Ping G425 Max vs TaylorMade Stealth Driver

In the market for a new driver? Here, we take a look at two of the best that are available right now

The TaylorMade Stealth and Ping G425 lie on the floor, Ping G425 Max vs TaylorMade Stealth Driver
(Image credit: Future)

With so many brands on the market producing high-level performing drivers, it can be difficult to decipher the best golf driver for your game. When it comes to the best performers in this category, Ping and TaylorMade are among the most recognised, with their G425 Max and Stealth models earning spots in our Editor's Choice awards for 2022.

Every year it seems that more and more technology is added to drivers to eke out as much yardage, and general performance, as possible. TaylorMade, with their new carbon fibre face, is a brand that isn't afraid to be different when it comes to the pursuit of consistency and distance. That is why the Stealth ranks as one of the best TaylorMade drivers that the company has ever produced.

Priced at a similar point to the Stealth is Ping's G425 Max. Known for creating some of the most forgiving drivers on the market, Ping has once again delivered a quality product which promises to improve your game off the tee.

Ping G425 Max vs TaylorMade Stealth Driver: Read our head to head verdict

Technology

Every brand has their own way of gaining distance and forgiveness when it comes to technology, but TaylorMade has stood out from the crowd in 2022. Bringing players into the 'Carbonwood Age', you still see the effective Twist Face design, but this time in the form of an all new carbon face that is constructed with 60 layers of lightweight carbon fibre.

Along with the face design, it also features a Nanotexture and Polyurethane cover. This creates friction at impact for the correct amount of spin and optimal distance.

Ping on the other hand has introduced a Precision Forged Face which is designed to maximize flexing to deliver faster ball speeds. One aspect that the company has stuck with though is its Internal Dragonfly Technology, something that we saw on the previous model, the Ping G410.

The other noticeable difference is the positioning of weight. For the standard Stealth model, TaylorMade has said goodbye to the Sliding Weight Track, with weight instead being added low and deep in the head (there is a sliding weight track in the Stealth Plus driver to help the golfer dial in a certain shot shape).

As for the G425 Max, a 26-gram tungsten movable weight is situated towards the rear of the driver. This shifts the Centre of Gravity lower and further back and it can be positioned in neutral, draw or fade settings. 

Looks

Looks have always played a big part when it comes to deciding on a driver, with one particular model standing out when it comes to aesthetics. Lined up together, the Stealth is certainly more eye-catching than the G425 Max, with the red clubface creating a modern and exciting look which we loved. 

We understand that the red may not be to everybody's taste, but it is worth noting that it isn't distracting when at set-up, with the coloring not too bright or recessive. By contrast, the Ping driver features turbulators and the Dragonfly design on the crown. Some golfers may find this overly fussy, while others will love the modern look and extra alignment assistance.

At address, the head of the Stealth certainly looks more compact, especially when compared to the G425 Max which has a larger, more rounded profile. If you are looking for a larger footprint behind the ball (and possibly a slightly more forgiving, inviting look), then the Ping may well suit your eye. For those after something clean and compact, the TaylorMade is likely to fit the bill.

Feel

The acoustics of a driver are always something that excites any golfer and, with these two options, there is a contrast in sound and feel.

One big worry when the Stealth was released was the carbon fibre face - would the pitch be effected by using carbon instead of the more traditional material of titanium? Thankfully, TaylorMade has clearly thought about the sound, with the acoustics being slightly louder than previous models, but still extremely powerful and satisfying. We thought it was very well balanced.

As for Ping (opens in new tab), we still hear the loud, higher-pitched impact sound that was present in the G410. This is thanks to Ping's engineers, who have created new 'Internal Ribbing'. We could tell that the company have thought about the sound and feel, with key sections of the clubhead being reinforced to aid the acoustics on strikes.

Ultimately, this is about personal preference. If you lean towards lower pitched and potentially more powerful sounding drivers, the TaylorMade might be better suited. If you prefer a higher pitched sound (that possibly feels easier to launch), then the Ping might be best.

Performance

Both clubs rank in our best golf drivers guide, with both producing a premium level of performance. Below is the data chart from our Trackman launch monitor testing and as you can see, both models deliver very high levels of performance. 

Ping v TaylorMade driver data

(Image credit: Future)

When looking at the figures, it was the TaylorMade that offered a slightly higher launch and flight. With the spin nicely controlled at 2221, the Stealth offered 5 yards more total distance (opens in new tab) on average.

The other key performance aspect we noticed about both drivers was the consistency. If you haven't invested in a new driver for a few years, you will certainly notice how today's technology seems to help deliver repeatable ball flights on a much more consistent basis. This was the area that the Ping driver particularly impressed. Shot after shot with the G425 Max seemed to fly in exactly the same way offering an excellent mix of distance and accuracy.

Finally, the Stealth and G425 Max have a lot of scope for customization, as both offer several shaft and lie options for you to experiment with to find the right balance and set-up for your game. Through its website, TaylorMade even offers golfers the chance to select a different face color.

The Ping G425 Driver range is laid out on the floor

The Ping G425 driver range from left to right: Max, LST & SFT

(Image credit: Future)

Which one should you choose

Choose the TaylorMade Stealth if…
- You want a compact look behind the ball
- You want a driver with a lively yet powerful feel
- You want an all-rounder with distance a key feature

Choose the Ping G425 Max if...
- An inviting, easy-to-hit look at address
- You are looking for higher-pitch sound and feel
- You want an all-rounder with consistency a key feature

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."


Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X

With contributions from