If one thing, TaylorMade Golf is not short on iron options. They tuned they line-up in the fall with the arrival of the P760 model, adding to the P790 and P730 models in the P family. But, even with three varying irons there was still room to address the needs of other calibers of players.
Those arrive today with the announcement of the M5 and M6 irons, distance chasers with two different looks but sharing many engineering attributes.
Make no mistake, these are game improvement irons, but even better players might find some of their features quite interesting. I could easily see some of the technology eventually influencing the designs in clubs for other levels of golfers.
Most noticeable and essential to both the M5 and M6 iron designs is something the company is calling “Speed Bridge.” It is an innovation that we are told has been in development for about four years and it is now ready to make its debut.
We caught up with Matt Bovee, TaylorMade Senior Manager, Product Creation, to explain what it is and its importance to these clubs.
“At its most elemental form, Speed Bridge is a mass efficient beam that spans across the cavity back of the iron, connecting the base of the iron where we have all that mass for the low CG (centre of gravity) to the upper portion of the face (the topline). It strategically connects the topline at its point of maximum deflection. Ultimately what it is going to do is increase stability to allow us to deliver more distance with better sound and feel in both M5 and M6.”
Bovee says it cannot be overstated how this design feature provides benefits, some we may think of, and others that you would not. One of those came in the sound of the iron impacting with the ball, something that can often be nearer the “tinny” realm in oversized irons.
“It’s pretty unique in that we don’t have to have a trade-off in performance from a distance or a forgiveness standpoint. We actually end up with a better sound, making it actually sound more like a players iron than we ever have in the game improvement sector.”
Part of the reason many of the irons in this category have an unpleasant sound is due to the high flexibility of the face needed to get extra ball rebound, or speed. Bovee asserts that the Speed Bridge allows flex while keeping vibrations lower, thus the better sound.
This extra support also allowed them to take their Speed Pocket slot in the bottom of the face and cut it all the way through for the first time to help with flex low in the face where it can assist a player with retaining ball speed with shots hit out of that area. It’s so flexible it was never able to be used in previous irons until the Speed Bridge design.
“That’s where Speed Bridge is something special,” Bovee mentions proudly.
So why would a player choose the M5 or M6 over the P line-up of irons? Bovee says it is all about a golfer seeking extreme levels of distance and forgiveness. If they want to max that out in a TaylorMade iron, the M family is where to look.
“The M5 has a more traditional look where there is a good chance that if the P790 fits the players eye then the M5 will fit their eye as well. It’s got a comparable blade length; it’s got similar offset and topline thickness but you are going to get more ball speed out of M5 with a little more forgiveness. We just placed a higher priority on speed and forgiveness with M5 over a more traditional look.”
The price point is also slightly less with the M5 over a P790. They check in around (CDN) $1,099 in steel shafts and (CDN) $1,199 in graphite. Set make-up is 4-AW & SW with pre-order starting in January 18 and retail allocation coming on February 1.
The M6 – The Ultimate in TaylorMade Iron Forgiveness
The new M6 iron has all the features of the M5 but in a package that is both slightly larger and more stable to provide the maximum help to the player who needs it.
The fluted hosel carries on a previously used TaylorMade design in the M family – allowing displacement of mass to other areas of the head where it can be of help. That means a high launch and a club that is more resistant to twisting.
The TaylorMade staff say it is their most advanced game improvement iron to date.
“All of our technology has started to work in harmony,” says Bovee of the star in the M5 and M6 iron design. “It has been united in a better way. It’s all more efficient thanks to Speed Bridge. It helps these irons to be a mile an half faster in ball speed than M3 and M4 and that’s substantial when you are seeking more distance. That can easily produce 3-4 more carry yards per club. You just also get a better sound with it as well. That’s why we are so excited about this.”
The M6 set also has redesigned wedges that make them more playable around the greens, a constant issue for clubs in this category. They’ll be available for pre-order and sale at the sale time as the M5 irons.
Suggested pricing is (CDN) $999 in steel and (CDN) $1,099 in graphite. (4-PW/AW). They also come in a build specifically for women and there are number of fitting options when it comes to lofts and lies.
For many of our Canadian audience, both M5 and M6 will also be available in left hand.