A new TaylorMade range, you say? Hannah Holden takes a closer look
Is there a better way to start the week than with new gear releases? And it never rains but it pours when TaylorMade are involved. Not that I’m complaining. There is a lot to get through here so strap in.
Just to make life easier for you, here it is all in a nice short video, or scroll down if you’d prefer to read about it all…
First up, the new TaylorMade irons
It is super easy to get excited about new releases when they look this good. There are three new additions to the TaylorMade P700 iron offering – the P7MB, recently seen in the bags of Rory McIlroy and Charley Hull, that will replace the P730, the P7MC which replaces the P750, and the P770 which replaces the P760.
TaylorMade tell me they the P770 came about after feedback from better player who wants distance and forgiveness of the P790 but in a smaller more refined, players’ iron shape.
You can really see the visual cues from both the P790 and P7MC which I really like.
This is smaller than the P790 and typically as irons get smaller they they lose forgiveness. So these have added tungsten weights to lower the CG and drive up that forgiveness level.
They have a forged hollow body construction with speedfoam as seen in the P790 but have a thinner topline as well as a narrower sole and blade length.
- Related: P790 iron review
I have been really impressed with the forgiveness and distance in my initial testing so far.
In comparison the P7MC and MB are designed for the best ball strikers in the game and don’t put a premium on forgiveness. Of course this means a difference in construction. Both are solid single-piece forged irons but TaylorMade have switched up the forging process for 2020.
The new compact grain forging process uses 2,000 tonnes of force to deliver a tighter grain structure. This improves the overall properties of the metal and you can tell the difference.
The change in feel is instantly noticeable. They just feel more solid and a centre strike feels that much better.
With the MB the focus is on workability and control, so you don’t see much added tech. It really is a no frills iron.
Although the P730 was super successful on tour TaylorMade have tweaked the shape. We see a longer blade length, largely influenced by Dustin Johnson, and less offset requested by McIlroy.
The P7MC is a muscle cavity iron with more perimeter weighting making it slightly more forgiving than the MB. From a personal point of view this is my favourite looking iron in the range and I love the detailing of the high buff perimeter and grooves in the cavity.
A great feature to the new P700 line up is the in-depth ability to combo set.
All the irons are the same price and length making it really easy to build up a mixed set in whatever way you desire. TaylorMade have even put together a really great combo guide with lots of different combo set options and how you would set the lofts to get the sets to blend together perfectly.
I am particularly excited about this as I love the look and feel of the P7MC but know I need something more forgiving in the longer irons.
There are also new utility irons…
Right. Driving irons! We’ve got two new offerings in this category – the DHY (Driving Hybrid) and UDI (Ultimate Driving Iron).
These are replacing the GAPR range and we can see the first big difference is in the colour going from black to silver. This just makes the clubface more visible and is more confidence-inspiring over the ball. The design is simplified and sleeker.
Although the styling is similar in both you can see the DHY has a larger footprint and is more of a game-improvement offering. The UDI suits my eye more as it’s smaller and has less offset.
From my first hits the DHY was launching higher than the UDI, so would also be ideal for firm conditions to get that extra land angle to help stop the ball quicker.
The UDI is lower spinning and was creating a more penetrating ball flight out on the course. I can’t wait to get these out on a links course.
Both feature speed foam technology which dampens vibrations for soft feel. In the DHY the speed foam is 35% lighter to keep the head weight down and keep the CG low to get that high launch.
You may have also noticed the adjustable sleeve has gone. This is just to make it easier for fitters to tweak the loft and lies during a custom fitting.
Before you could change loft on the hosel but that had a fixed effect on lie angle. Without this it is much easier to bend the club to the exact specs you want.
What you might find surprising is the lofts have been made weaker compared to the GAPR. This is to promote a higher launch with low spin for that all important extra yardage.
The shaft is slightly shorter too, they’re actually the same length as the P700 Series which just continues that narrative of combo sets throughout the full TaylorMade iron range.
Fancy playing Tiger’s wedges? Now you can…
As if you weren’t excited enough, it’s made even better when Tiger Woods is involved.
If you loved the Tiger irons last year you’re in for a treat here as TaylorMade release the Milled Grind 2 in the 15-time major champion’s own unique grind.
The level of detail in this is utterly absurd. There are four different cambers and three different bounces across the sole of this wedge.
In fact there is 25° of bounce on leading edge – TWENTY FIVE! (A reminder we usually see 12° offered as a high bounce option.) But Tiger is a big believer in bounce and the forgiveness it gives you, so here we are.
The middle is set at a more understandable bounce of 12° before we hit the extreme again on the hosel with just 4° of bounce.
This means the wedge plays high bounce in the playing position and low bounce in the open position. All of this makes total logical sense for versatility around the green and being able to play all shots with one wedge.
The reason Tiger has his wedges set up like this is so he can use the same clubs all year round, no matter the course conditions.
What’s not to love? I am just gutted it is only – for now – offered in 56° and 60° as I’m a 54-58 girl. Is it too drastic to change my wedge setup just for these? Maybe I’ll just have to crank the lofts.
Wait, what? There’s more?
A new TaylorMade Spider putter? Yes please! Say hello to the Spider FCG…
“FCG?” I hear you ask. Forward centre of gravity. Obviously?
As with the rest of the Spider range the story here is still about stability. But if the Spider is so successful why do we need something new?
TaylorMade have a lot of tour players who wanted to use the Spider but the big difference in feel between them and their traditional blades make the transition tricky.
The reason there is such a big difference in feel is down to the CG. With a blade the CG is around 1cm behind the clubface, whereas in a Spider X you’re looking at it being nearer 4cm behind the club face.
This is because more than half of the weight in the Spider X is in the back of the putter.
Spider FCG flips that on its head with 70% of the weight being brought forward near the clubface. This is achieved using tungsten heel and toe weights as well as a heavier copper face insert. Look, here’s a picture that illustrates it perfectly..
I have to say I have been seriously impressed using this so far. Straight from the get go this felt great off the face, my start line was ideal and it rolled exceptional well.
You can’t ask for much more than that can you?
I also did some robot testing with this using the quintic system and the initial data looked really good.
I really like the fact there are numerous different neck options so you can match this up to your stroke and preference. We haven’t always seen this in the Spider line so I think this is a huge plus factor.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a lot of these out on tour in the coming weeks.
Is that enough? That’s surely enough.
If you have any questions or just want to discuss the new TaylorMade releases feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me.
And keep your eyes on the NCG YouTube channel for full reviews coming soon…