TaylorMade engineers worked to make a game-improvement club that returns energy to the ball more efficiently for increased distance and forgiveness on off-center hits.
TaylorMade designers have worked for years to increase distance in irons by making faces that flex more at impact, but that resulted in an unintended consequence. The top area of game-improvement and max game-improvement irons also grew more flexible, which resulted in a loss of energy that could have been redirected back into the shot.
Ribcor, a pair of internal vertical supports, stiffens the top of each M4 iron head. (TaylorMade Golf)
Enter Ribcor, a new technology added to the TaylorMade M4 irons that helps deliver more distance than last season’s M2 irons, while also improving sound and feel. Ribcor is a pair of rib-like vertical support pieces housed inside each M4 iron that affix to the sole and the topline, making the whole body of the club stiffer.
Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade’s senior director of product creation, said the M4 4-7 irons have a Speed Pocket slot in the sole that helps protect ball speed on shots hit low in the face. And with the addition of Ribcor, the vertical face slots do a better job of protecting ball speed on shots hit toward the heel or toe. And because the top of the heads are firmer, the hitting area flexes more efficiently on shots hit higher in the hitting area, too.
The face slots in the TaylorMade M4 irons help the hitting area return energy to the ball more efficiently. (TaylorMade Golf)
“If we had not given this iron Ribcor, we would have been struggling to give the M4 a topline that is as thin as it is,” Bystedt said. “But Ribcor allowed us to do that and still pursue a low center of gravity.”
Working in tandem with the Ribcor supports, a multi-material back badge enhances acoustics. Bystedt said many golfers will be surprised at the sound of the M4 irons and might think they are made from a solid piece of metal.
The back badge helps enhance sound and feel. (TaylorMade Golf)
To enhance the moment of inertia and make the M4 irons more resistant to twisting on off-center hits, TaylorMade shifted more weight to the heel and toe. According to the company, the MOI in the M4 is 24 percent higher than the in last season’s M2 irons.
The M4 irons have a slightly longer blade length than the M3 irons, along with more offset and slightly stronger lofts.