PING G430 SFT Fairway Wood Review

PING G430 SFT Fairway Wood sole

50 Words or Less

The PING G430 SFT fairway wood is easy to launch and very forgiving.  Healthy draw bias will straighten all but the worst slices.

PING G430 SFT Fairway Wood headcover

Introduction

How would you view your long approach shots if you had no fear of the slice?  That’s the question the PING G430 SFT fairway wood wants you to ask.  With elite ball speed, easy launch, and a strong draw bias, it has the potential to turn your, “I’ll just lay up” shots into, “Hey, guys, watch this.”

PING G430 SFT Fairway Wood address

Looks

The PING G430 SFT fairway wood has an above average footprint with a round, symmetrical shape.  Players who draw confidence from seeing a larger club behind the ball will love the appearance.  The face is a little shallower than average, making it very appealing for shots off the turf.  Carbon fiber is visible in the crown, but it’s set back from the ball to avoid being a distraction.

In the bag, the G430 SFT FW balances toned down branding with detailed geometric designs.  A moderately sized “PING” is centered on the primarily matte black sole.  Small touches of yellow separate the G430 from its predecessor, the G425 [review HERE].  Attention is drawn to the Facewrap technology with a chrome finish.

Comparing the G430 SFT (right) to the G430 MAX fairway wood (left), you can see that the SFT is longer from front-to-back with a rounder, fuller shape.  The face is also a touch shallower – less than 1/8″, though it looks like more to my eye.

PING G430 SFT Fairway Wood face

Sound & Feel

On the course, you would be hard pressed to differentiate the PING G430 SFT fairway wood from the G430 MAX.  But you come to Plugged In Golf for the minutiae, so let’s dig deeper.  The impact sound of the SFT is slightly higher pitched than the MAX.  Both are quiet with a slight metallic character, and the sound changes only slightly from pure strikes to mishits.

The feel of the G430 SFT FW is solid, but it feels a little faster than the MAX.  Where the MAX left me in shock at the ball speed and distance it created, the SFT let me know through the feel that it was going a long way.  While this club is very stable, you can locate impact precisely if you pay attention to your hands.

Performance

Having already tested the G430 MAX FW [review HERE], the ball speed from the PING G430 SFT fairway wood was not able to sneak up on me.  My expectations were that the SFT would produce the same driver-like smash factors, and it did.  Centered shots were routinely between 1.48 and 1.5.

Also like the MAX, the G430 SFT keeps that ball speed high on mishits.  Unless I struck the very edge of the face, the smash factor stayed above 1.4.  This ball speed consistency is the primary ingredient in producing predictable distances.  Having a fairway wood that goes far on pure strikes is great, but lower scores come from knowing that every shot will cover a certain number.

Where the SFT earns it name and separates from the MAX is in its shot shaping.  The stock shot is a healthy draw.  For me, the draw bias isn’t as strong as the G430 SFT driver [review HERE], but it’s quite noticeable.  A normal, good swing for me ended up well left of center.  Shots that should have been soft pushes turned into push-draws.  You can strike the heel without fear of a slice.  I was able to hit straight shots with some effort, but it took a really exaggerated swing to get the ball to bend right.

Like the other G430 woods, the SFT FW does have PING’s Trajectory Tuning 2.0 hosel.  This has eight positions for modifying loft, lie, and face angle.  If you want to dial that draw bias up or down, this feature is extremely helpful.  Being able to flatten the lie and open the face also makes this club playable for those that want the SFT’s larger footprint but not the draw bias.

Need low spin?  Check out the PING G430 LST fairway wood HERE

As it their custom, PING puts an extra degree of loft into their SFT fairway woods.  That, plus a difference in the CG, resulted in a club that was higher launching and spinning than the MAX, for me.  The difference was not huge in my testing, but I tend to be fairly low launching and spinning, especially with fairway woods.  As always, it’s our recommendation that you get fit before buying new clubs.

Finally, as we’ve come to expect, PING offers a lot of fitting options in the G430 SFT 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 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.

PING G430 SFT Fairway Wood

Conclusion

If worrying about losing the ball to the right is keeping you from aggressively attacking those par 5s, consider getting fit for the new PING G430 SFT fairway wood.  This club has enough anti-right bias to keep your ball on the straight and narrow, plus plenty of distance to bring the longest holes within reach.

Visit PING HERE

PING G430 SFT Fairway Wood Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
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4 Comments

  1. I understand the difficulty of getting the right view when trying to compare heads of a different models within the same line from OEM. Maybe you have tried this but can you take the photos of each model at the address position then paste each side by side? I think it gives a better view of the slight differences in head shape than to take them together where they tend to blend easily.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Steve Vilhauer

    Wow what a club, everything it’s promised to be, been trying and buying every brand of 3 wood for 40 years and finally one I can hit off the deck , so very forgiving no matter where you hit it it flies straight, impressive distance even with my slower swing speed, averaging 190 to 200 yds without much effort ,if you’ve never been able to hit a 3 wood before give this one a whirl, absolutely worth the money k kudos to Ping on this new design

  3. Hello,
    Currently own the rogue max d driver and wondering if the newer ping g430 sft ( on draw plus ) would be an even better slice fighter or just comparable ?
    Thank you
    Mac

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