TaylorMade launches new M-family of clubs
The name may sound familiar, but the performance promises to be on another level.
TaylorMade launched its new line of clubs overnight in Florida and fans of the equipment giant have plenty to look forward to in the New Year.
“Our goal is to make last year’s product look old,” says Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s senior director of product creation for metalwoods.
In truth, Bazzel’s new metalwoods are just the beginning. It’s what TaylorMade has done with its wedges and golf ball that could be the big talking points of 2017. But more on those another time.
The makers of the winningest drivers on the US PGA Tour in 2016 have pushed the boundaries of golf club engineering with the next generation of M metalwoods, highlighted by the new M1 & M2 drivers, fairways and hybrids. The company has shifted its focus on materials and geometry designed to deliver improved launch conditions, increased personalisation and more forgiveness for every golfer, answering the challenge to once again design the best-performing drivers in company history.
By way of a new, lower density Titanium alloy called 9-1-1 and an added carbon toe panel that accounts for a total of 43 per cent more carbon composite than its predecessor, the new M1 460’s mass properties have been optimised to deliver optimal launch conditions, more personalisation and increased forgiveness.
The iconic two-tone crown of the M1 driver incorporates a proprietary 6-layer carbon composite panel that is precision-fit to the skeletal titanium body using an FF2FF process – a breakthrough engineering technique that results in craftsmanship of the highest quality with manufacturing repeatability for consistent, aggressive looks and undeniable performance.
The new carbon composite crown saves more weight because the composite is 10 per cent thinner, the bonding ledge is 18 per cent shorter and the adhesive is half the thickness than the original M1. Furthermore, the new M1 also has a composite sole panel that utilises the same thinner composite, shorter ledge and thinner adhesive approach as the crown. The combined weight savings of the new M1 composite crown and sole panel construction is 8g lighter than an equivalent titanium construction.
In saving this critical weight, engineers were able to design a new, more aerodynamic T-Track system that houses 27g of moveable weight (2g more than the first generation M1), 12g of which reside in a re-designed back track that has been lengthened by 12.7 mm (19 per cent longer) giving the golfer more high-to-low adjustability (64 per cent more CG movement). The 15g located in the front track allows for the weight to be distributed from heel to toe (7 per cent more than its predecessor) and the adjustment to their draw or fade bias by up to 25 yards. Engineers used the extra discretionary weight to make the footprint of the clubhead larger (4 per cent) leading to a higher moment of inertia for more forgiveness.
Both the 460 and 440cc models feature a new 4-degree ultra-lightweight aluminium loft sleeve (back sleeve compatible) and three new stock premium shafts: Fujikura XLR8 Pro 56 (hi-launch), MRC Kuro Kage Silver Dual Core TiNi 60 (mid) and Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65 (low), three of the most popular shafts on Tour and with consumers alike, along with a new premium performance Lamkin UTX grip with cord for greater durability and all-weather performance.
Available on January 27, 2017, the M1 460 driver will be offered in 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° & 12° loft options, while LH models will be offered in 9.5° and 10.5° lofts. The M1 440 driver (RH only) will be offered in 8.5°, 9.5° & 10.5° loft options.
Constructed with a 450 stainless steel body, strong Ni-Co C300 face and same 6-layer Carbon composite crown as the M1 driver, the completely re-designed and reshaped M1 fairway has a track system that has been shifted more rearward to make room for a new open channel Speed Pocket designed to deliver more ball speed & more forgiveness.
Similar to the M1 driver, a carbon fiber crown is bonded onto te head of the new M1 fairway by way of the same FF2FF manufacturing process and replaces the majority of the steel that was formerly on the crown and also lowers the centre of gravity. The track was moved back behind the Loft Sleeve pocket in order to make room for a through-slot which promotes faster face-flex and ball speed on mis-hits low on the face and also reduces backspin leading to more overall distance.
The new design of the open-channel Speed Pocket is designed to deliver more distance through increased speed and lower spin, as well as forgiveness by way of ball speed protection on shots struck low on the face. A new advanced design with a recessed rear sole – divided by the sliding weight track delivers improved sole to ground performance.
Golfers can personalise this new, longer M1 fairway more than ever with the new ultra-lightweight aluminum 4-degree loft sleeve, 25g draw-neutral-fade sliding weight and over 30 no upcharge aftermarket shafts.
Available on January 27, 2017, the M1 fairway will be offered in 15° (3), 17° (3HL) and19° (5) loft options while LH models will be offered in 15° and 19° options.
The new M1 Rescue features a moderate sized, tour-proven shape and a newly designed sole that will appeal to a larger demographic of player, offering more playability from an increased variety of lies.
The sole is engineered with TaylorMade’s first-ever sliding weight system in a hybrid – and the company’s most adjustable ever – providing golfers the opportunity to not only experience the neutral/fade biases of its predecessor but with the added option of draw setting – as well as anything in between for ultimate shot shape adjustability and personalisation.
In addition to the new 27g sliding weight track and advanced sole design, the head comes equipped with a new, 3-degree ultra-lightweight aluminium loft sleeve. Premium components again are offered as stock options, with a MRC Kuro Kage Silver hybrid 80g shaft in R, S & X flexes as well as a 70g A flex along with a new Lamkin UTx grip.
The M1 Rescue will be offered in 17° (2), 19° (3), 21° (4) and 24° (5) options while LH models will be offered in 19° and 21° options.
Along with the new Geocoustic design, the M2 driver houses a newly-designed Speed Pocket that is three times more flexible than its predecessor.
The new Geocoustic feature combines geometry and acoustical engineering to unlock more forgiveness and best-in-class sound. The new breakthrough in geometry is the sunken sole portion of the driver. This section utilises an ultra-light, thick-thin 9-1-1 Titanium, a design that enabled engineers to free up volume while not raising the centre of gravity.
The freed up volume allowed engineers to make the driver’s head larger, both the visible footprint as well as the club’s face (7 per cent), ultimately making the driver not only appear more visibly forgiving, but feel more forgiving at the same time. The new lower density 9-1-1 Titanium body, 6-layer carbon composite crown and minimal sound ribs allowed for 25g of discretionary mass to be relocated low and back in the sole of the club. Together, these applications combine to increase the overall inertia of the M2 driver over the 5,000 g-cm2 barrier without sacrificing low CG, hot trajectory or aerodynamic performance.
The M2 is equipped with the new, ultra-lightweight 4 degree, 12 position aluminium loft sleeve and the Fujikura Pro XLR8 56 (high launch) in A, R, S and X flexes along with a new dual-texture 360 performance grip for great feel throughout the swing.
In addition to a standard model, TaylorMade is also offering a higher-launching, more draw-biased model of the M2, the M2 D-Type (also 460cc). The D-Type driver (D representing draw) combines multiple draw-biasing design technologies to deliver an average of 12 yards, and up to 20 yards, of built-in draw-bias to help players who consistently fight fade-to-slice trajectories find more fairways.
M2 and M2 D-Type are offering more than 30 additional premium custom shaft options at no upcharge. Available on January 27, 2017 the M2 driver will be offered in 9.5°, 10.5° & 12° loft options, while LH models will be offered in 9.5° and 10.5° lofts.
A recessed 6-layer carbon composite crown, inverted cone technology (for the first time in a TaylorMade fairway), a new Geocoustic-driven sole design and a longer, more flexible Speed Pocket combine to create a low CG that produces fast ballspeeds for an incredibly long, high launching and low spinning fairway.
RocketBallz broke engineering boundaries that enabled engineers to create a fast fairway wood that revolutionised the industry. Now the point has been reached where these playable fairways can be engineered to be so fast that using inverted cone technology can deliver driver-like performance in a wood more often throughout a larger area of the face.
For golfers looking for a more personalised fit, several aftermarket shafts and grips are available at no additional charge. Additionally, it comes with a new 47g Dual Feel Performance Grip for men and 37g Winn version for women.
Available on January 27, 2017, the M2 Fairway will be offered in 15° (3), 16.5° (3HL) & 18° (5), 21° (5HL) and 24° (7HL) loft options, while LH models will be offered in 15°, 16.5° & 18° lofts.
Completing the M2 metalwood family in 2017 is the M2 Rescue. The low-profile body of the M2 Rescue has a tiered two-tone crown that showcases the distinctive and iconic look TaylorMade’s M series of product has become known for. Underneath the hood lies the engine of the club, which lies on the sole, where a longer, more flexible Speed Pocket offers speed and forgiveness. The new Geocoustic sole design and a short, fluted hosel work in tandem to optimise sound and feel at impact. This Rescue is designed to help average golfers replace a long iron with higher, longer and more draw biased performance.
Available on January 27, 2017, the M2 Rescue will be offered in 19° (3), 22° (4), 25° (5) and 28° (6) lofts while LH models will be offered in 19°, 22° and 25° lofts.
TaylorMade has also taken innovation to the next level with a fresh approach to engineering with the M2 irons and the introduction of the all-new M1 irons to round out the M family of irons to complement the M1 and M2 metalwoods. In 2015, RSi irons were a breakthrough in game-improvement design.
In 2016, M2 was a breakthrough in distance-iron design. Taking everything they learned from the creation of those two products, TaylorMade engineers embarked to create a series of products in M1 and M2 that take aim at delivering distance, height, forgiveness and feel with predictable, consistent performance.
M2 ’17 Irons: Ultimate distance meets ultimate forgiveness
The 2017 M2 irons are the culmination of several years of developing meaningful technologies designed to help golfers achieve more distance, peak trajectory and forgiveness; overall, a more consistently performing iron swing after swing.
As is the case with the M1 irons, as clubhead dimensions continue to get thinner across the face and topline, the challenge to design an iron with best-in-class sound and feel becomes more and more difficult. Engineers have utilised technologies first developed in RocketBladez irons (Speed Pocket), the Face Slots introduced in the RSi irons and an ultra-low centre of gravity (’16 M2), effectively combining them in one product to produce a remarkably long and forgiving iron while maintaining playability.
The key to unlocking performance in the M2 irons is a combination of low CG and maximum COR. For example, even while adding Face Slots (which slightly raise CG), engineers have been able to lower CG and improve consistency by way of several significant changes, including a 33 per cent thinner overall topline, 7 per cent shallower blade height and a 20 per cent deeper Speed Pocket with 33 per cent thinner front wall for even more flexibility.
Engineers also developed a new thinner, wider six-sided fluted hosel that saves 5 grams (compared to 3 in the original M2 iron), allowing for the repositioning of 2 grams of discretionary weight lower in the clubhead. The new hosel bend slot also allows for a 30 per cent improvement in bending.
Similar to the M2 metalwoods, the new M2 irons were designed employing TaylorMade’s new ‘Geocoustic’ engineering techniques; acoustics tuned through geometry – better feel through geometry, better sound through 3-D damping and an optimised rib structure to create ideal frequencies for pleasing sound and feel. This is accomplished through the incorporation of lightweight ABS and carbon fiber to increase rigidity and improve sound absorption of the badge.
Available at retail on January 27, 2017, M2 irons will be offered in 4-iron through LW. Players will have a choice of the REAX HL 88 by FST steel shafts (S,R) or the M2 REAX graphite shafts (75-45g / S,R,A,L) in addition to numerous additional custom shaft options.
M1 Irons: Distance and forgiveness with optimal control
Complementing the M2 irons are the all-new M1 irons, an entirely new line that completes the M family of product. The intention while designing the M1 irons was to bring as much of the speed, forgiveness and playability of the M2 but deliver it to the player who prefers a slightly more compact look along with additional control and workability.
This was achieved by using many of the same technologies as M2 while adding a tungsten weighting system to allow for more freedom to create the shapes needed without sacrificing low-CG, COR or MOI.
To do this, the company first focused on removing weight high in the clubhead, utilising 15-gram high-density Tungsten added in the toe-side sole of the 3 through 7 irons to lower and centre the CG; designed to create even more speed and thus more distance by way of an increased moment of inertia on off-centre impacts.
As with any centre of gravity optimisation equation, discretionary mass is the currency which engineers necessitate. Through the incorporation of Tungsten, TaylorMade was able to locate the COG less than 1mm from centre face along the heel-toe axis as well as drop the vertical position of the COG in the 3 through 7 irons. The company has also redesigned its fluted hosel, which is now a 180° design that has successfully accomplished weight savings without compromising the look preferred by better players at address.
Incorporated into TaylorMade’s M1 irons are the company’s proprietary Face Slots, which are designed to increase flexibility at the boundary of the clubface to improve consistency of ballspeed on off-center impacts. They also boast more refined Speed Pocket Technology, a slot in the sole that is intended to increase face flexibility and protect ballspeed on impacts below face centre while increasing launch angle and ball speed
Similar to the new M2 irons, the M1 irons also implement TaylorMade’s Geocoustic engineering; acoustics tuned through geometry. TaylorMade’s fin badge is a feature that works in conjunction with Face Slots to dampen unwanted low-frequency, long duration sounds. The sound of the M1 is optimized using thin yet stiff head geometry combined with strategically placed reinforcements in the topline.
“The improved M2 irons as well as the all-new M1 irons represent a breakthrough in combining incredible distance with industry-leading forgiveness. Through the use of innovative technologies and purposeful design, these irons will appeal to a wide range of golfers seeking the complete performance package,” says Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade’s Senior Director, Irons.
Available at retail on March 1, 2017, M1 will be offered in 3-iron through SW. Players will have a choice of True Temper’s popular XP95 steel shafts or MRC Kuro Kage Silver graphite shafts in addition to numerous additional custom shaft options.