Brand new to the M family from TaylorMade for 2017 are M1 irons, which are proving to be a perfect complement to the highly popular M2 irons.
M2, of course, has been a huge success with recreational players for a number of reasons, but headlining that list are the extreme distance and high launch conditions they produce.
For 2017, TaylorMade streamlined the look and size of its new M2 irons. But while they are noticeably smaller than the original M2s, there’s still no mistaking that this is a true game-improvement iron.
M1, on the other hand, would be much harder to categorize. These are irons that offer incredible game-improvement attributes, but those attributes are offered in a clubhead that many would consider most similar to a players cavity back.
“The M1 iron has a very similar overall look to the M2 and actually a lot of the same technologies as M2,” said Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade Senior Director of Global Irons. “We have the fluted hosel, we have the 360-degree undercut, we have the Speed Pocket and the Face Slots. What’s really different is that it’s in a more compact head shape.”
In terms of the game-improvement performance that the M1 irons offer, Face Slots and Speed Pockets are the most crucial aspects of the design.
Face Slots enable more flexing of the clubface toward the heel and toe to keep ball speeds high from impact point across the face while also enhancing launch conditions. The Speed Pocket, meanwhile, also helps increase launch, and it provides ball speed protection on shots that are struck low on the face.
That technology combination helps provide exceptional distance, launch, and forgiveness, but it’s not all that TaylorMade has done to create incredible playability in the M1 irons.
“How we unlock that performance while still maintaining a smaller head shape is through the use of tungsten in the sole,” Bystedt said. “It allows us to create a lower CG and more inertia without making the iron bigger overall.”
More specifically, 15 grams of high-density tungsten has been utilized in the 3-iron through 7-iron to help players launch the ball higher with their long and mid irons while also enjoying more consistent performance on mis-hits.
Also noteworthy when it comes to M1 is its redesigned fluted hosel. As is the case with M2, the use of a fluted hosel helps save weight, which allows the CG to be positioned lower and deeper in the clubhead. But for M1 specifically, the fluted hosel has a more traditional look, which fits in nicely from an aesthetics standpoint with the more compact design.
As mentioned, with their thinner toplines, limited offset, and shorter blade lengths, the M1 irons look like a players cavity back, and TaylorMade has invested significant time in trying to make their feel match their look.
That process involved the implementation of Geocoustic Engineering, which is a significant design component in TaylorMade’s entire M2 line, both woods and irons alike.
Goecoustic Engineering combines the use of geometrical shaping and acoustic management to create a preferred sound and feel at impact. In the case of the M1 irons, the use of fin badges helps dampen sound and vibration at impact, which provides feel and acoustics that are crisp and solid.
Of course, with the introduction of the M1 irons, players now have a decision to make when it comes to the M family iron that’s best suited for their game.
Given that both irons will offer impressive distance, launch, and forgiveness, the ultimate decision will most likely come down to look and the added benefits of playing a more compact iron.
“If you’re the player who likes to work the ball potentially, wants to hit some knockdown shots, likes to work it left to right a little bit, the M1 is going to be more for you,” Bystedt said.
TaylorMade’s new M1 irons are being offered with either True Temper XP 95 steel shafts or Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver graphite shafts as a stock option, with other custom choices also available at no upcharge for players in need of a different profile.
Set compositions ranging from 3-iron through sand wedge are available, and the stock grip for the M1 irons is the Lamkin UTX-P.