TaylorMade M1 driver fitting: 13 handicap

Reader David Brown visited TaylorMade's Performance Lab at Wentworth for a TaylorMade M1 driver fitting, hoping for more accuracy rather than more distance

Reader David Brown visited TaylorMade's Performance Lab at Wentworth for a TaylorMade M1 driver fitting, hoping for more accuracy rather than more distance

Last September, TaylorMade launched its new premium M1 driver, to great fanfare - a futuristic design boasting an ultra-light part carbon composite crown, which frees up weight to be better positioned in the head via the sole's Front Track and Back Track channels.

The Front Track features a 15g weight that can be moved to vary lateral flight shape; the Back Track features a 10g weight that can be moved to vary launch and spin characteristics.

Recently, TaylorMade added the less expensive M2 model to the mix, a less adjustable alternative in which a Speed Pocket behind the face and a fixed non-adjustable low, deep weight promise a high-launch, low-spin trajectory.

When 13-handicap reader David Brown, from The Belfry in the West Midlands, visited TaylorMade's Performance Lab at Wentworth to put the M family's carbon composite technology to the test and find the best model for his game, it was one of the relatively rare occasions when fitter, Luke Peterken's, challenge was to deliver greater accuracy over and above the usual quest for extra yards...

TaylorMade fitter's analysis

With a clubhead speed of 109mph, distance is no problem – the issue is keeping it in play, especially on David’s poorer toe strikes.

A TaylorMade M1 similar to his current driver went well, but I then set the lie angle more upright to defend against those ‘toey’ shots, with the front weight also towards the toe and the rear weight set deep. This tightened up David's dispersion at the cost of a few yards, which he can easily afford.

David Brown's feedback: TaylorMade M1 driver fitting

I've never struggled for distance. I told Luke, the fitter, I’d be happy to sacrifice a few yards for more fairways hit, and we achieved that.

But the biggest improvement was on off-centre hits. Carry distance on toe strikes with my current driver dropped from 265 yards to 230; with the TaylorMade M1, I enjoyed 9mph more ball speed on similar mishits and still carried it 245 yards. I love the sound too – it's hard to tell the difference between pure strikes and toe strikes.

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly. He is an expert on the Rules of Golf having qualified through an R&A course to become a golf referee. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played 1,000 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts. He reached the 1,000 mark on his 60th birthday in October 2023 on Vale do Lobo's Ocean course. Put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf

Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response