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Today I’ll be reviewing the PING G430 MAX driver.
The G430 MAX is designed to address the weaknesses of the previous-generation G425 MAX as a game-improvement driver. It claims to maintain the incredible forgiveness, while increasing face flexibility for more distance and also improving sound.
How does the G430 MAX actually perform when put to the test? How does it compare to the G425 MAX? Who is it best suited for? Is it worth putting in the bag?
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
The G430 MAX driver is generally praised by critics for improving in the areas where the G425 MAX came up short. The driver currently has a 5/5 (100% recommended) rating on the PING website.
What People Like
- plenty of length
- extremely forgiving
- improved sound
- very stable feel
- inspires confidence at address
- shot shape adjustability to dial in your flight
What People Don’t Like
- some would have liked even more distance gains over the G425 MAX
T9S+ Forged Face
This proprietary precision-machined, high-strength, variable-thickness face is 0.1″ shallower and 6% thinner than the face of the G425 MAX.
As a result, it generates more face flexion at impact and thus increases ball speeds.
First introduced in the G425 fairway woods and hybrids, this technology modifies the roll profile and optimizes face curvature, particularly low on the face.
The loft low on the face is effectively reduced, which reduces spin and leads to longer drives.
Tungsten Movable Weight
A 25-gram high-density tungsten backweight shifts the CG low and deep to maintain unprecedented MOI.
This weight can be moved into Draw (heel), Neutral (middle) and Fade (toe) positions, producing up to eight yards of draw or fade bias.
After conducting in-depth research into harmonics and audio frequencies, PING engineers were able to develop a new and improved internal rib structure. Plus, the sole, skirt and crown have had their curvature and stiffness increased.
The end result is the best sound at impact that has ever been seen in a PING driver.
These are a series of angled ridges on the crown. Part of a special aerodynamic design, they reduce drag for increased swing speed.
The G430 MAX driver is available in 9°, 10.5° and 12° standard lofts at 460CC.
An included Trajectory Tuning 2.0 adjustable hosel, lightweight and aerodynamic, offers eight loft and lie combinations to fine-tune your trajectory.
Also available is the G430 MAX High Launch (HL) driver. This custom option combines a lighter head weight (11g) with a lighter stock shaft and grip; it’s designed so that golfers with slower swing speeds can boost their clubhead speed and distance.
There are many stock shaft options offered at no upcharge including the PING Tour 2.0 Chrome 65, PING Alta CB Black 55, Mitsubishi Kai’Li White 60, and Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX 50.
The stock grips are the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360, Tour Velvet Cord, and Lamkin UTx Lite (HL), all of which are compatible with Arccos sensors.
Below are the specs of the PING G430 MAX driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
For me, the G430 MAX driver was about 10-15 yards longer on average than the G425 MAX, even though smash factor wasn’t noticeably different.
PING claims that the face is faster and flexes more, but I had a hard time seeing this during my test. The distance gain, in my experience, comes from:
- a couple mph of increased clubhead speed
- a slightly lower launch
- lower spin
Also, the position of the sole weight can have an impact on your distance. For example, chronic slicers of the golf ball will have success with moving the sole weight into the heel as it will help straighten out their shots and hence go farther.
Forgiveness is very comparable to the G425 MAX in terms of ball speed, spin and direction.
I said in my review of that driver at the time that it contended for the most forgiving driver I had ever tested, and this extreme forgiveness is carried over into the G430 MAX — especially impressive considering its RPMs are a bit lower.
Dispersions are very small, and in fact, if you have a half-decent swing, sometimes you feel like you can’t miss a fairway.
The G430 MAX driver tends to produce a mid-high trajectory. The launch will increase ever so slightly if you have the weight in the center (back) position.
Despite the fact that spin is lower than the G425 MAX, it’s still very easy to get the ball up in the air. The driver produces a nice high launch, yet with a relatively shallow descent angle and great carry — this holds true even with the 9-degree.
In terms of workability and shaping the ball, there isn’t much there. However, the adjustable sole weight combined with the adjustable hosel give you a lot of leeway in figuring out a setting that’s perfect for your swing.
The G430 MAX driver has some similarities to the G425 MAX in terms of looks, but also many differences.
First, the sole has been redesigned, with the PING logo shifted more towards the back. Some colour and pop has been added with a few yellow accents on the crown and sole. The design of the face has been slightly altered.
The G430 MAX carries over the crown turbulators on the carbon-fiber crown that help to focus the ball at address. But the previous “Dragonfly” web-like structure of the crown has been replaced with new ribbing and a new crown pattern. The head is also more elongated from front to back.
Overall, this is clearly a look that will give golfers a lot of confidence at address. In fact, I find the G430 MAX to be one of the most confidence-inspiring drivers I’ve ever tested.
The Sound & Feel
Right away, you’ll notice the difference (and improvement) in sound at impact compared to the G425 MAX.
PING drivers have historically had a loud, high-pitched sound that many golfers find unpleasant. With the G430 MAX, PING has implemented what they call the “sound solution”, the end result of which is a dampened, lower-pitched, and slightly softer tone.
As for the feel, what really struck me was how stable the driver was at impact. It doesn’t matter where you make contact on the face; it just feels great and there’s little to no perceptible twisting or loss of momentum. You can get a general idea of where you make contact but that’s about it.
Aside from the fantastic stability, the feel retains the explosiveness, responsiveness, and solidness of the G425 MAX.
Where To Buy This Driver Online
Online availability of PING golf clubs is more limited than other manufacturers.
One of the best places to pick up the G430 MAX driver (new or used) is eBay. You can typically find deals here that you can’t find anywhere else.
You can get the HL version of the G430 MAX here.
The PING G430 MAX driver maintains the incredible forgiveness the G425 MAX was praised for while addressing its shortcomings, namely distance and impact sound.
The result is the ultimate game-improvement driver. Throw in a confidence-inspiring shape, easy launch, and adjustable sole weight, and the G430 MAX will help golfers of all skill levels not only hit more fairways, but also increase their distance off the tee.
If you can get used to the long head shape and busy crown, the G430 MAX should absolutely be a new permanent addition to your bag.
Are you interested in the G430 MAX driver? Have you played it? What’s your experience? Fill us in down below.