When a new driver arrives on the scene to replace the previous model, chances are you’ve probably thought ‘what’s changed and how is it going to improve my game?’
And those questions become even more pertinent when the new driver’s predecessor was so revolutionary and ultra-successful that it nearly broke every golf forum on the interwebs when it was released.
If you’ve had those same questions churning around inside your head ever since the new TaylorMade M5 and M6 drivers hit town, the short answers are ‘lots’ and ‘yes’.
Now, before delving into the finer details as to why the new M5 and M6 drivers will probably be your best investment since buying bitcoin a decade ago, sometimes to understand the future, you have to revisit the past.
Try not to get too nostalgic but cast your mind back to over a year ago, to early 2018, when you doubted whether Tiger would ever play golf again, let alone win, and still believed that sandpaper and cricket would never have cause to share a headline.
It was the dawn of a completely new left-field concept called Twist Face that featured on the M3 and M4 drivers, predecessors of the current TaylorMade M5 and M6 drivers.
Twist Face was so different and downright innovative it created the sort of buzz and hysteria normally reserved for people whose names end in Bieber. But unlike that Bieber fellow, it wasn’t all hype because the thing actually worked.
The M3 and M4 drivers’ face was twisted to straighten up ugly heel and toe strikes – adding loft in the toe and reducing it in the heel in order to counteract the low-spinning hook and high-spinning slice that usually result from strikes in those respective areas.
That same forgiving Twist Face technology gets a gig in the new 460cc TaylorMade M5 and M6 drivers but it has been improved quite significantly. It is now called Injected Twist Face and the only indication of its game-changing potential is the presence of two small red screws on the face of the M5 and M6 drivers. The Injected Twist Face upgrade sees the COR of every driver – that’s the coefficient of restitution, which is a fancy term for the trampoline-like traits of a driver’s face – sit right on the maximum legal limit.
Having the COR of TaylorMade’s M5 and M6 drivers precisely on the legal limit translates directly into greater ball speeds and length off the tee, and seems to justify TaylorMade’s catchcry of “everybody gets faster”. The crazy thing is the Twist Face of every M5 and M6 driver actually exceeds the legal limit of COR; taken out of context, you’d be excused for thinking TaylorMade should be made to sit on the naughty step. But the injected part of the Injected Twist Face is what turns the drivers from non-conforming miscreants into law-abiding high achievers.
A liquid resin is injected into the cavity behind the face of every TaylorMade M5 and M6 driver, via two ports which the red screws conceal. Injecting the resin enables tiny adjustments to the COR, and TaylorMade’s precise manufacturing process guarantees every single M5 and M6 driver produced is optimised for distance and forgiveness.
The COR of the club face is tested and recorded before a programmed algorithm determines the amount and location of resin to be injected until the driver’s COR hits the maximum legal limit.
Now, if the new Injected Twist Face hasn’t convinced you to upgrade to the new M5 or M6 driver, the new Hammerhead slot might just sway you.It is more flexible and works in tandem with the new Injected Twist Face to boost ball speeds and make the M5 and M6’s sweet spot larger, expanding a massive 66 per cent compared to the previous model drivers. And lightweight carbon fibre has been used on a greater scale in the new drivers to optimise launch by lowering the centre of gravity (CG).If that has clinched the deal and you’re ready to part with your hard-earned, you’ll probably be wondering where the two drivers diverge and which one will suit you best?
The short answer is the M5 is the better player’s driver with a focus on extreme ball speeds while the TaylorMade M6 also flaunts plenty of speed but is the more forgiving of the two.
A new ‘Inverted T’ sliding weight track on the M5’s sole offers ball-shaping options and can alter spin rates and ball speed, while the M6 forgoes the adjustability in favour of additional forgiveness.
The M6’s sole is constructed entirely out of carbon fibre: a huge 54 per cent increase in usage of the material compared to the M4. The lightweight material allowed TaylorMade to raise the forgiveness in the M6 by introducing something called an “Inertia Generator”, which concentrates the saved weight in a more productive position within the clubhead to lower the CG. The M5 also has Tour variant, which features a slightly smaller 435cc head that will aid players with higher swing speeds. The M5 Tour’s smaller head is aerodynamically superior and also assists with shot shaping and playability.
There is also a draw-biased TaylorMade M6 called the M6 D-Type that redeems the slicers out there by straightening up drives through an altered CG and offset crown graphics. So is upgrading to the new TaylorMade M5 or M6 driver really worth it?
The tech that lies behind the red screws more than warrants an upgrade by producing a significant spike in driver performance. And importantly, the gains are there whether you’ve got a quick swing or a more leisurely pace when striking the ball off the tee.
So let’s fast forward 12 months into the future, and picture this: you’re bombing long, straight drives past your club championship rivals with your TaylorMade M5/M6, and it’s all so effortless that you have time to think about witty quips to include in your victory speech.
Upgrading to the TaylorMade M5 or M6 will have totally been worth it.