Review of the TaylorMade M3 and M4 Irons

There is nothing like the instant improvement you see in your golf game when you put a new set of irons in your bag.  

Sometimes that improvement can last a couple of rounds, or other times it can last a couple of years!  As players, we are all searching for the latter, but that even includes the manufacturers.

TaylorMade has been at the forefront in technology as it pertains to their M series drivers and we've seen those advancements trickle down to their various new designs in irons as well.

While the P 700 series irons have been designed with better players in mind, the M series has the mid-to-high handicapper or golfers who are seeking to generate additional distance consistently with their approach shots.

The M3 Irons and M4 Irons are the company's latest offerings and are essentially new-and-improved versions of the M1 Irons and M2 Irons.

TaylorMade M3 Irons Review


Review of the M3 Irons

Distance

The M3 Irons are strong in this department. The somewhat strong lofts combined with the RibCOR technology create a perfect formula for maximum ball speed.

Workability

Probably not the first feature that comes to mind when you try these M3s but when the ball is flying high and true and landing on the green more consistently, straight iron shots are just fine.

Appearance

The thin topline gives the M3 Irons a players club feel. A low handicapper can look down at these beauties and feel confident and well-struck iron shot will follow.  

But with all that being said, it still does not posess the beauty of a muscle back blade.

Feel

Excellent soft feel here. Nothing clunky at all for an iron designed for this type of player, thanks again to the RibCOR technology.  

If you are shopping this club and want more feel, look at the P790s.

The biggest difference between the M3 Irons and the previous M models is what TaylorMade describes as RibCOR technology. With the goal of longer, higher and straighter shots in mind (and boy, doesn't that sound appealing?), the RibCOR channels energy to a localized point.

In essence, it stiffens the outside of the clubface to increase the face flexibility, which increases ball speed and promotes more accurate shots. Another bonus of the RibCOR technology is it softens the vibration at impact which improves the sound and feel.

Speed Pocket Technology transfers more energy to the bottom of the club where many players mishit their iron shots.

TaylorMade was innovative - although PXG may beg to differ - when it unveiled this improvement on its P790 irons which hit the market late in 2017. While those irons are geared to low handicap golfers, the M3s deliver for the golfer who may find the sweet spot less frequently.

The Face Slots enhance misses on the heel and toe.

The 15-gram tungsten weight optimizes center of gravity launch for optimal launch and stability.

The topline has been refined to please the better player's eye.

Here are the specs: The 5-iron is 37.75 inches with a loft of 23 degrees. The clubs, which are available 3 through Pitching Wedge, have a D2 swingweight.

True Temper XP100 is the stock steel shaft and Mitsubishi Tensei is the standard graphite shaft although various upgrades and options are available.

Pros

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    Exceptional ball speed
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    Maximum Forgiveness on shots hit low on clubface and in the heel or toe
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    Additional height and distance

Cons

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    Might not appeal to players who put a premium on distance control
M3 Iron Review
TaylorMade M3 Iron Review

TaylorMade M4 Irons Review


Review of the TaylorMade M4 Irons

Distance

These irons were designed to be the longest in the TaylorMade family. The company made the standard shafts approximately a half-inch longer and jacked up the 5-iron loft to 21.5 degrees (didn't that used to be the loft of a 3-iron or comparable hybrid).

Anyway, the numbers on the soles are only a suggestion in the modern world of iron design. The golfers who doesn't have the requisite clubhead speed to hit irons as far as he or she may like will love these irons. So will the Macho Men who love telling their buddies after the round they hit a 9-iron from 150 yards on a certain hole.

Workability

In the TaylorMade family, the M4 irons are probably the least workable on the market.

But that's not why you are buying these.  Again, these were designed with speed and power in mind.

Appearance

Although the M4 Irons are geared toward the higher handicapper, a lower handicap golfer who has the need for speed shouldn't have any problem looking down at these babies and feeling good when they pull the trigger.

Feel

The RibCOR technology is the secret here, dampening the blow, especially on off-center hits, to provide a soft, smooth feel for every club in the bag.  But again, you are not buying these clubs for feel.

Just like the M3 Irons, the M4 irons are built with RibCOR technology, the face slots and speed pockets. They also have a slightly off-center sweet spot.

The fluted hosel design and extremely thin topline are upgrades on the M2 Irons, which is the iron this model replaces for Taylor Made. The manufacturer also claims the M4 Irons have a Moment Of Inertia (MOI) that's approximately 24 percent higher than the M2 model.

Here are the specs: The loft on the 5-iron is 21.5 degrees and the length is 38.25 inches. The swingweight is D2 with steel shafts and D0/D1 with graphite shafts.

M4 irons will be available in 4-LW with a choice of KBS MAX steel shafts and Fujikura Atmos graphite shafts.

Pros

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    Tremendous forgiveness
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    Supreme power and launch

Cons

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    Lack the feedback that the best golfers seek
M4 Iron Review
Taylormade M4 Iron Review

Should I pick the M3 iron or M4 iron?

If you're a mid handicapper shopping between these two clubs, looking to squeeze a few more yards out of your iron shots, then the M3 Irons are the right selection for you. They're not crazy long, and there's enough feedback on off-center hits to be satisfactory. 

If you're a power-hungry golfer with a higher handicap, the M4 Irons might be not only the best club in the TaylorMade family, but also as appealing as any of the speed-first irons currently on the market. 

The bottom line is TaylorMade has put a product you can trust on the shelves for decades and truly has been ahead-of-the-curve in recent years, finding the ideal balance between aesthetics and feel while maximizing distance, launch and control.

The M3 Irons and M4 Irons fit into TaylorMade's lineup of irons right in between the super game improvement irons and the player's iron:

2018 TaylorMade Iron Lineup Comparison Table

Model

Distance

Forgiveness

Workability

Skill Level

Availability

P730​​​​​​

Good

That's not why you buy these irons

Excellent, any shot is possible with these irons

Better have your Tour Card

P750

Good

Not much, but more than the P730s

Workable, but not as much as the P730s

Excellent ball strikers

P770

Very Good

Good bit of forgiveness in these irons for a player's blade

Still Workable, Great Distance Control

Single Digit Handicaps

Very Hot

Most Forgiveness in the Player's Lineup of Irons, Produces High Launch

Slightly Workable, Very good distance control

5 - 15 Handicap, but better for the lower to middle of that range

Very Hot

Very Forgiving

Barely Workable, but decent distance control

10 - 20 Handicap Range, but better at the middle of the range

Scorching

Maximum Forgiveness with very High Launch

No workability, Distance Control is Lacking.

15 - 20 Handicap

This is basically a full set of Drivers

This is the maximum forgiveness you will find

Not going to happen.  But your not buying these clubs to hit fades and draws.

Beginners & High Handicaps

Let me make one suggestion as you compare the irons above.  Think really long and hard about ordering the 3 iron or even the 4 iron that comes with each set.  

Although TaylorMade makes those irons easier to hit than years ago, you really should think about choosing a hybrid or rescue as TaylorMade calls them.  You can read our review of the M3 Hybrid & M4 Hybrid here.

How do the M3 and M4 irons compare to other Irons on the market?

If you like your M1 Irons, the M3 Irons are your new club. Chances are you'll love how they feel and will be impressed with the slight improvements to aesthetics and feel. 

If the M2 Irons suited your game, then grab the M4 Irons and you might just start hitting 7-irons from the same spot where you were hitting 6-irons before.

What about if you are new to the TaylorMade family or open to selecting a different brand? 

Well, the M3s belong in the same conversation with the Callaway Rogue X Irons, Titleist 718 AP3s, Ping i210s or the Mizuno MMC irons.

Also, if you've been a Ping G series golfer in the past, you'd be smart to give these new Taylor Made M3s a long, hard look.

The M4 Irons are in the same neighborhood as the ever popular Callaway Rogue Irons or the King Cobra F8 irons, which has also received widespread acclaim.  

To get a deeper comparison of where these two irons rank, check out our guide to the best golf irons of 2018.  In that comparison, the M3 irons belong to the game-enhancement category while the M4 irons are in the game improvement category.

If you are an absolute beginner or high handicap that is not improving, I encourage you to read our guide to the best irons for beginners or high handicaps.  If you fall into this category and want a TaylorMade iron, our full review of the TaylorMade M CGB Irons is a must read.

The Bottom Line

From the introduction of the Taylor Made Burner and Burner Plus drivers in the 1980s to the various drivers and irons (and even golf balls) offered today, Taylor Made has been a industry name trusted by golfers of all levels.


The M series simply continues the trend. Finding new ways to make irons more forgiving and faster while not creating a club that is aesthetically pleasing is a tricky combination.


But TaylorMade has proven its unafraid to take chances and can handle the challenge with aplomb. 


The TaylorMade M3 Irons and M4 Irons are just the latest indicators that advancing technology fueled by a strong research and development department continues to be the driving force behind the company's iron models.

33 thoughts on “Review of the TaylorMade M3 and M4 Irons”

  1. Thx for the insight. I have a question. I’m new to the game (been playing 9 months and continue to take lessons). I’m not a long hitter (7 iron 120-125 yds, but I get it in the air & it’s fairly straight). I want to upgrade my irons to either M4 or M CGB. Thoughts on which will help me in the short term but will still be useful in a couple years as my game improves. Thx.

    1. Hey James,

      Thanks for the question. I’m so glad you have decided to take up the game. You’ll get frustrated at times, but those good shots will make it all worth it.

      It’s a really close call between the two sets of irons. But at your stage of development, I would lean towards the M CGB. The M4s are really good clubs, but the CGBs are just a little bit longer and forgiving. Realistically, the CGBs will serve you well into the high 80s. At that time, you could skip the M4s and look at something like the M3s or maybe even P790s. (Or whatever the equivalent TaylorMade clubs are at that time)

      Which ever set of irons you select, I would strongly urge you to get the 5 iron thru PW & SW set. Long irons can be hard to hit for good players and almost impossible when you are first starting. Instead of the 3 iron & 4 iron, you can look at going with the M4 Rescue hybrid or even the M2 rescue (http://amzn.to/2D2Gtrd). The M4s won’t be released until Mid-February.

      I wish you the best of success in getting better! Please let me know if I can ever help or answer any questions.

      Charlie

  2. Hey Charlie,

    57 year old male. 12 hdcp. Playing with ollllllllld irons, Spalding Tour Editions from… the 90s??? 220 off the tee and my 7 iron is 135. Shoot mid 80s from the whites (6200 yds). Solid swing with a good plane with a tendency to hit an over-the-top pull on occasion. Swing speed is well under 100 – always have had R shafts.

    Retirement is looming – new irons and more golf is in sight. Looking at the M3s, the P790s, Titleist AP3s and Calaway Rogue Pro (maybe the Ping 1200s as well).

    Ball is Pro V or Pro V1.

    Thoughts?

    1. First off, congratulations on retirement and more golf! That’s the dream we are all chasing!

      The AP3s and P790s are probably not the right clubs for you. To me, it comes down to the M3s or the Rogue Pro. It’s a pretty tough call between the two, the M3s will be a longer and more forgiving club. However, the Rogue Pro has less offset than the M3s and could help you minimize the over-the-top pull. If the “pull” shot is a huge problem for you, go with the Rogue Pro. If it is just a minor issue for you, you’ll love the distance and forgiveness of the M3s. Obviously, either set is going to be a huge upgrade from the Spaldings.

      Best of luck!

  3. Benjie Martinez

    I use a Ping G irons. Handicap is 14. My 7 irons flies around 145 yards. I have this over the top habit. Thinking of changing to a Taylor Made iron set. What do you suggest I buy for my type of play?

    1. Thank you so much for the question Benjie. You are probably the ideal player for the M3 irons in the TaylorMade lineup. The M4s and CGB will have too much offset for you. With your over the top move, too much offset will drive you crazy.

      Stay tuned, I fought an over the top move many years ago and I plan on writing an article soon about how to get rid of it.

  4. Great review. I’ve been playing with Speedblades and just felt like upgrading. I’m a 11-12 hdcp but hit my irons fairly well. I hit the P790s and loved the look and feel. But then had an idea to just get fitted and buy a 3 iron and play with it for a bit. I hit my 4 iron a little over 200 yards, and while the P790 3 iron goes further I think much of it has to do with the lower ball flight. When I hit it up in the air to be honest it doesn’t go much further than my current 4 iron. I’m not sure if it’s a shaft thing or what but it made me rethink this. Maybe I should go for the M3, would be easier to hit and I’d get a few more yards than my Speedblades and probably longer than the P790s. What do you think? Thanks!

    1. Thank you Warren. That is a very good question. Your skill set is right on the line between the M3s and the P790s. There are a lot of guys just like you that are torn between these two clubs. Here’s the tradeoff everyone deals with, the P790s will have more feel and the M3s will be more forgiving and slightly longer. Simply put, the P790s are technically a player’s clubs and the M3s are “game enhancement” clubs.

      If you like to work the ball or put a premium on feel, the P790s are a better choice. If distance and forgiveness are more important to you, the M3s are your club.

      Good luck with your choice. Let me know if I can help.

  5. I am 68 years old and a currently a 10 hcp. I have been playing Taylormade RSi2 (R-flex) irons for the last three years and really like the look and feel, but as I get older, I am losing distance and hitting more off center shots. I want to stay in the Taylormade family (also play M2 driver and TP5x ball). I am thinking between the new M3 or M4 irons (790’s look great but a bit too expensive).

    I hit my 7 iron about 140 and my driver average about 230.

    I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.
    Tom

    1. Tom,

      It’s a tough call between the M3s and M4s, but I think the M4 irons are the right clubs for you because of the extra distance. More than likely, the M4s will get your 7 iron up to 150 yds or greater. That extra distance should help you hit a few more greens and will do wonders for lowering your handicap.

      Good luck!

  6. Hello. I learned to play golf on TaylorMade RocketBladez Tour clubs. It was challenging over the years but was able to get my handicap to 18. I ditched the 3 and 4 iron because of the inconsistencies. I’m kinda stuck 18 and was thinking on getting a new set of Taylormade clubs to improve my game. I can hit my 7 iron comfortably about 160 yds. I do have a tendency to come in steep on my swings and fade/slice the ball. Would the M3 be ideal with 2+ lie or should I just go get fitted first?
    thanks..

    1. Ed,

      I love that 7 iron distance. It sounds like you are making some pretty solid contact with your mid & short irons. How bad is the slice? Out of 10 shots, how many are you slicing?

  7. Hey Charlie, this is a great article as I am torn on which clubs to go with. I am 48 and right now have a handicap of 9. I am currently playing R9’s and hit them well but my main issue is I have a lower ball flight, because I have a flat swing, so I am putting a lot of iron shots through the green. I was thinking of just getting the M4’s because it talks about getting the ball in the air with the high launch but reading your article is making me reconsider looking at the M3 or P790’s. What are your thoughts???

    1. Peter,

      Thank you for the compliment.

      It sounds like you are a pretty good ball striker except for the low ball flight. If that assumption is correct, I would lean towards the P790s. The M3s would be a close second, but the M4s are certainly not the club for you. The P790s have a great feel compared to the M3 & M4 and one of the greatest strengths of the P790s is the high launch. I have the P790s in my bag right now and I am in love with the towering mid to long iron shots that I hit with these clubs.

      Best of luck!

    1. The R-11 irons were really great irons when they came out. The M3 irons will probably be the closest to the M3 irons, but if you are a pretty good ball striker the P790 irons might be worth taking a look at.

  8. Torn between the M3’s and M4’s. But wow, what a great article. I tend to shoot in the mid-to-high 90’s. Looking for more consistency and would assume both sets of clubs will be an improvement over my current (Mizuno MX-23’s). Definitely come over the top some and have either a pull shot, or more typically a fade. With the MX-23’s, I’ll hit the 7 iron 145-150. Driver about 240. Really curious to know if there’s much of a difference (for me) in these sets and what you would recommend. Thanks!

    1. Reese,

      Thank you for the great compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I’d recommend you go with the M4s given where you are scoring right now. The M4s are long and forgiving and made exactly for players in your shoes. The M3s (or the future TaylorMade equivalent) will probably be your next set of irons in a few years.

  9. Great Article, im stuck. I used to play with the M2s, and decided to go with the M1s. Im about a 12 handicap, shoot mid to low 80s. that hits a 7 iron about 145-150 with a good swing. I swing very smooth and not hard. Slower swing speeds. I do hit a lot of shots on the sweet spot. My problem is sometimes dont get the distance i want. Im about to rec a set of M3 due to my M1s breaking. Im just wondering if the M4s would be a better fit for me for the distance. I do like to draw the ball which is one of the reasons i went with the M1s. Any suggestions??

    1. Thanks for the comment Guy. A lot of people have the same question. Here’s my thoughts:

      The M4’s will be longer and more forgiving. The main reason is that the M4’s are about a 1/2 club stronger lofts than the M3’s. So all things being equal, you should hit them about a 1/2 club longer. However, the M4’s have more offset than the M3’s. This complicates the issue.

      I know you mentioned you like to draw the ball. So the question comes down to what your normal mishit looks like? If your normal miss is left, the M4’s would make that miss even worse and I would advise you take a longer look at the M3’s. However, if your miss is right, the M4’s will help that problem and give you the distance you are looking for.

      Good luck!

  10. Hey Charlie, I started playing golf in 1998. Played a ton for three years (1998 – 2001) and have not played since until this summer. I was horrible then and worse now. With the ridicule I’ve been taking from my work buddies for still using my ONLY set, Nicklaus Air Bears circa 1998, I’ve decided to purchase a handful of irons (5, 7, 9, PW) and see how that goes on the range and playing 9 holes. I went with the M4s. Are these right for me considering I’m horrible and still feel like a beginner?

    1. Ned, I’m so glad that you have decided to get back into the game. Maybe you have forgotten any bad habits you had since you last played in 2001.

      I actually think it’s pretty smart only getting the individual irons. Most junior sets include those same irons.

      The M4s are designed more for high handicappers and not technically beginners. TaylorMade makes the M-CGB irons for beginners. But I’m not sure you would classify as a beginner. After a couple of trips to the range and a few rounds, you will probably be more like a high handicapper since you have a history with golf.

      With all that being said, it’s a close call between the two sets of irons. But since you have some experience, the M4’s will probably be a better set for you once you get a little bit of practice in.

      Glad to have you back in Golf!

  11. Jack Armstrong

    I am a 10 Hdcp. Currently playing TM Burner 2.0. I Carry a 7 iron around 145. Driver totals around 230 max. I am getting fitted next month. Hit the M3 on a demo day- Liked them. M4 top line seemed a bit thick to me. P790 were wonderful to hit, but cost is a factor. Pretty consistent ball striker- occasional toe strikes. Could I even consider P770? they look great, but I didn’t demo.

    1. The P770s are good clubs, but you will probably find that the P770s are a little shorter than the P790s or M3s. With your handicap and ball striking ability, I would recommend a club with a little more feel than the M4s.

      If price is a consideration, go M3. It’s a good club and fits a variety of players. However, if you are comfortable spending a little more I’m a huge fan of the P790s. Especially for guys who are already decent ball strikers.

      I played in a member guest against a 13 handicap with P790s a few weeks ago and he put on a ball-striking clinic. He looked more like a scratch player from the fairway!

  12. Hi

    I have been playing M1s for about a year and have really enjoyed them. My lowest loft is a 4 iron which delivers great distance and feel especially when I’m playing the OnCore Elixir Ball. 7 iron carries around 155-160 on good swings.

    Here is my issue. The face slots on my M1s have cracked on the 4,5, and 7 irons. I think it is a design or polymer flaw. I like the M1s but concernedthat the face slot technology is not dependable over the long haul. Im not looking to buy new irons every three or four years and I’m not ready to see my balls damaged by missing polymer inserts. Have you heard of this problem happening with the new Ribcor design? Do you think I should look at the P790s to avoid the insert concern? I’m a 10.8 index that can break 80 on courses below a 130 slope.

    1. Art,

      I have reached out to several people I know (golf club resellers and people who work with the major OEMs) regarding the face slot issues on your M1’s. Unfortunately, none of them have had any issues reported about cracked face slots. I am still waiting on a return phone call from a couple of people, but so far I don’t have any helpful information for you.

      Regarding the P790s, you are probably exactly the player those are designed for. As I’ve said in earlier comments, I absolutely love the P790 irons if you are the type of player who can take advantage of them (M1 or M3 guys, not the M2 or M4 player).

      I’ll keep you posted if I get any solid information on the M1 issue.

  13. Hi Charlie,
    Great review
    Can you please advise. I have had conflicting advise regards buying new clubs (current clubs are Cobra’s 2007). I’ve been been playing for approximately 18 months, currently 20 HDP. I am confident that this time next year I could be down to 15. I don’t have a problem getting the ball in the air and generally speaking goes where it should, distance if fine, a fade is my natural shaped shot by no means a slice. I am looking for a club that we help get me to where I’d like to be and also be usable as more improvements are made (say 4 years).

    Clubs recommended by one Pro:
    Calloway Rouge.
    T.M M4.

    Second Pro
    Ping i210.
    Titlist AP2.
    Mizuno JPX 919.

    I did comment with the second Pro, that I like to feel the weight of club head!

    Thank (Confused).
    Andy

    1. Andy,

      Thank you so much for reaching out. Regardless of what decision you make, any of the clubs recommended are going to be a massive upgrade from the 2007 Cobra’s.

      It sounds like to me that you expect to be playing a lot of golf in the future and that you want a club that is geared towards the future “better version” of your ball-striking than the “right-now version” of your ball-striking. If that’s the case, I would lean towards “Game Improvement Irons” and shy away from the “Super Game Improvement Irons”. You could even dip down into the “game enhancement” class of irons, but they are designed more for the 5 – 15 handicap range and could be a little hard to hit based on where you are right now.

      With all that being said, the Callaway Rogue is my choice for best game improvement iron on the market in 2018. However, I have to be honest that I am currently testing the Mizuno 919 Hot Metals and they are very, very impressive. I will have a full review up of the Mizuno 919 Hot Metals by the end of the year, but I would certainly recommend you look at those as well.

      If you want more info on the different iron segments, check out my roundup of the best irons on the market of 2018. It might help you get a little more clarity on which class you fall into.

      Anyway, thanks again for the comment! Good luck on the iron selection.

  14. Hi Charlie,

    Great review by the way…

    I’m looking at both M4s and M3s but just can’t decide.

    I started playing golf last summer. Played roughly 20 rounds. I was using Wilson Deep Red kit just to see if I like the game. Early summer I was HDP 25 and by the end of summer I was a boggey player. My driver and putter are saving me. I’m not good with irons, especially the long ones… Hit roughly 150 with my 6 iron but I’m not consistent.

    So anyhow, I plan on playing a lot more next summer… So I guess I’m looking for irons that fit my current game but will still meet my needs if I keep improving over the next couple years.

    So M4 or M3? Thoughts ?

    Thanks,

    1. At where you are right now, I would go with the M4s. Reward yourself with a set of P790s when you get to a single digit handicap and you take all of your friends’ money!

  15. I am 66 years old and playing R7 irons (2006 technology) still happy with them but reading reviews suggests that the new technology could give my game a boost. I have a short backswing and fast tempo so I play stiff shafts. I hit my 7 iron about 160 yds and play to a 10 handicap. I am debating between M3 and P790 irons and factoring in my age as my swing speed will decline. What do you suggest.

    1. It’s time to upgrade. A 10 Handicap is right on the line between M3 and P790. If you are a really strong iron player, you can go with the 790s and take advantage of the more “players” type iron. But if you get your 10 handicap by having a strong short game, I would probably go with the M3’s and grab a little more forgiveness.

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