TaylorMade M2 Driver Review

Soon after the release of the first multi-material driver from TaylorMade, in 2015, the M2 was launched. There has been a lot of talk about its relationship to the preceding product and whether or not the distinction is a worthwhile one. Ultimately, though,the motivation for creating the M2 Driver is pretty simple. The M1 is quite an expensive piece of kit and the manufacturer thought that a less costly, more stripped down version would be appreciated. So, was TaylorMade right to produce this ‘M1 lite’ driver?

This review of the TaylorMade M2 Driver will attempt to find an answer this question by looking at its main advantages and weaknesses.

What TaylorMade Says

The key differences between the M1 and the M2 are that the M2 does not have the two part sliding weight system. As a result, it can be bought for significantly less. This is worth keeping in mind if you want a premium driver on a reasonably small budget. While there is a little more to the story than this, it is helpful to know the basics when considering your next investment. The M2 is unique in that it is only of very few ‘budget’ multi-material drivers on the market.

Getting to Grips with the Technology

Carbon Composite Crown

The carbon composite crown is pretty much identical to the one featured on the M1 Driver. It is made up of a cutting edge seven layer carbon interior, which has been precision engineered for strength and durability. It is also incredibly lightweight and this allows the transfer of power to be much more efficient. By saving weight in the areas where it is not needed, the designers can preserve and redistribute mass in a way that better suits the purposes of the club.

The M2 is actually a little more forgiving than its predecessor, thanks to a deeper and lower centre of gravity. The effect is a greater moment of inertia, more control over launch angles, and a significantly faster swing speed. The top of the crown stands higher than the top of the face and enhances aerodynamics, overall. This can be explained by the fact that the crown holds air closer to the head for longer and decreases the amount of drag.

Standard TaylorMade Hosel

With this club, TaylorMade has acknowledged something important. The reinvented M2 recognises that, while complex hosel settings do have their value, they aren’t necessary for every kind of player. These days, budget drivers can have hosel head designs that are so forgiving they don’t even need adjustable weight systems. Basic modifications to loft and lie are enough to make basic clubs suitable for a broad range of abilities and playing styles.

The TaylorMade M2 Driver definitely exists in this camp, which is primarily why it contains the older version of the signature aluminium hosel. It allows users to modify the lost across three settings, by as much as +/2 degrees in an upright or standard lie. Plus, slower swingers will surely appreciate the greater launch distances. By extending loft with the hosel settings, it is possible to keep the ball in the air for longer and translate this momentum into a substantially improved carry distance.

More Flexible Weighting System

As a way to boost forgiveness, TaylorMade decided to eliminate the admittedly rather complex T-Track system of the M1 and replace it with a redistributed, but entirely fixed, mass. The change frees up around 15 extra grams of discretionary weight, which has been allocated reward and low within the driver heads. If you pick up the stick and take a closer look at it, you’ll see (and feel) the redistributed mass around the spot where the gold sole is.

At first glance, the alteration can sound like a bit of a step back. And, the suspicion is that it was intended to be, particularly considering the reduced cost of the M2 Driver. Yet, many players are reporting an enhanced moment of inertia and a ball speed improvement of around 17%, when compared to the earlier version. Ultimately, the lack of moveable mass means that users can’t make modifications via the centre of gravity anymore. This has to be done using the loft sleeve.

On the other hand, the M2 Driver is significantly lighter and more aerodynamic without the addition of the moveable weight system. It is a great choice for anybody who finds it difficult to reach maximum ball speed or find a satisfying degree of consistency in play. If you have a tendency to fade your drives, it will give you some support too. The rearward weight placement generates more dynamic lofting and a higher ball flight, on average.

Super Lightweight Shaft

There are scores of aftermarket custom shafts available at no extra charge, so even if you don’t get on with the stock Fujikura Pro 60, there is no need to despair. Again, whether or not you get excited about this level of customisation will depend on how far you want to take your club. The majority of creative players simply want to be to get out on the green with a lightweight, sturdy shaft that is strong enough to channelthat power and momentum in just the right way.

Appearance and Visual Features

At the point of address, right down behind the ball, there is no discernible difference between the M1 and M2 TaylorMade drivers. They are pretty much identical. The M2 has the same multi-material crown structure, with the white front portion and the jet black face. The combination of colours id designed to aid with alignment and it does this quite nicely, though not everybody will instantly take to the crosshatched pattern on the top.

Performance/Handling

The two drivers do start to look very different when you peek under the sole, though. There are no moveable weights on the M2, so it doesn’t have quite the same shape and form from underneath. The younger club offers a greater momentum of inertia and an extra degree of stability that makes itself clear upon contact. The Speed Pocket helps to keep untidy strikes and misses under control and even the shortest carries don’t deviate as far as expected. On average, the M2 launches a little higher than its counterpart, which benefits slower swing speed players.

Forgiveness/Ease of Play

One of the biggest problems with the M1 is that it doesn’t lend itself well to casual or creative play. It requires too much patience and time, which is something that not all golfers are willing to give, even if it results in a completely custom setup. At least with the M2 driver, things are pretty simple and straightforward. The emphasis is on forgiveness here, so you don’t have to be a star player, with a lot of technical know-how. You can still get a lot of satisfaction out of letting the club do most of the work.

The Bottom Line

Major Pros

If you can get a feel for what makes it tick, the TaylorMade M2 Driver will reward you with some of the longest carry distances available anywhere. It is a surprisingly powerful beast, with a lot of energy and those low spin flights produce lots of launch and roll. It is particularly effective when it comes to preserving ball speeds, even across the face on untidy impacts and missed strikes. If all this weren’t enough, it is substantially cheaper to buy than the souped up M1 driver with its complex system of moveable weights and hosel mods.

Major Cons

The main criticisms of the TaylorMade M2 Driver seem to centre on its visual design, which is a positive sign for its technology and internal mechanisms. For some players, the lighter side of the crown makes the club head harder to align and track, but this surely won’t be the case for everybody. Essentially, it is everything that the M1 manages to be without the fancy features. So, for a budget stick, it is a great find. If you are looking for club to rival the best in the world, however, stump up the cash for its bigger, badder brother the M2.

The Final Word

Whether or not this is the right driver for you will come down to what it is you need to improve your game; or indeed, if improvement is your objective. You might just be interested in having fun out on the fairway and the TaylorMade M2 Driver can definitely give you that. It doesn’t have the technical precision or the degree of customisation inherent within the M1, but only you can know if this is something that you truly need.