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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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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about the best “5-woods under $125”

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@golfexchangeapp

In our forums, our members have been discussing 5-woods, with WRXer ‘gary3aces’ looking for a 5-wood for between $100 and $125. He’s looking to replace his current “M2 5 wood with something a little easier to hit”, and our members have been discussing the best options in our forum.

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.

  • C6 Snowboarder: “Take a look at a used Callaway Heavenwood in the Epic Flash model = pretty Friggen sweet. It is Heaven!”
  • Golf64: “Bang for the buck, hard to beat Cobra, but find Ping one of the easiest to hit off the deck. Since you are limited in the funds dept., maybe an older model Ping 5W would do the trick?!”
  • tilasan1: “G400 7 wood turned down or just use it as is.”
  • jbandalo: “Fusion fairways. Highly underrated, cheap, easy to hit and go for miles.”
  • RyanBarathWRX: “PING G fairway would be hard to beat and easily in price range:
  • Nelson.br.1515: “Another vote for the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion. Great stick!”

Entire Thread: Best 5-woods under $125″

 

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What GolfWRXers are saying about “blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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In our forums, WRXer ‘ballywho27’ has asked for thoughts on combining his current Ping i500 irons with the brand’s Blueprint irons. ‘Ballywho27’ is considering going “i500 in 3-4 iron and blueprint 5-W” and has asked for fellow member’s thoughts on the idea – who have been sharing their takes in our forum.

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.

  • jblough99: “I had a combo set for a minute, 3-5 I500 and 6-PW Blueprint. I could not get used to the transition, HUGE difference in looks at address. If I had it to do over I would just go 4-PW Blueprint and maybe a 3 I500 with graphite shaft as a driving, iron.”
  • animalgolfs: “iBlade{5i} – BP{6i-pw}. That’s my combo.”
  • Chunky: “I have i500 4-5 and Blueprints 6-PW. As mentioned above, there is a significantly different look at address. More importantly for me, the i500s are 1/2 to 1 club longer than the BPs (they fly much higher, too). Make sure you account for that added i500 distance when blending lofts or you’ll have a large gap.”
  • howeber: “I’ve done that exact set — 3 and 4 i500 and 5-PW Blueprint. It’s perfect for me since the 3 and 4 are more like a traditional 2 and 3.5. 4 is usually the longest iron I carry, so I like a little extra oomph out of it. At the end of the day though, when I finally tested them vs my MP4s, the Blueprints performed identically, while the i500 launched a little higher (same specs same shafts). Mizzys are still in the bag.”

Entire Thread: “Blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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GolfWRX Vault: Avoid these 5 club building disasters

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It’s never too late to go back to basics, especially when it comes to club building.

Even with modern new club release cycles the do’s and don’ts of building clubs haven’t changed much in the last few decades except for clubs with adapter sleeves and greater amounts of multi-materials incorporated into the design.

With that in mind its time to revisit an article from the GolfWRX Vault from June 2016.

——————

I’ve been fitting and building golf clubs for more than 15 years, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of really poor workmanship—stuff that would make most GolfWRXers cringe. But like anyone who ever did anything new, I didn’t start being naturally good at putting together clubs. It took a lot of time, ruined components, and trial and error to get where I am today.

I believe my attention to detail now stems from the fact that my dad was a machinist by trade, and anytime we ever worked on something together his attitude was to take your time and do it right the first time. My dad’s approach always had an impact on me, because I feel that if you do something right — even when it takes a bit longer — the job is not only more satisfying but also makes things work better and last longer.

The goal with this article is to help WRXers avoid the most common mistakes and assumptions in club building that lead to broken or ruined clubs, as well as real danger.

Over-prepping a graphite shaft

The shaft on the left has been prepped properly. The one of the right, which has noticeable taper, shows signs that layers of graphite have been removed.

This happens far more than it should, and can ruin an expensive new shaft purchase. To prepare a shaft properly for installation, you only need to remove enough of the paint to make sure that the epoxy adheres to the graphite. This is also true for the inside of the hosel.

Be careful to remove residual epoxy, dirt or rust (common with forged carbon steel club heads that have been sitting around for a while), or some type or solvent like the one used to put on grips, as it can cause of bond to break down very quickly. A proper reaming tool, a wire brush and some compressed air (either a small can or a large air compressor) can make cleaning simple, and prevent a golf club from falling apart.

UPDATE: Over prepping specifically applies to shafts that are designed to go into parallel heads and is especially important for 335 shafts with less material at the tip going into drivers and fairway woods. For information on how to properly taper a shaft to go into a tapered head, check out the video below:

Overheating a Shaft When Pulling it

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated.

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated, and the resin holding the graphite sheets together breaks down. It’s not always as noticeable, but if the shaft starts to fray it means the bonds have been compromised and it’s more likely to fail. 

Overheating a shaft when pulling it is another common mistake that can result in ruining a golf shaft. It also highly increases the chance of breakage. There are quite a few methods I’ve learned over the years to remove a shaft from a club head, from heat guns to large propane torches, but personally I find that using a small butane torch with a regulator for graphite offers the best results. It allows a club builder to easily control and focus the heat only where it’s needed. Bigger torches are fine for iron heads, as long as you don’t damage any plastic badges in the cavity or materials in slots around the head.

One of the best advances in club technology has been the invention and mass adoption of adjustable hosels. They not only help golfers adjust the loft, lie and face angle of club heads, but have also greatly decreased the need to pull shafts. So as long as a golfer is staying with the same metal wood manufacturer, they can usually test several different clubs heads with the same shaft, or vice versa — several different shafts with the same clubhead.

That being said, one of the most important tools that any hobbyist club builder should have or have access to is a high-quality shaft puller. It’s a necessary tool for anyone who wants to do repairs and helps prevent damage to a shaft while pulling it. The more linear pressure that can be applied to the clubhead, and the less heat used to break down the epoxy, the better. It makes sure both the shaft and the head are reusable in the future. For steel shafts, you can use a bit more heat, and twisting isn’t a problem. Again, with increased heat, be careful not to damage any of the badging, or permanently discolor an iron head.

Botching a Grip Installation

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

This one seems simple, but when really getting down to professional level detail, it is quite important. We ALL have a preference and different opinion of what feels good in a golf grip, as well as different sensitivities. For example, we all have the ability to figure out what apple is bigger, even if blindfolded because over time we all develop brain function to understand shapes and sizes. This also applies to grips. If you use the same grips on your 13 clubs, you could potentially have 4-5 different final sizes depending on how many different types of shafts you use, because many shafts have different butt diameters.

Some shafts have larger butt diameters, while others taper faster than others. That’s why it’s very important to own a quality set of vernier calipers, and know how to properly use them. It’s also the same for putters, since many putter shafts are smaller in diameter. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had people bring me, putters, where the bottom half of the grip is twisting and turning because the installer never paid attention to the interior diameter of the grip, the exterior diameter of the shaft, and how it changed from top to bottom.

Using epoxy that’s doomed to fail

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

I’m a bit of a physics nerd and garage engineer, so this is one of those topics that goes beyond just the physical aspects of club building and into the realm of chemistry.

Here comes my nerd-out moment: In the simplest of explanations for a 0.335-inch driver hosel with an insertion depth of 1.25 inches, the amount of calculated surface area the epoxy can bond between the shaft and the head using the internal dimensions of the head is 1.49 square inches. That’s not a whole lot of area when you consider the centrifugal force being applied to a driver head traveling at 100 mph, and then the forces of torque that also come into play when a shot is struck.

In a PERFECT world, almost zero torque is applied to a shaft when a shot is hit on the center of gravity (CG) of the club head, perfectly aligned with the center mass of the ball, while traveling in the intended direction. This is vectors 101 of physics. Unfortunately, almost every single shot is NOT hit like that, and this is where the epoxy bond is put under the most amount of stress. Lap shear strength of epoxy goes beyond me, but it proves that building a golf club is not just cut and glue after all.

Note: For those of you curious, the most popular epoxies are rated for 4500 psi. 

As far are actually working with epoxy, first things first. Always check to see if the epoxy has a best-before date (yep, just like milk). Also, never store epoxy in direct sunlight. If you are using epoxy from a tube in a dispensing gun, you are using what is an almost foolproof method. Plunge out the necessary amount, mix for about a minute (mix! don’t whip), and remember, the less air that gets into the epoxy the better. If air gets in and the epoxy cures with bubbles in it, then you end up with a club that will often “creak.”

For those using two parts in larger bottles, the best way to ensure proper ratios is to pay attention to the weight ratio rather than volume. This isn’t arts and crafts; it’s chemistry, so by using the weight to calculate the ratio you will get the right amount of each part every time, and help decrease the risk of failure down the road. If you have mixed a larger batch and plan on building quite a few clubs at a time, you really have to pay attention to the consistency and viscosity as time goes on. You don’t want to glue a club head with epoxy that has started to set.

Turning an Extension into a Shank

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

This is one of those subjects I don’t even like to talk about. I very much dislike using extensions when building clubs, especially clubs with graphite shafts. Going back to my “do-it-right-the-first-time” mentality, extensions are a Band-Aid fix to a problem that requires surgery. They also counter-balance the club, and by their very nature create a weak point because of the small wall thickness at the butt end of a shaft. The only clubs I don’t mind extending on a regular basis are putters since they are never put under the same level of stress as a club being swung at full speed. I also never extend a club more than 1 inch, because I have been witness to horror stories of clubs that have been overextended that not only break but rip through the grip and cut people’s hands very badly.

If you are going to extend a club, it’s important to make sure the fit is very snug and doesn’t cause the extension to lean in any direction. It’s also best to have the epoxied extension cure with the club on its side to avoid an excess epoxy from running down the shaft and breaking off and causing a rattle.

 

 

 

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