Brian Bazzel is TaylorMade's VP of Product Creation. For over 18 years, he has played an integral role in developing breakthrough technologies, including Moveable Weight, Speed Pockets, Multi-Material Designs, and now Twist Face. In this blog, Brian Bazzel breaks down the inspiration and creation process of TaylorMade's latest game-changing innovation.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
As a creator of golf products, this concept has never really resonated with me.
From the birth of the game, people have been constantly innovating to make golf easier and more enjoyable for more players. It's a process that’s a lot like the game itself... there is no endpoint. It's an endless journey.
From the creation of the first metalwood in 1979, TaylorMade has established a legacy of breaking from tradition to reach new thresholds of performance. In 2018, we have once again uncovered a new frontier of driving potential with Twist Face technology in our new M3 and M4 drivers. It’s a radical departure from traditional driver-face design, engineered to correct for typical mis-hit trends that we have seen across all levels of golfers.
Once you have a breakthrough like this, it's exciting because all of the sudden, you're in whole new landscape with new possibilities that didn't exist before this movement.
THE BEGINNING OF A BREAKTHROUGH
We began experimenting with Twist Face technology after we were shown some compelling data from our R+D Team. The data was presented in a way that showcased driver performance based on shots from real golfers—not robots.
How is the clubface presented at impact? What happens when the ball leaves the clubface? Where is the ball ending up?
We've captured thousands and thousands of human swings to understand exactly what happens to the golf ball at impact (and where it ends up as a result). This data was so much richer than what we had in the past. We were able to see things that weren't possible to capture 5-10 years ago.
The data showed us that the traditional “bulge-and-roll” driver face wasn't performing with humans the same way it does in robot testing. When you closely analyse the performance of bulge-and-roll with real golfers, the data doesn't support the theoretical design intent.
It was clear to me that something was flawed—and ultimately, that there was an opportunity for us to explore a solution that corrected for it.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF TWIST FACE
The problem was right under our nose the whole time, yet it wasn't discovered until just now.
The reality is that even the best players in the world miss shots off-center. The average players, as we all know, miss shots off center quite frequently. Everyone mis-hits golf shots.
However, from the Tour player down to the weekend amateur golfer, the trends of those misses are surprisingly similar. Typical mis-hits range from low-heel to high-toe in 90% of strikes. Based on this data, we were able to focus our technology into that range of the clubface.
Beyond revealing a consistent miss range, I think the most interesting part of the data was what it showed us about face angle relative to the path of the club. This was ultimately the insight that allowed us to understand why traditional bulge-and-roll wasn't working.
As a result, we reshaped our driver faces to account for the swing tendencies we were seeing in the data. We engineered Twist Face with more loft and a more open face in the high-toe area to increase spin and help minimize the toe-hook. Then, we reduced loft and slightly closed the face in the low-heel to help minimize the spinny heel-slice that so many golfers battle.
A TANGIBLE ADVANTAGE
The most forgiving drivers in the market today are designed to protect ballspeed on off-center shots, which is great, but it doesn't ensure that you're going to hit it straighter. Twist Face is designed to provide that additional accuracy that all golfers ultimately want. Combine that with our new Hammerhead slot, and golfers get the best of all words with accuracy, speed, and forgiveness.
A technology like Twist Face doesn't come around every year. It's a rare leap in technology and performance that has the potential to help every golfer. When you're playing M3 or M4, you're going to have a distinct advantage over any other driver out there because of Twist Face technology.
THE FUTURE OF TWIST FACE
We are a company of golfers. From ex-pros to scratch golfers to high-handicappers—we have the full spectrum represented at TaylorMade. And when you have an environment filled with people who truly love the game, you end up with products that real golfers will benefit from—that is the ultimate goal.
At the end of the day, we know that golfers value innovation, especially when it leads to better performance and an improvement in their golf game. People are eager to try new, innovative technologies. And when our brand is able to deliver something like Twist Face that excites the golf community, that's when people will be lining up to experience our product.
Starting in 2018 and beyond, every face in every TaylorMade driver will be different than it is today. It will forever have some level of a twist in it. There's no reason not to. It's one of those moments in time when the game will be forever changed for the better.