M3 or M4?
Both are long and deadly accurate but one is for the player who likes to tinker and the other is for the player who just wants to dial in the loft, match the shaft and get crushing it.
The TaylorMade M3 and M4 have shot out of the gates in 2018 on the pro scene with Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and John Rahm taking top honours with the M3 and M4 on the PGA Tour, while Tommy Fleetwood got the M3 on the top step in Abu Dhabi. Rory McIlory has also managed to pick up some more distance with the M3 over the previous M2 model… like he needed more yards!
The tech guys at TaylorMade said even though the M3 was created with the Tour player in mind, DJ and Rahm were picking up fractionally more ball speed with the M4. The new buzzwords and tech are Hammerhead Technology and Twist Face. All this equates to longer, straighter drivers and it’s not marketing hype – it actually works. I headed up to The Track, Meydan Golf along with the eGolf Megastore team for the TaylorMade session to find out how they both performed on the TrackMan and it made interesting reading.
Looks: The new silver to black look makes it more of a premium driver to me than the white to black of the previous versions.
Distance: I was lucky enough to hit the M3 vs the M1 on Trackman and even though TaylorMade went with the idea of selling accuracy I found seven yards more carry with the M3 due to a higher ball speed. That’s thanks to the new Hammerhead technology which appears to have done its job in increasing ball speed on off centre strikes! In addition, the M4 carried four yards further than the 2017 M2 model.
Accuracy: To be honest I was a little skeptical when it came to the Twist Face technology but couldn’t wait to see if it works, as my miss-hit is typically high on the toe. Striping my first two drives with the M3 I obviously didn’t see a big difference, but the next two were high on the toe as expected. The ball stayed in the air a good second longer and my miss to the left was substantially less. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it substantially decreased the left deviation I would normally see from a high toe strike.
I’m really pleased to see TaylorMade has gone with the Mitsubishi Tensei and Fujikura Atmos as their stock options. This will make fitting a lot easier at eGolf Megastore as the Tensei is the #1 shaft on used by Tour players right now and is perhaps the best shaft to fit on the market at present. The Fujikura Atmos is also a standout performer and premium shaft to pair with the M4 head.
Y-Track: I’m happy to see that TaylorMade tweaked the weight adjustments in the new M3. Its new Y-Track system allows for a lower CG than ever (when the sole weights all the way back) increasing the moment of inertia by 10%. Tech talk aside, that translates into more forgiveness on off-centre hits for the amateur golfer.
Verdict: All-in-all these are great products from TaylorMade. Its only early in the season and between them the M3 and M4 have already collected six global PGA and European Tour wins. It will most certainly make other equipment designers think how to keep up with it.
Alex Gallemore – Worldwide Golf Editor
Compared to the 2017 M1 and M2, both the M3 and M4 delivered greater ballspeed without an increase in swing speed. The M4 was the higher spinning head and I struggled to get this to an optimised number below 3,000rpm. Even with an Oban White shaft it was revving too much but the dispersion was the tightest driver I’d ever hit. In fact, it was more accurate than my 3-wood.
The Twist Face was very effective, especially from toe strikes, which would normally result in a pull. Instead they were straight with the faintest draw. The M3 was better suited to my game, as the forward weights knocked the spin rate down and I was consistently driving it over 290 yards and tight. We were limited on shafts and head weights, but with a little tinkering the optimised numbers indicated that a further 10 yards gain was achievable.