50 Words or Less
The PING G430 LST fairway wood is a consistent, forgiving, low-spinning, fairway-finding machine. Tour-inspired but suitable for more than just elite players.
Fairway woods: can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Or at least that’s how it has felt for me at various points in recent years. For whatever reason, I haven’t been able to find the consistency I’m looking for with a fairway wood the way I have with a driver or irons. Enter the PING G430 LST fairway wood. With a low spinning, compact head and some seriously forgiving tech, can this be the club that finally takes up long-term residence in my bag?
The head size and shape of the PING G430 LST fairway wood is very similar to the previous model, the G425 LST [review HERE]. It’s noticeably more compact and slightly less rounded than PING’s other offerings, the MAX [review HERE] and SFT [review HERE]. But don’t get the wrong idea: it’s not like looking down at a persimmon. There’s plenty of real estate to work with. As a mid handicapper, I immediately felt quite confident when addressing a shot, even with an uneven lie in the fairway.
Visually, there has been a noticeable change. It still appears very minimal, but where the G425 LST was a flat matte black with no markings besides the three-dot alignment aid, the G430 features a subtle carbon fiber pattern which fades to black as it gets closer to the face. There are also some small markings drawing attention to the club’s “Carbonfly Wrap” technology framing the edges of the back of the club. There is a single dot alignment aid. Where the G425 was too minimal for some, the G430 LST hits the balance just right.
Sound & Feel
The trademark PING sound certainly hasn’t changed. It’s a flat, muted ‘thunk’ that, ironically, sounds just about polar opposite from a high-pitched metallic ‘ping’. It’s not my favorite sound but there’s still something satisfying about the percussive thud of a well-struck ball.
Feel-wise, there’s something interesting going on. It’s easy to tell if you hit one out of the heel or toe but the results are incongruous in terms of what happens to the shot, as I’ll discuss in detail below.
For the G430 LST, PING has added carbon fiber to the crown in the form of Carbonfly Wrap. This allows them to save weight and redistribute it in areas that increase ball speed and forgiveness. PING says that this composite material also contributes to the club’s sound.
“Spinsistency” is back again, the idea being that “a variable roll radius creates less loft low on the face to improve performance on thin shots by reducing spin and increasing ball speed for consistently longer results.”
I found these claims were backed up on the golf course. I noticed remarkable forgiveness on imperfect strikes. In situations where I probably didn’t deserve it, I ended up getting the exact result I was after. Both setting up a short third into a par five and hitting a demanding tee shot on a par four, the PING G430 LST fairway wood exceeded expectations.
I have yet to find a fairway wood that feels so “point and shoot” in its simplicity. It’s worth stating that I’ve gone through some minor swing changes this year that have me making good contact a bit more consistently, but I have a sense of confidence with this club that I haven’t with others I’ve tried this year.
The PING G430 LST fairway wood is only available in a 15 degree 3 wood. It is adjustable +/- 1 or 1.5 degrees and has settings to change the lie angle +/- 1 degree. It is available with several PING-engineered shafts, the ALTA CB Black, Tour 2.0 Black, and Tour 2.0 Chrome, as well as two aftermarket shafts. I tested it with the ALTA CB, and I think it played a big role in how well we got along. It’s a little bit lighter than other shafts and is a great fit for players with smooth tempo.
The PING G430 LST fairway wood is a beast. It boasts plenty of distance but isn’t trying to compete with your driver. Its compact head shape is visually attractive, especially since the head boasts ample forgiveness on less-than-perfect strikes. It is among the most expensive fairway woods on the market right now, but the performance backs it up.