TaylorMade M1 430 Driver Review (2016)
Here I’ll be reviewing the 430cc model of the TaylorMade M1 driver. Compared with its 460cc brother, the full review of which can be found here, the 430cc M1 offers more workability and a little less forgiveness in a smaller and more compact profile.
How else does the 430cc M1 differ from the 460cc M1, and is it worth considering adding it to your bag? Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
In a hurry? Here’s the quick overview and verdict for you…
Rating: 4.9/5 (Excellent)
Pros: More skilled golfers who hit the sweet spot consistently will likely see fantastic results; impact sound and feel are solid and satisfying; workable; heavily adjustable for great flexibility
Cons: Not very forgiving on mis-hits; pricey; left handed variant not available on the rack
Recommended for: Although any golfer can play the 430 M1, it’s most recommended for seasoned golfers, professionals, low handicaps and players who consistently hit the driver solid. High handicaps who are up for the challenge of using a smaller head can also enjoy it.
Want a high-resolution look at the 430 M1? Click on the composite image at the top of the page and navigate the photos on the left-hand side of the screen.
What are the reviews like?
The 430 M1 has been received extremely well overall (perhaps even a bit better than than the 460 M1), with average customer ratings of 5/5 (100% recommended!) on the TaylorMade website, 5/5 on Amazon, 4.7/5 on Global Golf (reviews here), and 5/5 on Golfsmith.
Similar to the 460 M1, customers love the quality modern look, solidness, light weight and amount of adjustability provided. Many people prefer the slightly smaller head as well as the sound, feel and added workability of the 430 M1 over the 460 M1. In terms of negatives, players do note that there isn’t as much room for error at impact; it’s not quite as forgiving as its 460cc counterpart, and on an absolute scale there are plenty of more forgiving drivers to choose from. Also noted is the relatively steep price tag and the fact that left-handed variants are not available.
What are the features?
Aside from the shape and appearance of the clubhead (which is discussed in more detail below), the features/technologies of the 430 M1 are virtually identical to those of the 460 M1. For an all-encompassing writeup of these features, including stock shafts and grips offered, I would direct you to the “Overview and Features” section of my 460 M1 review here. The specs of the 430 M1 are tabled below:
|M1 430 Driver||8.5°||58°-62°||45.5"||430cc||D4||RH|
|M1 430 Driver||9.5°||58°-62°||45.5"||430cc||D4||RH|
|M1 430 Driver||10.5°||58°-62°||45.5"||430cc||D4||RH|
How does the driver perform?
Distance: Golfers who optimize their ball flight with a proper shaft and a proper weight position/loft/lie configuration should see excellent distance results on solid strikes. Although the 430 M1 is not inherently “longer” than the 460, some find that the slightly different look and feel throughout the swing allows them to hit the ball farther — one reason for this might be a reduced drag and higher clubhead speed during the swing as a result of the smaller head profile. Actual results will, of course, depend on the individual, but many players have reported large distance gains of 20 yards and upwards over their previous driver.
Forgiveness: The 430 M1, naturally, is slightly less forgiving than the 460 due to the smaller head and hence smaller sweet spot. Another consequence of the smaller head is a slightly lower moment of inertia (MOI) which results in more distance and directional losses on mis-hits. For this reason, the 430 M1 is not recommended for beginners who are looking to play decent golf right off the bat.
Playability/Trajectory: One benefit of a more compact clubhead is increased workability, and the 430 M1 is indeed quite workable. Skilled players are be able to manufacture various shot shapes with relative ease, and combined with M1’s extensive adjustability, this makes for a very versatile and playable driver. Typical trajectories with the 430 M1 tend to be mid-high and low-spinning, which is desirable for one looking to maximize distance.
What about look, sound and feel?
Look: The 430 M1, like the 460 M1, features a split-colour (black and white) crown with an unobtrusive TaylorMade logo serving as an alignment aid. The overall design/layout of the sole and hosel is effectively identical to that on the 460 M1.
The differences lie in the shape (the 430 M1 is slightly less elongated from front to back and slightly shorter from heel to toe) and of course some of the labeling. Two of the stripes on the sole of the 430 M1 are colored red instead of the white found on the 460 M1. The adjustable loft sleeve is easily accessible on the hosel. Despite the slightly smaller profile, it’s still a confidence-inspiring look that I think most people will really like.
Sound and Feel: Different people tend to have differing results with it comes to sound and feel of the M1. During my hitting session, I found the 430 M1 to feel and sound a little more solid at impact than the 460 M1, which I suppose is not surprising given the smaller head. Also, the feel during the swing felt a little less restricted than the 460 M1, probably due to reduced drag.
Where should I buy this driver online?
You can get new 430cc M1 drivers in all different configurations by trusted sellers for large discounts relative to normal price on eBay — they have the best online prices I’ve seen anywhere and I strongly recommend checking it out.
What about a used one?
Check out Global Golf (link above) or visit eBay, where you can find used 430cc M1 drivers being sold at more than $100 off. Amazing value! Checking out eBay is a must for anyone looking to get the best deals online for golf equipment.
The 430cc model of the M1 is a very viable alternative to the 460cc model, suggested for seasoned golfers with a low handicap who can hit their driver consistently solid. Those who can handle the reduced forgiveness will that comes with a smaller head will greatly appreciate the feel, looks and workability that it provides. Even higher-handicap golfers who are up for the challenge of dialing in their consistency should look at the 430 M1.