TaylorMade’s 2017 M1 and M2 drivers share the same name as their highly rated predecessors, but they’re very different clubs both inside and out. Here’s a list of 12 important changes TaylorMade made to the 2017 M1 and M2 drivers, which will be in stores Jan. 27, 2017.
1) A Lighter Core
Each of TaylorMade’s 2017 drivers (M1 460, M1 440, M2 and M2 D-Type) use 9-1-1 titanium alloy cores. The lower-density material saves 3 grams of weight from the design, creating a lighter “skeleton” that paved the way for specialized changes to each new driver model.
Before the release of the 2016 M1 and M2 drivers, which were TaylorMade’s first to use carbon fiber crowns to move weight lower and deeper in the club head, the company made its driver crowns from 9-1-1 titanium alloy, so TaylorMade has experience using the material. TaylorMade previously used a higher-density 6-4 titanium alloy to create the skeletons of its original M1 and M2 drivers.
2) Bigger Club Heads
Both the 2017 M1 and M2 drivers use size to their advantage. Their toe sections are recessed, or pushed in, which allowed designers to expand the footprint of the drivers while still complying with the USGA’s maximum allowable club head size of 460 cubic centimeter. The new geometries improved the moment of inertia (MOI) of the club heads to 4420 grams-centimeters squared in the M1 460 and 5020 grams-centimeters squared in the M2.
- The M1’s footprint is 4 percent larger.
- The M2’s footprint is 2 percent larger, and the club face is 7 percent larger.
Essentially, TaylorMade’s 2017 M1 460 driver is as forgiving as the 2016 M2, and the 2017 M2 is the most forgiving driver model in company history, TaylorMade says.
3) More Carbon Fiber
The new M1 uses 43 percent more carbon fiber than its predecessor, expanding the use of the material to the toe section of the club. The carbon fiber crown itself is also 10 percent thinner, and is constructed from six layers of carbon fiber instead of the seven layers that were used to create the 2016 M1 and M2 drivers.
Because of the lighter toe section, TaylorMade was able to move its T-Track, the M1’s sliding weight system, closer to the toe area of the sole where the driver is longer from front to back, enabling the track to be lengthened by 12.7 millimeters. The 19-percent longer track allows golfers to move the sliding weight more rearward, a change that enhances forgiveness and can create a higher launch angle.
The heel-toe sliding weight track is also 7 percent longer than the one employed on the 2016 M1 460 driver, allowing for further draw/fade bias control.
4) FF2FF: A More Refined Crown
TaylorMade’s new carbon fiber crown has a thickness of 0.6 millimeters, lowering the center of gravity (CG) of the drivers, and is more precisely applied to each driver head. Instead of club heads and crowns being manufactured in bulk, each club head and crown is perfectly matched to each other ensure a perfect fit and reduce the amount of adhesive needed to secure the two parts.
The 2016 M1 and M2 drivers had crown thicknesses of 0.7 millimeters, and used several layers of paint to create the black-and-white alignment aid on the top of the driver head. The 2017 models use less paint. It sounds counterintuitive, but reducing the amount of paint makes the crowns less likely to chip. Think about what happens when paint is applied too thickly to a surface.
5) A Heavier Sliding Weight
TaylorMade’s 2017 M1 driver uses a 15-gram weight in its heel-toe weight track, and a 12-gram weight in its front-back weight track. The 12-gram front-back weight is 2.5 grams heavier than the weight used in the original M1 driver, giving golfers more control over launch conditions.
6) A New Loft Sleeve
Both the 2017 M1 and M2 drivers use a new aluminum loft sleeve, which is the same weight as the plastic loft sleeves the company used previously. The switch to aluminum makes the loft sleeves more durable for club fitters, while remaining backwards compatible with previous loft sleeves.
7) A Draw-Biased M2
Discussions TaylorMade had with its retail accounts revealed that a driver model with more draw bias could offer a subset of golfers better performance than the existing M1 and M2 models. For them, TaylorMade designed the M2 D-Type, which is different than the 2017 M2 driver in four ways:
- It has a 1-degree more upright lie angle.
- It has more weight located in the heel portion of the driver head.
- It has a more “forward” hosel, which adds offset to the driver.
- Its carbon fiber crown has a thicker white section that’s curved to make the club face appear square at address.
The combined changes help golfers return the driver to impact in a more closed position than the 2017 M1 460, M1 440 and M2 drivers. According to TaylorMade, the M2 D-Type will launch shots with about 250 rpm more spin and produce 12 yards more draw bias.
8) A Little More Draw Bias for Everyone
The M1 460, M1 440 and M2 drivers have slightly more draw bias than previous models. According to TaylorMade, the 2017 M1 460 and M1 440 offer about 1-2 yards more draw bias. The 2017 M2 offers a few more yards of draw bias than that.
9) A More Active Speed Pocket
The 2017 M2 driver has a more rearward CG that tends to cause drives to fly with excessive spin. To reduce it, TaylorMade made the M2’s Speed Pocket, a slot located on the front of the driver’s sole, three times more flexible than the original model. It also helps improve ball speed on off-center hits, a phenomenon known as “effective MOI.”
10) The M1 440
The M1 440 is designed for golfers who prefer a smaller, more workable driver than the M1 460. It’s said to hit drives with approximately the same launch angle and spin rate as the M1 460, but initial testing proved that it can reduce spin by several hundred rotations per minute.
The smaller size of the M1 440 allowed TaylorMade to increase the weight in the front-back weight track of the driver to 15 grams, making each of its T-Track weights 15 grams.
Like the 2017 M1 460 and M1 440 drivers, the new M2 driver uses a “sunken sole curvature,” which allowed the driver head to be made larger. It also made the toe section of the driver stiffer, allowing engineers to use fewer “ribs” inside the driver head, saving weight from the design. Instead, TaylorMade added ribs to the outside of the driver head, where it could move CG lower and deeper in the club head and improve sound in the process.
12) New Stock Shafts
TaylorMade’s 2017 M1 460 and M1 440 drivers are available with three stock shafts:
- High-Launch: Fujikura XLR8 Pro 56 (A, R, S flexes)
- Mid-Launch: MRC Kuro Kage Silver Dual Core TiNi 60 (R, S, X flexes)
- Low-Launch: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65 (6.0, 6.5 flexes)
The 2017 M2 and M2 D-Type are available with two different stock shafts:
- M2: Fujikura Pro XLR8 56 (A, R, S, X flexes)
- M2 D-Type: Matrix’ OZIK MFS X5 (A, R S flexes)
All four drivers are can be purchased with 30+ custom shaft options for no added cost. Learn more by visiting TaylorMade’s Custom Shop website.
- M1 460 (8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees)
- M1 440 (8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 degrees),
- M2 and M2 D-Type (9.5, 10.5 and 12)
The M1 460 and M2 drivers are available in lofts of 9.5 and 10.5 degrees for left-handed golfers.
- TaylorMade 2017 M1 Fairway Woods and Hybrids: What you need to know
- TaylorMade 2017 M2 Fairway Woods and Hybrids: What you need to know