50 Words or Less
The PING G430 MAX fairway wood is sneaky long. Excellent ball speed and forgiveness. Very versatile.
I took a peek into the archives and realized that I haven’t reviewed a PING fairway wood since 2017. As something of a PING fanboy, I was eager to see how they had improved in a category where I’ve always felt they were among the best. The PING G430 MAX fairway wood did not disappoint. This club offers players elite ball speed alongisde PING’s trademark consistency.
When I think of a “MAX” club, I think of a big footprint, but I was pleasantly surprised by the moderate, tidy address look of the PING G430 MAX fairway wood. It’s no more than average from heel-to-toe or front-to-back, and the shape is softly triangular.
At address, the PING G430 MAX fairway wood has several subtle changes from its predecessor, the G425 MAX [review HERE]. First, there’s a carbon fiber crown, though it’s not highly visible. Second, the alignment aid has been simplified from three dots to one. Finally, there’s a subtle white and yellow graphic around the heel and toe.
In the bag, the G430 MAX fairway wood has a lot of similarities with the G425 MAX. PING branding is centered in white on a matte black background. There’s a weight at the back of the head, and “G430” and “MAX” at the heel and toe.
Finally, comparing the G430 MAX FW to its partner, the G430 SFT FW [review HERE], the MAX is noticeably smaller. It’s shorter from front-to-back, and the shape is slimmer, less round. The one dimension where it’s larger is the face – it’s taller by about 1/16″.
Sound & Feel
The PING G430 MAX fairway wood is the sneakiest club I’ve hit this year because nothing in the feel or sound hints at its performance. In the hands, the G430 MAX feels solid. It’s not explosive, not lightning quick, just a solid rap on the ball. There’s some feedback through the hands, but it’s more stable than demanding.
To my ears, the G430 MAX FW is quiet and mid-pitched with a faint metallic sound. The sound is pleasant and traditional, but it doesn’t make me think that the ball was crushed. But then I looked at the launch monitor…
I made my first swing, paying more attention to the sound and feel than anything else. As I described above, the sound and feel were fine – I actually like both elements a lot – but they didn’t leave me thinking the PING G430 MAX fairway wood was very fast. Then I glanced at the smash factor: 1.48. Dueling thoughts jumped into my head: “WOW!” and “I didn’t even catch that one.”
The next shot registered a 1.47 smash factor. Then 1.48, 1.5, and 1.49. As someone who has gamed and praised a ton of PING clubs over the years, this shouldn’t have shocked me, but it did. The PING G430 MAX fairway wood is an absolute flame thrower. It is among the very fastest I’ve tested, and that speed extends to a healthy chunk of the face.
A combination of technologies work together to make this club very consistent with launch and spin, too. The G430 MAX FW uses Carbonfly Wrap like the LST driver [review HERE] to make the crown, heel, and toe lighter. This extra weight is positioned low and back for easier launch and lower CG. PING’s Facewrap Technology – a design where the face wraps into the sole and crown – also boosts launch angle while contributing to those high ball speeds. Finally, “Spinsistency” is created with a variable roll radius that keeps thin strikes from turning into weak, ballooning shots.
In my testing, I found the G430 MAX fairway wood to be very easy and consistent to launch but not high launching. The spin was in the mid range where it produced solid distance but was also predictable and capable of producing shot shapes. Both of these can be tweaked at the hosel by adding or subtracting as much as 1.5 degrees of loft. You can also flatten the lie angle by up to 3 degrees which can do a lot to promote a fade or reduce hooks and pulls.
As we’ve come to expect, PING offers a lot of fitting options in the G430 MAX FW. There are three PING shafts – the Tour 2.0 Chrome, Tour 2.0 Black, and Alta CB Black. The Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red [review HERE] and Mitsubishi Kai’li White [review HERE] are also available at no upcharge. One entirely new option is the G430 HL (High Launch) build. This includes a lighter grip, ultralight PING Alta Quick shaft, and lighter head weight to help slower swingers pick up speed and launch the ball higher.
A lot of fariway woods are good at one thing. The PING G430 MAX fairway wood is good at just about everything. Whether you want a fairway finder off the tee, a club to bomb at long par 5s, or something for shaping long, artful approaches, this can fit the bill.
Visit PING HERE
PING G430 MAX Fairway Wood Price & Specs
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Awesome information as always Matt! I love my G425 Max 3 wood and don’t need to upgrade yet but love what Ping is doing with their woods. I’m a higher handicap player and love how easy it is to launch even at 14.5 degrees.
P.S. Fellow Chicago guy here. Weather is finally turning for us!
If you ever want to come down to the Naperville area and wanna play Naperville Country Club let me know.
I actually didn’t mean to hit reply…. Plugged in golf has the reply button to people’s comments on the right half of the screen where you scroll up and up with your phone I hit reply to comments about 3 or 4 times a visit to the website.
Any chance you could ever move reply somewhere else?
Or maybe your a lefty and like it there……
I couldn’t resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!
Hey Matt – My bag has had Callaway fairway woods for the longest time. They feel good and I can shape my shots with them. However, I tested this club a few weeks ago and thought many of the same things you did. I loved the feeling when I hit a pure shot and the way to club looked at address was appealing to me.
I agree! Always had the best results personally with Callaway fairway woods and hybrids. But these G425 and G430 releases seem to be the easiest to launch and keep straight
thank you for the information
Appreciate this post. Will try it out.
Hi Matt, Which shaft did you use?
I tested with the PING Tour 2.0 Chrome.