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TaylorMade launches M3 and M4 drivers that have a “Twist Face”

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The photos that leaked of the M4 driver, and later of the M3 driver, showed a technology called “Hammerhead,” which we thought would be the most significant technology in the new M3 and M4 drivers. Ha, not even close.

TaylorMade’s new M3 and M4 drivers have what’s called a “Twist Face,” which means the driver faces do not have the traditional bulge and roll that drivers have used since 1888. Instead, they’re actually twisted. The high-toe portion of the faces are more open and with more loft than normal, while the low-heel portions are closed and have less loft than normal.

A plastic mock-up of TaylorMade’s new “Twist Face” exaggerates the design for visual display

“TaylorMade engineers discovered there was a flaw in the traditional bulge and roll.”

Why… why after over 100 years does TaylorMade think that bulge and roll is wrong?

Well, according to the TaylorMade team, the company studied “more than half a million shots” from golfers of all skill levels, using data recovery devices — for swing path, launch and landing location — to determine trends. What TaylorMade found is that shots struck on the high toe went 8 yards left of the target on average and with less spin than ideal (a hook), and shots struck on the low heel went 6 yards right of the target on average, and with more spin than ideal (a slice).

Normal bulge and roll uses curvature — straight across from heel to toe and straight up and down from top to bottom — in order to impart gear effect on the golf ball. That means shots hit on the toe should spin back to the left and towards the target line, while shots hit on the heel should spin back to the right and toward the target line. With a flat-faced golf club (or without bulge and roll), toe shots would go way right and heel shots would go way left. Bulge and roll was introduced to bring shots hit all over the face back to the target or the centerline.

TaylorMade’s findings, however, show that traditional bulge and roll, or at least the way it’s used by golfers in the real world, forces toe shots too low and left, and heel shots too high and right.

Brian Bazzel, the Vice President of Product Creation at TaylorMade, explains the phenomenon:

“Players over or under rotate at impact and the low heel to high toe impacts are in the rotation axis of the face closing. So if the golfer over rotates you hit high toe… under rotation leads to low heel. Players that create more droop can lead to slightly higher face shots and vice versa, but the primary driver of the impact location spread is do to face rotation.”

Bazzel joined our 19th Hole podcast to further explain Twist Face and what it does.

This graphic from TaylorMade simulates the difference between a normal face and Twist Face

So, the way golfers rotate the face, on average, leads to the overall trend of toe shots going low-left and heel shots going high-right. And it makes sense. Think about your latest round or practice session. When you hit the ball off the toe, it was probably high on the face, right? And your heel shots are probably low on the face. Seriously, when is the last time you hit the ball off the high heel? TaylorMade says that is due to face rotation, and it mends the trend by using “Twist Face.”

And what is Twist Face exactly? Bazzel explains again:

  • At 15mm above CF (center face) and 15mm to the toe, the loft will be 0.5 (degrees) weaker and 0.5 degrees more open than standard bulge and roll.
  • At 15mm below CF (center face) and 15mm to the heel, the loft is going to be 0.5 degrees stronger and 0.5 degrees more closed than standard bulge and roll.

In the end, TaylorMade says shots hit off the high toe will go 1 yard left of the target on average instead of 8 yards, and low heel shots will go 2 yards right of the target on average instead of 6 yards. That drops the differential on shots from toe-to-heel from 14 yards down to 3 yards, according to TaylorMade. Luckily, the design is unnoticeable from address — at least, unnoticeable to me. See for yourself…

Note: While the new Twist Face technology is in the new M3 and M4 drivers, TaylorMade says it’s not ready to implement it into the new fairway woods or rescues; it needs more time for R&D, according to TaylorMade.

Additionally, TaylorMade has also introduced its new “Hammerhead” technology, as the leaked photos of the drivers have implied. The slot-technology, which is broken up into three sections, is in the soles of both the CG-adjustable M3 head, and the non-CG-adjustable M4 head. Since the speed pocket was divided into three zones, the length of the slot now stretches 100mm across the sole instead of 82mm in previous M2 designs; that leads to more forgiveness across the face. The ribs behind the face mean the face was able to made thinner for more ball speed, effectively making the sweet spot bigger. The center portion of the slot allows for greater ball speed on shots hit low on the face.

The hammerhead slot works in conjunction with the Twist Face technology, and the familiar inverted cone design used in TaylorMade drivers of the past, to boost ball speeds across the face.

TaylorMade is also ditching the white, and going back to silver for the first time since the SLDR S release. TaylorMade’s M3 and M4 metalwoods have a new matte silver front section on the M3 and M4 drivers, with a raised 5-layer carbon composite crown back section — it’s raised for more aerodynamic qualities. Each of the layers has also been thinned out to lower CG (center of gravity), while being stronger than ever due to years of research, according to TaylorMade.

See below for more details on the M3 and M4 drivers, fairway woods and rescues. All metalwood offerings will be available on February 16.

Click here for photos and discussion.

TaylorMade M3 driver ($499)

Out with the T-track, in with the Y-track.

Rather than having two independent swing weight tracks, as with the 2016 and 2017 M1 drivers, the M3 drivers have one track (it houses two 11-gram weights) that’s connected and allows for more control over front-to-back CG adjustments, and heel-to-toe CG adjustments.

Overall, there’s 1,000 different CG configurations, according to TaylorMade, and the Y-track allows the CG to move 36 percent further back in the most rearward weight settings, thus boosting the MOI (moment of inertia) by 10 percent. Front-to-back CG movement was also increased by 83 percent, says TaylorMade. The curvature of the sole is flatter than previous M1 drivers, meaning CG is lower in the clubhead regardless of the weight settings.

Additionally, the loft sleeve allows for 12 different positions and 4 degrees of change. Stock heads for right-handed players will be 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees, while left-handed options include 9.5 and 10.5 degree heads.

TaylorMade M3 440 ($499)

The CG adjustable M3 driver head will also be available in a 440cc version, which has a slightly more compact look and a deeper face. Like the 460 version, it will come stock with Mitsubishi’s Tensei CK Red (high launch), Blue (mid-launch) or White (low-launch) shafts in R, S and X flexes and a Lamkin UTx cord grip. Additional shafts are available at no upcharge.

The M3 440 drivers are a right-handed-only option and will come in 9 and 10-degree lofts. See more photos here.

TaylorMade M3 fairways ($299)

The CG-adjustable M3 fairway woods are more adjustable than the M1 2017 fairway woods because the sliding weight now measures 29 grams instead of 25 grams. Also, the fairway woods are now constructed with 40 stainless steel bodies, Ni-Co C300 faces and the new 5-layer crown that appears in the M3 and M4 driver heads. To produce the lower spin ball flight that better players prefer, the moveable weight track was pushed 1mm toward the face; the composite crown also saved 8 grams from the top of the club head, and it was displaced low and forward in the head.

For better turf interaction, TaylorMade designed what it calls an “overhang” that extends the length of the track to improve playability. The speed pocket behind the face, which helps boost ball speed and promotes face-flex, is longer than in the M1 2017 fairways. The changes are said to lead to more ball speed on mishits low on the face, and less backspin, too.

Available lofts for the M3 fairway woods include 15, 17 and 19 degrees for right-handers, and 15 and 19 degrees for lefties. Stock shafts are Mitsubishi’s Tensei Blue (A, R, S and X flexes).

TaylorMade M3 rescues ($249)

The sliding weight in the M3 rescue clubs weighs 30 grams, instead of the 27-gram weight that was in the M1 2017 rescues. They will come stock with Mitsubishi Rensei Blue hybrid shaft (R, S and X flexes), and will be available in 17, 19, 21 and 24 degree heads for righties, and 19 and 21-degree options for lefties.

See more photos here.

TaylorMade M4 driver ($429)

Like the M2 drivers of yesteryear, the M4 drivers are the more forgiving ying to the M3’s yang. They feature the same Twist Face and Hammerhead technologies as the M3, but they also use the familiar “Geocoustic” technology as seen in the M2 drivers; the Geocoustic designs use geometry to produce more forgiveness and better acoustics.

Overall, the M4 drivers have a lower and more rearward CG compared to the M2 2017 drivers. The M4 has a redesigned face that saves 8 grams compared to the M2 2017 drivers, which means it’s made thinner for more ball speed, and allows that discretionary weight to be placed low and rearward in the head for higher MOI. The mass pad on the rearward portion of the sole has also been increased from 22 to 41 grams — for golfers, that means more forgiveness and a higher launch.

For righties, the M4 drivers will be available in 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degree heads, and 9.5 and 10.5 degree heads for lefties. Stock shafts are Fujikura’s Atmos Red 6X, 5S, 5R and 5A shafts.

TaylorMade is also offering an M4 D-Type, which has an inherent draw-bias for those struggling to mend a slice. That will be available in 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degree options for righties and 9.5 and 10.5 degree heads for lefties. The M4 D-Type will come stock with Matrix’s Platinum White Tie 55 (S and R flex) and 45 (A and L flex) shafts.

TaylorMade M4 fairways ($249)

The M4 fairway woods are made to be more forgiving than the M3 fairways, and even more forgiving than the previous M2 fairways. The rear mass pads have been separated out toward the toe and heel to preserve ball speeds on off-center hits. Also, the thinner and stronger No-Co C300 faces help to increase COR (coefficient of restitution) for higher ball speeds on off-center strikes.

There is also an M4 Tour head that’s available, which measures 156cc instead of the normal 172cc M4 head. It has a deeper face and an obviously more compact look — it will produce lower launch and more workability, according to TaylorMade.

Right-hand M4 (15, 16.5, 18, 21 and 24 degrees heads) and left-hand M4 (15, 16.5 and 18 degree heads) fairways will come stock with Fujikura’s Atmos Red shafts. Right-hand M4 Tour (15 and 18 degrees) fairways will come stock with Mitsubishi’s Tensei Blue shafts.

See more photos.

TaylorMade M4 rescues ($219)

The TaylorMade M4 rescues have also been made more forgiving due to the split rear mass pad to help on off-center strikes, and they have a speed pocket for higher ball speeds across the face

Right-hand M4 rescues (19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees) and left-hand M4 Rescues (19, 22 and 25 degrees) will come stock with Fujikura’s Atmos Red shafts.

Click here for more photos and discussion of the M3 and M4 metalwoods.

Listen below for more on Twist Face from Brian Bazzel, VP of Product Creation at TaylorMade:

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. S

    Jan 18, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    According to an article from Golf Digest this month Tiger liked M3 440 9 degree the best. It sounded like next time he shows up he would be equipped with the TM blade irons too.

  2. ImaPlayah

    Jan 9, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    I’m okay with the Twist Face but if you don’t know your swing and need to compensate with weight shifting you are in trouble.

    My Current WITB:
    Ping G LS Tec 9° – Mitsubishi Kuro Kage DC TiNi 60 @ 44.75″ – X
    Ping G 5 Wood @ 16.5° – Ping Tour 65 + 1/2″ – X
    Ping G 7 Wood @ 21.5° – Ping Tour 80 – X
    Ping i200 (5-PW) – KBS Tour Stiff + 1/2″
    Ping Glide 2.0 – SS 50°/ WS 56°@ 55°/ TS 60°- Ping AWT 2.0 Wedge + 1/2″
    Ping Redwood D66 (Starshot) – 34″ – Ping PP58 (Midsize) + 5 Wraps

  3. Donald Trump Rules

    Jan 9, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Scores have not improved since persimmon wood club days. Just saying…..

  4. S

    Jan 8, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Interesting… I own a R15 430. My miss on the high toe goes high right and the low heel left and low. The gear effect is there but very minute. Maybe the shaft is a bit stiffer than ideal. But I’d like to keep it that way because everything else is better for me – ball height, distance, and dispersion.

  5. Nick

    Jan 8, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Is it just me or does anyone else find the name, the look of the logo is copied from BMW. Then calling the base hammerhead (which is a famous corner on the Top Gear track) sure makes me wonder what kind of petrol head took the helm at TMs marketing department….irrespective of performance, I thought it was a joke. Apparently not… so when buying a BMW M3/M4 your Dealer can chuck in a set of golf clubs…surely one of the lamest cameos.

  6. Donald Trump Rules

    Jan 6, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    TM Engineer 1: We are going to twist the face of the new driver and call it “Twist Face”.

    TM Engineer 2: But twist on the face of the club is bad.

    TM Engineer 1: Who cares. People will buy anything if we tell them its better and will go farther. We will just claim “Better accuracy and 7 more yards”.

    TM Engineer 2: Sounds good to me. They all bought into white head drivers and speed slots. Lets stamp it.

    • Steve

      Jan 8, 2018 at 8:05 am

      Yeah because if TM clubs perform worse then everyone will buy them. Your argument makes perfect sense. FYI, when players are given a choice, they usually play TM drivers.
      But please, continue with your 2013 narrative.

  7. The59'er

    Jan 6, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Interesting play, wonder if it will actually help the average country club hack.

    • Donald Trump Rules

      Jan 9, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      Has any club in history helped the average hack?

      NO.

      Because theres no club problem, its a swing problem.

  8. scott

    Jan 6, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Hey, Tursky …. you posted this article on January 2nd with no comments section and you finally opened it up on January 5th. What’s the problem? Were you hiding?

  9. R.Neal

    Jan 6, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Now if TaylorMade would make the adapter screw that’s harder than oh say,butter,I might go back.
    Interesting concept though.

  10. Joro

    Jan 5, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    This is really interesting. In the 70s when I was a Woodmaker at Cobra making a lot of Woods, real Woods for the Pros I had one guy say the face looked hooked at the Toe and he didn’t like to see the Bulge at the Heel. Originally I just took a bit off the lower heel but that was Bogus, so I tried angling the Bulge to go from the top of the Toe and the bottom of the Heel. The look was better with a more open toe and no Heel bulge. He like it and raved about how straight it was and longer also. Funny that 40 years ago is now. I have often wondered why they haven’t tried that before now. My believe was that distortion of the shaft leveled out the Bulge where a normal straight Bulge pointed toe down. Very interesting, and provocative.

    • Scott

      Jan 8, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Your comments are interesting. Did any other pros try your grind?

      • Joro

        Jan 9, 2018 at 10:37 pm

        yes, I did all the tour stuff that way and had nothing but good comments, and from some of the top players.

  11. d

    Jan 5, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    This is pretty interesting. As soon as I saw “twist face”, I knew what the intent would be. As weird or bizarre as it might seem, this totally makes sense.

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Fujikura launches new Pro 2.0 and Pro 2.0 Tour Spec shafts

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Fujikura has announced the launch of the second generation of its Pro series shafts: the Pro 2.0.

The first iteration of the Pro shafts were designed with a soft handle section to aid in loading. The Pro 2.0 presents an even more effective loading zone, according to the company, which also says torsional stiffness is 14 percent greater in the 2.0.

“Like all of our shafts, the Pro 2.0 has been designed utilizing enso, a 3D motion-capture technology that no one else in the shaft industry has,” said Alex Dee, Vice President at Fujikura Composites America.

“This technology and advanced data analytics has allowed us to crack the code on how club performance and ball flight are affected by shaft characteristics and swing type. When we compared to the original Pro, we saw the 2.0 was significantly easier to swing, had tighter shot dispersion, and lower spin to deliver the club head with more power, control and distance. We were thrilled with the result.”

The Pro 2.0 is painted “Destroyer Grey” with a metallic blue design in line with the original Pro shaft. The Tour Spec model is painted “Tour Spec White.”

The shafts will be available in weight ranges from 57 to 87 grams (5, 6, 7, 8) and in flexes starting at R2 up to X. $225 MSRP; $250 for the Tour Spec model. Hybrid option available for $140.

Available at over 600 qualified Fujikura charter dealers beginning February 1. Full specs at Fujikura.com.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Pro 2.0 in the forums.

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Fred Couples signs with Bettinardi, will continue to use FCB putter

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Fred Couples has been using his namesake Bettinardi putter, the FCB (Fred Couples Blade), for the past four years. Now, he’s officially joining Bettinardi’s Tour staff.

Couples, who has won 15 times on the PGA Tour and 13 times on the PGA Tour Champions, will putt exclusively with the company’s flatsticks.

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

“I’m really looking forward to representing Bettinardi and its beautiful range of hand-made putters, as they always give me great confidence when I’m standing over putts,” said Fred. “Having won 5 times already with a Bettinardi putter, there’s nothing I’d rather be putting with.

Couples averaged 1.70 putts per hole when playing in 12 events with the Bettinardi wand last year.

“Having Fred Couples join our Tour staff is a massive endorsement for Bettinardi Golf,” said founder Robert Bettinardi. “We’re so proud and excited to welcome him to our growing Tour staff. I’m sure he will prove to be a great ambassador for our brand, as he attracts huge crowds and media attention wherever he plays.”

Here’s a look at Boom Boom’s FCB putter.

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Odyssey’s new EXO 2-Ball, Works Red and Black, and Toulon putters

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There’s one thing Odyssey has never struggled with: giving golfers options. Today, the company launched a trunk-full of new putters, including eight Works Red and Black putters, Toulon Atlanta and Portland models, and an Odyssey EXO 2-Ball putter that gives the classic 2-ball design a very new, and premium look.

Most of the new putters, actually, are mallets. More specifically, they are mallets that Odyssey says feel like blade putters; that’s because they’re made with toe hang (like a blade putter) rather than face-balanced designs of typical mallets. Toe hang frees up the face of a putter to open and close, a stroke-style that many golfers employ — amateurs and pros alike.

According to Austie Rollinson, chief designer of Odyssey, there’s been a trend of blade users on Tour switching into mallets because of this toe hang, and that will continue to happen. Odyssey says that of the PGA Tour wins last year, 29 winners used mallets — 14 of those were mallets with toe hang — while there were 20 blade winners. Also, of the top-50 in Strokes Gained: Putting, 31 players used mallets, 13 of which were toe-hang mallets, and 19 players used blades.

Therefore, many of the new putters from Odyssey are toe-hang mallets. Check out all of the new putters below, with info on design, pricing and release dates.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new putters here

Odyssey Works Red and Black putters

 

The new Works Red and Black putters — adding on to the line of putters released in 2017 — continue to use microhinge face inserts that are designed to “grab” the ball to impart more topspin on the golf ball to get it rolling faster. The new offerings launched today include a No. 1 Wide S, No. 1 Tank, No. 7 Tank, 2-Ball Fang, Marxman, Marxman S, Jailbird Mini and Jailbird Mini S.

They will sell for $199 with a standard Winn AVS midsize pistol grip, and $219 with a SuperStroke grip starting on February 23.

See more photos and join the discussion about the Works Red and Black putters here.

Odyssey EXO 2-Ball

The new EXO 2-Ball, made with Rose Gold PVD, is a premium version of the iconic 2-ball shape. It’s CNC-milled with a microhinge insert, has an aluminum crown with a steel sole plate and Tungsten in the rear portion of the head. The EXO 2-ball also has black circles instead of the familiar white color for which 2-balls are known.

According to Odyssey, it’s a “statement product,” and it will only sell 5,000 of these putters globally. They will sell for $499.99 starting on February 2.

Odyssey says: “Our new Odyssey EXO 2-Ball is a premium limited edition putter unlike any we’ve ever offered. It combines one of the game’s most innovative and iconic putter designs with top-notch materials and meticulous production to create something truly special.”

Toulon Atlanta and Portland

Odyssey’s premium putter brand continues dipping its toes in the mallet style with its new mid-mallet Atlanta and Portland models. They have gunmetal finishes and are 100-percent milled from soft, 303 stainless steel. They also have Toulon’s familiar diamond-milled faces for improved roll.

The Atlanta and Portland models will sell for $399.99 apiece and hit retail on February 2.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Toulon Atlanta putter here

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