The PING G430 Max looks, feels and plays like a premium driver. We noticed a modest bump in distance without any loss of control. With its’ high tech aesthetic and improved feel, the PING G430 Max driver is a superb all rounder.
Very user friendly
Offers plenty of forgiveness
Wonderful shelf appeal
Only slight distance gains compared to previous generation
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Over the years, PING’s G family of clubs has become renowned for its user-friendliness. Popular with Tour pros and everyday golfers alike, this family has always had a genuinely broad appeal. The PING G425 launched in January 2021, so the question is, do the new versions live up to its reputation? Not only that, do they manage to move performance on, without losing that broad appeal they’ve had in the past?
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In terms of new technology, what we have is a slightly thinner face and shallower profile. Meanwhile, in the G430 the brand's forged variable face thickness should deliver more flexing for greater speed and forgiveness across the entire face. The face also features something called ‘Spinsistency’ too. This is a variable roll radius that should deliver more consistent spin rates and carry distances. There’s also less loft low on the face for more ball speed.
I tested the PING G430 Max to see if it was one of the best drivers of 2023 using a GC Quad launch monitor at Foresight Sports European HQ, using Titleist Pro V1x golf balls, and I put it up against the previous generation Ping G425 Max driver with the lofts set to 9°.
As soon as I hit the older PING G425 Max, I was reminded of how easy a driver it was to hit. From the first shot, it was clearly a driver that was working for, not against, me. As I switched into the G430 Max, that feeling of control and confidence continued. As you can see from the data below, I got a bump up in terms of ball speed and clubhead speed. In truth, there was an improvement in the overall distance from the G430 Max but it wasn’t huge.
It was out on the course where I really started to enjoy myself with the new model. That same, easy-to-hit sensation I had when testing it on the launch monitor quickly returned. My Arcoss data from the round I played showed an improvement off the tee - Strokes Gained: Distance +0.9, and Strokes Gained Accuracy: +0.5. One of the highlights was a 284-yard drive which, given the cold and wet underfoot, was really pleasing. The Arccos graphic below shows the shot in question.
In terms of looks, for me, the Max version suffers in comparison to the PING G430 LST driver, which features what PING is calling a ‘Carbonfly Wrap’. The two-tone effect on the crown of the LST creates a high tech effect that I loved. Having said that, what PING has always done really well is to make its drivers look generous and easy-to-hit at address, which is the case again here. The gallery view below shows the address view of the G430 Max and the G430 LST.
Another plus is the shelf appeal, which gets a big thumbs up. For me, one of the reasons for this is the moveable weight in the back of the head. All three versions have a moveable weight track. This adds to the high tech aesthetic and gives the fitter that option to really dial the club in for the user. The fact that you can manipulate the shape in the Max version will appeal to a lot of golfers, too.