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Review: TaylorMade M1 460 and M1 430 drivers

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

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

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

The Review

TaylorMade_M1_430_crown

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

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

TaylorMadem1

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

TaylorMadeR15M1

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

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

The Test

M1Numbers_Notrounded

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

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

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

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

460 or 430?

M1Numbers_Notrounded2

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

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

M1comparison

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

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

TaylorMadeM1460430

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

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

Dialing in the M1 

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

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

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

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

TaylorMadeM1drivers

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

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

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

The Takeaway

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

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

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91 Comments

91 Comments

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

  2. Matt

    Apr 5, 2017 at 11:24 pm

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

  3. Brian

    Mar 16, 2016 at 8:47 pm

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

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

  4. Ken

    Dec 26, 2015 at 5:39 pm

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

  5. Billy__Baroo

    Dec 1, 2015 at 9:31 pm

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

  6. WRXer

    Nov 29, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    While we are on the topic of new drivers, anybody know anything on the new Ping driver for 2016??

  7. Matt Heister

    Nov 27, 2015 at 10:37 pm

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

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

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

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

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

    Keep it up Trolls. Makes me laugh.

  8. Waqar

    Nov 5, 2015 at 12:25 pm

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

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

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

    • MT

      Nov 6, 2015 at 1:53 am

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

  9. MT

    Nov 1, 2015 at 12:09 pm

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

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

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

  10. dgindago

    Oct 30, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    player 1&2 hit the SLDR longer than the the R15? am i reading that right? Do you think that is what the reviews said when the r15 came out

  11. Joe

    Oct 28, 2015 at 8:19 am

    I love it when TM comes out with new clubs so I can come here and read all the silly comments.

  12. Jambo

    Oct 20, 2015 at 9:50 am

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

  13. SB

    Oct 20, 2015 at 12:58 am

    I bought TM Sldr TP driver and 3w for less than 250$ on TMPreowned. I will wait a few months and get these M1 by the same way!

  14. Double Mocha Man

    Oct 16, 2015 at 9:43 pm

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

  15. Chris C.

    Oct 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm

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

  16. Jonzy

    Oct 13, 2015 at 1:26 pm

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

  17. Waqar

    Oct 12, 2015 at 12:22 pm

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

    • Jack

      Oct 12, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Titleist and Ping do not release stuff nearly as often.

  18. Willk

    Oct 10, 2015 at 11:46 am

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

  19. KK

    Oct 10, 2015 at 6:01 am

    Looks like TM’s engineers have pulled off something special. However, composite is just too fragile for me.

    • Jambo

      Oct 20, 2015 at 10:02 am

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

  20. Richard Skinner

    Oct 10, 2015 at 4:04 am

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

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

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

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

    • gphin305

      Oct 12, 2015 at 11:03 am

      Yep, I’m sure there is a big market for a $500 driver. Like their last two models, we’ll watch the pros hitting them on tv but rarely see them in the average golfers bag.

  21. Mark

    Oct 9, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    I still love my R1… maybe one day the M1 will be worth it. Then the next question always is, how with TM beat itself with its next driver

    • Gives

      Oct 10, 2015 at 3:50 am

      Bigger question is, how will any other company ever beat Taylormade

      • BcavWecllh

        Oct 10, 2015 at 8:24 am

        In caseyou haven’t heard, parent company adidas is looking to dump TM because they are losing their a$$

        • Gives

          Oct 10, 2015 at 11:37 am

          Is that what happened with Acushnet when it had to be rescued by FIFA Korea so that Titleist could survive and continue to make clubs and not just balls with designs stolen from Bridgestone and Callaway?

  22. David Ober

    Oct 9, 2015 at 10:33 am

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

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

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

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

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

    • Gives

      Oct 10, 2015 at 3:52 am

      A totally worthless report, with no specs. Did you not see what the loft was, what shaft he had, what length he played, what grip he had on and where the weights and lofts were set? Learn to report properly before you come here next time, child

      • JH

        Oct 11, 2015 at 12:34 am

        I bet you’re a real pleasure at parties. What’s your salary from TMAG?

      • Grande

        May 10, 2018 at 4:28 am

        Worthless would be the comment as well as your existence on these forums. Do everyone a favor and go away.

  23. Mike

    Oct 9, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Wish it was available for lefties.

  24. adam

    Oct 9, 2015 at 7:41 am

    If a driver review has any “con” as stated above, how does it get 5 stars? Scoring systems a little flawed since almost every new driver gets 5.

  25. Lee

    Oct 9, 2015 at 3:33 am

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

    • Teaj

      Oct 9, 2015 at 10:48 am

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

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

  26. lm

    Oct 9, 2015 at 3:29 am

    Yup, it’s nothing new, it is a driver but so was bread until it was sliced and packed for sale at the factory

  27. lm

    Oct 9, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Best driver since sliced bread

  28. Jang Hyung-sun

    Oct 9, 2015 at 12:51 am

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

  29. Jason

    Oct 9, 2015 at 12:18 am

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

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

  30. Matt

    Oct 8, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    I wonder what might replace their AeroBurner line.

  31. Mark

    Oct 8, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    So I bought a new SLDR for $175 two months ago. Based on the numbers, there isn’t that much improvement to go out and buy a M1. What am I missing?

    • lm

      Oct 9, 2015 at 3:22 am

      Reading skills

    • WILSON

      Oct 15, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      The only thing that the M1 will do better than your SLDR is be more forgiving on mishits. Unless of course your SLDR’s specs don’t fit you all that well and you get a fitted M1 in which case everything COULD improve.

  32. Dave

    Oct 8, 2015 at 7:51 pm

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

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

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

    • prime21

      Oct 8, 2015 at 9:38 pm

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

    • Tom

      Oct 9, 2015 at 10:48 am

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

  33. Cooper

    Oct 8, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    I got tested and hit a bunch of different ones. Took one swing with this thing and told the guy don’t even tell me the numbers it’s too ugly.

    • Travis

      Oct 8, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Everyone should get tested!

    • prime21

      Oct 8, 2015 at 9:29 pm

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

      • TR1PTIK

        Oct 9, 2015 at 10:02 am

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

    • SBoss

      Oct 19, 2015 at 8:00 am

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

  34. Joe

    Oct 8, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    I’ve heard a ton of press on the good sound. I have to say it’s not a good sounding driver. What gives?

    • Gives

      Oct 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      Because you’re a silly Titleist guy.

    • SBoss

      Oct 19, 2015 at 8:03 am

      It’s a great sound, and it changes depending on where the COG is…and Titleist 915’s were dogs with fleas….the 913’s were better drivers. And the 913 sounded like a Titleist. The 915 sounds like…short drives.

  35. Richard

    Oct 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm

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

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

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

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

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

    • Kyle

      Oct 8, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      5 mph? No chance.

      • Turbowilly231

        Oct 8, 2015 at 7:23 pm

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

        • Kyle

          Oct 8, 2015 at 8:03 pm

          It is literall impossible to pick up 5 mph at max cor. Only way you see that is if one club is at max and the other isn’t close.

          • lm

            Oct 9, 2015 at 3:25 am

            it’s totally possible if he was hitting sponge balls before and now hitting the new ProV lmao

          • Logical

            Oct 9, 2015 at 10:55 pm

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

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

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

    • ph00ny

      Oct 8, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      5mph and only 10yards?

  36. Rob S

    Oct 8, 2015 at 4:03 pm

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

    • Rob S

      Oct 8, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      I’ll correct myself, its been more like 10 years, I believe the FT-3 was the first of the cally Fusion heads….

      • Gives

        Oct 8, 2015 at 4:53 pm

        You’re wrong there again, so why don’t you STFU

        • Travis

          Oct 8, 2015 at 9:26 pm

          HAHA. You mad because your mom won’t bring you your dinner? Help her out and walk upstairs or she will start charging you rent.

          I think the difference between the TM composite and Cally is forgiveness. The FT Tour wasn’t very friendly to off center hits. M1 is a little better.

          • ph00ny

            Oct 8, 2015 at 9:57 pm

            FT-9 Tour which i’m still gaming is very forgiving

    • lm

      Oct 9, 2015 at 3:27 am

      And yet you are reading it all because you LOVE it

  37. Archie Bunker

    Oct 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Will be a great choice in about a year from now (for $199).

  38. Sheffield

    Oct 8, 2015 at 3:43 pm

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

  39. Joe

    Oct 8, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Review or ad?

  40. Kenny

    Oct 8, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Does the head/shaft fitting match the R1 fitting?

    Can see this making its way in to my bag

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Oct 8, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      It does not, Kenny.

      • Justin

        Oct 14, 2015 at 12:34 pm

        Yes the R1 – SLDR tips fit this club you will just have to do some math with the R1 tip.

  41. Gary

    Oct 8, 2015 at 3:05 pm

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

    • Joe

      Oct 8, 2015 at 4:37 pm

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

      • Gary

        Oct 8, 2015 at 5:02 pm

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

        • TR1PTIK

          Oct 9, 2015 at 9:31 am

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

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

          • TMBob

            Oct 12, 2015 at 9:26 pm

            Clearly that orange shaft pictured is not one of those shafts

      • Nigel

        Oct 8, 2015 at 5:05 pm

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

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

    • Jay

      Oct 8, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      Article says they were tested with the same shaft

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Driver Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Tour Edge Exotics C721 driver

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Tour Edge’s Exotics line of high-end golf clubs has been known for excellent fairway wood and hybrid performance over the years. The Chicago-based company has been consistently putting out high-quality products, and golfers are really taking notice. The new line of C721 drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids take yet another big leap forward from last year’s EXS line. 

The new C721 driver takes a lot of technology from the 2020 EXS line and further refines and expands on it. I know it is a little cliche when companies say every model is their best ever, but Tour Edge is 100 percent right this time.

When unboxing the C721 the first thing I noticed was the much-improved looks and shape over the previous Tour Edge drivers. The biggest change to my eye is the added bulge, giving a more rounded and softened topline.

The overall shape of the C721 is slightly stretched from front to back, giving it just a hint of a triangular look. The Ridgeback is a titanium spine flanked by two carbon fiber wings that add stability and forgiveness to the head, but they can also work together and an additional aiming device to ensure you are lined up down the center of the fairway. 

Getting the C721 out on the course is where you really start to appreciate all the technology that went into this driver. Well-struck shots are very long, very boring, and will hang with anything out on the market today. Center contact is rewarded with a long and very low spin shot that is just fun to hit.

The sound and feel are very solid, you can really feel the ball compress on the face as it leaves at high speed. The sound is more of a muted crack and much quieter than I anticipated. If you practice on an enclosed range your ears will thank you for your choice in drivers. Shots hit away from the center of the face retain a lot of ball speed and stay online really well.

My miss is low on the heel and those misses stayed in the air fairly well and went a good ways. Shots hit down on the heel or higher on the toe side still stay online really well due to the Ridgeback spine and rear weight. The C721 is just slightly higher than mid-launch for me, but the low spinning head never allowed my shots to balloon or rise even into the wind. I do wish the face was just a touch deeper as I had to play with my tee height in order to find the optimal setup. The better players will enjoy the neutral weighting and there seems to be very minimal draw built into the driver.

Overall, the Tour Edge Exotics C721 driver is a great club that will probably be overlooked by too many golfers. If you are looking for added distance, a lot of forgiveness and want to keep some money in your pocket, then you should seriously take a look at Tour Edge.

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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)

7adaa1412b79ca8c7cc5a0b788f55058

  • 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)

463210496f8e1487a5ff2fdcf38109a1

  • 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)

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  • 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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