TaylorMade M2 fairway woods (2017)
Since releasing the Rocketballz fairway woods for the 2012 season, TaylorMade has prided itself on designing clubs that could be played from turf or tee that will deliver plenty of distance. But according to Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s senior director of product creation for metalwoods, the company’s designers took things too far with the new M2 fairway woods. TaylorMade had to dial them down to make them comply with USGA rules.
“We have been able to create faces that are now so fast, in a low-profile, low-CG (center of gravity) head, that we can make them illegally fast,” Bazzel said. “Now, for the first time, we’re putting Inverted Cone technology into a fairway wood.”
Inverted Cone is a face-design element TaylorMade has used in drivers for several years that makes the center of the hitting area thicker and the perimeter thinner. The thicker material acts as a brake, so the center of the hitting area does exceed USGA limits for springiness. At the same time, the thinner areas, which normally would be more rigid, increase in flexibility. The result, TaylorMade said, is a larger sweetspot and a face that protects ball speed more effectively on off-center hits.
“We’re seeing big distance pick-ups with the M2 fairways, because when they mis-hit it, it’s going farther (than it would have),” Bazzel said.
The large slot in the sole, behind the leading edge, is a redesigned Speed Pocket. It allows the face to flex more effectively on shots struck low on the face and reduces excessive spin for more distance.
Like the M2 driver, the M2 fairways feature a six-layer, carbon-composite crown that weighs significantly less than the stainless steel used to make the rest of the head. That helps lower the center of gravity, which makes it easier to hit higher-flying, softer-landing shots.
At address, golfers will see the woven carbon-fiber material along with a white area that is designed to help players align the face. The look matches the M2 driver.
The TaylorMade M2 fairway woods will be available in 3, 3HL, 5, 5HL and 7HL versions and will arrive in stores Jan. 27. They will come standard with an M2 REAX graphite shaft and Winn Dual Free Performance grip for $249.99.
TaylorMade 2017 M2 Tour Fairway Wood
The TaylorMade 2017 M2 Tour fairway wood was designed with the needs of the better player in mind. A more compact head shape and a forward center of gravity (CG) make the M2 Tour fairway wood more workable and lower launching/spinning. TaylorMade claims the M2 Tour has the horsepower of the regular M2 fairway, but you better make sure you have the game for it before you try and bag the same fairway woods as Rory and Tiger.
There’s something about the regular TaylorMade 2017 M2 fairway wood that’s a little too bulky and just never really appealed to my eye, but when I first set eyes on the 2017 M2 Tour I was in love. The M2 Tour’s footprint is indeed compact and minimal behind the ball. Though compact, the the M2 Tour has a deeper face than you’d expect, but it wears it well with the black/white/black contrast so it doesn’t seem as deep (at least to my eye).
Obviously the white/carbon theme continues with the ’17 M2 Tour fairway wood. I know there were mixed responses to this scheme when TaylorMade debuted it, but I love it. The contrast looks great behind the ball and adding curvature to the white portion makes it set better to my eye at address when compared to the previous generation which had straighter lines.
How Does it Feel?
I have to tell you, the TaylorMade 2017 M2 Tour fairway wood feel is going to shake out with whether or not you’re a good fit for the club. The standard ’17 M2 fairway wood is much more universal and has a lot of forgiveness to it. A better player that fits the ’17 M2 Tour could very well find it to feel amazing like I did. The face is very solid and feels like the ball absolutely launches at impact. Being the M2 Tour is for a better striker, that feel requires a high level of precision. This fairway wood isn’t exactly forgiving and mishit shots will let you know, but that’s what you should expect from this style of fairway wood.
The precise and responsive feel of the 2017 M2 Tour make it easier to control your shot selection. I found it very easy to “get in tune” with club and manipulate my shots accordingly. This statement may not make a ton of sense, but if you’ve had the experience of “lack of club awareness” then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
How Does it Sound?
One of the major focuses TalyorMade had with the 2016 and 2017 M lineups was to tune the sounds to a more appealing range for players. TaylorMade largely accomplished this in the ’17 M2 line with the Geocoustic sole which has sound ribs on the outside to dampen vibrations and control the pitch of the club’s sound. With good contact and some speed, the TaylorMade 2017 M2 Tour fairway wood has a solid sound to it that perfectly matches its feel. If I could best put it into words, I’d say it has sort of a “snap-crack” to it when you catch one pure.
|Club Speed||Ball Speed||Launch Angle||Spin||Carry (Yds)||Total (Yds)|
I have to tell you, I have not had this absurd of testing numbers in a long time. The first time I tested a TaylorMade 2017 M2 Tour fairway wood, I was seeing some great data. I thought, “eh, it’s a fluke, the machine’s probably juiced” or “maybe I’m just having a great day?” Regardless, the data caught my attention and I was curious to see more. I revisited testing about two weeks later and experienced more of the same. It was pointed out to me “you’re spinning that thing as low as a driver with the same speeds. Time to stop playing a driver.” Compelling, but I still have a driver in the bag.
Ok, enough of the humble brag. The point is, I understand why the M2 Tour is a popular option among TaylorMade staffers. Finding that lower, yet playable, spin in a 3 wood is great. By moving the CG forward, tinkering with the carbon composite crown a bit, and lengthening the Speed Pocket, TaylorMade certainly added speed to the M2 Tour.
The only point of disagreement I had with TaylorMade came in terms of trajectory. By moving the CG forward, TaylorMade definitely brought the spin down, but they also brought the trajectory down. In fact, the biggest reason I prefer the M2 Tour over the M2 fairway is because of its lower launch. I hit too many short balloons with the regular M2, but with the M2 Tour I was hitting piercing bullets with just about the perfect height for my game. Sure, you could tune this with different shafts, but I don’t generally consider the M2 Tour to be high launching. Don’t misconstrue that information though. If you fit the M2 Tour, shot height will not be an issue for you.
TaylorMade certainly nailed it when they set out to make a beast of a fairway wood for the better player. With a strong ball flight and great feel, the 2017 M2 Tour fairway wood is a distance machine combined with excellent playability. If that in itself isn’t enough, the M2 Tour looks sick behind the ball with its signature carbon crown. More importantly, the M2 Tour fairway wood is flat out fun to hit if you have the game for it.
Stock TaylorMade 2017 M2 Tour Fairway Wood Specs
|3||15º||43.25″||D3||X, S, R||RH|
|3HL||16.5º||43.25″||D3||X, S, R||RH|
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TaylorMade M2 Fairway Wood Review
Fast, far and forgiving say TaylorMade. Everything from last years M2 has been striped back to bare bones and improved for 2017. The carbon crown’s reduced to six layers, there’s a longer and more flexible speed pocket and a lighter fluted hosel all to increase ball speed, carry distance and forgiveness. There’s also some serious “geocoustic” engineering to tune sound and feel.
TaylorMade make some of the longest drivers in the game but they also put just as much focus and effort into making the hottest fairways too. So believe us when we say the M2 is pimped for distance and forgiveness in the hands of the club golfer. Both amateurs testers saw M2 as a much better fit for their game, so it’s no surprise at all the M2 delivered the longest carry distance a full 12 yards further than the test average. TaylorMade reckon a 16.5deg 3 wood suits more modern golfers than a 15deg model so we tested both lofts. Our data shows a rise of 1.8deg in launch angle, 600rpm increase of backspin and a carry distance drop of 8 yards by switching to 16.5deg (3HL). But remember 8 yards is a decent trade off, as it’s easier to launch off the deck particularly with a modern golf ball that spins less.
For us M2 is one of the best fairway woods available this year. It’s more forgiving and playable for the club golfer over the M1 and it’s £50 cheaper. Spend that £50 on a dozen TP5 balls and you’ve got a winning combination in our book.
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ClubTest 2017: TaylorMade M2 fairway wood review
CATEGORY: Game Improvement Fairway Woods
WE TESTED: 3 (15°) and 5 (18°) with TM Reax (55 and 65) graphite shaft.
KEY TECHNOLOGY: A high-strength steel face combines with a longer, more flexible Speed Pocket for faster ball speeds.
Buy Now for $249.99
Buy Now for $249.99
A perfect driver replacement with plenty of carry and roll off the tee; very effective from the fairway and all kinds of trouble; repeatable shot shape and medium-high trajectory.
“So much fun to play: easy to hit, class-leading distance and a firm, springy feel.”
– Hoai Hoang, Index 11.5, Age 42
Players with higher swing speeds get superior yardage—the 3-wood is as long as some drivers; exceptional length on mis-hits.
Some guys find the two-tone design distracting; other players prefer more workability and feedback on off-center hits; not the easiest to swing through thick rough.[gallery:13846705]
The new M2 is one of the best sticks in the test. Stronger players find powerful distance combined with all the accuracy they need. A great choice to replace the driver on tight holes, and they work hard to hunt your target from a variety of lies.
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