Pros: The longest, most adjustable TaylorMade drivers ever. The M1 460 and M1 430 are incredibly high-launching and low-spinning, boasting the big forgiveness that has been absent from recent TaylorMade models. A new “Back Track” allows golfers to make tweaks to their launch and spin independent of loft adjustments.

Cons: At $500, they’re pricier than past models. An M1 430 is not available for lefties.

Who they’re for: Thanks to a major boost in forgiveness, anyone can play the M1 460 and M1 430 drivers.

The Review

TaylorMade_M1_430_crown

  • Models: M1 460 ($499.99), M1 430 ($499.99)
  • Lofts (M1 460): 8.5 (RH Only), 9.5, 10.5, 12 (RH Only)
  • Lofts (M1 430): 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 (all RH only)
  • Length: 45.5 inches
  • Stock Shafts: Fujikura Pro 60 (X, S, R M), Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage TiNi Silver 60 (X, S, R), Aldila Rogue Silver 70 (X, S)

I’ve shown a lot of golfers TaylorMade’s new M1 driver, and those who hadn’t heard about it asked me, “What’s that?” pointing to its black-and-white crown. Before I could explain what it was they’d blurt out, “It’s so cool!”

TaylorMadem1

Visible technology is important to sales in today’s golf equipment space, particularly with drivers, but only if it makes a golfer want to hit the new club. With its distinctive look, the M1 is a driver most golfers will want to hit… and then probably hit again and again. It’s the highest-launching, lowest-spinning driver GolfWRX has tested from TaylorMade, and maybe more importantly, it adds a level of forgiveness that previous models have lacked.

TaylorMadeR15M1
At address: TaylorMade’s M1 460 (left) and R15

We put the M1 460 to the test against TaylorMade’s two previous flagship drivers, the R15 460 and SLDR 460. Each driver was set to the same loft and was tested with the same shaft in its neutral setting, and all of the testing was performed at the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

The Test

M1Numbers_Notrounded
Drivers tested on outside on Trackman. Obvious mishits were discarded. Results were normalized.

The M1’s improved performance can be attributed to its carbon composite crown. It saves 5 grams of weight from the design to lower the driver’s center of gravity (CG), which increases launch angle, decreases spin and improves energy transfer for more ball speed. It also gives the M1 a higher moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of retention of ball speed on off-center hits, which was another reason we saw both of our testers create between 1-2 mph more ball speed with the M1 compared to previous models.

Player 1 saw an increase of 1.1 mph with the M1 460 compared to the R15 460, and 2.1 mph more ball speed than SLDR 460. He also launched the M1 460 higher (0.6 degrees) than the R15 460, while decreasing spin a whopping 700 rpm. That allowed him to hit the M1 460 on average, 11.1 yards farther than the R15 460. Compared to the SLDR 460, Player 1 added 7.7 yards of carry distance and 6.5 yards of total distance.

Player 2 added 2.4 mph more ball speed with the M1 460 compared to the R15 460, while reducing spin 400 rpm, leading to a distance gain of 12.4 yards. He was also able to increase his launch angle 3.2 degrees compared to the SLDR 460, which along with a 2.2 mph ball speed boost led to an increased carry distance of 8.5 yards and an increased total distance of 5 yards.

460 or 430?

M1Numbers_Notrounded2
Drivers tested on outside on Trackman. Obvious mishits were discarded. Results were normalized.

The M1 460 will be TaylorMade’s best-selling M1 driver and its most popular among tour players, but the company also offers an M1 430 that has a deeper face and is shorter from heel to toe. Unlike the previous SLDR 430 and R15 430 drivers, the 430 isn’t designed to perform differently than the 460 head. According to TaylorMade both drivers will produce a similar ball flight, with the M1 430 being about 50 rpm lower spinning.

M1comparison
At address: TaylorMade M1 460 (left) vs. TaylorMade M1 430

Our testing results with the M1 460 and M1 430 were mixed, which speaks to the art of matching golfers with a driver that appeals to their visual preferences. Player 1 had nearly identical launch conditions with the M1 430, albeit 1.6 mph less ball speed, while Player 2 had noticeably different results. He created 0.8 mph more ball speed with the M1 430, while lowering his launch angle and spin dramatically.

TaylorMadeM1460430
The M1 430 (top) and TaylorMade M1 460 have flatter leading edges, which keep CG lower than past models as the sliding weight is moved across the Front Track.

The takeaway is that the M1 460 and M1 430 can both create big distance. Golfers will probably prefer the look of one driver over another, however, with most opting for the larger M1 460. But especially among GolfWRXers, the more compact M1 430 is sure to be a hit.

Dialing in the M1 

With the big questions out of the way, “Is the M1 better?” and “What’s the difference between the M1 460 and M1 430?” it’s time for a discussion of what cements the M1 as the best driver in TaylorMade history — its wide-ranging adjustability.

TaylorMadeadjustableBoth TaylorMade’s SLDR and R15 drivers offered golfers the ability to move CG toward the heel for more draw bias and toward the toe for more fade bias with a “Front Track.” What’s new with the M1 is a T-Track system that includes a “Back Track,” which allows golfers to manipulate launch angle and spin rate independent of the M1’s loft.

The Back Track has a 10-gram sliding weight, which can move CG forward and back to serve the trajectory needs of different golfers. Moving the weight forward can decrease spin, and for that reason the most forward weight position is theoretically the longest M1 setup. Many golfers will actually see longer drives from the rearward setting, however, as it improves MOI to increase ball speed on off-center hits.

It’s hard to say what setting will work best for a golfer until they hit M1, so a good place for most golfers start is to hit the driver in its neutral setting and make adjustments from there.

TaylorMadeM1drivers
When looks meet performance: A high-peaked crown improves the aerodynamics of the M1 drivers.

For the most detail-oriented golfers, the M1’s adjustability could be its strongest selling point. It allows golfers to achieve a wide range of lofts and face angles with its 4-degree loft sleeve and the multiple driver lofts available. The T-Track features are also second to none, giving golfers the ability to independently shift ball flight higher, lower, more left or more right.

Unlike past years, the M1 also comes stock with three premium shafts, and several more are available through TaylorMade’s custom department at no extra cost. It’s a move that helps justify the M1’s $500 price tag, and adds to the variety of ways golfers can arrive at an ideal ball flight with the driver, based on their personal needs and preferences.

The Takeaway

If you’re looking to fine tune your launch monitor numbers to achieve maximum distance, there may be no better driver to help you do so than the M1. Golfers who want their driver to look a certain way at address or provide just the right amount of draw or fade bias will also find that the M1 is a leader in the club house.

What do you want more of from your driver? Whatever it is, the M1 can deliver.

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90 COMMENTS

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  1. I have it and has added more consistency to my game, buy it used it works just as well for the quarter the cost. Don’t be jealous and complain, it really is not marketing balloney. It works.

  2. Say what you want about TM’s product releases, but I absolutely love the M1. I’ve been playing the R11 for too long now, and my numbers with the M1 murdered my R11.

    TM Woods, Mizuno irons, Cleveland wedges. I’ll never touch Titleist’s over priced products.

  3. Wasn’t there an article on WRX earlier this year citing that TM sales were down 28% last year? It seems to me that they just keep throwing stuff out there to see what sticks! As others have said … Wait a little and buy the M1 when the new best-ever driver makes its debut.

  4. I know this is a little dated thread, but here’s my two sense. I’ve been a Titleist guy (at least with my driver) for a while now, and was hesitating to move to the 915 from my 913 primarily because of the horrible sound off the face, even though the 915 gave me slightly better numbers. So I’ve been casually looking around at other drivers for a little bit, and here comes the M1! Now I’ve gotta say, coming from the 913, I thought the M1 looked hideous initially, but once I hit it, I knew it was a winner. I demo’d it in the same loft as my 913 in a neutral setting, and I was consistently carrying it 10+ yards longer. I messed a little bit with the weights, but really only moved the high/low slider a little more towards the face to help with spin. It has such a beautiful sound/feel, and the sweet spot seems to be on the entire face! Even when I caught a couple out towards the toe, they drew right back, and were maybe only 5 yards shorter than when I striped them. I think this things gonna be a big winner, as truly ANY player can benefit from it, probably even more so for the weekend hacker! Thankfully through a friend, I was able to snag this thing for $250 plus change, and I can’t wait for it to get here. Just in time for winter! :(

  5. The TMAG trolling is priceless. Titleist throws a slot in their drivers fairways, hybrids and everyone drolls. Things are awful.

    Tmag comes out with another solid driver and the ‘cool forged Titleist Kids’ murder TMAG.

    Get over yourself. The M1 is good. If you don’t like it play something else.

    Tmag trolls are something else. ‘They release something new every year’ …so does every other OEM. And callaway is much worse.

    Titleist has released the same f’n iron line for 6 years running and the Loyal Titleist guy runs to sell
    His 714’s for 716’s. When the 714’s are a better line.

    Keep it up Trolls. Makes me laugh.

  6. Ok ladies and gents who think they have figured out TMAG’s marketing strategy and endlessly curse the company that is a leader in innovation in its industry, I ask you one question.

    WHICH IS THE DRIVER OF CHOICE FOR PROS WHO SELECT THEIR OWN DRIVERS? Like players endorsed by Srixon, mizuno , and others. It is the latest TM driver, now the M1. No PRO will choose a driver unless it will earn him extra money.

    STOP THIS BLABBERING ABOUT TMAG, it’s a great company.

    • I know a lot of pro who chose other brands such as Callaway, Ping etc when they decide on their driver. However drivers like other clubs are mostly sold to people who are not pro and not hitting sweatspot every time. In terms of the innovation – all major brands are “leaders in innovation” – just TM is the most marketing agressive.

  7. Based on the comparison in the article R15 produced much higher spin than SLDR or M1. A year ago reviews were saying R15 is a better driver than SLDR. Why? It looks like a lie now. So what will people say M1 does wrong a year from now when the new model comes…

    As for the comparison to G30. All fitters know that in average it is much easier to get higer smashfactor with G30 than with R15/SLDR though I have not heard yet about M1.

    As for Callaway – these guys at least don’t change the name of their product every year like TM does.

  8. Guys, sometimes that SUBJECTIVE feeling of thinking you’ll hit just one or two more fairways, with descent distance, justifies the money spent. Think back about the hundreds of dollars we all spent on ProVs, thinking we had a better, different, longer ball, when virtually every test says ALL premium balls are basically the same….we spent the money anyway. There’s nothing wrong with spending too much…remember…all you “too much money” hall monitors out there, probably went to Starbucks this AM, fer Chrissakes! Lighten up and just go play!

  9. I had a demo session this week hitting the M1 460 on both the range and the course. My rule of thumb for buying a new driver is that it demonstrably outperform my Taylormade Superfast Burner TP 9.5 driver. For that I would pay any price. The M1 performed very well but couldn’t make the team. It was straight but slightly shorter.

  10. I am terribly addicted to shiny new golf equipment. Lately, I have been starting the year with a new set of irons and then proceed to acquire multiple new fwy woods, hybrids, wedges, putters and even bags. I also spend a great deal of time getting fitted ( I love my Edel putter but still have been unable to stop myself from acquiring new putters. ). With this latest release from TM, I believe that I have found the cure for my addiction. It is a $500.00 price tag. TM’s newest driver may very well be their greatest creation, but, until it drops at least $100.00 in price, I will not even bother testing it. In the meantime, I will struggle along with my ancient Bridgestone J815 ( which club beat out my Knuth High Heat, Ping’s G30, Callaway’s Big Bertha and TM’s SLDR – all of which are resting comfortably in my basement ).

  11. I would like to see a test done of Player 1 and Player 2 hitting each driver with standard loft/lie/weight settings and then hitting them again after getting fitted and using those loft/lie/weight settings. I would be really interesting in seeing those results and it would give a lot of us a better idea on how much we can gain by getting the settings dialed in vs just hitting it with the standard settings.

  12. To all the people who complain about Taylormade releasing new and improved models too often, I would like to say just one thing. What about Callaway, Ping, and now even Titliest? Don’t they release stuff as often? I recently bought an IPhone 6+ and now 6S+ is here. It’s also the same with consumer electronics. Golf is a technology intensive sport. All major manufacturers invest considerable amount of money in R&D, and probably TM invests the most and hence the have a high rate of innovations coming out of their R&D facilities. Those who can afford, will keep buying new TM stuff.

  13. Looks good and all, but I’m afraid to buy the darn thing in fear that it will become obsolete as it’s being shipped to me (i.e. I assume there is/will be an M1s, M2, M2s, etc…right around the corner)!

    • Too fragile?? How bout airliner wings and fuselages or Formula1 tubs? Unless you are hammering railroad spikes (or are a club thrower) fragile probably shouldn’t be a prob. Just sayin

  14. Picked my M1 up today after my custom fitting session last week.

    The M1 is AWESOME. It improves club head and ball speed which means greater distance off the tee if you strike the ball in the correct zone on the club face.

    And with the quality shaft options it really is a compelling proposition.

    So for all of you TMAG haters on this site unfortunately Taylor Made have just produced an exceptional driver, their best product ever in my opinion.

  15. A mini-tour buddy of mine has one in his bag and was hitting it this last week. A couple things I noticed:

    1) The sound is a nice, dull “THUD,” which I like. I do not like drivers that have any kind of “TING” to them.

    2) He hit the club noticeably higher than I have ever seen him hit a driver (a bit too high, in my opinion)

    3) He was getting little to no roll out (but the fairways were soft, so ….)

    So, not having played the driver myself, that’s my report. LOL

  16. The M1 clearly looks at an excellent driver but the bottom line as always is getting the club dialled in for your game – right loft, weight positions and of course the right shaft. When you purchase a top dollar product like this you should receive a premium service if you don’t you’re very likely wasting your money.

    • this could not be more true. I currently hit an 8* driver head as I hit up on the ball and it produces the best flight for me anyways. I hit the 9.5 head delofted slightly and did not really get a good feel from it. I took a flyer and tried the 10.5 head delofted the full 2* which opens the face of the club and I can go at this with all I got with little fear of getting to quick and going left. Get fit for this driver and it will most likely perform as I got some great number from it. if your like me and can get a little quick with the hands through impact, try the Rogue with a higher then normal printed loft and deloft that bad boy the full 2* and im guessing you wont be disappointed. if however you have more of a fear of the slice maybe think of getting a lower printed loft and adding the 2* of loft closing the face at address making it easier to get the club back to square at impact, you can also fine tune the weights for a more fade or draw bias.

      by the way this is coming from a Taylormade Critic, more so of their business model, but they have come out with some good stuff over the years, most notably for me the R9 series drivers, RBZ woods and most notably the M1 Driver

  17. I had a chance to hit this a few times this week on Flightscope x2 elite. Good numbers for me with Kuro Kage Tini X. Spin rates down compared to other Kuro Kage I’ve hit in past. I just don’t know about the Oreo cookie look AND sound. Sound reminds me of that Nike Machspeed Black- indoors,

  18. I’m willing to give it a shot. I’ll take my current driver and compare a few different shaft/weight/slider options and see if I get any better results with the M1. If I do get better results with more consistency, then I’ll probably purchase. If not, no big deal. I’ll wait until some other new product hits the market and then try it. But I’m not going to hate a company that releases new equipment every 6 months. Or takes an older tech (composite crown) and incorporates it with other technology (slots, sliding weights, adjustable hosel). If it’s not for you….doesn’t mean it’s not for anybody else.

    Side note. I am excited to hear that this M1 is more forgiving than other previous TM drivers. I think it will benefit the people who run out and get the newest TM drivers but don’t necessarily hit them very well. I see a lot of people on the course with the latest “hype” that could benefit from more forgiveness.

  19. Callaway produced the C4 and introduced it in 2002, it was junk, however the ERC and following drivers were very good, Taylormade fan I am not, did they find something new (Taylormade)? I doubt it! Intriguing, maybe? $500.00 LOL

    I bet my Optiforce 460 46″, stiff flex is better and more accurate! It is an FT fusion based driver! 3 year old club! Sell your Addidas/ Taylormade stock tomorrow!

    The pro’s are paid to make it work (M1)and it IS NOT the same club sold to the masses! Dave L. just sayin”

    • What does the Callaway C4 have to do with anything? If the tech wasn’t better, TM wouldn’t use it, period. It’s not their fault Callaway had no idea how to make composite materials work. The fact that you admit to still gaming an Optiforce driver tells us everything we need to know about your game, your club knowledge, and how you continue to choke your piggy bank. Just sayin.

    • If I recall the C $ had a crown that was completely composite. The C 4 was not a market buster due to the sound/feel and performance. I believe this TaylorMade model improves on that technology.

    • Because your opinion is truly meaningless, the next time you decide to post something, DON’T. Regardless of what any driver looks like, if the numbers are better, it should be in your bag, period. But being that you are such a great player, I guess shooting better scores isn’t of interest to you. Hate all you want, but the M1 is an outstanding driver.

      • While many would probably agree with you, there is more to enjoying the game of golf than simply shooting lower scores by any means necessary. I play clubs that are significantly less forgiving than I should, but I love them and I enjoy playing with them. Some simply play for scores, others (like myself) play for the challenge and enjoyment of a well struck shot (and maybe a little bit better scores lol).

    • You’re obviously not a very good golfer if a driver’s “looks” are the determining factor. You don’t want to know the numbers if the drivers “ugly”? Stupid comment.
      BTW, this driver is the best looking driver on the market. But, it performs like nothing I’ve tested. My G30 LS just got replaced by the M1. The distance gap between them is negligible. The accuracy is another story. The adjustability helped me dial in long and straight drives. I’m not missing with duck hooks anymore.
      I’ve never had a TM driver. The M1 changed that because it’s a superb product. It’s better than an OptiForce LOL…
      Finally, I understand the TM hate because they did release too many products. It became a joke. You won’t see them do that again. In the meantime…Callaway has totally done the SAME thing and they continue to do it! Their CEO decided that he was going to be the next TM….he’s got too many drivers out in too short a time. I haven’t heard too much Callaway hate. Very few people can tell the difference between all of the “Bertha’s” they’ve released. They’ve got Bertha’s out their wazoo….

  20. I tested the M1 on trackman today and it was awesome. It looks amazing and it sits great at address. It also sounds fantastic and there are plenty of different shaft options available including the Kuro Kage and Aldila Rogue. The Kuro Kage gave me the best results.

    You definitely get more ball speed with the M1 – I got an additional 5 mph and an additional 10 yards over all of the other manufacturer and shaft options on the market that I tested including Ping G30 LTEC with the Tour shaft, new Big Bertha, Cobra Fly Z with Accra and Oban shafts. I spent 2 hours with a club fitter testing various heads and shafts and the M1 was the best fit for me.

    For all you Tmag haters unfortunately the M1 is the real deal and it is the best driver I have tested. It is awesome.

    Personally I don’t care if it drops in price in 6 months

    My advice to anyone is go to a club fitter and try out all of the heads and shaft combinations that are available. A fitter will give you their unbiased professional opinion. Find the club that is correct for your game.

      • I got the same increase in ball speed myself today while testing it on track man at my club during demo day. I had ball speed topping 167 mph. In the past I think the highest ball speed I ever saw on a launch monitor was 162 or 163. I really love my Fly-Z PLUS driver but I may have to trade it in on this club. My best results where with my personal Oban Kiyoshi black shaft in X-FLEX that I pulled from my RBZ II driver

          • It is completely possible. Most likely, like many golfers, he isn’t hitting the center of the club face. Therefore, with his old driver the highest speeds he was seeing were not based upon max COR ratings, but rather the maximum speed his off-center shots could generate.

            Add more off center forgiveness to the club head and guess what?? Those same off -center hits are going to end up generating higher ball speeds.

            COR numbers have been limited for years, but, golfers have still seen average ball speed increases BECAUSE the those faster speeds are being generated over larger portions of the face.

  21. Callaway has had composite crowns since the FT-TOUR 6 years ago (best driver I ever hit), I love how club companies try to take old tech and make it their own new invention.

  22. Interesting… but the SLDR marketing was “loft up”; M1 marketing makes no mention of “loft up”. In fact they seemed to have “designed out” the need to compensate for the adverse effect on launch from the SLDR CG placement. So, using the same loft settings on all models here injects a potentially serious bias in favor of M1. If you have explored how M1 compares to SLDR when lofts are “calibrated” for each head’s design characteristics it would be interesting to see the results. This is nothing more than suggesting a good fitter would likely do the same thing– higher loft for SLDR than M1 as a rule of thumb.

  23. What shaft were you testing with?! That looks like a non-stock orange shaft? Tour AD? If so that data could be totally different with a stock offering that you would walk into the store and buy right?

    • Yes, and I bought my running shoes in a different size than you – does that mean I can’t review and assess the quality of the shoe? The reviewer cannot assess a club until he is fit. Probably wouldn’t be a valuable review if he popped you wife shaft in it. Because the club is sold at the retail level with a particular subset of shafts doesn’t mean those are the best for everyone. First fit tho the player, then determine performance.

      • Okay? SO those numbers aren’t valid if not used with a shaft option offered by tmade at the $500 price. That is not the full club. You are basically saying that if I tested a new Dodge charger with a v6 against a SRT V8 that its the same? No the price is different and so is the quality. Go ahead and tell me that a Tour AD Di is the same quality as a made for fuji pro….Its not the same club.

        • “Unlike past years, the M1 also comes stock with three premium shafts, and several more are available through TaylorMade’s custom department at no extra cost. It’s a move that helps justify the M1’s $500 price tag, and adds to the variety of ways golfers can arrive at an ideal ball flight with the driver, based on their personal needs and preferences.”

          While the author doesn’t specify whether or not he is using one of the shafts offered by Taylormade, there are clearly some options for you to choose from.

      • A different shaft in your club is nowhere near the same as a different size shoe. If the reviewer is taking a club, then putting a shaft in it that costs $2-300 above the OTR cost, then how can it be a particularly fair assessment. IMO a better analogy would be buying a Mercedes C300, putting a C63 AMG engine in it and talking about how great it performs…the C300 (or stock M1) may perform really well regardless, but the item being reviewed is not what your average person is going to find in their local golf store.

        I honestly don’t know what the shaft is that’s being reviewed, so this may not be an issue, but IF it’s not one of the 28 (I think?) shafts TMag offers at no upcharge, then there should definitely be, at the very least, a note to that effect.

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