Review: TaylorMade '17 M1 Driver

Same Letter, Better Everything
The new marketing slogan for the 2017 M1 is an interesting one. It reminds me a lot of an automobile type ad. Cars don’t change names each year, while in the golf industry the drivers do. So how do you explain the new TaylorMade M1 driver when it looks the same as the previous model, but it isn’t. Same Letter, Better Everything. But like every year and every new driver that comes out, the skeptical golfer asks, is it really better? My testing shows that TaylorMade’s claim of “Better Everything” is true.
The nuts and bolts of the new TaylorMade M1 is that it looks essentially the same as the previous M1.  The big changes comes under the hood with an expanded weight track system and 43% more carbon fiber in the head for better weight manipulation.  Basically it is more forgiving, more adjustable, better launching and better sounding.  You may not hit the ball like Dustin Johnson with the M1 in your hands, but you will be able to maximize your potential with this new and improved M1.
From the top, the TaylorMade M1 looks unchanged.  The two-tone top worked last year, so no reason to change it up since the carbon crown is still in play and TaylorMade isn’t going away from the white crown either.  Flip it over and the bottom has longer tracks.  That is the first thing you notice and one of the real significant changes.  You can slide it further back or have more side to side adjustment.  If you are a middle/middle adjustment guy, then not much has changed, but if you want to impact the right/left or up/down you can do more of that now.  I went with the weight a little further back to launch it just a touch higher, but yet I still had the low spin numbers to maximize my swing.
For me one of the biggest changes I noticed was the sound.  It has a much purer thwack at impact, still very TaylorMade feeling, but the muted nature of it wasn’t as harsh on mishits as the previous M1.  They additional carbon fiber that was used on the sole also makes the weight feel even more concentrated behind the ball.  It’s also the changed CG that makes this even better fitting for me.  The ’16 M1 was really good, but the ’17 M1 is even better.
Since I had a shaft that TaylorMade currently doesn’t offer, they just sent a head.  The ’17 M1 is similar to previous models in the shaft department allowing you to pick from 30+ shafts at no upcharge.  I put the new TPT shaft in mine (review here).  This combo is amazing.  The Flightscope Xi Tour Launch Monitor numbers were amazing and the on course results were just as positive.  This ranks up there as one of the best combos I’ve ever hit.  It was long, straight and very forgiving.   While you may not have access to the TPT shaft, previous TaylorMade tipped shafts in your quiver would work or get fit with one of the newest shaft technologies.  There really isn’t a reason to buy just straight off the rack any more.

FlightScope Xi Tour Launch Monitor

TaylorMade ’17 M1 Driver

  • Spin: 1804 rpms
  • Launch Angle: 15.2*
  • Dispersion: 6.2 yds
  • Club Head Speed: 107.7 mph
  • Ball Speed: 159.0 mph
  • Total Distance:  296.5 yds
  • Carry Distance:  273.8 yds

My friends made fun of the 2017 TaylorMade M1 slogan, “Same Letter, Better Everything”.  While it might not be TaylorMade’s most creative line, it is honest.  I appreciate the fact that they made good on their word, this is better than the previous M1.  I have been impressed by what I am seeing out of the ’17 M1 driver.  Go demo it for yourself, get fit for the right shaft and watch the ball go long and straight drive after drive.  The changed CG, the additional carbon fiber, and improved T-track make the ’17 M1 better.

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Quick Hits
+Improved sound
+Greater adjustments
+More forgiving
+Better CG
+Same hosel adapter for using older shafts