LAST December we broke the story of how TaylorMade had upped the ante with the new M family line of golf clubs and how they somehow managed to eke out even more performance out of the hottest drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons on the market.
In the middle of January, we received an e-mail from TaylorMade Philippines asking if we’d kindly spend a day with them at the Ayala Southlinks Golf Club to sample the entire M line of golf clubs. They didn’t have to ask twice!
Whenever a golf equipment manufacturer sets out to improve a product that is already a performance leader on the market, there is a real danger that they just might screw it up instead. But that clearly wasn’t the case with the TaylorMade M siblings.
I’ve had the previous generation M1 in my bag for the last year and I’ve reached parts of the golf course off the tee that I never have in my playing career. I’m not getting any younger or stronger, so to hit the golf ball those distances, the credit goes completely to the M1.
With that as a background, the preview of the new M family at Southlinks was eagerly anticipated. Pacsports Philippines had both the M1 and M2 families on display and available for testing. The session started on the driving range then after a few photo-ops and many balls sent far down range, the ultimate test—a full 18-holes of golf with the M clubs of our choice.
The quick takeaway here is how much easier both drivers are to hit. The 2017 M1 in its most forgiving setting (with the CG weight all the way in the back) is now easier to hit than last year’s M2, making more accessible to a broad spectrum of golfers.
I was paired with Pacsports General Manager Jaye Escuadro, teaching professional Joel Altea III and young touring professional Miko Alejandro and among the four of us we had both M1 and M2 drivers, the M1 fairway woods and hybrids, the M2 irons and the new TP milled wedges.
Being intimately familiar with the M1 driver, I opted to spend the most time getting to know the new M2. Really there’s nothing to it. Like its predecessor, the only available adjustment is for loft. So once I got the trajectory I wanted, I was good to go.
The new M2 is ridiculously easy to hit and long. I was nursing an injury sustained in a car accident so I wasn’t at my best but I needn’t have been concerned. If I was lined up properly, the ball always seemed to find the fairway. No small feat on the tiny landing areas at Southlinks.
The new M1 felt instantly familiar. I didn’t spend as much time with it as I would have liked but first impressions are most favorable. The club is noticeably louder than its predecessor, a change that TaylorMade chose to make based on customer feedback about the 2015 M1. Although there’s nothing wrong with my M1, I liked the new one so much, I’m probably going to go out and get one.
Equally impressive were the M1 hybrids and fairways. Easy to hit in every situation and as long as fairway woods and hybrids need to be. The milled wedges were also a revelation. Soft feeling with a versatile sole grind, they performed admirably from a variety of situations.
The surprise of the day was the M2 irons. Like the rest of the M2 family, they were extremely easy to hit and very, very long. I hit an 8-iron roughly 170 yards on the long par-3 16th hole at Southlinks. That’s not a typo. This is the perfect iron for those looking to hit the ball higher and further with less effort.
By day’s end, all of us walked away greatly impressed with the TaylorMade’s new M family. They are, as TaylorMade boasts, better in every way. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the driver, fairway, hybrid, irons or wedges; TaylorMade gave the whole line meaningful updates that will make a difference on the golf course.
Look out for product demos in your neighborhood and at your golf course. You will be impressed.
Image Credits: Mike Besa and Marty Ilagan