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TaylorMade’s new M3 and M4 irons, with “RibCOR” technology

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With its new M3 and M4 irons, TaylorMade has introduced a “RibCOR” technology that’s designed to produce more speed on mishits. Before we get into what exactly that design is, let’s see why this concept is important.

COR, or coefficient of restitution, is the measure of energy transfer between two objects. For golf club manufacturers, especially when making game-improvement irons, the goal is to get COR as high as possible; this means ensuring as much energy gets transferred from the club face to the golf ball as possible during impact. Of course, the USGA sets a limit on COR of golf clubs so they can only go so far.

Many companies these days have figured out how to maximize COR on the center of the club face. Now, the game for engineers across the industry has become “how high can we make COR on shots hit off-center.” The goal obviously being to produce as much speed on off-center hits as possible, or, minimizing energy loss at impact.

TaylorMade, for its new M3 and M4 irons, has introduced RibCOR technology that uses two ribs, or beams, on the outer portions of the heel and toe as pictured below.

This provides internal support on the outer portions of the club so that the face can flex as much as possible at impact, thus retaining energy transfer from the club the golf ball. So while the center of the face may not produce more speed compared to its M1 and M2 predecessors, this design should impart more ball speed across the face. That means more forgiveness, or MOI (moment of inertia).

The RibCOR design couples with a number of familiar technologies from the company’s past including inverted cone technology, speed pockets and face slots. These are all designed for to produce higher ball speeds and more forgiveness, helping golfers who don’t hit the center of the face every time to launch the ball high and far.

As with the M1 and M2 irons they replace, the lower-numbered M3 iron has a more compact look and is designed for slightly better players, whereas the higher-numbered M4 iron is built for more distance and forgiveness, and has a larger head profile.

For more photos and discussion click here, or read below for more info on each of the offerings. Both the M3 and M4 irons will be available at retail on February 16.

Taylormade M4 irons

As the more forgiving of the two M-family offerings, TaylorMade’s M4 irons have fluted hosels, 1mm toplines, and what TaylorMade calls its “thinnest ever leading edge.” Also, along with the RibCOR technology that’s in both the M3 and M4 irons, additional mass has been placed on the toe and heel portions of the M4 irons to produce great forgiveness on off-center hits.

Overall, the M4 club heads have 24 percent higher MOI than the M2 2017 heads, according to TaylorMade, so golfers will find them to be more forgiving than their predecessors.

The M4 irons (4-LW) will come stock with either KBS Max 85 steel shafts (R and S flex), Fujikura Atmos shafts (5A, 6R, 7S), or additional custom shafts, with TM Dual Feel grips. Steel will sell for $899 per set, while graphite will sell for $999.

Taylormade M3 irons

The TaylorMade M3 irons, while housing some of the same technologies as the M4 irons, are made for those players who want a more compact shape and are looking for more trajectory control. To help achieve this look without sacrificing much by way of forgiveness, TaylorMade ha added a 15-gram tungsten weight to the soles of the M3 irons; this lowers CG in the head.

The irons have a 180-degree fluted hosel — that means it’s not as visible at address compared to the 360-degree fluted hosel in the M4 irons — to help move weight away from the heel. The irons have a thinner topline than the M1 irons they replace, according to TaylorMade, and have soles designed with more bounce for better turf interaction.

M3 sets (3-SW) come stock with either True Temper XP100 steel shafts (R300, S300), Mitsubishi’s Tensei graphite shafts (70R or 80S), or additional custom shafts, and with Lamkin UTx NC grips. M3 irons will sell for $999 with steel shafts or $1199 with graphite.

Click here for more photos and discussion on the M3 and M4 irons

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. S

    Jan 9, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    I can see why pros are leaving TM…

  2. Tom Newsted

    Jan 3, 2018 at 10:52 am

    RIBCORE they stole that from their time with Addidas. That has been on a hockey stick for years. its a gimmick.

  3. mel

    Jan 2, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    TM M3 and M4 state-of-the-art iron designs look like winners to me, and leaving behind all those offering gel-filled hollow irons …. opps that means the P790 are obsolete now …lol … that was fast … lolol

  4. George

    Jan 2, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    i need me some ribcor

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Equipment

Fujikura launches new Pro 2.0 and Pro 2.0 Tour Spec shafts

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Fujikura has announced the launch of the second generation of its Pro series shafts: the Pro 2.0.

The first iteration of the Pro shafts were designed with a soft handle section to aid in loading. The Pro 2.0 presents an even more effective loading zone, according to the company, which also says torsional stiffness is 14 percent greater in the 2.0.

“Like all of our shafts, the Pro 2.0 has been designed utilizing enso, a 3D motion-capture technology that no one else in the shaft industry has,” said Alex Dee, Vice President at Fujikura Composites America.

“This technology and advanced data analytics has allowed us to crack the code on how club performance and ball flight are affected by shaft characteristics and swing type. When we compared to the original Pro, we saw the 2.0 was significantly easier to swing, had tighter shot dispersion, and lower spin to deliver the club head with more power, control and distance. We were thrilled with the result.”

The Pro 2.0 is painted “Destroyer Grey” with a metallic blue design in line with the original Pro shaft. The Tour Spec model is painted “Tour Spec White.”

The shafts will be available in weight ranges from 57 to 87 grams (5, 6, 7, 8) and in flexes starting at R2 up to X. $225 MSRP; $250 for the Tour Spec model. Hybrid option available for $140.

Available at over 600 qualified Fujikura charter dealers beginning February 1. Full specs at Fujikura.com.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Pro 2.0 in the forums.

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Fred Couples signs with Bettinardi, will continue to use FCB putter

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Fred Couples has been using his namesake Bettinardi putter, the FCB (Fred Couples Blade), for the past four years. Now, he’s officially joining Bettinardi’s Tour staff.

Couples, who has won 15 times on the PGA Tour and 13 times on the PGA Tour Champions, will putt exclusively with the company’s flatsticks.

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

“I’m really looking forward to representing Bettinardi and its beautiful range of hand-made putters, as they always give me great confidence when I’m standing over putts,” said Fred. “Having won 5 times already with a Bettinardi putter, there’s nothing I’d rather be putting with.

Couples averaged 1.70 putts per hole when playing in 12 events with the Bettinardi wand last year.

“Having Fred Couples join our Tour staff is a massive endorsement for Bettinardi Golf,” said founder Robert Bettinardi. “We’re so proud and excited to welcome him to our growing Tour staff. I’m sure he will prove to be a great ambassador for our brand, as he attracts huge crowds and media attention wherever he plays.”

Here’s a look at Boom Boom’s FCB putter.

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Odyssey’s new EXO 2-Ball, Works Red and Black, and Toulon putters

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There’s one thing Odyssey has never struggled with: giving golfers options. Today, the company launched a trunk-full of new putters, including eight Works Red and Black putters, Toulon Atlanta and Portland models, and an Odyssey EXO 2-Ball putter that gives the classic 2-ball design a very new, and premium look.

Most of the new putters, actually, are mallets. More specifically, they are mallets that Odyssey says feel like blade putters; that’s because they’re made with toe hang (like a blade putter) rather than face-balanced designs of typical mallets. Toe hang frees up the face of a putter to open and close, a stroke-style that many golfers employ — amateurs and pros alike.

According to Austie Rollinson, chief designer of Odyssey, there’s been a trend of blade users on Tour switching into mallets because of this toe hang, and that will continue to happen. Odyssey says that of the PGA Tour wins last year, 29 winners used mallets — 14 of those were mallets with toe hang — while there were 20 blade winners. Also, of the top-50 in Strokes Gained: Putting, 31 players used mallets, 13 of which were toe-hang mallets, and 19 players used blades.

Therefore, many of the new putters from Odyssey are toe-hang mallets. Check out all of the new putters below, with info on design, pricing and release dates.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new putters here

Odyssey Works Red and Black putters

 

The new Works Red and Black putters — adding on to the line of putters released in 2017 — continue to use microhinge face inserts that are designed to “grab” the ball to impart more topspin on the golf ball to get it rolling faster. The new offerings launched today include a No. 1 Wide S, No. 1 Tank, No. 7 Tank, 2-Ball Fang, Marxman, Marxman S, Jailbird Mini and Jailbird Mini S.

They will sell for $199 with a standard Winn AVS midsize pistol grip, and $219 with a SuperStroke grip starting on February 23.

See more photos and join the discussion about the Works Red and Black putters here.

Odyssey EXO 2-Ball

The new EXO 2-Ball, made with Rose Gold PVD, is a premium version of the iconic 2-ball shape. It’s CNC-milled with a microhinge insert, has an aluminum crown with a steel sole plate and Tungsten in the rear portion of the head. The EXO 2-ball also has black circles instead of the familiar white color for which 2-balls are known.

According to Odyssey, it’s a “statement product,” and it will only sell 5,000 of these putters globally. They will sell for $499.99 starting on February 2.

Odyssey says: “Our new Odyssey EXO 2-Ball is a premium limited edition putter unlike any we’ve ever offered. It combines one of the game’s most innovative and iconic putter designs with top-notch materials and meticulous production to create something truly special.”

Toulon Atlanta and Portland

Odyssey’s premium putter brand continues dipping its toes in the mallet style with its new mid-mallet Atlanta and Portland models. They have gunmetal finishes and are 100-percent milled from soft, 303 stainless steel. They also have Toulon’s familiar diamond-milled faces for improved roll.

The Atlanta and Portland models will sell for $399.99 apiece and hit retail on February 2.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Toulon Atlanta putter here

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