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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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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Deep faced fairway woods?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Mainehacker21 who is in the market for a deep faced fairway wood to primarily use off the tee. Our members give their recommendations to Mainehacker21, with a range of deep faced fairway woods getting a mention.

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.

  • VNutz: “5Deep has been my go to for this. Great deep face for tee shots, extra loft making it more playable off the deck. Such a good club.”
  • ML413: “I bought the G400 Stretch searching for the exact same thing and have been really happy with it.”
  • cardoustie: “x2 hot 3 deep, I carry one for tee shots that require a low shot or a fade, tough off the deck unless you have a perfect lie.”
  • manima1: “If you can find a 2016 M2 “tour issue deep face” that is the best out there. Very low spin so even in 3HL they are bombers, but still elevate easily off the deck. You can find them on eBay. FYI – you know it’s a “deep face” if it has a paint break on the hosel. Another decent option is the 2017 M2 tour head.”

Entire Thread: “Deep faced fairway woods?”

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from 14max who asks WRXers what’s the oldest club in the bag that they regularly use. Our members list the clubs that have been playing the longest and their reasons why – with trust often playing a significant role behind their decision.

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.

  • el_rousso: “I’m still regularly playing an old (about 25+ years old) American Open 56* wedge, the grooves on it are likely too worn to be of any use but it’s still pretty much the club I trust the most around the greens, the rest of my bag is around 2005ish (irons) or 2011ish (woods and other wedges), but I recently pulled the trigger on a driver upgrade…”
  • SecondandGoal: “Odyssey White Steel Tri-Ball SRT. Made in 2007, got it for $25 on Craigslist about 4 years ago. I’ve changed every other club in the bag at least twice since then. Going to be hard-pressed to get this out of the bag.”
  • lefty1978: “I don’t always bag this club anymore. But I have a 17° Controller driving iron from around 1999. I like it because it hits low running bullets.”
  • James the Hogan Fan: “Putter- 65ish years old, Irons from 2003, Woods from 2008, Driver from 2014, Wedges from 2016, but, one from 2002. Quite the mix I’d say.”
  • ChipNRun: “A few years ago, it was a Ping Pal putter from circa 1973. I sent Ping a photo of the clubhead for verification: they said it was legit, they just couldn’t tell what batch it came from due to primitive data markings. Until about a year ago, I played Callaway X20 Tours (2008 origin); CPreO sold me a display set in 2011. Right now, the Tour Edge XRail 7W (2012) – and sometimes its brother 4W – hold the record.”

Entire Thread: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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2020 Odyssey Golf launches new Bird of Prey and Stroke Lab Ten putters

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Odyssey Golf is taking Stroke Lab technology and innovation further with the release of the all-new Stroke Lab 10 putters along with the introduction of the Bird of Prey putter for 2019 and 2020.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Ten Bird of prey putters golf 2020

2020 Odyssey Bird of Prey, Stroke Lab Ten putters: The details

To say Odyssey Stroke Lab putters, along with the revolutionary mass-shifting Stroke Lab shaft, have been a success both on tour and with regular golfers would be a huge understatement. On the professional side—since their introduction at the beginning of 2019 as a prototype product, Stroke Lab putters have become the number one putter on all tours and won more professional tournaments (65 to be exact) than any other brand on all tours combined.

Now, Odyssey’s General Manager Sean Toulon and his design team are looking to advance designs again with what many would call familiar shapes but with unconventional advantages.

Odyssey Stroke lab ten putter golf 2020

First off, we have the Stroke Lab Ten. And, yes, even Sean Toulon himself is willing to admit it shares similarities to a particular arachnid-style putter that he helped originally design at another OEM many years ago. But, as a modern equipment historian, I believe it’s important to point out that as much as the “arachnid” style has been popular for quite some time.

There was another putter that predates it (released in 2005), which offered an extremely high MOI design but without the catchy name: the Ping UG-LE. The UG-LE pushed mass way back and to the corners of the head to create (at the time) the highest MOI putter on the market.

But here’s the thing: Putters and material design have come a long way since the introduction of the UG-LE and the original arachnid designs, and Odyssey is here to prove golfers just how much better with the Stroke Lab Ten.

The Stroke Lab Ten’s frame is made from ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene…don’t worry, I had to look it up too). Here’s a further explanation

“It is an amorphous polymer comprised of three monomers, acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. ABS is most commonly polymerize through the emulsification process or the expert art of combining multiple products that don’t typically combine into a single product. When the three monomers are combined, the acrylonitrile develops a polar attraction with the other two components, resulting in a tough and highly durable finished product. The different amounts of each monomer can be added to the process to further vary the finished product. The versatility of ABS plastic properties contributes largely to its popularity across several industry sectors.” (Thanks, Adreco plastics)

According to Sean Toulon, what the ABS material allows is maximum distribution of metal (heavy) mass parts to the back and extreme perimeter of the putter to blow past other putters’ MOI (Moment of Inertia: a measurement of forgiveness) but also in sound and feel.

“The sound and feel of this putter is special (thanks to the material advantage of ABS)”  Sean Toulon, Odyssey Putters General Manager

Beyond just the shape of the putter, the sole has been meticulously crafted to help the head aligned square when grounded towards the target in the playing position. Sean continues

“We got these putters to the point where ( with the alignment on top ) they have become point and shoot” 

There truly is a lot going on to make sure these putters do everything they can to help both regular golfers and touring professionals align properly and get the best possible result when putts are not hit absolutely perfect.

The Stroke Lab Advantage

Considering the MOI of these designs, you would think that the highest of high handicappers would be the target market, but in that assumption, you couldn’t be more incorrect. The designs of both the Stroke Lab Ten and the Bird of Prey were entirely driven by the tour and player desire to get every last bit of performance out of their putting games.

These putters will all come stock with the Stroke Lab shaft, which pulls mass from the shaft and redistributes it under the grip and into the head for even greater stabilization. Odyssey has proven that the shaft alone can help stroke consistency across the board, and the most notable stat is the 13 percent increase in face angle delivery at impact. This increases the make putt percentage, which when you think of a round of golf, equates to strokes saved.

If there is one more thing Odyssey knows about putters, it’s roll and inserts. With the new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey designs, the company is using an all-new Microhinge Star insert to increase the sound for better player feedback. Generally, inserts are used to decrease the sound, but in the case of the New Microhinge Star, engineers at Odyssey wanted to recreate more of the original sound and feel of the White Hot putter but with the added benefit of the Microhinge to increase forward roll.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Putter Insert roll Ten Bird of prey

This new Microhinge Star insert improves the correlation between the sound and expected distance a player will hit the ball—firmer means further. This is just another step in the design process put in place to help players of all abilities putt with greater consistency since without audible feedback, all players will have a more difficult time controlling distance.

The new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey putters will be available starting November 1. For more information check out OdysseyGolf.com

 

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