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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Listen below for more on Twist Face from Brian Bazzel, VP of Product Creation at TaylorMade:
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- Sam Burns what’s in the bag accurate as of the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Driver: Callaway Epic Speed (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 TX
Fairway wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (17 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X
Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW (21 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X
Irons:Callaway Apex TCB (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5
Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (50-10S, 56-10S @55, 60-12X)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue
Putter: Odyssey O-Works Black 7S
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X
Grips: Golf Pride MCC
A guide to buying junior golf equipment
Junior golf equipment has come a long way in the past ten years. Gone are the days of used adult clubs that were cut down for juniors. It is fine to get a 2, or 3-year-old child started with some simple plastic clubs, but as kids get older, they need a set of golf clubs that are made with their body in mind.
Today there are several manufacturers making clubs specifically for juniors. Even with all these different types of clubs to choose from, there still are a few important things to consider when buying junior clubs. Length is the first consideration. The key is to find a set of clubs that is the right length for the junior golfer but also a set that the junior can grow with. Remember that it is all right for the junior to choke or grip down on the club. You just don’t want them to move their hands down the grip too much.
The basic rule is this: if the junior is choking down more than 1.5 to 2 inches, he or she is choking down too much. If they choke down more than 2 inches, the club is too long, and they may form habits that may be difficult to change. A set of clubs where the junior only has to grip down an inch allows them to make a normal swing at the ball and probably get two seasons out of the clubs.
Try not to let your junior play with a driver that is too long. At some point, they’re going to try and play with an adult driver before they’re ready. A driver that is too long can lead to timing problems and coming into the ball at a flat angle which makes it hard to hit the ball on the center of the face.
The next consideration is shaft flex. The main problem with the old cut-down set of golf clubs is the stiffness of the shafts. When you take 4 to 5 inches of length off a golf club, you make the shaft extremely stiff. This is the reason that junior golfers can’t hit the ball high with a cut-down set of clubs. One benefit of new junior sets is that the manufacturers are making shafts that are the right flex for a kid’s swing speed.
Using lightweight steel and graphite has made junior golf clubs more playable. The shafts of junior clubs today are so flexible that you can bend them with your hands. So check and make sure that your child’s set of clubs has a nice flexible shaft. Does your child need to be professionally fit for clubs? The general rule is that until they are 60 inches tall, they’ll be fine with a set of junior clubs from a good manufacturer.
After they reach 5 feet, experienced junior players really benefit from having each club fit for their game. The weight of the golf club is also very important to junior golfers. If the club is overly heavy, the child will struggle to take the club to the top of the backswing. The struggle to get the club back causes manipulation of the swing that will result in inconsistent shots.
A lighter club will help the junior get the club in the correct position at the top and lead to an easily repeatable swing. Just like with shaft flex, most club companies make junior clubs with lighter heads and shafts. So before you buy, just make sure you check the weight of the club and make sure it fits your junior’s age.
The size of the grip is also important. Grip size for kids is a new thought in the last few years. In the past, clubs were cut down, and any grip that fit the shaft was put on. The problem of oversized grips is the same for kids as adults. If the grip feels like a baseball bat, it’s going to change the swing mechanics.
Look for junior grips on their new set of clubs. If you’re changing grips, ask for junior grips with a core of 0.50. These thinner grips will make a difference in your kid’s game. There are now golf balls made for juniors. Here is the general rule for kids and golf balls. Most juniors swing speed is less than 80 MPH, so they can’t handle a lot of the balls on the market.
US Kids Golf makes two balls for juniors. One for kids with a swing speed less than 70 MPH and another for swing speeds around 90 MPH. These balls offer a softer core and more spin to keep the ball in the air and results in more distance. Other than US Kids, a ladies ball will help a lot of juniors that don’t produce a lot of speed.
Lastly, how many clubs does my kid need? Most experts agree that if a child starts at an early age, 4 or 5 years old, they need two clubs to start… a putter and a pitching wedge. Why a wedge instead of a driver? Because the length of the pitching wedge is short and it’s easy to get in the air. Longer clubs are obviously harder to get airborne and can lead to frustration.
As the junior progresses, add a 7 iron, then a hybrid, and then a 3-wood or driver. Those 5 clubs will get him/her through the first couple of years of golf. Once the junior has enough swing speed to make a noticeable difference in distance between irons, then they need 10 or 12 clubs in the bag. As a general rule, this usually happens around 10 years old for experienced juniors.
As adults, we realize how tough golf can be and how much the right equipment can help our games. By keeping these considerations in mind when buying junior golf equipment, you can help your junior play better golf, and more importantly, have more fun on the golf course.
The 8 top-selling golf cart accessories
We hope you find this list valuable, GolfWRXers! These products are the best-sellers on Amazon in the golf cart accessories category at the time of publication. We may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publication!
1. Desert Fox Golf Phone Caddy
Product description: “The best phone holder designed specifically for golf carts. Keeps your phone safe and at your finger tips.”
Notable review: “I was really getting tired of throwing my phone into the golf cart compartments with everything else and then fishing it out to use my golf app to keep score and review the hole. Enter Desert Fox. This is one of the best gadgets since sliced bread for keeping my phone accessible and it doesn’t get banged around inside the cart anymore with keys, balls, etc. Seems sturdy enough to last a long time and easy to use. The Velcro strap holds the device securely to the golf cart and I never worried about it loosening up. Slightly pricey but a great golf gadget that solved an annoying little problem. Who knew?!”
Get it from Amazon for $24.99
2. Golfer’s Best Tool Golf Multitool All-IN-ONE
Product description: “Six main functions that help you during your golf game in one small package; Includes Ball Marker, Brush, Stroke Counter, Cleat Tightener, Club Groove Cleaner (Divot Repair tool) and Bottle Opener with Screwdriver.”
Notable review: “Nice and sturdy tool. I was able to free up several items out of my golf bag with this little thing. I could clip it to either my belt or to the bag itself. Magnetized ball marker sticks perfectly to its place. I was afraid that the metal parts would bend or snap when used, but the whole structure is surprisingly sturdy. Stroke counter is a very nice addition.”
Get it from Amazon for $29.99
3. 10L0L Golf cart Side Mirrors
Product description: “The whole set of mirror is made of impact black PP plastic housing, shatterproof glass and durable ABS clamps. It is anti-friction and corrosion resistant, suitable for all kind of weather condition.”
Notable review: “These side view mirrors for your Club Car provide much more “rear view” than the old five-panel mirrors commonly seen. Excellent quality. These mirrors are easily mounted. Drill two holes in each of the roof stanchions, using the templates. Attach the mirrors with the provided four screws. Once mounted, these mirrors are fully adjustable up and down, in and out. They can be tucked in if you use a cart cover.”
Get it from Amazon for $9.99
4. STICKIT Magnetic Rangefinder Strap
Product description: “The newly redesigned Gen3 STICKIT Magnetic Rangefinder Strap features a slimmer band with a strategically positioned cutout, which allows you to maintain access to multi-button devices, making it the most versatile magnetic strap, adjusting to fit over 50 makes/models, with all the major brands tested during product development — Bushnell, Callaway, Garmin, Leupold, Nikon, Precision Pro, TecTecTec.”
Notable review: “Love this little magnet strap!! Fits on any golf cart metal. I put in on the steering wheel column for quick grab and capture! And it still fits in the golf range finder case with the strap intact!!”
Get it from Amazon for $26.95
5. HomeMount Portable Speaker Mount
Product description: “Portable speaker mount for golf cart – Totally focused on the fun of playing golf and enjoy the music at anytime and anywhere.”
Notable review: “Was a little skeptical that it would hold the speaker without it slipping out. Worked great. Velcro has a strong hold. Golf courses don’t have the smoothest roads but the speaker never moved in the mount. Easily secures to golf cart rail. Doesn’t block sound or button function.”
Get it from Amazon for $13.96
6. Explore Land 600D Waterproof Golf Cart Cover
Product description: “4 passenger golf cart cover size: 108L x 48 W x66H inch. Universal cover fits for most brand four-person golf cart, such as Yamaha, Honda, Club Car, EZGO”
Notable review: “Fits nicely on my old golf cart. I had a small problem at first, water would seep through cover if the rain was left on top of the roof. I placed a large pool noodle in center of cart and the rain rolls right off now! No more pooling of water and no rain water seeps through the cover! Cart sits out in the Florida sun all the time, does not appear to phased by it at all.”
Get it from Amazon for $68.99
7. JSP Manufacturing Universal Golf Cart Cup Holder
Product description: “Designed to hold the 16.4 oz propane tank used in many heaters ~ Compatible with MANY propane cylinders and many other brands of portable propane cylinders / heaters ~ Direct replacement, perfect fit into your current cup holder ~ Tapered design – holds multiple cup sizes.”
Notable review: “We have four cup holders on the dash in our Ezgo golf cart. Nothing but an aluminum can fits in them. I bought two of these to fit in the cup holders. They fit perfect and will now hold a big Yeti. It was a cheap easy fix for cup holders that were useless.”
Get it from Amazon for $7.98
8. 10L0L Golf Cart Seat Covers
Product description: “Great Choice if You Don’t Want to Spend 100s of Dollars on New Seats: Almost every golf cart I have seen eventually get tears on the driver side corner bench. Our golf cart seat cover really update the look of your cart, made your golf cart look like new again. The best choice of Christmas or Thanksgiving gift for golfer boss husband father boyfriend.”
Notable review: “The Cover fit my Yamaha golf cart perfectly, it was easy to install and it’s proven very durable after about three months. We don’t play golf, we have the cart for doing farm work, and the dog jumps up in the front seat pretty often and she has yet to tear it up. It’s a very good value and dries quickly when it gets wet.”
Get it from Amazon for $26.99
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