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Review: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Wedges

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Pros: The Mack Daddy 2 wedges feature a compact, forged head with some of the highest-spinning grooves we’ve tested. With three different grinds available for the 58- and 60-degree wedges in two different finishes, the line supplies a wedge for most any preference.

Cons: The head is noticeably smaller than that of many other companies’ wedges, which may not be for everyone. If you like to hit the occasional 100 percent wedge, it may make you a little timid to really go after it, at least at first. On those fuller swings, the feel and sound are fairly firm, which may also surprise some players.

Bottom Line: The start of a very solid wedge lineup from Callaway (expect more grind/sole options to be released in the near future). In a product category normally dominated by other companies, the Mack Daddy 2 represents a legitimate contender for a spot (or two…or three…or, in Callaway staffer Phil Mickelson’s case, four!) in the bag. Legendary wedge designer Roger Cleveland put blood, sweat and tears into this line of wedges. They are his pride and joy. If they weren’t, you would not see the words “Designed by Roger Cleveland” stamped onto each Mack Daddy 2 wedge.

Overview

Above: Members of the GolfWRX Staff and GolfWRX Featured Writers Team discuss the Mack Daddy 2 Wedges with Roger Cleveland. 

The Mack Daddy 2 wedges wear their technology on their faces. The centerpiece is the 5V grooves available on the 56-, 58- and 60-degree models, which are 39 percent larger than Callaway’s 2011 Forged line of wedges. Cleveland has asserted that these wedges produce “roughly 85 to 90 percent” as much spin as was created by wedges from before the USGA’s 2010 regulations, which curbed the sharpness of wedge grooves, and up to 25 percent more spin out of the rough than previous Callaway wedges.

In addition to the grooves, there is a considerable (the maximum allowable by the USGA) amount of rough milling between the grooves, meant to add extra spin. The oval shapes on the face of the club resemble leopard prints and will fade with use.

For the lower-lofted Mack Daddy 2 wedges, Cleveland adopted a contrarian attitude. The grooves on the 47-, 50-, 52- and 54-degree wedges have been dialed back somewhat, in order to accommodate fuller swings without the player running as much of the risk of over-spinning such shots.

The 58- (right-handed only) and 60-degree (right- and left-handed) models of the Mack Daddy 2 wedges come in a choice of three grinds: S, C and U. The S and U grinds, both with 10 degrees of bounce, differ by the construction of both the leading edge and sole of the wedge. The S (for “Standard”) grind has a flatter leading edge that is meant for players who play most wedge shots with a relatively square face. The U grind, preferred by Phil Mickelson, has a very rounded leading edge and a sole that has been partially concaved, making it easier to open the face considerably in order to hit a variety of higher, softer-landing shots. Wedges with the C grind have 14 degrees of bounce, a partially flattened sole and a leading edge of middling roundness.

The wedges, available in both chrome and slate gray finishes with, sell for $119 with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold S300 shaft.

Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Wedge Specs

Performance

IMG_3055-copy

 Above: The face of a Mack Daddy 2 wedge in a milky chrome finish that reduces glare. 

Everything Roger Cleveland and Callaway say about the amount of spin the Mack Daddy 2 wedges produce is true. Hitting simpler pitch shots with even the more modestly grooved 52-degree wedge takes some acclamation, as the first instinct of the ball on even short-carry chips seems to be to pop straight up in the air like the gnarliest drop shot imaginable in tennis. But that amount of spin is something most any golfer would be ecstatic to get used to.

The wedges shine especially brightly from the rough, where the 25 percent spin increase figure sometimes seems a bit conservative. With proper technique and enough club-head speed, golfers will get a good deal of fluttering soft landings, even from thicker grass. As much spin as the wedges produce when asked to, they similarly can back off if more of a running “dead-hands” shot is desired. This versatility is definitely the strongest suit of the Mack Daddy 2 line.

Out of the sand, the Mack Daddy 2’s are also brilliant. The 10 degrees of bounce on the 60-degree wedge I tested (since I’m a lefty, I had to bend my U Grind 60-degree wedge 2 degrees strong to get it to the 58 degrees of loft I prefer) gives the player confidence in the ability to attack certain bunker shots — even shortish ones — and impart some serious spin.

The wedges are excellent short-range clubs. If any criticisms might be leveled, the main one would be that on fuller swings, the wedges seemed to fly slightly shorter than one might otherwise expect. As one who can normally manage 120 yards with other 52 degree wedges, similar swings with the Mack Daddy 2 seemed to produce 112-to-115-yard shots.

The same went for the 60-degree (bent to 58) — instead of 100 yards, 92-to-95 yards seemed to be the norm. That said, the trajectory produced was excellent — flatter, yet with prodigious amounts of spin when called upon. And once again, lower-spin shots from 70 to 105 yards were more than doable. Versatility!

Looks and Feel

There is a definite click that one hears and feels hitting the Mack Daddy 2 wedges. The quality of the forging of the club head itself is unquestionably good, but it is certainly a wedge best suited to those who prefer a slightly firmer feel and sound.

The S Grind

Callaway-Mack-Daddy-2-S-Grind-58
Mack-Daddy-2-58-Address

 The C Grind

Callaway-Mack-Daddy-2-C-Grind
Mack-Daddy-2-C-Address

The U Grind

Callaway-Mack-Daddy-2-U-GrindCallaway-Mack-Daddy-2-U-Grind-Address

 Click here to read more about the different grinds in our “Tech Talk” story.

Callaway has always produced wedges whose heads appear a little smaller than those of other manufacturers, and the Mack Daddy 2 line is no different. Switching from most other companies’ wedges, the at-address aesthetics of the wedge may take some adjustment, but will eventually become a non-issue. Both finish options are gorgeous and minimize potential sun glare, which can be a problem with other companies’ offerings.

Purely as objets d’art, the Mack Daddy 2 wedges are attractive. The backsides of the wedges have more writing, stamping and imagery than stodgy purists might prefer, but as a modern wedge, it is lovely. The classic-font “Callaway” and chevron symbol form an interesting contrast with the sharp mill marks and the more modern-looking text to the right — a nod both to the company’s heritage and the forward-thinking ideology for which it has become known of late. It is a club for the 21st Century for sure.

The Takeaway

Callaway is a company that is not afraid to take chances, which makes Phil Mickelson an ideal ambassador for the brand. And Mickelson’s thrill-seeking nature, channeled by Roger Cleveland, is reflected in the design and function of the Mack Daddy 2 wedges. The selection of three different grinds in the higher-loft wedges (with more lofts and grinds to come in the future) gives golfers a taste of the limitlessness of equipment setups previously reserved only for touring professionals.

Callaway’s acknowledgment that all golfers are not created equal is wonderful, ensuring that a wide variety of players will be thrilled by their new wedges, especially at their very reasonable price point. Other companies offer customization, but generally at close to twice what one will pay for a Mack Daddy 2 wedge.

The versatility of these wedges’ design translates beautifully to the golf course to the point where a chipping green becomes the most fun place to practice. And on the course itself, those who find themselves testing the limits of what sorts of greenside shots their Mack Daddy 2 wedges can handle will surely not be alone in their delight. In closing, Callaway has built a wedge that most any player, from the mid-high handicapper to Phil Mickelson himself, will be pleased to use.

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Tim grew up outside of Hartford, Conn., playing most of his formative golf at Hop Meadow Country Club in the town of Simsbury. He played golf for four years at Washington & Lee University (Division-III) and now lives in Pawleys Island, S.C., and works in nearby Myrtle Beach in advertising. He's not too bad on Bermuda greens, for a Yankee. A lifelong golf addict, he cares about all facets of the game of golf, from equipment to course architecture to PGA Tour news to his own streaky short game.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Gary

    Jan 31, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Great clubs. I own a few of them. They are as good or better than any wedge in their price category imho. Great feel, accuracy, durability seems to be good too.

  2. Jimmy Cliffe

    Jun 8, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Brilliant club, excellent feel and has improved my short game a lot! Just don’t get the slate finish, although it looks great it will rust straight away. Played one game in the rain and now it looks ancient.

    • Jafar

      May 6, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      I didnt like the rust at first but now I welcome it. Your golf clubs are going to get dirty. Having some of that rust reminds you of the work they do for you.

  3. Steve

    Oct 22, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I got the Mack Daddy 2, 60 degree “C-Grind” at a member guest. This is by far the best scoring club in my bag. I’ve chipped in two and have hit the flag three times just in the first week I’ve had this club. I can’t wait to get it in a 56. Thank you Rodger Cleveland, Great wedge!!!

  4. G

    Oct 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Hi can any one tell me if the ‘mac daddy’
    Slate wedge rust ?
    Regards g

    • James

      Oct 17, 2013 at 11:38 am

      G. Yes it will, I have had mine for about a month so far and I do notice that it is a little Rusty.

    • Steve MCMurchie

      Feb 8, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Yes the mac daddy Slate wedges rust, I have 2 56° & 60° great clubs they just luck bloody awful after a while!

  5. G

    Oct 12, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Hi can any one tell me if the ‘mac daddy’ 2 wedge
    ‘Slate’ will rust ?
    Regards g

  6. Tyler

    Aug 16, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Don’t like the name. Mack Daddy, Rocketbladz- not liking this new trend.

  7. Steve

    Aug 12, 2013 at 12:10 am

    I purchased a 52 (bent to 50) and a 56 (bent to 54) shortly after they hit the stores and couldn’t be happier. Both are rock solid, easy to pick a ball off of a tight lie and feel wonderful when you hit the sweet spot. I prefer a smaller wedge (which is why I didn’t go with another set choice), I just hope that Callaway offers additional shaft options without undue hassles. I like TT shafts, but have KBS tour shafts in my irons, and would love to see Callaway offer the High Rev shaft as a viable option. Try these, they are nice wedges…

  8. Erik Johnston

    Aug 2, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    You guys never went over the durability of there new club face design and I was wondering if you have any input on it. I don’t want to get it and have it wear out the first month I have it.
    Thank you for all the work you do to bring us information.

    • Gary Lewis

      Aug 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      I imagine the durability of the grooves will be pretty good, maybe better than average. Callaway forged wedges typically wear pretty good from my experience (X-Tour, X-Forged and the previous version). The face pattern will probably wear off fairly quickly but that shouldn’t be a problem.

  9. daniel

    Jul 31, 2013 at 8:11 am

    just get more loft and have it bent stronger decreasing the bounce

  10. J.

    Jul 26, 2013 at 8:07 am

    12* of bounce on a 52* wedge is ALOT!! Any comments from the reviewer on this? This is one of the first wedges from the US market I’ve really liked the look of in recent years, classic looks with modern tech, and I’m thinking about giving them a go, but that high bounce 52* makes me wary… Any thoughts would be great.

    • LL

      Jul 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      12* Bounce on a 52* is more than most companies although Ping has the same set-up in the Tour S wedge. If you are hitting it with a square face and striking it downward you won’t have any problems. I really like the idea that it can be used for slightly longer bunker shots where the lip is not excessively high. When you have to carry some length of sand in the bunker or just have a flag that is well back on the green this could be a great tool.

  11. D

    Jul 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    The review mentions lower lofted MD2s – 47 and 50 – but these are not listed on Callaways site. Can you clarify this?

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jul 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Those lofts are currently not available, but according to Roger Cleveland they are coming to retail in the near future.

      – Zak

  12. Pingback: Editor Review: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Wedges – GolfWRX | Golf Products Reviews

  13. R

    Jul 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    “Wedges with the C grind have 14 degrees of loft, a partially flattened sole and a leading edge of middling roundness.”

    Should say “14 degrees of bounce”, to avoid confusion

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Apparel Reviews

On the course? Off the course? Adidas’ new adicross line has you covered

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Furthering golfwear’s trend toward the more casual and versatile in a big way, Adidas today unveiled a new line extension: Adicross.

Urban inspired. Decidedly non-traditional. The Adicross line (styled “adicross”) leverages Adidas’ clothing and footwear styles from other arenas and reimagines them for wear on the fairway. Available December 1, the line brings Anorak jackets, henleys, hoodies, joggers, and even an Oxford to the golf course.

And before you clutch your saddle shoes in terror, remember, this is a line extension targeting a particular segment of the golfing population, not a total change of course for the entire Adidas Golf brand. If you’re wondering who represents the segment in question, think Erik Anders Lang: filmmaker, irrepressible golf enthusiast, and host of Skratch TV’s Adventures in Golf.

Lang hosted a launch event in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District warehouse space where he sat down with Adidas execs and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for a chat about the new line. He praised the performance aspects of the five-pocket pant and the footwear styles, in particular.

As for golf’s top-ranked player, regarding the Adicross line, DJ told us the line is much more in keeping with stuff he’d actually wear than the baggy shirts and khakis that were the uniform of golf when he started out on tour.

“This is a line that I’ll wear all the time,” Johnson said. “I can wear it to the course and then go meet some buddies for lunch, and I’m not a walking poster for golf.”

From the Stretch-Woven Oxford, to the jogger pant, to the Adicross Bounce footwear, every item Dustin Johnson wears in picture below is intended for both on- and off-course wear.

“Adicross is the lifestyle brand that golfers everywhere have been waiting for,” said the world No. 1. “This is something that I’ll wear when I’m traveling to a tournament, practicing at home, or even headed to the gym.”

The aforementioned versatility of the Adicross line is very much a function of the materials: No-show sweat wicking technology, nylon-spandex blends (featured in the five-pocket pant and short), Primeknit (featured in Icon Polo and Jacket). These are clothes that are ready to wear to the office, but stretch, are light enough, and offer enough comfort to play 18 holes in.

“We wanted to challenge ourselves to design a line that would aid in helping athletes in their game, their life and in their world,” said Chad Alasantro, senior designer, men’s apparel at adidas Golf. “adicross is a perfect blend of hidden technology, fused with a creative aesthetic.”

 

The Adicross line also boldly brings street-inspired footwear to the golf course, retooling Adidas’ ultrapopular Bounce design to support the foot and grip the turf during the golf swing (and resist water during dew-sweeping early morning rounds)

“Adicross was designed as a result of the feedback we were hearing from our core consumer,” said Dylan Moore, Creative Director, Adidas Golf. “Like everyone else, golfers live in a complex, busy world with many diverse interests. They expect more from less and demand performance out of what they wear.”

The centerpiece Bounce features an ergonomic fit, offset wrapped saddle with multiple eyelet rows for customizable lacing, and a non-marking adiwear rubber spikeless outsole that features 181 strategically-placed lugs for a green-friendly grip.

The Bounce will be released in January, and additional styles will follow in February.

Regarding said “additional styles,” you can spot a few in this promo video. 

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Accessory Reviews

Choose Your Tartan: Enter now to win a Sunfish Tartan headcover

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Sunfish, well known for its stylish headcover designs, is offering up free Tartan-style headcovers to five GolfWRX Members. All you have to do to apply is become a GolfWRX member, if you’re not already, and then reply in the forum thread with your favorite the Tartan pattern.

TartanPatternsSunfish

The five winners will receive a free headcover in the pattern that they select. Winners will be selected on Friday, so don’t wait.

Click here to enter into the giveaway and pick your favorite style.

Reminder: Commenting on this post WILL NOT enter you into the giveaway.

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Equipment

Member Reviews: Callaway Steelhead XR Fairway Woods

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One of the many benefits of being a GolfWRX Forum Member is exclusive access to Giveaways and Testing Threads. In this Testing Thread, we selected six members to test a Callaway Steelhead XR fairway wood built to their specs.

CallawaySteelheadXRwoods-1021x580

The Steelhead XR has a club face made of steel for that familiar Steelhead feel. The crowns are made from J-36 carbon fiber to lower center of gravity and move it more forward; that will help it produce lower spin like the original designs that sold 2.3 million units. According to Callaway, the crowns weigh just 6 grams — that’s 20 grams lighter than Callaway’s XR ’16 fairway wood crowns.

Full Tech Story: Callaway upgrades a classic, introduces Steelhead XR fairway woods

The Steelhead XR fairways also have a Hyper Speed Face Cup that produces more ball speed across the face, and Speed Step technology, or the raised portions on the crown, that were first introduced in Callaway XR ’16 metalwoods. They improve aerodynamics to help golfers produce higher swing speeds.

Each member completed a detailed analysis and rating of the club. You can see the full reviews here. Below, we pull quotes from the reviews to give you a feel for what this choice group of WRXers had to say. The responses have been minimally edited for brevity and style. Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

lutomrSC

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR (13.5 degrees)
  • Shaft Tested: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65X

“I like almost everything about how this club looks. The color combination of the dark blue against the steel face gives a nice contract. I really like how the carbon fiber looks under the blue paint.”

“At times the ball appeared to have a little too much spin and would tend to climb to a height that would be above my current gamer off the tee. It would tend to go further because of the stronger loft, however, usually about 5-7 yards. Perhaps a different shaft could help the spin, but it would need testing. The Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65 Graphite X-flex is a great stock option. It has a good feel and a weight that I prefer, and I think it can keep up with higher swing speeds without issue.”

SDickenson642

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)
  • Shaft Tested: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65X

“The appearance of the Steelhead is amazing. The shape is perfect for my eye, as I prefer a smaller profile down by the ball in fairway woods. The face is pretty deep compared to my [Cobra] Fly-Z+ I’ve been playing for three years now. The sound is amazing off the head. I never had the privilege of playing the original Steelhead fairways, but it does remind me of the original woods I played as a kid, which I think where Tommy Armour 845’s.”

“With the deeper face of the Steelhead XR, I thought I would have issues launching the ball from the deck on par 5s, but I did not see any issue. Turf interaction with the Steelhead was great. I was able to try multiple lies from the fairway, rough, and even a bunker. From the fairway I could easily control it and actually get the ball up in the air enough and with enough spin to hold greens.”

MillerLowLife

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)

“The top of this club looks awesome at address. I really liked the look of the crown that is a dark blue and shows the carbon fiber underneath. That, coupled with the silver steel face, makes it easy to frame the ball. This is a steel club so the sound and feel will be a sharper metal sound that’s accustomed to the old Steelheads. Has great swing weight and feel. Felt really easy to hit this in the tee box, fairway, or rough.”

“I really enjoyed the versatility of the 4+ with the shorter playing length, heavier swing weight, and flatter lie angle. For me, it felt like a bomber off the tee box, but it was still something I could use to get me out of less-than-ideal lies outside of the fairway —  something I wouldn’t think about with my current gamer.”

Hackster

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)

“This club is all business. Longer than my 3-wood, flies higher and able to work the ball left and right. On the tee, the ball jumps forward when it hits fairway. Does not lose much distance on off-center hits.”

“Long off the fairway, just put on cruise control and fire away. I struggle in the rough with any fairway wood, so not much to compare to — that’s what hybrids are for. Love this club. Had concerns where it would fit in the bag, but easily able to replace my 14.5-degree 3-wood with the 4+. Much more versatile than my current 3-wood and longer.”

drifliboy

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 3+ (13.5 degrees)

“This club with the lower loft of the 3+ worked well for me off the tee. It was close to my driver on distance. It seemed to launch quickly and then maintain its height. It did not balloon for me. It also really seemed to want to go straight, a couple of times shots almost seemed to correct a little in the air, particularly if I had pushed it. This club at this loft is pretty much a driver replacement for me.”

“If you are looking for a very classy fairway wood that is solid, long, with some forgiveness and doesn’t look like it was developed by a “mad” scientist, this club should be on your short list. It works well off the tee and turf. Please test and get fitted for the right loft and flex. I think this club provides most golfers with very good options that should be considered if they are looking to upgrade any of their woods.”

Discussion: Read the full responses here.

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