Gear: Ping G430 Max, G430 SFT fairway woods
Price: $385 each with Ping Alta CB Black 55 shaft, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red shaft or Mitsubishi Kai’ Li White shaft and Golf Pride 360 Tour Velvet grip
Specs: 17-4 stainless steel body with a maraging stainless steel face, a carbon fiber crown and an adjustable hosel. Lofts: 15, 18, 21, 24 degrees for the Max; 16, 19, 22 degrees for the SFT.
Available: Jan. 26
Who They’re For: Golfers who want customized performance, more distance off the tee and from the fairway, and extra forgiveness.
The Skinny: Ping designed the three G430 fairway woods for different players. The SFT models were designed to help golfers who slice, while the Max fairway woods were designed to be forgiving and versatile.
The Deep Dive: There was a time when fairway woods were something of an afterthought to golf equipment makers. Drivers typically get a lot of glory, and irons are designed to be both attractive and packed with performance. Fairway woods, intentionally or not, were often overshadowed.
But as with the G430 drivers, Ping’s new G430 fairway woods are loaded with features that make them distinctly different, so players and fitters can manipulate and adjust them to achieve precisely the flight and the distance they want.
The Ping G430 fairway woods have a carbon fiber crown. (David Dusek/Golfweek)
Both the G430 Max and G430 SFT have crowns of carbon fiber, and they wrap over the edges and into the toe and heel areas. Ping calls this Carbon FlyWrap, and it helps reduce weight on the top of the head.
All the Ping G430 fairway woods also have a hosel that allows players and fitters to increase or decrease the stated loft by as many as 1.5 degrees.
Ping G430 Max fairway woods (David Dusek/Golfweek)
The G430 Max is intended to be an all-around fairway wood that can work for a wide range of players. It has a stainless steel body and face, and the club’s center of gravity is lower than the previous G425 Max fairway wood’s, which should make getting the ball up easier and help golfers land shots more softly on the greens.
While the G430 Max is not designed to be a low-spin fairway wood, it does produce 400 rpm less spin than the G425 Max. The higher launch angle and lower spin rate helps the G430 Max produce 4 more yards of carry distance.
The G430 Max also has the broadest range of loft offerings.
Ping G430 SFT fairway woods (David Dusek/Golfweek)
Ping offers the G430 SFT (straight flight technology) for golfers who slice. With extra weight in the heel area, this fairway wood is designed to close more easily on the downswing, so golfers can make contact with a square face and reduced sidespin.
The G430 SFT creates 2.3 mph more ball speed than the previous G425 SFT, which translates to 7 more yards of carry distance.