Martin Hopley

TaylorMade are partial to the odd driver launch so when even their excitement about the M1 driver results in their first global media launch event for over a decade, then it is time to get enthusiastic too.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

The M1 is different, but not necessarily new, as the materials used are tried and trusted. However the combination of materials and how they are integrated into the existing TaylorMade philosophies is what makes the M1 driver unique.

Tried and trusted method #1 is making the crown lighter so you can move weight and hence the Centre of Gravity (CG) lower in the sole to improve the launch conditions.

TaylorMade has used carbon composite in the crown of the M1 to achieve this and it also has the added benefit of the carbon fibre lattice pattern giving the back of the driver a great look.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

This is tried and trusted technology #2 and when I asked Chief Technical Officer Benoit Vincent why it took them so long to use a material that has been around for over 30 years, he said that they had been testing it regularly over that time and their advances with titanium meant that carbon could not outperform it.

Cost and manufacturing capabilities probably also had an influence, but now that it is here we should rejoice as it not only gives a great look, but also a great sound at impact.

The crown also features a white titanium front section just to keep the white and black camps happy, although it is interesting to note that TaylorMade are not ruling out an all black version yet.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

The contrast of the white with the black face and black carbon crown does help with the alignment, even if it does look like you are just swinging a narrow white bit of titanium.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

The 5 grams of weight the carbon composite saves finds its way into the T-Track sole set up that now features a red 10 gram front to back sliding weight as well as a black 15 gram left to right sliding weight.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

The front weight will create a fade or a draw whereas the back weight will affect the launch angle with a higher launch the further back the weight is. Using two separate tracks also allows for the CG to be moved left to right independently of it moving front to back.

Again this is tried and tested stuff and the M1 is not the first driver to have a sliding weight going forward and back independently from weight moving right to left. However it is the first to offer this many positions for those nickel tungsten alloy weights in a 460cc head.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

The front track has 18 positions for the sliding weight and the back track has 15, so that is 270 possible combinations.

Add in 12 settings on the adjustable hosel and four different head lofts from 8.5 to 12° and you are up to 12,960 options before you get to the 3 stock shafts and, in all likelihood, a TP shaft in due course too.

Oh, and you can have all this in a lower spinning 430cc head as well, albeit with one less head loft and one less notch on each weight track.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

The 430cc version is slightly more compact at address with a slightly taller crown that is not as deep in order to move the CG forward and reduce the level of spin further.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

Buying the TaylorMade M1 driver off the shelf is an option, but probably not the best one, as you need to appreciate that this is a driver that enables you to fine tune the set up to the nth degree to maximise your performance.

Not needing a second invitation to do a launch monitor session I went through the process with a TaylorMade fitter at said global media event in the USA.

TaylorMade Driver Fitting

Choosing the right head loft is the first step and moving up from the 9.5 to the 10.5° head gave a better launch angle as my spin was under 2000 rpm at 100mph with the lower loft.

From there it was getting the right 45.5 inch shaft and the mid-launch Mitsubishi KuroKage TiNi Silver 60 was the best for me as the Aldila Rogue 70 felt a bit firm and the Fujikura Pro 60 gave a flight that was a little on the high side.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

Then it was into the fine tuning and to cut to the chase, turning the hosel up one notch to add 0.75° of loft and moving the front weight a little to the draw side gave me the most consistent flight and the biggest distance gain over the unadjusted set up I started with.

TaylorMade Adjustable Hosel

The launch was up at 15°, but the spin was still in the low 2000s rpm. As we moved the settings around it was sometimes worse performance and sometimes similar but without feeling as good.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

For instance having the front weight further to the heel for more draw gave the feeling the head was flipping over at impact, which did not appeal.

Moving the back weight fully forward or back in the rear track did not affect the overall distance performance that much, but it did affect the launch and spin marginally.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

As you go through the fitting process you realise that the end result will be the best compromise of what produces the optimum performance with what also feels best to you, as I am sure there must be more than one of the thousands of options that are perfect for each golfer.

Overall for most people the M1 driver spins around 300rpm less than the R15 driver thanks to the lower weight design and the new structure does give a better performing driver.

The sound and feel are excellent and the forgiveness was very good from a head with an MOI of around 4500 g/cm2 and the now familiar inverted cone face.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

As a result it is safe to say that this really is a driver for everyone, because if you can't use the multitude of options to set the M1 up to maximise your performance then you would probably be better off spending the pretty steep price tag on numerous lessons or another sport.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

Overall then, the TaylorMade M1 driver is a step up from the R15 and the combination of tried and trusted technologies in a new set up and a striking look is something we all should get excited about.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
More from TaylorMade



TaylorMade M1 Driver - Product Details

Launch UK08 October 2015
Launch USA08 October 2015
Launch RRP£429
Handicap Range
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
Left Handed Lofts9.5°, 10.5°
Right Handed Lofts8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 12°
MaterialTitanium, Carbon
Head Volume460 cc
Club Length45.5 inches
Swing WeightD4
AdjustabilityLoft, Weight
Shaft NameFujikura Pro 60, Mitsubishi Kurokage TiNi Silver 60, Aldila Rogue Silver 70
Shaft TypesGraphite
Shaft FlexRegular, Stiff, X Stiff
GripTM Lamkin Performance 360
Manufacturer's WebsiteTaylorMade Website

User Reviews

September 2016

Had big problems hitting with a driver for the past 5 years. Bought an M1 460 - fitted me up with a stiff shaft and made a few adjustments to the weights. Now hitting like a champion and have my golfing confidence back (which is the key ingredient to a decent game). Really enjoying my golf now. Highly recommend the M1.

May 2016

I'm 63 and never thought I'd see a 300 yard drive again. Set it up with the Fujikura Vista Pro in 45 R2 had 1 inch cut from hosel end and added 1 inch to grip end of shaft to make it a tad stiffer. With a 95 mph swing speed and solid contact the ball shoots off the head like a bullet and the carry is unbelievable. The M1 has changed my game for sure. I hit a natural draw and get plenty of run. All I can say is TaylorMade what took you so long!

April 2016

Changed from Titleist 915 to M1 460 9.5 degree last January as got some gift vouchers for Christmas. Went for fitting with low expectations yet same swing speed with M1 gave me 15 extra yards on launch monitor. On the course this is a cannon pure and simple.

March 2016

I first bought an R7 and was impressed with improvements in my slice. The R9 made a little improvement. R11 and R13 gave me some improvements. The SLDR again helped but not as much. By this point, I was not losing balls, my flight was low, but often, I was 180 yards with 40 yards of run out, if the ground was not wet. - unfortunately where I live it is frequently wet. Last week I decided to make one more try. I bought an M1, 10 1/2 degree, Kuro Kage R Flex. I set it to Draw and High. My first drive was 230 yards in the air, dead down the middle. After 9 holes, I had 5 drives within 15 yards of middle, 2 within 5 yards of the fairway, and two par 3's. As you may have read into this, I am not a low handicapped golfer. At 66, I shoot in the upper 90's. But I believe that after yesterday, 80's are in my near future. I have wondered about my return on investment in the past but I have no doubt that I got my money's worth this time.

January 2016

I have never liked nor been able to hit a Taylor Made driver. I have had Callaway for 30 years. Last year I tried the Ping G30 and loved it. Last night I got on a launch monitor with my G30, a new Ping G. I was getting excited about the G and the fitter brought out a M1. It did not perform well and then he put in a different shaft. I started hitting it 15 yards farther with the same club head speed. Instead of buying the G I bought the M1. With all the shaft options everyone should be able to find the right one for them. I could not believe the increase in ball speed and distance with the perfect shaft for me

January 2016

Great driver. I'll be 50 yrs old in March. Launch monitor had my average swing speed at 110 mph, 113 mph here and there. Ball speed 162. My average driving was 285 yards with a couple of 310 yarders. The groupings were in a solid pattern with all adjustments dialed right down the center (neutral). I will put it in play on Monday 18 Jan 2016. Will see what happens. I'm currently using the SLDR TP Talylormade driver and there was a distinct 15 yard increase in distance and a better shot grouping pattern.

November 2015

Played with the R1 for years, it is a great driver, bought the M1 a couple of weeks ago. Love the driver, still making adjustments, but hitting a little longer than the R1. Took both to the range today and realized that I made a good choice on the M1. Much, much better feel than R1. Gives great confidence.

November 2015

Bought this driver in 10.5 with a Fujikura shaft and able to hit it straight and longer than any previous driver. Tune it up some and I am hitting longer and straighter. Love this club.

October 2015

My bachelor party was this past weekend in Myrtle beach and the guys that came down pitched in and bought me the M1. It's amazing and would recommend this driver for any handicap golfer. It's a game changer.

October 2015

I'm a old school scratch player (think blades & persimmon). A 49 year old with 110 swing speed, 160 ball speed, 2500rpms, 14 degree launch . I was fitted at Golf Headquarters. Used it today after Fridays fitting! UNREAL: The best tuned equipment I have ever used! GREAT CLUB!

October 2015

Just got the M1 and it is the best driver ever!

October 2015

Hit this driver and it is definitely a winner. Didnt care for the Aero Burner TP or the R15 TP over my SLDR TP. The only con is the price of $499.00. Not too many many average golfers will be able to purchase this at that price. Even with my 3 handicap I'll find it hard to part with that amount even though this driver is defiantly better than my current SLDR TP series.

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