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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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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Bryce

    Jun 28, 2019 at 7:08 am

    After installed, players will have the ability to enroll to get a actual money
    consideration or even a follow bill where they
    could try the game risk free.

  2. 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 !!!!!

  3. LOL

    Dec 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm

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

  4. Specs

    Dec 9, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Why aren’t you dead yet

  5. 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”

  6. 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?

  7. 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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Equipment

Best irons in golf of 2021: Best blades

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A new set of irons is the single biggest investment you can make into your set of golf clubs. At GolfWRX, to determine the 2021 best irons and their categories, we have compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of 2021 irons is best for your game.

In 2021, OEMs have continued to push the engineering envelope of iron design by utilizing new technology and manufacturing methods to create clubs that offer forgiveness, along with faster, more consistent club faces and launch windows. Not only that, but we are also seeing more segmentation of models from equipment manufacturers to help you determine your best set and/or set combination thanks to fitting.

These fitting options are important because irons are the key to better scoring and by building the perfect set, you create a cohesive group of clubs in your bag to help you reduce dispersion and hit it closer to your target.

That being said, ultimately the best way to find your personal iron set is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor. The difficult part is a lot of people don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders—so at GolfWRX, we have done a lot of the work for you.

We are in the era of not just maximizing distance but also minimizing the penalty of common misses for each player—this applies to irons just as much as it does with any other club in the bag. This is why, now more than ever, custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools and information to go out and find what works best for you by offering recommendations for your individual iron set wants and needs with insight and feedback from the people who work every single day to help golfers get peak performance out of their equipment.

Best irons of 2021: How we did it

Before starting the process of building our best iron survey, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the endless number of iron options available to golfers. The consensus was clear—the best fitters in the world see all the options available in the marketplace, analyze their performance traits, and pull from that internal database of knowledge and experience like a supercomputer when they are working with a golfer.

It’s essentially a huge decision tree derived from experience and boiled down to a starting point of options—and it has nothing to do with a handicap!

Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?” model, and at GolfWRX we believe it was important to go beyond handicap and ask specific questions about the most crucial performance elements fitters are looking at to help golfers find the best set of irons for them. From overall performance to shotmaking, to helping players achieve better trajectories and speed, we strived to ask the right questions.

These are the best iron categories we have developed to help you the reader determine what rankings are most important for your swing and game.

Best irons of 2021: The categories

Best irons of 2021: Meet the fitters

Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Clare Cornelius: Fitter,
 Cool Clubs
Eric Johnson: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Kirk Oguri: PGA Professional/ Club Specialist, Pete’s Golf
Sue O’Connor: Fitter, Cool Clubs 
Scott Felix: Owner, Felix Club Works
Mark Knapp: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Eric Hensler: Manager & Fitter, 
Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carls Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter, Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Adam White: Co-Founder & Director of Club Fitting, Measured Golf
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Ian Fraser: CEO & Founder, Tour Experience Golf
Mike Martysiewicz: Director of Club Fitting & Building, Tour Experience Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van

2021 Best irons: Blades

This is by far the most straightforward category because it is defined by a single style of club—the blade AKA the muscleback or MB for short. Although modern variations offer a lot more playability than they did decades ago, blades are still defined by their workability, compact shaping, and lower ball flight. If you are looking for the ultimate test or just prefer something in the more traditional vein, these are for you.

Srixon Z Forged

best irons 2021 best blades

Their story: The Z-Forged irons from Srixon are forged from a single billet of soft 1020 carbon steel, and are designed to offer players an exceptional amount of feel throughout all shots. The irons also contain the patented Tour V.T Sole which is designed to provide more consistent ball striking while keeping the versatility to execute every type of shot.

From the fitters

  • I know this is will sound like an oxymoron based on the category, but thanks to the profile and sole design, the Z-Forged is quite a forgiving blade option.
  • This is my favorite blade iron because of the VT sole—it’s a game-changer for steeper players who take a divot but still performs great for those that don’t.
  • With blades all being very familiar, it often comes down to look and turf interaction, and the Z-forged arguably offers the best turf interaction of the group with the beveled leading edge.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

Callaway Apex MB

best irons 2021 best blades

Their story: The Callaway Apex MB is forged from 1025 carbon steel with a classic shape that is similar to other blade irons from Callaway’s past, but this time with a slightly narrower sole and less offset. Another improvement is the 20V grooves ensure optimal spin control in and out of the rough.

The centrally located weight screw in the back of the head allows Callaway builders to maintain the precise center of gravity locations when adding or removing weight from the irons—it’s not a new idea, but it’s one that is key to allowing the irons to be dialed into spec for each golfer.

From the fitters

  • With its compact profile and subtly square toe, the Apex MB is the best-looking blade on the market in my opinion. It’s also very easy to work the ball in any direction you want.
  • The central weight screw for adjusting swing weight has been great this year for quality control and to fine-tune during fittings. Although not everyone is sensitive to swing weight, this feature allows us, and secondly the builders, to get things just right.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Mizuno MP-20

best irons 2021 best blades

Their story: Mizuno calls the MP-20 “the ultimate tour blade” thanks to its melding of modern manufacturing techniques with classic styling. The MP20s provide flow throughout the set from top to bottom leading to greater control over ball flight. This flow also increases forgiveness (please remember it’s still a blade) and launch in the longer irons, with an increased ability to flight the ball in the scoring clubs.

To help create the classic Mizuno feel, the irons are also complemented with a copper underlay beneath the final chrome plating.

From the fitters:

  • The MP-20 is the quintessential Mizuno blade while also being quite a bit easier to hit—a relative term I know.
  • Not only is the iron great on its own, but Mizuno has a fantastic fitting cart full of shaft options.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Titleist 620 MB

best irons 2021 best blades

Their story: The 620 MB offers ideal turf interaction throughout the set thanks to more camber and a tweaked leading edge.  In addition to the sole tweaks, the blade length is progressive from the longest iron to the shortest and the transition is so smooth that unless you set clubs next to each other, it’s quite difficult to notice. The final design element is the face height progression which transitions from more shallow to tall in the pitching wedge to offer the greatest control over ball flight.

From the fitters:

  • As long as the player has the skill set to play a blade, the 620 MB is consistent and the misses are not too bad.
  • This is a “traditional blade” in every sense, and sticks with slightly more traditional lofts. The other great thing Titleist did with the lofts of the MB is match them exactly to the 620 CB so you can easily build combo sets—because even at this point Adam Scott isn’t using a blade 3-iron.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

TaylorMade P7MB

Their story: Making something seem simple is often the most challenging. What makes the TaylorMade P7MB great is in the nuance and very fine details that the designers made upgrades to compared to the previous models. The P7MB keeps the same workability as the previous generation P730 but with some extra forgiveness built into the longer clubs by the way of a slightly longer blade length. The irons are also manufactured using a multi-step forging process which includes a 2,000-ton forging press to push the quality tolerance of every 1025 carbon steel forging to its peak.

From the fitters:

  • A lot of the players I have worked with have given great feedback on the look and feel of these irons. I also love that the whole P-Series irons can be easily custom-built as combo sets—P7MB’s mixed with a couple of P7MC longer irons is a real “gamer” set.   
  • This is without a doubt the nicest looking and best-performing blade TaylorMade has ever produced.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

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Whats in the Bag

Matthew Wolff WITB 2021 (April)

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Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (10.5 degrees @ 9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD HD 7 X

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Titanium (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD XC 8 X

Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (3-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (50-09SB, 56-12SB, 60-09LB)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Proto (33 inches, lie at 70, 3.5 loft, D4)
Grip: TaylorMade Red/Black

Ball: TaylorMade TP5 ’21 Pix

Grips: Golf Pride ZGrip Cord (+3 double-sided tape)

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Whats in the Bag

Tony Finau WITB 2021 (April)

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Driver: Ping G425 LST (9 degrees @7, Big -)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX (45.25 inches, tipped 1.5 inch)

3-wood: Ping G400 Stretch (13 degrees @14), D5+ swing weight
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX (42 inches)

Irons: Nike Vapor Fly Pro (3), Ping Blueprint (4-PW)
Shafts: Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 105 X (3), Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 X

  

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (50-10, 56-10), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (60-10S)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 125 X (50, 56), Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 125 Wedge

Putter:  Piretti Elite Custom

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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