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This is a comprehensive review of the TaylorMade M4 driver.
The M4 is meant to be both the successor to the M2 and the lighter, more forgiving alternative to the M3. It packs most of the same technologies as the M3, without movable weights but with new Geocoustic technology that contributes to a larger face.
How does the M4 really perform out on the course? Which golfers and situations is it best suited for as compared to the M3? Is it worth putting in the bag?
Here’s what I’m going to be covering in this review:
- Features & Technologies
- Look, Sound & Feel
- Where To Buy This Driver Online
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
The TaylorMade M4 driver has excellent ratings including a 4.75/5 average score (130+ reviews) on Global Golf. It has also been rated very highly by professional critics.
What People Like
- many get much better performance than the M2 or M3
- extremely good results on off-center hits
- the Twist Face produces good distance and is very effective in straightening out shots
- very consistent once you get used to the feel
- lack of movable weights means less confusion and complexity for golfers
What People Don’t Like
- some people want more of a crisp feel at impact
- some are underwhelmed by the distance
What are the features?
The M4 driver has largely the same features as the M3, namely:
Twist Face Technology
TaylorMade decided to revisit the “bulge and roll” fundamental philosophy of driver design that has prevailed for over a century. They discovered that the most common mis-hits of golfers are high in the toe and low in the heel.
With this in mind, they took the traditional face curvature and increased it in these areas. The result is that mis-hits spin in such a way as to head back towards your intended target.
This is part of what makes the Twist Face. It provides a corrective face angle that reduces side spin and straightens out shots.
This slot is effectively an enhanced version of the Speed Pocket found in past TaylorMade equipment. It increases the size of the sweet spot, improves ball speed and performance low on the face, and reduces unwanted spin.
In fact, the outer portions of the slot serve the same purpose as Callaway’s Jailbreak technology, increasing both stability and ball speed.
The key features found in the M4 that differentiate it from the M3 are:
This is essentially a new sole design that reduces sole volume and saves mass.
The recessed region on the sole of the club is curved, which helps make the sole stiffer and enables a more forgiving face that is 67% larger. It also contributes to a more solid and explosive impact sound.
In addition, the M4 completely lacks the adjustable weights of the M3. This reduces the complexity of fine-tuning the driver, and it also saves additional weight in exchange for a lower center of gravity.
The M4 driver is available in 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, and 12° standard lofts at 460 CC. Also available is the women’s version in 10.5° and 12° lofts.
The driver includes a 4° loft sleeve that allows you to adjust loft, lie and face angle. There are 12 possible sleeve variations that can increase or decrease the loft by 0.5-0.75°, the lie angle by 0.5-0.75°, and the face angle by 1-2°.
The stock shaft available with the M4 is the Fujikura Atmos Red 5. The stock grip is the Golf Pride Dual Feel.
If you’re interested, full information on the driver, shafts, grips, their specs, and any custom shaft options can be found here. Your choice of shaft may be more important considering there’s no adjustable weights.
Below are the specs of the M4 driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How does the driver perform?
All in all, I found the distance of the M4 to be similar to the M3 and slightly improved over the M2.
These days, equipment manufacturers try to squeeze extra distance out of drivers by making the face “hotter”. With the M4, most of the value comes from the corrective face angle of the Twist Face.
As long as you keep a relatively square face at impact, hitting towards the heel or toe will deliver a straighter ball flight that flies farther because of reduced sidespin.
The Hammerhead Slot feels and performs pretty much the same as it does on the M3: strikes low on the face come out unusually hot, narrowing the gap between mis-hits and sweet spot strikes.
Although there are no adjustable weights, you can still fine-tune your ball flight to an extent with the loft sleeve. Dialing in an optimal trajectory can potentially increase distance a great deal.
I’ve played hotter drivers, there’s no doubt. But the M4 more than gets the job done in the distance department.
Along with the M3, the M4 has what I consider “next-level forgiveness”. This is because not only does it do a good job of preserving ball speed across the face, particularly low on the face, but it also has a real and measurable directional forgiveness thanks to the Twist Face.
Now, with that said, it’s important to realize that hook and slice swing paths will still produce hooks and slices. The Twist Face is most effective when the face is relatively square at impact and the contact is near the toe or heel.
At its full potential, the Twist Face will turn toe strikes into draws that start right and curve back towards the target, and vice versa for heel strikes. Golfers who commonly make contact with the ball in these areas will see the biggest difference.
During my testing, I found the typical trajectory of the M4 to be mid with no fade or draw bias. This is in contrast to the M4 D-Type, which has a draw bias.
It’s no secret at this point that the M4 is less adjustable than the M3. There are no movable weighs, so golfers who are not getting a distance-maximizing flight or are otherwise not satisfied with the trajectory can either try another shaft or experiment with the loft sleeve.
Despite the corrective nature of the face, I still found workability to be solid, similar to the M2. Competent golfers shouldn’t have problems manufacturing different shot shapes as long as they make good contact.
What about look, sound & feel?
Compared to the M2, the M4 has a slightly taller crown, and a slightly thinner leading edge that is now silver instead of white.
Compared to the M3, the M4’s head is able to be slightly taller and shallower because of the absence of a weight track. Other than that, the shape is very similar, with a beveled crown and a pear taper.
The curved Geocoustic region is apparent on the sole. Because there’s no weight track, the “M4” logo is able to be moved into a prominent position in the center.
All in all, the M4 driver has a confidence-inspiring look that sets up nicely at address. But as with the M3, the distinct silver/black contrast won’t appeal to everyone.
The Sound & Feel
For me, most TaylorMade clubs have an impact feel that is either hit or miss. The M4 is certainly a hit.
This is an area where I feel the M4 has a leg up over the M3, thanks to the Geocoustic technology.
The feel and sound are very solid and powerful, particularly when struck in the center of the face. You can almost feel the rebound effect off the face, and the feel is especially impressive low on the face where the Hammerhead slot comes into play.
TaylorMade made a real effort to give the M4 a fantastic feel, and they were successful. The Fujikura stock shaft also contributes to a light feel throughout the swing, which will help many golfers increase their club head speed.
Where should you buy the M4 driver online?
The M4 driver is now a couple of years old. At this point, there are a couple places where I recommend getting it online, but keep in mind that it can be difficult to find it in new condition.
One place is Global Golf, which is the certified pre-owned source of TaylorMade golf clubs. They offer many attractive policies and deals that make for a smooth buying process.
The other place is eBay. They are a fantastic source for golf equipment, and you may be able to find M3 drivers in new condition there as well.
The TaylorMade M4 driver may not have a weight track, but it rivals the performance of the M3 and has better sound and feel to boot. In fact, for whatever reason, many golfers get appreciably better results with the M4 than with the M3.
I personally didn’t notice much of a difference in forgiveness as compared with the M3. Still, if you frequently deviate from the center of the face with your driver, the M4 could be a game-changer for you in terms of keeping your shots on target.
Because of the low CG, the M4 could also help you improve your tee ball if you have a low or medium swing speed, or you have trouble getting the ball up in the air.
Are you interested in trying the M4 driver? Have you played it? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.