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Grooves on Grooves: Callaway launches new Mack Daddy 4 wedges

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“Let’s do something else,” said Callaway’s Chief Designer and wedge-making legend, Roger Cleveland when talking about designing the new Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges.

And something else, he did.

Callaway’s Mack Daddy 4 wedges, which the company officially launched on Tuesday, use a new “groove-in-groove” technology that features raised micro-ridges between the main grooves on the faces. Rather than these ridges going below the surface, however, they’re actually “surface positive,” as Callaway explains it; that means they protrude above the surface. Therefore, the grooves and micro-ridges create more points of contact for the golf ball, and they create additional friction to induce more backspin.

In fact, Cleveland himself was so excited about the design, he stood up during our interview and drew out the design on a whiteboard. Professor Cleveland, if you will.

Related: For more insight from Roger Cleveland himself, click here to listen as he joins our 19th hole!

Using new, proprietary cutters, it takes 12 minutes per head to cut the grooves, according to Cleveland. Using a progressive design throughout the set, the lower-lofted wedges — 52 degrees and below — use “20D” grooves, while higher-lofted wedges — 54 degrees and above — use 5D grooves. That means, overall, the higher-lofted wedges are designed to create more spin for greater control around the greens, and the lower-lofted wedges will behave more like your shortest iron. Each of the wedges also have an added groove — Callaway calls it a “nip it” groove — near the leading edge that’s designed to induce more spin when you catch the ball a bit thin.

Maybe the new groove design is why so many PGA Tour players are switching into the wedges so quickly. Sergio Garcia already won with them in the bag at the Andalucía Masters, and Brendan Grace won using them at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. In the 2017 RSM Classic, in fact, there were 30 Mack Daddy 4 wedges already in play.

Grooves aren’t the only difference you’ll notice in the new Mack Daddy 4 wedges, however. Based on Tour feedback, Callaway has designed the wedges with a more compact shape, straighter leading edges, tighter leading edge radii, and slightly more offset throughout the line, according to Callaway.

The MD4 wedges have a progressive offset in the set in order to better blend looks-wise into your set of irons.

“Tour pros like only a subtle amount of leading-edge radius,” said Cleveland, according to a press release. “In the Mack Daddy 4 we gave them enough to make a performance difference while still pleasing the eye.”

As part of the Mack Daddy 4 wedge line, there are now 4 grinds: C-grind, S-grind, W-grind and a new X-grind that has a narrow sole but with high-bounce. Here is the rundown of what each of the grinds delivers, according to Callaway:

  • C-Grind: “Increased relief, especially at the heel, making it easier to play shots with the face open. Ideal for medium-to-shallow attack angles and/or firm course conditions. 8-degrees of bounce.”
  • S-Grind: “Medium-width sole with slight chamfer at the back and moderate heel relief to keep the leading edge low through impact, promoting solid contact on open-faced shots. 10-degrees of bounce.”
  • W-Grind: “Sole is wider at the center and toe and narrower at the heel, with moderate heel relief and generous front-to-back camber. That prevents digging without increasing bounce, and keeps the leading edge close to the turf at impact. Great for open-faced shots. More versatile than our previous W Grind. 12-degrees of bounce.”
  • X-Grind: “The newest grind features a narrow, high-bounce crescent sole, with the low point near the front. Excellent for moderate-to-steep attack angles and medium-to-soft course conditions. 12-degrees of bounce.”

The Mack Daddy 4 wedges, which are made from 8620 carbon steel, come in both Platinum Chrome and Matte Black finishes. Like the previous Mack Daddy 3 wedges, the Mack Daddy 4 wedges have four weight ports, and they have milled-aluminum medallions that progressively raise CG (center of gravity) as loft increases to help dial in ball flight, spin and feel appropriately for each loft.

Available lofts include 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 and 64-degree options, totaling 21 loft-bounce combinations. The wedges will come stock with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Tour Issue 115 shafts and Lamkin UTx grips. Mack Daddy 4 wedges will be in stores on January 26 and will sell for $149 apiece.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Mack Daddy 4 wedges in our forums.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. HDTVMAN

    Jan 10, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I like the look, but will stay with my PM Grind wedges. I don’t understand why more wedges do not have grooves across the entire face, like the PM Grind. Even if I miss off the toe, the shot is still acceptable.

  2. Uhit

    Jan 9, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Funny, the Bridgestone Tour B wedges have also that “new “groove-in-groove” technology”,
    already mentioned in a press release in august last year:

    http://www.bridgestonegolf.de/content/node_15813.htm

    and already reviewed on WRX in november:

    http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/1563642-bridgestone-tourb-xw-1-wedges/

    • Blop

      Jan 9, 2018 at 9:42 pm

      Cleveland/Srixon have been using this for a while now.

  3. stan

    Jan 9, 2018 at 10:38 am

    These hi-tech wedges are only effective for tour players with higher speed swings. Only the top 1% of golfers, which includes gearhead wannabes, will entertain buying these contraptions.
    Btw, in the 1967 book Search for a Perfect Swing (SPS) they tested a smooth grooveless wedge and found insignificant differences in performance compared to a grooved wedge. The testing was done under scientific condition of that time so perhaps the results would be different with these Cally wedges with the fancy face milling.

    • Paul G

      Jan 9, 2018 at 11:13 am

      I think wedges are one of the few areas of most amateur golfers games that can be in any way like a Tour player. Not the full swing shots, but those around the green are well within the reach of a normal golfer. If you look at a 30 yard pitch, the speed a Tour player uses and an amateur will be very close (providing they are playing the same kind of shot) as the goal isn’t about maximum yardage but the correct yardage. Of all the gear in your bag, wedges and your putter are the clubs that allow you to play a “tour players” game as they don’t rely on physical strength and speed to work

      Grooves are useful once there is anything in the way of the contact between ball and club, so a grooveless wedge is fine from a perfect clean lie, but poor everywhere else, hence all wedges have grooves.

    • Huh?

      Jan 9, 2018 at 11:28 am

      Stan – Where or how are you coming up with this nonsense?

    • Dan

      Jan 9, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      The groves are for poor lies. A grove wedge in the rain removes about 2 tsp of water from between the club face and ball. The groves also improve spin out of the rough.

      • stan

        Jan 9, 2018 at 5:28 pm

        So, if you hit different types of wedges off a clean tight lie there would be no significant difference between their performance results?

        • The dude

          Jan 9, 2018 at 8:27 pm

          I buy that….isn’t there an old article that proves that??

    • dlygrisse

      Jan 12, 2018 at 11:59 am

      Flawed study.

      Grooveless wedges only perform good under perfectly clean conditions. Like off a turf mat and a perfectly dry/clean ball. If any moisture gets on the ball or clubface the whole thing goes haywire.

      Wedges are designed for slower swing speeds, unlike drivers. Along with putters they are the most relevant.

  4. Travis

    Jan 9, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Groove-ception

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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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