TaylorMade M3 drivers

TaylorMade M3 Driver David Dusek/Golfweek

TaylorMade M3 drivers

Equipment

TaylorMade M3 drivers

Club: TaylorMade M3 drivers
Price: $499 with Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK shaft and Lamkin UTx Cord grip
Specs: Twisted titanium face plate with carbon-composite crown, moveable weights and enlarged sole slot. Lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees; also available in a slightly smaller 440 model with lofts of 9 and 10 degrees
Available: Feb. 16 (available for pre-order Feb. 1)

Goal
Using a new face design and moveable weights, TaylorMade aims to help golfers hit straighter, longer shots more often.

The Scoop
At address, the M3 driver looks subtly different than the 2017 M1 driver it replaces, having a silver-toned topline instead of the M1’s white. Both clubs have a thin, lightweight carbon-fiber crown that creates discretionary weight, but TaylorMade gave the M3 drivers a face that is completely different than anything the company has designed before, called Twist Face.

“This innovation comes from data,” said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s vice president of product creation. “We are not only looking at the way the ball is coming into impact, but also the way the ball is coming off the face and where it ends up.”

TaylorMade’s data showed that most mis-hits tend to be on low in the heel or high in the toe. The data also showed that the club’s curvature from heel to toe, called bulge, and the curvature from top to bottom, referred to as roll, were not helping golfers keep the ball in the fairway as they did during robot testing.

Misses high in the toe tended to miss the fairway left, while low heel shots wound up going right. Diving deeper into the data revealed that when golfers miss high in the toe, the face angle of their driver tends to be more closed to their swing path than when they hit in the center of the hitting area. Golfers who mis-hit drives low in the heel tend to bring the club to the ball with an open face relative to their swing path.

TaylorMade M3 Driver

Twist Face curls back and right high in the toe and down and left in the heel area. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

To counteract that, Twist Face curves the high-toe area back, so the hitting area points more to the right, and the ball is struck there with more loft. The low-heel area bends down and left, so mis-hits in that area spin less and do not slice to the right as severely.

“We are counteracting the way that the data shows golfers tend to present the clubface at impact,” Bazzel said, “so you get the proper face angle no matter you hit it on the face and get balls to come back to center more often.”

TaylorMade M3 Driver

Looking down at address, the Twist Face looks like a normal hitting surface. (TaylorMade Golf)

At address, golfers will not see the curves designed into the Twist Face, but they are visible when looking up at the hitting area from beneath the sole.

A Y-shaped track in the sole allows a pair of 11-gram weights to move independently into any location, so players and fitters can create more of a draw or fade bias. Moving both weights forward reduces the launch angle and decreases spin, while splitting the weights in the back of the head maximizes the moment of inertia for more forgiveness.

TaylorMade M3 Driver

The 11-gram weights can go anywhere in the M3’s Y-shaped track. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

The newly designed slot in the sole, called Hammerhead, has extra reinforcements in the outer area, which TaylorMade said helps broaden the sweetspot across a larger region of the face.

The smaller-headed 440-cubic centimeter version should produce slightly less spin in the same settings as the standard 460 edition and create a slightly lower trajectory.

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