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Review: TaylorMade M2 Driver

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Pros: A more rearward center of gravity makes the M2 drivers more forgiving than previous TaylorMade drivers. They have the same head shape and Carbon Composite Crown as the M1, and cost $100 less. 

Cons: No CG adjustability. 

Who it’s for: The M2 can suit any golfer looking for maximum performance on off-center hits, as well as those who can benefit from a slightly higher overall trajectory or more draw bias than the M1 drivers can provide.

The Review 

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  • Lofts: 9.5, 10.5, 12 degrees (all available in RH and LH)
  • Stock Shafts: M2 Reax 45 (L), Fujikura Pro 50 (M, R), Fujikura Pro 60 (S, X). More than 30 shafts available at no upcharge.

TaylorMade’s M2 drivers are meant to complement the company’s existing M1 drivers, and positioned to be the most forgiving M-Series driver. While the M1 and M2 are more alike than they are different, the release of the M2 driver marks an important shift in TaylorMade’s design philosophy.

Like the M1 driver, the M2 uses a multi-material construction.

Like the M1 driver, the M2 uses a multi-material construction.

In recent years, TaylorMade was bullish on improving driver distance through launch conditions. And by creating drivers with extremely forward center of gravity (CG) positions, the company’s products were successful in helping many golfers break new distance ground.

Take TaylorMade’s R15 driver, for example. With its forward CG placement, which saw as much as 75 percent of its head mass located in the front of the driver, it produced some of the most enviable peak launch conditions among 2015’s driver crop, according to our Gear Trials Panel, but weren’t as forgiving as other models.

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When the company’s M1 drivers were launched in October, we praised them for their “new level of forgiveness that allows them to work for nearly any golfer.” The golfers the M1 models wouldn’t work for, we thought, would be those who needed even more forgiveness than the M1 offered.

It’s exactly those golfers TaylorMade is addressing with the M2 drivers.

To make the M2 drivers more forgiving, TaylorMade removed the “T-Track” sliding weight system it employed on its M1 drivers: a Front Track used to adjust the draw and fade bias of the driver, as well as a Back Track used to manipulate launch and spin conditions. The removal of the T-Track created 15 grams of discretionary weight, which was redistributed low and rearward in the driver heads, approximately where its gold sole weight is located.

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The change improved the M2’s moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of ball speed retention by 17 percent, even when compared to the M1 460 with its highest-MOI setting.

While the M2’s lack of moveable weights removes a golfer’s ability to make adjustments to the CG of the driver head, launch conditions can be adjusted through the company’s Loft Sleeve, which provides +/- 2 degrees of adjustment from the available lofts of 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees.

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The M2 has a slightly rougher face texture than the M1, which helps reduce spin.

According to TaylorMade, the M2 will launch roughly 0.5 degrees lower with 100 rpm more spin compared to the M1 460 when the M1’s Back Track weight in its most rearward position. In my testing of the M2 driver, however, I found that the M2 not only produced more consistent launch conditions than the M1 in its most rearward setting, but offered higher ball speeds on average. With the same shaft, I was able to maintain my launch conditions increasing ball speed about 2 mph. For that reason, I hit the M2 a few yards farther than the M1.

Because of its lack of moveable weights, the sole of the M2 driver is slightly more aerodynamic than the M1.

The M2 driver is more aerodynamic than the M1 due to the removal of its sole weights.

It should be noted that since I was already achieving favorable launch conditions with an M1 in its rearward-weight setting, I was a prime candidate for the M2 driver. Golfers who currently play the M1 460 or M1 430 and use a forward weight position will likely not be able to achieve the same launch conditions from an M2 on their best hits, nor will they be able to affect launch conditions and trajectory bias independently of loft, one of the M1’s biggest selling points.

The advantages of the M2 will be for golfers who struggled to create maximum ball speed with the M1, or are looking for more consistency. An M2 driver will also assist golfers who tend to fade their drives, as its more rearward weight position not only creates an overall higher ball flight, but more dynamic lofting at impact that generates increased face closure for added draw bias.

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As for aesthetics, the M1 460 and M2 have the same head shape, but the drivers will sound and feel slightly different. The M2 makes a quieter sound at impact that most golfers will identify as “softer,” while the M1 makes a louder sound.

TaylorMade officials expect the M1 driver to continue to be its most-played driver on the PGA Tour, estimating that 80 percent of Tour players will prefer it to the M2. A much higher percentage of average golfers will benefit from the M2, however, due to its improved forgiveness and added draw bias.

The M2's Speed Pocket helps improve ball speed and reduce spin on shots contacted on the low portion of the clubface.

The M2’s Speed Pocket helps improve ball speed and reduce spin on shots contacted low on the clubface.

The M2’s $399 price point, $100 cheaper than the M1, will also be enticing for price-sensitive golfers, especially given the fact that the M2 will be available with the same array of no-upcharge, custom shaft options.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

111 Comments

111 Comments

  1. Pingback: Zak Kozuchowski of GolfWRX.com looks at 12 Important Changes to the 2017 TaylorMade M1 and M2 Drivers

  2. Glenn kirk

    Feb 21, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Taylor made drivers are junk

    • Brian

      Apr 1, 2016 at 10:09 am

      Titleist drivers are junk.

    • steve

      Mar 4, 2017 at 11:57 pm

      Yeah, sure they’re junk. That’s why Titleist guys have a TM driver in their bag….because they’re junk. And that’s why the guys on the Champions Tour, who don’t have equipment deals….are using M driver….because they’re junk.
      You’re a golf moron. Somebody that rides the wave of the popular narrative. Try having an original opinion, it’ll be refreshing for you.
      TM is making the best drivers and woods in the golf business. And it’s not close. Titleist is creating JUNK. And their players know it.

  3. Mark Eting

    Feb 18, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    I finally had a chance to get out and see this M “family” of clubs and maybe it was just all of that sickly-green florescent lighting that one has to suffer in those expansive retail golf shops, but my first impression of them was that they sure do photograph much nicer than they appear in person.

    After hitting both the 1 and 2 versions of the clubs in the two different sizes into one of the tragically neglected simulators, I personally preferred the overall balance of the 2 version, but I have never felt comfortable swinging a club with such a big head – they always seem so clunky-awkward and out of balance to me during that critical mid-point transition period of the swing.

    The 1 version had the weights in the middle positions and the “fitters” hadn’t yet showed up to work with their magic wrenches – or maybe they all just take an early lunch at around 11:15 AM – who knows for sure? – but after a few swings and a simulator that kept insisting that my drive was only about 180 yards long, I just went and stood by the register until some guy with a cheerfully bad attitude showed up about 15 minutes later to take my money for a new club brush which was the only reason I went there to begin with.

    I have a funny feeling this behemoth of a golf retail store isn’t going to be there once their lease obligation runs out. . .

  4. Mat

    Feb 15, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Sorry, but this isn’t a “complimentary offering”. It is the cheaper version of the M1, end of story.

  5. antonio

    Feb 9, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Zak, when you compared M1 vs M2, did you notice that the same shaft played 0.25″ longer in the M2? Could that be the reason for the higher ball speed in the M2?
    Thanks

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Feb 9, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Antonio,

      You’re right, theoretically the longer shaft could have increased ball speed, but I’ve tested a lot of different lengths and I don’t think 0.25 inches played a role for me. The M2 is simply faster and more stable on off-center hits, however slght they may be.

  6. Bishop

    Feb 9, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    I personally love the fact that TM releases a new driver every 6 months. They make a great product, in my opinion. And, as soon as they flood the market with their “Latest and Greatest” my local shop can’t wait to get the “old” product off the shelf. Heck, I bought a brand new SLDR driver nearly 2 years ago (December 2013, IIRC) for $130. Go ahead and release a new one, guys. This way I can buy a new driver for less than it would cost to replace a shaft!

    • Adam

      Feb 14, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      I love ignorance from people that continue to say TaylorMade releases drivers every 6 months. Bishop let me know the life cycle of the sldr driver before it was replaced by the R15. The R15 before it was replaced by M1. The Aeroburner before it was replaced by the M2. i have yet to see anyone comment on Callaway’s recent product life cycles. Before you open your mouth and comment Bishop get your facts straight. You and everyone else that think TaylorMade’s recent product life cycle is 6 months.

      • Aaron

        Feb 18, 2016 at 3:51 pm

        The release of the new clubs was inside of 12 months. Look it up or read below. While that might not be six months it is certainly very very short. Callaway is going to suffer the same problems that have plagued TM over the last 3-4 years and it has nothing to do with peoples opinions on here. It is a problem from a sales and business model perspective. When you release product that quickly in this industry you cannibalize your own products. You can see it relayed in the commentary here where people are saying that they love buying the SLDR or the R15 at substantially reduced prices. TM and their retail partners can’t move the product fast enough to combat the releases so mark downs and net downs occur at frequent and staggering levels. Ask any person in the retail golf business about it and they will tell you it’s an absolute nightmare and no one is making money on their products. People can shout loudly about the technology or lack thereof in the TM products or whatever perceived gripe they have but the real problem is from the business perspective. They are losing sales and market share at an incredible clip and anyone who thinks that is a sustainable business model is just plain dumb. This is why they are cutting employees, attempting to sell Ashworth, Adams, and even floating the idea of selling TM from Adidas. So for everyone out there that backs TM or hates them for whatever reason you need to think about this from the business model perspective alone. All other arguments are purely subjective.

  7. Steve

    Jan 29, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    I applaud Taylormade for their rapid release product cycles. It allowed me to buy new drivers every 2 years for $75 to $100. My last purchase was a brand new Rocketbalz for $90 that (so far) I can’t take out of my bag. Tried bunches of drivers on a launch monitor and so far nothing has been better…equivalent but not better.

  8. KK

    Jan 28, 2016 at 3:21 am

    Serious question for everyone complaining about TaylorMades product cycles. Do you also complain about product cycles with car manufacturers, cell phones, PC and Mac operating systems, televisions, or anything else technology related?? There is a new model of basically every reasonably priced car every year (all with very minor changes, with only a new body every few years). Samsung, LG, Apple all release new smart phones every year….hell, Apple doesn’t even bother to change the number every year, they just add an “S” and call it a day. TaylorMade isn’t the only company with short product life cycles. If TaylorMade is so fiscally irresponsible for doing this, wouldn’t it be an assumption that other technology companies that adopt the same strategy are also fiscally irresponsible? Last I heard, Apple isn’t hurting for money or short of turning a profit.

    • Jay

      Feb 26, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Car companies do a much better job managing inventory – If Ford was like TM I could head down to the lot and still find several brand new 2013 Mustangs for sale at 50% off

  9. Frank Tank

    Jan 27, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Figured whiners would be out today. Cracks me up reading comments like, “My [insert brand model] is the best driver I ever hit”, or “I’m never buying a TM driver!” lol

    If they don’t like TM or their product lifecycle, they are free to start their own golf equipment company and run it as they see fit. Or buy another make and model.

    Or sit in front of a computer and complain.

  10. Fahgdat

    Jan 26, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    The hate is swelling in you now. Give in to your anger. With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant. It is unavoidable. It is your destiny.
    Good! Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you!

  11. Fahgdat

    Jan 26, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Good! Goooooooood! Give in to your anger. I can feel your anger. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!

  12. Keith

    Jan 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    I think these should be called overviews…a review implies you are going to actually assess the value and performance of the club. I am yet to see a club were the takeaway is ‘it’s pretty redundant to what is already in the marketplace from the brand, save your money’

    Not saying this club would deserve that review…it would just be a nice change of pace for clubs to actually be reviewed rather than whatever this is considered

  13. Skip

    Jan 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    “but more dynamic lofting at impact that generates increased face closure for added draw bias.” a draw is hit with a face angle open to the target. how does increased face closure create draw bias?

    • emb

      Jan 26, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      it creates a pull-straight ball or pull-hook for the over-the-top slicer, since their path won’t have changed. Draw bias just sounds a tiny bit more appealing though lol

    • Guy

      Mar 22, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      Still has to be closed to the path though. And open to the target is only necessary if you’re hitting a push draw. If I line up 10 yards right of my end-target, swing with a zero path and a slightly negative face to path, I’m still going to hit a right to left shot.

  14. John Krug

    Jan 26, 2016 at 9:26 am

    If you have a good swing you don’t need a new driver every 6 months.

    • Eric

      Jan 26, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      If you get a quality one from ping or titleist, you can get a new one every 6 years.

      • Guy

        Mar 22, 2016 at 10:38 pm

        Maybe if you don’t care about maximizing performance. Compare a Titleist 910 with an M1 or M2, or even a 915, and see which one performs better. They didn’t just put new paint on old tech and call it something different

    • Fahgdat

      Jan 26, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      I have a great swing I need a new driver every 2 months just because I want to and they cater to my needs, obsession and addiction

  15. Mike

    Jan 26, 2016 at 6:36 am

    I think it’s great. This way there will always be a almost new TM driver on sale. 🙂

  16. Golf Alot

    Jan 26, 2016 at 6:28 am

    I believe TM will become a Under Armour division and that will be there problem then.

    • Eric

      Jan 26, 2016 at 7:14 am

      lol never ever . Adidas and tm are stuck together

  17. moses

    Jan 26, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Allright price of M1 drivers sure to drop. Can’t wait for my $100 M1 head. 😉
    TM makes great driver imo and the more frequent the release schedule the better for the used club guys.

    • Adam

      Feb 14, 2016 at 11:23 pm

      Unfortunately for you their product life cycles have gotten longer recently. You want a company that’s releasing more drivers then TaylorMade you might want to look at Callaway.

  18. Park District Duffer

    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Took a 2 iron and stamped a 4 on it

  19. Park District Duffer

    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Will I get 51 more yards if I upgrade from Aeroburner?

  20. Jack

    Jan 25, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    One of the conundrums for golf equipment manufacturers is that their pro’s play the most unforgiving clubs. They are the clubs that require the least amount of innovation and engineering, thus the least amount of R&D costs. These clubs should sell for the least amount of money, but how do you advertise having your pro’s hitting your cheapest clubs? So now some pro’s are hitting the middle tier clubs (and I think they should too since those have improved massively) they can now position those as the premier clubs. MBs and CBs are not the top tier clubs (they are in terms of skill level but not overall sales impact or unit price) so the middle tier are a boon for them. The real GI clubs I think are the ones where they used to spend the most R&D on, but really not many people want to carry around shovels even if they are better for their score. GI clubs really allow slower swing speed players to hit iron shots effectively, and are probably the most expensive to design and produce.

    Never fully dug into this, but maybe we can see an article written by someone who knows what they are talking about?

    • Mama

      Jan 25, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      Now be a good boy and have a nice cup of STFU and go to bed

    • Mike Hannigan

      Jan 26, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      Good old Jack. a Review isnt a Review without Jack’s 2 cent input.

  21. Bogeypro

    Jan 25, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Great looking driver, I’ll definitely give it a hit. I don’t understand the hate and brand bias of some of the folks on here.

  22. Mike

    Jan 25, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Taylor Made has made great drivers. I still continue to use the RBZ Tour. I have hit all the drivers since that one and none compare. I really think that TM crowds the landscape with their too frequent offerings. Maybe, it will work for some and the others that like to spend on the newest every year but many of us can and will use something older just as well.

  23. Eric

    Jan 25, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Brothers of GolfWRX:

    I hereby vow to never purchase a single TaylorMade product for the rest of my life and I hope you will all join me in this pledge.

    There are so many other respectable brands like PING, Titleist, Mizuno, Bridgestone, Srixon/Cleveland and Nike that I’d rather give my money to.

    • Chuck

      Jan 25, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      I am going to buy whatever makes me happy. I’m not taking any pledge and I hope nobody else does either. And I don’t think too much about “giving” any of them my money. They are sellers. I might be a buyer. Again, if it makes me happy.

      This isn’t middle school. And there won’t be an Change.org petition, or a Facebook page, or a Kickstarter fund.

      • Eric

        Jan 25, 2016 at 10:35 pm

        Take the pledge bro. We can take this excuse for a company down!

        • Bogeypro

          Jan 26, 2016 at 9:24 am

          show on the doll where TM touched you inappropriately. Why the hate man? Its just golf equipment.

      • Regis

        Jan 25, 2016 at 11:03 pm

        I think Eric is still smarting because the Female Women Haters club finally disbanded

    • Stewart

      Jan 26, 2016 at 8:24 am

      M1 is the best driver at the moment for anyone looking for lower spin and forgiveness. Nothing comes close for me.

    • Brian

      Mar 16, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      I play Taylormade driver, but that’s it. TM drivers, Mizuno irons, Cleveland wedges. The only one of those I’m married to are Mizuno irons. I’ll likely never play a different brand of iron.

      I just bought the M1 after a fitting, but It’s the first new driver I’ve purchased since the R11, and that’s only because the M1 spanked it’s bottom in the simulator.

      • chris

        May 23, 2016 at 2:17 pm

        Hey Brian,

        My current driver is an R11 and I have a tough time going in a different direction…how have you seen improvements with the M1? What were your numbers before with R11 compared to now? Sorry but I’m just curious and not srue where to start

  24. Poppa

    Jan 25, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    TM better speed up their product cycles. They need to release EVERYTHING before Dick’s Sporting Goods completes their purchase.

    M3 Box Sets available at Dick’s in 2017

  25. JR

    Jan 25, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Will there be a TP version?

    • Eric

      Jan 25, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Yes. They’re coming out with the M3 in a couple weeks and there will be a TP option.

    • Mama

      Jan 25, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      The M1 is the TP.

    • JC

      Jan 27, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      The shaft is what will make it a TP model.

  26. tom

    Jan 25, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    The constant “another TaylorMade driver??!!!” and “I bet there is an M3 coming out next month! hardy-har-har” comments are so overdone it’s ridiculous. Enough already. There must be 20,000 comments along those lines the last 3-4 years. We get it. Please stop. And no, I don’t play TM stuff either.

  27. Bert

    Jan 25, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    I’ll pass, not even interested and have never liked white. So the crown isn’t really carbon composite but just a warp that looks like it’s carbon material, or is it carbon material? Oh well, doesn’t really matter, it’s overpriced and a “No Sale” for me.

    • Frank Tank

      Jan 27, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      Apparently you do since you spent the time to peruse the article and post a comment. Not only do you not like this driver nor pay for it, you don’t like white clubheads. Yet here you are talking about it.

      I know you are reading this and is antsy to respond, but think carefully if it’s worth the embarrassment showing your presence again.

  28. Chris

    Jan 25, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I’m still amazed at all of the people who don’t realize manufacturers are going with two release cycles a year: one for the tour level stuff in the fall when the new season starts and the snow birds can pick them up, and one in the spring for the non-tour level. But I guess it’s just more fun to make the same stupid joke about “Oh, I’ll wait til it is on sale in 3 months” or “TM releasing another driver 6 months after the last! Snicker, snicker!”

    As someone who has worked in the retail side of the business for the last few years, yes they come out with a lot of driver sku’s, and most have not been very good. The M1 is the first one in a long time that I can say should be right up towards the top of people’s lists as far as performance goes.

  29. Regis

    Jan 25, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    One of the things not emphasized here is the number of shaft options made available (30 options at no upgrade). And keep in mind this is the M2. I bought the M1 about 4 months ago and the reason was that (although I had no intention of buying one) I was in a golf shop and although Id read about the M1 I’d never seen one. Went to pick it up and it had a Matrix white Tie?? That wasn’t a shaft option. So I contacted TMAG and they had just added it. I always favored Titleist because of their shaft options. Now TMAG is charging more but upgrading their standard shaft options. Call it junk all you want but to me this is where manufacturers should be moving.

    • M-Herd4

      Jan 25, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      I agree completely. A properly fitted premium shaft will benefit players much more now a days than some new radical clubhead design.

  30. Emb

    Jan 25, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Big mistake naming the aeroburner replacement “M2” now the average guy will think it’s an M1 replacement and be even more fed up with their “short release cycle” even though AB had been out for almost 18 months

    • Brian

      Jan 26, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      Absolutely. Finally someone gets it. It’s by a replacement for the M1, it’s a replacement for AB. The M1 isn’t coming down in price because of this club. Man. The boo-hooing is nuts. Buy the club that fits your swing and stick with it until it breaks, your swing changes or the Powerball winners send you your $4.3M.

      • digitalbroccoli

        Jan 26, 2016 at 2:16 pm

        Wait…an intelligent post, and an intelligent reply in the same TM thread? This is my shocked face.

        I’m still trying to figure out why having a bunch of choices is a bad thing. If some of these idiots would realize you don’t actually have to buy every new driver that comes out, they’d be a lot happier.

        After a fitting last year, I ended up with an all TM bag, irons and woods. First time I’ve had TM stuff in my bag in years, and you know what? No where in the fitting did it say I had to buy every TM club that came out for the next 5 years. I can actually keep what I have, and play with it. Crazy, right?

    • Aaron

      Jan 26, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      Wrong!! Aeroburner and R15 were released January 9 2015. If we’re all going to go back and forth on these topics let’s at least have the facts right.

  31. john

    Jan 25, 2016 at 11:33 am

    i think this driver like the m-1 is way over price! i think i will buy a knock-off of this club spend about less that $100.00 for the head no wonder why adidas want’s to sell t-m!!!!

    • Adam

      Feb 15, 2016 at 12:07 am

      Please tell me what driver is “underpriced” John?

  32. Dave Gebhardt

    Jan 25, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Maybe Taylormade should come up with a club… Yeah that’s it, like a book club, yeah club of the month, yeah that’s the ticket!

  33. Fahgdat

    Jan 25, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Better than the Ping G!

  34. Chuck

    Jan 25, 2016 at 11:00 am

    So a new product introduction is offensive… why, exactly? I like choices, myself. Of course I think that the unspoken undercurrent is that the introduction of new products and the marketing claims imply that the old products — owned by thousands and thousands of the brand’s loyal customers — are inadequate to the task. The other unspoken concern is that the driver you bought for $300 not so long ago is now worth $25. If you’ve got a good driver, keep it. Play it, and enjoy it. But for pay-for-play, I feel certain that more tour players would keep their gamers in play for much longer than what we see. But I don’t otherwise care about the TM product cycle. It might actually be because I am a hard sell, and not an easy one.

    A couple of things I like about the M2 in this review are as follows:
    ~Let’s all begin to acknowledge that with volume and CT limited, there are only so many ways to move weight around and improve performance. And we get quickly to the point of mere tradeoffs; low spin with a low/forward weight, or more forgiveness and higher MoI with a rearward weight.
    ~Improved sound. Good gracious, I wish that the manufacturers could do something about the horrendous sound of most retail (non-hotmelted) 460cc titanium alloy drivers. Good on TM if they’ve done something with the sound of the M2.
    ~A return to plain stainless faces. I never understood the fad of black anodized faces on drivers. It’s pure cosmetic salesmanship in golf stores. They hold up pretty well, I must say, but they all end up looking tired after a while. I just don’t “see” a black face as well as stainless. We saw the same on the new proto/tour Callaway XR16 Sub Zero in Jason Gore’s bag. It’s a good development/return.

  35. Eric

    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Screw TaylorMade. Will never touch a club made by them

    • Stewart

      Jan 26, 2016 at 8:22 am

      You are missing out on trying the M1. This is the best driver I have ever used, so easy to hit and low spin. Well worth the price.
      If the M2 is close to this then it will be perfect for those not needing as low spin.

      • Bogeypro

        Jan 26, 2016 at 9:34 am

        It’s no use, Eric is obviously upset at TM about something. I think his girl ran off with a TM staffer.

  36. Tom

    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:49 am

    $100 less that’s gonna piss some people off. More aerodynamic due to no sole weights..go figure.

    • DB

      Jan 28, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Piss who off? That’s like saying the guy who bought a ZO6 Corvette is now going to be pissed that the new Malibu is cheaper. Your logic doesn’t make sense… they’re different clubs for different players. If your ego won’t let you buy the right club for your swing, then that’s your problem, not TM’s.

      • Eagle

        Feb 20, 2016 at 3:59 am

        “if your ego won’t let you buy the right club for your swing”

        Great comment…just wish I could use the same words when fitting some of my clients.

  37. cmyktaylor

    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Decent article, but it would have been good to know before the very end that the club has a draw bias.

    • Fahgdat

      Jan 25, 2016 at 11:11 am

      It says so right in the middle of the article.

    • digitalbroccoli

      Jan 26, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Seriously…I mean, having to read an ENTIRE ARTICLE is exhausting.

  38. michael

    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Its about time tm what took so long?
    I will boycott tm for years to come!!!

  39. Dustin

    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Actually no, “you’re” and “your” are much more different than “potato” and “potatoe”. If he’s going to insult someone’s intelligence, he should at least use proper grammar. Now he just looks dumb.

  40. Not Impressed

    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Reminds me of a certain Cobra driver….. Next year TM will let you flip the weight to the front of you want to. You wonder why Adidas is trying to sell TM because it’s “not profitable”.

  41. jasonc

    Jan 25, 2016 at 9:54 am

    They kept the same ugly crown??!! Bad bad bad.. I’ll pass.

  42. DatSliceDoe

    Jan 25, 2016 at 9:41 am

    “The M2’s $399 price point, $100 cheap than the M1”

    Yep, cheap. Not cheaper. I’d say they got that statement correct. Looks like they forgot the weights and slapped a 2 on it. $499 is insane, $399 is far to much for a driver that is a “carbon” copy of their flagship missing a part or two. Who knew those weights and tracks were nearly $50 apiece!

    • Hank

      Jan 25, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Designing a driver isn’t a simple as adding weights and incurring a $100 cost. Adding those weights has to have a driver body structure that is different to support those weights, incurring more cost in R&D, but Taylormade believes it is a feature that makes their club easier to fit to golfers. Clearly, Taylormade is going out on a limb by offering a club at this price, but look at the benefits compared to other companies. PING offers advancements in head design, but give you a shaft that is worth $10 tops. Titleist gives shaft options, but hasn’t had a development in head design since they incorporated their modern hosel in the 910. Taylormade and Callaway do both, with the head design advancements and the shaft options.

      • Aaron

        Jan 25, 2016 at 11:10 am

        What you are failing to take into consideration is the consumer’s perspective in looking at the options available to them. TaylorMade is producing the M2 to cater to what demographic that the M1 is not also catering to? On top of that the price tag at $500 for the M1 is the tops in the driver category, so the M2 is filling the price point gap? If that is the case you have companies like Ping and Titleist who offer you clearly defined differences within the same model they are releasing and their top price point is coming in at TM’s second tier price point. TaylorMade no longer owns a performance or quality advantage in this category and their quick release/product cycle confuses the customer base they are going after and subsequently cannibalizes their own products. Tell me how you would sell TaylorMade in a retail setting right now!? Think about having a conversation with a customer and having to walk through the release of the R15 and Aeroburner last year as well as the late season release of the M1 and now a few months later the M2… The second you mention that the M1 was the technological jump from SLDR, and R15 you have just shot down those “older” models. Then you have to explain the technology difference and reason for the Aeroburner and why the M2 is the “replacement” for that club but is more like the little brother to the M1 is most regards. Try and think all the way through this from that perspective when you are talking to someone who does not have an intimate knowledge of the golf industry and the major OEM’s within it. It is hands down the most asinine business/sales model and is the direct reason for the lack of sales for TaylorMade. I want to also add that this is not an anti TaylorMade rant but rather a rant on the idiocy of this business model that started roughly 4-5 years ago. Prior to that they were in a more stable release cycle with each evolution creating wild interest and easily discernible product differentiation. Now we sit here and shake our heads and won’t be one bit surprised if they release another new model this summer, meanwhile the numbers will come in at TM and they will be flabbergasted that they are not selling nearly the amount needed to justify their available products within “current” product cycles. This is just plain dumb.

        • DatSliceDoe

          Jan 25, 2016 at 4:50 pm

          THANK YOU. I wrote the top comment in regards to how the CONSUMER perceives this. It literally looks like they took out the weights and changed the name and charged less.

          I sold golf retail for two years up until recently and it was a mess trying to explain this baloney to the customers. Constant frustration and price haggling. I’d had enough of it selling, I can’t imaging how it would feel being sold to with all these releases. Very confusing.

        • Mark

          Jan 25, 2016 at 4:53 pm

          All I would say Aaron is that if you look from SLDR to R15 to M1, there has been a clear difference in technology. So it is actually pretty easy to explain because you can see it. Sure R15 was a bit of a flunk, but I think that’s because it was off the back of a hugely successful driver in SLDR so most guys already in TM weren’t looking to switch. My point is why would you buy a Ping or Titleist when ping offer no shaft options and neither have a noticeable difference in technology in the past 5/6 years! I can’t see the difference so why would I pay premium price for something that looks the same as the model 5 years old. At least with TM they push boundaries and with the weights, carbon crown etc I can see why the driver is $500! And the ‘cheaper’ price point driver is probably justifiably equal price to a Titleist or Ping because that is the drivers it is competing against.

          • Aaron

            Jan 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm

            Mark I am a little confused as to what you were referring to in your comment above. The R15 was a white SLDR with the same technology and design, but all they did was add another sliding weight. That was hardly a revolutionary change. And as far as the SLDR being a successful model I am sorry but it was one of the worst selling drivers at the retail level. It was a terrible fit for anyone besides high swing speed players because of the low launch and spin combination. As far as pushing the boundaries with technology I challenge that as well because Mizuno, Callaway, Cleveland, and Ping all had carbon crowned drivers going back more than 10 years ago! Mizuno even had a sliding weight at roughly that time as well… Callaway has used carbon fiber for a long time with the C4, ERC, FT-3 etc… So I don’t think TM is leading anything in that area. They used to be special/innovative with the MWT on the R7 and the adjustable hosel beginning on the R9. I would not have a problem with any of it if their releases did not cannibalize their other products. My complaint is from a business perspective and anyone who wants to try and argue that their strategy is sound is just flat out wrong! Why are they selling off pieces of their company, cutting staff, and down almost 30% on sales!? If you like TM that’s fine but let’s at least agree on the facts.

            • Adam

              Feb 14, 2016 at 11:49 pm

              Aaron TM has been testing carbon composites since the release of the R7 over 10 years ago. Thinning out titanium drivers have always performed just as good if not better than any of the composites that they built/tested. That’s why they have not brought a composite to market until now. As a former retailer back in the day of the Callaway ft3, ft5, Cleveland comp, ping rhapsody, cobra comp, mizunos comp etc. they all had one thing in common. God awful sound! This ‘M’ family of drivers is the best sounding, feeling composite driver I have ever hit. Period. Also the erc if I remember correctly was a non comforting golf club, I could be wrong on that though.

              • Aaron

                Feb 19, 2016 at 10:41 am

                Adam – Sound and feel are not a technological advancement. It is a subjective element of the product that has no bearing on the performance. My point in this conversation is that TM is not leading anything from that aspect of advancement. Many companies have been there done that so they’re not doing anything revolutionary. I have been in the golf business for years and much of the tech is recycled and modified to create a sense of advancement in the mind of the uneducated consumer. The USGA has limited the ability to create any sort of performance leap with the restrictions on the coefficient of restitution on drivers so you literally will not see significant improvement over previous models since the implement of those regulations. It is why the average driving distance on tour has remained consistent over the last DECADE. The ERC model that you are thinking of was titanium. The ERC fusion was the model I was referring to which was Callaway’s first multi material release, just an fyi.

        • Hank

          Jan 25, 2016 at 5:04 pm

          I see it differently. I’m not saying you did or did not, but Callaway has done the same thing with launching a fall line and nobody attacks them. That business of the fall and spring launch is the right move. You get a higher price point product in a much larger money market in the peak of their golf season, where you focus on the area where you make the most profit. Then you have a spring launch for the more price sensitive markets who start their season in the spring. Do not get me wrong, Taylormade has made a lot of mistakes, and is therefor going through the bumps in the road of rebranding. I agree with you this driver may struggle at this price, but Callaway did it with a lot of success with the return of the Big Bertha in 2014. Titleist has made no serious advancements in really any of their clubs since 910 and the original AP2 irons ( source being Dufner won this week with a 910 and an x2hot 3 wood because Titleist cannot produce a club that will spin lower without compromising the look and feel they want in a driver or fairway metal). They rely strictly on brand positioning. They offer 6 stock shafts, that honestly are not that impressive, and a driver that they have to make you pay extra just to get the spin down. That remarkable driver from Titleist, is $50 cheaper with no new advancement on material or design. PING has remarkable advancements in head design, but their major flaw is their unwillingness to compromise on price to put a decent shaft in their driver ( I think they are headed in this direction though with improvements to the no upcharge options in the iron custom lines). I’m not a Taylormade fanboy by any means (don’t have any of their clubs in play), but I have sold their products and I think people need to be open to this new marketplace that we have in golf. Callaway and Taylormade have both stated they expect to be on 1-2 year product life cycles. If they launch a driver this summer (I believe they will, which will be a driver positioned at a lower price than M2 if I’m correct) people should be calm and realize its not replacing your M1. I’m extremely excited about this driver, except for the price and the name because the name gives confusion. I think though they want to consolidate everything like the Titleist and PING have done with their wood series (i.e. variations of the G series). I value your opinion, and I think companies should take it in consideration, but I think people should realize they aren’t pumping out a driver replacement series every few months anymore. That business model works for companies like Titleist, because they aren’t Adidas and aren’t looking to broaden market share in the athletic industry, where golf is just a segment in. The reason M1 came out so quickly compared to R15 was purely for the fall release. Again I value your opinion, but do not agree.

        • prime21

          Jan 25, 2016 at 11:40 pm

          While your long winded explanation took up an entire page, it is still a miserable fail. Blah, blah, blah, Taylor Made, blah, blah, blah. You can plug any club manufacturer in where it says Taylor as this is an industry standard, NOT a Taylor Made standard. If you don’t like them, just say it, nobody really cares. But don’t spit out useless information that clearly applies to EVERY major golf manufacturer in business, and say Taylor Made does this and I hate them for it. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

      • Regis

        Jan 25, 2016 at 12:33 pm

        Yup ! I’ve been a TMAG fan for years but I always admired the Titleist for their shaft options. Got to the point that I would just buy the TMAG heads on E-bay because most of their shaft options weren’t close to my preferences.. Finally TMAG has given us the best of both worlds. Charge top price for your new entries Give a range of shaft options (they are talking 30 here?) . Yeah I know that in 12 months the price may drop but my shaft options may be limited.

      • Mark

        Jan 25, 2016 at 4:42 pm

        Couldn’t agree more!!

    • Fahgdat

      Jan 25, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Hater

  43. Mizuno29

    Jan 25, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Taylor Made comes out with yet another driver????????????????? How long has the M1 been available????????????????

    • Desmond

      Jan 25, 2016 at 10:52 am

      The M2 is for a different segment of golfers – or don’t you understand an attempt to help the average golfers who wants a TM Driver? It is the same thing Callaway is doing. Not all golfers are created equal. The M2 is akin to the Callaway X16 – no weight adjustments, lighter, faster. I’m sure the M2 is a fine driver – those who love the TM Brand should go for it. The M1 look with more forgiveness.

      I am probably not an M2 type nor a X16 type. For me, the GBB is the ticket because the perimeter weighting provides more forgiveness – put the weight in the direction of your miss and voila – correction (it’s not only for fade or draw bias). We are all different, and our job is to find a driver that fits each of us.

    • Fahgdat

      Jan 25, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Hater.

    • Mark

      Jan 25, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      It’s clearly not competing with M1 though is it!!?????????????? All manufacturers have different model options and the last few years TM have always brought there secondary product out a few months after the premium. This is replacing AeroBurner which has been out well over a year now

  44. alexdub

    Jan 25, 2016 at 9:29 am

    “A more rearward center of gravity makes the M2 drivers more forgiving”

    This has been every tagline on the TM drivers since the Burner. I guess they only move the CG back a millimeter at a time.

    • WILSON!!

      Jan 25, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      PING is a much worse abuser of the exact thing you’re talking about right now and nobody points a finger at them.

    • Adam

      Feb 15, 2016 at 12:03 am

      Agree with Wilson G25 to G30 moved the CG slightly back and in testing they found the G30 to spin slightly more then the G25 with carry and overall distance to be slightly less then the G25

  45. Arse hole

    Jan 25, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Let’s hope its been worth the wait

  46. HK

    Jan 25, 2016 at 9:00 am

    ‘Most’ forgiving in M family, meaning among 2 of them. amazing.

  47. Pete

    Jan 25, 2016 at 8:43 am

    The price point as a “cheaper” driver is the only thing that scares me a little bit. Everything else is exactly what people wanted from a Taylormade driver, which is something more forgiving for the average player who doesn’t need the forward CG. Very excited to get my hands on one of these.

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Driver Reviews

Review: Ping’s G400 and G400 LST Drivers

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I still remember the first time I hit Ping’s G30 driver. It was July 2014, and I was at Ping’s HQ in Phoenix. Super low-spin drivers were all the rage at the time. With their forward center of gravity, they were helping golfers optimize their launch conditions beyond their wildest dreams: crazy high launch, ridiculously low spin. Many in the business, including myself, had one of these drivers and spent many launch monitor sessions trying to figure out how to get more distance from these high knuckleballs. The bad news was that forward-CG drivers, by nature, were really unforgiving. Bad shots were really short and crooked.

Before I knew the G30 was a big deal, Marty Jertson, Ping’s Director of Product Development, explained to me his vision for the perfect driver inside a conference room at Ping Headquarters. In his eyes, the perfect driver didn’t have the low, forward center of gravity (CG) that was being touted at the time. Its CG was located as low and as rearward in the driver head as possible, which he said would offer the best of both worlds: optimized launch conditions on good shots, as well as the best possible forgiveness on bad shots.

Building the perfect driver was a long way off (and still is), but Jertson was excited where Ping had landed with the G30. When it was released, the driver was a powerful testament to his vision. Its rear-CG design created great distance on good and bad shots, and it was also a very straight driver. The G30 sold incredibly well and, as a result, the industry mostly shifted away from forward-CG drivers.

It’s been nearly three years since the release of the G30, and Ping has just made another counterintuitive driver release. The company shrunk the size of its new G400 drivers in a climate where full-size drivers have become the norm. Granted, it’s only 15 cubic centimeters smaller, but it’s noticeable at address. Compared to the Ping G drivers they replace (which replaced the G30), the G400’s look like they cut carbs.

Despite their slimmer frames, however, the G400 drivers are actually more forgiving than the G drivers (which were even more forgiving than the G30). That’s why Ping representatives say smaller is actually better in the G400’s case. The drivers have the lowest, most rearward CG of any Ping drivers ever, and their smaller size is said to improve their aerodynamics so golfers can swing them fractionally faster. The other big change is a new face material made of T9S+ titanium, which is thinner and more flexible to help golfers generate more ball speed.

Ping_G400_LST_2

For this review, I wanted to put the G400 and G400 LST to the test against the G and the G LST drivers that they replace, so I took them to the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. I hit five shots with each driver on Trackman IV, and to ensure as much of an apples-to-apples comparison as possible, I tested each driver head with the same shaft. Each driver head was adjusted to the same loft, or as close as possible.

Note: The G, G LST, and G400 drivers I tested were 10.5-degree heads adjusted to 9.5 degrees. The G400 LST had a loft of 10 degrees, and it was adjusted to 9.4 degrees.

The Test

PingG400_2017

In my personal driver tests, I don’t usually see a huge uptick in distance or accuracy when comparing the latest drivers to the most recent models from the same manufacturer. Improvements generally come in the form of improved head shaping, a better feel, or enhanced adjustability. That’s why I was surprised to see such a big change in my launch conditions and dispersion with the G400 drivers.

G400 Test Results: With the G400, I launched my drives an average of 1.6-degrees higher than I did with the G while dropping spin an average of 416 rpm. That led to a significant improvement in distance. With my swing speed and ball speed staying about the same, I added an average of 7.2 yards more carry distance and 8.7 yards more total distance.

G400 LST Test Results: First, a note about the G400 LST. It has a CG that’s slightly lower and more forward than the standard G400 driver to help golfers reduce spin. Like the G30 LST and G LST, it’s still very much a rear-CG driver, but its design helps high-speed golfers who can consistently find the center of the club face maximize distance without highjacking forgiveness. When I test Ping drivers, the LST is generally the model that creates the best performance, and the G400 LST was no exception. I saw an average of a 1.2-degree higher launch angle with all other things staying about the same when I compared it to the G LST. The result was an average of 6.6 yards more carry distance and 3.1 yards more total distance. It was the longest and straightest driver I hit in the test.

Note: Ping also sells a G400 SFT (Straight Flight Technology) driver, which has added draw bias. To learn more about it, click through to tech story on the G400, G400 LST and G400 SFT drivers. 

Dispersion

G400_Dispertion

One way to explain the improved launch conditions is that I hit the G400 drivers more consistently. As you can see in the Trackman dispersion chart, I hit the G400 and G400 LST drivers straighter on average than the G and G LST. Is that its slightly enhanced forgiveness shining through? Maybe, maybe not.

To me, the changes Ping made to the look and feel of the driver were just as important as the performance difference I saw on Trackman. I’ve always preferred smaller driver heads, or at least 460-cubic-centimeter drivers that appear smaller than their size. For that reason, I felt more confident with the G400 drivers in my hands. I didn’t mind that I didn’t see any added swing speed or ball speed from the smaller driver head. I was sold on the looks alone.

I also preferred the sound of the G400 drivers to the G drivers. There was definitely much more of a “thwack” than a “ping” at impact, which made the G400’s feel more powerful. Looks and feel are subjective, of course, but to me the improvement was night and day. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that my fondness for the looks and feel of the G400 was at least a contributing factor to my improved performance in the test, if not the most important factor. When I like the way a club look at address, I tend to hit it better, and I know I’m not alone.

I do want readers to keep in mind that this was a one-person test and I hit a limited amount of balls. Yes, it’s a great indication that the G400 driver can be measurably better than a G driver, but it’s not a guarantee.

I also want to address the weaknesses of the G400 drivers. While they’re few, they could push golfers into another driver model in a fitting. Unlike Callaway’s GBB EpicTaylorMade’s M1 or Titleist’s 917 drivers, the G400’s don’t have CG adjustability. That means there’s no way to fine tune ball flight outside of a shaft or loft adjustment. A bigger deal for some golfers might be the G400 crowns. Despite their smaller size, there’s still a lot to look at address, as was the case with the G drivers.

Ping_G400_LST_4

Aerodynamic features on the front of the crowns, “Turbulators,” have been thickened for the G400 release. There’s also Ping’s “DragonFly Technology,” a geometry on the back of the driver crowns that helps push CG lower and more rearward in the driver heads. I personally think the G400 crowns give the drivers an old-school, muscle car-like look, but there’s no question they won’t fly with all golfers.

Whatever your thoughts about what’s on top of the G400 drivers, there’s no question that what’s under the hood can offer something the G and G30 drivers did not. Maybe you’ll like the smaller head. Maybe you’ll prefer the quieter sound. Maybe the improved forgiveness will show up on a launch monitor or on the course. Or maybe you’ll just flat out rip a G400 farther and straighter down the middle like I did.

If that last bit happens, try not to second-guess it.

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Driver Reviews

Members Choice: The Best Driver of 2017

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What determines the best driver on the market; is it the opinion of professional club fitters, professional golfers or testing results from a group of amateurs?

At GolfWRX, we believe all three sources can lead golfers to an answer. Being a website founded by passionate golfers with a mission to serve passionate golfers, though, we place a special emphasis on the opinions of our GolfWRX Members — the most knowledgeable group of golfers on the planet. No other group of golfers in the world tests golf clubs as frequently or as extensively as GolfWRX Members. So who better to poll to get an initial indication of the best performing drivers so far in 2017?

So we asked them, “What’s the best driver of 2017?” They voted for the three drivers they felt most worthy of the title and provided feedback about their selections in our special forum thread. You can see the results below (as of the first three weeks of voting), as well as quotes we pulled from GolfWRX Members about the drivers from our forum.

Remember that our polls will remain open for voting throughout the year, and we’re going to keep an eye on the percentages as more and more golfers have an opportunity to test these drivers. We’re also working on another Best Driver list, which will evaluate clubs in another important way. Stay tuned!

Keep in mind that there’s no single driver on the market that is the absolute best option for every golfer: that’s why nearly every manufacturer makes at least two different models. As this list indicates, however, some drivers are working better than others this year. Happy Testing!

Note: Forum posts were minimally edited for grammar, style, spelling and clarity.

Cobra King LTD Black (3.00 percent of votes)

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  • The General: All-black LTD is really clean looking. I’m about to cover up the orange on my LTD with lead tape. Orange is played out
  • mh7vwLove my LTD, but wish the black finish (or even this gray) didn’t have that subtle checkering you see in some like. Prefer plain black.
  • dbleagI am a fan of the black/orange combo. The performance and sound of the LTD is very appealing to me. I also like that the standard length is 45 inches. For me, that helps it be super-accurate. With the low-spin design, I hit it longest of the current offerings and can’t remember the last time I missed a fairway. Straight, solid, low spin and nice.
Further Reading

Mizuno JPX-900 (3.20 percent)

Mizuno_JPX_900_Driver

  • johnnythundersJPX goes straight. Best real-deal shaft and is long and very adjustable.
  • KT35That blue head looks awesome sitting on the ground. I hit balls off the toe and heel and didn’t see the big drop off in distance like the previous models.
  • nmortonThe JPX-900 is definitely more forgiving compared to the JPX-850, and sounds much better. Though they did sacrifice a bit by going with a little larger profile, but it’s easy to get used to. The graphics are so so, but this driver performs. I’m really digging the Evo II (shaft).
  • jay65I can see that Mizuno is really making a decent effort with its drivers/fairways in terms of tech and aesthetics, and they compliment the new JPX-900 line of irons really well, but if they’re going to make any inroads they really have to address this issue of their custom shafts options. It’s rubbish.
  • bok006The JPX-900, after being properly adjusted by the fitter, gave me an extra 20 yards just like that. My swing speed suggested I was borderline S to X (flex), but the fitter said unless I was fighting a hook I should stick with the S.
  • bubbagump: …the JPX-900, when properly fit, is just as long on a consistent basis than all the new models I tried in real life situations. It looks great, sounds solid and just knows the way to keep the ball in play.  
  • ChazbI’m 69 years old, have a swing speed of 91 mph and played nine with the JPX-900 this morning. It was in the 40s with a brisk wind hit it around 220 to 230 yards. It was a fairway finder, has great feel and is one of the easiest to control drivers I have ever hit. I can’t wait ’til it is warmer and can dial it in more. So far I have the two weights all the way forward for a lower flight and the other set with a draw bias with 10.5 degrees of loft. This driver is the real deal; it may not be the longest or the shortest, but it is a fairway finder which IMO makes it a winner.
Further Reading

Ping G (3.80 percent)

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  • Wesquire: Ping G is the most forgiving so it wins.
  • bopper53: Ping G hands down. Great distance and the most forgiving.
  • Dannydubbbs: The Ping G series is just too forgiving. The distance is comparable between most models, but Ping always seems to win out with forgiveness.
  • Bruin BearThe Ping G is going to be overlooked because it’s looked at as “game improvement,” but this driver is a beast. I liked the LS, but it requires a faster swing to get results and in the cold outdoors I just don’t have that all the time. I think the G is the perfect blend of performance and forgiveness.
  • cmrl1986Only reason I switched from the Ping G25 was that the G felt less harsh off the face. Same distance just about.
Further Reading

Cobra King F7+ (3.90 percent)

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  • EntourageLife: Ball really flies off face. Driver head controls spin well. Not one drive “ballooned” and trajectory was high and best of all… very easy to work ball right to left for a confident draw.
  • GollieThe F7+ is another great offering from Cobra… I didn’t get the “MAN, this is gonna take my LTD out of the bag” feeling, but it has very good sound, feel and performance.
  • J13F7+ is a great offering from Cobra and IMO is in the top-3 drivers this year. Epic is the standout for me numbers wise, then M series and F7+ are right behind it. Love the Agera (shaft) in there!!! Such a great shaft; I can’t seem to get mine out of the bag.
  • Golfer from MOHit both Cobras lefty and as a lefty the LTD is the shizzle. Last year it was the LTD and Big Bertha down to the absolute wire… the F7+ is more workable than the LTD, but not longer and a little worse on mishits.
  • BoognishI took a few swings with the F7+ at Golf Galaxy yesterday. 9.5 degrees with heaviest weight forward. The stock shaft is actually the same model I play in my GBB (albeit in smoked black instead of yellow). Ball flight and distance were similar to my GBB with good consistent sub-3000 backspin. Sound was OK, feel was harder than the GBB.
  • thechief16Just from the range (no LM), I didn’t see a noticeable performance improvement with the F7+ over the original King LTD. And I like the look and sound/feel of the LTD better.
Further Reading

Ping G LS Tec (4.90 percent)

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  • drvrwdgeI played the G LS with the Ping Tour 65X (shaft) tipped an inch for about a year. Just put the HZRDUS Yellow 75 6.5 tipped an inch and never thought it was possible, but it’s longer and straighter. Best driver shaft combo I’ve ever hit. You can feel that HZRDUS throughout the entire swing. Really gives you a solid connected feel.
  • Mtngolfer1: I am not sure that I would consider this a 2017 Driver, but my vote went to the Ping G LS Tec. The fact that my G is still holding its own against the latest 2017 releases has me very excited to see what Ping will release later this year.
  • 3woodvt: Fairway finder and plenty long.
  • pitchinwedgeI’ve found the LS to be nearly as fade biased as the M family. I get pretty good results with the LS by making a conscious effort to make more of an in-to-out swing. Any lapse in concentration and everything goes right. The M’s require even more effort, which is the reason I stayed with the LS instead.
  • 3 Jack ParAfter an up and down year with the G LS, I’ve actually recently gone back to my G30 LS head. I only have a couple of rounds as a sample so far, so I can’t really draw a conclusion about whether one or the other is better, but with the same shaft it seems like my G30 head might be a little longer. Honestly, the performance differences are pretty minimal if you really compare the two generations.
Further Reading

Titleist 917D3 (5.30 percent)

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  • GavaThe 917D3 is in my bag now, and I’ve found it incredibly long with a recently purchased Graphite Design Tour AD MJ 7TX shaft. Feel and accuracy has been a real improvement as well.
  • Togatown22I find my 917D3 to be just as forgiving as my 915D2 was, and man do I prefer looking down at the head shape and color versus the 915. Very confidence inspiring.
  • NIxhex524I would definitely give the D3 a whirl. I feel like Titleist has made great strides at making the smaller head way more hittable for us ams.
  • KPH808So in conclusion, I was hitting the ball about 9 yards further on average and 3-4 mph faster ball speeds with the 917D3 vs. the 915 D4. The biggest thing for me was the forgiveness between the two; the 917D3 was more forgiving on mishits.
  • brushieThe 917D3 head feels soft like the 910 and sounds great. I never had an issue with the 915 sound; it wasn’t great, but it didn’t bother me too much. This is much better, though. The 917D3 head shape is perfect to my eye as well. The area where the 917 shines is forgiveness. 

Further Reading

TaylorMade M1 440 (5.35 percent)

TaylorMade_M1_440_Feat

  • Tigermatt31: The M1 440 is best driver I’ve had ever.
  • TollBros: The M1 440 is definitely lower spin than the M1 460 or M2 from last year. Launch angle isn’t really any lower, but spin is lower for sure.
  • specimania: This year’s 440 is more forgiving.
  • MCozYes, this 440 is more forgiving, and yet it also appears to be more workable than both of the previous M1 and M2s.
  • nitramTo save you a bunch of reading and crunching numbers, I quickly concluded there was a little more forgiveness and exactly +0.4 mph ball speed with the 440. By forgiveness I simply mean this: A 1.48 smash 440 will give you the same ball speed and distance as a 1.49/1.50 430. But if you get a 1.50 from both there is no measurable gain. Side-to-side dispersion was better by 4.7 feet with the 440. Workability was a wash between them, although the 430 seems a bit more fade biased whereas I’ll describe the 440 as a scosche more neutral.
  • tj24: I hit the M1 440 with my Aldila RIP at an 80-gram X-flex. For me, the spin numbers were around 1700 rpm which is probably to low for my swing. I did, however, like the shape of the head and I felt like I could easily work the ball both ways.
  • halfsumoI really think they nailed it with the shape of this 440 head. Nice pear shape, no weird bulges or ridges that you have to get used to.
Further Reading

Titleist 917D2 (6.65 percent)

4edf1bce10b81caa57e8ccc4079bd3fd

  • tsletten: Love the sound of the 917D2.
  • bladehunter: No doubt the 917D2 is an accurate, forgiving driver that doesn’t look as big as it is and sounds fantastic.
  • JStangMaybe it’s just me, but I find the face to be more shallow (top to bottom) with the 917D2 than other drivers that I’ve tried lately.
  • LuckyLowbrowI was actually spinning it too low with the D4. Going up to the D2 normalized my spin rate, but led to such an improvement in consistency across the face.

Further Reading

TaylorMade M1 460 2017 (11.81 percent)

TaylorMade_M1_460-Feat

  • Ereim: I ended up going with the M1 460. It gave me a slightly tighter dispersion, and I liked looking down at it slightly more.
  • jdenham15: The 2017 TaylorMade M1 is a great driver, but I tend to miss wide right and struggled to turn it over.
  • ZBigStick: The M1 460 gave me the best results. Was able to increase launch without much added spin with the (T-Track) weight. Feel is good and felt forgiving; dispersion results backing that up.
  • BillMurrayGolfingThe face is hot, receptive, thin and makes a nice sound. I like that.
  • JStangSound and feel were both fantastic. I couldn’t ask for much more in the sound and feel department than what this club offers. Plenty of feedback was provided based on impact as I would expect. I could easily tell where I missed based on feel.
  • tnordJust as another tester found, moving the weight back and forward absolutely does impact how the club sounds. I’m much more a fan of the weight back.
  • chickenpotpieMoving the slider to the draw position made the feel of the driver a little harsher. Feel was much much smoother with that weight in the middle. I didn’t see any such changes with the front/rear slider.
Further Reading

TaylorMade M2 2017 (11.86 percent)

M2_Speed_Pocket

  • ZBigStickI liked the feel of the new M2 but seemed to get better results and numbers with the new M1. Could be the extra 5 grams of head weight?
    It was dynamite with the GD TP-6 (shaft)!
  • erock9174On Trackman it didn’t put up the most ball speed, but counting all shots the M2 had the longest average distance.
  • gripandripThe M2 seems to have a little bit of a fade bias for me. And the head is HUGE. Maybe it’s a mental thing to be able to turnover a head that large.
  • Bomber_11M2 has very big shoes to fill, as the 2016 M2 was arguably one of the best drivers of the last 3-4 years.
  • LONG&STR8It’s hard to ignore the sound of the new M2. That may be TaylorMade’s biggest fail with that driver, as the sound and feel was one of the best things about the first version that I’ll have in the bag until something better comes along.
  • Z1ggy16The new M2 was terrible for me, not sure why. Unsure if it was the shaft I used but it spun up like a monster and ball speeds weren’t any better than previous M2.
  • Peanut191I don’t really think that the new M2 was much of a step backward, probably more that it doesn’t seem like a big step forward compared to last year’s model. I was hitting my 2016 M2 against a 2017 M2 indoors (which usually amplifies the louder, more obnoxious sound) and I didn’t notice that much of a difference in sound. It could have been that I might have just happened to get a hold of a head that was more muted than normal with the new one, but I just didn’t notice much difference. Performance wise, I could tell that the 2017 was slightly more forgiving than the 2016 model, but I was basically getting the same ball speed and spin numbers, so I didn’t see the need to upgrade.
  • gioguy21: Played 54 holes this weekend. The M2 was as reliable as it could get. I hit 11/12 fairways Friday, 10/12 Saturday and 5/9 or so yesterday (windy). Controllable, just wants to go straight. The sound no longer bothers me. I think it’s when hitting indoors or in range bays that it gets unbearably loud. Makes a different sound when hit on the screws I’ve found, similar to last years M2/M1 with less high-pitched ring. The forgiveness is very obvious, as I hit a couple that were close to center of the face but either high or little out toward the toe that flew similar trajectory and distance to how a well struck shot would react. I think where this driver really shines is the ability to either tee it high and hit it with higher trajectory or the ability to hit it lower with a low tee (3/4 of the ball under the crown) and hit laser beams that don’t move left or right.
  • G-BoneFrom what I’ve seen on Trackman, 2017 M1 was a big jump from 2016; however, 2016 M2 was so good, 2017 is a minor jump.
Further Reading

Callaway GBB Epic (14.91 percent)

GBB_Epic_Hero

  • HDTVMAN: I hit both the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion and Epic with a 44.5-inch UST Recoil F3 shaft and the results were very close. From customer testing, it appears the Epic is longer for those with higher (95+) swing speeds. I have also seen that 44.25-44.5-inch lengths promote tighter dispersion with customers, no loss of distance and better over-all drives.
  • mbbrewer: Tried them all and for me Epic was the one. Fastest ball speed, lowest spin and tightest dispersion.
  • Ereim: Epic felt great, looked great and the numbers were basically 99.9 percent optimized for my swing.
  • johnnylongballz72There is Epic and there is the M series… then there is everyone else. The votes here show it, the PGA Tour use shows it and launch monitors everywhere show it.
  • misplacedtexan83: GBB Epic/Sub Zero pushed the envelop in design and materials to produce increased ball speed and gains. For once a driver did what a company said it would do.
Further Reading

Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero (16.91 percent)

GBB_Epic_Sub_Zero_Hero

  • jdenham15: I tested the Epic Sub Zero and Epic against my 2016 TaylorMade M1 and the ball speed was 5 mph higher on average, which gave me about 10 yards more carry disstance. That was great, but the part that sold me was the forgiveness. I love my Epic Sub Zero. I feel like it’s easier to turn over and I can work it both ways.
  • Z1ggy16Sub Zero was hands down the best, including my gaming M1 (yeah, not even top-3) due to the combination of lower spin, good forgiveness and feel and looks.
  • jimhaire: I had a 2016 M2 and went with the Epic Sub Zero. The look at address suited my eye and the feel off the face was better for me. And the club went straight.
  • Sef: I have tested a lot of these drivers and for me the Epic Sub Zero was so much better than everything else. I wish I could just apply all three votes to it.
Further Reading

Members Choice 2017

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Driver Reviews

GolfWRX Members Gain 7 Yards on Average with 2017 TaylorMade M1, M2 Drivers

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5 GolfWRX Members
Gamer vs. 2017 TaylorMade m1/m2 Drivers
+7.01 Yards Distance Gained on Average
-615 RPM Spin reduction on Average

What can the new 2017 TaylorMade M1 and M2 drivers do for your game?

Five GolfWRX Members found out last week when they pitted their drivers against TaylorMade’s latest models at The Kingdom, the custom-fitting facility at TaylorMade’s headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif.

The event was the first of #TaylorMadeTuesdays, a series of TaylorMade-sponsored events that are exclusive to GolfWRX Members. The five members received Trackman 4 fittings for their drivers, which were built immediately afterward so that they could test the clubs the next day at Aviara Golf Club, home course of the LPGA Tour’s Kia Classic.

12_things_TaylorMade_2017_M1_M2_drivers-1021x580

Our editorial team was present to observe and document the fittings, where they saw the five GolfWRX Members add an average of +7.01 yards to their drives with a new TaylorMade driver. Key to the success of TaylorMade’s 2017 M1 and M2 drivers was their ability to remove excess spin from the drives of each GolfWRX Member (-615 rpm on average). As a result, each player was hitting longer drives on their best shots, while achieving a straighter ball flight that was less affected by wind.

Every GolfWRX Member gained yardage with a new TaylorMade driver; the largest distance gain was an impressive +10.1 yards, while the smallest was a very respectable +4.8 yards.

TMDrivers2017_groupshort

Our testers were better players, but they covered a range of handicaps (+1 to 7.1) and swing speeds (95 to 117.5 mph) within the better-player category. Learn more about the five GolfWRX Members, their new drivers and their experiences in our individual recaps below.

Andrew Harveson (drewtaylor21)

Andrew_WRX_Aviara-4864

  • Distance Gained: 4.8 yards
  • Handicap: +1
  • Swing Speed: 117.5 mph

New Driver: M2 D-Type (9.5 degrees, set to 9 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Elements Prototype PT6F5 (65X)

Old Driver: TaylorMade SLDR (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya ProForce VTS 6X Silver

Andrew Harveson brought a TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees) driver with him to his fitting, which was already optimized for his game. He fits into a group of golfers who are often hard pressed to see distance gains from new clubs. The former college golfer, now 34, has an ability to consistently contact drives in the center of the club face. He also has an upward angle of attack with his driver (+3 degrees on average) that helps him maximize the distance of his drives.

Nonetheless, TaylorMade’s fitters helped Andrew find an average of +4.8 yards with a new TaylorMade driver, but it took some experimentation and outside-the-box thinking.

TMDrivers2017_andrew

Andrew’s SLDR driver was set to a neutral loft and lie setting, but to combat his tendency to hit shots that slid to the right his SLDR’s front weight track was shifted to the max draw setting. According to TaylorMade fitter Jason Werner, the SLDR is a more draw-biased driver company’s current M1 460, M1 440 and M2 models. After seeing the ball fade too much with those drivers, Jason had Andrew try the company’s M2 D-Type driver (9.5 degrees), which is designed with more draw bias to help golfers eliminate excessive left-to-right curvature.

Andrew’s Dispersion Chart

Andrew_Harveson_Dispersion

Andrew achieved slightly more left bias with the 2017 M2 D-Type, which was what he wanted for his tee game.

The M2 D-Type gave Andrew the confidence to play his preferred cut shot off the tee without fear that it would drift into the right rough. Actually, it created a bit too much draw bias for him, which is why the loft setting was lowered 1-click to 9 degrees. The change helped him lower his spin rate -553 rpm on average, while also opening the club face slightly to take the left side out of play.

“While the averages don’t really look better with the D-Type compared to SLDR, I had a few mishits in the D-Type grouping that, if removed, would have shown a more accurate picture of the results,” Andrew wrote in the forums.

The last piece of the puzzle for Andrew’s fitting was finding the correct shaft. He tried several low-launching shafts that proved to have too little torque for his swing, exacerbating his rightward miss. He ended up seeing the best performance from his gamer shaft, UST Mamiya’s ProForce VTS Silver 6X, which has a mid-torque design. TaylorMade’s Tour Department also provided him with a similar alternative that they thought he might like, UST’s Elements Prototype PT6F5 (65X), which proved to be a winner on the course the next day.

“[TaylorMade] gave me the newer [better] UST Elements Chrome Platinum Prototype PT6F5!” he wrote. “Supposed to be a very similar profile to the [Aldila] Rogue [Silver] 125. I was a bit anxious to see if it would hold up as the right fit, but after just a couple swings on the range at Aviara, I was convinced! It’s a bomber.”

With the M2 D-Type, Andrew’s good shots got better. His peak ball speed went from 175 mph with his SLDR to 178 with the M2 D-Type, enhancing his distance potential. He was also seeing a lower ball height from the new driver — his peak height was reduced from 135 feet to 122 feet — that he “really liked.”

“It was a bit amusing though, everyone at [TaylorMade] seemed shocked that I got put into the D-Type,” he wrote.

You wouldn’t expect the fastest swinger and most accomplished player in the group to be a fit for TaylorMade’s most draw-biased driver, as the model is generally reserved for slower swingers. As a traveling +1 handicap, however, Andrew’s needs were very specific and met perfectly by the 2017 M2 D-Type.

In Their Own Words: See what Andrew said about his experience

Brian Ussery (BCULAW)

Brian_WRX_Aviara-4252

  • Distance Gained: 5.5 yards
  • Handicap: 6
  • Swing Speed: 106 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 6X

Old Driver: Titleist 915D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Black 60S

Brian Ussery arrived at The Kingdom with a Titleist 915D2 (9.5 degrees) driver that he knew wasn’t right for him. The 43-year-old was aware of the fact that his low-launching, high-spinning drives were costing him distance, but he wasn’t sure how to improve.

As it goes in a lot of fittings, Brian didn’t swing as well as he wanted to at The Kingdom, but his outlook on the game of golf allowed the fitting to be a success. “Golf is my therapy and my chance to find peace, quiet, time away and fun,” he wrote in the forum. Spending time with the former minor league baseball player who’s now a lawyer, his commitment to improving his game was immediately apparent. On this day, getting better required patience with his swing and an open mind to the recommendations of his fitters. He was up to the task, and in the end he was rewarded with a new solution for his tee game.

TMDrivers2017_brian

The TaylorMade fitters started Brian with an M2 D-Type (9.5 degrees) driver, but he struggled to hit it high enough to be effective. He found much more success with an M1 460 that had more loft (10.5 degrees). Excessive spin was still an issue, however, especially with the added loft, but the M1 460 had a solution. By sliding the driver’s Back Track weight all the way to the front of the driver, he achieved a lower-spinning trajectory that not only allowed him to hit straighter drives but achieve more roll-out, too. It helped negate his negative angle of attack of -4.5 degrees, which was the main culprit for his low-launching, high-spinning trajectory.

It was at this point in the fitting that Brian had to make a decision. Did he want to continue to chase more distance or did he want a driver that would help him hit more fairways? With his busy work and family schedule, he’s only able to play nine holes of golf per week. That made the choice obvious; he was going to target consistency.

The TaylorMade fitters recommended Brian try a shorter driver. His 915D2 measured 45.25 inches on TaylorMade’s ruler, and he was advised to try a driver that measured 44.75 inches. With the shorter driver his consistency was immediately improved, and it was time to dial in the right shaft.

Brian’s Dispersion Chart

Brian_Ussery_Dispersion

Brian hit most of his shots with Fujikura’s Pro Tour Spec 73X shaft, which produced good results, but in the end he made the decision to go with Graphite Design’s Tour AD-DI 6X. It provided the stiffness he needed for straighter drives, but offered a smoother feel (Note: since Brian hit limited shots with the AD-DI 6X, the data displayed in the chart above shows his performance with the Fujikura shaft). His fitter, Jason Werner, supported his shaft decision. And as Brian put it: “Based on my on-course play … it would seem he is pretty spot on.”

With the M1 460, Brian saw an additional 5.5 yards of total distance over his gamer, but more important to him was the increased accuracy. Even at a higher loft, he was able to reduce his spin rate an average of -744 rpm. So now when his drives hit the fairway, they will keep rolling. And Brian expects to be hitting a lot more fairways.

In Their Own Words: See what Brian said about his experience

Chris Scheeweiss (Schnee)

Chris_WRX_Aviara-4802

  • Distance Gained: 10.1 yards
  • Handicap: 3
  • Swing Speed: 112 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (8.5 degrees, set to 10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex)

Old Driver: TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue 75TX

Chris Scheeweiss was the biggest gainer of the five GolfWRX Members, finding +10.1 yards on average when compared to the TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees) driver he brought with him to the Kingdom.

Key to Chris’ success, a 3-handicap with ample club head speed (112 mph), was reducing the spin caused by his big miss, which was high and to the right. While that isn’t Chris’ typical miss, it’s what showed up at the Kingdom. TaylorMade’s M1 460 proved that he could handle that miss, as well as any other miss he might encounter on his journey to improve his game thanks to its wide-ranging adjustability features.

TMDrivers2017_chris

During the fitting, the M1 460 scrubbed -627 rpm of spin off Chris’ drives. To do so, TaylorMade Fitter Jason Werner gave Chris a 8.5-degree M1 460, but he increased the loft of the driver to 10.5 degrees, maximizing the full range of TaylorMade’s 4-degree Loft Sleeve. Adding two degrees of loft closed the club face, which helped eliminate Chris’ slice spin.

Jason made the adjustment without telling Chris, however, and he was glad when Chris said he didn’t notice the change at address.

The reason Chris didn’t notice the more closed club face? The crowns of TaylorMade’s 2017 drivers are engineered to look as square as possible at address regardless of what setting is used due to their cleverly designed black-and-white graphics. Chris had recently been fit at a local club fitter for a 2017 M2 driver (10.5 degrees), but this setup was “much better than the combo I was previously fit for,” Chris wrote in the forum.

Finding the right shaft was a faster process that Chris expected. Project X’s HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex) offered him the lower trajectory and added stability he needed to hit his best drives.

Chris’ Dispersion Chart

Chris_Scheeweiss_Dispersion

“Jason … didn’t think we had to go much further,” Chris wrote in the forum. “I wasn’t completely sold on the combo, but I deferred to his knowledge. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust the combo itself, it’s that I wasn’t hitting ANYTHING all that well, so I didn’t know how it would perform on course when my swing was better. I’m glad I trusted him, because it was AMAZING on course.”

As Chris works to eliminate the right tendency in his swing, Jason recommended that he try lowering the loft of the driver, which will open to face to reduce left bias. They agreed that at some point in the future Chris may be able to return to the 8.5-degree loft setting, which could net him even more distance. And if he needs more spin to optimize his launch conditions at that point, he can gradually slide the Back Track’s weight rearward to achieve it.

In Their Own Words: See what Chris said about his experience

Darrin Sloan (DNice26)

Darren_WRX_Aviara-4675

  • Distance Gained: 7.1 yards
  • Handicap: 1
  • Swing Speed: 110 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M2 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65 (6.0 flex)

Old Driver: Ping G (10.5)
Shaft: UST Mamiya ProForce AvixCore 69 Red (Tour-S flex)

Darrin Sloan, 36, knew exactly what he wanted from a new driver. He arrived at his fitting with a Ping G (10.5 degrees) that was giving him the height he wanted, but he was looking for a straighter ball flight.

The 1-handicap, former college golfer started his fitting with a TaylorMade M2 (10.5 degrees) with a Project X HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex), a combo that significantly lowered his launch angle and spin rate. While it was giving him more distance, the ball flight was too low for his needs despite his 110 mph swing speed and average angle of attack of +2 degrees.

TMDrivers2017_darrin

Darrin told TaylorMade Fitter Jason Werner he needed a higher ball flight to cut the corners of the doglegs at his home course, where he plays 95 percent of his golf. So the two starting experimenting with different heads and different shafts in search of a more familiar trajectory, as well as more distance.

He actually preferred liked the look and the feel of TaylorMade’s M1 460 driver, but there was no denying the performance of the M2. It offered him nearly +4 mph of ball speed on average over his gamer, an incredible improvement.

Once the M2 (10.5 degrees) was linked up with a Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65 (6.0 flex) shaft, it was clear Darrin had a winner. The counter-balanced shaft helped him launch his drives higher, giving him the trajectory he needed to tackle his home course. It also helped him eliminate his miss to the right and easily execute his preferred right-to-left ball flight.

In terms of distance, Darrin was also able to sightly increase his carry distance (+0.6 yards) while significantly increasing his roll out (+6.5 yards). His total yardage gain with the new driver was +7.1 yards.

Darren’s Dispersion Chart

Darren_Sloan_Dispersion

The takeaway for GolfWRXers is that TaylorMade’s new M2 driver can offer more ball speed than the company’s M1 driver for certain players. And if you’re struggling with either a ball flight that’s too low or a rightward miss, a counter-balanced shaft like Project X’s HZRDUS Yellow can help.

In Their Own Words: See what Darrin said about his experience

George Cellette (GC70)

George_WRX_Aviara-4360

  • Distance Gained: 7.6 yards
  • Handicap: 7.1
  • Swing Speed: 95 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-BB 6S

Old Driver: Callaway XR (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujkura Speeder Evolution 565 (S-Flex)

Like a diesel engine, George needed some time to warm up during his fitting. But once he did, he began pounding drives down the left center of The Kingdom’s range.

At first, it looked as though George might post a ridiculous distance gain with a TaylorMade M1 460. He increased his distance more than 30 yards over the Callaway XR ’16 he hit at the beginning of the fitting. As he and TaylorMade Fitter Jason Werner dialed in the loft, shaft and CG setting, however, Jason noticed that George’s swing speed had jumped nearly 10 mph from 85 mph to 95 mph since he first started hitting balls. He asked George to retest his Callaway to make sure that the final data would reflect a fair comparison of his old and new drivers.

TMDrivers2017_george

The result was a smaller average distance gain with his new TaylorMade, but still an impressive one.

George first tested TaylorMade’s M1 460 with 8.5 degrees of loft, but because George was fighting a slice he closed the face to 10.5 degrees to create a left bias. As George loosened up, however, his slice turned into a gentle fade. For that reason, he switched George from the 8.5-degree head to a 9.5-degree head in a neutral setting.

While George’s warmed-up swing was the biggest contributor to the improved trajectory, a new shaft and weight setting also helped. At first Jason gave George a Project X HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex) shaft, a low-launch shaft with ample stability to help him reduce spin. It would have been a good combo, but George wanted to test a few more shafts to see if there was more distance available to him. The winning shaft ended up being Graphite Design’s Tour AD-BB 6S, which gave George an even lower-spinning trajectory.

The adjustable weight settings of the M1 460 further optimized George’s ball flight. Since he already had enough height on his drives, Jason was able to slide the M1 460’s Back Track weight all the way forward to decrease spin. He also slid the driver’s Front Track weight all the way to the heel to maximize draw bias. The two changes had George hitting high-launching, low-spinning bombs that barely had any curvature.

George’s Dispersion Chart

George_Cellette_Dispersion

When all was said and done, George was able to scrub an incredible -908 rpm of spin off his drives. And along with his straighter trajectory, he walked away with +7.6 yards of added distance.

In Their Own Words: See what George said about his experience

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