TaylorMade M1 430 Driver Review

TaylorMade M1 430 Driver_0003

50 Words or Less

The TaylorMade M1 430 driver, much like its bigger brother, is low spin but lacking in forgiveness.  Many settings, but most are indistinguishable from others.

TaylorMade M1 430 Driver_0008TaylorMade M1 430 Driver_0006

Introduction

No driver this fall can match the hype of the TaylorMade M1 430 and it’s larger brother, the 460 cc M1.  From the carbon fiber crown to the dual sliding weights, TaylorMade appears to have pulled out all the stops, but does the driver actually perform?

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Looks

On TV and on the rack, the TaylorMade M1 430 driver is one of the most distinctive looking drivers on the market – just how TaylorMade wants it.  The combination of black carbon fiber with white nearer the ball actually makes the driver look very small because the eye can only focus on one color or the other.

The M1 430 is noticeably smaller than the standard M1 driver, particularly from front to back.  The smaller front to back dimension makes the head more round as opposed to oval, and it makes the face appear a bit taller.

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Sound & Feel

Sound is always a concern with a composite driver, but the TaylorMade M1 430 driver sounds decent.  It is loud, one of the louder drivers we’ve tested lately, with a big hollow-sounding crack at impact.  The auditory feedback is minimal with slightly better feedback coming through the hands.

The feel of the club is different when you move the weights from one extreme to the other, but there’s virtually no difference from one setting to the next.

TaylorMade M1 430 Driver LM Data

Performance

If you read my review of the 460 cc M1 driver, you know that I found it to be very low spin but not very forgiving with a wealth of redundant positions for the sliding weights.  And if you read that review, you can probably stop reading this one, because the song is pretty much the same.

In my testing, the TaylorMade M1 430 driver is a bit lower launching and lower spinning than the 460 cc version, but the differences are minimal and could easily be chalked up to the user.  It’s possible that the smaller head may affect other players differently leading to opposite findings.  As always, you need to try the clubs yourself to know for sure.

My biggest disappointment with both M1 drivers is the overabundance of positions for the weights.  I love adjustability in all forms, but moving the weights from any one notch to the next is practically meaningless.  At the extremes, the weights make a big difference, but in my experience, the number of possible settings is going to either A) overwhelm golfers, leading to them throwing the wrench away or B) cause them to endlessly tinker in the belief that shifting a few grams a fraction of an inch is the difference between OB right and a 300 yard draw.  I wish TaylorMade had taken this potentially impactful adjustability and packaged it in a more productive way.

It is to TaylorMade’s credit, however, that there are three stock shaft options.  The Fujikura Pro, Mitsubishi Kuro Kage, and Aldila Rogue cover the 50, 60, and 70 gram weight classes, respectively, giving players the ability to fit the driver more precisely without an upcharge.

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Conclusion

I’ve already heard from golfers who are having success with TaylorMade’s M1 driverand if anyone is using this to drive the ball better, shoot lower scores, and enjoy the game more, I’m thrilled.  As with any product, this will find a home with certain players.  It’s my opinion, however, that the M1 lags behind many of its contemporaries in important ways, and there’s no excuse for that when the club costs $500.

Buy the TaylorMade M1 430 driver HERE

Matt Saternus
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3 Comments

  1. Derek Seguin

    Glad to be aboard…Thank You

  2. Ryne Lindquist

    Matt,

    What loft were you using for your testing? 97 mph clubhead speed with 12 deg launch and 1500 rpm isn’t optimal, to say the least. I normally play a 9.5-10 deg driver, but when fitted for the M1 (430) I needed to config the club to 11.25 deg of loft to get consistent launch and spin. Now I’m sitting at about 15 deg launch with 1900-2200 RPM depending on strike. According to GC2, I’m consistently carrying 284 yds with 106-109 mph club head speed and get get balls in the 290s and even a couple in the low 300s if I step on it and get my club head speed up to 112-115 mph. I’ve found this club to be very consistent and the weighting has had actual meaningful adjustability. With the center track weight all the way forward and the front-track weight half way b/w center and full fade, I’m finding it a bit easier to get the ball rocketing up & forwarding…all while avoiding my normal left-side miss.

    Thanks for your time and cheers!

    Ryne

  3. Alex Dysart

    How much does it weigh

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