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TaylorMade 2017 M1 and M2 irons: What you need to know

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Did you miss Face Slots? They’re back.

With TaylorMade’s RSi irons, released in 2015, the company introduced a never-before-seen, ultra-visible technology on its club faces. Two polymer-filled slots — one on the heel, one on the toe — were added to help raise ball speeds on off-center hits.

Face_Slots_TaylorMade_M2_Irons

Face Slots have been added to TaylorMade’s new M1 and M2 irons.

With the company’s 2016 game-improve release, the M2 and M2 Tour irons, Face Slots went away. But for TaylorMade’s 2017 release of the irons bearing the same name, the forgiveness-based, Face-Slot technology is back.

According to TaylorMade, Face Slots are most effective on shots hit high and on the toe of the club face, an area where the majority of golfers contact their irons shots. The Face Slots couple with several new design features to further increase distance and forgiveness compared to the 2016 M2 irons.

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TaylorMade’s M2 (left) and M1 irons use Speed Pockets, slots in the sole that make the club faces more flexible.

Also new for 2017 are TaylorMade’s M1 irons, the first edition of irons with that name. They replace the M2 Tour irons in the company line, a compact distance iron that we’ve spotted in the bags of PGA Tour players, who use them as long-iron and hybrid replacements.

The M1 name in TaylorMade’s M-Series is synonymous with more compact heads, clubs that serious golfers tend to prefer. Keeping with that theme, the M1 irons have smaller bodies, thinner soles and thinner top lines, but are made with many of the same technologies as the 2017 M2 irons.

Learn more about each of the new iron designs below.

2017 M2 irons

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TaylorMade’s new M2 irons are made with 33 percent thinner top lines, meaning they will look sleeker at address than their predecessors. They also have a 7 percent shallower blade height, helping to lower center of gravity (CG) for a higher launch.

Speed Pockets in the 4, 5, 6 and 7 irons, which were used in previous iterations to increase ball speeds on off-center hits, were made 20 percent deeper to improve the flexibility of the club faces. They help improve ball speed on center strikes, but more importantly they promote more ball speed on off-center hits than their predecessors.

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As seen in the 2016 M2 irons, the 2017 M2 irons also have fluted hosels to save weight, except the six-sided flutes are now wider and thinner, saving an additional 2 grams that was used to lower the CG of the iron heads. With what may be music to club fitters’ ears, TaylorMade added a slot at the hosel bend, allowing the clubs to be bent easier for less restriction on loft and lie angle adjustments.

As with the M1 and M2 drivers, the M2 irons have a “Geocoustic” design to improve sound and feel. For the irons, that means there’s a vibration-dampening badge behind the face, and a rib structure tucked below the topline that creates better sound and feel.

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The M2 irons are also available with a sand wedge (54 degrees) that’s designed specifically for bunker play, rather than full shots from grass. It uses more bounce to help golfers more easily move the club through sand. A 59-degree lob wedge has a low-bounce design to perform better from tight lies.

The M2 irons (4-LW) will sell for $799 with steel REAX HL 88 shafts by FST (S and R flexes) and $899 with M2 REAX graphite shafts (S, R, A, L flexes). They will be available Jan. 27, 2017.

M1 Irons

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Although TaylorMade’s M1 irons are made to be more compact and sleeker than the M2 irons, they use tungsten in the toes of the long irons (3-7) to ensure forgiveness is not sacrificed. The addition of tungsten in the M1 irons allowed TaylorMade to nearly center CG in the irons — about 1 millimeter from center, according to TaylorMade — from heel-to-toe, and drop CG lower in the head for a higher launch and a greater MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness).

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The M1 irons also have a fluted hosel to save weight, but it’s used only on the under portion of the hosel, effectively blocking the weight-saving design from a golfer’s view at address.

Compared to the 2017 M2 irons, the M1 irons have many of the same technologies, including a “Geocoustic” design for better sound and feel. They also have Face Slots and Speed Pockets in their soles (also used in the 3-7 irons) to improve forgiveness on off-center strikes.

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TaylorMade’s M2 (left) and M1 irons at address.

The leading edges and sole widths are thinner on the M1 irons when compared to the M2 irons, helping improve turf interaction for better players who are likely to have slightly shallower angles of attack.

The M1 irons (3-PW) will be available on March 1, 2017, and will come stock with True Temper’s XP95 steel shafts ($999) or Mitsubishi Rayon’s Kuro Kage Silver graphite shafts ($1,199). Additional shafts options are also available for no upcharge.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Mad-Mex

    Dec 11, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Wait,,,,,, Wilson already did this !!! back in the 80’s they released the “reflex” irons, same thing, a slot cut and filled with plastic,,,, Come on TaylorMade !!!!!

  2. LOL

    Dec 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    The comments in the linked RSi release story are sadly prophetic.

  3. Specs

    Dec 9, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Why aren’t you dead yet

  4. Steve S

    Dec 9, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Where are the specs on lofts? Are these “de-lofted like past years? I like the fact that Mizuno went back to more loft in their MP-H5 irons.

    • DrRob1963

      Dec 12, 2016 at 1:07 am

      Souped up lofts like you would not believe! Look at this:
      Hogan Apex 1988 blades vs Taylor Made M2 2017
      9-iron 45* 38*
      7-iron 37* 28.5*
      5-iron 30* 21.5*
      3-iron 23* LOL!
      My blades are “an elegant weapon for a more civilized age”

  5. Dave

    Dec 9, 2016 at 11:01 am

    TM……your face slots were so revolutionary that you got rid of them for a year and now are bringing them back? Come on……

    • Knut

      Dec 11, 2016 at 11:29 am

      Got rid of them? Huh? They’ve been on the M2 and PSi this whole time. Wha?

  6. Bob Chipeska

    Dec 9, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Can’t wait to see the thread about these face slots caving in.

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pga tour

Ian Poulter WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Honda Classic (2/20/2018).

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange CK 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik TP7HDe 7X

Hybrid: Titleist 816 H2 (21 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green ATX85H TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shaft: Project X LZ 130 7.0

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-12F, 56-14F, 60-04L)
Shaft: Project X LZ 7.0 (52), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (56, 60)

Putter: EvnRoll Tour ER
Grip: Odyssey Pistol

Putter: Rife Antigua Island Series
Grip: Odyssey Pistol

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Poulter’s clubs. 

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Equipment

10 interesting photos from Wednesday at the Honda Classic

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From our featured image of Rory McIlroy putting in a different kind of work on the range in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning, to shots of Tiger Woods’ similarly early pre-pro-am range work, to some intriguing shots Patrick Reed’s prototype Bettinardi putter, GolfWRX has plenty of fantastic photo content from PGA National.

Here are some of the best shots from Wednesday.

Tiger Woods at work prior to his crack-of-dawn pro-am tee time. Gentleman in the foreground: You do know that as the sun has not yet risen, you do not need a hat to aggressively combat its rays, right?

“My feet do not look like that at impact.”

All eyes on the Big Cat…except those focused on the live video on their cell phone screens…

Let’s take a closer look at Patrick Reed’s yardage book cover. Yep. As expected.

Do you think these two ever talk?

It looks like Captain Furyk already has some pre-Ryder Cup swag in the form of a putter cover.

If you’ve ever wondered why Rickie Fowler selected these interesting locations for his tattoos, this may be the answer: Visible when he holds his finish.

We’ve got a Pistol Pete sighting!

Patrick Reed’s droolworthy Bettinardi Dass prototype.

Fun fact: Wedges double as magnetic putter cover holders, as Jon Curran illustrates here. Healthy application of lead tape, as well, from the tour’s resident graffiti artist.

Wednesday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: FlightScope Mevo

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In 100 Words

The Mevo is a useful practice tool for amateur golfers and represents a step forward from previous offerings on the market. It allows golfers to practice indoors or outdoors and provides club speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, spin rate, carry distance and flight time.

It also has a video capture mode that will overlay swing videos with the swing data of a specific swing. It is limited in its capabilities and its accuracy, though, which golfers should expect at this price point. All in all, it’s well worth the $499 price tag if you understand what you’re getting.

The Full Review

The FlightScope Mevo is a launch monitor powered by 3D Doppler radar. With a retail price of $499, it is obviously aimed to reach the end consumer as opposed to PGA professionals and club fitters.

The Mevo device itself is tiny. Like, really tiny. It measures 3.5-inches wide, 2.8-inches tall and 1.2-inches deep. In terms of everyday products, it’s roughly the size of an Altoids tin. It’s very easy to find room for it in your golf bag, and the vast majority of people at the range you may be practicing at won’t even notice it’s there. Apart from the Mevo itself, in the box you get a quick start guide, a charging cable, a carrying pouch, and some metallic stickers… more on those later. It has a rechargeable internal battery that reaches a full charge in about two hours and lasts for about four hours when fully charged.

As far as software goes, the Mevo pairs with the Mevo Golf app on your iOS or Android device. The app is free to download and does not require any subscription fees (unless you want to store and view videos of your swing online as opposed to using the memory on your device). The app is very easy to use even for those who aren’t tech savvy. Make sure you’re using the most current version of the firmware for the best results, though (I did experience some glitches at first until I did so). The settings menu does have an option to manually force firmware writing, but updates should happen automatically when you start using the device.

Moving through the menus, beginning sessions, editing shots (good for adding notes on things like strike location or wind) are all very easy. Video mode did give me fits the first time I used it, though, as it was impossible to maintain my connection between my phone and the Mevo while having the phone in the right location to capture video properly. The only way I could achieve this was by setting the Mevo as far back from strike location as the device would allow. Just something to keep in mind if you find you’re having troubles with video mode.

Screenshot of video capture mode with the FlightScope Mevo

Using the Mevo

When setting up the Mevo, it needs to be placed between 4-7 feet behind the golf ball, level with the playing surface and pointed down the target line. The distance you place the Mevo behind the ball does need to be entered into the settings menu before starting your session. While we’re on that subject, before hitting balls, you do need to select between indoor, outdoor, and pitching (ball flight less than 20 yards) modes, input your altitude and select video or data mode depending on if you want to pair your data with videos of each swing or just see the data by itself. You can also edit the available clubs to be monitored, as you will have to tell the Mevo which club you’re using at any point in time to get the best results. Once you get that far, you’re pretty much off to the races.

Testing the Mevo

I tested the FlightScope Mevo with Brad Bachand at Man O’ War Golf Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Brad is a member of the PGA and has received numerous awards for golf instruction and club fitting. I wanted to put the Mevo against the best device FlightScope has to offer and, luckily, Brad does use his $15,000 FlightScope X3 daily. We had both the FlightScope Mevo and Brad’s FlightScope X3 set up simultaneously, so the numbers gathered from the two devices were generated from the exact same strikes. Brad also set up the two devices and did all of the ball striking just to maximize our chances for success.

The day of our outdoor session was roughly 22 degrees Fahrenheit. There was some wind on that day (mostly right to left), but it wasn’t a major factor. Our setup is pictured below.

Outdoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our outdoor testing are shown below. The testing was conducted with range balls, and we did use the metallic stickers. The range balls used across all the testing were all consistently the same brand. Man O’ War buys all new range balls once a year and these had been used all throughout 2017.  The 2018 batch had not yet been purchased at the time that testing was conducted.

Raw outdoor data captured with range balls including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

You’ll notice some peculiar data in the sand wedge spin category. To be honest, I don’t fully know what contributed to the X3 measuring such low values. While the Mevo’s sand wedge spin numbers seem more believable, you could visibly see that the X3 was much more accurate on carry distance. Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our outdoor session when separated out for each club. As previously mentioned, though, take sand wedge spin with a grain of salt.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (outdoor testing).

The first thing we noticed was that the Mevo displays its numbers while the golf ball is still in midair, so it was clear that it wasn’t watching the golf ball the entire time like the X3. According to the Mevo website, carry distance, height and flight time are all calculated while club speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin rate are measured. As for the accuracy of the measured parameters, the Mevo’s strength is ball speed. The accuracy of the other measured ball parameters (launch angle and spin rate) is questionable depending on certain factors (quality of strike, moisture on the clubface and ball, quality of ball, etc). I would say it ranges between “good” or “very good” and “disappointing” with most strikes being categorized as “just okay.”

As for the calculated parameters of carry distance, height and time, those vary a decent amount. Obviously, when the measurements of the three inputs become less accurate, the three outputs will become less accurate as a result. Furthermore, according to FlightScope, the Mevo’s calculations are not accounting for things like temperature, humidity, and wind. The company has also stated, though, that future updates will likely adjust for these parameters by using location services through the app.

Now, let’s talk about those metallic stickers. According to the quick start guide, the Mevo needs a sticker on every golf ball you hit, and before you hit each ball, the ball needs to be placed such that the sticker is facing the target. It goes without saying that it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to spend time putting those stickers on every ball, let alone balls that will never come back to you if you’re at a public driving range. Obviously, people are going to want to avoid using the stickers if they can, so do they really matter? Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls with and without the use of the stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you use the metallic stickers and when you don’t

The FlightScope website says that the metallic stickers “are needed in order for the Mevo to accurately measure ball spin.” We observed pretty much the same as shown in the table above. The website also states they are working on alternative solutions to stickers (possibly a metallic sharpie), which I think is wise.

Another thing we thought would be worth testing is the impact of different golf balls. Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls as compared to Pro V1’s. All of this data was collected using the metallic stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you switch from range balls to Pro V1’s

As shown above, the data gets much closer virtually across the board when you use better quality golf balls. Just something else to keep in mind when using the Mevo.

Indoor testing requires 8 feet of ball flight (impact zone to hitting net), which was no problem for us. Our setup is pictured below. All of the indoor testing was conducted with Titleist Pro V1 golf balls using the metallic stickers.

Indoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our indoor session are shown below.

Raw indoor data captured with Pro V1’s including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our indoor session when separated out for each club.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (indoor testing)

On the whole, the data got much closer together between the two devices in our indoor session. I would think a lot of that can be attributed to the use of quality golf balls and to removing outdoor factors like wind and temperature (tying into my previous comment above).

As far as overall observations between all sessions, the most striking thing was that the Mevo consistently gets more accurate when you hit really good, straight shots. When you hit bad shots, or if you hit a fade or a draw, it gets less and less accurate.

The last parameter to address is club speed, which came in around 5 percent different on average between the Mevo and X3 based on all of the shots recorded. The Mevo was most accurate with the driver at 2.1 percent different from the X3 over all strikes and it was the least accurate with sand wedge by far. Obviously, smash factor accuracy will follow club speed for the most part since ball speed is quite accurate. Over every shot we observed, the percent difference on ball speed was 1.2 percent on average between the Mevo and the X3. Again, the Mevo was least accurate with sand wedges. If I remove all sand wedge shots from the data, the average percent difference changes from 1.2 percent to 0.7 percent, which is very, very respectable.

When it comes to the different clubs used, the Mevo was by far most accurate with mid irons. I confirmed this with on-course testing on a relatively flat 170-yard par-3 as well. Carry distances in that case were within 1-2 yards on most shots (mostly related to quality of strike). With the driver, the Mevo was reasonably close, but I would also describe it as generous. It almost always missed by telling me that launch angle was higher, spin rate was lower and carry distance was farther than the X3. Generally speaking, the Mevo overestimated our driver carries by about 5 percent. Lastly, the Mevo really did not like sand wedges at all. Especially considering those shots were short enough that you could visibly see how far off the Mevo was with its carry distance. Being 10 yards off on a 90 yard shot was disappointing.

Conclusion

The Mevo is a really good product if you understand what you’re getting when you buy it. Although the data isn’t good enough for a PGA professional, it’s still a useful tool that gives amateurs reasonable feedback while practicing. It’s also a fair amount more accurate than similar products in its price range, and I think it could become even better with firmware updates as Flightscope improves upon its product.

This is a much welcomed and very promising step forward in consumer launch monitors, and the Mevo is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for one.

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