It’s only natural that when a golf company introduces new metalwoods, in this case TaylorMade with the M5 and M6 family, that people focus their attention on the drivers. They are normally the star of the show so it is generally forgiven if the company themselves pay little attention to advancing the matching fairways and hybrids (or rescues, per TaylorMade vernacular).
That might be the case in year’s past but with the rising cost of clubs, consumers are demanding more. As such TaylorMade appears to have answered appropriately for 2019.
They put just as much pressure on themselves to come up with something better.
As Tomo Bystedt, their Senior Director, Product Creation, Metalwood explains, creating a fairway worthy of their new product line took a big commitment.
“For this fairway wood we sort of went back and started looking at ‘how do we completely re-invent this technical, adjustable, fairway wood because we sort of reached a limit with the M3’. We made the speed pocket as fast as we could, we tried to move the CG down with carbon crown; we were then at the limitations of the material we used.”
The task was to find a way to get a similar face flexibility but a centre of gravity location better than an M4 fairway wood, and still retain adjustability. Basically, the best of both worlds from the M3/M4 generation of fairway clubs.
The solution meant moving to a different material for the adjustable fairway, titanium, in concert with carbon fibre. But unlike many titanium fairway woods that take advantage of its lighter weight (40+% lighter than steel) to make a bigger head, TaylorMade designers kept a compact profile and added mass through a huge 65 gram steel adjustable weight near the bottom and middle of the clubhead.
While very functional, the concept of the club presented challenges for the engineers who had to work extra hard to make sure a weight that large would stay attached, and to make sure the sound and feel of the club was tuned properly as well.
“I’m extra proud of the team as we actually overshot where we wanted to go for the sound and feel. It actually sounds better than many of the fairways we’ve made before. It sounds amazing.”
Bystedt adds that among the 2019 products the new M5 fairway is a “sleeper hit” with those getting an early chance to test the product returning very positive feedback. “This one was so easy to play and went so far and people had so much fun with the adjustments, they fell in love with this product.”
“It’s a higher price point but I think it is going to surprise some people at how well it will do in the marketplace.”
Word from Bystedt is that TaylorMade staffers Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy could not get enough of the M5 fairway during the initial product photo shoot in November. Johnson started to hit it immediately without even warming up and Rory was obsessed with it over testing anything else.
The M5 is also the company’s first fairway wood to make use of Twist face to help counteract the gear effect on common mis-hits in the high-toe and low-heel. The M5 fairway also features a more streamlined 12- position loft sleeve for up to 4° of adjustability (+-2°).
Loft options will include Rocket 3/14° (RH only), 3/15° and 5/18°. At $499.99 suggested retail they will show up at retail on February 1st.
Based on his early testing, the new M6 will likely be the new fairway choice of TaylorMade staffer Jason Day.
Also using a Twist Face, the new model has a taller profile, more closely resembling the company’s popular RocketBallz fairway models. That helps make it a versatile choice off the deck or the tee (a new “Rocket 3 at 14° is offered).
Like the M4 model, the M6 also includes a Speed Pocket to retain ball speed on low face impacts. This one has been improved to aid that and also sees the TPU slot insert sit flush with the sole to help the clubhead work more easily through the turf.
This low CG model makes it easier to launch the golf ball and has a high moment of inertia makes for less twisting on mis-hits.
Golfers needing even more assistance can also choose a D-Type model with additonal draw bias.
Besides the Rocket model, the standard M6 fairway is available in 3/15°, 5/18°, 7/21° and 9/24° lofts with the D-Type coming in 3/16°, 5/19° (5) & 7/22° lofts. Both have a suggested retail of $399.99.
They are ready for sale on February 1st.
Coming To The Rescue
The steel body M6 Rescue also gets the Twist Face touch, a first for a hybrid style club.
Added features include a stepped crown, a thinner face for extra ball speed and a more flexible Speed Pocket to help retain that speed on low-face strikes.
They, too, will be at retail on February 1st ($299.99) in lofts of 3/19°, 4/22°, 5/25°, 6/28° and 7/31° with the latter four lofts available in a women-specific version.