In a market where distance seems to dominate the conversation, TaylorMade has always been at or very near the top year in and year out. It’s no secret that some of the most popular offerings from the past 10-15 years have come straight out of the Top Secret “Kingdom.”
With the 2019 TaylorMade M5 and M6 drivers, it looks like this will be another year that the company sits right near the top of that mountain, with its most aggressive push in regards to tech advancement since the SLDR in 2013.
Speed Injected Twist Face technology
Marketed as “taking speed to the limit,” TaylorMade’s next generation of the M family of drivers, the M5 and M6, feature a Speed Injected Twist Face, building on the Twist Face technology the company debuted with the M3 and M4 drivers last year. The M5 and M6 club faces are designed to initially exceed the USGA’s COR limit.
In simple terms, speed injected face technology is where they take all of the heads they produce, push them all past the USGA limit in regards to COR and work backwards to ensure they fall within the parameters — the algorithm-driven process of resin injection into the clubs via the two ports on the face brings the figure just inside the acceptable range.
“It was an engineering challenge to be sure and 4 years in the making but we knew if we could nail the injection technology, we would really have something special.”-TM Metalwoods Director, Tomo Bystedt
The Carlsbad-based company boosts ball speed in the M5 and M6 drivers through the interplay between a reengineered, more-flexible Hammerhead 2.0 slot, an ultra-thin titanium face with redesigned Inverted Cone Technology (ICT), internal support foam with variable amounts of injected resin, and, last but not least, a proprietary algorithm to tune each head.
The popular T-Track TaylorMade debuted with M1 driver (which evolved into the Y-Track) further advances with this year’s offering. M5 and M5 Tour drivers feature an Inverted T-Track that allows for 1,770 unique CG configurations via the two 10-gram weights, as well as a range of MOI options. Golfers are afforded up to one degree of launch angle and 600 rpm of spin change adjustability, in addition to 25 yards of left-to-right adjustability. As with previous M Series drivers, the 2-degree loft sleeve allows for the adjustment of the loft, lie angle and face angle of the driver.
With a 10 percent smaller carbon composite crown footprint, TaylorMade’s fourth generation of carbon composite technology furthers the aim of efficient mass distribution and an optimized center of gravity. The new M Series club face is also 20 percent thinner with a 66 percent larger sweet spot than last year’s M3.
In addition to the 460cc M5, TaylorMade is launching an M5 Tour model, which features a 435cc head.
Director of Original Content Johnny Wunder was on site at “The Kingdom” in early December and had this to say on the key first impressions of the new M5/M6.
“I actually preferred the look of the M3 overall BUT this driver is built for speed and the red paint and carbon fiber inspire that.”
“In my experience as a TM loyalist the feel has always been the determining factor, this is no different.” “It feels meaty out of the sweet spot and heel strikes still feel solid.”
“The sound reminded me of the SLDR oddly enough which has been my gamer for 5-6 years. Not as thumpy (a sound I like) as M1/M3.”
“Haven’t put it thru our typical ringer of testing, so I don’t want to comment on distance and spin, but at first sight, it’s another really solid, good looking, fast TaylorMade driver…these guys do that as well as anybody year in and year out.”
TaylorMade M5 specs, availability, and price
- Available for preorder on January 18, retail on February 1
- MSRP: $549.99
- 9, 10.5, and 12 degree lofts
- Available on March 1
- MSRP: $549.99
- 9, 10.5 degree lofts
Stock shafts: Mitsubishi CK Tensei Orange 60 and Project X HZRDUS Smoke 70
Stock grip: Golf Pride MCC Decade
TaylorMade M6 & M6 D-Type Drivers
Likewise “injected to the maximum legal level of speed,” according to the company, TaylorMade’s M6 and M6 D-Type drives also feature the Speed Injected Twist Face.
“Injected Twist Face delivers a hot, yet accurate performance package in the new M6 driver. When you add optimized CG and MOI through the use of a full carbon crown and sole, the result is a complete driver that delivers on all fronts.” – Brian Bazzel, Vice President Product Creation
Equipped with the same six-layer composite carbon crown as the M5, the M6 also features a complete carbon fiber sole that is 54 percent lighter than in the M4 (its predecessor). This allows engineers to move even more discretionary weight low and back in the club for maximum forgiveness and a lower CG.
TaylorMade M6 D-Type
The M6 D-Type the company’s draw-biased offering. A high-contrast topline masking makes the face angle appear more open than it actually is, leading to the golfer producing a more closed face at impact. The D-Type’s CG is closer to the heel, as well, giving the club 20 additional yards of draw bias than the M6.
Johnny Wunder on the M6
“At address it does feel a bit more forgiving then the M5, it sits a lower profile or at least appears that way.”
“Not as meaty as the M5 for obvious reasons BUT its very stable and if quite solid no matter where on the face you catch it. It seems like the M6 will lend it self a bit more to the higher handicap, its very forgiving.”
“Surprising that I prefer the sound of this to the M5, it had that thumpy sound which I prefer.” Both sound great but if I was blind testing, the M6 acoustics is what I would chase.”
“Its definitely a winner for the player looking for something stable, forgiving and fun to hit. I’ll be surprised if the TM staff that were M2/M4 loyalists will stay in the M6, seems like this model won’t be as workable for the better player, but we will see. We have seen this for years with TM. They launch a “Tour” driver and a more forgiving driver at a lower cost, and the tour players migrate to the more forgiving of the two. Counterintuitive, yes, but reality. Will the more forgiving M6 (over the M5) find its way into tour bags and follow in the footprints of the 2016 M2 (over its M1 counterpart?)”
M6 specs, availability, and price
- Available for preorder on January 18 and at retail on February 1
- MSRP: $499.99
- 9, 10.5, and 12 degree (RH only) lofts
- M6: Fujikura Atmos Orange 5, Fujikura Atmos Black 6 in S-, R- and A-flexes
- M6 D-Type: Project X EvenFlow Max Carry 45 in 6.0 (S), 5.5 (R) and 5.0 (A)
For women: the M6 and M6 D-Type drivers will be offered in 10.5 and 12 degree lofts (RH only) and comes equipped with TaylorMade’s Tuned Performance 45g L-flex shaft.
The stock men’s grip is the Lamkin Dual Feel. Stock women’s grip is the Lamkin Comfort Plus Dual Feel.
Equipment rewind: A deep dive into the Cleveland HiBore driver legacy
I have always been fascinated by product development, specifically the development of unconventional products. Now in the world of golf clubs, one of the most unconventional designs ever introduced was the Cleveland HiBore driver, which during its lifespan, experienced tremendous success through a number of generations, including the HiBore XL, XLS, and finally, the Monster XLS, which, as you may remember, hid the acronym “MOI” on the sole, alluding to its massive level of forgiveness.
As a golfer, I played the original HiBore, along with the XL Tour for a period of time and was always curious about the story behind the “scooped out crown.” In a search for answers, I reached out to Cleveland-Srixon to get the lowdown on the HiBore and discuss where it sits in the pantheon of drivers.
Ryan Barath: Considering how engineers are continuing to do everything they can to increase MOI and push the center of gravity low and deep in driver heads, it feels like the original HiBore and the subsequent models were well ahead of their time from a design perspective.
It makes logical sense the best way to save weight from the crown is to make the crown “disappear” compared to traditionally shaped drivers, am I correct in assuming that?
Cleveland design team: You nailed it.
At the time of the HiBore, there were really only two solutions to create a low and deep center of gravity:
- Make the crown lighter – by either replacing the crown with a lighter-weight material such as a graphite composite or magnesium or by thinning out the material on the crown. Thinner crowns were possible thanks to advances in casting technology and using etching techniques to remove material.
- Make the driver shallower – this change in geometry created a very forgiving low profile design, but the downside to this was that you ended up with a very small face that looked intimidating compared to the larger-faced drivers on the market.
The HiBore took a new approach and inverted the crown geometry so that all the crown weight was moved lower. By inverting the crown the HiBore design allowed for a very long and flat sole, therefore there was space in the head that was really low and deep to put the weight.
The HiBore was really the first driver to eliminate, or nearly eliminate the tapered skirt. Almost every modern driver in the market is inspired by the HiBore in that respect. It was a two-part solution where we lowered the weight of the crown and simultaneously created a low/deep location to put any extra mass.
The lower and deeper CG of the HiBore improved launch conditions significantly, but also made the driver much more consistent across the entire face. The deep CG increased MOI resulting in tighter dispersion since the sweet spot was in the center of the face. Misses both low and high performed exceptionally as opposed to having a small hot spot high on the face.
RB: In every conversation I have ever had with engineers, there is always this give-and-take mentality from a design perspective to get to the final iteration. Was there anything that was given up or sacrificed for overall performance with this design?
Cleveland design team: The hardest part about the HiBore design was the sound. Prior to the HiBore, internal ribbing in a hollow golf club head was nearly unheard of. To make the HiBore sound acceptable, we had to design a ribbing structure to control the sound and design an entirely new manufacturing process to produce those internal ribs. To this day, most drivers include some form of internal ribbing to control sound or improve ball speed and that ribbing technology can be traced back to the HiBore.
In terms of tradeoffs, the major one was the low spin nature of the driver made it more difficult for low spin players to use. If a golfer is already low spin, this club would be too low and drives would just fall out of the air. Low spin golfers tend to be low spin because they hit the ball high on the face. Since we lowered the sweet spot, a high face impact was further from the sweet spot so ball speed fell as compared to a higher CG driver. Fortunately for us, in that era most golfers were fighting too much spin or way too much spin, this wasn’t a real issue.
RB: Do you have any final words on the HiBore drivers and the legacy they have left behind?
Cleveland design team: We are very proud of the HiBore driver family and the success it had at the time, but we are also proud of its legacy.
In the same way that you can trace nearly every modern band back to the Beatles or Led Zeppelin, you can trace nearly every modern driver back to HiBore either through the internal structure that is prolific across modern drivers, or the long, flat sole that is a must-have in a high-performance driver.
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (04/03/21): Tiger Woods spec’d irons
At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.
We are a community of like-minded individuals who 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, including equipment or, in this case, a sweet set of irons!
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for Tiger Woods spec’d TaylorMade P7TW irons, or as they are also known: the GOAT irons.
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: TaylorMade P7TW **TIGER SPECS* 3-PW
Edel introduces moveable weight Swing Match wedges for 2021
The 2021 Edel Swing Match wedges are taking the concept of custom fit wedges to a level that has never been brought to the short game before, with the goal to use every possible tool to tighten dispersion and consistency to help you shoot lower scores.
The new Edel Swing Match wedges utilize a movable weight system in the flange to fit each club to a golfer’s natural short game swing profile. The research indicates that once properly fit, everything from mechanics to launch conditions shows measurable improvement.
Edel Swing Match wedges: The why
It’s no secret the best way to properly optimize your equipment is through custom fitting. When it comes to wedges, the only factors that have been traditionally accounted for are length, lie, loft, and grind—all of which, beyond grind, are already standard for iron fittings.
With how specialized wedges have to be for performance, is grind really the only thing golfers should be concerned with?
At Edel golf, they set out to answer this question, and they came away with “no,” which lead to the development of the Swing Match system to help every golfer achieve their maximum potential.
The backbone of Swing Match weighting philosophy is that a wedge’s weight location has a dramatic effect on how a golfer creates dynamics leading to impact. It’s no different than how a change in shaft weight of a driver can change impact location and delivery numbers.
The weighting technology allows each golfer to adjust their wedge in order to match their natural swing profile and release motion. Edel breaks these profiles into three major categories which are
- Cover – A steeper approach to impact
- Side On – A neutral approach
- Under – A shallow approach to impact
Once the heaviest weight in the wedge has been moved to the optimal position, it works alongside a player’s swing to optimize short game performance.
Results demonstrated that 80 percent of the golfers who were tested saw their best spin numbers and delivery were created with the weight adjusted somewhere other than the center weight port, and the average increase in backspin was just over 10 percent from the lowest spinning location to the highest location of the weight.
Edel’s research and testing have been analyzed by Mike Duffey, a PhD Biomechanics at Penn State and golf swing Biomechanist who came to the following conclusions:
- There is a substantial improvement in a player’s ability to control the flight of a wedge with weighting that matches – or is correctly fit – to the swing.
- The type of weighting that works best varies for individual golfers. The initial assessment of the data clearly showed that there are no consistent trends across golfers showing that one single weighting always works best for each golfer. In fact, the same weighting may have nearly the opposite effect on ball flight control depending on individual swing characteristics.
It was with this knowledge that the design team at Edel developed the Swing Match weight fitting system and now they are ready to introduce it to golfers.
The Swing Match wedges are forged from soft 1025 carbon steel and have all of the bounce and sole geometries CNC machined to ensure maximum precision wedge to wedge.
Like other Edel wedges of the past, they feature full-face groove coverage as well as a micro-engraved face texture to maximize friction for increased spin.
Another signature design element of the Swing Match wedges is their shorter hosel to precisely locate the center of gravity.
The Swing Match wedges come in four unique grind options with each one designed specifically for a specific player delivery—much like the adjustable weight system.
It’s easy to spot the grind type on the back of each wedge, but there is one thing you won’t find and that is bounce number—here’s why:
“Typical bounce is an arbitrary number called “effective bounce” that really has no standard and is played loosely across the industry. That’s why you won’t see a bounce number on our wedges.” – Edel Golf
- C-Grind: This grind is optimal for golfers with a moderate to shallow angle of attack who take a smaller divot. The extra sole width allows you extreme versatility for bunker play and greenside shots in the higher lofts; while being able to work in all turf conditions in the lower lofts.
- T-Grind: A tri-angle sole grind utilizing an extremely high bounce leading-edge, followed by a crescent-shaped lower bounce surface, and extreme heel relief. These three surfaces allow you to open the face without increasing the effective bounce for better performance on tighter lies.
- V-Grind: Inspired by Edel’s most popular DVR grind, this sole is great for cover golfers with a steeper swing motion. The higher bounce angle closer to the leading edge allows the sole to engage with the turf quickly which results in minimal hesitation through sand or turf.
- D-Grind: This high bounce grind is optimal for on-top golfers with a steep angle of attack who take a larger divot. The channel in the midsole creates two separate bounce surfaces; the high bounce leading edge to cut through the turf at impact without resistance and the extremely high bounce on the second surface to prevent any excessive digging.
Price, specs, and availability
The new Edel Swing Match wedge will be available starting April 2, with the retail price of $199 for a stock wedge with Nippon Modus wedge shaft and Golf Pride grip, while custom wedge will start at $225 with customizable hand-stamping and paint fill.
The wedges will be available in lofts 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, and 60 degrees in all four grind options and come in a cream chrome finish.
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