TaylorMade’s product life cycle is annual, and with each release, there is a model that will suit you. As a general rule, if you’re a beginner look for a model without adjustable weight – like the M6, M4, M2, or Burner Superfast. If you’re a better player looking for marginal gains, then an adjustable head where you can dial in your preferred launch and flight conditions might be a better option. Look at the M5, M3, M1, and SLDR models when browsing second-hand TaylorMade drivers.
When looking at their notable driver releases to makes sense to start at the very beginning. In 1979 TaylorMade Golf was the first company to use metal (replacing persimmon) to build their drivers. Looking and performing differently thanks to perimeter-weighting which offered greater forgiveness on mis-hits, while the lower centre of gravity made it easier to launch the ball in the air.
As other manufacturers followed suit, it was time for TaylorMade to lead from the front again. This time it was with the R7 Quad, the first drive to feature moveable weight. Further revelations came with the Burner Superfast 2.0 driver, which was white – increasing the contrast between the club head and the grass to help alignment.
The innovations kept coming, and it was the SLDR driver, which was the next jump forward for TaylorMade as it addressed the trade-off between high launch and low spin, the perfect distance combination. By moving weight to the front, just behind the face, they were able to reduce spin to an optimum level, and by telling users to ‘Loft Up’ to as much as much as 12-degrees, they still launched the ball through the desired window.
In recent years (2016 onwards) TaylorMade has continued on their path to make the best drivers in golf – with their ‘M’ series – making one model (the odd numbers) for the players who like to adjust, and another (the even numbers) for players who want straight distance.
TaylorMade is not scared of breaking the bounds of tradition in their designs either. Major influencers in moveable weight technology and more recently a technology unchanged for over a hundred years in the form of the bulge and roll face. TaylorMade research showed this was not the most efficient way of making a driver face so in 2018 they introduced Twist Face. More loft in the high toe and less loft in the low heel (common mis-hit locations) add and decrease spin respectively to keep the ball on the fairway more often.
Their constant innovation and desire to be the best has allowed TaylorMade to build a Tour stable of the best golfers in the world. Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Tiger Woods all use TaylorMade equipment, and TaylorMade boasts numerous wins on the PGA Tour and European Tour each year.