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New and Old: TaylorMade 2017 M1 460 driver vs. TaylorMade SLDR S 460

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What happens when you hit TaylorMade’s 2017 M1 460 driver against the company’s SLDR S driver?

I wanted to do this test because when the SLDR came out more than three years ago its radically forward center of gravity changed the way drivers were designed, sold and talked about by golfers.

How much has changed since then? Enjoy my video above, which shows my on-course and launch monitor tests of the clubs.

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Mark Crossfield has been coaching golf for more than 20 years, and has enjoyed shaping the digital golf world with fresh, original and educated videos. Basically, I am that guy from YouTube. You can connect with Mark on Periscope (4golfonline) and Snapchat (AskGolfGuru), as well through the social media accounts linked below.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. John Delirious

    Jan 15, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Posters knocking Mark because his tests don’t validate their purchase of an M1, are utter and complete morons.

  2. DB

    Jan 11, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Only thing this test tells me is that Mark is consistently inconsistent with any driver.
    He’s also stating the obvious… with any driver it will simply come down to how it suits you swing, nothing much to do with the new tech. FWIW, I’m about to drop my Ping G for a Cobra F7. Is it longer or straighter than the G? Yes, for me it is, but that is simply a function of how it fits my swing, nothing to do with the clubs themselves. In someone else’s hands the G may be better. As much as I tried I just never could get along with the Ping, but the F7 just feels right to me, so the result is longer, straighter drives. I could probably save some coin and find an older model that works too, but I won’t, so not even going to pretend that I’d even entertain that idea.

  3. james day

    Jan 11, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Typically stupid test which tells us nothing other than the old spec of a standard Taylor Made club suits him more than the new spec. Mark Crossfield and many others are the mud in the muddy waters. Maybe he believes this is worth while which makes him a moron. Maybe he understands its a stupid test which makes him a total fake…

    • Egor

      Jan 18, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      You ok dude? Link us to some of your videos.

  4. jgpl001

    Jan 10, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    SLDR 430 TP still the king for distance, can be very unforgiving though….the only reason it left my bag

  5. W

    Jan 10, 2017 at 3:29 am

    Mark, can you please test the SLDR 430 against the 2017 M1 440? Thank you

  6. G.W

    Jan 9, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    When you are swinging well it’s tough to beat the sldr for distance but when your swing is off a touch it is a punisher.I still have my sldr as a back up.

  7. MrPoopoo

    Jan 9, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Yet to see a review or comparison that tells me that I should get the new club. All launch data I’ve seen comparing 2017 M1 to [insert TM driver post 2014] shows no distance improvement over previous comparable models.

    The only thing the 2017 M1 has proven in the closed data sessions is that it may be slightly more forgiving since the clubhead is stretched out longer from front to back.

    • McPickens

      Jan 11, 2017 at 6:23 am

      USGA put limit on clubhead COR in 1999, meaning no more gains in distance from clubhead to ball energy transfer. Only gains players can make are from technique, ball, ball flight/launch conditions, clubhead forgiveness.

      DS

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Flatstick Focus

Flatstick Focus: Interview with Joe Legendre – Legend Golf Company

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In Episode 26 Glenn is back and we interview the owner of Legend Golf Company, Joe Legendre.

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Podcasts

The 19th Hole Episode 141: The (golf) show must go on!

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Host Michael Williams has breaking news on The PGA Merchandise Show going virtual in 2021 from Marc Simon of PGA Golf Exhibitions. Also features John Buboltz with the latest putters and irons from Argolf.

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Opinion & Analysis

Barney Adams: Ball rollback isn’t the right move to combat “The Golfer of Tomorrow”

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The announcing crew at the 2020 U.S. Open seemed obsessed with “the bombers”—players who drove the ball extreme distances with little regard for the occasional tee shot into the rough. TV has selected Bryson DeChambeau as their representative, given his length and victory.

I thought I’d wait a bit to see what the industry sources had to say. I can’t say it’s unanimous, because I haven’t seen everything, but the theme is: “Get Ready for The Golfer of Tomorrow”

  • 350-yard carry
  • Clubhead speed which tears through the rough allowing the ball to launch high and carry to the green
  • The ‘new’ instructor who teaches distance be it ground up or whatever new method is used
  • Gym sessions producing athletes who look more like football players
  • And last, a whole new shelf of steroids for golf

At the same time the USGA and its organizational allies are planning meetings focusing on not if the ball will be rolled back, but when—clearly, influenced by visual evidence from a great Winged Foot course in our national championship.

Let’s look deeper!

A hypothetical: go back a few months. You are on the planning committee for the U.S. Open to be held at Winged Foot, one of America’s great venues. This year because of COVID-19 there will be no galleries, something never experienced at a USGA major golf event. I repeat, your committee is planning for the U.S. Open. That implies “Open Rough” a term that is significant on its own. You don’t play from Open Rough, you escape…maybe.

The nature of Open Rough is a thick chunky base with long tendrils reaching skyward. These make it very difficult to find your ball in the best of circumstances and when attempting to advance these tendrils wrap themselves around your hosel closing the face, sending your ball deeper into hostile territory. That’s if you can even find it, Open rough has “disappeared” many balls over the years and done so within full view of gallery spectators aiding course marshals. The rule of thumb for competitors has always been to find the most reasonable patch of fairway and get out.

But this is the year of COVID-19. No galleries. Marshals, but relatively few because of no galleries. Now, considering that normal U.S. Open rough will produce many searches where marshals are important, the shortage of them will cause endless searches—which don’t make for great TV viewing. So, a decision is made, cut the rough down so shots can be found. Still in the rough but sitting on the chunky base and very often can be played. A tough call for the purist but an objective economic evaluation leaves no choice.

The announcers regale us with astonishing distances and swing speeds that allow escape from Open Rough that used to be impossible! The golf publications jump on this theme and predict that the Golfer of Tomorrow will be “DeChambeau-like” not sweet swingers but physical hulks rewriting the book on distance strongly influenced by no fear of the rough.

My point here is those publications and instructors, jumping on the “longer and slightly crooked is better” bandwagon have added 2+2 and gotten 5 when using the 2020 U.S. Open as a premise.

DeChambeau is a great and powerful player, however, I don’t think he’s known for his putting. Now I may have dozed off but I don’t remember him being widely praised for his putting. He should have been, it was terrific, probably influenced his score! He is our National Champion, an unsurpassable honor. But his style has me betting that the USGA is working on dates to discuss changing the golf ball, as in making it shorter.

I’m 100% against such a move. Golf is a game where amateurs can go to the same course play the same clubs and given a huge difference in skill achieve some measure of affiliation with the pros. A birdie is a birdie, not a long or short ball birdie. From a business perspective, the overwhelming majority of those golfers financially supporting golf are over 50. And we want them to hit it shorter?

Well, Mr. Adams what would you do? I know zero about golf ball manufacturing, but keeping the distance the same I’d change the dimples to increase curvature—just enough so it doesn’t affect slower swings that much but very high swing speeds so it’s in the player’s head

More thoughts. As an admitted TV viewer, get rid of those yardage books. Fine for practice rounds but when the bell rings it should be player and caddie, not an “on green” conference. What’s next, a staff meeting?

I’ll conclude with a note to the PGA Tour and, importantly, an admonition. To the PGA Tour: The minute a tee goes into the ground on #1 every player is on the clock. Stroke penalties, not fines, will get their attention.

To the rest of the golfing world: Let’s not blindly pursue the Golfer of Tomorrow concept without considerably deeper study.

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