50 Words or Less
The TaylorMade M4 driver introduces the new Twist Face technology aimed at helping golfers hit the ball longer and straighter. The M4 is the “replacement” for the previous generations’ M2 woods.
Following a great couple of seasons with many massive wins, it was hard to imagine TaylorMade could do much more to improve their driver suite. Never you worry, TaylorMade always has a trick up their sleeve. That trick is Twist Face which is found in all of the new TaylorMade drivers. I’ll discuss the Twist Face in more detail, but in short, the TaylorMade M4 driver is a bit more forgiving because of this new technology and could be quite useful to amateur golfers.
From a shape perspective, the TaylorMade M4 driver is very similar to its M2 predecessors. The most notable changes are in the color schemes. Yes, the 2018 woods still have the black carbon crown but gone are the neon colors and the white topline. TaylorMade went with a red, white, and blue paint scheme and swapped out all white accenting for a new silver. Frankly, I’m still undecided whether I like the silver or white better, but both colorways are pretty slick.
In regards to the traditional appearance questions, the M4 driver has every bit of a 460cc footprint with a medium face depth and a slight pear taper in its shape. Given the concept of the Twist Face, it’s reasonable to think the face could look a little funky at address. Throughout my testing, I found it very difficult to notice anything different looking down at the club behind my ball. Overall, the M4 sets up very nicely on the tee box.
Sound & Feel
There are two factors that really impact the sound and feel of the TaylorMade M4 driver – the Hammerhead and the Geocoustic sole. If the Geocoustic sole sounds familiar, it’s because TaylorMade has used it previously to great success. The idea is that the sole is shaped in such a way to give an ideal sound and feel to the player. As a result, the M4 driver feels extremely solid and powerful with a sound to match.
The Hammerhead slot is largely designed for performance benefits, but it allows TaylorMade to increase the size of the sweet spot. The result is a powerful feel across more of the face and an explosive sound maintained away from the dead center.
Like the M2, the TaylorMade M4 driver has minimal adjustments and is fairly straightforward. You can still make some loft and lie adjustments via the shaft adapter, but there aren’t a bunch of weights to dial in the CG of the club. Fortunately, the M4 is a solid club and doesn’t need all of those bells and whistles.
As mentioned earlier, the Hammerhead slot is designed to increase the size of the sweet spot.
The reinforced outer portions of the slot allow for a lighter, more flexible face, while the center portion of the slot increases ball speed on low-face strikes and drops spin for more distance.
I don’t have loads of scientific data to support the Hammerhead design, but I do believe it helps. Before even reading about the design, I was noticing shots low on the face were coming off oddly hot. Admittedly, they were super low launching and my carry suffered a bit, but the ball maintained speed. Normally I find that shot slowly tumbles down into ground at about 2/3 of my normal distance. The M4 bailed me out of that low-face shot more than once and had good ball speed.
In order to discuss the Twist Face, it’s important to understand the design first. TaylorMade created a face with curvature that added more loft in the high-toe and less loft in the low-heel. What is this supposed to do? These areas of the face are the most common misses for golfers and this design should help them by controlling the side spin that may cause you to lose control of your shot. The graphic below helps explain how this is supposed to work.
Now we know what Twist Face is designed to do, but does it actually work? Most golfers know that dreaded feeling from hitting off the toe or heel and the subsequent result. For me, there was an obvious difference in those misses with Twist Face. The Twist Face is designed to help when you miss the sweet spot with a relatively squared face. Let’s be clear, hitting the ball in the problematic regions doesn’t magically become a good shot. It’s important to understand that a slice or hook swing path will still slice or hook. My experience was that the ball got in the air (and stayed in the air) more easily and my misses were smaller than normal. For amateur golfers, the Twist Face will not be a life saver but will a great aid off the tee.
The biggest appeal to me in the TaylorMade M4 driver is that I do believe the Twist Face is very useful for amateurs. If you’re dead on the screws every time, the M4 has a hot face and good feel. For us mortals that deviate from the center and could use a little help, the Twist Face has us covered.
My biggest take away was that the M4 is very solid and has a lot of power. My regular toe miss suffered a lot less and left me in a better positions than it normally would. The end product of those things was me being a lot more confident on the tee. If you’re anything like me, that’s a big gain on the golf course.