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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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Equipment

Callaway Epic Forged irons: Premium speed in a forged body

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With the release of the original Epic irons, Callaway did something they had never done before—build an iron that oozed ball speed and hid a lot of tech in a mid-sized package. Now imagine all that technology and greater speed in a more refined shape with a forged body…that is the all-new Epic Forged.

Built with the idea of offering speed and shotmaking in one package, the Epic Forged achieves all of that thanks to tech that is being used for the first time in a forged iron. The most notable being the Suspended Tungsten Core—which is comprised of the densest form of this heavy element. The issue with using this almost pure form of Tungsten is that it’s extremely hard to work with when using conventional construction methods. But Callaway defies convention and is using the patented Urethane Microspheres in the Suspended Tungsten core of the Epic Forged to precisely position mass creating the ideal center of gravity. This promotes controlled launch and spin, while allowing the face to flex as needed to create maximum ball speeds.

So what good is all this speed if you can’t control it?

Variable Face Thickness: Sure this tech isn’t new, it dates back to the above Hawkeye VFT driver (that was a great driver in its day), but if the Epic Flash driver has taught us anything, it’s that by looking beyond convention you can find new ways to utilize known technology. Built into the 360 Cup Face, the newly designed VFT pattern helps players achieve even more consistent ball speed and spin rates club to club. The reason this is so important: Callaway knows even average golfers want a club they can hit controlled shots with. A 7-iron isn’t any good if you’re not confident in the hitting the shot you want to.

Don’t think that we’re done talking about what these have under the hood just yet…

Since the Epic Forged irons go all the way into a sand wedge, there were some design decisions to be made to on how to make sure the scoring and recovery clubs still offer forgiveness but with even greater consistency and feel, Starting at the approach wedge and going to the sand wedge (the set goes PW, AW, GW, SW), instead of using the 17-4 SS cup face, Callaway engineers are using a forged faceplate to compliment the forged body. Inside of these still-hollow wedges, they are using a resistance welding technique to precisely locate a MIM (metal injection molded) Tungsten weight to achieve superior trajectory control.

The last piece to the puzzle.

A club will always be the sum of its parts and Callaway is pulling out all the stops with the Epic Star Forged set and the components that will accompany this technology package. The stock options will include Aerotech Steelfiber FC (flight control) and Mitsubishi Chemical’s  Tensei AV Silver shaft to optimize feel and control.  The other upgrade is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align Silver Grips (Align grips offer a textured raised rib on the bottom of the grip to help the golfer place their hands in the same position over and over again). All of these pieces come together to create a premium iron from Callaway.

The Epic Forged will be available at retail starting August 2nd. 4-SW. Retail price of $300 per iron.

 

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Callaway Epic Flash Star line: Light and launchable

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Imagine being given one job as a design team…

Make it light, use all available technology, make it look really good, and make it fast.

This is the Callaway Epic Flash Star.

This new Callaway Epic Flash Star line includes a driver, fairway woods, hybrids, and a set of forged irons—because forged can be fast too, like really fast. This lineup, which is an update to the original Callaway Epic Star line, is introducing improvements across the board and sets a new level of performance in the premium lightweight equipment category.

When it comes to designing ultra lightweight clubs, there are some serious design challenges because you are limited by the amount of mass you can use move around based on the final target total weight. Even with these challenges Callaway engineers along with component partners have produced a set of clubs that incorporate every available piece of technology, including Flash Face and Jailbreak, to help slower swing speed golfers get back more distance from everywhere. I know it often sounds silly but stats prove that for every club less a player hits into a green, the likelihood of making a lower number goes up. This is why golfers in need of more speed will benefit from a set that allows them to hit those shorter clubs more often.

Epic Flash Star Driver

50 grams.

Thats the difference in total weight between the new Star and the standard Epic Flash Driver. Thats MASSIVE! 50 grams is 22-25 percent the mass of a traditional driver head on its own and when talking about the whole package thats a mass reduction of just under 16 percent ( 15.8 percent to be precise ). Engineers work tirelessly to shave three grams here and four grams there when it comes to club design being able to get 50g out of what is already the lightest club in the bag is astonishing. A lot of that weight reduction comes from the removal of the adjustable hosel making the Epic Flash Star the only driver in the Callaway lineup with a non adjustable hosel. No hosel adjustability means offering more loft options, which include a 10.5, 12, and now a 13.5 degrees (perfect for those golfers who have a difficulty getting the ball into the air).

As I have said before, a club is only as good as the sum of its parts, and there is no ignoring the fact that thanks to UST Mamiya, the Epic Flash Star is equipped with a 30-gram shaft: the Attas Speed—yeah you read that right 30 grams! The Attus Speed, until now, has been a product available exclusively in Japan (a golf market know for not turning an eye to premium performing products when they offer a tangible benefit), and is now available in North America.

Don’t think for a second that they are stopping at the shaft either: The club will also feature a Golf Pride 30g JLoo grip. All of this combines together to help slower swing speed players deliver the head back to the ball as fast as they can, with more consistency. All this adds up to a driver that has the potential to deliver some major gains.

Retail price will be $699.99

Epic Flash Star Fairway Woods and Hybrids

Much like the Star driver, the fairway woods incorporate proven technologies, including Jailbreak, Flash Face, and Face Cup—the same tech that has been making Callaway fairways woods some of the longest available dating back to the XR (remember how fast those were compared to everything else?). To give you a refresher on what the Face Cup does, it uses variable face thickness built into the forged 455 Carpenter steel face to promote fast ball speed on all shots especially mishits.  It does this by having the thinnest parts act like a hinge that’s activated the face and gives you all the “spring” you need (within the legal limit).

More weight is repositioned to create greater forgiveness and lower the COG thanks to a new T2C triaxial carbon crown and fixed hosel.

Since this is a full line launch the other similarities include a 40-gram ATTAS Speed shaft and choice of JL00 or J200 (42g) grip. Availability includes  3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 models which is a big expansion versus the original Start line which only went up the the 21-degree 7-wood. Considering the player demographic for these clubs, the 9 and 11s are going to be very popular.

Retail price is $399.99

Epic Flash Star Forged Irons

Meant to be launched!

The Epic Star irons are an ultra-premium forged iron designed for pure acoustics, feel, and explosive distance. Using what Callaway is calling an infinite black finish, every detail was carefully thought out in an effort to help golfers in need of distance get every technological advantage they can.

Just like with the standard Epic Flash, Callaway is using a suspended tungsten core for greater control over launch and spin while High-COR Faces with 360 Face Cup Technology maximize distance off the center and off of mishits. To also help with distance the lofts of the Flash irons are stronger BUT…thanks to the optimized CG locations (ala suspended tungsten ), and super hot faces, the peak heights are less affected.

Just like with the rest of the Star Line, the greatest design advantage they offer beyond the clubhead is the incredibly lightweight total club weight to help players in need of speed maximum their ability and in the end create great swing speed. Thanks to the UST ATTUS Speed ultra-premium iron shaft coming in at only 40 and 50 grams respectively (depending on set configuration and fitting), along with the same Golf Pride 30g JLoo grip used in the rest of the set—players should expect to see at least a whole club gained in distance.

The Epic Star Forged irons are available from 5-iron to sand wedge with a retail price of $325 per club.

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Callaway launches technology-packed Epic Flash hybrids

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With Epic Flash drivers and fairway woods firmly in the marketplace, Callaway is following up last year’s Rogue hybrid with the launch of the Callaway Epic Flash hybrid.

Like the Rogue, the Epic Flash Hybrid features Jailbreak Technology for maximum energy transfer. Of course, like with the Epic Flash driver relative to the Rogue, the technology is improved upon in this iteration, according to the company.

Also returning in a new-and-improved form: Callaway’s forged Carpenter 455 steel Face Cup technology-infused clubface.

From the new technology standpoint: Callaway incorporates a MIM’ed (Metal-Injected Molding) Tungsten weight into the sole of the clubhead for “enhanced launch and trajectory,” as well as overall forgiveness.

Additionally, Callaway incorporates its proprietary triaxial carbon fabric (T2C—first used in Epic Flash driver) in a hybrid for the first time. The T2C crown’s weave allows Callaway engineers to allocate more weight lower and deeper in the clubhead.

Product at retail: 8/2. Pricing: $300 each

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