By Alex Gallemore
The TaylorMade M3 and M4 have been a huge success on tour and sales worldwide have been strong. The Twist Face technology in the drivers definitely tightened my dispersion off the tee but this feature is not available in the fairways woods, so I decided to put them to the test at The Track, Meydan Dubai, and find out if their performance mirrored the driver.
Playing the 9th hole at The Track Meydan off the tee and from the fairway.
Distance: 536 yards
Wind: 9mph head wind
Off the tee
We set the lofts on the M3 and M4 to 16 degrees and used the Tensei Blue stock shaft. Off the tee I instantly felt the difference in the heads. Both gave a great feel but the M4 just spun up a little more than the M3. It was interesting to see what was going on using TrackMan. The ball speeds were high in relation to swing speed but the spin rates on both clubs were too high. Both split the fairway but the M3 was 8 yards longer due to the spin rate and it rolled out to 257 yards.
Off the fairway
Off the fairway I was finding both clubs performed in a similar fashion. Both again felt great off the face and despite the high spin rate we were getting some decent numbers on TrackMan. Taking on the 9th hole over water was a daunting shot from 240 yards into the wind especially with a ball that was spinning around 4,000 rpm. This would have been the yardage left with a fairly good drive.
Thankfully, I was trying the heads under the watchful eye of Craig from eGolf Megastore and the trusty TrackMan to see how things were playing technically. Craig explained: “The numbers that are coming up on the TrackMan are very similar to what we are seeing with our own eyes. The
ball was spinning up and you aren’t getting the distance from it that you should be achieving from the clubhead speed that you are delivering. The angle of attack is very good and the smash factor is very high, it’s just moving around in its flight due to the high spin.
“We’ve got to remember that we are hitting into a bit of wind today which is emphasising the problem that we are seeing with the stock shaft. I would suggest getting you into the store where we can look at some of their upgraded shaft options so we can get the heads working better.”
The test at The Track wasn’t a great reflection of the club’s true performance but it was interesting to see how the same M3 head performed when we started to play around with the custom shaft options at eGolf Megastore. With the TrackMan normalised so no wind conditions or other variables could come into play, we tried a handful of custom shafts in the M3 head.
With the focus on the Tour AD shaft range we started to get the spin rate down and under control. Considering the upcharge is just $110 for what would normally cost close to $300 for the Tour AD shaft, it was definitely worth trying.
The M3 with the AD 7 X shaft was averaging around 268 yards and the dispersion was tight. There was still plenty to come from the head, as the spin rate was still on the high side but the ball speed was impressive. Unfortunately, the
Tensei White stock X flex shaft wasn’t available to test, as that would have given me a true reflection of performance against price. The AD Tour shafts are premium and it’s a lot to splash out when the club is already at the top end of
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The M3 and M4 head both produce great ball speeds and are very forgiving. I’m not sure about the sliding sole weight on the M3 but it was the lower spinning of the two. The only issue that pulls the club down is the shaft, and to get the most out of the great head technology I would strongly advise getting fitted. If you are going to invest in an M3 or M4 I would go all the way and do it properly. Don’t just pull one off the shelf and think that will do. You wouldn’t do that with a driver, so that little more time getting set up correctly will be well worth it when you head out on the course.