Sometimes as testers of new golf equipment one must be a true fan of the sport as a whole. This means we must put aside bias and understand who the clubs are being made for and why they are made a certain way. I have now been testing TaylorMade drivers since the RBZ back in 2011. That was an amazing driver at the time but was met with uncertainty based on its looks and marketing tactics. All the hype aside, the RBZ was a beast and helped introduce golf to many new golfers. A win in my book! For 2016 and TaylorMades 11th driver release since 2011, the M1 comes to us with more science, technology, engineering and hype than ever before. So, how does the M1 stack up?
Before I get into my thoughts, here are the specs from TaylorMade:
PERFORMANCE FOR EVERY SWING
Our longest driver, the M1 has a multi-material construction - featuring an ultra-thin, ultra-light and high-strength carbon composite crown – that unlocks breakthroughs in distance, playability, and feel for all golfers.
Each golfer has a unique swing and in the past it’s been challenging to provide ideal launch conditions to all player types with a single club. The construction of M1 allows better players to create the shot they want and other golfers, the shot they need.
M stands for Multi-Material and it’s the key that unlocks performance in M1. This construction is highlighted by our proprietary 7-layer Carbon Composite Crown that is precision-formed and built ultra-thin, ultra-lite and high strength to maximize weight savings. This addition has allowed us to build a weight-loaded sole and move overall clubhead weight (and, thus, the center-of-gravity) lower for a more efficient power transfer; giving golfers more ball speed.
The Carbon Composite Crown has also allowed us to give golfers 25 grams of multi-directional adjustability, allowing them to personalize launch conditions – fit to their swing - and optimize ball-flight, trajectory and, ultimately, distance.
To make our longest, just that for a wide range of golfers, we needed to expand the settings to give golfers more options to personalize performance to fit their game. M1 features the revolutionary T-Track System that consists of both a Front and back track with 25 grams of adjustable weight:
- Front Track: One - 15 gram weights to provide multiple draw, neutral and fade settings
- Back Track: One – 10 gram weight adjusts for multiple high, medium and low launch and spin settings
The revolutionary T-Track System gives golfers the option to personalize their M1 to their exact specifications, leading to optimal performance and distance to fit their swing.
My M1 is 9.5* tuned down to 8.75*, 460cc head and Aldila Rogue Silver 70 XS shaft. This setting makes the face open 2* and keeps the spin very low. I keep the front track 15 gram weight neutral and the back track 10 gram weight set at a low launch setting. My FlightScope Xi Tour testing shows from an average of 5 shots that my spin rate was 2015 rpm's and I launched the ball at 11.5*. All optimal numbers for me. My big miss is a snap hook as you can see but that's on me, not the driver. The beautiful thing about having the FlightScope is that I can instantly see the results of setting up the M1 to my swing preferences and then seeing the driver do what it was set up to do on the screen. For someone who doesn't have the luxury of a launch monitor, test your M1 on the range before hitting the course. Through trial and error you should be able to figure out your correct settings that match your swing. That's the beauty of all the adjustable settings on the M1.
The combination of a heavier shaft and the M1 being weighted heavily on the soul, thanks to the carbon composite crown, creates a very balanced feeling club through my swing. The club is comfortable when swinging moderately or when you want to attack off the tee. Like many TaylorMade drivers I've tested, the M1 is hot off the titanium face and the M1 has a very appealing sound at impact. None of this is by chance. A ton of R&D has gone into the M1's multi-material construction. Speaking of multi-material, the black carbon fiber / white composite crown at address is inviting and glare hasn't been an issue for me at all.
The M1 is the future for TaylorMade. A driver designed for the Sunday hacker or a future tour player. The adjustability settings are there to help the off the shelf buyer find their swing and allows a fitter to set the M1 to a single handicaps liking. The science and technology that went into designing the M1 was proven to work with my FlightScope Xi Tour testing and everyone I know who has hit the M1 instantly fell in love with it. For more information about the TaylorMade M1 driver visit www.TaylorMade.com