On this page you’ll find a detailed assessment in our Taylormade M1 2017 Driver Review, the pro’s and con’s and a side by side comparison against other current drivers.
It’s fair to say that the original Taylormade M1 driver stood the test of time; relatively speaking, anyway. Taylormade arguably have one of the highest turnover rates when it comes to new drivers, as the new quickly becomes the old, with newer models entering the fray with incredible regularity. No bad thing at all for connoisseurs of this fine brand, and it certainly keeps the likes of us on our toes. But it does sometimes feel as though the cash cow of brand adulators is being milked in the extreme.
However, it has been more than a year since the ground-breaking launch of the original M1, so the M1 2017 arrives to great fanfare and salivation. My first thought when I picked up the M1 2017?
“What the ballyhoo is the difference between this and the original?”
Aesthetically, the similarities are pretty obvious, especially on the crown. But there are, of course, a number of improvements in what lies beneath, and I’m not just referring to the pleasing lime-green tinge to the sole. Enough to justify all the fervour? Definitely. Enough to yank those with an M1 2016 back into the pro shop, ready to go with their wallets? That will be the question of the year among Taylormade fans, we reckon…
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Our Taylormade M1 2017 Driver Review featured as part of our analysis of the Best Golf Drivers 2017 Review.
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TaylorMade have built on the success of the old M1, and who could blame them? But that’s not to say there aren’t significant upgrades here. Both the sole and the crown have been built with more weight-efficient carbon composite, and a downward shift of some mass means this is simply a standout club with respect to forgiveness. Other virtues include impressive distance (notably, reduced spin at launch), superb feel at impact, and also the incredible versatility and adjustability we’ve come to expect. It’s a fantastic club with plenty to offer – no wonder the world’s best are making a beeline for it.
Pros and Cons
- Adjustable in the extreme, and with 27g of movable weight at your disposal courtesy of the T-track system
- Superb smash factor – feels great at impact
- So, so easy on the eye, with the characteristic white titanium leading edge
- Unbelievably forgiving, and the spin rates are as low as anything we’ve seen
- No respite for the wallet, given a price tag of $500!
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Phew, where to even begin? I suppose the signature change represents a good starting point: the increase in carbon fiber. To the tune of 43 per cent, in fact. This carbon composite now makes up the majority of the crown, and roughly half of the sole too, although it is most obvious in the toe panel. The big advantage of this lighter substance is that it frees up around 8g of weight, and the bulk of this has been thrust towards the lower end of the sole. Positioning it lower, and further back, has the gain of reducing spin at launch, with mishits retaining more ball speed.
The T-track sliding weight system is another beneficiary of the thinner, lighter carbon crown. The front weight remains at 15g (although with a bandwidth of 25 yards in terms of left or right, you’re spoiled for choice), but the center track has undergone some change, being lengthened by half an inch, and the weight is 2g heavier too.
With all the different positions on the two tracks, not to mention the clubhead lofts and the 12 settings available on the hosel, adjustability has gone through the roof as a result, with just over 10,000 head set-ups available. We also noted that the adjustable Loft Sleeve hosel makes a reappearance, but sporting a lighter, more robust aluminum design. Here you can adjust lie and loft by up to 2°; incrementally by 0.4°, 0.6° or 1°.
You’ll have the time of your life fiddling around with all these adjustables, although you may be relieved to hear that there shouldn’t be too much fitting required with the shaft. Between the three stock shafts of the Kuro Kage Silver, Fujikura XLR8 Pro and the lighter HZRDUS Yellow 65, you should be well covered. Like the rest of the club, it’s all pure quality.
Control & Performance
In terms of feel, we didn’t really think you could do much better than the old M1. But the 2017 edition really does take things to a new level. The smash is something to behold, and the deep, strong sound provides the ultimate affirmation for good (and even less good) strikes.
In terms of distance and spin rates, we’d say there are steady gains, albeit not explosive on the old M1. More noticeable are the improved levels of forgiveness on offer. It isn’t just about the CG being lower and further back. In fact, the main contributor is the astonishing amount of adjustability you have to play with.
With such an array of launch and spin settings, there is a wide range of player who is catered for here. Whether you’re a fast swinger, a beginner or a low-single figure, you can fine tune this club to your heart’s content, and really enhance your ball flight, control and distance.
It was out on the course that we really noted this in practice though. For example, shifting the sliding weight forward and back on the center track (which affects spin) had a significant impact on distance and launch. We also found that there was a natural draw bias to the driver, arguably as a result of the new toe panel. But a little nudge of the front sliding weight, and this issue was completely ironed out.
Literally all bases are covered.
Design & Appearance
If you’re going to follow a similar template in terms of aesthetics, well, what better choice than to take the lead of the original M1? The contrast of black and white is pleasing on the eye, and they’re pretty much identical in this respect – albeit that the white shelf on the crown is marginally thinner in the newer model. You may be interested to note that the black Carbon Crown now features a staggering six layers of material!
It’s another two-piecer clubhead, and the crown is actually slightly bigger (4 per cent), although this isn’t abundantly obvious when you first put the club down. Nevertheless, this, coupled with an increased footprint – courtesy of some rejigging with the angle of the sole – adds to the sense of forgiveness at your disposal when at address.
This is a stylish, aerodynamic club, and with the mechanism of the tracks now looking even smoother (given that the movable weights have been further embedded), this driver really is a glorious sight for sore eyes.
Value for Money
Interestingly, there isn’t much in it between the launch price of the M1 2017 compared with its predecessor a year ago. Given that this newer version is unquestionably an improved one, this would suggest that we’re onto pretty good value here. Then again, for us, we believe any time that you’re forced to cough up 500 bucks and upwards for a golf club, then the weapon in question has a lot to do in order to justify the outlay.
The M1 2017 pretty much does it though. Interestingly, rather than comparisons with the 2016 model, there seems to be a school of thought already that the cheaper M2 driver may represent better value than the new M1. From our perspective, we’d suggest you give both a go. But be sure to take the M1 out onto the course if you can. What you’ll appreciate most by doing this are the levels of forgiveness and extra distance you can gain, mostly as a direct result of the adjustability on offer.
Once you’re wowed by these benefits, $500 might not seem so steep after all.back to menu ↑
Taylormade M1 2017 Driver Review
A host of players including Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Jon Rahm test out the new 2017 M1
|Product Details||Taylormade M1 2017 Driver Review|
|Handicap Range||Low – High|
|Hand Availability||Right & Left Hand|
|Right Handed Lofts||460 CC: 8.5° – 12.0° (LH 8.5° & 9.5°) / 440 CC: 8.5° – 10.5°|
|Left Handed Lofts||460 CC: 8.5° – 12.0° (LH 8.5° & 9.5°) / 440 CC: 8.5° – 10.5°|
|Lie||460 CC: 56° – 60° / 440 CC: 58° – 62°|
|Shaft Type and Name||Graphite – Fujikura Pro / Mitsubishi Kuro Kage / Aldila Rogue|