I recently attended the launch of TaylorMade’s 2018 product range at their global HQ in Carlsbad California where I put to the test each and every new product and the innovative technologies they incorporate.
The M3 driver builds upon the success of the 2017 M1 whilst also taking performance to an entirely new level thanks to new and innovative technologies, most notably Twist Face technology.
First of all I think it’s best you know that I’ve had my current driver in the bag for a little over three years now. I absolutely love it and it has served me well, but it has had its day in the sun.
TaylorMade’s new M3 (the 440cc version) is my new gamer. I’ve always said it would take something seriously impressive to make me switch driver, but TaylorMade's latest offering has made it one of the easiest club changes I’ve ever had to make. It is just that good.
If you want to more about the tech packed into the M3 metalwoods then follow this link, but now it’s time to dive into the reasons why the M3 impressed me so much.
Forgiveness & Accuracy
Twist Face has been designed to combat your most common misses, more specifically, those resulting from the high toe and low heel impacts. My immediate thought when being presented this new tech was ‘what on earth is this going to look like down behind the ball?’ This initial concern about appearance was quickly put to rest.
Down at address the driver face looks no different to a conventional one, that is unless you are really scrutinising it with intent. The big question was though, would I see the benefits of Twist Face? My miss tends to be a low heel shot that cuts and sends my spin rates through the roof. It’s not a killer miss, but definitely one that costs me distance, accuracy, and at the end of the day, maybe one or two shots a round.
What I saw with the Twist Face was remarkable. I was consistently seeing my ball speed drop by only a couple of miles per hour and my spin rates climb only slightly on those low heel misshits. My distance dispersion was incredibly tight, and not only that, the ball was definitely cutting less. These drivers will without a doubt help you find the fairway more often.
Now I’m not implying that this driver will help you hit every single fairway. Unfortunately you’re big miss will still be a big miss. That being said however, if this new technology can help my poor strikes fly further and bring me closer to the fairway, whilst also reeling in those big misses by a couple of yards, I am 100% going to see my game off the tee, and hopefully my scores at the end of the round, improve.
All of this, coupled with a moment of inertia (MOI) that is about 10% larger that that of the 2017 M1, makes the M3 one of the most forgiving and accurate drivers I have ever tested.
The new Hammerhead Slot featured in the M3 is the first time we’ve ever seen Speed Pocket technology featured in TaylorMade’s adjustable driver option. It works in combination with Twist Face and Inverted Cone technology to deliver maximum ball speed across a larger area of the face and in turn create a larger sweet spot.
During my fitting in Carlsbad I was getting some ridiculous ball speed figures. My average ball speed with the driver tends to be a little over 160mph, but with the M3 I was seeing that jump up closer to 165mph, with some of my harder swings hitting the 170 mark and beyond. I’ll just let those numbers speak for themselves.
The new Y-Track on the M3 offers more adjustability than any TaylorMade driver we’ve seen in the past, with more than 1,000 unique CG configurations to choose from.
My fitter was able to dial me in, striking the perfect balance of ball speed, spin rates and launch angle to give me the flight I like to see, not mention remarkable carry distances.
The M3’s new design aesthetics and features help to differentiate it from the M1 and any other TaylorMade driver we’ve seen in the past. TaylorMade have decided to go with a new matte silver front section on the crown, similar to that of the SLDR. This combines with a raised, aerodynamic five-layer carbon composite crown, something that has made the M series of metalwoods so recognizable over the last few years.
Down at address the M3 frames the ball perfectly and has a large footprint that will definitely help to inspire confidence. My personal preference was towards the slightly smaller head and deeper face of the 440cc version.
Sound & Feel
This is often one of the most important factors in a golfer’s decision when purchasing a new driver. You’ll be glad to hear that both the sound and feel off the face is up there with the best on the market. The low dull thud it provides at impact sounds great and feels solid. Even on off-centre strikes the driver retains much of this.
For me the new M3 really is the complete package and I cannot wait to put it in my bag. I fully expect to be playing my golf out of the fairway a little more often this year.