Historically, TaylorMade seems to enjoy taking ownership of change. Of pushing boundaries of what we as golfers know or believe to be stock (remember the first thoughts and perception of white and matte crowns?), and redefining our perception of what makes sense in a golf club. For the 2016 lineup including the M2 fairway that is highlighted in this review, TaylorMade has once again redefined what golfers should expect to see when they line up to the ball, and have clearly gone in a different direction with how the head should respond to great contact.
MAXIMIZED DISTANCE AND FORGIVENESS – Many golfers see their current fairway wood as their most-trusted club in the bag. With the multi-material construction of M2 – and the addition of a NEW Speed Pocket – we have created our hottest trajectory ever in this category. It’s time to find a new favorite with this product. Players seeking exceptional distance and playability from their fairway wood will find the M2 fairway to go farther and straighter than what they have in their bag today.
“The M2 fairway features significant, meaningful performance & technology at an affordable price; the multi-material construction combined with our most aggressive Speed Pocket delivers world class performance from the tee and off the fairway” – Brian Bazzel, Sr. Director – Metalwood Product Creation
- Stock Shaft: TaylorMade REAX 65g (X-Stiff, Stiff), 55g (Regular, Senior) & 45g (Ladies)
- Available Lofts: 3 (15º) , 3-HL (16.5º), 5 (18º), 5HL (21º), & 7HL (24º)
What is quite enjoyable about the M series from TaylorMade is the consistency of the crown between the driver and the fairway, introducing comfort and confidence in seeing a similar design depending on the club. Looking over the ‘un’fairway, there are some elements that really catch the eye, such as the speed pocket, material limited hosel design, and an interesting lack of sole weight. Everything about the product build seems to really blend well together, starting with the crown all the way around into the sole and brand representation. From a visual standpoint, the dual-look crown is the best offering from TaylorMade in some time, making about as much of a statement as the original white crown releases.
Key Technological Elements
In order to best understand the M2 Fairway wood, we must understand what makes it so unique to other offerings on the market. The following will include three elements which have been highlighted by TaylorMade.
Carbon Composite Crown – shifts weight low for optimal launch and spin conditions
Despite this remarkably short reference to the crown, it belongs at the forefront of conversation when discussing the M2 fairway wood. TaylorMade has rebuilt their woods to remove half of the crown weight to send the weight into more relevant areas of the head while maintaining a great aesthetic for those looking down at the head. On paper, a two tone head may not sound fantastic, but addressing the ball with the slight carve out in the center of the head acts as an additional alignment confirmation and confidence booster.
NEW Speed Pocket – the Open Channel Speed Pocket promotes a larger sweet spot and reduced spin for more distance. More often.
While it is very difficult to genuinely discuss the benefits of a technological element that improves something, it does seem like many years of releases incorporating a pocket or channel has bode quite well for TaylorMade. It did seem like during the testing period, there was some marginal flexibility around the head of the M2 fairway that allowed decent distance retention, and that did seem slightly more noticeable lower on the face which is obviously where the speed channel is located.
Best In Class Sound – Combination of fluted hosel and internal acoustics engineering manages vibrations and pitches to product a solid, hot and crisp sound that offers tremendous feedback at impact
It is fantastic that sound is highlighted by TaylorMade because it seemed to be a conversation every time this club made an appearance on the range around other golfers. Early in testing, some were quite surprised by the sound, likening it to the sound of a subtle driver rather than a fairway wood prior to realizing what was being hit (it was their assumption that a fairway would be louder). In actuality, the TaylorMade M2 fairway seems to be in a class by itself with regards to sound.
While other offerings lean towards that sharp, metallic, and audibly dialed sound, the M2 seems to be geared more towards the head making full contact with the ball. For all the describing words used by TaylorMade above, “Solid” is the best. When struck well, it sounds like the ball is being punished by the head, and by removing the manufactured sounds, golfers will undoubtedly get a much clearer understanding of where they are making contact on the face, and how well they struck the ball. It was to the point where perfect strikes felt extremely rewarding, and for this reviewer, not terribly uncommon.
Off the Tee
There are two relatively obvious situations where the M2 fairway would come into play. For this particular reviewer, the primary focus for a three wood in the 14-15 degree range, the goal is to replace the driver on tighter holes to keep the ball in play with some decent rollout. The shocking part about the M2 fairway, is that while the profile suggests it would be very versatile, the head actually presents itself tall enough to be a forgiving tee option due to the roll of the crown and head shape. For the TaylorMade M2 fairway, flight was achieved easily depending on tee height, with the best shots deriving from teeing the ball relatively low in total. This resulted in a shot that adjusted the overall launch to somewhere in the mid to mid/high spectrum, with the wind playing somewhat of a factor due to the higher launching fujikura shaft pairing. The ball could easily be worked both ways, however it seemed like the M2 wanted to stay either straight, or fall off the line left depending on the face presentation at contact.
Off the Fairway
What was so shocking about the M2 and the way it presents itself at address as being a very tee friendly offering, was how easily and quickly the ball could be elevated from a fairway lie. There is a reduction in launch down to more of a mid or low/mid launch in total, but it should not be expected to genuinely elevate a fairway wood at that loft from great distances. There did seem to be a tendency of pulling the ball a fraction left (which could very well be a reviewer error), the ball could be worked both ways off the fairway as well. What was most impressive, was the total distance from the fairway lie, which surprised on numerous occasions. It seems like a well struck ball will promote distances that will impress both off the tee and off the deck.
As subjective as a forgiveness discussion can be, it has been a genuine struggle trying to familiarize with the poorly struck balls. There just didn’t seem to be that much error in the on course and on range results where the ball was glaringly offline due to a bad swing. Balls missed inside slightly which promoted a marginal fade, and off the toe high promoted a draw. Shots lower on the face but on line seemed to make up a lot of the distance loss on the additional bounce/roll that resulted from a more penetrating flight, and shots higher on the face may have lost a touch of that solid feel and distance but again did not punish heavily.
The very clear trend of this review leans toward the idea that TaylorMade has introduced another wonderful product to the market, allowing golfers to be comfortable in the typical fairway wood situations without going overboard on profile or obnoxiously loud club head feedback. They have packaged this exceptionally well with their multi-material construction that not only stands out from other fairway options, but aligns incredibly well behind the golf ball. For more information on the TaylorMade M2 fairway wood, visit www.TaylorMadeGolf.com.