The TaylorMade M2 driver took the golfing world by storm when it was released at the start of 2016.
It came at a time when Nike had just stopped making golf clubs and we saw a raft of players, including Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, make the switch.
There was a new version of the TaylorMade M2 driver released at the start of 2017 which we saw Sergio Garcia win the Masters with.
It had a few subtle tweaks to the original model and was widely adopted by tour players. But some still favoured the original TaylorMade M2 – notably Brooks Koepka who used it for his 2017 US Open win.
Tiger Woods is still using the 2016 TaylorMade M2 and produced one of his best-ever driver displays at the Hero World Challenge, hitting 13 out of 14 fairways in the final round.
So what makes the TaylorMade M2 so good, and will it go down in history as a classic?
TaylorMade M2: The technology
When the original TaylorMade M2 was launched it has a multi-material construction with an eye-catching carbon composite design.
This reduced the overall weight of the crown which allowed more mass to be placed low and deep for more forgiveness and high launch.
The profile of the TaylorMade M2 was large with high moment of inertia and a redesigned speed pocket – all about protecting ball speed on off-centre hits.
How did the TaylorMade M2 driver change in 2017?
Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade VP of product creation, told NCG:
Our goal was to advance what we were providing to the golfer which was a tonne of distance but also that forgiveness and stability.
So we had to do some unique things to unlock those performance benefits.
When you set it down behind the ball you’ll see the face is bigger and the footprint is bigger. We did that by the way we shaped the sole with a recessed area with thick-thin titanium – that freed up some volume to make the face and footprint a bit larger.
That adds some forgiveness and stability.
Obviously it was a challenge for TaylorMade to improve on a driver which was arguably the most popular on tour and was going down a storm in the pro shops.
TaylorMade looked to add even more forgiveness and improve the overall sound and feel.
There were some subtle design changes with the white section on the crown coming away from the face diagonally rather than running parallel with the top line.
TaylorMade told me this was to give the impression of better aerodynamics and more speed.
There’s a sunken area in the toe which allowed TaylorMade to make the 2017 model have a larger footprint and inspire more confidence at address.
They were able to improve the vibrations inside the head to create a better sound and feel off the face. The improvements on this front were arguably the most noticeable.
TaylorMade improved the speed pocket behind the face is more three times more flexible than the in the 2016 M2.
Was the 2017 TaylorMade M2 better than the original model?
Well, Tiger Woods doesn’t seem to think so but we think there were definite improvements in looks sound and feel even if there wasn’t a huge noticeable difference in the performance.
As previously stated, the 2017 TaylorMade M2 was widely adopted on tour by Garcia, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose (who later switched the M1), Jon Rahm, Paul Casey, Francesco Molinari, Xander Schauffele, Matt Fitzpatrick and Ross Fisher – and that’s just players in the world’s top 50.
We put the two drivers head to head at the start of the year and found it very hard to split them from a performance point of view.
So will the TaylorMade M2 go down in history as one of the best?
We think it should. The 2017 model is the driver I used for most of the past year and it is probably the best one I have ever used.
And if Tiger Woods uses the 2016 model throughout 2018 and can start challenging for majors again – it will definitely be up there with some of the most iconic clubs Woods has used throughout his career.
But before you rush out to buy a TaylorMade M2, if you haven’t already, take a look at the new drivers TaylorMade are bringing out for 2018…