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Classic Name, Max Performance: TaylorMade launches 2017 “M CGB” irons

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TaylorMade is holding nothing back in terms of distance and forgiveness with its premium M CGB irons, which revive a name and concept from the company’s past.

In 2006, TaylorMade released super game-improvement irons with a high COR (coefficient of restitution, a measure of energy transfer) that sold for around $1,300 at retail. They were called r7 CGB, or “Center of Gravity Back.” These irons stood alone at the high-end of the market in terms of performance and pricing, after which the iron industry began shifting toward higher-COR irons, according to Tomo Bystedt, Senior Director of Product Creation (Irons) at TaylorMade. Even standard game-improvement irons were being built with high COR, like the company’s Burner 2009 irons, which sold for half the price. The demand for max performance at a premium price dissipated.

“The CGB name is iconic and represents some of the longest and most forgiving irons we’ve ever created at TaylorMade,” Bystedt said in a press release. “The concept has now been re-created with all our latest technology to bring never-before-seen performance to golfers of all skill levels.”

Flash forward to 2017, however, and that demand is back. The problem today is, according to Bystedt, is that super game-improvement irons that offer big distance, a high launch and maximum forgiveness are all delivered in iron heads that he said are too big, waving a red flag to a foursome.

“Super G.I. irons have always been huge,” Bystedt told me. “It signals to people that you’re not that good.”

TaylorMade's 2006 r7 CGB (left) vs. its 2017 M CGB

TaylorMade’s 2006 r7 CGB (left) vs. its 2017 M CGB

With its new M CGB irons, TaylorMade sought to provide golfers with a high-end product that provides the performance of a super game-improvement iron, but doesn’t look like it’s the size of a woodshed. Bystedt and his product development team also wanted to offer better sound and feel than super-GI golfers are used to.

That being the case, TaylorMade packed the M CGB irons with technologies from the company’s past, and a few new features as well, to make them the most forgiving and longest irons in the company’s stable.

Like the M2 irons, the M CGB irons have a fluted hosel to help displace center of gravity

Like the M2 irons, the M CGB irons have a fluted hosel to help displace CG.

Each M CGB iron in the set has four metal-injection-molded tungsten weights that sit deep behind the face to increase MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness) and move center of gravity (CG) rearward to increase launch and forgiveness. The irons also use TaylorMade’s Inverted Cone design and a newly designed “Speed Pocket” to help golfers create faster, more consistent ball speeds. The irons also use an “accordion-style” undercut to create more distance, along with the company’s “Face Slots” that help expand the sweet spot of the irons. For better sound and feel, the M CGB irons use the company’s familiar “Geocoustic” technology, which includes a special geometry and a material called Hybrar in the badging of the irons to dampen vibrations for a better sound and feel.

TaylorMade's "Accordion" undercut for higher launch

TaylorMade’s “Accordion” undercut helps create a higher launch.

Each of the irons were given maximum COR, according to Bystedt, so there’s no progression or “holding back” on distance or forgiveness throughout the set. With TaylorMade’s M2 2017 irons, which are currently the company’s most forgiving iron model, the mid and short irons were not given maximum COR to help golfers create more consistent distance gaps throughout the set. The M CGB irons were to create the highest ball flight possible through the set. The result, according to TaylorMade, is an iron that achieves the highest peak height of any TaylorMade iron since 2012, which will certainly benefit golfers with slower swing speeds who need help to hit the ball higher and farther so they can hit more greens.

Since these irons launch higher and are created for golfers who swing the club a bit slower, their loft progression looks a bit different compared to TaylorMade’s M2 irons. The longer irons have higher lofts than the long irons of the M2 set (1.5 degrees higher in the 4 iron), and the shorter irons and wedges (9-PW, AW, SW) have stronger lofts. According to Bystedt, this differentiation in loft progression helps golfers with slower swing speeds hit ideal launch windows to create max performance.

The M CGB irons will be available on September 29 (4-PW and AW or SW) for $1,199.99 for an eight-piece set with a Nippon N.S. Pro 840 steel shafts. The cost is $1,399.99 with the stock graphite shaft option, UST’s Recoil 460 ES. The irons come stock with a TaylorMade Dual Feel grip. Custom shaft and grip options will be available, many at no added charge.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. George

    Sep 12, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Gentlemen I purchased new & still play the 2006 R7 CGB irons, graphite, 12 h-cap & 69 years old. The new M CGBs look similar, I cannot wait to test them out, maybe it’s time for a new shiny set after 11 years.

    • steve2

      Jan 4, 2018 at 1:15 am

      Yes, they are the Viagra of golf clubs 😎

  2. Otis

    Sep 11, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    I really love the TM cosmetic plaques on the back of the clubs. They give you that powerful blingy stature which is so important in golf.

  3. dcorun

    Sep 9, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I don’t care about playing irons that make people think I’m bad. I played the old Cleveland HiBore irons and hit it past the ones playing their pretty clubs. I’m going to get fitted for the new Cleveland Launcher HB irons and start hitting it long again. They will cost around $800 with a real deal Miyazaki C Kua shaft and I’ll keep the change to play more golf.

  4. ob&chipolte&rnoobs

    Sep 8, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    I know, it’s crazy to think that people who like golf clubs would visit a site that mainly talks about new equipment.
    Chipolte it seems foolish to visit a site that talks about what you don’t like.
    Perhaps you could find a site more to your liking. Try Ilovebarbiedolls.com that should be more up your alley.

    • OBnoob

      Sep 9, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      yes, this is a ‘safe space’ for gearheads to slobber all over the latest and greatest new equipment and fantasize with ignorant opinions like ‘love’ and ‘feel’.

  5. Chipolte

    Sep 8, 2017 at 11:52 am

    SGI clubs for hackers, duffers and assorted gearhead teens and struggling seniors.

  6. rgk5

    Sep 8, 2017 at 7:00 am

    This looks like the end for the M2 and M1 irons. Why have three that are very close to the same?

    • Steve S

      Sep 8, 2017 at 8:10 am

      Not sure that will happen. The price points for the M series is a lot lower. These irons are targeted to the golfer who has more money than brains…which seems to be a growing demographic. Full disclosure, I play 2016 M2’s.

      • OBnoob

        Sep 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm

        “… the golfer who has more money than brains…”, but that covers all the gearheads on this fine forum!

  7. skull

    Sep 7, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Nope, not at that price

  8. David

    Sep 7, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    ok I like these!! but side by side I would like to see how much they DON’T outperform the 2006 model!! guarantee they don’t by much if at all.

    also why is the graphite shaft cheaper than that spinner Nippon?? way cheaper. they never happens. has ust just sold itself out to every iron set for dirt cheap?

    They don’t make ping’s shafts anymore so they must have to do something for the average golfer??

    IDK man!! but ill take that m cgb 2 iron with a c taper 130x pronto. new beat stick.

    Also, soon we will see rossa cgb putters!!!!!!!!!! and those were always a good look.

    thumbs up

  9. Matt Hardy

    Sep 7, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Delete

  10. Ns

    Sep 7, 2017 at 11:29 am

    These are going to be the shiznit

  11. Steve

    Sep 7, 2017 at 10:44 am

    JPX 900 Hot Metal with Recoil Shaft (or any shaft they offer) are the BEST GI clubs I’ve ever hit hands down. They are by far the longest, hottest, best feeling iron I’ve ever hit. Head to Head nothing beat it, not Apex, not the p series from TM, not the PING, and definitely not the new AP1 or AP3’s. It was also more forgiving and much better looking than any SGI club I’ve ever hit….. I also paid only $899 for 4-GW with REA, taper tip, Recoil shafts – not a ‘made for TM parallel tip cheap version’.

    Now TM wants to compete with the JPX 900 Hot Metal by charging consumers $1200 for the blatant garbage fire of a head above?! Oh and also charge an extra $200 for a made for TM Recoil bs shaft?!

    Good Luck TM, your decision making skills are impeccable….
    – that was sarcasm by the way.

    I guess that’s why I’ve seen more Mizuno sticks being used this year than I ever have before, while seeing less and less TM sticks at my club. Mizuno is back and growing fast. TM continues to spend outrageously in marketing, hoping consumers are dumb enough to listen.

    I strongly URGE consumers to try the JPX 900 HM or JPX 900 Forged instead. Stop falling victim to over amplified marketing.

    – Steve OUT (Mic-drop)

    • OB

      Sep 7, 2017 at 11:40 am

      YES YES YES!!!! I’m going out this evening to buy these new club contraptions with all the undercuts filled with elastomer and embedded with fantastic hi-density tungsten plugs…. not to mention the cool bling graphics. I want that soft buttery feel that I lost with my old clubs.
      I will retire my old Hogan Radials with the big bottom flange that lowers the club CG but it has little MOI to correct for my really bad toe and heel hits. I need drastic help for my awful off-center hits and these new club designs should really really help… I hope.

      • OBnoob

        Sep 7, 2017 at 5:09 pm

        What a fool. Sarcasm is not your forte. By the way it is certain some new technology will benefit your game. Those ratty old Hogans you hit are beater sticks for people that can’t play.

        • Chipolte

          Sep 8, 2017 at 11:50 am

          Gearheads slobbering over golf clubs are fools.

          • OBnoob

            Sep 9, 2017 at 6:27 pm

            I agree gearheads are fools, but that’s no reason to insult them with sarcasm about new technology. Newer is always better.

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Tiger Woods with a new Scotty Cameron at The Open”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from No Gimmes who was quick to spot Tiger Woods preparing for this week’s Open Championship with a new Scotty putter. Woods has also been seen warming up for this week’s event at Royal Portrush with his old faithful on the greens, but our members have been discussing the thinking behind the 15-time-major champion’s potential change, as well as the putter itself.

*Photos from Golf Central’s ‘Live From The Open’ coverage

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • TheMoneyShot: “I’m really surprised he is making the switch. Let’s see if it’s in the bag come Thursday.”
  • Hedgehog: “That topline and the alignment aid and all the smooth lines, gorgeous!”
  • MuniPukeLife: “Makes sense as his trusty NP2 is super light by today’s putter standards.”

Entire Thread: “Tiger Woods with a new Scotty Cameron at The Open”

 

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Mizuno T20 wedges: Let’s get spinning

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Spin.

We’re always trying to reduce it with our driver and increase it with our wedges for maximum control, but with the rules of golf being so strict, how do actually achieve a performance gain? Simple engineering…

This is the Mizuno T20 wedge.

It’s been a few years since we have seen a T (teardrop) wedge from our friends at Mizuno, and there is good reason.

Let’ get into a quick history lesson: before the JPX900 series was introduced, Mizuno had quietly been realigning the product cycles of the MP and JPX lines. You might remember back a few years ago now before the MP18s hit the scene that there was a bit of a lull in the MP line—so much, in fact, there was even a thread here on GolfWRX asking “Is Mizuno not making MP irons anymore?”

It was a naturally curious question to a company that always had very standardized release cycles, but it was a long-term play that has paid off tremendously. We now get “T” wedges with MP irons (MP20s to be exact), and we should (from everything I know) continue to see “S” Silhouette (more rounded profile) wedges with future JPX lines.

Before we get to what’s new, how about we first talk about what will be staying the same

  • Grain Flow Forged HD – like all new Mizuno irons, the T20s are made using the same forging process to increase the density of the material in the clubhead for an improved solid feel.
  • Boron – this little element when added to the 1025e mild carbon steel used in the wedges (we’re talking trace amounts equating to 3ppm – parts per million) increases the strength of the material by 30 percent—how crazy is that for chemistry? This improves groove life and has ZERO effect on club feel.
  • Variable Width & Depth Quad Cut Grooves – Like previous T and S wedges, the T20s will have quad cut grooves that will vary in shape based on the loft of the club. Lower lofted wedges are more narrow and deeper, while higher lofted wedges are wider and more shallow since impact happens at lower speeds this increases spin consistency.
  • Same beautiful Teardrop profile from address

So what’s new?

Flow. Just like the MP20s, engineers are bringing more a more extreme CG (center of gravity) shifting philosophy, or as Mizuno explains it, increased vertical moment of inertia to the wedges. As much as you (well maybe not “you,” depending on who you are) might think “a wedge is just a wedge” and loft is the only deciding factor for spin, you couldn’t be further from the truth. By relocating the CG throughout the set and changing the sweet spot height, engineers can further alter the launch and spin precisely for each loft.

It’s about gear effect—the higher you hit above the CG the less spin the ball with have, and the closer to or lower you make impact compared to the CG the more spin you will create. Either way these are wedges, so a 50 degree, for example, is still going to spin, but it is now more controllable (think less likely to ballon or get too high on full shots). On the other side of the equation, a 60-degree wedge will allow for even MORE trajectory and spin control for the low flying quick checkers with zip.

Now about that spin.

By the Rules of Golf, you can’t make grooves sharper, you can’t increase their volume, and you can only have so much surface roughness (sorry but that old Spin Doctor wedge is HIGHLY NON-conforming). So what do you do? You change the way you think about that surface roughness…

Hydroflow Micro Grooves

Instead of traditional laser etching parallel to the grooves, Mizuno engineers took a concept from the high-performance tire world and went perpendicular to the grooves and parallel to the direction the ball moves up the face to channel moisture away. This directional tread has proven to increase spin on shots especially in conditions with moisture up to 1,200 RPM (on a 60-yard shot), that’s a very tangible number. It’s not just about spin either: the more the friction that can be created also means more control on launch angle and less of a “floating” ball flight. That’s how those low zippers keep zippin’!

Don’t think for a second that Mizuno just changed the etching and was done with it. The process went through multiple iterations to figure out how they could improve its life (beyond the boron) and the solution was to etch before the chroming process to elongate the lifespan. The other groovy take for the T20s is the actual reconfiguration of the grooves. To get the bottom groove closer to the leading edge without having it disorient the overall look of the club and making it appear that the heel or toe is thinner on one side. The lowest groove has been shortened and centered.

All of these refinements; CG, micro-grooves, and reconfigured scoring lines add up to one thing: more control and improved shotmaking with your wedges.

Finishes, specs, and grinds

The wishes of many have been answered when it comes to the T20s, there will be a RAW finish (happy dance time) along with traditional chrome and the signature blue ion. Leftys will only be able to get chrome, but all the same options will be available as far as lofts and grinds.

Coming in lofts from 46-60 degrees, the grind options progress depending on the loft and bounce. Going from full-soled in the lower lofts to more aggressive back edge, and heel-toe relief in the 60 degree. These sole shapes came directly from Mizuno’s craftsman that worked with players and prototypes to determine exactly how the bounce and sole shapes should work in harmony.

All of this has come together to create Mizuno’s finest wedge to date.

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Mizuno MP-20: Layers of feel

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“Mizuno Feel”

It is part of the golf vernacular. It’s ingrained in golf (nerd) culture—it’s a real thing.

But where does it comes from, how did it get here, and what is it really?

I’m here to give you some answers and introduce you to MP-20 family of irons from Mizuno.

Born from tradition, and the idea of creating the ultimate set of irons for every player, the MP-20 family is the next series of MP irons that will connect golfers to the “Mizuno Feel.” Speaking to tradition, and something I touched on when these were originally teased on social channels with #LayersOfFeel, Mizuno is going back in time to the TN-87s and reintroducing a copper underlay to their irons—all of them! (Before someone tries to correct me: yes, I realize that they have done this for more recent Japan market models )

What does this copper layer mean? Here’s the funny thing, even Mizuno has had a hard time trying to quantify it. Through multiple rounds of extensive blind prototype testing with all of their staff players, the irons with a copper underlay won on feel EVERY SINGLE TIME!  How’s that for dominance?

But why? They are truly still trying to 100 percent figure that out. Mizuno has used its HIT (Harmonic Impact Technology), metallurgy analysis, and every test it can to try and figure out why. Engineers even went as far as trying to prove the hypothesis the copper underlay “feel” was based on nostalgia but time and time again Cu won in blind testing. At the end day, the human element was still the deciding factor because humans are the ones that ultimately hit shots.

This brings us to the flagship MP-20 (Blade) (The Ultimate Tour Blade as described by Mizuno’s Product Manager & Engineer Chris Voshall). Evolving from the tradition built into the MP-18, and taking design cues from historic models like the TN 87 and MP14, the MP20s provide more flow throughout the set from top to bottom leading to even more control over ball flight. This flow also increases forgiveness (please remember it’s still a blade) and launch in the longer irons, with an increased ability to flight the ball in the scoring clubs… all of this AND a thinner top line.

Now about that top line: it’s an extremely important part of the look of the club but, what many don’t realize is it also plays a big role in feel and acoustics too. Let’s simplify for a moment: think of a clubhead like hunk of metal—a cube—now when you hit that thick piece of metal on something it doesn’t reverberate much and when it does, it’s at a different frequency making it sound heavy and “thuddy,” or as some would say, SOLID.

Now imagine if that same piece of metal, same mass was stretched out like a saw blade. Have you ever hit something with the side of a large saw blade? It’s wobbly, loud, and generally unpleasant, that’s what happens when an unsupported part of a club gets too thin, it acts like an amplifier of bad sound, creating terrible feel. By blending a small channel (think MP5) with the classic looks of yesteryear you get a club that feels and performs like no Mizuno before it, and as I said, with a thinner look from address.

What’s all this talk of “Flow”?

Center of gravity and mass placement (or as a Mizuno Engineer explained to me “Vertical Moment of Inertia”). Since each club is designed individually, you need the center of gravity to shift throughout the set to help control launch/trajectory (or “traj” as the kids say), and make sure spin is also at an optimal level.

For the MP-20, it means long irons that are “easier” to hit (air quotes, because like I said before, it’s still a blade), and short irons that can be more easily flighted lower with greater spin and control. Just like with the MP-18s, Mizuno is keeping with the continuous reduced blade length into the short irons for a look preferred by better players and for improved grass and turf interaction.

But What About the Rest?

You might have noticed off the top I called it the “MP-20 Family.” Here’s why: In golf, like with any other industry, data is important. But it’s only as good as you use it and well…let’s just say Mizuno has been paying close attention to how golfers and fitters have been making combo sets over the last few years. It’s all about understanding what golfers really need and thanks to some proprietary data they went even deeper when it comes to designing each and every iron in this family to make sure its performance is maximized. This is why I continue to emphasize how each set has a flow, it to make sure each club in your bag is just right for you. Now to introduce you to the rest of the family members…

Mizuno MP20 MMC (Multi-Material Construction)

I know, you think you’ve heard this story before but…NOT LIKE THIS!

The new MP-20 MMC is a BIG shift in design, not just because of the Cu underlay, but a radical change in how the whole part is put together. I know it sounds very “big biz,” but in the world of manufacturing it truly comes down to how “parts” are manufactured. Now, with Mizuno, I will reiterate a well-known story. All of its forged irons are single-sourced from one foundry (Chuo) in Japan through a handshake agreement that has been in place for decades.

Now back to the MMC. Before the MP-20 the MMC always had one tiny design difficulty (not a bad one, just a truth) and that was the titanium piece in the back was the same size throughout the whole set. This lead to a set with almost constant sole width. That doesn’t mean previous generations were constructed poorly, but it just means there were improvements that could be made to how the set flowed (there’s that word again) from top to bottom…which leads us to the tech story.

For the first time in the MMC’d life, the titanium piece of the iron will actually vary in mass depending on the club. It will be broken up in the middle of the set to allow better CG placement, and like its blade cousin, improved turf interaction in the shorter irons.

What is also very cool from a build and engineering perspective is the way the titanium gets into the club in the first place. Here we go down a metallurgy rabbit hole, buckle up…

  • Titanium has a mass density (rounded) of 4.5 g/cm3 – cubed
  • Carbon steel has a mass density of (rounded) 7.9 g/cm3 – cubed

That means that from every cubed cm of steel volume you replace with titanium in the head, you save 3.4g… which might not seem like much, but in a 4-iron for example that has an average mass of 248g for (4) cm3 you save 13.6g or just over five percent. I realize this is DEEP into the mass property weeds, but when you think of what a club head weights and how every half percentage point matters, five percent is a lot! That’s more forgiveness, more MOI, more spin control, and overall better performance.

What is also very cool is all of these parts (titanium and tungsten) have ZERO chemical bond—no epoxy. They all fit snug based on the shrinkage rates of the different materials. Ti & W( tungsten – W comes from the ore Wolframite) shrinks less than the steel so as the steel cools around the titanium and tungsten pieces it creates a mechanical (solid) bond.

All of this together adds up to an iron that looks smaller than the previous version, offers more “flow” in CG, something we mentioned earlier that creates more forgiveness and control throughout the set, and at the end of the day it means a better-engineered version than the one before it.

Truth Break for a moment…

Let me make one thing clear, new sets are AWESOME! We are, and always will be, attracted to the latest and greatest but the player should still get fit and find out what works best. New will and should inevitably be better but the cost-benefit analysis should always be at the end of the day up to the individual golfer to decide and figure out what will end up in the bag to help lower scores.

The Hot Metal Mizuno MP-20 HMB

look AT THIS!!!

YES…you read that correctly. Mizuno is bringing Hot Metal tech to the MP line!

A hollow body blade looking iron using the same strong yet highly flexible Chromoloy material as the 919 Hot Metals except this time forged to create an iron like they never have before. The look and shape of a blade the speed of a Hot Metal.

Let’s break things down.

The look is clean as clean can be, from there the face of the HMB is thin and fast, while hidden inside the back of the club is complex geometry for both acoustics and precisely positioning mass. These will be the replacement for the MMC Fli-His but unlike that set, only going to the 6-iron, the new HMB will go all the way to the pitching wedge.

What is also different for the HMB vs. the MMC Fli-Hi is the way tungsten is used in the head to create different impact dynamics. The Fli-Hi had all the tungsten (20g worth) in one place in the head (low and towards the toe). The CG was still located right in the middle but through in-depth testing some players found that the Fli-Hi was a more difficult club to turn over and draw.

To improve the workability of the new HMB, the Tungsten was split into two 12g pieces (four more grams than previous Fli-Hi) and positioned into precisely formed pockets on the heel and toe in the back of the club. This allows the unsupported face to flex and makes the club more workable while still maintaining all the forgiveness you would expect from a hollow body iron built for speed. Seriously who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Since the new HMB is a full set and not just long irons, there is more to the tech story… here is comes… better flow and CG positioning throughout the set. This is hugely important for the mid and short irons where loft is already going to create spin so controlling ball flight and traj on approach shots is vital for scoring better.

This is again where the MP-20 Family discussion comes into play. Mizuno knows they are going to sell a lot more HMB long irons vs. blade and MMC long irons, so the entire family is designed holistically for every player to find each and every head that optimizes them on the course.

The Full Package

Like with previous generations going back almost a decade, Mizuno is keeping its industry-leading matrix of shaft and grip options available at NO upcharge. BUT… based on the growing demand for more exotic options the newly expanded shaft line up will include a few shafts that will come with a slight upcharge.

Whatever you end up being fit for, it’s important to realize that there has never been family of Mizuno irons designed like this, which could also mean you could be bringing home some new family members soon.

 

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