Written By: Tony Covey
Not only is King vs. M1 the most requested review from our readers this season, it’s quite possibly the single most requested test we’ve ever had.
The Cobra KING LTD and TaylorMade M1 have quickly become two of the most anticipated and discussed drivers of 2016. Both products have generated plenty of excitement, and that’s not the least bit surprising given that the two companies are responsible for our last two Most Wanted Drivers (TaylorMade SLDR – 2014, Cobra FLY-Z – 2015).
The King and M1 are each flagship products…the top of each company’s respective line, and both claim performance benefits from carbon fiber components and other weight savings that allow the center of gravity to be shifted closer to the neutral axis.
Dont’ worry, we’re not going to bog you down with techspeak today. If you came here hoping to find out exactly how the drivers perform, you won’t be disappointed.
3 New Ways To Look at the Data
With today’s test, we’re providing you with something you’ve never had before; three new and distinct ways to digest our data so that you can make the most informed decision possible. Some of this data has never been made available to consumers before.
What you’ve come to expect from typical reviews is of little little value to the individual. We think you deserve more. Moving forward we hope to move beyond the typical data provided in most reviews in favor of results geared to you, the individual golfer.
The three ways we’re presenting our data allow you choose the format that works best for you. Our Basic Results provide a simple look into 3 performance metrics. Our Interactive Results give you even more data while providing you with the opportunity to tailor the information to your swing. Finally, our Advanced Results give you the ability to dig even deeper into our data that ever before, and hopefully identify the club that will work best for you.
This is truly #Datacratic.
We encourage you to explore the data, and by all means, let us know what you think.
How We Tested
Instead of testing Most Wanted Style (off-the-rack), for this test we did something a bit more apples to apples:
- Both clubs were outfitted with Aldila Tour Green Shafts (65 gram, stiff flex), finished to equivalent playing lengths.
- To provide additional consistency, a brand new NO1 50 Pro grip was installed on each club.
- Both clubs were set to play at what the manufacturer defines as 10.5°. In the case of the M1, a 10.5° degree head was used. The KING LTD was set its nominal loft (also 10.5°). No additional hosel adjustments were made during testing.
- As adjustability is a point of differentiation between these clubs, we did make both front to back and left to right adjustments with the M1 to better fit our testers.
- Testers were asked to hit a series of shots with each club (alternating frequently between drivers). To provide us with a better sense of forgiveness along with total performance, we kept a higher percentage of shots than in previous tests; only eliminating the most severe mishits including any shots greater than 55 yards off the target line.
- All testers hit new Bridgestone B330-RX golf balls and data was collected using a Foresight GC2 Launch Monitor with the Head Measurement Unit (HMT) attached.
The Best Peformance For Your Swing
The graphic above provides the basic data that most of you want to see. For those of you who want more…for those of you who want to dig a little deeper to determine which of these two drivers will work best for your swing, we’ve rolled out some exciting tools to help you do just that.
How much do you know about your swing?
How fast do you swing the club? What’s your handicap? What’s your Angle of Attack? Do you hit the ball high on the face, low on the face, or somewhere in-between?
The more you know about your swing, the more we can help identify the best driver for you.
Both of the charts below contain 6 filters. By adjusting any (or all) of the filters on the top of the Ball Data and Club Data charts, you can dynamically recalculate the averages from our test based on the data that’s most relevant to your swing.
With these two drivers being so similar in performance, how can you make the most informed decision? Use our data filters to narrow the results based on characteristics that more closely match your swing? Want even more, check out the King LTD vs. M1 Advanced Guide where we’ve made even more data available for you to sort through and digest.
Finally, we’d be remiss not to recommend that you go out, try both drivers for yourself, and most certainly, work with a professional fitter to get dialed in to whichever model you choose.