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.
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.
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!
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).
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!
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.