The M5 delivers on its promise of more ball speed over M3. We experienced consistently longer carries on average, admittedly helped by faster swing speeds. The adjustability with added forgiveness is an appealing prospect for all player types while many will agree the looks at address have also improved, both in terms of alignment assistance and general visual appeal.
Improved address looks, impressive ball speeds and distance combined with intuitive adjustability and added forgiveness in multiple settings.
Gains over M3 are marginal. If you’re planning on keeping the weights in a neutral position, the M6 may well perform just as well for £50 less.
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TaylorMade M5 Driver Review - Our verdict on the new TaylorMade M5 driver and how it compares to the M3
TaylorMade M5 Driver Review
TaylorMade is making some big claims about the performance of the M5 driver with it’s Speed Injected Twist Face and most expansive adjustability ever. You can read more about the technology here.
As expected, the M5 looks like a driver sent back from the future. The clever and colourful use of carbon fibre, weight tracks and speed slots aplenty, it certainly appears cutting edge. Arguably even more futuristic is the Since the TaylorMade Stealth drivers, have been launched in 2022 and have already made a significant impression on golf's equipment landscape.
Down at address, you instantly notice the matte finish of the carbon fibre and it makes you wonder why it wasn’t done sooner. It looks fantastic – premium with a performance benefit of reducing sun glare. The light grey front section has been narrowed but made longer, making it more effective at highlighting the face angle to improve alignment.
The Twist Face continues to be barely visible from this view, or any view for that matter, and the Injection ports are also difficult to spot, which is also encouraging. It all combines to create one of the best looking drivers to look down on.
We tested the M5 in approx. 9.1° (two clicks down from the 10.5° head) up against the M3 in 9.5° and our trusty Aldila Rogue x-stiff 70 shaft. This is admittedly not a stock option, but it was fitted to us previously and we were sent a stock Project X HZRDUS Smoke in 6.0, which was a little soft for our swing.
We left the weights as they were, one in the front and the other towards the back but in a neutral shot shape bias. The testing was done indoors on the Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor using a reputable premium golf ball.
What was clear from our testing was that the M3 was no dud – well-struck shots more than held their own versus M5. But the M5 driver did give us more ball speed, both as an average and a maximum, resulting in 7 yards longer carries on average. Our longest shot with M3 carried 294, with M5 we sent one out there at 301 carry.
Admittedly, our clubhead speed with the M5 was on average 1.5mph quicker than with M3, but the M5 seemed to be more forgiving too. We hit a couple of shots slightly out of the toe with M3 that lost considerably more carry distance than similar strikes with the M5.
Both drivers launched similarly but the M5 did give us slightly lower spin on average. It’s encouraging that the track now extends further back, giving golfers additional options for added forgiveness and control – you could put each of the weights in the extreme heel and toe back positions, for example, to really maximize stability.
Ultimately, we hit the M5 further than the M3 seemingly without any drop off in accuracy. We found the M5 just as easy to control, and this was without moving the weights into the draw or fade settings, which should raise MOI because they are positioned deeper in the head.
To top it all off, the M5 feels great. Solid and stable, it offers up a short, powerful ‘thud’ sound at impact that lets you know when you’ve nailed one.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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