TGW sat down with TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Product Creation for Metalwoods, Brian Bazzel, to discuss 2017’s new woods. As is the case with the new drivers, the new fairways and rescues feature ample technological improvements that are leading to performance gains. Brian is the guy you see working with top pros like Dustin Johnson, introducing them to new gear each season. So he’s seen what it can do for the best. We asked him how it’ll help the rest of us!
TaylorMade M1 Fairway
We’ll start with the M1 fairways, which like last year’s versions will again feature a carbon crown that enables a low, deep center of gravity. But in many ways, the similarities end there.
“The new M1 fairway is significantly longer than last year’s (M1) fairway,” said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade Senior Director of Product Creation for Metalwoods. “It’s producing distances closer to what we saw with M2, but you still get all of the personalization. And we also improved ground interaction.”
A weight track that features a 25-gram sliding weight that allows players to create their preferred ball flight bias does return, but the track has been moved further away from the face to make room for a new Speed Pocket that creates more ball speed from impact points across the face.
A new sole shape has also been utilized in the design, which is allowing for better turf interaction from all lie conditions, as well as improved ball speed preservation on shots struck low on the face.
The M1 fairways also utilize a lightweight loft sleeve that allows players to adjust loft by +/- 2 degrees, as well as lie angle, which makes it easier to achieve one’s desired ball flight and trajectory.
M1 fairways are being offered in standard loft settings of 15, 17 (right-hand only), and 19 degrees, and they come with the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver TiNi 70 (mid-launch, mid-spin profile) as a stock shaft, with 30 additional premium shafts being offered at no upcharge. The stock grip, meanwhile, is the Lampkin UTX Cord.
TaylorMade M2 Fairway
Moving to the M2 fairways, they have also received a significant makeover that has enhanced their playability.
“The M2 fairway wood has a larger footprint but we wanted it to be more forgiving,” Bazzel said. “And we also wanted it to be more playable, which is why we changed the sole design. It also has incredible sound and feel.”
Of course the biggest difference between the original M1 and M2 fairway woods was adjustability, and the new M2, like the original, will not be adjustable, either in terms of moveable weights or an adjustable hosel.
That, however, didn’t prevent M2 from being one of the most popular fairway woods on Tour last year, and the new M2 is producing even faster ball speeds while also being more forgiving.
Leading to the faster ball speeds is a more flexible Speed Pocket that’s also longer in length, with the result being more ball speed on shots hit from the center of the face and better ball speed retention on mishits, especially strikes from low on the clubface.
Additionally, the use of a lighter fluted hosel saved weight in the design, which enabled a lower CG placement for even higher launch and less spin than the 2016 version.
Also being utilized for the first time in a TaylorMade fairway wood is Inverted Cone Technology, which effectively creates a larger sweet spot for more consistency on all strikes.
The new M2, which does have the same carbon composite crown as the M1, also features a new sole design, as two tiers now create more playability from any lie condition. And like the M2 driver, Geocoustic Technology has improved sound and feel at impact.
M2 fairway woods offer five different options for players to choose from: 3-wood (15 degrees), 3HL (16.5 degrees), 5-wood (18 degrees), 5HL (21 degrees), and 7HL (24 degrees). The last two of those options are only available for right-handers.
The stock shaft for the new M2 fairway woods is the TaylorMade REAX, which comes in different weight classes depending on the shaft flex a player chooses. Other premium shafts are also available at no upcharge as well, and the stock grip is the TaylorMade Dual Feel.
There are also women’s M2 fairway woods available in lofts of 16.5, 21, and 24 degrees. They come with TaylorMade REAX 45 shafts and Winn Dual Feel grips, but they are only available for right-handers.