By Dominic Choma, Club Fitter
New for 2017, TaylorMade Golf has introduced 4 different iron models: The M2, M1, P770, and the P750. Each is designed for a different category of golfer, which allows this line to cater to many different players. The M2 caters to the game improvement crowd, which happens to be the category to which most golfers belong. The M1 is another iron that would be considered a game improvement club, but with a slightly smaller shape to give it a smaller look that better players prefer. The P770 is a forged cavity back that would be in the Player’s Cavity category. This iron will be smaller in shape than the M1, which will give the player smaller looking golf club and more work-ability with a small amount of forgiveness on off center strikes. Lastly there is the P750, which is considered their tour level iron for 2017. The P750 is the smallest iron in the lineup and it will give the players the greatest amount of workability but will be the worst club on off center strikes. Generally, players who have trouble hitting the sweet spot consistently should stay away from this model.
I was curious to see how each of these clubs performs compared to one another. To find out, I hit each of them on Trackman 4 in The Cluboratory at Miles of Golf – Ann Arbor. I hit 8 shots with each iron, throwing out each shot that was not well struck. I used the 2 degree upright version of each fitting head along with the same True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft that measures +½” over standard length. Keeping those variables constant would allow this test to show up the differences and similarities between the club heads. The data is as follows:
Looking at the numbers for the M2, the thing that stands out is the carry distance. The M2 averaged 194.3 yards of carry distance in this test, which was 5 yards longer than the next iron. The M2 was the longest iron of the group, producing the fastest average ball speed, at 135.2 miles per hour. The M2 also produced the lowest launch angle and spin rate of the group as well, averaging 13.1 degrees of launch with 6146 rpms of spin. This combination of fast ball speeds along with the lower launch angle and spin rate produced a penetrating ball flight that squeezed out a few extra yards compared to the others. Interesting enough, the M2 had the second highest average peak height of the group at 101.4 feet, despite producing the lowest launch angle and spin rate in the group as mentioned before. The reason for this is the ball speed, as the faster that ball is traveling, the higher it will go. The extra ball speed makes up the low launch and spin, giving the golfer the powerful combination of a higher ball flight and more distance. The casual golfer who is looking to gain more distance with their irons, or to hit the ball higher will benefit from the M2. The M2 iron will also benefit the golfer who is looking for a more forgiving golf club, as the M2 does very well on off center strikes. This will give the golfer a better performing shot when they do not make their best swing, aiding consistency and their scores in the end.
The M1 iron is designed for the player who would like a more forgiving golf club, but wants a club that appears a little bit smaller at address or a club that will give them some workability as well. The M1 has many of the same design features of the M2, but in a smaller shape and size. In terms of the numbers, the M1 is the closest to the M2 in distance and overall ball flight. The M1 averaged 189.1 yards of carry distance, with an average ball speed of 134.2 miles per hour. This is 1 mile per hour slower than the M2, which is not a significant amount. The M1 averaged a 13.3 degree launch angle, which again is not a major change from the M2. The major difference between the M1 from the M2 is the spin rate, with the M1 averaging 6879 rpms of spin. That is over 700 rpms higher than the M2, which allows the M1 to produce a slightly higher ball flight and steeper landing angle. This higher spin rate also causes the ball flight of the M1 to balloon slightly more than the M2, which is the main reason why the M1 falls about 5 yards short in carry distance when compared to eh M2. A golfer who would like more distance with a slightly higher ball flight, but who values having work-ability and forgiveness in a smaller looking club head should consider the M1 iron.
The third iron in the test is the P770. The P770 is a forged cavity back iron which is going to be slightly smaller than the M1, and is designed for better players who want a sleek looking clubhead with a smaller cavity back to help them on their slight mis hits. This iron is not designed to produced longer distances, and the player group that it targets is generally not too concerned in gaining distance. The P770 iron averaged 181.7 yards of carry distance, with an average ball speed of 130.3 miles per hour. This is much lower than the M2 and M1 irons, and it is the main reason why this iron did not travel as far. The average launch angle was 13.4 degrees, with an average spin rate of 7212. With a peak height of 97.9 feet, it is interesting that the P770 had a lower overall ball flight when compared to the M2 and M1 despite having a higher launch angle and spin rate. This can be attributed to the lower ball speed, which as mentioned earlier, will produce a lower ball flight all things being equal. The P770 iron will appeal to a better player whose main concern is having an iron that will give them a little bit of forgiveness on their mishits, but will also give them a good amount of control over their ball flight with a smaller look. A player who values the feeling of a softer forged iron will gravitate toward the P770 at well
The P750 is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the M2. Designed for the serious golfer who wants the most amount of control over their ball flight and who does not need too much help on their mishits. The P750 is the smallest iron in the group, which will give the P750 a very clean look at address, and that along with the highest amount of work-ability in the group will have skilled golfers giving this iron a serious look. In terms of the numbers, this iron does not stand out when compared to the others. The average carry distance for the P750 was 179.7 yards, with an average ball speed of 129.7 miles per hour. The average launch angle is 14.1 degrees with an average spin rate of 7505 rpms. Those numbers combined to produce an average peak height of 94.8 feet, which was the lowest of the group. This lower overall ball flight with slightly higher spin will give a skilled golfer more control over the trajectory of his shots. They will be able to hit the ball left or right, and high or low with greater ease when compared to the rest of the group. This feature comes at the price of the added forgiveness that the other 3 models have to varying degrees. For the golfer who wants the most control over their ball flight, and who can hit the center of the club face consistently, the P750 iron is the option they should be looking at in the TaylorMade line.
TaylorMade introduced 4 different irons for their 2017 lineup. Each with their own unique characteristics meant to cater to a certain type of player. The M2 iron was the longest in this test, and is for the player who is looking for more distance and forgiveness on their off center strikes. The M1 iron performed similarly to the M2, flying 5 yards shorter and spinning about 700 rpms more. This iron will cater to the player who wants forgiveness and distance like the M2, but likes the shape and look of a slightly smaller club head. The P770 is a forged cavity back that provided less ball speed, and a spin rate that was higher than both the M2 and M1 irons. It is designed for the player who is more concerned with control over their ball flight rather than distance, but who would also like a little bit of help when they do not strike the center of the club face. Lastly, the P750 was the highest launching and highest spinning iron in this test, along with having the slowest ball speed of the group. This combination gave the P750 the shortest distance of the 4 irons. The P750 iron is made with the stronger player in mind, one who is looking for a club that is going to allow them to hit shots with varying trajectories. The player who is looking at the P750 should be a consistent ball striker, as it is the least forgiving option of the group. As always, when looking at any one of these models, being custom fit is critical to ensuring that the player gets the performance they are looking for.