speed for more launch.
Lofts are available from 15 through to 24 degrees but Ping’s Trajectory Tuning allows you to increase or decrease that baseline loft by one and half degrees either way. So, the range spread is really 13.5 to 25.5 degrees.
Ping’s stock shafts have always been one of their strong points. You have a choice of their Altus 56g soft shaft for a high launch all the way to their 71g Tour 2.0 Black X stiff for power hitters that want a lower launch. In addition, Ping offers the Mitsubishi Kai’Li White 70 along with the HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX 60 and 70. This range of shaft will suit most players but there is a whole range of upgrade options available when you get fitted.
The G430 has a slight performance edge over the G425 but the revised acoustics is the real success story. I’ve been struggling with my hybrid recently with carry distance and think a 21-degree G430 MAX might be the answer I’m looking for. The lime green and white highlights against the carbon just finish the club off perfectly.