One of the problems that seems to have plagued manufacturers of game improvement irons in recent years is the push for thinner and thinner faces has led to less stability and more stress at various points on the face. The end result is a less reliable club, particularly when delivering max energy from the club to the ball at impact.
TaylorMade Golf tried to address this in the M3 and M4 irons with an idea called RibCOR. However, with the M5 and M6 irons, they're addressing it differently.
The big tech story for these new irons is Speed Bridge, which is a metal beam connecting the top line of the iron with the back bar of the iron. The concept is to use something strong, with minimal mass to stabilize the iron by supporting two opposite ends of the iron, placing the bar where the club vibrates at impact. The end goal is more stability for improved acoustics, while combining with the next iteration of the Speed Pocket in the sole for better ball speeds.
The new Speed Pocket is designed into a thru-slot for the first time in a TaylorMade iron. The goal with Speed Pocket and the Speed Bridge is to lower the point of maximum deflection on the face, leading to more face flexibility over more of the face itself for higher ball speeds.
There's a new badging element on the M5 and M6 irons, too, with the Hybrar damping system working in concert -- along with the Speed Pocket/Bridge combo -- to improve sound and feel.
M5 vs. M6 irons
As has been the case in the past with the M Series irons, the odd-numbered iron is a touch smaller and a little more appealing to a lower-handicap player, while the even-numbered iron has a larger profile and starts walking toward super game improvement.
The M5 irons, which have a more classic look to them than the more colorful M6 irons, have a more traditional shape. They have the Speed Pocket in the 4-7 irons, which also sport tungsten weighting to drive down the center of gravity for higher-launching, more-forgiving shots.
The irons (4-PW) have a deep undercut cavity-back design and a leading-edge chamfer -- an efficient way of saying a symmetrical sloping surface at an edge -- to improve turf interaction.
The next-gen Inverted Cone Technology (ICT) face works with a 360-degee undercut and the stiffening topline ribs to promote face flexibility and ball speed. A half-fluted hosel (so a better golf who complains too much won't notice and scoff) gave some discretionary weight to play with to drop center of gravity further.
The M6 irons are bigger (confidence-inspiring, if you'd like) and look more tech-packed. They have an even lower center of gravity and more MOI compared to the M5. They also have the latest fully fluted hosel, and the 360-degree undercut, and the face made with Inverted Cone Technology in it.
Another key change is a new set of wedges with the set, designed to be easy to hit and offer plenty of forgiveness for mid- and high-handicap players.
Pricing and availability
The TaylorMade M5 and M6 irons will be available for pre-order on Jan. 18 and at retail Feb. 1.
The M5 irons will be offered as a set of 4-AW and with an available SW, and the stock steel shaft is the True Temper XP100 (S, R) or a graphite stock of the Mitsubishi Tensei Orange (S, R). Other shaft options are available as well. The steel options are $1,000, and the graphite options are $1,200.
The M6 irons will be offered as a set of 4-AW and with an available SW, and the stock steel shaft is the KBS Max 85 steel shafts (S, R) and stock graphite is Fujikura Atmos Orange (7S, 6R and 5A). For women, the M6 irons have the TaylorMade Tuned Performance shaft. Other shaft options are available as well. The steel options are $900, and the graphite options are $1,000.