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Today I’ll be fully reviewing the TaylorMade M5 Tour driver.
The M5 Tour is the slimmer, more compact brother of the M5. At 435CC, the M5 Tour has the same technologies as the M5 but tends to appeal to better players and professionals. It allows for more workability, more control, and less spin on average.
How does the performance of the M5 Tour compare with the standard M5? When is it worth considering the Tour variant over the M5?
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 M5 Tour driver has very positive customer ratings in general, but it’s dragged down a little bit by certain issues not related to performance.
It has a 4.4/5 score on Global Golf and a 4.3/5 on the official TaylorMade website.
Along with the regular M5, the M5 Tour earned a gold medal on the 2019 Golf Digest Hot List.
What People Like
- pounds it down the fairway
- forgiveness is still excellent even with the smaller profile
- ample feedback for diagnosing your mis-hits
- the sweet spot feels fantastic
- a very workable driver
What People Don’t Like
- forgiveness is not quite as good as the M5
- can dent and suffer other physical damage, particularly after a bad swing
What are the features?
Most of the features of the M5 Tour are the same as its bigger M5 brother, namely:
- Speed Injection: the face is injected with a special tuning resin in order to optimize COR across the entire face, bringing the speed of the face right to the legal limit.
- Twist Face: the face has a special curvature with a corrective face angle on off-center hits. The end result is reduced sidespin, straighter shots, and better performance near the toe and heel.
- Inverse T-Track: TaylorMade claims that this T-Track design is more efficient than the track on the M1. Two 10g weights can be moved seamlessly along the track to alter spin and trajectory.
- Hammerhead Slot 2.0: More flexible than in previous models, this slot improves ball speed performance low on the face.
The key difference lies in the footprint. The M5 Tour has a smaller 435CC head (as opposed to 460CC), which is more aesthetically appealing to many players.
The aerodynamics that work with this smaller head result in increased club head speed. In addition to improved workability and control, the weight distribution is also such that the spin and MOI tend to be lower.
The M5 Tour driver is available in 9° and 10.5° standard lofts. As with the M5, it includes a 4° loft sleeve that allows you to adjust loft, lie and face angle over 12 possible variations.
The stock shafts available with the M5 Tour are the Mitsubishi TENSEI CK Orange 60 (mid launch) and Project X HZRDUS Smoke 70 (low launch). The stock grip is the Golf Pride MCC.
If you’re interested, full information on the driver, shafts, grips, their specs, and any custom shaft options can be found here.
Below are the specs of the M5 Tour driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How does the driver perform?
It’s close, but I find that the M5 Tour tends to be a little longer than the M5, especially with faster swing speeds. There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, as TaylorMade indicates in the marketing of the M5 Tour, the aerodynamics of the smaller head allow for more club head speed, which translates into more ball speed and distance.
Secondly, the M5 Tour has a lower CG that results in less spin. Faster swing speeds extract the most benefit from this because they can keep the trajectory high enough to carry a long way.
All of this bore out in my testing, and I found that I was getting about 5-8 more yards of additional distance. The M5 is already super long, so this means that the M5 Tour is pretty much a beast.
The M5 Tour is clearly made for distance. You can also use the movable weights and loft sleeve to squeeze out even more distance on your drives.
With lower MOI and a smaller head, the M5 Tour is naturally less forgiving than the M5.
But all things considered, the forgiveness is impressive for a better-player driver. The tendency for increased sidespin from the lower MOI is strongly counteracted by the corrective nature of the Twist Face, so there’s only a minor difference in mis-hit performance.
Golfers with the skill to play the M5 Tour effectively will be more than satisfied with the forgiveness offered. Higher handicaps will appreciate the driver letting them know when they make poor contact.
The M5 Tour tends to produce a low-mid trajectory, and it’s easy to work the ball and shape shots. This was my experience personally.
But overall, it’s difficult to pin down a “typical” ball flight because of the sheer number of variables at play.
The T-Track provides powerful adjustability for M5 Tour users, and this makes for excellent playability as well. Moving weight towards the toe, heel, back and front will promote fades, draws, higher and lower trajectories, respectively.
Golfers with slower swing speeds will likely have better results with the weights back, increasing spin.
Your trajectory will depend largely on the position of the weights, the loft sleeve setting, the standard loft of the driver, the shaft, and your individual swing.
The sliding weight system on the M5 Tour can make a big difference, and I highly recommend experimenting to find something that works for you.
What about look, sound & feel?
The design and aesthetics of the M5 Tour are pretty much the same as the M5, with the exception of the “Tour” label on the sole.
I said in my review of the M5 that the design isn’t my favourite, but this is just my personal preference and you may have a different view.
The big difference with the M5 Tour is the smaller footprint, which is both shorter and narrower than the M5.
I prefer a slimmer driver look myself, but it will likely give some golfers less confidence when addressing the ball. Still, the extra 5CC over the typical 430CC tour-class drivers helps the M5 Tour be a little more accessible to higher handicaps.
The Sound & Feel
The sound/feel of the M5 Tour was about what I expected going into my testing session.
Compared to the M5, the feel is harsher on mis-hits, but the sound across the face is essentially the same. The marginally more difficult task of hitting the sweet spot is rewarded with an incredible feel that is solid and explosive.
If you’re serious about improving your long game, the M5 Tour will allow you to do it because it gives you clear tactile feedback.
Something I found interesting is that strikes low on the face, where the Hammerhead Slot provides support, feel more like sweet-spot strikes than they do on the regular M5. This likely has something to do with the concentration of mass in a more compact profile.
Where should you buy the M5 Tour driver online?
The M5 Tour driver is now more than a season old. At this point, there are a couple places where I recommend getting it online.
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 can likely find M5 Tour drivers in new condition there as well.
You can still buy the M5 Tour from the TM website, but only for a limited time.
I think the M5 Tour is a very compelling option for golfers interested in the M5 family. It’s long, workable, adjustable, has superb feel, and still offers a bit of forgiveness for your mis-hits.
In fact, unless you value slightly better forgiveness and a larger footprint, I can’t see why you would go for the M5 over the M5 Tour.
In any case, I would definitely give the M5 Tour a try. If you think you’re not good enough to play it, you might be pleasantly surprised as to how it performs.
Are you interested in the M5 Tour driver? Have you played it? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.