TaylorMade has long resisted the urge to replace composite carbon-fiber materials in their metalwoods. They've always come back to the conclusion that pure titanium, particularly in the crown, is a better-performing material.
With their new M1 driver, however, TaylorMade engineers could no longer ignore carbon fiber and the benefits it offers club designers in terms of its strength compared to its mass and what they could do with that discretionary weight. So, for the first time, a TaylorMade Golf metalwood line blends a titanium face and forefront to the crown with a seven-layer carbon-fiber material.
The 10 grams saved from switching to all titanium to a hybrid of materials has been moved into the M1's new T-track adjustability system, which offers a combined 25 grams of movable weight. Along the track sliding parallel to the club face, a 15-gram weight can be moved to promote shot-shape bias, either for a draw, fade or a neutral shot. Sliding from the face to the back of the club's sole, another 10-gram weight can be used to modify launch trajectory by 300 rpm of backspin and 0.8 degrees in launch angle.
The hybrid crown, according to TaylorMade, also lowers the clubhead's center of gravity, lining it up through the proper impact axis directly through the center of the clubface. By comparison, King Cobra's new King LTD driver claims to be the first club to push its CG beneath that imaginary line through the center of the face. The idea behind both clubs, as well that of Callaway's new Great Big Bertha, is similar: a low-and-back CG with the ability to move weight right behind the center of the club face for some extra oomph at impact.
The clubs touts the M1 driver as its most customizable yet for fitting, including a 12-way adjustable hosel that allows players to modify loft up and down by 2 degrees. There are also two head sizes, one 460 cc and the other 430 cc. The 460 cc head will come in 8.5-, 9.5-, 10.5- and 12-degree lofts, while the 430 cc head will be offered with 8.5-, 9.5- and 10.5-degree lofts.
The M1 lineup is rounded out with fairway woods and hybrids.
The fairway wood line features a pair of sliding weights that slide parallel to the club face to modify side-to-side ballflight. The weights, like in the R15 driver and fairway woods, can be split to improve moment of inertia or held together behind the center of the face for more weight at impact. The weights sit in a channel cut deeper into the sole so as to reduce drag and turf interference at impact. The fairway woods, which come in, 15-, 17- and 19-degree options, have an adjustable hosel to change loft plus or minus 2 degreees.
The hybrids, inspired in shape and look by the company's original Rescue offering, has two movable weights, one 25 grams and the other 3 grams, in the center and toe sections of the sole. The 25-gram weight should be positioned in the center location for a neutral ballflight, while placed in the toe for a fade bias. The adjustable hosel on the hybrids (17, 19, 21, 24 degrees) offers a tighter loft-adjustment range of 1.5 degrees up or down from the stock loft.
The M1 driver (MRSP: $500), fairway woods ($300) and hybrids ($250) will be in stores Oct. 8.
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