Golf equipmentJanuary 25, 2016

TaylorMade launches M2 line

Woods, two sets of irons promise forgiveness
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Seeking to draft after the successful launch of its M1 line of woods, TaylorMade has followed it up with the addition of its new M2 line of woods as well as pair of iron offerings—the M2 and M2 Tour.

Using the same seven-layer carbon composite crown as M1, the M2 driver—with its white-and-black crown— looks like the M1’s twin. However there are distinct differences between the two. With a goal of maximum forgiveness, the weight savings (five grams) from the crown has been located in the sole of the club, resulting in a low and back center of gravity (26 percent farther back than M1 with the weight in the rear position), to assist ball speed and forgiveness. The weight positioning also boosted the moment of inertia for better performance on off-center hits. To assist speed, TaylorMade continued its use of “speed pockets,” with the new design on M2 producing more face flex that previous versions.

“Using the carbon composite in the crown allowed us to maintain maximum aerodynamic benefits and still have the low CG position,” Benoit Vincent, TaylorMade chief technical officer, told GolfDigest.com. “You can say M1 did that, but we don’t have the extreme forgiveness we have on M2 and the ball speed protection of the speed pocket. So even if it doesn’t look as different, we’re opening a new path with this product. I think it is a more playable product for some players because the CG is farther back and the dynamic loft helps to get the ball up in the air. We are addressing forgiveness in a significant way.”

The M2 ($400, 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees) takes advantage of the company’s pursuit of adjustability as well, with a 12-position loft sleeve that provides a range of four degrees of loft alterations. The company also is offering some 30 premium shaft options at no additional charge.

Weight savings from using composite in the crown and a revamped speed pocket also is the calling card of the M2 fairway wood ($249; lofts of 15, 16.5, 18, 21 and 24 degrees—the latter two right-hand only). The M2 hybrid does not use carbon composite on the crown, but does have an open-channel speed pocket. Lofts on the hybrid ($199) are 19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees (the latter two right-hand only).

The M2 irons ($799, set of eight, steel; $899 graphite) needed to check a lot of boxes as the marching orders were to produce an iron with an ultra low center of gravity with as much rebound off the face as possible.

To do that TaylorMade used a blend of past and new technologies, employing speed pockets and inverted cone technology (which provides varying thickness in the face to enhance performance across the face). The clubs also employ a 360-degree undercut design as well as a fluted hosel.

In fact, the hosel might be the most interesting of all. “Unknown to many golfers is that a significant amount of weight is in the hosel of an iron. To get the center of gravity as low as desired, the company removed mass from the hosel. The 360-degree undercut, meanwhile, increases the amount of unsupported face area to boost ball speed. In the cavity a badge with multi-material struts assist sound and damp vibration.

“We have six percent more unsupported face area than the RSi1,” said Tomo Bystedt, director of iron product creation for TaylorMade. “The CG is 2 millimeters lower as well to help the collision that occurs low on the face. Some will notice we don’t have face slots on these irons, but it wasn’t needed to achieve the distance gains.”

For those seeking forgiveness but in a more compact package, the company also debuted the M2 Tour irons ($899, steel). Considered a better player game-improvement iron, the club features most of the technologies found in the M2 irons, but with a thinner sole, smaller clubhead and less offset.

“The changes here are subtle, yet significant,” said Bystedt. “A slightly straighter leading edge, lofts that are 1.5 degrees weaker than the M2, a thinner sole that plays larger than it is. Things that better players want, but with more help than they would normally receive.”

Assisting that is the use of two types of stainless steel for the irons. A 450 stainless steel is used in the 4-7 irons and 431 stainless is used in the 8-iron through wedges. Some companies would have included the 7-iron in the lower end but Bystedt reasoned that, “the 7-iron is no longer a short iron but is at the core of the set.”