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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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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.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. smz

    Jan 1, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    Twist Face = Bullfeathers… read that…. !!!!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Donald Trump Rules

    Jan 9, 2018 at 5:34 pm

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

  5. 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.

    • geohogan

      Feb 18, 2019 at 7:43 pm

      @S; a properly designed stiff tip shaft obviates “gear effect”
      As long as OEM, continue to use cheap golf shafts they will find a new gimmick to compensate for the crap golf shafts.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

    • Steve

      Feb 24, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      Have you noticed how many PGA and Champions Tour guys play TM? The Champion Tours guys typically just play clubs they like because very few have equipment deals. TM driver are just better. Callaway is decent. Titleist is terrible and has been for awhile. Titleist drivers are lousy guys like Dufner now play M4’s…
      The TM hate is really stupid at this point. Let it go.

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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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19th Hole

GolfWRX Spotlight: Evalu18 – ‘Evaluating golf architecturally’

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When it comes to course directories with an emphasis on past and present architects, Evalu18 is likely to be one of the most in-depth—for UK and Ireland golf courses—you’re ever likely to see—highlighted by the site’s wealth of information and user-friendly navigation.

Jasper Miners, a Canadian now living in London, is the brains behind Evalu18. He explained to me how the concept began as a map with courses that he wanted to play based on his extensive research, which was then added to based on the recommendations of others. Frustrated by the lack of an easy way to access the information in a modern format – he created Evalu18.

“After some time I shared a map with a good friend, an American from New York whom I worked with who was a very keen golfer. The map and my notes allowed him to find great golf wherever he was and to plan a trip easily. 

Everyone has heard of the Open rota courses and perhaps some of the courses which are intimately linked to the history and origins of the game. However, for every well-known course, there are 10-20 that may be just as good that we and even locals may never have even heard of. Evalu18 exists for those – sound golf is the criteria for being listed.” – Jasper Miners, founder of Evalu18

Beginning with the site’s interactive map the depth of research and information available is striking. The filter option, which has been crafted down to the minutest detail, puts the directory in a league of its own and allows golfers to plan for the perfect day out or golfing trip.

Whether you are looking for a particular golf course from a specific architect or consultant, to whether the track is dog-friendly. or is suited to trolleys or buggies, Evalu18 has you covered. The directory allows you to filter courses based on the level of difficulty their walkability is, what is available practice facility wise or if you’re looking for a course which has ever hosted a specific event as well as much more.

Another cool feature of Evalu18 is its “Collections” element. With taste and preference regarding golf courses being so vast amongst golfers, the site doesn’t separate courses by ranking but lets you home in on that ideal course in a simple fashion.

The Collection section showcases courses that are grouped according to identifiable characteristics. Featured in this area of the site are nine-hole courses, truly unique courses, bunker-less courses, hidden gems, bang-for-your-buck courses as well as so many more cool categories.

Each course on the site contains information that a typical guest would want to know, with plenty also featuring full reviews written to enhance the experience.

Additionally, a “discover” section of the site allows golf-enthusiasts to explore golf course architecture books, magazines and pertinent works with the company confidently claiming to have “the most thorough collection of GCA book reviews anywhere online.”

 

As for what’s next for Evalu18, international growth along with a unique travel guide, says Jasper

“We are working on improvements to the site and a unique travel section that will have substantial guides. Every course can also have included recommended accommodation, food and drink venues and tourist sites. We engage with the clubs and have them help us tell their story – what makes them unique and worth your time, attention and $.”

Whether you are already in the UK and Ireland or planning that dream golfing trip abroad, Evalu18 is a site that is a must for any golfer to check out. Once you do, it will likely place you on your ideal course—which before you may not have even known existed.

Check out Evalu18 here.

 

 

 

 

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Today from the Forums: “New LA Golf Shafts at the 2020 Honda Classic”

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Today from the Forums shines the spotlight on new LA Golf Shafts featured at this week’s Honda Classic. The new shafts have gone down well with our members, who are excited about what the company has in store for 2020.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • QuigleyDU: “Nice! The mentioned during the discussion they did here that new stuff was coming. I have heard the TRONO is straight up rebar stout.”
  • AdamStoutjesdyk: “I am so intrigued by the Trono since I saw it on one of TXG’s Videos.”
  • bfizzy: “I like how they are taking their time to bring out new products to retail and consumer-oriented channels. Will be cool to see what they come out with!”

Entire Thread: “New LA Golf Shafts at the 2020 Honda Classic”

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Top 5 modern glued-hosel drivers

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Modern adjustable drivers are a marvel of engineering and something we now take for granted—considering every OEM utilizes some type of adjustable system to assist with fitting and dialing in launch conditions.

However, as every WRXer knows, before we had these tools to our disposal, we had to rely on the good old-fashion glued-in shaft drivers.

These five models are among the best from the recent past.

TaylorMade Burner SuperFast TP

Released in the fall of 2010, the Burner SuperFast TP was the undisputed king of ball speed for a very long time. Many will default to thinking the R510 TP was one of TaylorMade’s best, but for both the average golfer and for tour pros, this 460cc driver offered a lot more forgiveness than the R510 thanks to its size and aerodynamics. For those who had one, it stayed in the bag for a long time if you got the shaft right.

Adams Insight Tech a4 Prototype 9015D

Adams. Really?

It was a question a lot of people asked when these started showing up in golfer’s bags.

The 9015D was the brother to the original Adams 9016D, which was specifically built for the long drive circuit when Adams Golf was the official sponsor. It had a high toe profile and sat open at address—something that was often hard to come by in the glued hosel era of driver design.

One fun thing to consider when looking back at this driver is the protruding mass towards the back of the head to lower the center of gravity—vaguely similar to the TaylorMade SIM’s Inertia Generator and Cobra’s SpeedBack—minus the multi-material construction. Those Adams engineers were onto something!

Titleist 905R

Titleist’s very first 460cc driver was introduced not long after the 400cc 905S and the 905T (made famous by the notorious old-club using Steve Stricker) hit the scene.

The 905R stayed in some player’s bag for an extended period of time, including the bag of Adam Scott, who didn’t switch until the 910 came along. Many golfers referred to the 905R as a big version of the famous 975J, and from address it’s hard to argue.

Callaway FT Tour

One of Callaway’s first “tour” style drivers. The original version of the FT Tour was called the FT-9 Tour Authentic and was Callaway’s attempt to compete with the popular Tour Preferred line from TaylorMade. The price tag was high but so was the performance.

The FT Tour was a workable low spin driver and the grandchild of the FT-5 TH—a tour only driver that offered Callaway’s very first traditional-style hosel and got them away from the S2H2 designs that built the brand in the 90s. At 460cc’s, it still looks small by today’s standards, but if you can find one give it a hit.

Bridgestone J33R 460

The J33R 460 will go down as one of the all-time best drivers of its era. Its popularity even made trying to find one more difficult than it should have been at the time because Bridgestone struggled to find brick and mortar stores to carry their hard goods (beyond golf balls) at a time when big-box was the king of golf retail. The J33R was the third generation of the J33 driver line that included the J33P (375cc) and the original J33R (420cc).

Stuart Appleby famously hit a 426-yard tee shot at the 2006 Mercedes Championships (Tournament of Champions in Hawaii) that nearly went over the green of the par-4 12th hole with the J33P—now imagine the punch of the 460 version!

What do you think of these selections, WRXers? Any drivers you’d add?

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