TaylorMade has never been shy in bringing something new to the table.
In iron design we've seen the RockeBladez Speed Pocket, Face Slots introduced in the RSi range and ultra-low centre of gravity in the original M2 irons.
Learning from previous products has driven TaylorMade engineers to their latest game improvement offering - the 2017 M2 and the new M1 irons - both promising distance, height, forgiveness and feel with consistent performance.
TaylorMade M2 2017 Irons
The original M2 irons were marketed around the peak height they achieved and this again sits at the heart of the developments in the 2017 model.
As technology allows clubhead dimensions to get thinner across both the face and the topline it's a challenge to design an iron that has best in class sound and feel.
To do this in the 2017 M2, TaylorMade have combined a Speed Pocket, Face Slots and ultra-low CG to produce an ion that combines low CG with maximum COR.
The trade-off between differing technoloies gives an interesting insight into the design process. For example adding Face Slots slightly raises CG but engineers have been able to keep the actual CG position very low thanks to other changes in the clubhead.
A 33% thinner overall topline, a 7% shallower blade height and a 20% deeper Speed Pocket (that has a 33% thinner front wall for extra flexibility) all drive down the CG to a level that is critical to deliver the launch and trajectory of the M2.
The fluted hosel, introduced in the original M2 irons, has also been improved. The 2017 version is a thinner, wider six-sided fluted hosel that saves 5 grams of weight, 2g more than in the original M2, and also features a hosel bend slot that improves bending by 30%.
Face slots could be added to the 2017 M2 irons thanks to these hosel flute improvements and also the 360° undercut that improves on the low CG design.
The Speed Pocket increases the flexibility of the face to protect ballspeed on strikes low on the face as well as increasing launch angle and ball speed on centre hits.
As with the new M2 metals the 2017 M2 irons use TaylorMade's 'Geocoustic' engineering technique, creating a better sound and feel with a combination of geometry, 3-D damping and an optimised rib structure.
In the irons this is accomplished by adding a lightweight ABS and carbon fibre that increases the rigidity and sound absorption of the badge, the fins of which have been strategically positioned behind the Face Slots and integrated into the back bar to help dissipate energy and further dampen sound created by the clubhead’s 360° undercut and ultra-thin 1.5mm face.
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.
TaylorMade M1 Irons
Joining the M2 in the irons line up are the new M1 irons, designed to bring as much of the speed, forgiveness and playability of the M2 but with a slightly more compact look and with additional control and workability.
To do this TaylorMade used many of the technologies found in the M2 and added a tungsten weighting system that allows more freedom to create the iron shape without sacrificing low-CG, COR or MOI.
To do this, weight was removed from the top of the 3-7 irons and replaced with a 15-gram high-density Tungsten in the toe-side of the sole as well as saving weight from the redesigned fluted hosel. On the M1 this has a 180° design that has successfully accomplished weight savings without compromising the look preferred by better players at address.
This has allowed the CG to sit less than 1mm from the centre of the face along the heel-to-toe axis and also drop the vertical CG position in the 3- irons to create even more speed and thus more distance by way of an increased moment of inertia on off-centre impacts.
The M1 irons also feature TaylorMade's Face Slots to increase the flexibility at the boundary of the clubface to maintain ball speed on off-centre hits.
This, in combination with Speed Pocket Technology, ensures the M1 irons push the maximum COR allowed under USGA/R&A rules, maximising ballspeed and launch. As in the M1 irons the front wall of the Speed Pocket is 33% thinner, and in the M1 engineers have also been able to thin the leading edge and overall sole thickness of the club to new minimums, resulting in improved performance without sacrificing durability.
This gives the irons the visual appeal at address that inspirational and better players look whilst maintaining the turf interaction forgiveness of a wider, more cambered sole.
Sound and feel are again heightened by the use of Geocoustic technology to dial in the frequencies that give an optimum quality at impact, dampening low-frequency, long duration sounds with the fin badge and connecting the back of the flexible face to the stiff back bar of the iron.
The M1 irons are available with 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.