The TaylorMade M3 irons are cast cavity back irons for low and mid handicap players and follow on from the TaylorMade M1 irons.
The concept is still the same with a few tweaks to solidify its position in the TaylorMade iron range between the P790 irons and the M4 irons
Compared to the previous M1 irons the chassis has been on a diet and is thinner both on the top line and the sole which I think gives it much more appeal to better players.
The slimmer sole on the M3 also features a thinner Speed Pocket which is now a curved line rather than the dumbbell shape of the previous M1 irons and closer to the style of the TaylorMade P790 iron.
It still delivers the same benefits of extra ball speed on strikes on the lower half of the face, but it looks a lot better.
There is also less offset at address through the set and the 180° Fluted Hosel is still there to save weight on the underside of the hosel and maintain the clean look at address.
As before there are 15g high density tungsten toe weights in the 3 to 7 irons to help with the MOI of the club and whilst I am not mad on weights being in some clubs and not others in a set, the flow of M3 between the long and short irons was better than with the M1 and almost to the point where you did not notice any change.
When you get into the short irons, the cavity closes up and the face slots that are on the 3 to 8-irons also disappear to give approach clubs that feel pretty decent and at the level single figure players would expect.
Behind the Face Slots on each side under the badge are the new RibCor bars that stiffens the frame in the heel and toe and enables the flexible face to transfer more energy back to the ball.
The RibCor and Face Slots cover the ball speed on the top half of the face and the Speed Pocket looks after the bottom half and wherever you were hitting the M3 irons on the face, it felt very consistent with a much better sound than the M1.
Comparing 6-irons on Trackman the M3 6-iron was about 9 yards shorter than the M4 and that was due to faster ball speed and 200rpm less spin from the M4 as everything else was about the same.
Even compared to the more expensive TaylorMade P790, the M3 came off slightly worse for speed and distance, but I would probably say that they are fairly evenly matched apart from the price.
Being longer does not make the M4 better as the 6-iron loft is 1.5° stronger at 25°. It just shows the differences in head design as the larger deeper cavity back on the M4 will send it higher and have a larger face area of maximum speed, or forgiveness than the M3.
However you will have the chunkier looks of M4 to go with that and now that the M3 has had a bit of a nip and tuck I think it is more distinguished from its sister club than the M1 was from the M2 2017 irons.
The sound and feel through the set was much better than M1 and I can see the M3 being a real challenger to single figure players who want a mid-sized head with a bit of playability, a decent level of forgiveness and a bit of technology on show.
The M3 irons come with the True Temper XP100 shaft as standard so this is lighter than normal for a low handicap iron and helps keep that club head speed up whilst maintaining a good level of stability.
The price difference to the M4 irons is £100/$100 per set, so TaylorMade say that it should be a choice made on player preference more than price. It could be a little far away for that but at least they are on the right track.
The M3 irons are around £200/$300 a set less than the P790 irons which have more of a compact cleaner blade look as well as the edge for distance. However better player irons are not always about distance, so it depends on your needs for forgiveness, style and value for money as to which to go for as there is a bit of an overlap between the two models.
And that is the only conundrum that could affect the commercial success of the M3 as I do like them. Along with the Twist Face on the M3 driver, the TaylorMade M3 irons were one of the stand out products of the M3/M4 launch for me, so if you fit the profile then I would recommend trying them out.