The engineers at PING have always been at the forefront of the industry when it comes to making clubs to get the absolute most out of every strike. They have some of the most loved designs in the history of the game when it comes to putters (PING Anser), irons (Ping Eye 2), and drivers (PING G400) and have been notable for their continued progress in bringing more and more consistency and forgiveness to golfers. So what is the best Ping driver of all time?
With the release of the PING G430 series drivers, the company has taken its long-established performance benchmarks and decided to focus on building slightly more speed on top of that. The PING G430 clubs come in four varieties, and each is successful in putting a few more yards in a golfer’s hands than their PING G425 predecessors without sacrificing forgiveness. In this article we’ll take a look at which model suits each golfer, the similarities and differences between them, some of the changes through the last few editions of the G series, as well as an option for the ladies.
Ping g430 max driver
Best For beginners
ping g430 sft driver
best for women
ping g le2 driver
In This Guide
- List Of The Best Ping Drivers
- Reviews Of The Best Ping Drivers
- Best Ping Driver Last 5 Years: Ping G425
- Best Ping Driver For Women: Ping G Le2
- List Of All Ping Drivers By Year
- Best Used Ping Driver Deals
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
List Of The Best Ping Drivers
Reviews Of The Best Ping Drivers
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Best Ping Driver Ever: Ping G430 Max
The PING G430 Max is the most technologically advanced club that PING has ever released. The company is famous for releasing new models based on performance rather than a marketing schedule and also isn’t afraid to keep something the same from year-to-year if it’s working well. The G430 Max is their offering meant to suit the broadest segment of golfers and incorporate all of the speed and forgiveness tweaks they can muster as of 2023.
PING has specifically achieved higher ball speeds with this driver by moving the COG closer to the face basically without losing MOI, which is a way club manufacturers measure forgiveness and stability. Like other drivers around the industry labeled “Max” this version of the G430 is meant to do everything it can to promote a high and straight ball that travels as far as possible even on off-center hits. It uses the maximum allowable club head size by rule (460cc) and gives the golfer the biggest sweet spot possible.
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Basically, if you do not have a peculiarity or outlier about your swing or ball flight - such as being exceptionally fast, battling a big slice, or having an exceptionally low swing speed - the PING G430 MAX is the club that the company has designed for you. It pulls out all the stops in getting the absolute most out of a relatively normal swing and ball flight. It also has moveable weights to provide 5-10 yards of draw or fade bias, but for bigger slicers the “SFT” model is worth a look.
PING has always produced some of the best-performing drivers especially since the start of their G series and this club can add up to 7 yards over the G425 models. It’s designed to take an average ball flight and straighten it out by a handful of yards and lengthen it by a handful of yards, and the data says they’ve been successful in doing that, so it is a great option for anyone who hits it under 300 yards and doesn’t play a big slice.
Best Ping Driver For High Handicappers: Ping G430 HL
The best PING driver for high handicappers is the PING G430 HL. However there’s a few things you should know about this model from PING as it’s a club built for a very specific type of high handicapper ― those with a low swing speed. If you swing it at an average or above-average speed (85-105mph) you may be better off with the standard “MAX” version.
The “HL” in the name of this club stands for “high launch.” However the main design factor in this club is that it is a lighter weight build than the other models. SIGNIFICANTLY lighter weight! This is achieved by making literally every component of the club lighter. The head features an 11-gram weight swapped in for the 22 or 26-gram weight featured in other G430’s. The stock shafts are all ultra light models, and the stock grip has been switched to a Lamkin ultra light option. The result is a lighter overall club which means more SPEED for an easy-swinging golfer.
It should be noted that the “HL” variation isn’t a stand-alone club, per se, but is a build option that can be added to the “MAX” or “SFT” club heads, giving a low-swing-speed variation for either a neutral flight player or a slicer.
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All else being equal, golfers who aren’t swinging the club up to speed fight a low ball flight. A lack of speed alone obviously equals less distance, but when compounded with a low ball flight the returns really diminish.
The PING G430 HT fixes this by taking weight away from every part of the club which allows the golfer to add speed and get some launch height and total distance back together, as opposed to the traditional method of just ever-increasing lofts, which without the extra speed just produce higher, spinnier, and shorter results.
The PING G430 HT is a much better way to get your ball flight optimized and add crucial yards off of the tee for players who battle a slow and low ball flight rather than just by adding loft alone.
Best Ping Driver For Beginners: Ping G430 SFT
The “SFT” here stands for “straight flight technology.” While this sounds like a catch-all description the reality is that this club caters to mitigating the ball flight that most beginners struggle with - the slice. The club has been measured to change the ball flight 13 yards in its “normal” draw setting and up to 20 yards in its exaggerated “draw +” setting.
The club accomplishes this by moving weight to the heel and to the back of the club. The “draw +” setting moves it even more. This makes the toe move faster than the heel through impact and close the face down, which reduces the ability for the ball to start to the right.
It also affects the impact dynamics of how the ball comes off the face on off-center hits, reducing the amount of cut spin. Helping the ball to start less right and curve less right is what promotes a less-sliced or even a draw shot. A golfer with a normal ball flight would produce a draw or even an over-hook with these settings, but it can help to turn a slice into a power fade or a fade into a straight ball, if you consistently hit one of those shots.
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While we’re definitely fans of taking lessons to fix a swing flaw, many times it’s a more reasonable and fun option to just live with your tendencies and try to reduce their impact through club fitting. This is why the SFT was designed by PING.
It can also be used in a combination with lessons and drills, as for many slicers even taking 20 yards of curve off might not be enough in some situations. The club delivers what it is designed to do, the only downside is that if you do end up straightening out your swing to play a more neutral ball, you might want to change to a more neutral club, as well.
Best Ping Driver For Low Handicapper: Ping G430 LST
The PING G series “LST” models have been some of the most legendary clubs amongst TOUR pros in the modern era. Beginning with the G400 the club has been fawned over by great ball strikers looking to optimize a penetrating ball flight, especially with the power fade that has become common amongst many of the best drivers on TOUR in recent years.
The G430 version continues to build on that heritage and in true PING fashion has kept many of the features that first set it apart while continuing with small tweaks that add a little bit more to the package each generation.
The “LST” stands for “low spin technology” and, all else being equal, less spin = more distance. There is of course a point of diminishing returns or even sub-optimal spin numbers but for players who hit up on the ball and play a fade, taking spin off of the ball has become a go-to combo for TOUR players who want to maximize distance and minimize dispersion.
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One thing to note is that you absolutely do not have to play a fade with this club, but its neutral setup is slightly fade-biased. Which could also be just as good for a player who plays a draw but wants to reduce their hook or over-draw tendency.
Overall, the club is suited for high-swing-speed players who want to keep their ball flight down for maximum distance. These players often struggle with “ballooning” drives from clubs that are built with either too high of loft, too forward a COG, or too light weight or flexible.
The PING G430 LST is a heavier, low-launching club with the COG pushed back to produce a penetrating ball that goes deep and straight, but will produce suboptimal flights for players who do not have the speed to match such a setup.
Best Ping Driver Last 5 Years: Ping G425
As we’ve mentioned several times, the PING G430 drivers are the latest in the line of iconic G series clubs, beginning with the G400 which was released over 5 years ago. In that time each iteration was better than the last, with many TOUR players so fond of their setup that it was hard to get them to change to the latest-and-greatest.
However, in that span, the G425 may still represent one of the peak values over its predecessors and prove to be the latest PING club to have unreal staying power when it comes to having a spot in the bag for both recreational golfers and TOUR pros alike.
Which Ping G425 Is Best For Me
The PING G425 comes in three models, which are set up similarly to the G430 models covered above. It is important to note that not all 425’s are created equal and understand which one to look out for when buying a club so that it properly suits your game.
The G425 Max is the “catch-all” club from PING designed to give the maximum enhancement to a player who has an average or above-average swing speed and ball flight. It is going to make a decent or good ball flight even better by adding launch and ball speed while reducing dispersion on off-center hits, and is designed to appeal to the broadest spectrum of golfers. Its neutral setup can be adjusted for either a slight draw or slight fade bias through moveable weights.
The G425 SFT or “straight flight technology” is a club meant to put a band-aid on a slicer, to be blunt. Using more politically correct terms it is a draw-biased club that can be set to even-more-draw-biased through moveable weights. This is the best option if you consistently play a slice or over-fade and want to get a straighter flight with more distance without going through the pain of swing changes.
The G425 LST or “low spin technology” is the “players” club of the G425 line. This club has a slightly smaller club head than the other models and packs a big punch with a COG driven to the back of the club producing a lower, more penetrating ball flight. This club is designed for high-speed players to keep their drives from “ballooning” and losing distance and also to maximize carry and roll for TOUR-level swing speeds.
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Best Ping Driver For Women: Ping G Le2
The PING G Le2 is an absolutely beautiful club, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it lacks any of the premium engineering standards which have made PING a household name in the industry. This is an absolutely top quality club featuring the TS9 forged face that all of the other modern PING models come standard with, producing a sound and feel that can hang with the big boys.
The model uses the same technology as other clubs - in lightening the components to allow for a higher swing speed (as seen in the HL models of later clubs) as well as pushing the COG forward to allow for maximum ball speed and launch height (as seen in the MAX models). This combo allows for optimal ball flights and carry distances for female players as well as a paint scheme that separates itself from the field.
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List Of All Ping Drivers By Year
The PING Brand has been around for more than 50 years and has released some of the most iconic drivers in the game. Below you will find a list of all PING drivers by year.
Karsten III Eye
Karsten IV Eye
IST Karsten Tour
Best Used Ping Driver Deals
PING drivers are some of the best used driver deals on the market. Their “staying power” in the bags of professionals has been unmatched, something hard to accomplish under the pressure of updating for promotional reasons by sponsors in today’s aggressive marketing climate.
Starting with the PING G400 series, these clubs held their own for many seasons on TOUR, and would still be a great fit in any amateur golfer’s bag today and for the foreseeable future. If you are looking for a deal on a PING driver, don’t hesitate to fit yourself into last-generation’s model (the G425) as you’re going to see elite performance from it for years to come. If you really want to budget, the G400’s are also completely serviceable clubs and can deliver tour-quality performance even to this day and should be available for a fraction of the price.
While the previous models of the G series could be a good option for somebody who is just getting started and unsure about their commitment to buying a club and wants to just go as cheap as possible, you are going to get the best performance for the money on the used market from anything G400 and newer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do any pros use Ping G425?
PING is notorious for not pressuring its TOUR players to update to the latest model like some other companies are, and their players are notorious for riding out love-affairs with their favorite iteration of the driver for as long as possible. Because of this, despite the newer PING G430 being released and adopted by many TOUR pros, many players are still gaming the PING G425 during the start of the 2023 PGA TOUR season.
Some of the most notable names are Tony Finau, Joel Dahmen, and Viktor Hovland, all of whom have been spotted with the PING G425 LST in March or April of 2023.
Is G430 better than G400?
In basically any measurable regard, the G430 is better than the G400. This is not a knock on the G400 at all, as it is about as “iconic” as a modern club can get. It survived many generations of updates for some of its hardcore devotees, such as Patrick Reed and Louis Oosthuizen, having started to experiment with the G430 in competition, marking the “end of an era” of sorts for the club.
What is the difference between the G410 and G425 driver?
The G425 is basically going to do everything the G410 does but incrementally better, at least on paper. What ultimately matters more than splitting the technical hairs between the clubs is how a given swing might match the nuances one way or another.
The G425 has a SLIGHTLY heavier head weight and produces slightly more spin and consistency than the G410, whereas many (again depending on exact impact dynamics your mileage may vary) say that the G410 might be a pace longer on launch monitor results.
Why is the Ping G425 so forgiving?
The forgiveness in the PING G425 comes from a combination of club head size (460cc in most models) as well as COG placement and distribution of weight. The club features one of the highest MOI designs on the market, with PING opting for a heavier weight than many competitors, bordering on a design that lends itself to counterbalancing, which many of their grips offer.
This combined with the placement of the COG more forward for normal swing speeds and more back for its lower-launching LST model allows golfers to really tailor the results to control spin as well as the reduced face deflection and consistent ball speeds across the face due to the higher-MOI design. All of this combined means tighter performance both on mis-hits and perfect strikes and one of the most reliable dispersion patterns on the market.
What Is The Best Ping Driver Of All Time?
Objectively, the PING G430 is the best ping driver of all time, as it is the crown jewel so far of PING engineering and their dedication to releasing clubs only when they have a measurable improvement over a previous model. It represents everything the company has to offer in terms of maximizing performance and tuning options for different swings, tendencies, and ability levels.
That said, if you are measuring solely against contemporaries, it could be argued that the PING G400 is their best driver of all time, because when it was released it represented perhaps some of the best performance against its peers and an unmatched fondness amongst TOUR pros.
The PING G series has always been one of the signature lines from PING, making its way into the bags of many TOUR pros who aren’t necessarily PING staffers. Starting with the G400, it has become synonymous with one of the longest, straightest, most consistent drivers on TOUR. It is even among the best left handed drivers on the market today.
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We have some staff members here at Golf Gear Advisor that swear by their PING drivers.
You really can’t go wrong with a modern PING driver, the key is just navigating the differences in the sometimes-cryptic varieties offered by club manufacturers. However, once you decipher the labels, it’s fairly simple. Most golfers are going to fit into a MAX. Golfers that swing it fast and hit it too high will fit into an “LST.” Golfers who swing it fast and de-loft the club and want to maintain height can also play a MAX. The SFT is made for golfers who battle a slice/fade tendency very reliably. Then to add to this, in the 430 models PING has the option of the “HT MAX” and “HT SFT” for golfers who have slower swing speeds.
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Buying a PING driver is often a great investment because they build their clubs to last - not just with the quality of manufacturing and components used, but their technology usually stays relevant for several seasons to come. It’s a great idea to add one of their drivers to their bag, just make sure you’re buying the right “variety” to suit your game and you won’t have to think about upgrading for several years, if you wish.
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