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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

Wunder: I’ve hit THESE new drivers this year…and this is what I think

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During this lockdown, I have done quite a few “Friday Q & A’s” on my IG, and one of the questions I get asked constantly is “have you hit this?” That, and “whaddya think?”

So, in the spirit of organizing my brain, it seemed like the right time to share what new drivers I have actually hit this year…and this is what I think.

Now, it needs to be said that there is a lot of new gear out there, but, to be honest, I’ve only actually hit a select few enough to actually build an opinion. “Enough” in this case is at least 20 balls. Some of these sticks I tested during our pre-launch preview with the OEMs, at the PGA show, a friend has one, or I actually have it in the bag.

Here we go.

TaylorMade SIM

Setup tested: SIM 9 @8.25 w/ Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XTS 70TX

LOOKS: The best way to describe how SIM looks behind the ball is “comfortable.” TaylorMade has always made drivers that just look correct. The lines are clean, the shape inspires playability, and I dig the paint job. They hit a home run with this one for sure.

FEEL: Best sound out there in my opinion. Heavy, dense, and if you get one dead-nuts center, it lets you know. The feel at contact is just as TaylorMade drivers have always done, center strikes feel like Thor’s hammer and mishits don’t kill your good vibes.

VS THE M5: I get asked this a lot. I loved the M5. Still do. To be honest the two drivers data wise were legit apples to apples. The only difference is my stock shot with M5 was a low spin straight ball and with SIM its a slight draw with a touch more spin and slightly lower launch. I prefer that.

OVERALL: In my opinion, the TaylorMade SIM is the cool kid in high school for 2020. Last year it was F9 followed closely by M5. TM knocked it outta the park on this one.

TaylorMade SIM Max

Setup tested: Sim Max 9 @8.25 w/ Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XTS 70TX

LOOKS: It has a bit more of a longer face at address, which makes the head appear shallow which inspires a bit more confidence to turn it over. That’s the main thing I noticed with MAX. Other than that its a tried and true TM shape.

FEEL: Like its sibling, it has a nice solid hit audibly at the impact. So, overall its apples to apples with SIM. However, due to the front weight missing on the MAX, the actual strike doesn’t feel AS meaty as SIM. Not a negative necessarily just something I noticed.

VS M6: Both of these sticks I launched a bit too high versus the weighted versions. That’s why they never got any serious consideration to actually put in play.

OVERALL: As a high launch, more forgiving option, it’s an ace.

Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero

Setup tested: Sub Zero 9 w/ Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei Blue AV 65TX

LOOKS: To my eyes, the newer versions of the Callaway drivers have looked a bit more compact than its competition. To me, this always looked “low spin” for whatever reason. The Mavrik has the same shape which is good.

FEEL: They really fixed the sound. The Epic Flash sounded like a pop can to me, and the Mavrik Sub Zero sounds like a sledgehammer. The good thing here is the sound now matches up with what the hit feels like. I think the Mavrik is the best feeling driver Callaway has made since Epic.

VS EPIC FLASH SZ: To me, a complete improvement on all fronts. Sound, feel, and performance for me were all substantially better. Now I must say that the Epic Flash Sub Zero was a great driver, I always got great numbers out of it, but the sound took me out of it. I’m sure there isn’t that much difference audibly between the two, but in this game, even something minor can represent so much. Sound to me is huge.

OVERALL: In all honestly, I haven’t given a Callaway driver a real hard look to actually put in the bag since Epic. The sound got louder wit Rogue and Epic Flash. The Mavrik SZ  however is a fantastic driver and will def get some more testing out of me.

Cobra SpeedZone

Setup tested: Cobra Speed Zone 9 @8.5 w/ Fujikura Ventus Black 7X

LOOKS: The F9 was a winner on all fronts. The only critique I had was optically it looked like the driver was a little too fade biased. The SZ with its milled in top line gives it softer look at address and for me, softer lines mean more workability, just what my eyes tell me.

FEEL: As with F9 and the earlier mentioned SIM, the Speed Zone sounds EXACTLY how a driver should sound. It has a very heavy hit audibly and that’s across the face. I love the sound of this driver.

VS F9: Apples to apples, it’s the same. Beyond the optics, it feels, sounds, and performs like the F9. Not a bad thing though, the F9 was the driver of 2019 in my opinion.

OVERALL: Nothing wrong with repeating an already awesome driver. SpeedZone will stand up to anything out there. If I’m being fair, I think F9 elevated things in 2019, and this year the competition caught up to it. Changes nothing about how good this driver is.

Cobra Speed Zone Xtreme

Setup tested: Cobra Speed Zone Xtreme 9 @8.5 w/ Fujikura Ventus Black 7X

LOOKS: Like the other drivers in this higher MOI category, it looks a little longer heel to toe.

FEEL: No different than the SpeedZone, sounds great, the impact is solid across the face, and even thin shots feel solid.

OVERALL: The Xtreme is the sleeper hit of 2020 and I’ve heard the fitters love this thing. It’s by far the easiest to hit and overall good time of any driver on this list. Is it longer? No. But is it Xtremely (no pun) playable and competitive? Hard yes. It’s a blast.

PXG Proto

Setup tested: PXG Proto 9 w/ Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 6 TX

LOOKS: Slick. Like all PXG gear, the look is there. The matte crown and elegant lines make it very pleasing optically. I also appreciate that although it’s designed to look high tech. The lines inspire playability, and who doesn’t love a driver that looks like a stealth bomber?

FEEL: I only hit about 20 balls with the PXG Proto in the short time I had with it, but, wow, did this thing surprise me. The sound oddly enough is a bit higher-pitched than the others on the list but for whatever reason, it’s not a distraction. It actually adds to the experience of the hit. I typically detest that, but this sound matched up with the solid hit I was getting. I’m not sure if this is the final version since its a limited tour proto but what is happening is definitely interesting.

VS GEN2: It’s just better. Feels better, sounds great, more playable across the face. The Gen2 did one thing better than everyone else, it destroyed spin. The problem I had was control. The PXG Proto is still low spin but with the new 4 weight system (no intel on the tech yet) seems to add quality launch to the low spin profile and puts the player in a situation where very few to any sacrifices are made.

OVERALL: I was a fan of Gen2. No doubt. But it never flat out beat M5, F9, or SIM. The Proto has elevated PXG’s driver game. I don’t think its a matter of whether or not the driver stands up with the irons, I believe PXG is on the right track to having a driver that eliminates any “yeah, but…” to the conversation. That’s a huge leap since Gen1. These guys are trending hard.

I hope this was helpful.

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the final version of Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf ‘Texas Rebar’ wedge shafts

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the final version of Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf ‘Texas Rebar’ wedge shafts. The look of the ultra-stiff shafts, which originated from Bryson wanting a “graphite shaft that was stiffer than the Dynamic Gold X7″, has impressed our members who have been praising the final version and sharing their thoughts on the concept.

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.

  • QuigleyDU: “Awesome.”
  • My2dogs: “Really coming out with some great new stuff.”
  • HateTheHighDraw: “MMT 125TX are absolute fire, but these must be much stiffer.”
  • Robkingasu: “Sweet!”

Entire Thread: “Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf ‘Texas Rebar’ wedge shafts”

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Should I move to heavier iron shafts? – GolfWRXers have their say

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the strategy of moving to heavier shafts in irons. WRXer ‘Z1ggy16’ has been making swing changes lately, and the transition has been most challenging for his iron play. ‘Ziggy16’ says:

“Been making some swing changes lately, most notably working to really shallow my club into the downswing. I’m finding that I’m doing this well with my heavy wedge shafts and driver, but I’m struggling a bit in my irons. My strike pattern with my wedges is pretty good, but the irons are a bit all over. Driver is 80g raw, wedges are 132g raw, irons 120g raw. I don’t think I want to go any stiffer, but is there a chance I’ve “outgrown” this weight and need to move to something a bit heavier to help keep these feels going through my set? No idea what swing speed is at this point, but my 7i is normally a smooth/comfortable 175-180 for me.

I really like the feel of my Accra Tour Z Xtreme 475 and my S400’s in the GW-LW. I’m kind of leaning maybe soft stepping modus 120TX or X100’s.. Heck maybe even S200 straight in? Normally I’d just get a fitting, but with Rona still going around, I’m not than keen on it. 2020 is the year of the self fit for me. FWIW, I used modus 120TX 2xSS in my GW & SW last year and that was pretty good feeling. Perhaps a touch too soft… they seemed to really whip/bend hard when hitting from the rough on full swings.”

Our members discuss whether they feel a switch to heavier shafts in the irons will have the desired impact.

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.

  • Pepperturbo: “You’re not alone. Regardless of age, some of us swing better with heavier shafts. I went from 70g driver and 85g 3wd graphite shafts to 58g Ventus shaft in driver and 70g Ventus shaft in 4wd. In irons went from 130g X to 120g 6.0 PX steel shafts which lasted about fifteen years. Then last year made another downward weight change to Steelfiber (steel & graphite) 110g Stiff shafts, lightest I have ever played. Keep in mind as you transition, changing shaft weight is not the only answer. Increasing swing weight can make up for shaft weight. Though I really like them in 6-3i, not thrilled in SW-7i, so just ordered heavier Steelfiber i125g shafts for my PW-7i blades.”
  • Jeff58: “As someone who has gone through and continues to work on what sounds like a similar situation, your ideal iron shafts will likely change. Where they change to isn’t possible to predict with any degree of accuracy. Don’t change your current irons without knowing. It’s frustrating, expensive, and you won’t have any clubs while they’re being changed out. Instead, get a single club from dealsandsteals or similar and experiment with that. Also, the only relevant experience is outdoors under your actual turf conditions. Indoor and mat use can be grossly different.”
  • Red4282: “Just depends on your tempo and load and preferences tbh. My numbers are about identical to yours; I play 77g in the driver and 125 in the irons. I don’t think I could go lighter than 125.”
  • gvogel: “I have a set of hickory clubs. Of course, hickory shafts are darn heavy, maybe 150 grams or so. I probably hit straighter shots with the irons, and particularly hit better shots with the niblick (wedge). Driver and fairway woods, not so much. That might be a stupid insertion into an intelligent thread, but heavier goes straighter, lighter goes longer. You can go heavier, and it helps in transition, but don’t go too stiff.”

Entire Thread: “Should I switch to heavier iron shafts?”

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