Straight from our Senior Director of Metalwoods Product Creation, Tomo Bystedt:
For 2019 we took a fresh look at how we gap our lofts to optimize available lofts for the golfer. First of all, we kept the top end of the lofts the same with the 10.5 and 12.0 degree heads as that has been working well for us. On the lower end of the lofts, we have at times found that the 9.5 head was sometimes not low enough in terms of launch and spin for the stronger players so we lofted that down slightly to 9.0. Considering the fact that we have a ±2° Loft Sleeve in all our drivers, increasing the gaps between the heads from 1.0° to 1.5° is not an issue as there is still plenty of overlap in lofts between the 9.0 and 10.5 heads.
In the past few years we’ve seen minimal use of the 8.5 offerings in general and so with the new drivers spinning slightly less than the 2018 models, we opted to remove this loft. With the loft adjustability that we offer you can still get the driver all the way down to a 7.0° loft and all the way up to 14°, which is a very wide range, especially considering the differences in spin and launch between the M5 TOUR (lowest) and M6 D-TYPE (highest) drivers.
As for the 0.25” increase in length of the shaft on M5 vs M3, this was based on feedback from the fitters out in the field and our Sports Marketing team. The 45.75” lengths we’ve been using in M2 and M4 drivers have worked very well for the majority of players so we felt it was better to offer matching lengths in the two drivers to allow for more seamless fittings between the different heads. It’s also easier for our players out on Tour to test and fit drivers if they can use the same exact shaft for each head to get a better apples-to-apples comparison.
The loft sleeve itself is the same as last year and offer the same loft increments as before.
@Allan - Thank you for getting this information from the man himself, Tomo.
Great information here on the reasons why the lofts were changed this year. I figured it had to have something to do with redundancy in the loft ranges with the adjustable sleeve, coupled with useage (or lack of for 8.5*) as well as the new head spinning lower. Inventory is expensive, so it makes total sense to not carry that cost for the minority who want the 8.5* head.
And actually, Rory went with the M5 9* head this year and adjusted down to get optimal flight.