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The PING G430 SFT driver adds more adjustability to one of the game’s best slice-busters. Extreme forgiveness. Improved sound.
For several generations, PING’s SFT drivers have been some of the most reliable slice-busters in golf. The only problem is that not every golfer needs the same amount of draw bias. The new PING G430 SFT driver addresses this issue by letting players dial in their preferred level of draw while giving everyone huge forgiveness.
At address, the PING G430 SFT driver has the major hallmarks of PING’s recent drivers. The crown is matte black and the front edge is lined with turbulators. The back of the crown is busier than the G425 SFT [review HERE], but, like its predecessor, it has a round, symmetrical shape that doesn’t lean strongly toward the heel.
The sole of the G430 SFT driver is dominated by geometric designs and a large, white “PING” across the center. Small slashes of yellow at the toe and heel and the adjustable weight are the primary differences between this and the G425.
Above you see the PING G430 SFT driver next to the G430 MAX (left). The picture – due to the camera angle – shows a greater difference than exists in reality. Outside of the G430 SFT sitting more closed at address, I’m not sure I could tell them apart.
Sound & Feel
The PING G430 SFT driver and the G430 MAX [review HERE] look nearly identical, and the story is the same when it comes to sound and feel. PING put a major emphasis on quieting this driver compared to the previous version, and they succeeded. Each strike produces a solid sound, closer to a “thud” than the hollow “pop” of the G425. The forgiving nature of this driver is reflected in the way that virtually all strikes sound the same.
Through the hands, impact is very light and quick. This ultra-stable head treats the ball like a bug on a windshield. Feedback on strike location is moderate, and only the worst mishits will cause any twisting at all.
The biggest change to the PING G430 SFT driver is the addition of the movable weight. In previous PING SFT drivers, the weight was fixed in one position. Now there are two options: Draw and Draw+. According to PING, the Draw position offers 13 yards of draw bias, and the Draw+ has 20. I think this is a major addition, and I was eager to test it out.
In the Draw position, the G430 SFT driver has a very healthy draw bias. Shots in the center of the face are almost guaranteed to turn over, and anything on the toe is definitely moving left. If you’re not sure how this magic happens, read THIS.
The Draw+ setting, as the name indicates, puts the draw bias on steroids. Any opportunity to sling the ball right-to-left is taken with enthusiasm. I even banged a few shots off the deepest part of the heel that wouldn’t cut; they just flew straight and long. If you can slice this club in the Draw+ configuration, you definitely have an issue that equipment can’t solve.
Check out the new PING G430 SFT fairway wood HERE
Moving beyond the draw bias, the G430 SFT driver is very similar to the G430 MAX. It’s on the very short list for the most stable, forgiving driver in golf. You can use the entire face and see only small changes in ball speed. Just as important, the launch and spin are robust, too. This means that whether you strike it pure or lousy, you’ll get excellent distance. You’ll see that the launch and spin in the graphic above are higher than the G430 MAX, but that’s because of the additional loft. The G430 SFT is only offered at 10.5 degrees; I tested the G430 MAX at 9 degrees.
Also like the G430 MAX, the G430 SFT has PING’s Trajectory Tuning 2.0 hosel. This has eight positions for dialing in the loft, face angle, and lie that you prefer. The hosel offers another way to dial up the draw bias or to soften it, if you prefer.
Whether you use it to dial the draw bias up or down, the new adjustability of the PING G430 SFT driver is a win. This club continues to be one of the best slice-busters in golf, but also has enough options to make it playable for those that just want a little help turning the ball over off the tee. If you want to hit it high, long, and right-to-left, get fit to dial in a G430 SFT driver.