TaylorMade 2017 M2 Men's Golf Iron Set
- Max-cor and low CG - moving discretionary weight lower in the head via the new 180-degree fluted hosel and ultra-thin top line provides higher launch and incredible distance
- Face slot technology - engineered into M2 irons, face slots provide added forgiveness on shots struck toward the heel or toe. Complemented by speed pocket technology
- Compact shaping - M2 features a smaller overall head design compared to other distance irons. Reduced Offset, thin topline, and shorter blade length provides a confidence-inducing look at address
Taylormade's M2 series has arguably been one of the most popular brands for golf clubs in the past recent years. The M2 driver has been, in fact, one of my personal favorite drivers in the past decade or so, and is one I've recommended to a lot of my students.
The M2 clubs are designed with distance and flight trajectory as their emphases, in line with the current trends. The M2 clubs are also decently forgiving, making them acceptable choices for beginners and mid-handicap amateurs as well.
Our point of discussion today will be the Taylormade M2 Irons, which is designed with the same philosophy: distance and forgiveness. The excellent performance in distance is driven by the face slot technology, allowing the face to flex more during impact, and thus producing more ball speed. The face slot also helps with forgiveness, allowing more ball speed during off-center hits. This isn't actually a new technology, first introduced in TaylorMade's highly successful RSi irons a few years back. However, the M2 further improved this design by having a lower center of gravity (CG).
Key Features of the TaylorMade M2 Iron Set
TaylorMade clubs are known for their rich, high-tech features, and of course, the 2017 M2 irons are no different. Below, we will discuss the key features of the TaylorMade M2 Irons, which will be largely comprised of new technologies applied.
Without further ado, let us discuss some of those mentioned technologies below.
Key Feature #1: Updated Face Slot
The Face slot is not an entirely new technology for TaylorMade clubs, first introduced on the TaylorMade RSi a few years back.
The 2016 edition of the M2 irons didn't feature the face slot, because the larger head in combination with the face slot will increase the center of gravity, thus eliminating the higher flight trajectory.
With the 2017 M2 irons, this issue has been tackled with new improvements in design to lower the CG elsewhere besides the face. This is achieved by making the top line of the head and the leading edge 33% thinner, and the face profile was also built with a shallower design.
Lower Center Of Gravity
Last but not least, the hosel was also made thinner, and in total the CG was lowered by around 7%, allowing the face slot to fit in without sacrificing ball height. These designs allow the face slot to be featured on the 4 to 8 irons.
As the result of this combination, we get all the forgiveness from the larger head size (and thus the larger MOI) of the 2016 M2 irons, and even more from the face slot. The 2017 M2 irons are extremely forgiving, giving you a very high natural trajectory, excellent ball speed even on off-center hits, and large MOI.
Key Feature #2: Ultra-Thin Speed Pocket
The 4 to 7 irons also feature the new, ultra-thin Speed Pocket.
In principle, the speed pocket, positioned in the sole, allows the face to be large and unsupported and thus can flex more during impact. As a result, the speed pocket can maximize ball speeds across the face, giving you excellent speed even on off-center hits. Thus, the speed pocket is essential for both forgiveness and distance.
Key Feature #3: New Fluted Hosel
The fluted hosel design is not an all-new feature of the 2017 M2 Irons but first introduced on the 2016 model. The thick-thin fluted hosel design on the 2016 model achieved two things: saving 3 grams less weight compared to the AeroBurner Irons, its direct predecessors, and making the offset larger while still allowing a thick top line.
With the 2017 M2 Irons, the fluted hosel was made even thinner with only 6 wider sections on it compared to the previous 8. As a result, this saved another 2 grams on top the original 3, making it 5 grams lighter than your usual hosel.
Lighter hosel means two things: allowing you to have faster swings and moving the center of gravity of the club lower. The center of gravity lower is the core concept of the 2017 M2 Irons' design, to allow the face slot feature.
Comparison: TaylorMade M2 Irons 2016 vs 2017
After we have discussed the three key features above, there are several key differences when we compare the 2016 and 2017 versions:
The 2017 Irons also feel and sound better thanks to the redesigned ribs across the back of the cavity, carefully placed to stiffen the face while optimizing the sound and feel.
The whole M2 brand has been rebranded with the 2017 models, featuring a new white and light green logo instead of white and yellow on the 2016 version. The 2017 version also features a new chrome finish which looks better compared to the raw black finish of the 2016 version.
One major downside with the 2016 M2 Iron Set is that the transitions, especially when you are moving from non-slotted irons to slotted ones, are really noticeable. As a result, it doesn't flow as well as intended. With the 2017 Model, the transition is still noticeable, but not as much. With that being said, the 2017 M2 Iron Set feels like a much more complete set than before.
The face slot technology was not featured on the 2016 version, but is returning on the 2017 version.
The Speed Pocket on the 2016 version was already decent, but was further improved on the 2017 version by being thinner and taller
The 2017 Fluted Hosel is lighter by 2 grams compared to the 2016 version
Both the 2016 and 2017 editions of the TaylorMade M2 Irons are designed with the same purpose: achieving a high flight trajectory and ball speed to produce distance while giving decent forgiveness.
Full Specifications: TaylorMade M2 Iron Set
The whole set of TaylorMade 2017 M2 Irons consists of the 4- to 9- irons, a Pitching Wedge, Attack Wedge, Sand Wedge, and Lob Wedge.
Both options are designed for high-launching ball flights, so are relatively lighter than your usual iron shafts. The graphite option is reasonably more expensive and significantly lighter. Both fit the 2017 M2 heads really well, stable, and are excellent overall choices.
What Makes The M2 Irons Unique
There are several things that set the Taylormade 2017 M2 Irons apart from other game improvement irons available in the market (which we reviewed here). The M2 Irons are marketed as a distance-oriented game improvement set. Usually, distance-oriented irons have similar issues: first, the heads are often big to accommodate larger MOI, and thus making the address rather uncomfortable. Second, the playability is often compromised.
That issues are fortunately tackled by the TaylorMade 2017 M2 Irons: the heads are mid-large sized instead of being overly bulky. As a result, they are still very comfortable to address with. The balance between performance in distance with forgiveness is also maintained well. They are some of the longest irons in the business, and also some of the most forgiving.
Although they are not as playable as performance, bladed irons, the M2 Irons still provide a decent amount of control and shot shaping playability. Especially regarding control, it is easy to stop the ball wherever you see fit, even with the higher than usual flight trajectory.
After we have discussed the key features of the TaylorMade 2017 M2 Iron Set, as well as the differences over the 2016 version, let us move forward to our actual review and verdicts.
TaylorMade 2017 M2 Irons Review and Verdict
Here, we will divide our discussion into several aspects, as well as discussing several frequently asked questions regarding the 2017 M2 Irons. That way, we hope you have an in-depth understanding of the TaylorMade 2017 M2 Irons, and can make a better purchase decision.
TaylorMade is simply one of the best companies when we are talking about technologies. The innovations they offer are always significant without being too over-the-top, retaining the classical qualities of the clubs while being groundbreaking at the same time.
This philosophy of TaylorMade is well-implemented with the 2017 M2 Irons, and as the result, we get a very advanced irons, technology-wise, while retaining the TaylorMade characteristics. The biggest improvement in technology is the very low center of gravity placement, 33% lower than the 2016 M2 Irons. This lower center of gravity placement not only allows higher flight, but also enables the Face Slot technology, missing from the 2016 M2 Irons.
The improved designs to achieve that lower center of gravity placement might seem subtle but is actually very advanced. TaylorMade achieved this by making the hosel lighter, the face thinner and higher, and carefully designed the rib placements.
As the end result, we get an iron set that is very forgiving while also being the longest in distance.
We have stressed several times above of how forgiving the 2017 M2 Irons are. What's really impressive with the M2 Irons is how they are really forgiving without being too bulky. In irons, forgiveness is often achieved by making the head bigger to allow better Moment of Inertia (MOI). However, the head of the M2 Iron is relatively compact.
How did TaylorMade achieve such level of forgiveness, then? The answer is their smart applications of technology. The Face Slot and Speed Pocket allows high ball speed across the whole face, allowing you to still produce decent ball speed even on mishits. The lower center of gravity placement also produces higher flight trajectory, giving players easier time to get the ball where they wanted.
Regarding looks, TaylorMade is also known as one of the best in the business. Same with their philosophy in technology, their clubs are modern, high-tech looking while still retaining the classical identities. The 2016 edition of the TaylorMade M2 Iron Set was already very good-looking clubs, and yet again they are improved with the 2017 version.
The re-branded M2 logo from yellow to light green looks more fresh and modern, which contributes a lot to the 'upgraded' looks. Another significant change is the new chrome tour finish, which looks better compared to the raw black finish of the 2016 version. Chrome finish also tends to be more long-lasting compared to raw finishes, so it is not all about look alone.
Last but not least is the ribs on the cavity back. They are seemingly placed in a random pattern, but is actually carefully placed to stiffen the face. As a result, the good-looking ribs also help with sound and feel.
The principle behind the performance in distance is rather simple: get them to produce faster ball speed and get the center of gravity lower for a higher flight. Although distance is not often considered a highly important aspect for irons, arguably it is more important for game improvement irons and especially for beginners.
With the M2 Irons, the flight trajectory is very high by iron's standard, achieved by having a very low center of gravity, thanks to the extremely light fluted hosel, thin and tall face, and shallow face profile. The ball speed produced is not only very high, but is consistent across the face. This is achieved by both the speed pocket and face slot, allowing the face to flex more and giving the player easier time to swing it through the turf.
Distance is nothing, however, without control, and the M2 Irons provide great shot-stopping control to easily place the ball where you want it.
Adjustability is not a particularly important aspect for irons and wedges, although some iron sets do have some forms of adjustability like movable weights or adjustable hosel. There is no adjustability feature found on the TaylorMade M2 Irons, and we personally feel this is not an important aspect. We didn't give any score for this aspect, and this won't be counted on the final scoring.
The thing with cavity back irons is that they often produce muted, dull sounds. In previous TaylorMade Irons featuring the Face Slot, such as the TaylorMade RSi 1, this issue is further amplified. The Face Slot allows the face to flex more than usual, and thus makes the produced sound dull.
This issue is tackled on the TaylorMade 2017 M2 Irons with the new ribs going across the cavity back, from the underside of the top line to the synthetic badge. At first glance the ribs might appear to be in a random pattern, but they are actually placed carefully to optimize the sound and feel
As a result, although the muted sound is still there, it is barely noticeable. The 2017 M2 Irons retain the TaylorMade signature sound that is loud without being over the top.
For irons, the feel aspect is broader compared to other clubs, because we will also need to consider the transition between the irons throughout the set. So, we will discuss the transition of the TaylorMade M2 Irons first.
The transition has been vastly improved from the 2016 M2 Irons. The transition from non-slotted to slotted irons is very noticeable with the 2016 version, which is one of its biggest downsides, but it is now barely noticeable in the 2017 M2 set.As you go up the set, the offset and head size increases slightly to make them easier to hit. As a result, the 4-iron is a very powerful club with its big face, almost like a hybrid.
Individually, each of the irons feels really good. The shaft and hosel are really light, while the medium-large head feels solid. The well-placed ribs on the cavity back stiffen the face, improving the feel without sacrificing performances from the Face Slot and Speed Pocket.
The TaylorMade M2 Iron Set offers very stable overall performance. They are really excellent regarding distance and forgiveness, without sacrificing too much of feel and playability. For most players, they will appreciate the solid flight of the 2017 M2 Irons. The flight might be higher than average and will take some time getting used to. The delivered distance is also higher than average, giving a consistent performance in distance.
The iron and shaft graphite options also fit really well with the M2 heads, which feel really light yet stable. With the level of forgiveness they offer, you can almost always expect consistent performance with the TaylorMade M2 Irons.
The level of forgiveness really is excellent, among the best offered on the market today. The speed saving is achieved really well with the new design, especially due to the improvements in the toe area and outside of the face.
On The Driving Range
For the driving range, there are two important aspects for any clubs: distance performance and style. The TaylorMade M2 Irons are simply some of the best looking irons available today. They offer a modern, high-tech looking design with classic values. They also sound and feel really well, and is certainly a joy to look and hear at.
The performance in distance is also unquestionable. They are simply some of the longest irons in the game today, and the produced height, almost unnatural for irons, is simply an eye pleaser.
Questions and Answers
Are TaylorMade M2 irons good for beginners?
With all the qualities we have discussed above, the TaylorMade 2017 M2 Iron Set is not only good for beginners but rather designed for them. Forgiveness is, of course, the most important qualities for beginners, and it is addressed by a lot of the 2017 M2 Irons' features. The principle behind the M2 Irons' forgiveness is simple: producing decent enough ball flight and speed even on off-center hits. That is achieved by the face slot and speed pocket, allowing the face to flex more than usual, even when it is not a well-struck hit.
Another important aspect for beginners, especially in this modern age of golf, is distance. By producing enough distance, beginners can get entertained enough by their own performance, maintaining the interest to improve more. The M2 irons are simply some of the longest irons in the business, so performance in distance won't be an issue.
Are TaylorMade M2 irons game improvement?
Yes, mostly for the same reasons in the previous answer. 'Game Improvement' is a term often used for beginners' irons, mainly characterized by the cavity-back design.
With the M2 Irons, the shorter irons indeed use a cavity back design with a cavity that closes in. The longer irons used a cavity-back/blade hybrid design, to allow better transition throughout the set.
Are TaylorMade M2 irons forged?
No, TaylorMade M2 Irons are made of cast steel. While some will prefer forged irons for their responsive feel, cast irons are getting more popular today because of their durability. The newer technologies to manufacture cast irons also allow less compromise on feel and sound.
Do TaylorMade M2 irons come with graphite shafts?
Yes, you can opt to get graphite shafts with the TaylorMade M2 Irons. They are slightly more expensive but worth every penny. The default graphite shaft option for the TaylorMade M2 Irons is the M2 REAX (74-45 G), available in S, R, A, and L flexes.
How do M2 Irons compare against the TaylorMade RSi 1 Irons?
The RSi 1 was released quite a while ago in 2014 but is still one of the most popular game-improvement irons nowadays. The RSi 1 also features the face slot and speed pocket technology, so there are many similarities with the 2017 M2 Irons.
The M2 Irons, with newer technologies, are more forgiving and produce better performance in distance. However, one thing you might consider from the RSi 1 is the forged steel head, giving them better overall sound and feel.
Regarding performance, however, the M2 outclassed RSi 1 in almost every aspect.
How do M2 Irons compare against the TaylorMade Speedblade Irons?
Speedblade irons are the predecessor of the RSi series, released back in 2013, and are also still quite popular today. The Speedblade set is also designed with forgiveness and distance in mind and thus is very similar to the M2.
However, admittedly, the Speedblade is rather obsolete nowadays, even when compared to the RSi 1, let alone the M2 Irons. If the price is your concern and the M2 Irons are too expensive, you are better off with the RSi 1. On the other hand, if you are looking for maximum forgiveness and performance, the M2 Irons are better in almost everything.
How do M2 Irons compare against the TaylorMade M1 Irons?
This is actually one of the most asked questions: what is actually the difference between Taylormade M1 and M2? New in 2017, the M1 Irons are direct replacements of the 2016 M2 Tour Irons. The main difference between the M1 and the M2 is the more compact head offered by the M1, with smaller bodies, thinner top lines, and thinner soles.
As a result, the M1 offers better playability and slightly better potential in distance but doesn't offer as much forgiveness as the M2 Irons. For better players of single handicap, the M1 might be a better choice. However, for players with single handicap and upwards, the TaylorMade M2 Iron Set is the safer choice.
Below, we will also discuss a couple of iron sets often compared with the TaylorMade 2017 M2.
Comparison #1: TaylorMade M2 VS Callaway Steelhead XR
The TaylorMade M2 Irons are often compared to Callaway Steelhead XR for several reasons. Mainly, because the concepts behind the two are rather similar. The Callaway Steelhead XR is designed with the same philosophies as the TaylorMade M2 Irons: creating a flexing face with a deep center of gravity to achieve both distance and forgiveness.
With the TaylorMade M2 Irons, the flexing face is achieved with the Face Slot technology. With the Steelhead XR, the flexing face is achieved with the Cup 360 technology, which is essentially a thin metal that wraps around the top and bottom of the face and is then attached to the rest of the chassis.
So, the principles and technologies are rather similar between two. So, the big question is how they compare to each other in performance. Based on our tests, the TaylorMade M2 Iron is the longer of the two, offering more consistent performance in distance.
Regarding forgiveness, we can say that they are similar to each other, with both being two of the most forgiving iron sets available. However, the Callaway Steelhead XR offers better, classic Callaway feel and sound, and a little more playability.
Comparison #2: TaylorMade M2 Irons VS TaylorMade Aeroburner HL
The AeroBurner is one of the most successful game-improvement irons from TaylorMade, achieving a rather legendary status ever since their release in 2015, together with the RSi clubs. The principle behind the TaylorMade Aeroburner is similar to the newer M2 Irons, which is, flexing the face for more distance and forgiveness. So, we can see why there are a lot of comparisons between the TaylorMade M2 Irons and Aeroburner HL.
However, although the principle behind the two is similar, there are clear differences you can find between the two, mainly because of technological differences. With the Aeroburner, there is no Face Slot technology, but rather the face was made larger and longer to allow it to flex more naturally. There is indeed a Speed Pocket in the sole on the 4- to 7- irons to maintain ball speed, a similar technology with the TaylorMade M2 Irons.
Overall, the TaylorMade M2 Irons offer better performance in distance and is slightly more forgiving thanks to the newer technologies. The TaylorMade M2 irons also feel and sound better, although we feel that the Aeroburner transitions better throughout the set.
Overall, we feel that the M2 Irons are the better pick. However, the Aeroburner is indeed cheaper because it has been released for quite some time, and is still a decent pick for those with a tight budget.