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.
WRX Spotlight: Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro
Product: Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro
Pitch: From Dead Zero: “The new Dead Zero Pro model putting disk offers golfers the ability to accurately determine green slope and a true fall line when practicing their “money” putts thanks to a bubble level embedded into the top of the disk. The bubble level accurately measures up to six-degrees of slope and gives a true reading of the fall line on any area of the putting surface. Like the Original model, the Dead Zero Pro helps all golfers build confidence to make more putts inside eight to ten feet.”
Our take on the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro
The Dead Zero Pro Putting Disk Pro improves upon the original design by incorporating player and instructor feedback to include a level in the top of the disk. It’s a wise addition to a device that already offers players aid in an important practice approach: putting to a target smaller than the 4.25-inch cup. (The disk is roughly half the size)
We tried the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro in the manner creator Eric Schmitt suggests in the video below.
We found it easier to focus on putting to a smaller target when using the device–the fact that the disk looks like a target certainly doesn’t hurt this! It’s also easier to practice breaking putts with the Dead Zero Putting Disk.
The level function helps quickly get an accurate feel for the putt, and you can set the disk down where the hole effectively “is,” from an aiming standpoint, on, say, an eight-footer that breaks six inches right to left.
It’s also a nice tool to have in your bag any time you need a target in practice, really, and are struggling to visualize a line or landing area. For example, when pitching from around the green.
Ultimately, this is a good practice and practice round tool that nicely functions as a smaller-than-a-golf-hole target for putting, a level, and an easy-to-see target.
A final word: There is something to the fact that golfers, particularly those who struggle with their putting, get hung up on aiming at a portion of the hole, “three balls out,” etc. If the cup has started to look more like foe than friend, shaking things up with a device like the Dead Zero Putting disk is recommended.
- More photos of/discussion about the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro in the forums.
WRX Spotted: Lamkin Sink Fit Straight
When it comes to grips we golfers can be a finicky bunch – especially when it comes to our putters. With so many different taper, weight, and material options on the market today, it’s easy to find something that’s just right. The same can be said for tour players too – when the flat stick isn’t working, try a new grip.
At the Zurich Classic in New Orleans this week, we came across a new putter grip from Lamkin: the Sink Fit Straight Polyurethane.
The Sink Fit line from Lamkin is not new but the Straight Polyurethane version is. Featuring a soft, tacky outer layer the shape is designed to help promote a better pendulum stroke with a slight pistol for the top hand. Unlike many other popular grip models that feature less taper the pistol shape might be the better option for those used to a pistol shape but want the benefits of a reduced taper grip.
The cool thing about the Sink Fit popping up at the Zurich, is that if you want to try it, the grip along with others from the Sink Fit line are already available online from Lamkin.
- See more of our photos from the Zurich Classic in the forums.
Forum Thread of the Day: “Anyone jumping on the Hogan bandwagon?”
Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from tsecor, who pays homage to Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company, and asks what fellow members think of the club manufacturer. The consensus is very positive, with the value for the quality of irons provided cited as one of the best features of the company.
Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.
- bfp9: “I’ve been on the Hogan train since 2006 when I bought Apex Blades (with the dreaded Callaway Forging). Still use them today. Although they are getting long in the tooth. Best Irons for my swing, and my game. And they were $299 new at Golfsmith. Haven’t hit the new stuff, but I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to buy another set of Hogans.”
- MattM97: “Lefty options are limited, only thing I might consider are the wedges but after shipping, import fee/duty, re-gripping to what I like they are as much or more than most wedges. But I do like what they are offering and are a much cheaper and appealing product for many golfers. So I’ll be a fan, but won’t be a user of Hogan products.”
- dkelly1269: “I have a set of the FW15s and just picked up a set of the PTx irons. Both are very high quality and very playable at a great price. I’m all in.”
- tsecor: “I played Hogan Apex PC’s back in the late ’80s when I was a child, and I loved them. My parents bought them for me as a gift for graduation. They were $399 I think……not sure why I ever sold them, but it seems as if the Hogan company is getting back to their roots and the tech they are including in their irons is impressive…to me anyway.”
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