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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

Coming out of the haze: What to expect from the OEMs in the second half of 2020

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As we slowly come out of the lockdown haze, it’s going to be interesting to see which OEMs are primed to come out swinging. From where I sit, there are a few companies that either kept the foot on the pedal or found new ways to interact with the masses. I have been tracking the major companies for different reasons, and I am optimistic on most fronts. Now, it needs to be said that everyone has been keeping the respective momentum going in their own ways—this has been a challenge for everyone, so this analysis is simply a commentary on what may come in the second half of the year.

Many good folks were either furloughed or laid off during this lockdown—that’s where we all lost. It needs to be acknowledged that we are talking about golf here, but the underlying reality of this is still devastating. I so look forward to getting into the trenches with these folks again either back where they were or at new companies.

TaylorMade became educators…and kicked off live golf again

Big giant club company or big giant marketing machine…it doesn’t matter what you label them as. TaylorMade Golf, in my opinion, turned the heartbreak of stalling one of the biggest first quarters in company history into an opportunity to start talking…and teaching. With the help of the tour team and TM athletes, TaylorMade focused hard on talking to us all during the lockdown. With multiple initiatives through social media, the Driving Relief event, and the tour staff engaging way more than usual. I believe TM created a runway to start moving quickly once stores and pro shops open up again.

Let’s face it, with the social media presence, the most robust tour staff maybe ever, and the driver everyone seems to have reserved for the top big stick of 2020, what’s not to be confident about? On the flip side, a company that big could have really taken it on the chin hard, but how they handled the lockdown—from my chair—was fun to watch and will ultimately ensure a quick restart. There is something to be said about having guys like Trottie, Adrian, and Hause in the fold informing and keeping things fun.

Rumor has it new irons are dropping in the fall/winter, which could spell two awesome bookends to a bittersweet 2020.

PXG leaned in

Why online sales for all OEMs spiked is no mystery. Boredom, desire, and a credit card are keys to any great online buying experience, but PXG made certain that if you were not a buyer previously, you may be now.

The price tag has always been a key topic with Bob Parsons’ Scottsdale-based company. It’s no secret that the clubs aren’t cheap, but during this lockdown, they did multiple strategic initiatives to not only crank up direct-to-consumer buying but also expand the PXG conversation into different areas, namely fashion.

Price cuts across the board started early and, rumor has it, enabled PXG to achieve sales numbers unlike any other period in the company’s short history. Yes, cutting prices helps unit sales, but in the case of PXG, it brought in the club customer that ordinarily shied away from PXG for financial reasons and ultimately made them buyers. That’s where PXG seems to shine, once they finally get you in, they are very effective at keeping you in the family. Mercedes-Benz AMG is like that: once you have had a taste of the Kool-Aid, it’s hard to go back to Hawaiian Punch.

In addition to the aggressive price-cutting, PXG fashion, spearheaded by President Renee Parsons, launched a new collection that is designed and manufactured by PXG. Fashion in times like these is always a risk from a financial standpoint, but this launch has been on the calendar since the BOY and the current lockdown did not disrupt that. It speaks to the confidence that Bob and Renee have in what they are doing. Now, is it a guarantee that PXG garments will fly off the shelves? No. but that’s not the point, it’s the fact that this current climate didn’t scare them into pivoting or holding off.

Point to this pick is PXG looks healthy coming out of this and it was possible to believe that perhaps this would have taken a toll on the custom fit brand. There is even a commercial produced during lockdown to attract even more club builders to the fold. Not normal behavior in times like these, but is anything that PXG does normal? No, and that’s what makes them fun to talk about.

The company also released its Essential Facemask with 50 percent of proceeds going to Team Rubicon.

Ping was quiet…but don’t be fooled

Yes, they did some rare social media engagements with Kenton Oates and the tour staff, which were fantastic. But the real magic here was the quiet way in which Ping slipped into 2020 and the mystery they have in hand and what’s to come next.

There hasn’t been really any new Ping product in a good while, and I anticipate a big winter for the Solheim crew. Sometimes, silence is golden and from what I can gather, what Ping has coming in irons and woods will be yet again a launch that gets people talking.

Ping from a business standpoint is a company that gets one percent better every year. Never any dramatic shifts in strategy or product. It’s always good, it’s always high-performance, and it’s always in the “best of” category across the board.

Watch out for them over the next six to nine months…a storm is brewing. A good one.

Cobra introduced the “Rickie iron”

Cobra Rev 33 Irons

Compared to 2019 and the runaway success that was the F9 driver, Cobra Golf seemed to cruise along in the first quarter of 2020. The SpeedZone metal wood line was an improvement tech-wise from the F9 but seemed to get lost in the driver launch shuffle with an earlier release—and frankly everyone in the industry took a back seat to TaylorMade’s SIM.

It’s not placing one stick over the other actually, I have been very vocal about my affections for both, it’s just some years, the story around a club can generate excitement, and if the club is exceptional, boom. Cobra was that cool kid in 2019.

What Cobra decided to do in the downtime is slowly tease and taunt with a “Rickie Fowler” iron. Players blades aren’t typically the driving element of any business model, but what Cobra did was introduce to a beautiful yet completely authentic forging that will not only get the gear heads going nuts but also entice the better players to start looking at Cobra as a serious better players iron company. No small feat.

Point is, Cobra has generated buzz. It helped that Rickie’s performance at Seminole was just short of a precision clinic. Beyond the Rev 33, its rumored Cobra has a new players CB coming and some MIM wedges.

It should be an exciting last half for the Cobra crew.

The Titleist train chugged on

I mean, what else is there to say about Titleist? They are as American as apple pie, have a stranglehold on multiple tour and retail categories, and one of the best front offices in golf. The company is a well-oiled machine.

So what do I expect from them in the last half? Well pretty much what I would expect on any other year, solid player-driven equipment. A metal wood launch is coming, the SM8 was a huge hit in stores and on tour, and the ball portion is the biggest 800-pound gorilla in golf.

It was also nice to see a little more social media interaction beyond the traditional. Aaron Dill has been very active on the social media front and a good portion of the tour staff, namely Poulter, JT, and Homa were proactive in engagement. Might seem trivial to some, but specifically, Titleist and Ping are not super active in the organic interaction game, so it was nice to see both companies dive into the fold.

Cleveland/Srixon should have a lot to look forward to

Let’s be honest here, 2019 was a quiet year overall for Srixon. Shane Lowry won The Open, but in the golf mainstream it was a leap year for them in regards to any launches. The anticipation from me personally of what is to come is quite strong. I adore the irons. I have yet to meet one I didn’t love, and fitters across the country will speak to that in sales. The Srixon iron line has become a popular yet-sort-of-cult-classic among fitters and gearheads and rightly so. They are phenomenal.

The recently teased picture of the new driver on the USGA site more or less teased us of what is to come for the overall line. New Cleveland wedges are coming shortly and the golf ball has always been a solid component to the Huntington Beach company.

As much as anyone in the market, I believe Srixon could finish the year with some serious momentum going into 2021. The irons and ball have always been firestarters. My only wish for them, selfishly, is a more aggressive tour strategy in regards to landing one of the perennial top 10. It seems like a dumb thought, but I have always felt Cleveland/Srixon was always a serious hitter that at times seems to get lost in the conversation. Having a big gun on staff or a couple of them will remedy that quickly.

Callaway has an eye on big things for the golf ball

Callaway, a company that seems to do it all well, was actually a bit quiet since the lockdown started. After a solid release of the Mavrik line and some momentum in the golf ball area, I’m sure this lockdown probably felt like a kick to the shin.

However, this company is shifting in a good way. The idea that they were a golf club company that happened to make golf balls is slowly turning into a company with multiple major components that stand alone. TaylorMade is on a similar shift, and honestly it’s very interesting to watch. Do I think that anyone will ever catch Titleist in the ball category? No, I don’t. All of these mentioned golf balls are ridiculously good, but 75 years of trust and loyalty are hard to compete with. But that’s not the point, Callaway is a monster company that takes the golf ball conversation very seriously, and I believe this will serve them very well coming out of this craziness and help the momentum going into 2021.

 

 

 

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Tour Edge EXS Pro Forged irons launched

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Tour Edge is expanding its better player targeted EXS Pro line with the addition of the all-new EXS Pro Forged irons—a tour-inspired design developed with multi-material technology, and looks to match.

Just like the limited edition EXP Pro driver, the EXS Pro Forged irons utilize the highest quality materials and processes to deliver a golf club built for the most discerning players. The goal of designer David Glod was to produce the most forgiving distance iron possible in a player-preferred package and the EXS Pro Forged live up to the lofty challenge.

 “As a club designer, I love player iron designs that are as beautiful as they are playable. These three designs were made to be irons that are drooled over by the core golfer, not only in looks and feel, but in how they perform.” David Glod – Tour Edge Lead Designer

“I believe that the milled forged iron connoisseurs out there are going to be very impressed with the playability we were able to combine with a traditional forged feel.”

Inside the Exotics EXS Pro forged irons

The EXS Pro Forged cavity iron is constructed of Japanese S25C mild carbon steel to offer an extremely soft feel to the golfer. After the forging process, the faces are CNC milled to precise tolerances and the grooves are designed to maximize performance throughout the set. The CNC milling of the EXS Pro doesn’t stop at the face either—the cavity is designed to boost MOI as much as possible in the compact clubhead, so the back of the club is also CNC milled to offer the thinnest face possible without sacrificing feel.

Speaking of feel, the term forged can be overused in the world of golf club construction with some lesser companies only stamping precast pieces once and calling them forged, but the EXS are not those clubs. The S25C club heads are triple-forged (struck 3 times at very high-pressure) to offer a thinner, stronger clubhead that allows the designer to push more mass to the toe and heel weight pads for more forgiveness and more consistent ball speeds across the face. To further improve feedback, the iron has an acoustic engineered cavity insert consisting of a polymer and a dampening gel to provide the best possible sound and feel.

Now about ball speeds and technology: The 3- 6-irons in the EXS Pro Forged cavity have a concealed 10g tungsten toe weight to push more mass away from the hosel and make the clubs more forgiving on heel and toe misses in the longer irons. This is similar technology to irons that are priced much higher in the market.

Availability, Specs & Pricing

The new Exotics EXS Pro Forged irons will be available for purchase on June 1, 2020 through select Tour Edge retailers and custom club fitting locations.

The stock shafts are: True Temper Elevate Tour VSS Pro—available in regular and stiff flex—as well as True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 in R300, S300.

The stock grip will be the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360.

$149.99 per iron.

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New limited-edition Tour Edge Exotics EXS Blade irons and wedges unveiled

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Tour Edge Exotics EXS blade irons

Tour Edge has unveiled its new limited-edition “Straight From the Tour Van” Exotics EXS Blade irons and wedges featuring forged designs with CNC milling.

Per Tour Edge, the Exotics EXS Blade irons combine “tour-level inspired looks and feel with advanced materials and innovation to produce the most forgiveness and distance possible in a player’s iron.”

Each iron and wedge are individually milled from carbon steel and “engineered for players who look for the ultimate in control and shot shaping.”

Tour Edge Exotics EXS blade irons

The new Tour Edge EXS Blade irons feature a narrow sole, a thin top line, and a beveled leading edge and square toe design. The irons also contain a shorter blade length and a cambered top line in a bid to provide golfers with a more compact scoring iron.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS blade irons

Designed with advanced CAD technology and pure milled forging, the new additions from Tour Edge feature micro-cavity face and scoring lines that are all individually CNC milled and designed to offer maximum responsiveness and control.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS blade irons

Fully USGA conforming, the blades are CNC milled on both sides, which aims to offer golfers a club that has extremely tight tolerance and consistency from iron to iron.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS blade irons

The clubs feature Japanese S25C carbon steel, which is chrome plated with a dual finish. The irons contain a high polish and a satin finish in all the milled areas of the clubhead.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS blade irons

The sole of the EXS Pro Blade iron head features a rounded radius on the leading edge of the clubhead – a design which seeks to significantly reduce drag and turf interaction through impact to provide ultimate consistency on every shot.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS blade irons

Specs, Availability and Pricing

  • Stock Shafts: True Temper Elevate Tour VSS Pro: R-flex, S-flex, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105: R300, S300
  • Grip: GolfPride Tour 360
  • Price: $149.99 per iron
  • Availability: June 1, 2020

Tour Edge Exotics EXS Blade wedges

Designed from Japanese S25C Carbon Steel, the new blade wedges from Tour Edge are individually CNC milled on the face and grooves in design to create maximum spin from advanced groove engineering.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS blade wedges

The EXS Milled Forged wedges utilize dual-groove construction, with the lower loft (50° – 52°) wedges designed with deeper, narrower grooves while the higher lofts (54° – 60°) have wider grooves.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS blade wedges

The Exotics EXS Blade wedges feature a Center of Gravity (CG) that has been moved up in the clubhead with a milled-out center design. The milled-out center on the wedges leads to more weight being positioned both up and down in design for greater distance control on shots higher and lower on the face.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS blade wedges

The EXS Pro’s sole grind on the new blade wedges seeks to reduce bounce from the heel and toe for greater versatility when hitting a variety of shots, especially from difficult lies. 

Tour Edge Exotics EXS blade wedges

The blade wedges contain a Flare Toe design which places the center of gravity higher in order to provide for lower launch and more spin. A chamfer was also added to the trailing top line of the wedge for a slightly thicker top line that moves weight up without affecting the aesthetics of the top line at address.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS blade wedges

As with the blade irons, the wedges are 100 percent conforming to the USGA rules.

Specs, Availability and Pricing

Stock Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold 115 Wedge Flex

Grip: GolfPride Tour 360

Price: $149.99 per wedge

Availability: June 1, 2020

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