New TaylorMade staffer Rory McIlroy has got it in the bag. Equipment editor James Savage gives it a test out on the course.
Our TaylorMade M2 Tour 3-wood review took place on the course at Hillsborough in Sheffield.
It was one of the clubs in Rory McIlroy’s bag at The Players after he announced he’d signed a long-term deal to play TaylorMade clubs.
We decided to put it to the test in a real-life situation to see how it performed…
TaylorMade M2 Tour 3-wood review: The methodology
We’d normally just hit shots with new clubs on Trackman and provide you with the data so you can see the ball speed, spin rates and launch angles but all of that is irrelevant out on the course.
I play at Hillsborough off a 17 handicap and am pretty awful with the driver at the moment. My course isn’t very long at just over 6,000 yards so hitting 3-wood instead of driver is a sensible option.
There’s some very tight holes so keeping it in play is the key thing.
I left my driver in the boot and and headed to the first tee with my Shot Scope game-tracking device to monitor the performance.
TaylorMade M2 Tour 3-wood review: First impressions
I have used the 2016 M2 3-wood for a while now as found it to be one of the best in our 2016 fairway wood test.
When struck well, it’s fairly close to my driver in terms of distance and the misses are never as bad.
One of my first impressions of the new M2 Tour 3-wood was that the face is deeper than the old M2 and regular 2017 M2 model.
To me this makes me think it’s going to be great off the tee but a little harder to sweep away off the deck.
Ultimately this is a better players 3-wood because it is that bit more compact.
But I feel it has more of a ‘mini driver’ feel to it so actually find it more appealing when pegged up. Seeing as I was using it mainly as an alternative to driver, this was a good thing.
TaylorMade M2 Tour 3-wood review: The technology
There’s similar technologies between the 2016 and 2017 M2 and the new M2 Tour with the same black and white crown and the speed pocket on the sole.
They’ve actually changed the crown design slightly with the white coming away from the top line in diagonal lines rather than running parallel.
TaylorMade told me this was to give the appearance of more speed. I do prefer it and love the way it frames the ball.
There’s a fluted hosel which helps save weight to be repositioned in the sole.
You can see there’s weight moved further forwards on the M2 Tour so there’s not as much assistance to help players get the ball in the air.
That’s not something I tend to struggle with – too high with too much spin is more of an issue for me.
TaylorMade say they have improved the speed pocket on the M2 Tour and also made it slightly larger to increase ball speeds right across the face and help initial launch.
The brand have also used what they call Geocoustics to improve the sound and feel – one thing that could have been a bit better on the 2016 M2.
TaylorMade M2 Tour 3-wood review – The results
This was a great test for me and this club and there was nowhere to hide with the results.
I really liked the sound and feel off the face and it comes off really fast. Similar in feel to the 2016 M2 3-wood with a bit of a sweeter sound.
The ball flight is lower and more penetrating than with the 2016 M2 so I was getting a bit more overall distance. I got great carry with the 2016 M2 but not much roll-out.
Holes like the 3rd at Hillsborough are ones where I’d never hit driver so to get a straight one away 225 yards down the middle was absolutely perfect.
With the way I have been driving it at the moment, I’m not getting it much further than 230 so to get that distance with a 3-wood with a far less destructive miss is pleasing.
Taking on the drivable par-4 7th probably wasn’t a good idea though.
The 8th is another really tight-looking shot from the tee and I’d normally hit a long-iron or hybrid. Hitting the M2 Tour here put me in the perfect position, leaving 115 yards to the green instead of the usual 140.
On the 9th I mis-hit one a bit right into the rough and found the ball sat up quite nicely. This is about the only situation where I would use this club for a second shot.
It worked out really well as just punched one out of the rough which almost chased all the way on to the green leaving a routine up and down for the rarest of birdies.
TaylorMade M2 Tour 3-wood review – NCG verdict
The way this club worked for me on the course was very pleasing.
When my driver is misbehaving or if I’m simply faced with a tight tee shot, this club was a good option for me.
If it came down to whether or not I’d make a purchase, that’s a trickier question to answer.
In real life – rightly or wrongly – I’m never going out on to the course without my driver. Hitting a great shot with the driver is the best thing about playing golf.
So would I want a club as one of my 14 that I’m ONLY going to use as a driver replacement and maybe the occasional recovery shot when there’s a perfect lie?
For a player of my ability level I think a 5-wood is a club that over the course of a few rounds, is going to get more use. Or the M2 Tour HL 3-wood with 16.5 of loft could be ideal.
Or just the regular M2 fairway which has a bit more forgiveness in a shallower head shape.
But that’s more about me rather than the TaylorMade M2 Tour 3-wood which I think is a fantastic golf club.
It’s long – not far behind my driver and has a really enjoyable sound and feel.
If you are a good player looking for a strong 3-wood then this should definitely be on your shopping list.
If you are a player that really struggles with larger driver heads and prefers a mini-driver, I think this will do a great job for you as a driver replacement.
TaylorMade are still slightly ahead of the game when it comes to fairway woods and there’s a reason such a large number of the best players in the world are using them.
Lofts: 15˚ or 16.5 (High launching model)
Shaft: MRC Kuru Kage TINI 70 (R,S,X)
More information can be found on the TaylorMade website.