What we say...
The new TaylorMade M4 Irons are a progressive design, aimed to help with ball speed and forgiveness while utilising TaylorMade's latest technology: RIBCOR
- RRP: £749(s), £849(g)
- Shafts: KBS MAX 85 and Fujikura Atmos Red
TaylorMade's new M4 irons are aimed at players looking for extra distance, forgiveness, and feel. Featuring RIBCOR, Face Slots, a Speed Pocket, and a redesigned off-centre Inverted Cone, each technology has been individually optimized specifically for the new TaylorMade M4 irons to deliver incredible distance and forgiveness.
With forgiveness being a significant focus of M4 irons’ engineering process, TaylorMade went to great lengths to achieve its high-MOI design. Optimized mass distribution (toward the heel and toe) resulted in a high resistance to twisting of the head during an off-center impact, which translates to preserved ballspeeds and improved forgiveness across the face.
With high-MOI head designs (24% higher than ’17 M2), the new TaylorMade M4 iron achieves faster ballspeeds, giving the iron more distance across the face and offering optimal forgiveness for any player. Additional technologies in the M4 include a Fluted Hosel 2.0, an ultra-thin 1mm topline along with the company’s thinnest-ever leading edge.
Tomo Bystedt, Senior Director of Product Creation - Irons at TaylorMade, said: "With our new RIBCOR technology, the M4 iron unlocks a new level of consistency and accuracy in a product designed to be the longest in our irons lineup. Combined with our thinnest face (1.5mm), our ultra-thin leading edge, and our thin-walled Speed Pocket, M4 achieve the fastest ball speeds we've ever produced in an iron"
REVIEWED: Longest 2018 irons Click here
TaylorMade M4 Irons Review: What You Should Know
New Ribcor tech behind the face localizes face flexibility which TaylorMade say transfers more energy to the ball, increasing ball speed and distance. A fluted hosel, under cut top edge, speed pocket sole and face slots all help create a super low CG design and highly forgiving iron. A carbon fibre cavity badge dampens unwanted vibrations, improving sound and feel for this category of iron.
TaylorMade M4 Irons Review: We Say
Our recent ‘longest iron of 2018’ test highlighted how Callaway’s Rogue X trumped the M4 for raw power (albeit thanks to a stronger loft) but it’s still a seriously good iron that suits a wide audience of golfers in our opinion. They’re especially good if you’re not a fan of the Rogue’s chunky head profile. Interestingly our test pro generated exactly the same amount of ball speed with the M4 and Rogue X (128 mph) but Rogue went further as they span less. The spin difference wasn’t down to the shafts either, both come as standard with the same new KBS lightweight game improvement MAX model.
To see all 2018 Top Gear irons ranked by forgiveness Click here
TaylorMade M4 Irons Review: Verdict
No matter how good the M4s face slots and speed pocket sole are a seven-iron loft 1.5deg higher than the Rogue X was always going to struggle to match the Callaway pound for pound in terms of carry distance. Don’t get us wrong M4 is a cracking performance iron and they’ll sell in their droves, even though they aren’t right at the top of the pile for distance like TaylorMade have become accustomed to over the last few years.
How much difference is there between blade and cavity-back irons? Click here
TaylorMade M4 Irons Key Features: Find out all about the RIBCOR technology, face slots and new shafts in the latest M4 irons from TaylorMade.
TaylorMade M4 Irons: RIBCOR
TaylorMade’s new RIBCOR internal ribbing structure works to stiffen the iron body of the new TaylorMade M4 irons 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."
To find out all out TaylorMade's new RIBCOR technology, click here
TaylorMade M4 Irons Review: Similar Size to M2
While it does have quite a big club head, the new TaylorMade M4 irons have a very similar sole width size to the M2 with similar progressive offsets, meaning as you move down to the lower irons there's going to be a lot more workability in the set. In addition to that, thanks to the addition of RIBCOR technology, TaylorMade were able to increase forgiveness dramatically without making the head even bigger.
Tomo Bystedt: "Because of the RIBCOR bars and the fact they are able to place some more weight out-side that we are actually increasing the head inertia by 24% vs M2 so not only is there more performance from the RIBCOR bars and the better energy transfer we’re also increasing the inertia on miss-hits as well so the combination of those two things is producing dramatically more consistent shots."
TaylorMade M4 Irons Review: Speed Pocket
The new TaylorMade M4 irons have a thin walled speed pocket, which is designed specifically for these irons and provides maximum forgiveness while still retaining a thin face to keep the iron at the right flexibility level to produce the right launch and spin.
Tomo Bystedt says "It’s not really the cut through speed slot we see in the p790s and again it is designed for these specific irons. In this one with a bigger face we can get to the COR limit without a super aggressive slot so now we’re designing that slot to provide the maximum amount of forgiveness still with a thin face."
TaylorMade M4 Irons Review: Face Slots and Off-Centre Inverted Cone
The face slots cut through the face all the way, and are filled with a material that basically keeps those slots flush to the face. A much larger badge than in last year’s M2 irons wraps around the RIBCOR feature, not only helping to absorb more vibration but there to achieve a better sound dampening and sound and feel.
Tomo Bystedt: "It also has an off-centre inverted cone. 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 M4 Irons Review: Different lofts in the wedges
TaylorMade have tried to put the player at the forefront of product creation with the new M4 irons, meaning stronger lofts, generous heads and less or more bounce depending on the wedge to help golfers utilise their wedges in the places they use them most.
Tomo Bystedt: "We wanted to make sure the wedges were appropriate for the people who are buying and using them, so really looking at that higher handicap player – we know that guy is going to hit full shots with it, chip around the green with it so it’s a generous head, medium bounce and as we move to the Sand Wedge, this player doesn’t hit full SW shots so we designed it more as a sand club and its got more bounce than our typical set wedge (13 degrees) with a fairly big cambered sole so its going to get out of the sand really easily."
"The lob wedge is designed with low bounce with a lot of heel relief so the player can open up the club face a little bit more, we’ve also lofted a little bit stronger – in this set the GW is 49degrees, the SW is 54degrees and the LW is a 58. The reason we do that this player doesn’t de-loft the club as much at impact so they kind of flip it a lot more."
TaylorMade M4 Irons Review: New Shafts
For the new TaylorMade M4 irons, the company are becoming a launch partner with KBS MAX - putting a new 85g version of their shaft in to this product which TaylorMade say is a little bit lighter and higher launching than the shaft they currently have in the M2.