I would describe myself as an “avid amateur” player. Purely homegrown swing with pointers here and there from club pros I’ve met along the way. Typically swing between 100-105 mph on the driver with a smooth transition that puts me in the “stiff flex” category, but I definitely prefer smoother shafts. I fight a slight fade from time to time as my swing goes wayward and I start swiping at the ball. I am pretty consistent having played myself to a 7 handicap, but no real shining spots with my game. I just mainly try to minimize my misses on the golf course.
As with many people, I am always looking for ways to improve distance especially on the driver. My regular foursome are all scratch or single digits handicaps and we play from the back tees. They are all big hitters and I consistently am shorter 20-25 yards off the tee. So any little bit helps! I’ve been working to find that specific shaft/flex/weight/kick point combo that will help to maximize the energy delivery to the ball. Recently, I started gaming the Tensei Blue, 60 gr, stiff in my 2017 M2 9.5*. From the “standard setting” the sleeve is turned one click “higher”. I also have a bit of lead tape on the sole right behind the face as the rearward weight to me just feels like the majority of the weight is too far behind the club head. My last moveable weight driver was the TM R7 but at the time with only 3 positions to place the heaviest weight, it was either extreme draw or extreme fade for me. Hence since then I have been getting the non-adjustable variants of TM heads (RBZ, 2017 M2). So the M5 is a departure from my norm but I am excited at the possibilities!
Onto the new club.
M5 9.0*, Tensei Orange, 60gr, weights in the middle between low/high launch and the second just on the draw side. shaft adapter one click "higher" than standard.
At address, the matte black carbon fiber crown yields a rather calming confidence booster. It just looks sleek and ready to go. The thinner gray/silver border continues these sleek lines throughout the club. I got used to the chunky white two tone crown of the M1/M2 line, but this version just seems to flow better. Also at address you can just make out the 10 face lines that outline the sweet spot. It’s rather interesting counterpoint to focus on when you are lining up to the ball. It’s not distracting at all. The club does sit rather square to my eye.
The sleeve adapter is easy to undo and adjust. The two moveable weights are also a snap.
Very excited to swing it.
Compared to my M2, the sound is definitely muted. No doubt due to the resin injected face that mutes the sound a bit. The M2 always had a ting sound to it whereas the M5 is a solid thwock. It’s one of those things that is truly a personal preference thing.
Hitting the ball feels great! Even on mis-hits, the club head still manages to maintain a more solid impact on the ball. If I mis-hit the M2, I definitely knew it by the sound and the impact would just feel deadened. If it wasn’t near center, I just knew the ball wouldn’t go anywhere. My typical miss is low on the heel as I pull away too early from the ball. On mis-hits with the M5, it just felt like the face was still there a fraction longer to continue transferring energy to the ball.
I opted not to get the M3/M4 version of the driver with the new twist face technology. For anyone that doesn’t have it, I can definitely say that it does help to minimize the misses. Knowing my low heel miss as typical, I actually started trying to hit that shot to compare between the two drivers. With the M2, I’ve learned to adjust mid round if my driver starts going wayward. I would start aiming a tad more left accounting for the fade line. In hitting low heel on both drivers in the same general direction, the M5 manages to stop fading as far and actually manages to hit the ball further. I would say the wayward right distance was cut in half compared to a similar shot with the M2. For sh*ts and giggles I started trying hit high toe on the face to see if I could replicate a duck hook. I am sure someone will be able to figure out how to hit a duck hook with the M5, I could not. Merely it would just draw more or less; hopefully never have to worry about the left hazard again! To my eye, the twist face technology definitely improves directional dispersion to help golfers hit the ball straighter more on the intended line.
My driving range recently just installed a few TopTracer bays so hitting on the simulator was a fun experience. Compared to the M2, my ball speed was on average 2-3 mph higher with the M5. I switched between the Tensei Blue (M2 shaft) and the Tensei Orange (what I requested in the M5), in both driver heads. These shafts have an impact on the launch angle for sure, maybe a tad less spin with the Orange. But regardless of changing these shafts around the same held true with each hit. The M5 does indeed preserve ball speed better. Even on the mis-hits it was maintaining ball speeds higher than the M2. With the increase in ball speed, I did see increase in carry distance by about 8-10 yards.
The driver head weight is a little heavier than my M2 driver head so I think that will take some getting used to. Perhaps I may need to counterweight my driver grip or just grin and bear it. I am definitely looking forward to honing it in for this golf season.
First off, many thanks to TM for giving us normal golfers the ability to test new equipment. I read forums of golf equipment testing all the time. It’s enjoyable to hear things from other people’s perspective on new equipment so I can plot out what my next golf club purchase may be. I hope I did this one justice!
Coming from the M2, skipping a model, and using the M5, I do buy into the twist face and resin injected face technology. From both a feel/visual perspective of my golf shots and some quantitative data with the TopTracer, the ball was coming out faster and held its intended target line easier. At the end of the day, I acknowledge that no club will give you 25-30 yard gains. Most likely the only way I may be able to hit a 300yd drive would be down wind down hill with PGA tour fairways .
All in all, I do believe that the M5 will help my game. Distance gains are distance gains as I said every little bit helps. But pairing those gains with more forgiveness on mis-hits I think is truly where you guys will see these new models shine. Simply put, this driver allowed me to hit it straighter and farther. If we can all hit 14 fairways a round and use potentially 1 club less on our approach shots, wouldn’t we? I strongly believe that everyone who ends up getting this iteration of the TM drivers will not be disappointed.
Please feel free to ask question and I will try to answer as many of them that come in!
Not rambling at all...appreciate the thorough review! Hope your new M5 helps you catch up to your regular foursome. One of the things I'm looking for in a new TM driver is forgiveness over major distance gains (really more of a bonus), so this is helpful.
What was your reason for moving the shaft adapter one click "higher" than standard?
It's something I did on my M2 to help counteract some fade swings here and there.
So just to compare it apples to apples I tried it the same way.
With the M5 obviously I can achieve the same draw bias with the moveable weights so I can leave it at standard loft.
All of those will be tweaked and tested in the coming weeks before the season starts to truly dial it in.
Cool, thanks @andrewtchau! Makes sense - was curious because I've been looking to trade-up my 10 degree SLDR and heard Wade Liles talk about going down to 9.5 and then adjusting to the highest position on the loft sleeve to promote more of a draw.
One thing that might help you gain some distance would be a heavier shaft. With the speed you listed, a lighter shaft will tend to add height and maybe even be a tad soft when you really step on it. A heavier shaft would knock some height off creating more run out for more distance. Good luck.