The TaylorMade M4 irons replace the TaylorMade M2 2017 irons which was their most popular iron last time around so it has a lot to live up to.
What the M2 was renowned for was distance and forgiveness and the M4 irons continue in this vein.
The Speed Pocket on the M4 sole is still there but is now a longer, slimmer curved line rather than the dumbbell shape of the M2.
It is still there to increase the speed of low centre strikes and combined with the thinner leading edge that is just 1mm thick now, TaylorMade say that the 4 to 7 irons are at the CT limits that apply to woods.
The shorter irons could be too, but they actually dampen them down a little to enable the player to have a bit more distance control.
The face is down to 1.5mm at its thinnest point and the Face Slots are still there from 4 to 8-iron to increase ball speed on off centre hits.
To help reduce the loss of energy, TaylorMade has added RibCor bars behind the face slots in the heel and toe of the M4 irons to stiffen the upper portion of the head.
This also positions more mass in the heel and toe of the 450 stainless steel head and they claim an increase of 20% in MOI or resistance to twisting at impact which is pretty significant.
Keeping the weight low is the same Fluted Hosel as before that takes weight away from above the CG and moves it lower down and back to help the launch and forgiveness.
The notch in the hosel is also retained to make adjusting the lie of the cast head a little easier. The M2 2017 was one of the longest irons I reviewed last year and the M4 is going to be one of the models to beat again this year.
Compared to the TaylorMade M3 irons on GC2 you can see how the stronger lofts and larger face of the M4 work to create more ball speed with less spin for more carry.
This doesn't necessarily make it the choice over the M3 as it depends whether you need the extra forgiveness of the M4 and prefer the thicker looks and larger offset.
The M4 has a reasonable generous top line at address with a progressive head length and offset that increases as you go up the set.
The TaylorMade M4 irons come as standard with a KBS Max 85 steel shaft which is light and stable and enables you to get as much club head speed as possible.
The sound and feel is better than M2 2017 as the RibCor and lager carbon badge that wraps around it work together to manage the vibrations, but it is still a little on the hollow side, especially in the longer irons that have the bigger cavity and all the slots they can fit in.
However it is not off putting and the best endorsement of that is that when I was at the TaylorMade launch Dustin Johnson said that he was going to put the 19° M4 4-iron in his bag this year as he carries it 260 yards. And you thought it was a game improvement iron!
Well, I guess it can improve everyone's game and it is long irons like this that could make hybrids obsolete amongst better players as the forgiveness, distance and height provides more accuracy and consistency.
For the rest of us who need help throughout the bag, the M4 irons go down through PW to a 49° GW, 54° SW and 59° LW, all of which are very playable and depending on your handicap the GW should definitely be on your list and maybe the SW too as a full shot pitching club.
Overall there is lots to like about the TaylorMade M4 irons. They are fast, forgiving, sound better and look the part and with a competitive price and techy look, they are going to be one of the irons to beat in the market for mid to handicappers, and maybe the odd Tour pro too.