I had the opportunity to attend an informational session hosted by Brian Coffman (VP and GM of TaylorMade) and Todd Beach (Senior VP of Research & Development and Engineering), and gathered all the inside intel on Twist Face technology and the rest of the exciting tech featured in the new 2018 TaylorMade M Family.
Instead of continuing on the M1 and M2 product lines, TaylorMade felt there were enough advancements in engineering and design to warrant donning the models the M3 and the M4. The M3 lineup has a 460cc and 440cc driver, fairway wood, rescue and iron set. The M4 lineup offers a little more versatility featuring a standard and draw biased driver, a standard and pro fairway wood, rescue, combo iron set and full iron set.
What do you get when you take carbon fiber clubhead construction elements and combine it with a radical departure from traditional driver-face design? The TaylorMade 2018 M3 and M4 Drivers. While a lot of great innovations were unveiled at the seminar, the major takeaway (as you no doubt guessed) was the re-imagination of the driver clubface through Twist Face Technology, and for TaylorMade, there’s no turning back.
The Bulger driver surpassed long-nose woods as the preferred club style around the 1880s, and driver clubfaces have been designed with the same bulge and roll technique since. A bulge and roll clubface creates gear effect. The simplest way to describe gear effect is that when the clubface opens it produces draw spin and vice versa.
Engineers test clubs using robotic arms because in doing so they can control for the greatest variable in the entire swing, the player. No matter what happens in the takeaway and downswing robots can always return the clubface to square at impact. The result is that since the clubface always returns to square the gear effect brings shots hit by robot arms back to the target line without crossing over. Humans, however, are not so precise and do not return the clubface square to the target at impact every single time they swing.
TaylorMade said it’s time to re-envision the face and used big data to prove it. Their engineers were able to parse the data from hundreds of thousands of swings and determined that the most typical misses are low heel and high toe. On average, if a human hit a shot off the high-toe the most likely reason for that would be that the face has closed to the target and delofted. And, we all know where that one goes, snap hook! The opposite holds true for the low-heel, the face opened and the loft increased, high slice.
By twisting the low heel and high toe TaylorMade was able to alter the gear effect a driver with a traditional bulge and roll face produces and align human mishits with the robot swings, bringing the ball back to the target line, but not crossing over. (Be sure to check out the M Family driver pages for the in-person interview our correspondent Justin Morrison did with Todd Beach for more great information on Twist Face technology)
Enter Twist Face. TaylorMade’s R&D discovered vastly different results from human swings compared to labratory-controlled robot swings using the standard bulge and roll clubface. Robots can correct shots off the heel and toe producing a ball flight that brings the ball back to only a few yards off the target line. Humans, however, are not so consistent and tend to either snap-hook or push-slice shots off of the toe and heel respectively. After interpreting the data, TaylorMade decided to forego the standard bulge and roll clubface and designed the all new Twist Face technology. Twist Face technology is engineered to correct for those inherent swing tendencies in real time.
Considering all of the hype surrounding Twist Face, the M3 and M4 drivers also feature a lot of other great technologies that may be flying under the radar in terms of their performance. A new speed pocket featuring the Hammerhead slot sits behind the face of both driver versions.