The TaylorMade Irons Test: M1 takes on M2

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They’re among the most popular irons on sale. But how do TaylorMade’s models compare? 

The introduction of the TaylorMade M1 and M2 families has seriously simplified TaylorMade’s 2017 club line-up. While both irons are built for distance, the M1 is all about ultimate adjustability while M2 focuses on forgiveness. It’s a pretty straightforward choice for most club golfers, but what about when it comes to M1 and M2 irons? It isn’t quite so obvious.

Both models have speed pockets and face slots, but that’s about their only similarity. Lofts between the two models are very different, both come with different stock shafts (which have different standard lengths) and there’s the small matter of £150 difference in price, too. So we wanted to see how much difference there is between the two to help you make a more informed buying decision.

We tested a 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5 iron from each set against each other in help make our decisions - see what we found out below! 

Detail of iron sets: M1 £849 (s) £1049 (g); M2 £699 (s) £799 (g). www.taylormadegolf.com


M1 v M2 9-iron

M1: Loft: 40° Offset: 2.6mm Length: 35.75in

M2: Loft: 38° Offset: 3mm Length: 36in

Data Average from both testers

M1: Ball speed: 103mph Launch angle: 20° Backspin: 6119rpm Carry: 145 yards

M2 Ball speed: 106mph Launch angle: 20° Backspin: 5742rpm Carry: 151 yards

Verdict:

It’s unusual, but loft and shaft length differences are maintained in the short irons, which means there’s always going to be a carry difference between the two. Even though the M2 9-iron is 2° stronger, it launched shots at the same angle as M1 with very similar backspin, height and descent angles, so it stops quickly.


M1 v M2 8 Iron

M1: Loft: 35° Offset: 2.6mm Length: 36.25in

M2: Loft: 33° Offset: 3.5mm Length: 36.5in

Data Average from both testers

M1: Ball speed: 110mph Launch angle: 18° Backspin: 6108rpm Carry: 159 yards

M2: Ball speed: 114mph Launch angle: 16° Backspin: 6004rpm Carry: 164 yards

Verdict:

It’s worth keeping an eye on the gapping between the 8 and 9-irons as the 8 has fast face tech (speed pockets and face slots) where the 9-iron doesn’t. In terms of raw data the M2’s lower loft and longer shaft performed again delivering a 4mph faster ball speed and an extra 5 yards of carry distance.


M1 v M2 7-iron

M1: Loft: 30.5° Offset: 2.9mm Length: 36.75in

M2: Loft: 28.5° Offset: 4.2mm Length: 37in

Data Average from both testers

M1: Ball speed: 118mph Launch angle: 15° Backspin: 5404rpm Carry: 174 yards

M2: Ball speed: 120mph Launch angle: 13° Backspin: 5376rpm Carry: 177 yards

Verdict:

The M2’s 2° stronger loft is half-a-club for most golfers, so it’s surprising it averaged only three yards extra carry. Simon’s 162-yard average carry is well above his typical of 155 (7-iron). Yet shots flew at the same overall height as M1, with the same descent angle, so they’d still stop quickly. Impressive engineering


M1 v M2 6-iron

M1: Loft: 26.5° Offset: 3.2mm Length: 37.25in

M2: Loft: 25° Offset: 4.7mm Length: 37.63in

Data Average from both testers

M1: Ball speed: 122mph Launch angle: 15° Backspin: 4074rpm Carry: 190 yards

M2: Ball speed: 125mph Launch angle: 13° Backspin: 3830rpm Carry: 196 yards

Verdict:

The M2’s 1.5° stronger loft and longer shaft resulted in a 3mph quicker ball speed and six-yard carry distance gain over the M1. Some of that extra ball speed comes from the M2’s slightly lighter shafts, but part is also the result of M2’s wider soles and top edges protecting ball speed more efficiently on off-centre hits.


M1 v M2 5-iron

M1: Loft: 23° Offset: 3.5mm Length: 37.75in

M2: Loft: 21.5° Offset: 5.2mm Length: 38.25in

Data Average from both testers

Ball speed: 127mph Launch angle: 13° Backspin: 4053rpm Carry: 198 yards

Ball speed: 129mph Launch angle: 12° Backspin: 3397rpm Carry: 208 yards

Verdict:

With a loft very close to that of a traditional 3-iron,
it was no surprise Simon’s slower swing struggled to launch the M2 high enough to carry much further than the 6-iron (just four yards difference). A high-lofted hybrid would solve it. Chris’ higher speed had no such difficulty, posting a 230-yard average carry with M2 (nine yards further than M1)


The Winner – The TaylorMade M2

This test has reinforced our view that the new M2 is a stand-out iron for 2017. Both testers carried shots further than they expected with it, yet that performance doesn’t come via a hugely oversized or ugly head. If there was one criticism, it would be the clanky sound at impact.

But for many of us, sound isn’t as important as hitting a 7-iron 160+ yards on a regular basis! Ball speed protection and forgiveness is very good with both sets – closer than we expected – so the choice between M2 or M1 comes down to whether you want all-out distance or the looks of a better player
iron with game-improvement traits.

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