Drive Golf Performance Blog

Drive Golf Performance Blog

Monday, 2 November 2015

Comparing the Taylor Made M1 Driver to the R15 Driver

Taylor Made just launched their new M1 driver in the last couple of weeks.

Taylor Made are calling it their longest driver. We tested the driver recently to see how it compared to last years R15. Is the M1 their longest driver yet? How much better is it then the R15? These are the questions we were looking to answer.

We used 3 players and had them hit 10 shots with each driver. The results were recorded on a Trackman 111 launch monitor. Each player used used a shaft suitable to them and used the same shaft in the M1 and the R15, this way we could measure how much difference there was between the heads only. The Mizuno MP S ball was used for all shots hit.

The results we wanted to compare were Club Head Speed, Ball Speed, Carry Distance, Overall Distance, Lateral Distance from Target, Launch Angle and Spin Rate

Conditions were very good on the day for testing around 15 degrees C and a slight breeze against.


Carry (Yards) Overall (Yards) Club Head Speed MPH Ball Speed MPH Side Distance Feet Launch Angle Spin Rate RPM
Player A M1 226.9 247.9 101.8 149.4 49.69 10.4 2282
R15 231.5 249.5 103.6 150.6 40.31 10.7 2670
Player B M1 239.9 262.9 107.2 155.7 25.83 11.5 2349
R15 241.7 262.5 108 156 26.82 11 2465
Player C M1 245.3 266.9 108.6 160.8 56.54 11.9 2374
R15 249 266 108 161.3 58.97 11.9 2524

Player A used a 9.5 degree M1 and R15 with a Diamana Kai'li 70 S Shaft
Player B used a M1 and R15 set to 10 degrees with a Diamana 'Ahina 60 X Shaft
Player C used a 9.5 degree M1 and R15 with a UST Attas 7 X Shaft.


We can see that the results of both drivers are very similar for all players.

For Player A The R15 had longer carry by 4.6 yards, overall distance by 1.6 yards, higher club head and ball speed, 1.8 & 1.2 mph, better dispersion 9.38 feet closer, launch angles quite similar just 0.3 degrees apart. The M1 had lower spin - 388 rpm lower.

For Player B The R15 had longer carry by 1.8 yards, higher club head and ball speed 0.8 & 0.3 mph. The M1 had more overall distance by 0.4 yards, better dispersion 0.99 feet closer and lower spin 166 rpm less. The M1 had a slightly higher launch angle by 0.5 degrees

For Player C The R15 had longer carry by 3.7 yards and higher ball speed by 0.5 mph. The M1 had longer overall distance by 0.9 yards, higher club head speed by 0.6 mph, better dispersion by 2.33 feet and lower spin by 150 rpm. The launch angles were identical 11.9 degrees.

Things to note the M1 has lower spin for all three players. It also has a very attractive sound when hit. The R15 has longer carry and higher ball speed for all three players.


Is the M1 the longest driver? The answer is yes for some and no for others. In our test for 2 players it was 0.4 and 0.9 yards longer or around 1 foot and 3 feet longer, longer yes but not by much. For one player it was 1.6 yards shorter.  

Should you rush out and buy the M1 immediately? Definitely not, in this test the R15 is better for player A and for players B&C there's negligible difference between the two and not worth the difference in price.

I would say the most important thing when considering buying this driver is to test it and get fitted for it. If your current driver suits you it's unlikely that the M1 will give you a significant boost.

Comments and questions are always welcome.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Efficacy of Golf Coaching

How does coaching bring about a desired result? 

Hard work leading to a great result for Dave.

The desired result for most players when they receive golf coaching or instruction is to lower their scores. What input from the coach leads to these results?

Aspects of Golf Coaching

Let's first look at the different aspects of golf coaching. 

  • Basic Instruction - Grip, stance, swing fundamentals etc
  • Physical Conditioning/Fitness - Improving aspects of the body that affect performance
  • Mental/Emotional - Using the mind as an ally
  • Shotmaking skills - Speciality shots, trajectories etc
  • Course Management - Game plans, playing the course
  • Equipment - Club fitting

Looking at the last two, course management and equipment, first these components are the quickest and easiest to improve. When a player goes from clubs that don't suit them to ones that do there's an immediate improvement. Also when a player stops playing shots inappropriate to their ability their scores also improve immediately. Examples of this would be a player who struggles off the tee but persists with the driver, switching to a 3 wood or another club which keeps the ball in play will lead to lower scores.

However even though both these will lead to lower scores quickly they will not turn a 15 handicapper into a scratch golfer overnight. Most likely they lead to a 1, 2 or 3 shot improvement over the course of a couple of months and then the player's other limitations i.e. technique, fitness, mental, shotmaking skills stop them from improving further.

Acquired Skills

For Instruction, Fitness, Mental and Shotmaking Skills these are all acquired skills. They all require work and time to improve, time on the practice area, in the gym, working on mental aspects, on the putting green etc

The coach gives the player advice on how to improve the skills and then the player's input becomes the most important aspect as work is required to acquire these skills. Without the player's input and work there is no improvement. The player's improvement makes the coach look great, but it's the player's work that lead to the improvement.

Also if the coach gives the player the wrong advice and the player works on this, the player will dis-improve, all golf coaches will tell of players they've made mistakes with.

The first role of the coach is not to mess the player up, the coach just needs to give the player the tools so they can head off with a clear improvement plan in their head. The great coaches are great communicators, they deliver their message simply and avoid over coaching.

In essence the main difference between the average player and the expert player is centredness of strike and club face control. The expert player hits the centre of the club and has better control over where the club face points at impact. Both are acquired skills and all coaching should lead to making these skills easier to acquire. Improvement is gradual and you shouldn't have to get worse first to get better.



Player improvement comes mainly about from the work a player puts in. Effective coaching makes sure the player is on the right path and that they are working efficently. The best coaches are knowledgeable, great communicators, listeners, are invested in your success and take responsibilty. Successful coaching can only be measured in the success of the student. Search out a coach who is the right fit for you and see your golf game improve. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

How to Gain 30 Extra Yards in 30 Minutes

CM came along yesterday looking to be fitted for a driver. He mentioned that a frequent shot of his was high spinning and left to right.

This being a typical poor shot.

The first thing that was looked at was the strike point in the face.

The strike point was towards the heel and low down on the face, which would lead to higher spinning left to right shots. He then focused on the strike point and moved it more to the middle, giving an immediate jump in distance and accuracy.

11 yards more carry and 13 yards more overall. 

Next his angle of attack was looked at. His angle was around 4 degrees down, which is not optimal. We looked at changing the angle of attack to see what would happen.

He changed his angle of attack from around 4 degrees down to 2 degrees up and a further 16 yards more carry and 17 yards more total distance. Giving CM an overall 30 yard jump in 30 minutes!!

To help him strike it more in the middle we gave him a slighter heavier and stiffer shaft. He was using a 73 gram stiff shaft and he went to a 76 gram extra stiff shaft which helped him feel where the club was more in his swing. He kept the same head.

To change the angle of attack CM teed the ball higher, placed the club a couple of inches behind the ball, added a slight more tilt in his shoulders and felt like he was trying to hit up on the ball. 

That's how he did it!!

If you're looking for more distance, two great tips are to be aware of where you strike it on the face and hit more up on the ball. Centred strikes and higher angle of attacks mean more distance!! 

Comments and questions are always welcome.