TaylorMade’s M3 and M4 drivers launch on Friday, February 16th and may very well be the most anticipated new release of 2018. Why is that? Two Words: Twist Face. This radical new take on the curvature of a driver face is TaylorMade’s application of what they learned from modern launch monitors, which can measure a driver’s performance versus exact face impact location. Its the key feature of both the M3 and M4 drivers. Like the M1, the M3 has moveable weights on the sole that allow the player to alter the club’s center of gravity and launch tendencies. Like the M2, the M4 forgoes the moveable weights and instead opts for a more forgiving design. Here’s what TaylorMade has to say about both Twist Face and its new reinforced sole slot called Hammerhead:
A radical departure from traditional driver-face design, Twist Face is engineered to take you farther and straighter… right down the center of the fairway.
Twist Face presents a revolutionary new face curvature with a corrective face angle on off-center hits, engineered to reduce side spin and deliver straighter shots. By providing more loft in the high-toe and less loft in the low-heel, this groundbreaking technology produces more consistent side spin in the areas where golfers commonly mis-hit.
TaylorMade’s new Hammerhead slot creates a massive sweet spot that pushes the limit of ballspeed to produce distance and forgiveness across the entire face.
The reinforced outer portions of the slot allow for a lighter, more flexible face, while the center portion of the slot increases ballspeed on low-face strikes and drops spin for more distance. The result is a powerful and forgiving driver that delivers exceptional sound and feel.
We recently conducted a fitting for a M4 driver. Our customer had used an M2, however like many others he was intrigued by the performance claims of Twist Face. We put his M2 up against the new M4, each tested with his current Mitsubishi Tensei White shaft. Below are the results:
We instantly noticed the tighter dispersion of the M4. All mishits, but particularly toe hits seemed to work toward the centerline versus over correcting and ending up left. If you are trying to understand exactly what Twist Face does then you must first understand how shots struck on the heel or toe typically react. The tendency of toe hits to draw after starting right and heel hits to fade after starting left is known is known as “gear effect.” Shots struck off the center of the face cause the head to change its orientation which effects spin and therefore the curvature of your shot. Club manufacturers have for decades made the face of drivers convex to help the ball start on a line more conducive to the mostly unwanted curvature that occurs when a shot is struck on the heel or toe. Twist Face is a more enhanced shape which features a more open toe and a more closed heel versus the symmetrical convex face typically found on drivers. TaylorMade’s robot testing has shown improved accuracy of heel and toe shots. With all that said, a simpler way to think about TaylorMade’s Twist Face is that it should produce more accurate mishits for a majority of golfers. For our tester this was definitely the case.
So we’re becoming believers in Twist Face’s ability to improve the accuracy of your mishits, but ultimately we know that most of our customers would list more distance not straighter drives as their number one objective when purchasing a new driver. When analyzing M4’s ability to hit the long ball we must first admit that 300 yard drives are not a rarity for our tester. In fact 300 yards is roughly his average drive. That being said, his consistency with the driver makes him an excellent subject when comparing the distance produced by last year’s M2 vs. the best TaylorMade can come up with in 2018. At first glance the M4 didn’t seem much of an improvement over the M2 in the distance department. Our tester experienced a average .5 mph slower ball speed with a club head speed that was on average a full 1 mph slower. However, the M4 consistently launched higher than m4 and did so while producing less back spin. A player’s distance with their driver requires the correct combination of ball speed, launch angle and spin rate. M4 was far superior in two of these categories for our tester leading to a 10 yard increase in carry distance and almost 6 yards overall. An extra 10 yards is more than we ever expected considering our player is using the exact same shaft in each of the driver heads. We were quite impressed and think you will be too.
M4’s Twist Face and HammerHead seem to live up to they hype. To try the year’s most anticipated driver please visit the Golf Exchange location nearest you.