In the M family the M1 line has the moveable weight options that the M2 line does not and this continues with the TaylorMade 2017 M1 fairway.
Having had two 15g sliding weights in the previous M1 fairway, we are now back to the single 25g tungsten weight that we first saw in the TaylorMade R15 fairway.
Now it has taken a back seat as the sliding weight track is positioned in the middle of the 450 Stainless Steel head rather than being behind the face trying to moonlight as a Speed Pocket.
The real Speed Pocket is back now just behind the face to lower spin by around 200rpm and increase ball speed and TaylorMade are rightly proud of combining this with a weight track in such a small head.
In the previous M1 you could split the two weights to either end of the head to theoretically increase the MOI and TaylorMade claim that by having the track further back it does a similar job as weight is removed from the centre of the club in this location and this has merit.
When I was playing around with the single sliding weight it had a more subtle effect on the performance than the previous M1. Moving the weight to one end of the other did affect flight, but it did not affect the balance of the club as much through impact.
The previous M1 and other clubs sometimes feel very unbalanced with the weights at the extreme points, but the 2017 M1 was passable. When the weight was just one or two notches from the centre it probably felt most at home and overall the head was a little bit more forgiving than it looks.
As before this M1 is aimed at high swing speed players who prefer a more compact head. It is around 6cc smaller than the non-adjustable, lower spinning M2 Tour fairway and about 25cc smaller than a 2017 M2 fairway.
The white leading edge is thinner and this saves weight from the top of the club that is moved towards the Drop-Step sole that lowers the CG and also helps reduce turf drag.
The impact does sound and feel much better off the c300 Super Alloy face than the previous M1 and if I was pushed I would probably say that the 2017 M1 has the edge on the M2 Tour fairway as well.
The 2017 M1 is certainly more flexible than the M2 Tour as there is also a lighter and sleeker aluminium Loft Sleeve that enables you to vary the loft by +/- 2° in increments of 1°, 0.6° and 0.4°.
This will come in useful for better players who want to create an anti-left fairway, because they can slide the weight towards the toe and de-loft the face and you will have a flight that will veer to the right more than Genghis Khan.
I do like the improved 2017 M1 fairway, but having a performance gain from this type of adjustability would probably need to be the reason to go for it over the more forgiving, larger headed and cheaper 2017 M2 fairway.