What we say...
The new TaylorMade M3 Irons combine a distance iron that retains accuracy in a more appealing head-shape for better players, utilising their latest technology: RIBCOR
- RRP: £849 (s), £1049 (g)
- Availability: 3-iron – PW, GW, SW.7-iron
- Loft: 30.5 deg
- Shaft options: True Temper’s XP100 steel shafts (S300, R300) or Mitsubishi Chemical’s Tensei graphite shafts (80S / 70R)
TaylorMade's new M3 irons are a product that aim to deliver distance, while simultaneously retaining accuracy and workability in a more appealing, compact head shape preferred by better players.
In addition to the latest RIBCOR technology (more below), the new TaylorMade M3 irons have Face Slots, a Speed Pocket and a redesigned off-centre Inverted Cone – all optimised to provide distance, height, forgiveness and accuracy, while an 180° fluted hosel saves weight and doesn’t spoil cosmetics at address.
They've also taken the colour out of the new TaylorMade M3 logo to give it a more serious look for the player, "making the lines as clean as possible while retaining a nice technical look with a little bit of carbon fibre in there too."
Tomo Bysteadt, TaylorMade's Senior Director of Product Creation for irons, said: "This is aimed at golfers right between the M4 and the P790 person, and it’s definitely easier to hit than a 790 as its got a bit more of a forgiving sole. With the face slots and the RIBCOR technology, even though the heads are a little bit smaller than the M1 iron they are actually a lot more forgiving; better ball speed on mishits with the RIBCOR face slots and about 10% higher inertia again with the RIBCOR rails place a lot more of that weight heel and toe so the inertia is also a little bit higher. It’s a deceptively easy to play product."
"The M3 is a really cool project for me and the team because we tried to solve this formula with better players and it’s been an on-going battle to find a good compromise between distance and good feel and the shaping and size; if you make it too small it maybe intimidates people and if you go too far the better player may not like it and it may not feel good enough so finding the right balance. We’ve had a really beautiful meeting of technology and shaping here with the M3."
REVIEWED: Longest 2018 irons Click here
TaylorMade M3 Irons Review: You Should Know
TaylorMade say the M3 is the result of creating a distance iron with a more compact players head shape. They’re for the serious golfer who want a good looking, powerful iron that sounds and feels great. Like the M4, Ribcor tech locally stiffens the face to improve ball speeds. There’s also a 180deg fluted hosel, face slots, speed pocket sole, 360deg undercut top edge and 15 grams of tungsten weight positioned to improve forgiveness of this compact profile.
TaylorMade M3 Irons Review: We Say
In every family there’s an odd aunt or cousin that nobody quite gets or understands, well the M3 is TaylorMade’s odd cousin. As much as we liked the compact head and smaller amount of offset over the M4, there’s no hiding from how performance was restricted thanks to the smaller head and weaker loft. Why is M3 the odd cousin? Well it’s down to TaylorMade having seriously good options in all three iron categories already.
We struggle to see where M3 sits and who the target audience really is. In our opinion if you think M3 might suit you, then you really should be looking at the excellent P790 as well. Our testers saw an average 10 yard carry distance drop off moving from M4 to the M3, so there’s some serious gains to be had by going with M4. With the P790 our test pro recorded the same ball speed as M3 (124mph) and but increased carry distance by 2 yards.
To see all 2018 Top Gear irons ranked by forgiveness Click here
TaylorMade M3 Irons Review: Verdict
Make no mistake the M3 is a lovely looking iron that’s packed to the rafters with ball speed protecting tech. We reckon the compact head is likely to appeal to 12 handicappers and below, which is very nearly the same audience as the P790s. Your ball striking definitely needs to be above average to consider M3s other M4.
How much difference is there between blade and cavity-back irons? Click here
TaylorMade M3 Irons: Key Features. Find out all about RIBCOR, the refined shape and high density tungsten weights in the latest M3 irons from TaylorMade.
TaylorMade M3 Irons Review: RIBCOR
The new TaylorMade M3 Irons have the brand's new RIBCOR internal ribbing structure, which works to stiffen the iron body while directing maximum energy to the ball during impact. Additionally, a multi-material dampening badge works in tandem with the RIBCOR technology to efficiently dampen undesirable vibrations during impact, producing major improvements in sound and feel.
Tomo Bystedt: "Outside the face slots we have these two really firm ribs that are really thin still so that we don’t have a lot of weight in there, but they are really stiff in the structure so the club. What’s essentially happening here is we’re isolating the outside parts of the heel and the toe sections that gets more rigid in terms of the rotational forces that you’re going to see on any kind of miss-hits you see on the club."
"The centre of the face retains that flexibility and we still design that right up to the COR limit with a lot of speed but we’re getting a stiff region in the heel/toe that we didn’t have before.
"In RIBCOR the high toe isn’t flexing, which is producing a much higher frequency sound at lower amplitude so it’s really sounding a lot better. Beyond the straighter and more distance, you’re going to see better sound and feel, which for some golfers is what they notice more quickly. RIBCOR really helps forgiveness all across the face up until where the speed pocket comes in to play, really completing the sweep of technologies to produce consistent distance across the face."
TaylorMade M3 Irons Review: Refined Shape
The new TaylorMade M3 irons have a more refined, confidence-inspiring shape, a thinner topline than last year’s M1 and a straighter leading edge for a cleaner address view.
Tomo Bystedt: "It has a little bit less offset and a little bit thinner top line and a less bulky sole than the M1, because one of the things we heard as feedback from customers was that the difference between the M2 and the M1 wasn’t as much as they’d like to see so for that reason we’ve really made this in to more of a players shape being very careful not to sacrifice any performance in terms of forgiveness and ball-speed."
"This is a brand new shape that we worked on, it doesn’t have any previous DNA from any previous irons and it’s a little bit more of a boxy look. We also redesigned the sole so it’s actually a very straight leading edge at address so for that better player they like to have a bit more of an angular look at address but it’s actually a very forgiving and playable sole so it has a lot of camber front to back with that leading edge ski feature. This helps you it you hit it slightly behind the ball and a little bit more radius heel/toe so it’s a little bit rounder this way and that helps people not snag the heel so it’s just a more forgiving sole that plays a bit more easy even though from a look standpoint its more of a players iron at address"
TaylorMade M3 Irons Review: High Density Tungsten Weight
15g of high-density tungsten has been added to the sole of the new TaylorMade M3 irons. It allows engineers to create the more compact head shape, while maintaining the desired mass properties in a high-performing iron; low centre of gravity and high MOI.
Tomo Bystedt: "In this effort to miniaturise the product and make it a smaller version than the M4 we’ve had to concentrate the mass so we’ve put this heavy, high density tungsten piece right in the bottom of the club in the toe and that helps us move the CG more centre face. With this iron with the fluted hosel and the tungsten weight we’re able to align the centre face with the centre of CG, which produces a more efficient contact when you’re trying to hit the ball where the CG is actually located."
"Tungsten is through to the 7 iron, not in the lower irons because we are no longer trying to push the lower CG and we have more head-size to work with, we can get it to weight more easily and we’re trying to get a bit more spin in those clubs. When we get to the wedges as well we don’t have the fluted hosel anymore”.
TaylorMade M3 Irons Review: Face Slots & Inverted Cone Technology
The face slots, which are there to help ball speed on shots hit on the centre of the face, cut through the face all the way, and are filled with a material that basically keeps those slots flush to the face. There is a much larger badge this year than last year’s and that helps us with sound damping and better sound and feel and it wraps around the RIBCOR feature and kind of interlocks to it so that helps absorb more vibration.
Inside the faceslots there is a super thin face, high COR inverted cone which has been redesigned to be slightly off-centre. The Inverted Cone helps correct right-to-left bias on shots.
Tomo Bystedt: "One of the evolutions of this technology has been to place it out of the centre of the face, and you may ask us well why wouldn’t you put it in the centre of the face, well when you think on an iron being an asymmetrical face taller in the toe and shallower in the heel so when the ball is in the face it will flex asymmetrically and the toe will flex more than the heel so with the typical iron without any variable face the ball will always go to the right."
"So we use this inverted cone feature and moving it to the right to correct for that and make the face flex more symmetrically so that way we can control more right to left bias by moving that inverted cone feature."
TaylorMade M3 Irons Review: Speed Pocket & Fluted Hosel
Like in the previous M1, there is a speed pocket in the new TaylorMade M3 irons to help preserve ball speed on shots that are low on the face, while there is also an 180° fluted hosel to help save weight and not spoil cosmetics at address.
Tomo Bystedt: "The speed pocket extends the whole length of the sole for maximum forgiveness and the fluted hosel as well. It’s the same fluted hosel technology we had in M2 which saves about 5g from a place that’s very high up in the head."