Tom Irwin put the new Ping G430 LST driver through its paces and found a lot to like about it. We'll let him explain
A Ping driver launch is always exciting and their low-spinning drivers in recent years have been excellent, so Tom Irwin was keen to take the Ping 430 LST driver for a (low) spin….
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Ping G430 LST Driver review: NCG Summary
I have played a lot of Ping drivers over the years. They have always appealed for their playability and understated looks. So I was very keen to try the Ping G430 LST driver.
Continuity is a really big thing here, they really feel like they are building on what has gone before. It is isn’t broken so why fix it?
There is new technology in the LST, mainly the carbon fly wrap and there have been some big leaps forwards in ball speeds that I can atest to but there is an iterative feel and that gives confidence that, like all Ping drivers before them, these will stand the test of time
- The sound! Yes Ping, at last!
- Serious ball speeds
- Faster than other Ping drivers
- Consistent spin rates
- I have to give it back
The sound! Before reading any marketing literature, I took this out of the head cover on a rainy range and the noise off the face – goodness me – is so much better than previous Ping models. Much less of a crash, much sweeter. Brilliant.
The other immediately obvious thing is that Turbulators remain. They have become a distinguishing feature of Ping drivers and fairway woods in recent years and with carbon now ubiquitous they certainly separate Ping from the rest in terms of looks.
The Turbulators mean that the matt black line – seen also on Callaway, Cobra and TaylorMade woods – is wider and slightly curved before giving way to the carbon construction of the remainder of the crown.
Behind that, and exclusive to the LST, is the Carbonfly wrap that covers that crown and extends around the heel and toe. This is how Ping are using carbon to position weight in the LST that lowers CG and spin.
The G430 is undeniably a Ping driver and that familiar styling continues on the sole. It is not that different from the G425 and all of this to me speaks of a brand that is fine tuning not reinventing and starting again. A big positive.
Did I mention the sound?
The LST is slightly small that the other two models in the range, a 440cc head vs 460cc, and this helps generate more speed than I have previously managed with Ping drivers. It is bringing Ping closer to other brands in terms of aerodynamics and out and out speed whist retaining their still untouchable forgiveness.
They are just so consistent. There are about 500rpm between my lowest and highest spinners which, considering I am an inconsistent human, is mighty impressive. My mishit tends to be thin, and Ping reduces loft lower on the face to help ball speeds for strikes off the bottom. I think this is helping me.
I hit all the new drivers. All are great in different ways, there are certainly no bad products. For me though Ping are the driver that gives the most confidence, and provides the most help. I spent time on the range bombing lots of drivers from a high tee.
I walked out to play a few holes, maybe a kilometre or so in some windy, drizzly conditions and when I got there a bit tired, and a bit out of puff it is the Ping driver that you reach for first. There is an awful lot to be said for that.
But that is not the end of the story with the LST, check out these ball speeds…
Googly eye emoji. The balls speeds here from the Ping G430 LST driver are amazing. 171? I am 45 for goodness’ sake! And look at those spin rates. It is not spinning, but it is launching and the peak height is more than acceptable This is a seriously efficient driver and a seriously efficient set up
What you have got is technology that is maximum forgiveness, easy to launch and low spinning. It is an impressive combination.
And then there is that sound. Overall the Ping G430 driver LST is the sweetest sounding, fastest Ping driver I have used in 20 years of playing Ping drivers. I can’t wait to try the fairway woods.
Ping G430 LST Driver: The Details
Right-handed lofts: 9,10.5
Shafts: ALTA CB Black 55 / 65 / 70 or ALTA QUICK 35 /75 or Ping Tour 2.0 Chrome 65 / 75 / 85 or Ping Tour 2.0 Black 65 / 75 or Project x HZDRUS Smoke Red RDX 50 / 60 / 70 or Mitsubusi KAI’Li White 60 / 70
More information: Ping website
To test this product we travelled to West Cliffs, a leading European golf course just north of Lisbon. The idea was to get some warmer weather and escape our frozen British courses. It, of course, rained. A lot. It was also very windy. But each of our test team were allocated a category of golf clubs, whether it be fairways, or a specific type of driver or irons.
We gathered data on a Trackman 4 or a FlightScope and we used Titleist Pro V1 balls for all tests. The samples we have are either fully fitted for our testers or ordered in our assumed specs. We are then able to optimise performance by swapping shafts and playing with the adjustability.
We also tested all of the product out on the course in a comparative environment with other products from the same category. We recognise that no testing process is perfect and just aim to be fair in our treatment, transparent in our process, and candid in our feedback.
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