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Today I’ll be reviewing the PING G430 MAX fairway wood.
The MAX is the most forgiving model in the G430 family of woods and is designed for easy launch with robust stopping power into greens.
Decked out with cutting-edge tech like PING’s Carbonfly Wrap and Spinsistency, the G430 MAX is engineered to give you the best chance of reaching and holding the green on your long approach shots.
How does the G430 MAX actually perform when put to the test? Who is it best suited for? Is it worth putting in the bag?
Here’s what will be covered in the review:
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise indicated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating clubs and the 3W is evaluated in the case of fairway woods. 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 fairway wood won a gold medal on the 2023 Golf Digest Hot List and received an 88/100 score by MyGolfSpy.
What People Like
- extremely forgiving and consistent
- great turf interaction
- great stock shaft options
- sleek, modern looks
- solid feel
- improved sound and forgiveness compared to G425 MAX
What People Don’t Like
- higher spin can result in underwhelming distance and below-average performance in windy conditions
Also seen in the G430 LST driver, the Carbonfly Wrap is a very lightweight carbon composite piece that covers the back half of the crown and wraps into the toe and heel sections of the skirt. It has the following effects:
- it contributes to the improved sound of the wood
- it saves ten grams of discretionary weight which is reallocated to lower the center of gravity (CG), leading to increased ball speeds and higher MOI (forgiveness)
This is a variable roll radius that modifies the roll profile and optimizes face curvature, particularly low on the face.
The low part of the face has a lower effective loft. Thus, thin strikes will have reduced spin and travel farther.
The G430 MAX fairway wood has a high-strength, thin maraging steel face with a variable thickness.
This face enables Spinsistency and wraps into the crown and sole, which not only improves performance on the highest and lowest parts of the face, but also generates a higher launch with more ball speed.
The G430 MAX fairway wood is available in 3W (16°), 5W (19°), 7W (22°) and 9W (24°) lofts.
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) fairway wood. This custom option combines a lighter 5.5g aluminum backweight with a lightweight stock shaft and grip; it’s designed so that golfers with slower swing speeds can boost their clubhead speed, launch and distance.
There are many stock shaft options offered at no upcharge including the PING Tour 2.0 Chrome, PING Alta CB Black, Mitsubishi Kai’Li White, and Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX.
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 fairway wood. Click or zoom to enlarge.
In the sections that follow, I’ll talk about my experience with the G430 MAX fairway wood. Let’s jump right in.
The G430 MAX fairway wood definitely has an edge in ball speed (maybe 1-2 mph on average) and smash factor over the previous generation G425.
Combined with a marginally higher launch and spin, carry distances ended up being about the same as the G425 for me. Any gains over your previous gamer will depend on if the G430 MAX allows you to achieve a ball flight that better optimizes distance.
PING’s MAX clubs are known to be some of the most forgiving on the market, and the G430 is no exception.
This thing is extremely stable at impact, even when you make poor contact. Mis-hits might only lose a few yards of distance relative to center strikes, and dispersions are excellent too: almost all of the poor strikes during my field test managed to stay on the green or fairway, depending on how far out I was.
The G430 MAX fairway wood seems to produce a higher launch, higher trajectory, and higher spin than the G425 MAX. Consequently, it’s very much conducive to getting the ball airborne.
This tends to work against distance, but the tradeoff is better forgiveness and more stopping power into greens. In fact, the stopping power is phenomenal.
My test suggests a very slight draw bias of a couple yards; I’m not sure if this is due to internal weighting or the position of the face at address, but even though the SFT model has the advertised draw bias, it’s a positive in my book.
Workability is average. This club is designed more for a consistent flight from shot to shot, so for more shot shaping power, you’re better off going for the G430 LST.
The look of the G430 MAX fairway wood shares many similarities with the previous model G425, with an average-sized or slightly above average-sized footprint as far as game-improvement fairway woods go.
With the G430, PING has added a carbon fiber crown which has a different texture than the flat black of the G425. In addition, they’ve thrown in some yellow accents on the crown and sole to give the bag aesthetic more pop.
PING has also opted for one subtle alignment dot on the crown instead of three. I don’t find this makes much of a functional difference in terms of alignment, but the extra simplicity is appreciated and I think it balances out well with the carbon fiber texture behind it.
This is a fantastic fairway wood look overall and one of my favourites out of any OEM.
The Sound & Feel
The feel of the G430 MAX fairway wood is practically identical to the previous G425 model; I really had a hard time finding much of a difference at all. It’s solid more than anything, and not nearly as “explosive” off the face as some other models I’ve hit.
With the sound, it’s a different story, however. Much like the G430 drivers have a better sound than their G425 predecessors, the G430 fairway woods also seem to have improved sound. In particular, the impact sound is crisper and softer, with much less of a “tinny” or metallic overtone.
Feel and sound on mis-hits isn’t quite as satisfying as center strikes, but the consistency is in line with what you would expect from a GI club — perhaps even better.
In addition, the contours of the sole make for very smooth and clean turf interaction.
Where To Buy This Fairway Wood Online
Online availability of PING golf clubs seems to be more limited than other manufacturers.
One of the best places to pick up the G430 MAX fairway wood (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 fairway wood is marked by high forgiveness, a high launch, accuracy and consistency, with a small boost in ball speed over the previous G425 MAX.
This is a versatile club that doesn’t really do anything poorly. The addition of a carbon crown not only enhances the looks, but significantly improves the sound of the fairway wood as well.
While the G430 MAX can be considered the most well-rounded model in the G430 family of woods, those who are looking for a healthy draw bias should check out at the G430 SFT, while those seeking low spin should try the G430 LST.
Interested in the G430 MAX fairway wood? Have you played it? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.