It seems like we have been talking about the Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges for a while.
If we roll the clock back to the British Masters in October, we saw Sergio Garcia with a new Callaway wedge in his bag.
At the time, he was still a TaylorMade staff player but it was one of the first indicators of what was to come.
We then saw Callaway staffer Branden Grace storm to victory at the Nedbank – also with the new wedges in the bag.
We first got the Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges in our hands up at Archerfield for the brand’s 2018 launch event.
But we’ve also had them back at the office for further testing.
Callaway Mack Daddy 4 – First impressions
It doesn’t really need pointing out that these are replacing the Mack Daddy 3 wedges which were launched over two years ago.
We have had the Mack Daddy Forged model since then but the MD4 will be Callaway’s main focus when it comes to wedges for 2018.
There’s a fairly clean and simple design but still loads of shelf appeal with the four red dots giving a futuristic look. The red dots combined with the shiny chrome finish does remind me of a certain rival putter brand… If that offends you then the there’s a black finish with silver dots.
In fairness, there’s not a huge amount of difference, from an aesthetic point of view, from the Callaway Mack Daddy 3 wedges. The dots were green on those.
The main differences with the Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges come in the grooves and the grind options.
Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges – The technology
These wedges were created with input from Roger Cleveland and Callaway’s staff players.
— Callaway Golf (@CallawayGolf) January 9, 2018
And we’re pretty sure that if tour players are asked what they want from a wedge, it’s more spin.
So the Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges feature something the brand calls ‘groove-in-groove’ technology.
The main grooves are saw-cut and horizontal milled to precise tolerances.
And there’s progressive groove formations through the lofts aimed at getting more control on full shots with the lower lofted wedges and more spin out of the rough and around the greens with lofts of 54˚ and above.
There’s also three raised micro-ridges, extending the length of the hitting area, with micro-grooves between the ridges that help grab the ball’s cover to increase spin.
Callaway say this combination of grooves plus micro-grooves provides 84 different contact points to grab the cover of the ball.
There’s four grind options in the Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges: C, S, W and the new X.
The C Grind has less bounce so suited to firmer course conditions and there’s increased relief on the heel making it easier to play shots with the face open.
The S Grind has a medium width sole with slight camber at the back and moderate heel relief to keep the leading edge low through impact.
The W Grind should offer the most forgiveness through its wider sole and extra bounce. There’s gene rough front to back camber to prevent digging. Possibly the most versatile of the four options.
The all-new X Grind has a narrow but high-bounce sold. Callaway say it should suit moderate to steep attack angles and medium to soft course conditions.
In terms of shaping the Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges do seem slightly more compact than the MD3. Callaway say Roger Cleveland spent about two years out on tour getting feedback from the world’s best players on what shape they wanted.
Callaway say there’s a straighter leading edge, tighter leading-edge radius and slightly more offset, compared to MD3.
Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges – The results
We spent a fair bit of time chipping around Archerfield’s first class short game facilities, trying out all of the different grind options.
Despite the head being noticeably more compact than the MD3 it did not make the MD4 intimidating at all.
Especially in the W and X grinds, that extra bounce jut made you feel like there was still plenty of club behind the ball.
Even in the S Grind it was still very easy to use and glided through the turf with ease.
When we started hitting a few we noticed a really nice soft sound and feel, plenty of spin and excellent distance control.
This continued when we took them out on to Archerfield’s Dirleton Course for further testing.
Again it was the W Grind in particular that offered plenty of forgiveness and versatility.
Back in Leeds, we took a 54˚ S Grind model to Leeds Golf Centre for some further testing and were again impressed by the sound and feel along with the consistent distance control.
Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges – NCG verdict
Now these wedges are primarily designed with tour players in mind and they don’t have the largest of headshapes. It is easy to see why some handicap golfers might feel a bit intimidated.
But the key is really through the fitting process to find the right loft, bounce and grind options for your swing and home course conditions.
And these wedges are a lot more user-friendly than they might appear at first look.
Of the two finishes – chrome and black – we do prefer the chrome as for some reason the black makes the heads look smaller.
But there was a little bit of glare from the bright chrome finish which will lead to there being plenty of takers for the black finish as well.
They are a little bit on the pricey side so make sure you get the chance to give them a proper test before buying.
This is where club golfers need to force the issue with their local pro. Don’t just hit them off a mat. Try them from the turf and from the bunker to find the best combinations for your bag.
If you get the chance to go though that process, we’re certain that golfers of all abilities can find a set of Callway Mack Daddy 4 wedges to work really well for them.
What better way to kick off 2018 than with a shiny new set of wedges?
Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges details
Available lofts: 46˚, 48˚, 50˚, 52˚, 54˚, 56˚, 58˚, 60, 64˚
Grinds: C (8˚ of bounce), S (10˚), W (12˚), X (12˚)
Finishes: Chrome or black
Stock shaft: Dynamic Gold Tour Issue
On sale: January 26
More information can be found on the Callaway website