How does the TaylorMade M3 driver stand up to its M1 predecessor?

Golf Equipment

Equipment editor James Savage runs the rule over Tiger Woods' TaylorMade M3 driver. How does it compare to 2017's M1?

Our TaylorMade M3 vs TaylorMade M1 review took place at Saadiyat Beach golf club in Abu Dhabi.

We used Trackman 4 to gather the data and used premium range balls.

TaylorMade M3 vs TaylorMade M1 Review – The methodology

TaylorMade M1 vs TaylorMade M3 review

The TaylorMade M3 and M1 drivers are the adjustable alternatives to the M4 and M2.

But there are a few changes with the M3 compared to the M1 so we were keen to hit them both and compare the data.

Both heads were set to 9.5˚ and we used the same Project X Hzdrdus Yellow shaft in each.

It’s the same shaft that we used for our M4 vs M2 driver test.

TaylorMade M3 vs TaylorMade M1 Review – The technology

TaylorMade M1 vs TaylorMade M3 review

So, aside from Twist Face, the big change with the M3 is that the sliding weight system now has more versatility.

With the M1 there was a weight which could be moved from heel to toe and a separate track which allowed a weight to move forwards and back.

On the M3 both weights can now be deployed in unison on the same track.

TaylorMade M1 vs TaylorMade M3 review

Interestingly both can be placed back with one on the heel side and one on the toe side. That should offer the most stability and forgiveness.

Or they can be both pushed forwards for more distance and lower spin. That’s where tour players like Rory McIlroy like to deploy them.

There’s also what TaylorMade call a Hammerhead speed slot just behind the face which helps add ball speed and control spin even further.

There’s a slight change in the aesthetics with more of a reserved silvery finish on the M3 compared to the bold white on the M1.

TaylorMade M3 vs TaylorMade M1 Review – The results

I did have some success with the M1 when it was launched last year as I was able to control the spin a bit better than with the M2.

But there’s no doubt the M2 was more forgiving in terms of off-centre hits which is why it was my driver of choice in 2017.

The numbers I got on the day with the M1 were nowhere near as good as what I had seen with some of the other drivers I tested.

TaylorMade M1 vs TaylorMade M3 review

They weren’t too bad and the driver has a lovely sound and feel but I wasn’t getting anywhere near the 250 carry I had witnessed the same day.

With the M3 it was pleasing to see a bit of a jump up in ball speed and distance.

TaylorMade M1 vs TaylorMade M3 review

Was it Twist Face? Was it the Hammerhead slot? We’re not sure but the numbers speak for themselves.

It was the same shaft and the exact same testing conditions and the performance was just a bit better with the M3.

TaylorMade M3 vs TaylorMade M1 Review – NCG verdict

It seems to me like there are some really significant improvements with the M3 compared to the M1.

TaylorMade M3 vs TaylorMade M1 Review

I think I’ll always lean more towards the M4 because it does seem to be the more forgiving head.

But I think the M3 actually has a wider appeal than the M1 because of how the weights can be deployed.

Adjustability in a driver can really help during the fitting process and some people will get better performance from the M3 by being properly dialled in for optimal spin and shot shape.

But if you are just going to deploy the weights in the back position, I can’t understand why you wouldn’t opt for the M4 which is £110 cheaper.

TaylorMade M3 details

SRP: £479

More information can be found on the TaylorMade website.

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