As one of the leading manufacturers in the game, Ping’s new products always generate excitement and anticipation among golf enthusiasts. Here we review their Ping G430 irons, share how they perform against other irons on the market, and if they are worth upgrading to.
Now, I’m rather like a kid in a sweet shop when it comes to trialling new equipment, so I’ve been looking forward to getting the new kit in my hands and putting it through its paces. In the following sections, we’ll look at the data behind how they perform and help you work out if they are the best buy for you.
Progress from the G425 irons, but small progress. Most golfers with the Ping G425s irons will not gain much from an upgrade. However, golfers with slower swing speeds, looking to max out distance should give these a test.
If you are upgrading from 5 years ago or more, these still represent one of the best all-around irons on the market. Great distance, forgiveness and feel combined with solid control.
Right off the bat when I look at these my mind springs back to the G410. I think that’s because they’ve shifted the Ping logo from the centre of the cavity back onto the perimeter weighting. This has been done to allow space for their new “Purflex” system – a series of 7 flexing zones designed to increase ball speed on off-centre hits and produce a satisfying feel and sound.
If we’re purely talking about the aesthetics here I preferred the G425. I think it looks a little busy from the back cavity, but fortunately, when you put the club down behind the ball, you don’t see any of this, and it looks just like a Ping G series iron. A nice size, confidence-inducing with that smart Hydropearl finish – yes please.
Visuals are very much a personal thing so I’m sure not everyone will share my views, and that’s absolutely fine. I do however like the lime yellow accents and feel they really complement the black and silver colour palette.
Distance might not be everything, but it’s sure nice to have the bragging rights of hitting one club less than your mates into the par 3’s, not that I’d know much about that with my vertically challenged 5’ 7” frame!
These irons might just give me a chance though, during testing, I found these irons produced good ball speed numbers, which of course are one of the biggest keys to generating good distance. This still has to be combined with an appropriate launch angle and spin rate though to ensure an optimised flight and looking through the data these performed well in all areas.
Despite the relatively strong lofts (although not as strong as some), my average ball data was as below:
- Club head speed: 89.7mph
- Ball speed: 122.9mph
- Launch angle: 18.7 deg
- Spin rate: 5675
- Peak height: 108 ft
- Carry distance: 174.9 yds
So, not only were they going a long way, they were also achieving impressive peak height which would certainly provide some stopping power. Particularly for those swinging at relatively slower speeds, this will be beneficial for golfers looking for increased carry distance.
Ping G430 vs Ping G425 irons
One area Ping have focused on right through the G430 range is more help for lower swing speeds, and they offer a “High Launch” modification at no extra cost which features a lighter head weight, shaft, and grip option to maximise launch and speed.
As touched on above, distance is all good as long as you can make the ball behave on landing. This has sometimes been a bit of a bugbear for more forgiving irons, as the power generated by lower lofts and lower centre of gravity has sometimes resulted in a lack of spin.
|Club Speed (mph)
|Ball Speed (mph)
|Launch Angle (º)
|Spin Rate (rpm)
|Ping G430 irons
|Ping G425 irons
Not here though, I was still able to generate an average of 5600 rpm which on the face of it, really isn’t too bad. Especially combined with a high-ish launch angle, that’s plenty of stopping power right there. Use a slightly spinnier ball like a ProV1 and that would no doubt increase further.
Look a bit closer at the data though, and there was more variance in spin rate across the 20 or so balls hit with the Ping G430s, which is less than ideal for producing consistent carry distances.
This might be in part due to the shaft we had in during testing, but it feels like other competitors might hold the edge in spin consistency vs the Ping G430 irons.
As is standard now with all Ping iron sets, the G430 come with their signature Hydropearl 2.0 finish which isn’t there just to look good, it is designed specifically to reduce fliers in wet conditions, which certainly here in the UK we get more than our fair share of.
Similar to many competing iron sets in the same category, these irons feature some offset which will help players who have a tendency to leave the face open at impact.
Reading into the marketing direction of this iron from Ping, this is where I would expect it to really excel. The “Purflex” zones located in various areas behind the face are there with the intention of producing increased ball speed from off-centre hits.
My quality of strike was a little inconsistent during testing which is good because it actually makes it easier for us to assess these irons for their forgiveness.
Looking at the data, whilst I averaged 122.9 mph ball speed, there was a gap of 7 mph from my best strike (125.5mph) to my worst strike (118.5mph). In yardage terms, the gap from front to back was around 12 yards carry. This is interesting because if the spin rate remained the same, you would expect a 7-mph difference in ball speed to produce a slightly bigger gap. The reason it didn’t is because the spin rate was generally slightly lower on off-centre strikes.
In real terms, 12 yards of carry is, the difference between being 18ft short and 18ft past the flag, so even a mishit is still reaching the short stuff, and potentially more likely to roll out further on landing.
It would be wrong of me to say these aren’t forgiving, but if I’m honest I hoped for a little more. Some of their smaller-headed models like the i230 performed equally well if not better here in terms of ball speed drop-off. Maybe that’s too simplistic though as the greater the degree of mishit, the more the G430 would come into its own.
What I’m really trying to say here is that nowadays, a greater number of golfers than ever may now be able to consider using some of the smaller-headed irons given the advances in technology and forgiveness.
If there was one criticism I sometimes heard about the G425 range, it was that the sound produced was quite harsh. This seems to be something the bosses at PING have been keen to address across both the irons and the woods this time, and for what it’s worth, I think they’ve done a good job here.
I did prefer both the feel and sound of these new irons. Slightly softer but still felt responsive and powerful to hit. I certainly don’t see the feel putting golfers off in the same way it might have done before had they been choosing between the Ping and another closely matched option.
Shaft options / Fitting
With 11 stock steel and graphite options to choose from, coming in a variety of weights, flexes and kick points it will not surprise you to hear that Ping have every golfer covered here.
One thing I am keen to highlight here is Ping’s drive to cater to the slower swing speed player with this new range. Not only do they offer some of the lightest iron shafts I’ve ever come across – The Alta Quick 45g and 35g (35g!!!), you can even go the whole hog and combine this shaft with their High Launch build that features lighter head weights and a Lamkin grip that’s around 10g lighter than most standard grips. This will really help players with lower swing speeds generate greater velocity helping increase carry distance. The smoother the swing motion, the lighter shaft weight they may be able to benefit from.
The High Launch build option is available through irons into woods, which makes sense, as the golfer who will benefit from it in the irons will definitely benefit in the woods as the lofts get stronger. You’d have to say it’s also a shrewd business move by PING who clearly will be hoping that golfers benefitting from the HL build will want to have this throughout the entire set.
A separate topic would be the wedges. Just as the market has got comfortable with the idea of needing an extra wedge due to stronger lofts, Ping have decided you now need two. A pitching wedge at 41 degrees (yes, you read that correctly) means a gap wedge is no longer sufficient to plug the gap to the sand wedge. (In fairness to Ping, they aren’t the only ones doing this – the Callaway rogue irons are similar)
They’ve obviously decided against working out what to call this additional wedge and instead opted for putting loft numbers on the bottom (e.g 45, 50, 54 etc). This will of course make it easier for club fitters to explain to golfers about good loft gapping in the shorter clubs.
It’s always tricky to assess the relative value of a product because it depends on what lens you look at it through and whether the product meets the needs of the consumer which will obviously vary depending on the golfer.
Are the G430 irons a good product? – Yes they are.
Are they reasonably priced? – Well, they’re coming in at a price not too much higher than where the G425 launched which considering costs and prices are generally rising is to be applauded.
Are they better than the G425? – That’s harder to answer. If you’re looking for faster ball speed, you’re going to be disappointed. They do go a smidge further, but that’s because you’re giving up a little spin to achieve extra distance – which goes back to my point that it depends on the golfer and their needs.
My guess though is if you’ve already got G425 irons, you’re not necessarily looking to change already as you’ve got a good product in your hands. For those using older equipment, and looking for a bit more help they’re definitely worth trying and compared to other competing products, they come at a fair price.
Golf Insider Verdict
I’ve spent lots of time testing these irons, and now writing about them that you’d think I’d have arrived at a verdict by now. The truth is, I’m still a little torn.
I can’t deny that it’s a good product overall, but am I greedy for wanting more? I’m not entirely convinced that the PurFlex system has delivered greater performance and frankly I think it slightly spoils the look of the club.
On the flip side, I do think there have been improvements in feel and acoustics, and I do like the little lime-yellow accents. I think the High Launch build option is an interesting one and look forward to seeing how this helps golfers looking for a bit more speed.
Therefore, perhaps it’s only right for me to reserve full judgement until I’ve seen what they can do for the golfers I have the privilege to teach and custom fit. Add the Ping G430 to your list to try, they match most irons out there and provide a superior sound and feel to the Ping G425.
However, if you’re already using the G425 irons, we can’t see a big jump in performance, unless you want to take advantage of their High launch build options.
Alternatives to the Ping G430 irons
A plethora of excellent iron models are available on the market currently, and I’d always advocate keeping an open mind when trying new equipment.
I’d certainly recommend having a look at the Mizuno JPX 923 Hot Metal irons, who by the way have their own high-launch head model (though they’ve gone about it in a very different way with much higher lofts).
I’d have to say also the JPX 923 Forged with its new stronger lofts performed very similarly in a number of metrics to the G430 so may be worth looking at if you like a slightly more refined head shape.
Aside from these, check out the Callaway Rogue, or perhaps even hold on for the new Paradym, and maybe consider the Titleist T200 / 300 models too.
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