If you’ve been sitting on the fence for a while about whether to upgrade your current irons, 2019 looks set to be the perfect year to make the switch. Maybe you’ve been holding out until the next revolution in iron design is discovered. Or perhaps you’ve been biding your time until a set of irons so perfectly matched to your particular requirements comes on the market.
After all, it’s a big commitment to exchange a set of up to eight irons; certainly a much bigger decision than just switching over to the latest driver. Unless, of course, you’re playing like a dog with the ones you already own, which makes the decision rather more straightforward. If you found yourself nodding in agreement at any, or all, of those scenarios, then you must take a look at the new TaylorMade M5 and M6 irons that have been, ahem, tailor-made just for you.
The general consensus among golfers is that while drivers keep getting better year-after-year, irons don’t really change that much. The truth, however, is quite the opposite.
Iron design has proven to be a hotbed of recent innovation, particularly in the game improvement-distance category. New irons composed from an array of materials deliver easy-to-launch ball flights, and the resulting distance gains are gratefully received by players who need it most. Now, as impressive as those attributes are, distance irons also have a reputation for having an impact feel as brusque as a wharfie on a picket line, and strike acoustics similar to a recycling bin being emptied on Boxing Day.
But the new TaylorMade M5 and M6 irons are set to completely change the way distance irons are viewed because while they do boast remarkable distance-enhancing capabilities, just as much attention has been given to achieving perfect feel. And it’s only been possible with the addition of an extraordinary new component called a “Speed Bridge”.
With a name like that, you’ve probably correctly deduced it is somehow connected to boosting ball speeds for greater distance. But your shrewd powers of deduction may be at a loss to determine what the bridge part of the name is all about. Well, the Speed Bridge itself is a sort of bracing beam positioned on the rear cavity of TaylorMade M5 and M6 irons. It connects the top line to the iron’s rear bar, hence qualifying it for the bridge label. Tying the two parts of the irons together via the Speed Bridge stiffens the iron’s top line, which maximizes by minimizing: the extra rigidity in the iron head lifts ball speeds off the clubface by reducing the amount of energy lost at impact. With the Speed Bridge doing a lot of heavy lifting in the M5 and M6 irons, it afforded TaylorMade the luxury of also fitting their through-slot Speed Pocket to the sole of the 4-7 irons, the first time it’s been used in game improvement irons.
The revised Speed Pocket has been designed to be more flexible to lift ball speeds off the clubface and provide more forgiveness, particularly for strikes low on the face. But the newly minted Speed Bridge isn’t only about increasing the iron’s ball speed; it also serves to enhance the feel of the M5 and M6 irons. TaylorMade has created the Speed Bridge to join the top line at the very point that vibrates the most at impact, to eradicate most of the annoying vibrations that degrade feel in an iron.
You might be thinking that is an achievement worth celebrating, but TaylorMade still wasn’t satisfied. They pulled another rabbit out of the hat in their quest to prove that incredible feel in a distance iron was possible by adding another feature that works alongside the Speed Bridge called a Hybrar Compression Damper.
Before you start typing ‘What is a Hybrar Compression Damper’ into the search bar, it actually sounds more complicated than it is. Without going into too much detail, inside the face of every M5 and M6 iron there’s a rectangular piece of rubbery polymer positioned in an optimal spot behind the club face. It supports the face while further soaking up ugly vibrations in the club head. Even the adhesive used to fasten the Hybrar Damper internally was selected based on its vibration-absorbing properties.
So if that’s caught your attention and you’re considering ditching the old implements, you probably need to know whether you will want to play TaylorMade M5 irons or TaylorMade M6 irons. Both iron sets are positioned in the game improvement section of the extensive TaylorMade iron range, with the M5 irons placed just behind the TaylorMade P790 player’s iron. The M5 has a more compact head than the M6 iron and is targeted towards the mid-handicapper who prefers to have a bit of playability and shot shaping at their disposal. But it is expected to also catch the eye of better players who like the M5’s clean and refined appearance. The M5’s 4-7 irons have a tungsten weight added to lower the center of gravity (CG), improve launch and add in a little extra forgiveness in the longer irons.
A remodeled chamfer on the M5’s leading edge also leads to better performance through the turf.
The M5 contrasts with the larger and more forgiving M6 iron, which has a greater offset, thicker topline, and wider sole. More suited to high-to-mid handicappers, the M6 iron is designed to inspire confidence through its easy-to-launch characteristics. So does the Speed Bridge with a side of Hybrar make TaylorMade M5 and M6 irons upgrade-worthy?
The Speed Bridge accentuates many of the other performance-inducing features that the M5 and M6 irons employ, including the previously mentioned Speed Pocket, the Inverted Cone Technology that is used to optimise face thickness for increased ball speed, and the irons’ lower CG that is achieved through a new fluted hosel and a 360 degree undercut around the topline. And with the distinct variations that exist between the M5 and M6 irons, they will appeal to a broad range of golfers. With the improved distance and feel of TaylorMade’s M5 and M6 irons, it’d be hard not to think your ship has finally come in if you’ve been holding out for a perfect iron. And with the Speed Bridge, a hint of revolution is in the air – if that’s what you’ve been hanging out for.
But if you’re simply playing like a dog, just upgrade now, feel the difference and start enjoying the game again with the TaylorMade M5 or TaylorMade M6 irons in the bag.