Driver Test: TaylorMade M2 v Ping G400

Driver Test: TaylorMade M2 v Ping G400

Finding the right driver for your game is a tricky business. In this Driver Test: TaylorMade M2 v Ping G400 we took two of the most popular models on the market and put them up against each other to see what the differences were.

Driver Test: TaylorMade M2 v Ping G400

The TaylorMade M2 and the PING G400 sit on the market as direct competitors. They both offer the same level of simple adjustability – that being that you can change the loft sleeve but there are no moveable weights and no facility to alter the centre of gravity.

What both drivers are promising is a very solid all round performance package of distance and forgiveness at around the same price-point (the recommended retail price of the PING G400 is £20 more at £389).

For this Driver Test: TaylorMade M2 v Ping G400, we split up the performance into five different categories: aesthetics, forgiveness, power, accuracy and feel to offer some guidance on what to expect.

The test was done at Forsight Sports HQ in Surrey, we used 9.5˚ heads in both drivers, x stiff shafts, Pro V1 golf balls and used the GC Quad launch monitor. We also conducted some extensive on course testing.

PING G400 Driver Review

TaylorMade M2 Driver Review

Aesthetics

The PING G400 has a slightly more classic look with its more compact footprint and all-black crown view. It looks smart behind the ball whilst also hinting, through the turbulators and DragonFly shape, at the technology that has been built in. However, for me I preferred the look of the M2. The black and white crown frames the ball beautifully and the bigger footprint was more confidence-inspiring. TaylorMade has done a great job with its M range – the shape is classic but the overall look is both modern and premium.

Forgiveness

What we are talking about here is not accuracy but forgiveness on off-centre strikes. How consistent were the distances throughout the test? The launch monitor tells the story here as the difference between my best and worst shots with the PING was 12 yards and it was 15 yards with the TaylorMade. More importantly perhaps, the shortest carry I had with the PING was 278 yards. This is very impressive!

Driver Test: TaylorMade M2 v Ping G400

Power

Again, the launch monitor holds the key to the result here. The Ping G400 offered 1mph faster ball speed and this translated to one extra yard of carry. This might not seem like much but the ball flight was lower than with the TaylorMade. We weren’t able to capture total distance data but both on the launch monitor and out on the course, the Ping was longer for me (fractionally through the air but more significantly along the ground).

Best Drivers of 2017

Accuracy

The TaylorMade was a fraction more accurate for me than the Ping. There was one truly wayward shot on the simulator versus three with the Ping. The difference between them out on the course was not huge but again, I thought the M2 was slightly straighter for me – that may have been because it wasn’t quite as long!

Feel

My choice in this category would be the PING G400. The engineers have worked really hard on this and it shows. The latest G driver sounds incredibly strong and powerful and is up there with the best on the market. The TaylorMade M2 offers a slightly higher pitched impact sound, that to my ear was not quite as strong.

Driver Test: TaylorMade M2 v Ping G400: The Verdict

Coming up with a winner in this Driver Test: TaylorMade M2 v Ping G400 was not easy. There is a reason these two drivers are popular competitors and that’s because their performance is both very good and comparable across the board. If I was to chose one it would be the TaylorMade M2 – for two reasons. Firstly, I prefer the confidence-inspiring look behind the ball and secondly I was slightly more accurate with it. However, one thing I would say is that both drivers spun very low (just over 2000 rpm). Whilst I was using the low spin version of the PING, I was using the standard M2 and for those with less clubhead speed, this might mean you need significantly more loft. There are three clubhead versions in the PING range to chose from but only two in the TaylorMade.

As always, there is a lot to consider from this Driver Test: TaylorMade M2 v Ping G400. If you are thinking of investing, try to test both side by side. You’ll soon see the differences between them and you should get a good feel for which one is right for your game. The good news is that both drivers are top performers.

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

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