A new calendar year means new releases from the top equipment companies in golf and TaylorMade was the first OEM to unveil their 2018 line, headlined by the M3 and M4 drivers.
— Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) January 2, 2018
TaylorMade’s big selling point this year is different than what most consumers are accustomed to hearing from golf equipment manufacturers; as opposed to touting more distance, TaylorMade is making an accuracy play. With its Twist Face technology, TaylorMade is making an effort to negate the dispersion pattern of mishit shots.
TaylorMade’s research revealed that golfers — from the best in the world to weekend hackers — have only a few misses on a consistent basis: high off the toe or low off the heel. Based on that data, they amended the bulge and roll technology to elminate how far offline off-center strikes go and developed the Twist Face clubface to bring the ball closer to center.
— Martin Sell (@MartinSell) January 2, 2018
Studying data from more than half a million shots from golfers can tell you a lot about driver technology. For TaylorMade, the data gleaned from looking closely at head presentation (in-out path, angle of attack, loft, impact location), initial launch conditions and final landing location of the golf ball was so telling that it forced the company to reconsider the traditional bulge and roll design on the driver face that’s been around for over 100 years.
For most drivers, the consistent curve from heel to toe (known as the bulge) and crown to sole (roll) counteract the negative effects of spin and launch on mis-hits. However, as TaylorMade began to cull through a mountain of data, it noticed the bulge, in particular, was not designed in a manner that benefitted the two most common misses for the average golfer.
With an assist from Foresight Sports, who unveiled its GCQuad last year, TaylorMade found that, with traditional bulge, shots stuck high on the toe had a tendency to curve back too far to the left of center (8 yards), while shots that found the low heel tended to curve back too far right of center (6 yards).
“What we learned through Big Data was that the average amateur tends to swing outside to in with a closed face on high toe shots,” said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s VP of product creation, “and do the exact opposite when it comes to shots that strike the low heel. This wasn’t something we were able to figure out overnight. It’s only been within the last three years that we’ve been able to utilize this data in a way that allowed us to make these design changes.”
The most significant design change with the TaylorMade’s new M3 (replacing M1) and M4 (replacing M2) drivers is a twist on bulge and roll, aptly named Twist Face. The technology works in a way that the face curves more open slightly above center moving toward the toe. The exact opposite occurs in the bottom portion of the face where it curves more closed below center toward the heel.
The goal behind the curvature adjustments is to keep the ball online on off-center strikes. According to TaylorMade, Twist Face reduces mis-hits high on the toe from 8 yards left of target to 1 yard, and 2 yards right of target instead of 6 yards on low heel strikes.
“What we’re trying to do is create a driver that’s geared to benefit a golfer instead of a robot,” Bazzel said. “With the Twist Face we believe we’ve accomplished exactly that.”
The M3 driver will retail for $499 while the M4 will start at $429.
— — —
Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest goings-on in the world of golf by following the SwingxSwing Clubhouse on social media. We share stories, stats and breaking news on Twitter, keep the fun going off the course on Instagram and share any and all golf-related topics on Facebook.
Never be the odd golfer out when your friends are talking about the latest or funniest happenings in golf. Sign up for the SxS newsletter today!