It's been two years since the launch of G425, a driver range that cemented Ping's position as 'the most forgiving driver in golf', but this time around Ping are chasing speed and extra distance gains, making some pretty big claims...
Well, G430 is here to prove that they can be the brand that not only offers forgiveness but also serious distance, with John Solheim, Ping CEO and President claiming:
“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.
For 2023, the introduction of the G430 family see’s three new driver models, G430 Max, G430 SFT and G420 LST. In this review I will be testing the G430 Max driver which will replace the Ping G425 Max Driver as Ping's workhorse, as it suits the widest group of golfers.
With claims of 4 yards distance gains due to faster ball speeds as well as a fast uptake amongst their staff players Tyrell Hatton, Sahith Theegala and Maja Stark, as you'd expect - Ping are very excited about this range of golf clubs. As are their players too, with Maja Stark quoted as saying “I haven’t changed my driver for five years but when I tested the G430 I put it in the bag straight away, the spin was consistent and I gained more yardage”.
The main story for the G430 driver is that it features a shallower (.1") and thinner (6%) VFT face which is said to produce more flexing and therefore more ball speed.
Spinsistency technology first seen in the G425 fairway woods and hybrids has been moved from the fairway woods into the driver face to capture strikes low off the face which in turn maintains ball speed and launch.
The high pitched, loud sound of Ping drivers in recent history has also been addressed thanks to increased curvature of the crown, skirt and sole, as well as the addition of ribs that have been placed inside the head to influence the vibrations during the hit and therefore dampening the sound. Ping are calling this "the sound solution".
This is still Ping's most forgiving driver with their highest MOI available and a 460cc head.
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Ping G430 Max Driver Review
Whereas many golf club manufacturers in recent years have been cleaning up the looks of their drivers, the G430 seems to be going against the grain. There is quite a busy look on top of the crown with the turbulators remaining and some small carbon-like detailing towards the back of the crown being added. I like the look of the driver at address, however I do think it may divide opinion.
I found the shallow face to make the head look bigger than the 460cc head would suggest. The overall shape to the crown is more elongated making it look D shaped, more than ever before.
The black matte finish has remained as has the weight track and a very similar sole design to that of the G425, however this year see’s a lime green accent to the range which comes through slightly on then head and is carried on through the headcover and stock shaft options. Overall it's a very contemporary, strong looking driver.
Straight away during testing against the G425 driver, the G430 sounds significantly duller and lower toned than any other Ping driver I have tested in recent years, which is a massive plus. It's good to know that Ping are recognising feedback from consumers, tour pros and media and genuinely doing something about it.
Historically, Ping heads never fail in their stability; you often hit one which feels way right only for the technology to save the day and have it finish right side of the fairway, when in your head it feels like the ball has gone off the planet right. The G430 Max driver felt unbelievably stable during my testing on multiple occasions.
As we've come to expect with Ping drivers, the G430 is unbelievably straight.
Firstly I think given the claims that Ping are making regarding distance gains with G430 - I think it's important to look at ball speed. On average, the ball speed for both G425 and G430 was 132 mph, but on specific shots the G430 had a little more in the locker meaning I reached a max ball speed of 134.6mph which was 2 mph faster than I could find with the G425 Max driver.
As Ping are suggesting, I did manage to get the 4 yards extra of distance that was stated with the new technology. Hats off - Ping are making a claim and backing it up with G430. With G425 I was achieving 212 yards in carry compared to 216 yards and a higher spin rate on average which I preferred.
Consistency-wise both the G425 and G430 heads are incredible, just so stable through the hitting zone so you will be pleased to hear than nothing has changed there.
I never missed a fairway in all of the shots I hit during testing with both clubs, what more could you want?
Ping G430 Max Driver Verdict
Ping have delivered speed and distance gains without losing any of their forgiveness. With G430 they have finally reached the levels of other manufacturers and with the added bonus of quietening down that somewhat infamous Ping driver sound.
I always recommend Ping drivers to amateurs that I teach as hitting fairways means they’ll hit it further as it is landing on the short stuff - it's not really rocket science. But now thankfully for Ping if and when you test these heads, the ball speed and distance will stack up against the likes of Callaway, TaylorMade and Titleist.
I can see every Ping staff player swapping into a G430 as there is nothing to lose and everything to gain in my opinion. I can also see many golfers swapping into these as they’re quick and quiet (for Ping).
For me G430 is a great driver and signals exciting times for Ping and a big step up from G425’s to match ball speeds of the TaylorMade Stealth 2.
The G430 drivers will take a lot of beating in 2023.
Who Are They Aimed At?
This driver should be on the testing list of anyone looking to upgrade their driver in 2023.
Would I Use It?
100% yes, G430 is fantastic a step up in overall performance and sound.
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