The TaylorMade M drivers have been dominating the world golf tours for a few years and the new M4 is no exception, being wielded by Francesco Molinari in winning the 2018 Open.
Overall this driver received a top rating by all reviewers. The innovative design features work to improve forgiveness on mishits. The M4 is a forgiving driver that produces more spin than it’s brother driver the M3 making it better for lower swing speed players or players who do not produce enough spin from their driver. Innovations like Twist Face, Hammerhead Slot and the Geocoustic Sole have lifted the M4 up a step from the previous M2. The M4 retains the adjustable hosel design allowing for 2 degrees of increase or decrease in loft.
The M4 is aimed at players with slower swing speeds or who require more forgiveness.
One of the big innovations promoted by TaylorMade for this driver is the Twist Face design. Twist Face is an update on the normal bulge and roll shape that all drivers have. TaylorMade determined that amateurs miss more either high on the toe or low on the heel and increased the amount of shape in these areas so that the gear effect put on the ball tends to offset the effect of the mishit. Gear effect is the physics where a ball hit somewhere other than the sweet spot imparts spin on the ball. By shaping the face correctly manufacturers create spin that offsets the direction of the mishit:
- Shots off the toe – which tend to push (go right for righties) – generate draw spin so that they curl back towards where the player was aiming
- Shots off the heel – which tend to pull (go left for righties) – generate fade spin so that they curl back towards the fairway
Twist Face better matches the amount of spin to the amount of mishit. Reviewers determined that the design does work and for most amateurs – and especially high handicappers who hit the sweet spot less often – this is a significant benefit.
Hammerhead Speed Slot
The M4 also the new Hammerhead Speed Slot maximised ball speeds particularly on shots lower on the face. The new slot design is larger than previous designs, increasing the sweet spot by 67% over the M2 driver according to TaylorMade. Again this design helps players who do not hit the sweet spot consistently, reducing the amount of speed lost on mishits. In other drivers the extra speed could lead to shots going deeper into the trees but combined with the Twist Face design the extra speed will be more beneficial as the shot curls back more towards where the player intended.
The changes to the face and speed slot have both freed up weight, and along with that TaylorMade have redesigned the sole of the club and moved that available weight back and low in the head. This has the effect of stabilising the head in space, which reduces the impact of off-centre hits twisting the face and sending the ball off-line. It also increases the launch angle of the ball which is beneficial for lower swing speeds to get the right launch angle for maximum distance.
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