Today, we will evaluate the Taylormade M1 adjustable driver. Adjustable clubs have been a growing trend in the golf world for several years now even if the concept has been around for a lot longer than most people realize. It's a case of modern technology taking the concept from a gimmick—to a practical and useful tool.

While some professionals may still scoff at them—and beginners may lack the skill necessary to benefit from them meaningfully—these clubs are a godsend for the many amateurs in between who are ever in pursuit of an easier way to increase their distance and perfect their accuracy; that is the reason that this class of clubs is also called Game-Improvement Drivers.  

To be fair though, they are not for everyone.   On the one hand, they represent a great advantage for the player in search of every possible way to improve his or her game, but on the other hand the more advanced features they offer may be daunting to those who lack the patience to study and tinker until they fully grasp what settings work better for them and why.  The subject of this review is definitely a club geared for the tinkerers, and one of the major players in the adjustable club market.

ABOUT THE TAYLORMADE M1 DRIVER

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The M1 is a fully modifiable driver with movable weights on the sole to compensate for fade, draw, height, and distance. This is in addition to the adjustable hosel usually found on other game improvement clubs to adjust for loft angle. The 2017 Taylormade M1 is the second generation of this particular club and boasts improvements in all areas over the earlier version. It has been meticulously tweaked to offer the golfer even greater adjustability and comfort than the previous version at a price that is competitive if not especially inexpensive.

Product Specs

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The head of the Taylormade M1 has a skeleton of titanium intertwined with composite carbon panels that provide exceptional strength and simultaneously minimize the weight. The M1's flagship feature is a pair of precision weights mounted in deeply recessed perpendicular tracks, called a t-track, on the sole of the driver's head. A 12-gram weight may be shifted forward and backward using a special tool to compensate for height and distance. Likewise, a second 15-gram weight slides left and right to add either draw or fade to one's shot. The featherweight all-aluminum hosel sleeve sports a 12-position dial for loft adjustment. The manufacturer offers customers a choice of three different high-end shafts at no increase in price.

Pricing

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The Taylormade M1 is a sophisticated piece of equipment. However, as time has gone by and newer clubs have come on the market, the M1 can now be picked up at a more reasonable price, usually in the $300-$400 range.  While this may be expensive for someone who golfs as an occasional hobby, the cost of a club like this is seen by some as a way to offset the time and money that might otherwise be put into additional lessons.

how It compares

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We had a look at a few other similar products available on the market to see how they compare. All of them were released at or around 2017, like the Taylormade M1. All of them also feature some form of an adjustment mechanism to help players tune the club around their playing habits. However, none of them have a system identical to that of our subject driver. We have put together a brief overview of each; they include.

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This is one of the most highly customizable drivers on the market, which immediately makes it a tough contender in the game improvement driver market. Other than its shot adjustment systems, the M1 is designed to be striking in appearance, comfortable to use, and of course, mercifully tolerant of players with varying levels of skill. Most players will agree, however, that improved distance on their drives is what they notice the most once they get it fully dialed into their swing style.


PRICE

This product can be found on Amazon. The M1 was considered a very high-end club when it was introduced back in 2017, and even if Taylormade has since moved on to newer generations of its products, the 2017 M1 still comes at a high enough cost to make some players think twice.  It continues to command a price at the high end of the clubs we chose for comparison.

5/5 stars

LOOKS

The Taylormade M1 is an exotic and aggressive looking driver. It comes decked out in brilliant white enamel and starkly contrasting black carbon fiber with the tiniest hint of yellow-green trim.  Very little has changed, appearance-wise, from the 2016 version; most would probably agree that there would be no reason to.  To put it simply, it looks great.

4/5 stars

FEEL

This club is light in weight but has the lively and solid feel that one might expect of a slightly heavier piece of equipment.  It is neither too stiff nor too flexible, and most other aspects of the feel can be adjusted according to taste.  Some might say that it lacks an especially distinctive personality, but that is what one should expect with an adjustable club since everything can be tweaked. A good swing will produce a distinctively deep and satisfying crack when the face of the driver collides with the ball at the end of its arc.

4/5 stars

PERFORMANCE

Perhaps the best way to describe the Taylormade M1 is forgiving.  After all, the whole point of an adjustable club is to compensate for the various small idiosyncrasies and shortcomings in a player's swing, and the M1 generally achieves this.  In particular, many players will experience an improvement in the distance of their drives.  We also found that the club tends to do its best when the front/back slider is set further back (toward the high setting), thereby raising the launch angle and increasing the spin.

PROS  

  • Highly adjustable
  • Choice of shafts at no extra charge
  • Larger head for more forgiveness
  • Lighter weight

  CONS

  • The high-gloss finish will likely get scratched over time
  • Performance suffers if the player hits the ball with the lower portion of the face instead of the center or upper portion
  • All the adjustment choices may overwhelm some players

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The Fusion is a colorful and stylish composite driver from a very respectable brand and is in the same price range as the Taylormade M1.  Its aerodynamic head shape sets it apart even further.  It is, however, less adjustable than the M1 and even some of the others we looked at.  The hosel can be adjusted for loft, but that's it.  There are no weights to move around at all.


PRICE

This product can be purchased used on Amazon. The Big Bertha Fusion is similarly priced to the Taylormade M1.  This needs to be carefully considered in regard to the absence of any weight and balance adjustment.  On the other hand, it exhibits very solid construction and some unique design aspects of its own.

4/5 stars

LOOKS

The red, gray, and black with red trim make the Fusion a distinctively stylish choice of club, and the unusual triangular shape of its head gives it an intimidating appearance.

4/5 stars

FEEL

This lightweight, hard-hitting driver will give considerable satisfaction to many golfers.  However, its triangular head may not be suited for everyone; it seems that some find the design makes it tricky to achieve a proper alignment during shots. Those who get past this, though, may find that this same head's unique aerodynamics may also give some players a leg up on the competition.

4/5 stars

PERFORMANCE

This is a high performing club with a lot of forgiveness at the same time.  That says a lot in and of itself.

PROS  

  • Designed to be forgiving
  • Use of high-end materials keeps strength without gaining weight
  • Stylish looks

  CONS

  • The triangular head makes it harder for some players to line up their shots
  • Fewer adjustment options

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This product can be purchased on Amazon. This driver is considered a reliable club that is a good choice for those who are looking for an adjustable one wood, but who do not need or desire for the complexity of some of the other contenders.  The F7 has an adjustable hosel with an eight-position loft selector, and three fixed ports between which weights can be shifted.


PRICE

Though it is by no means considered a low-end club, the Cobra King F7 has the lowest cost of all of those we considered.  For some, this will make it a bargain; for others, it may leave more to be desired.

3/5 stars

LOOKS

Simple straight-forward looks give this driver a classic, unobtrusive appearance, though it lacks the color and style of some of the others.

4/5 stars

FEEL

The Cobra King F7 has a well-balanced feel overall that is especially pleasing in straight tee shots.  

3/5 stars

PERFORMANCE

This is not the greatest performer in terms of distance, but it makes up for its shortcoming with excellent accuracy.

PROS  

  • Reasonably priced
  • Better at straight shots
  • More forgiving of off-center shots

  CONS

  • Few features that really make it stand out
  • Not the best for taking curve shots
  • Not the best distance performer

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This is a serious driver by a company that is somewhat lesser known than others, but which places an extremely high emphasis on using the newest technology available for its equipment.  Like many of the others, the 565's hosel may be adjusted for loft, and it has removable weights on the back of the sole.


PRICE

This product can be purchased on Amazon. The Z 565 is in the same price range as the M1 and is one of its closest competitors in terms of features.


4/5 stars

LOOKS

Simple but elegant appearance in black and chrome.  Those who go for an unpretentious but memorable look will be pleased.  The head is more rounded than the others we have looked at here making it a real eye-catcher.

4/5 stars

FEEL

The Miyazaki shafts used on the 565 tend to feel a bit on the stiff side, but most players report that the club feels good overall.  Some players find that this wood has tighter hitting tolerances however and may require especially close attention, and probably some extra practice, to hit the ball consistently.  

3/5 stars

PERFORMANCE

This club is tuned for high-trajectory launches and is biased toward the draw.  It is also more accurate than the previous driver in this line.  Its hosel selector has 12 positions, but it works a bit differently from others. The notations used on it are different than what one sees with most clubs, and some careful study may be required in order to use it effectively.

PROS  

  • Very forgiving on shots that are a little too high or too low

  CONS

  • Is not the most intuitive for getting consistent hits
  • unforgiving for mis-hits that are lateral

Conclusion

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Clearly, the Taylormade M1 stands up quite nicely with the other drivers we considered here.  It is pricier than most but is still generally quite reasonable considering what you are getting.  Ultimately, this is what one must really consider: if one loves to tinker and adjust, and then adjust some more, then this is the perfect club.  It offers by far the largest range of options for customization with the combination of its t-track weight adjustment system and the 12-point loft dial on the hosel.  It's unique black, and white design makes it noticeable in a very good way, and it is made from the highest quality materials.  

Of course, no club is perfect for everyone, and some aspects of its feel and performance will vary according to the personal taste and skill level of the player. It would certainly be wasted on players who simply want a good club that they can just take out of the box, head to the course, and go play without further fuss.  Nonetheless, the Taylormade M1 is arguably one of the best options in its class, especially if improving distance and tweaking one's shots are a priority.

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