Ping have always led the way in forgiveness but can they compete in speed and distance too?
Well, G430 is here to prove that they can. John Solheim, Ping CEO and President says:
“The combined distance gains throughout the entire G430 family are like nothing we have seen from one generation of clubs to the next.”
If Ping get this right then they will be at the top of the tree for tangible performance in the golfing market.
G430 see’s an entirely new family of clubs for 2023, in this review I will be testing the G430 irons which will replace the Ping G425’s as Ping's headline game-improvement iron.
With claims of 7 to 10 yards distance gains, as well as improved accuracy - I couldn’t wait to test out these claims.
A PurFlex cavity badge is the new headline piece of technology in these iron heads; seven flex zone’s at the rear of the blade are said to allow more free bending to increase ball speed across the face. PurFlex is also said to contribute to dampening the hollow sounds of a cavity back and increase the feel.
There is a 0.5 lower CG in the heads, aligned with force line sitting horizontal across the bottom of the head behind the lower grooves to increase launch and ball speeds especially when you make a thin contact on the ball.
The face is once again made from Hyper 17-4 stainless steel but it is now 3% thinner again to produce +2mph faster balls speeds and greater max height.
Hydropearl 2.0 remains for spin consistency in wet conditions and stronger lofts feature throughout a set of G430 irons with the 7 iron in standard coming in at 29 degrees.
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Ping G430 Irons Review
I like the look of this iron - it was pretty pleasing to the eye and certainly not 'too big' with classic Ping shaping from PW - 4 irons. The head is compact with a thinner top line than other game-improvement irons, and the hosel has been reduced in size to make the offset seem less which is another nice touch.
There is no badge to fill the cavity back, like we see in some other similar irons in this category, like the Cleveland Launch XL, this time around Ping are showing off what technology is there.
You can see the pentagon shaped PurFlex zones which may divide opinion in terms of shelf appeal, but they didn't offend me. If you look closely inside the cavity you can also see the weighting, which sits from heel to toe across the back of the hitting zone - in the G425 this was was mainly behind the lower toe area.
The sole is wider and the weight hang on the highest part of head is more significant with G430 than in the G425. However at address you do not see any of these changes which is great, as they help the performance but do not hinder in looks. Win, win.
During testing, the G430 irons felt stable and high launching through the strike, with the club swinging nicely through the hitting zone. The sole maybe wide, which you'd expect on an iron like this but the bounce is up one degree to help save heavy strikes.
The sound is a touch quieter than the G425’s, which is always a positive as they were loud (as was the G425 driver), the overall feel is controlled and firm to decrease club twisting at impact.
Let me start with the distance question: the G430 6 iron went 152.6 yards through the air and the G425 went 148.5 yards carry on average. This distance gain 4 yards was due to an increased ball speed of 2.5mph and a lower spin value of 100 rpm (5159 rpm to 5095rpm). So straight off the bat, the G430 was doing exactly what Ping were claiming.
This is all good news especially as the launch, height and landing angle was not affected. The only downside I saw from this testing was dispersion, you could throw a tea towel over the G425 cluster of shots compared to a beach towel for the G430’s. A slight change that's bound to happen when you up ball speed and carry distance.
I then tested the 4 iron’s in a closest to the pin challenge of 183 yards. This once again proved the half a club in distance carry that I was receiving from the new heads and the G430 came out on top; a thinly struck G430 carried the same distance as my well hit G425.
Ping G430 Irons Verdict
When a company claim distance gains by putting a number alongside it you know there has been a shift and they know it will be proven in testing. PING rarely say they’re better than other companies but they have no problem saying that the G430’s are better than what they produce at the moment.
With a one degree stronger loft you wouldn’t see this jump in ball speed and distance so the technology and CG placement have to be working. These irons are now as good as TaylorMade and Callaway’s game-improvement offering in distance but the G430’s are flying higher and spinning more so they’ll stop on the greens fast. As well as being a lot better looking in your golf bag and at address.
This is a big move from Ping and worth shouting about. They’re effortlessly long and fast whilst still keeping their forgiveness. These clubs are the best I have tested in the game-improvement market due to their combination of looks, forgiveness and distance.
Who Are They Aimed At?
Golfers wanting more distance without changing their swing and speed of swing, I would suggest anyone from a beginner, to senior or mid handicapper can game these.
The only people who do not need them is better players and elite golfers not looking for distance.
Would I Use Them?
My game isn't quite ready for the game improvement iron market just yet, but it doesn’t stop me saying that these are the best iron in that category.
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