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:
Best forged game improvement irons? – GolfWRXers discuss
In our forums, our members have been discussing forged game improvement irons. WRXer ‘Monks66’ is on the hunt with more forgiveness, saying
“I currently play the Mizzy JPX Pro 825s, love them, but I don’t play as much golf these days, wondering if there is a forged iron out there with more forgiveness….thoughts?”
And our members have been sharing their best picks in our forum.
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.
- tigercolt77: “You’ll get a lot of answers, and it comes down to what look/feel you prefer. I’d go with Callaway Apex cf19 personally. They check all the boxes.”
- blopar: “Srixon ZX5 or PXG 0211, I have a set of each. Right now, I’m lovin’ the PXG’s.”
- R5Two: “I would recommend hitting the ZX7, it has more forgiveness than you would think. Also, forged face insert T200 are great this year. +1 for the PXG sale is fire.”
- 20six: “Mizuno Comp-EZ, if they could be found.”
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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (11/29/21): New Nike Vapor Pro irons
At GolfWRX, we are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways.
It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buying and selling equipment.
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a set of new Nike Vapor Pro irons.
From the seller (@R5Two): “New Nike Vapor Pro 4- PW, X100, 1/2″ over. Bought off WRX, decided to play the blades I bought instead. New in bubble wrap, climate controlled storage looking to get what I paid for them – $925 shipped.”
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: New Nike Vapor Pro irons
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Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 TX
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Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (Midsize) round
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