This year, TaylorMade has four different iron models available and I’m going to test two of them – the M1 and M2.
The other two sets, P770 and P750 irons, are what they call “pure players irons” – designed and built for the best ball strikers around, players who like to work the ball and demand exceptional control. That means scratch players and tour professionals. If you’re in that category, chances are you already know about P770 and P750 because players like Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia and others have been using them to notch victories and top finishes with great regularity on the PGA Tour this season.
Quite frankly, while the P770 and P750 irons are exquisite, most of us could derive greater benefit from TaylorMade’s M family and in fact, it’s the M1 and M2 irons that are causing all the excitement both on and off the Tour.
Perhaps you’ve seen the commercials on TV where Jason Day bombs a 5 iron 290 yards or gives out new irons to struggling bunters on the range. One only has to hit a couple of shots with an M1 or M2 iron to appreciate that there really is something different about them.
The first thing you notice is something TaylorMade calls “face slots”. These are deep vertical grooves cut into both the heel and toe of the iron that are designed to preserve ball speed on off centre hits. In other words, to give you some measure of forgiveness so that your clangers are not so bad.
Next comes the “speed pocket”, another deep groove cut into the sole of the club that again provides forgiveness on shots struck towards the bottom of the clubface but overall produces more distance and control on all shots.
Then there are some things that you can’t see like geometrical construction, acoustical engineering and internal sound ribs, all of which help produce a more solid feel when you hit the ball and an equally impressive sound.
The result, according to TaylorMade, is that both the M1 and M2 irons feel more solid when you hit them and the ball goes further. Of course every club manufacturer makes that claim, which made me a bit sceptical when I first heard it, even though I’ve been a TaylorMade player for a number of years. So, a couple of weeks ago, I had free time available on a visit to the Ritz-Carlton Tiburon course in Naples and decided to see for myself.
Using my TaylorMade RSi 6 iron against both an M1 and M2 6 iron, I headed to the range for a somewhat scientific test. It was late in the day and the range was empty so I was able to set my own target and then go look at the results. I won’t bore you with all the gory details but I hit a dozen balls with each club – half of them as straight as I could and the other half trying to hit fades and draws.
On average the M1 was 5-7 yards longer than the RSi and the dispersion was pretty much the same. The M2 was consistently 10 yards longer than the RSi and some were even longer but they went much straighter. Both the M1 and M2 irons hit the ball much higher than my usual trajectory too.
On ball control, I could fade and draw the ball equally well with the RSi and M1 but not so much with the M2. It tended to go higher and straighter, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Those results are pretty consistent with TaylorMade’s design philosophy: the M2 is all about Distance + Height + Forgiveness while the smaller, lower profile head on the M1 is engineered for Distance + Height + Control.
Either formula works for me and apparently they work for a growing number of tour pros as well, who are passing on the “pure player” irons for the kind of results that both the M1 and M2 can deliver.
If new irons are in your plans this year, you owe it to yourself to test M1 and M2. I think you’ll be impressed.
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