Happy New Year! I want to thank everyone who has read and commented on our reviews in 2015 and 2016. The reviews are hard work, but a fun and rewarding process. My biggest enjoyment is providing unbiased opinions about new clubs that will help players navigate the waters of a new purchase. We take to heart your comments, thoughts and ideas for what you want to see included in these reviews. With that said, we are going to tinker with the process a bit and add some new features this year. We’ll begin with one of the most consistent trends in your comments, to include launch monitor numbers in the reviews.
So let’s start things off strong in 2017 with a review of the TaylorMade M family of clubs. After an incredible 2016, TaylorMade looks to keep up the momentum they created with the original M family of clubs by redesigning the M1 and M2 drivers, and adding an M2 D-Type driver to the 2017 lineup. (At the time of testing, we were only able to test the M1 and M2 heads, but will include the M2 D-Type down the road.)
I hope you enjoy the addition of the launch monitor numbers to the driver reviews. We look forward to providing you with even more info in the near future and possibly pitting OEM drivers vs other OEM drivers. All our hard work and testing is done in an effort to help you play better golf and enhance your buying experience here on GolfDiscount.com. Check back often for new reviews, and as always, please leave your comments below!
– Bob Gomavitz
Some Info About the Session
Launch monitor testing was done using a Foresight Launch Monitor. One thing to note, while I originally hit the new 2017 M family to write my reviews, due to a shoulder injury I was unable to hit when we went back to add the launch monitor numbers to the reviews. However, I sat in with the tester who provided us proper numbers to use with some pretty darn good swings.
Stats Included on Chart
- Swing Speed
- Ball Speed
- Launch Angle
- Spin Rate
- Carry Distance
- Total Distance
The testing was done with 9.5 degree of lofts on both heads, with the loft set to standard on the hosel adjustment setting. To ensure consistent results we used Titleist Pro V1 golf balls for all swings. For the M1 we put the front weight at neutral and the back weight all the way to the rear to help provide max forgiveness and launch. TaylorMade has made the T-Track slightly longer with the 2017 version to increase the MOI (read on below to learn more about it).
We chose the True Temper Project X HZRDUS Yellow 6.0 65 shaft, which is considered to be more on the lower launch side. The Project X HZRDUS Yellow 6.0 63 gram shaft provides excellent feel and control in the player’s hands and is one of many high-end shafts that you can get at no upcharge. For those of you who are big gear junkies like me, this shaft is similar to the PX LZ shaft which loads the middle of the shaft just a little bit more. So there you have it, and onto the data!
Based on the numbers, the M2 provided this player with better overall performance and fit. Plus, numbers aside, the player felt more comfortable with the M2 in his hands over the M1. The M2 produced a faster swing speed (104.8 MPH to 103.7 MPH), longer carry (265.9 yards to 263.8 yards), total distance (298.1 yards to 292.5 yards), and a lower spin rate (2280.5 RPM to 2348 RPM) than the M1. The M2 also produced the biggest bombs with one topping out at 319.9 yards versus the M1’s longest distance at 308.6 yards.
TaylorMade M1 Driver
Club Tested: M1 Driver 460cc Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver TiNi 60; Flex: Stiff; Loft: 9.5°
TaylorMade has taken their Multi-Material construction to the next level with a revamped 6-layer carbon fiber crown and brand new carbon toe panel. These modifications increase the overall amount of carbon fiber on the club by 43%. As a result of the savings in weight TaylorMade’s engineers have produced a lower CG club head with an expanded T-Track weight system that promotes better launch conditions. The redesigned T-Track system allows for 64% more front-to-back CG movement compared to the original M1.
In addition, a new, more light-weight sleeve with 4 degrees of adjustability allows players to strategically place a greater amount of weight into the head instead of the hosel area. The iconic two-tone crown is precision-fit to a skeletal titanium body using an FF2FF process. This engineering technique results in craftsmanship of the highest quality giving the M1 an aggressive appearance and undeniable performance.
Who’s It For?
The M1 is somewhat thought of as more of a players club, but slower swing players who do not always spin the ball enough will see an increase in spin and a higher MOI from the ability to move the CG even further back on the new T-Track. With that being said, the 2017 M1 is a great Driver for all abilities! Plus to 36 handicaps.
Testing in the winter presents its own set of challenges, but I shook off the rust and hit the range with the new M1. I set the rear weight all the way back and the front weight in the N position. By doing so, I set up the driver with the most forgiveness possible and a higher launch angle. At address, I saw only minor cosmetic differences, most notably the white of the crown is expanded slightly in the heel and toe areas. My guess is that this will help strengthen where the two materials meet. Compared to the 2016 M1, this year’s M1 is more muted acoustically.
The question I get asked the most about the new M1 is “Why should I buy the 2017 version over the 2016 version?” First off, the increased MOI now makes this head better for all abilities and produce more forgiveness. I hit a few drives off of the toe area and although I predictably lost some distance I still produced some fairly straight strikes. Another advantage is the ability to custom order an M1 (you cannot custom order the 2016 version). You will miss out on the overall playability of your driver if you simply buy one off the rack. With so many no charge shaft upgrades available, make sure to get the shaft that fits your swing and swing speed the best.
TaylorMade M1 Fairway Wood
Club Tested: M1 Fairway Wood Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage TiNi Silver 70; Flex: Stiff; Loft: 17°
Similar to the M1 driver, the new 6-layer carbon composite crown design reallocates weight from the crown to other areas of the head for a lower CG. A new Open-Channel Speed Pocket increases forgiveness and ball speeds, and the new, more light-weight adjustment sleeve offers 4 degrees of lofts.
Who’s It For?
The adjustable weight track and loft sleeve make the 2017 M1 fairway woods for players of all abilities. Plus to 36 handicaps.
The first thing I noticed when looking at the club is that the weight track now has one 25 gram weight, compared to two 15 gram weights on the 2016 version. There is added forgiveness with the weight track set further back and the CG is pushed back away from the face. Unlike the 2016 version, which I found very solid but was unable to keep the ball in the air for a long time due to the lack of spin I produced, the 2017 version is far more forgiving and with an increased launch angle. I found a much improved playability to this head. Cosmetically, the M1 fairway woods look cleaner and are a little more appealing than the 2016 version, everything about it just looks good! This is a solid feeling club with square looks and a great flight pattern.
TaylorMade M1 Rescue
Club Tested: M1 Rescue Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver 80 Hy; Flex: Stiff; Loft: 19°
To improve distance and increase versatility TaylorMade has introduced their first ever sliding weight track on a rescue. Along with a moderate-sized, Tour-proven shape to the head, the M1 Rescue also comes with a new sole that offers more playability out of a greater variety of lies.
Who’s It For?
Players who need help drawing the ball will find the new Weight Track draw bias setting useful, and there will still be a fade bias setting for those that tend to over hook hybrids. The M1 Rescue is now a perfect club for players of all abilities. Plus to 36 handicaps.
I have played TaylorMade rescues for over a decade, and the 2017 M1 rescue is one of the better versions I have tried. The all black head shape is inspired by an Adams Tour head design, similar to the “peanut head” that was a smash hit out on the tours. The higher box toe and small shape tends to be favored by better players, and while the ball flight was slightly high for a 19-degree hybrid, something I personally liked, it still delivered penetrating shots. When I mishit shots I found the results were also quite penetrating and did not lose too much distance. If you loved Adams Hybrids from the past but wished they had adjustability, give the 2017 M1 Rescue a try.
TaylorMade M2 Driver
Club Tested: M2 Driver 460cc Shaft: Fukijura Speeder XLR8 56; Flex: Stiff; Loft: 9.5°
The new M2 uses a lower density 9-1-1 Titanium body, 6-layer carbon composite crown and minimal sound ribs. All of this new technology has allowed TaylorMade engineers to relocate 25 grams of discretionary mass low and back into the sole of the club. Together these applications combine to increase the overall inertia without sacrificing a low CG, hot trajectory, or aerodynamic performance. The new Geocustic technology, with a re-invented Multi-Material construction, unlocks more forgiveness and best-in-class sound. The breakthrough in acoustic engineering was achieved by a new sunken sole curvature, stiffening the club head for easier vibration management at impact.
Who’s It For?
Everyone! From world class tour players to amateurs of all abilities. Plus to 36 handicaps.
I had a fantastic year with my 2016 M2 driver so I was very excited to try out the new version. First off, at address I noticed a slightly larger footprint and a slightly longer face length, which players who have confidence issues with the big stick will find appealing. I was greeted by a whole new sole design, including a much smaller and shorter Speed Pocket, and a larger (in appearance) back weight that should increase the MOI. Many earlier tests have shown a higher MOI for the 2017 version compared to the 2016 version.
The 2017 stock shaft felt better to me than the previous model because I use a version of this shaft with my 2016 M2. This head and shaft make a fantastic combo! Following the norm and conventional wisdom of a lighter shaft, I found the ball flight was slightly high. The feel, however, was buttery and it still created a penetrating flight, something that is tough to come by using a 56 gram shaft.
Hitting some exaggerated mishits off the toe produced some pretty darn straight shots or with just a slight push right. I look forward to more testing with some different shafts as the head lived up to my 2016 version. It is hard to follow up a smash hit but, with more forgiveness on mishits and their newly incorporated technologies, TaylorMade has managed to pull it off.
TaylorMade M2 Fairway Wood
Club Tested: M2 Fairway Wood Shaft: Fujikura Reax 65; Flex: Stiff; Loft: 15°
Again, like the M2 driver, the fairway woods have a 6-layer carbon composite crown that saves weight and pushes the CG lower and back. A newly designed Speed Pocket gives players more distance and forgiveness on strikes low on the face, while the addition of the Inverted Cone Technology produces a larger sweet spot.
Who’s It For?
Like the M2 driver, without a doubt the M2 fairway woods are for players of all abilities. Plus to 36 handicaps
This bonded, non-adjustable head has a very similar look to the 2016 version. It produced a very satisfying, solid feel and thud to it. I played a 16.5-degree version of 2016 M2 in the latter part of the year and found the club to produce a high, hot trajectory that was very easy to hit.
I found pretty much the same results in my testing of the 2017 version. There was an ever so slight draw bias which will really fit some player’s swings well. For players who prefer a bonded head fairway wood, the M2 woods are hard to beat and seen in the bags of many touring pros.
Comparing the M2 to the M1, the M2 has a slightly larger head and slightly shallower face, which creates an easier club to hit for those that need a helping hand to elevate the ball better and more quickly.
TaylorMade M2 Rescue
Club Tested: M2 Rescue Shaft: Fujikura Reax 75; Flex: Stiff; Loft: 22°
Geocustic technology has improved the club’s performance through advanced geometry and sound engineering. The shaping of the M2 Rescue Hybrid includes a two-tiered sole to promote added playability out of a variety of lies. The new sole design and a short, fluted hosel also works in tandem to optimize sound and feel at impact while at the same time lowering the overall CG.
Who’s It For?
The M2 Rescues are for anyone who prefers hybrids over long irons and especially players who need a draw bias to their rescues. Due to this slight draw bias that better players can struggle with when playing a Hybrid, the M2 rescues are for 10 to 36 handicaps.
However, if you fight a draw with your Hybrids, I suggest checking out the M1 rescues.
Right away I noticed at address that this was the first Rescue from the 2016 and 2017 lineup to incorporate the iconic two-tone crown that now make for a perfect match with the driver and fairway woods. Personally, I really like the looks even though the black is not a carbon composite. The flight was on the high side, yet hitting into the wind there was little ballooning. The feel was solid and the head sat as square as any non-TP (Tour Preferred) rescue from TaylorMade that I have tested. I still saw some sweeping hooks from this head which made the M2 version a much better choice for my game. Those that need a nice draw bias need to try this simple, easy to swing rescue.
Comment below and let us know what clubs you’d like us to review next. If you want us to test two clubs against each other, just let us know what clubs you want to see go head to head. Thanks for reading!