We're less than a month into the new 2018 season, and several captivating storylines are already taking shape as the PGA TOUR heads to Torrey Pines for the Famers Insurance Open.
However, it is impossible to deny that the attention of the entire golf world is directed toward one player: Tiger Woods. Tiger made his much-anticipated return to competive golf at the end of last year with an impressive performance at the Hero World Challenge. He recorded three sub-70 rounds, showing that he has the power, precision, and drive to be a competitive force on Tour in 2018.
Between the Hero World Challege and Tiger's 2018 debut this week at Torrey Pines, there has also been a significant shift in the industry with TaylorMade's introduction of Twist Face technology in the new M3 and M4 drivers. This radical new driver-face innovation has already seen rapid adoption—and success—on Tour with Dustin Johnson steamrolling his way to a win at the Tournament of Champions, only to be followed up with a win on the European Tour in Abu Dhabi and again with Jon Rahm's playoff victory at the CareerBuilder Challenge last week.
Despite the early success of Twist Face technology, Tiger has always been notorious for rarely switching clubs, so it was uncertain what he would have in the bag for the 2018 season. He has been quoted saying that he will not adjust his bag unless there is a measurable reason to upgrade products. And with his '16 M2 driver (affectionately nicknamed "Snowflake" for its one-of-a-kind connection with Tiger), it was never a sure thing that he would make the move to a 2018 driver. So when he arrived at The Kingdom at TaylorMade HQ on Tuesday with only one driver concealed beneath his famed headcover (also with its own nickname, "Frank"), it was clear that he was in the final stages of solidifying his driver choice for Torrey Pines.
After going through his practice routine and working with TaylorMade Tour representatives, Keith Sbarbaro and Paul Demkowski, he finally unveiled his big stick as the 2018 M3 driver. Once he started striping drives on the range, it was obvious that he made the right decision for his game. Tiger was consistently carrying drives 310+, many with a total distance well over 330 yards. During Wednesday's Pro-Am, Tiger had M3 (460cc, 8.5°, set 1-click higher) in the bag and later confirmed in a press conference that he had made the switch to the new driver.
"Twist Face is a game-changer. It really is. TaylorMade has always been the leader in drivers and technology—this is just another reason why TaylorMade is so good."
- Tiger Woods
With one of the legends of the game taking up most of the headlines heading into Torrey, one of golf's brightest young stars is also making waves ahead of the Farmers Insurance Open. This week, Jon Rahm returns to Torrey Pines looking to defend his title, which he claimed in miraculous fashion in 2017.
Fresh off his victory at the CareerBuilder Challenge with M4 driver in his bag, Rahm has even more at stake when he tees it up this week. Since his first-career win at Torrey last year, Rahm has experienced a meteoric rise into the game's elite, catapulting to World No. 2... and remember, he is just 23 year old! What's even more impressive is that with a win at Torrey Pines this week, Rahm would dethrone Dustin Johnson as the new World No. 1.
With a complete bag of new TaylorMade products (including M4 driver, M3 fairway, Spider Tour putter, and his TP5x golf ball) and a surging level of confidence on the PGA TOUR, Rahm is the clear favorite to win again and continue the historic start to his young career.
Other players looking to make an impact in their 2018 PGA TOUR debut include TaylorMade staffers, Jason Day and Justin Rose—each opting for adjustability alongside Twist Face technology with their new M3 drivers.
As you watch Tiger, Rahm, Rose, and Day compete this week, keep your eyes peeled for other players—staffers and non-staffers alike—with new M3 and M4 metalwoods in their bags. Making the switch to M3 or M4 driver has been an immediate transition for players on Tour, and your chance to expierence Twist Face for yourself is quickly approaching.
M3 and M4 drivers, metalwoods, and irons will be available for pre-order starting February 2nd, and they will hit retail stores around the world starting February 16th. For more info, visit TaylorMadeGolf.com
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