The company calls them the “Un-Metalwoods” but the truth is, there is still some metal in the latest wood family from the category leader.
The TaylorMade M1 family of drivers, fairways, and “rescues” (their term for hybrids) was unveiled earlier this week at a media event in Connecticut.
Starring in the show was the M1 driver, featuring a clubhead that uses multiple-materials, most notably a carbon composite crown.
This is not new territory for the company. Avid golf equipment fans may be familiar with their Gloire line recently offered in Asian markets and even recall a decade ago when the XR-05 CTI driver was a TaylorMade staple on that side of the pond.
The new M1 line features a combination of titanium and seven layer carbon composite to create the clubheads. It is highly visible with a distinct forward white portion of the crown blended with the composite portion for a distinctive look. Blended with the black face it looks as if alignment cues are strong.
The lower weight carbon composite crown allows for more mass to be pushed lower into the head, allowing for a new “T-Track” system for adjustability and 25grams of discretionary weighting. (a 15 gram weight in the Front Track and a 10 gram weight in the Back Track).
The key being that the adjustability allows the golfer to better work with a fitter to fine tune the fit to suit their ball impact and clubhead delivery patterns to maximize results.
Moveable weight from forward to back can provide more stability in the clubhead and enhance launch characteristics. Again, it’s all about the fit an the M1 seems to have more flexibility than the current R15 model.
“At TaylorMade, we always pride ourselves on improving our metalwood performance and distance each year,” said Brian Bazzel, Senior Director of Product Creation. “With the constant advances in titanium technology, we found ourselves at a crossroads, one where the R15 was almost unbeatable. We have an allegiance to performance and we were willing to use whatever material or construction necessary to deliver it. I believe the new M1 is a true reflection of our dedication to improving golfers through innovative designs.”
We’ve yet to have the clubs in hand for testing to verify greater fitting flexibility but the features indicate this is the case. TaylorMade themselves are saying the M1 is “TaylorMade’s most fittable driver to date” That sounds about right based on what we have seen – plenty of fitting options.
The company claims that the Back Track weighting adjustment can vary the ball spin rates by as much as 300 rpm and the launch angle by close to a degree. There is no word on what clubhead and delivery/contact conditions would be necessary to see that variance.
Adding to the fitting options is a 12 position loft sleeve with up to four degrees of adjustment. Stock shaft options are the mid/high-flighted Fujikura Pro 60, mid-flight Kuro Kage Silver TiNi 60, and a lower-flighted Aldila Rogue 70 110 MSI. TaylorMade is also offering an additional 25 premium custom shaft options at no upcharge.
Available on October 8 at $599 CDN, M1 460 (8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° & 12° loft options, left hand models available in 9.5° and 10.5° lofts) and M1 430 (8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° loft options), are offered in one of three premium stock shafts mentioned above.
The M1 Fairway
Things got even more extreme (weight wise) with the M1 fairway design. There is no T-Track system, simply a Front Track but it features two 15 gram weights, more than was found in the R15, thanks to the weight savings provided by the composite section of the crown.
The company says the Front Track has been cleaned up a bit to improve clubhead/turf interaction.
It, too, comes with a four degree loft sleeve.
Available on October 8 at $349 CDN, M1 fairway is offered in three lofts – 3: 15˚, 3HL (RH only): 17˚ & 5: 19˚, equipped with the Fujikura Pro 70 shaft in X, S, R & M flexes.
The M1 Rescue
As you’d expect the Rescue falls nicely in line with the M1 fairways/drivers although it does not feature weight tracks or a multi-material design. It does have two moveable weights (one 3 gram and one 25 gram) to set neutral or fade bias to match the needs of the golfer.
The “tour-inspired” shape should make it very playable from all sorts of lies and it does feature a “speed pocket” behind the lower portion of the face to encourage a more equal flex in the sole and crown of the clubhead and the resulting lower spin rates, especially from strikes low on the face.
Also available on October 8 at $299 CDN, M1 Rescue is offered in 4 lofts: 2: 17°, 3: 19°, 4: 21° & 5: 24° and is equipped with a Fujikura Pro 80h shaft in X, S, R & M flexes and a 1.5 degree loft sleeve for additional adjustability.
Again, we have yet to test these clubs but hope to provide more feedback after we have the opportunity to so. We’ve very intrigued on the sound of the clubs at impact, always a key factor for carbon composite/metal combination heads although TaylorMade staff state that they have put a lot of focus on that characteristic.