The TaylorMade M1 driver is as futuristic in looks as it is technology.
Down behind the ball, the black face contrasts prominently with the white front section of the crown and then further back still, the kink in the carbon fibre element actually helps centre the ball on the clubface.
Despite all the technology packed underneath, the club actually feels lightweight and easy to swing.
The adjustability, while offering an array of different shot shape, launch and spin settings is very intuitive; it’s a system most amateurs should be able to grasp fairly swiftly.
Testing M1 up against the TaylorMade R15 that it replaces, the first difference that strikes you is the sound.
While R15 was muted and understated, the M1 has a more powerful, higher pitched ting to it that I preferred. It wasn’t over powering, but it let you know when you’d struck the ball solidly.
That feeling of solidity was another feature prominent in M1, with the ball leaping off the clubface with low spin and high launch.
I immediately picked up ball speed, but then switching to a heavier Aldila Rogue shaft help achieve the optimum ball flight.
This was further aided by the sliding weights. Not only could I keep the spin down by sliding the weight in the back track closer to the face, but I could also negate my tendency to over-turn the ball from right-to-left by shifting the weight in the front track toward the toe.
In the end, I picked up more than 12 yards of total distance, something I never thought would be achievable.
There has been a lot of hype and build up associated with the M1 driver from TaylorMade but from the initial testing we’ve carried out, it would appear to live up to it’s billing and offer improved performance over the R15. Of course its’ predocessor is still a good performer but there is no doubt the M1 driver is a leap forward both in terms of the adjustability on offer as well as the feel, forgiveness and distance.
The feedback from the TaylorMade tour staff would also suggest the new M1 driver is offering more peformance. Jason Day used it throughout the Fed Ex Cup play-offs with Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson also making the switch immediately. It’s also become a regular sight on the European Tour in its’ first few weeks, generating plenty of chatter behind-the-scenes.
The new taylorMade M1 driver is available at retail from early October and with the adjustability on offer, there is no reason that anyone prepared to pay premium price-tag will find more performance.