PING G430 MAX 10K Driver Review

50 Words or Less

The PING G430 MAX 10K driver is the most forgiving driver I’ve ever tested.  Straight and consistently long.  Mid-low spin, mid launch.

Introduction

For almost as long as Plugged In Golf has existed, PING has been known to make some of the most forgiving drivers in golf.  Last year, the G430 MAX [review HERE] was definitely among the elite in that category.

New for 2024, they’ve gone up another level with the PING G430 MAX 10K driver.  This is their first driver to break the barrier of 10,000 g-cm² combined MOI.  What does that translate to on the course?  I tested one to find out.

Looks

At address, the PING G430 MAX 10K driver has the biggest footprint of any PING driver.  To my eye, it’s not dramatically different than the G430 MAX.  While I prefer drivers that are slightly more compact from front-to-back, I like the shape of the MAX 10K a lot.  It’s rounded and nearly symmetrical as opposed to the long, triangular or bullet-shaped drivers from other makers.

Those with a keen eye will notice one big change from the G430 MAX: the Carbonfly Wrap crown.  This was previously seen only on the LST model.  PING’s signature Turbulators are still present on the leading edge which is devoid of alignment markers.  In the neutral setting, the face sits right on the edge of square and is a little shallower than many of its peers.

Sound & Feel

PING states that this driver is “less muted and slightly louder than the G430 MAX to give you sense of even more powerful, satisfying tee shots.”  I found this a little confusing, because the PING G430 MAX 10K driver is not that loud.  My notes describe the sound of impact as “unobtrusive” and “medium quiet,” and that was on centered shots.  The sound of mishits is a little weaker.

Through the hands, impact is light and quick.  The club face feels solid behind the ball, but the dominant sensation is that the ball is gone quickly.  If there is a drawback to this tremendously forgiving design, it’s that you won’t feel the impact location precisely.  Short of using the edges of the face, every shot feels pretty good.

Performance

Every modern driver strives to get more performance out of mishits, and many do a great job, but the PING G430 MAX 10K driver is the most forgiving driver I’ve tested.  This holds true across every important metric: ball speed, launch, spin, distance, and direction.  The G430 MAX 10K is a joy to hit because you know virtually every shot is going to be long and straight.

The PING G430 MAX 10K driver achieves its record-setting MOI through three major changes from the original G430 MAX.  It has the largest head profile and a Carbonfly Wrap crown, something previously seen only on the G430 LST driver [review HERE].  The third change is trading the G430 MAX’s movable weight for a fixed weight.  As much as I loved the adjustability of the G430 MAX – it’s simple and very impactful – for my game, this is a trade worth making every day of the week.

Though the adjustable weight is gone, the 10K driver does still have PING’s adjustable hosel.  This gives you eight positions to choose from, adjusting the loft up or down as much as 1.5 degrees and the lie as much as 3 degrees flat.

In the past, some players have felt that PING drivers have traded top end performance for consistency, but I did not see that with the G430 MAX 10K.  In fact, I hit my all-time best ball speed with this driver…using a range ball.  There are many factors in that ball speed, including Katalyst [review HERE], but this club certainly deserves some of the credit.  The only high end category where it does struggle is shot shaping.  I felt like I had to work extra hard to hit cuts or draws, but why bother when long and straight always plays.

Something that surprised me about the PING G430 MAX 10K driver is the spin.  More forgiving drivers often have slightly higher spin, but this is mid-low spin with mid launch.  Just as important, the spin is extremely consistent (Spinsistent, in PING-speak).  From the sweet spot to the bottom groove to the toe, my spin only fluctuated a few hundred RPM.

Finally, something that has carried forward from the G430 MAX is PING’s High Launch (HL) option.  On the G430 MAX 10K driver, this includes a 19 gram backweight, PING Alta Quick shaft, and Lamkin UTx Lite grip.  According to PING, this lighter configuration helps slower swingers gain an average of nine yards off the tee.

Conclusion

During my first outdoor testing session with the PING G430 MAX 10K driver, I was hitting next to an older gentleman.  After a swing, I turned around to see him standing behind me, beaming.  “This is the new PING.  I just got it.  Even for an old guy like me, this thing is incredible,” he said.  He handed it toward me, “Try it!”  I held out my own 10K, and we shared a knowing smile before he went back to his bucket.

If you’re ready to be fearless on the tee and so happy with your drives that you’re offering your club to strangers, check out the PING G430 MAX 10K driver.

Visit PING HERE

PING G430 MAX 10K Driver Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
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37 Comments

  1. Nice review Matt! With the ability to move weight in both the max and max 10k heads do you thinking the max offers the adjustability to perform equally as the 10k. That being said would you pick a dialed in max or a dialed in max 10k if you had the choice?

    • Matt Saternus

      Anthony,

      I don’t have the numbers, but I don’t think that the “normal,” adjustable G430 MAX can hit 10K MOI.
      I will always take forgiveness, so I’d take the 10K.

      Best,

      Matt

    • Tee Lassar

      Anthony : I don’t understand your post –the Max 10K DOES NOT have the ability to move an adjustable weight whereas the standard 430 Max does ! Personally I don’t think the hype about increased forgiveness with 10K outweighs the ability to optimize ball flight or even change ball flight depending on course or playing conditions available in the “plain old” 430 Max. I mean, let’s get real–how much more forgiving is the 10K than the other G430 drivers? There is already enough forgiveness engineered into a fitted 430 Max to make the 10K (with increased price I might add) unnecessary. One bonus–older shafts such as the 40 Gm Distanza which I sometimes used in my older G425 Max, giving Autoflex-like performance, will still fit in the 430 series, so when upgrading as I recently did, you can have some extra shaft options to play around with. This is not true of older series Ping adjustable hosels.

      • Have you had the chance to hit the 10k? I was skeptical as well. I’m a former 430 Max player and had the opportunity to play a few rounds with the 10k and became a true believer. My fairways hit went way up, and my distance increased. Spin is a couple hundred less than my 430 Max. My bad shots regularly stayed in play. Psychologically, after being comfortable with the club, I found myself really going after it feeling comfortable that only the worst shots might be out of play. It’s a fun club to hit. Find the right back weight and shaft, and it might make you a believer as well.

  2. This is a glowing review! Matt, does the 10K have a shot at making your bag? I know you love the Tensei 1K Pro White but I also wonder if — once dialed in with a fitting — the counterbalanced 1K Pro Orange might be a good partner with this head for people trying to keep launch and spin down somewhat, given Ping’s slightly heavier head weights.

  3. Is this driver going in your bag? Or will it be the PXG Black Ops or something else ?

    • Matt Saternus

      Zach,

      I won’t make any final decisions until I can hit outside consistently, but this is definitely a finalist.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. Great review. I was fitted recently and it came down to the Ping 430 10k and the Smoke Max. Similar results, different feel. They are both really impressive.
    I currently own the G425 max, and while distance was similar, I did notice a little more forgiveness with the 10k. Otherwise they felt pretty close, at least for me.

  5. Can you switch out the heavy weight of the HL spec to the regular weight if you increase swing speed? Just had back surgery (same kind Zalatoris had) and will most likely be way down on speed when I eventually make it back to the course, but figure it will come back fairly quickly as I regain flexibility and confidence. This seems like a great option if the weight can be swapped.

    • Matt Saternus

      Brandon,

      The weight has the same type of screw as in previous generations, so I assume that you can.

      Best,

      Matt

    • The weights can be changed. Amazon has a few dealers that sell kits with different sizes weights. I play 17g in mine.

  6. “the most forgiving driver I’ve tested”
    “my all-time best ball speed” -Matt Sternus

    That’s something I assumed will never be written, since I assumed scientific facts prevent this from happening, but there it is.

    I also notice this while testing my own G430 10K, I put it head2head with current gamer Paradym and yes, the Ping is faster!

    Have had 2 simulator rounds with mine so far and have hit 76% fairways, and I udes to have a 36% FW hit % in my Trackman data. That increase has done incredible things for my scoring! Can’t wait for the season to start, this driver is going to make golf so much fun!

  7. Michael Agishian

    Great review! And awesome numbers for you. I wish this came out last year. I love my LST but I’d have gave this max a shot since it has the carbon wrap now.

  8. Love the driver, it’s excellent and as you noted extremely forgiving. One thing that baffles me is that Ping has maybe one of the most limited adjustable hosels. I’m shocked that it has a flat setting but no upright setting. Sure you can close the face by increasing the loft but what if you are already launching the ball the way you want. For as much tech as they pack in to their heads Ping may want to update that hosel.

    • You’re not wrong about the hosel, Mike (I’m a fan of Titleist’s version, myself.), but replying to note that Ping is already pretty upright as far as drivers go. The LST is flatter by a degree than the Max, but e.g., Callaway’s drivers are usually quite a bit flatter on the standard setting.

  9. Matt,

    Do you know if the Kai’Li is a “made for” or real deal?

    • Matt Saternus

      RGS,

      I don’t know definitively. It feels “real” to me, but I can’t say for certain.

      Best,

      Matt

  10. Matt,

    You note that Ping offers a HL version for slower swing speeds. What does Ping define as a slower clubhead speed? 90 MPH?

    Thx.

    Dan

    • Matt Saternus

      Dan,

      PING doesn’t have a set number, which I suspect is because the HL option can work for some players at 90 MPH and some at 70 MPH. I would not classify 90 MPH as slow at all, but I think it’s always worth testing out different options to see if they work with your swing.

      Best,

      Matt

  11. Mark Lehman

    Any comments on the ever increasing cost of new equipment? Most can’t afford a $600 driver until used versions are available years later. Love the game but taking advantage of newer technology is further out of reach. Please excuse my rant.

    • Matt Saternus

      Mark,

      Two thoughts:
      1) Over the 20ish years of my golfing “career,” prices haven’t changed that much, especially relative to inflation. When I was first started playing, the new Callaway drivers were over $500 and the TaylorMade TP drives – IIRC – could go for as much as $700. That’s not to say that prices are the same across the board now as 20 years ago, but I think a lot of the sticker shock is really the effect of anchoring – i.e. “A driver should cost $500 (which it did for a long time), now it’s $600 and that’s too much.” The “problem” is that some OEMs took their drivers from $500 to $550 to $600 rather than doing small annual changes, $500, $510, $525, etc.

      2) A point we try to emphasize frequently is that the technological changes from year to year are incremental. Buying last year’s driver, or the year before, or the year before, isn’t costing you tens of yards off the tee. There are plenty of players who get fit for a driver and can keep it for four or five years without finding any real improvement in the new stuff. The key is getting fit in the first place rather than hoping to find improvement off the rack.

      Best,

      Matt

  12. Donald Conner

    So for a higher handicap player, around 20, would you sacrifice the adjustability of the AI Smoke Max (I hook in the spring and slice in late summer) for the consistent forgiveness you mentioned in this club? I do have a fitting scheduled and these two clubs were already on the list but I’m curious as to your thoughts.

    • Matt Saternus

      Donald,

      First, I think the PING is more forgiving, but I don’t think it’s worlds different than the Ai Smoke Max.
      As to sacrificing the adjustability, it comes down to the individual. If you told me, as an example, that the Ai Smoke sacrificed two yards on mishits and had an average offline that was three yards worse than the PING, but you really liked the sliding weight, I’d say get the Callaway. If you’re going to tell me that the PING put every ball on a picnic blanket and the Callaway had twenty yards between your best and worst shots, no amount of adjustability could get me to give that up.

      Best,

      Matt

  13. Bob Morris

    Great review. I’m having G430 Max buyers remorse as I purchased the driver last October after our golf season was over. Ping’s always had a 2 year window and they snuck this one in. I’ve already lost cash in trade in value even though it’s still wrapped in plastic.
    I’m looking forward in trying this club when the snow melts

    • Everyone is different, but for me I didn’t notice a lot of difference. The 10k seemed to fade a little bit more for me than the 430max, and both were pretty forgiving.

  14. I’m confused on the Max 10 vs the HL model? How do they differ and what works best for 75 swing speed?

    • Matt Saternus

      Bud,

      The difference is explained in the Performance section of the review.
      The only way to know for sure what will work best for your swing is a fitting.

      Best,

      Matt

    • The Ping website has the HL version targeted at swing speeds 75 mph and lower.

  15. I just tested my g430max against the new Ping driver. At my 80 year old swing speed of 80 mph I found my current 430 superior as its higher spin gave me higher launch and greater distance. Forgiveness was pretty equivalent.

  16. George F.

    Outstanding review. I’m honestly surprised by both the low spin you achieved and by the 111 club speed. Though as a faithful reader, I know you’re a fairly low-spin player, I still wasn’t expecting 2000-ish from a max MOI Ping head. Off to go find your review of the 425 Max and see if it behaved similarly (It absolutely does not for me. 3k is more typical.)

    Go you on the club and ball speed numbers! Your hard work is paying off.

    The 1K Orange does lower SW a bit though, and Ping driver heads seem to need it of late. Of course, changing rear weights can lower it too…

  17. Other reviews are stating that this isn’t Ping’s first 10k MOI Driver. They state that the G400 Max was the first to measure at 10k.

  18. I can hit almost every shot straight and far but the only problem is very hard for me to hit the draw.

  19. I just bought this driver. My prior driver was the Rogue Max @ 10.5 degree loft. My new Ping G435 Max is also a 10.5. I’ve heard that due to the lower launch angle you should consider adjusting it to 11.5. Do you agree? What is your recommendation.

    Thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      Bryan,

      I would recommend going to the range or launch monitor with your wrench and experimenting. No one on the internet can tell you definitively how that driver is going to behave for you.

      Best,

      Matt

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