Are you the type of player who likes to hit Par-5s in two? If that describes you, then you are going to want to check out the newest weapons of mass destruction from TaylorMade.
TaylorMade has improved its latest round of fairway woods, the M3 Fairway and M4 Fairway, from what many consider to be some of the best fairway woods on the market, the M1 Fairway and M2 Fairway they replace.
But, for all of its genius in research, development and advancements in technology, the club manufacturing giant could not figure out how to instill the revolutionary Twist Face design featured in the M3 and M4 Drivers.
Guess, we'll all have to wait for the M5s and M6s - whenever they arrive.
For now, be satisfied with these beautiful fairway woods, which are similar in appearance and feel, but offer enough differences to appeal to a wide spectrum of recreational golfers.
TaylorMade M3 Fairway Woods Review
For the most part, consider the M3 fairway woods the new-and-improved version of the extremely popular M1 Fairway Woods. TaylorMade had better players in mind when concocting this gem of a fairway wood.
Of course, TaylorMade didn't climb toward the top of the industry by standing pat or narrowing its target buyer. They upgraded the M3 Fairway Woods in several key categories, specifically by making the screw that holds the adjustable hosel - which features 12 different positions and four degrees of loft - smaller than it was on the M1 Fairway Woods.
The M3 features a 5-layer carbon crown, just like the driver of the same name. The body of the club is made of 450 stainless steel and the Ni-Co 300 face is the same as the M1 Fairway Woods. The head is slightly larger, compared to the M1, and more round in shape.
Overall, the weight is four grams heavier than the M1 Fairway Woods - for a total of 29 grams - and the center of gravity is eight percent closer to the face, which is intended to reduce spin.
The adjustable weight track is wider and 3.55 mm closer to the face, and this overhang is supposed to increase playability.
The Mitsubishi Tensei is the stock shaft. Many shafts available for upcharge. With the adjustable hosel, the M3 can be altered from 13 to 17 degrees.
The M3 Player's Test
Distance - Seems like all of the 3-woods are hotter and hotter as manufacturers have cracked the code on how to implement driver technology into fairway clubs. The M3 Fairway follows the prescription, providing impressive ball speed on solid hits and errant strikes.
Forgiveness - The mis-hits - not that any of us ever have any - work out just fine, thanks in part to the slightly oversized head.
Workability - On the neutral setting, a golfer should feel confident he or she can curve the ball in the intended direction with the M3 Fairway Woods. And the multiple adjustments from fade to draw enable the creation of an ideal setting. The wider track in the sole will also help golfers escape those nasty tight lies.
Appearance - TaylorMade veered from its traditional white and black crown, which it featured in the M1 Fairway, replacing the white portion with a silver / gray color. This should present a softer, more pleasing look for most players.
TaylorMade M4 Fairway Woods Review
Here's the big difference: Not only does the M4 Fairway Woods have a slightly larger clubhead than the M2 Fairway Woods but the internal weight pad has been split, half on the heel and half on the toe to absorb and correct those shots that aren't struck on the center of the face.
The GeoCoustic design on the sole makes it more forgiving as well, and like the M3 Fairway, the crown is now silver and extremely attractive when you're standing over the shot.
In general for most players, the M4 Fairway creates more spin than the M3 Fairway, which should enable mid-to-high handicap golfers to launch the ball higher.
Again, there's a fixed hosel, so you can't exchange shafts, so it's probably ideal to get fitted through an authorized dealer before making your purchase.
The M4 Fairway is available in lofts of 15, 16.5, 18, 21 and 24 degrees for righthanded players and 15, 16.5 and 18 degrees for leftys.
The stock shaft is the Fujikura Atmos Red, but TaylorMade also offers an array of alternatives for no upcharge. (The company also has plans to offer an M4 Fairway Tour, which will have the same perimeter weighting but also a slightly smaller head, generating increased workability.
The M4 Player's Test
Distance - Like Nelly said in 2002, it's hot in here. So hot. The M4 Fairway is a missile launcher, designed to send shots flying into orbit and send your playing companions rushing to their nearest golf shop looking for one of their own. Seriously, this is a powerful 3-wood and much like the M2 Fairway is destined to ascend to the top of the marketplace because of its power.
Forgiveness - Can you have it all? No. But with the M4 Fairway, you can have most of it. The perimeter weighting is going to help the mis-hits dramatically and help this club appeal to golfers in the mid-to-high handicap range.
Workability - Not the primary purpose of the M4 Fairway. Not completely out of the question, but the club is designed to produce a simple, repeating ball flight.
Appearance - She's a beaut, Clark. A man can tell a TaylorMade from a fairway over, with their crisp two-tone design shimmering in the sunlight. Personally, we think the silver / gray on one half of the crown and black on the other half is an aesthetic upgrade over the previous black-and-white models.
Are the TaylorMade M3 and M4 the best fairway woods on the market?
They are what you expect when you slide a TaylorMade in your bag - top notch all the way. If you've had success with TaylorMade in the past you'd be wise to stay on the team and upgrade to the M3 Fairway Woods or M4 Fairway Woods.
They're in the conversation for best in show with the Ping G series, Callaway Epic or Rogue and the surprisingly solid King Cobra F7s or new-and-improved F8s. You're going to see these clubs tucked under headcovers on bags being carried by caddies inside the ropes on professional tours around the world.
If you are shopping for a game-improvement fairway wood, such as the M4 Fairway Woods, please check out our guide to the best fairway woods for beginners. If you want a little more feel and workability, our guide to the best fairway woods for better players showcases the M3 Fairway Woods and the competition.
Should I select the M3 or M4 Fairway Woods?
Well, the simple answer is if you were an M1 Fairway guy or gal a couple of years ago, try the M3 Fairway first and if the M2 Fairway was to your liking, head for the M4 Fairway, which has a chance to become the most popular fairway wood (or metal if you prefer) on the market because of its widespread appeal.
Otherwise, here's a handy dandy comparison with each model rated either Minimal, Average or Exceptional in five key categories.
M3 Fairway Woods
M4 Fairway Woods
13 to 17 Degrees
15, 16.5, 18, 21 & 24 Degrees
Like Coca-Cola, Apple or Microsoft, TaylorMade has earned its place on the Mount Rushmore of companies who consistently produce a product that is both innovative and familiar, earning confidence of their customers, who are often eager to test and purchase the latest option.
And yes, they've done it again.
The M3 Fairway Woods and M4 Fairway Woods are potent weapons that belong in your bag.