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New 2019 TaylorMade P790 irons: Subtle changes improve a modern cult classic

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2019 taylormade p790 7 iron back

It’s been almost two years since TaylorMade introduced the P790 irons, and I can safely say the positive response and popularity surpassed even TaylorMade’s expectations. It’s a technology-packed, foam-filled players distance iron that had even elite players putting it in the bag.

TM was able to create something that disrupted normal bias for better players. When this group of players typically had eyes for a P730, P750, or P760-type iron, the P790 had some scratching their heads—and ultimately a bunch putting the whole set in the bag. That’s rare in my experience. Let’s be clear, the 2019 TaylorMade P790 irons are first and foremost players distance irons, that’s the category they were designed to live in. But as we discovered, it was one of those rare irons that felt like a true forging, flew and performed like a game improvement club but sacrificed nothing on looks. A unicorn basically. There are very few like it. In golf club design, there is always a sacrifice somewhere but seemingly not in this case.

2019 taylormade p790 4 iron back

2019 TaylorMade p790 4-iron

So why change it? How do you improve on something that checks off so many boxes? Is the risk of messing it up worth it just to get a new product to the market? Why would TaylorMade release a product when the P790 is still in high demand?

I guess this depends on your motives. In this case, it was making something great just a touch better. This is simply a polishing of an already great product. My hunch is TaylorMade is not necessarily trying to convert the current P790 players to the new but to capture those that were on the fence. Smart move, in my opinion. There were a couple of things to do here, and TaylorMade addressed them. Now, these changes are subtle from an apples-to-apples comparison. However, the main things that kept certain players away from the P790 were the top line optics, offset and short iron shaping….

2019 taylormade p790 7-iron back

2019 TaylorMade p790 7-iron

Now, we land on the 2019 TaylorMade P790 irons, and in my opinion, TaylorMade will succeed in converting a few more of these holdouts. Simply put, TM addressed all the main critiques of the original but kept intact the DNA that made the first generation P790 so popular.

2019 TaylorMade P790: On the outside

Like the original, the 2019 P790 has a hollow-body design built with 8620 carbon steel body, forged 4140 carbon steel with a wrapped face construction.

Thinner topline optics are accomplished by a higher blade length out toward the toe, which is a look preferred by elite players. At first glance, you will notice that the topline has a slightly different look, which isn’t a huge change, but that, coupled with the now higher pinched off toe, will be pleasing to the player who prefers a thinner profile up top.

The sole has been tweaked a little to improve turf interaction.

Progressive offset in 3 through 6-irons and a more compact blade length in the 7-PW round off to check off all the better player requests from an optics standpoint.

2019 taylormade p790 Pw iron back

2019 TaylorMade P790 pitching wedge

2019 TaylorMade P790: On the inside

SpeedFoam is still the anchor of the technology in this hollow body design. It’s the glue(-like substance) holding the improved P790 together and critical to the interplay of the elements inside the head. However, what TM added was 15 percent more tungsten mass in the cavity (low and across the face) which helps lower the CG even further.

The original P790 was known for a very hot face but now TMAG has created an even thinner face (seven percent, to be exact), which equals a higher COR for faster ball speeds and improved feel.

I think the biggest feature that you can’t see is the newly introduced Progressive Inverted Cone Technology (PICT), which allows a bit more forgiveness and accuracy across the face. This new technology is enhanced with a new more flexible speed pocket that helps even out misses out of the bottom of the face.

Specs

Shafts

True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 steel shafts
UST Mamiya Recoil 760/780 ES SmacWrap graphite

*custom options available

Grips

Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360

Retail availability/price

September  6. $1,399.99 USD (steel); $1,599.99 USD (graphite)

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Luke keefner

    Aug 17, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    I bought a full set this spring with the recoil shafts. I was always a Titleist or Mizuno guy but liked the look of these. I hit them at a demo day and ordered them the next week. I played them once and sold my hook prone hybrids. I’m 62 and pretty beat up from work but I can squeeze 175 out of my 6 iron and needed a 4 hybrid for that distance last year. I’m keeping these irons for a long time. (At least until they’re paid off, maybe longer????)

  2. Spencer

    Aug 13, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Irons look amazing and exactly what was said is true, top line optics kept me from considering the irons, but now they look more appealing and will be something to consider for next year.

  3. Jaxharley76

    Aug 12, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Love my P790, was one of the first guys to get them and helped sell a bunch at my club here in N Florida. Expensive as crap, but worth it. Love Taylormade.

  4. pelling

    Aug 12, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    So basically the Rocketbladez Tour Iron From 2015!

    • jgpl001

      Aug 13, 2019 at 4:09 pm

      The Rocketbladez Tour were ugly, lumps of metal with all the feeling of a rock, but boy did they perform

      Now the ugliness is gone and I can’t wait to try these new p790’s, the old p790’s were just a tad too chunky, but these look good.

  5. TexasSnowman

    Aug 12, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    I am not a TM player (although I could be in the future) but they got it right with the p790. Clean look and the Technology is hidden, Thats what I prefer and I expect many players prefer. Give me the tech in a clean, almost classic looking package. No need for orange, green, big logos or visible badges, etc. I think Titleist may have a problem with the ts3 irons….and maybe the ts2 as far as looks go. Yes, of course its how it performs that is most important, but most players like an iron that also looks good in the bag. (Pavin won the open with the VAS irons, but I don’t think they sold may sets because they were just ugly.)

    • Brandon

      Aug 13, 2019 at 12:17 am

      The VAS titanium driver was the first club I ever owned that truly changed golf for me. Probably because it was when I transitioned to full size clubs from juniors, but I swear I gained 50 yards over the Tommy Armour I was hitting with a steel, short shaft.

  6. Adam

    Aug 12, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    I love the simple logo on it. TM usually loves to pack words and logos on their clubs but they resisted

  7. ken

    Aug 12, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    $1400 for a 8 club set. In five years or less, new iron models will eclipse $200 per club.
    Last week Titleist rolled out their T-100( pro model forged) T-200 (Players type cast head, forged face) and T-300 ( Game improvement) 100% cast head.
    All three models are priced the same. 4 thru Gap or 3 thru pw these are $1200- $1400 depending on from the retailer which one pre orders.
    Titleist states the clubs will become available on 8/30

    • JThunder

      Sep 19, 2019 at 1:30 am

      That’s capitalism for you. It’s a wonder anyone can afford golf at all, considering the cost of healthcare, cable, internet and cell phones.

  8. Cody

    Aug 12, 2019 at 11:10 am

    I know the 790 irons are long(er)… but are they consistently long? Like… is there a chance to hit a hot spot and all of a sudden you are air mailing greens?

    • Curt

      Aug 12, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      Yes, hot spots will still be there! 25 yard flyers here and there.

      • Scooter

        Aug 13, 2019 at 1:40 pm

        This is where I have trouble calling them “players” irons. In a forged/players club, you would hope hot spots wouldn’t exist.

        In theory, better players want a mid/low iron that is consistent in its flight and distance. I’d be afraid of hitting one “too good” with these and flying greens or hitting the occasional knuckle ball that doesn’t spin and flies and extra 15 yards.

        Distance iron with better feel than others in this category: Yes.

        Players Iron: Not so sure.

      • Brad

        Aug 13, 2019 at 5:32 pm

        How does one know this already?? Could this not be improved?

  9. Terry jones

    Aug 12, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Hopefully you can now get the udi in left handed version

    • Jay

      Aug 13, 2019 at 12:04 am

      TXG has said they are not doing a lefty UDI. 🙁

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Whats in the Bag

Tigers Woods WITB for each Masters win

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At its core, Tiger Woods’ equipment hasn’t changed by much over the better part of the last two decades. However, Tiger Woods’ equipment is constantly evolving, and there is no better tournament to witness that evolution than to take a peek into the equipment he used to win all five of his Masters Tournaments.

A couple of major notes to consider is Tiger used a steel-shafted driver playing less than 45 inches all the way up until the 2004 season when he finally made the move from his trusted Titleist 975D long after the rest of the PGA Tour had swapped in newer technology. It was still another two years before Tiger made the move to a 460cc driver head in the pursuit of greater ball speed and forgiveness.

Tiger also held onto his 2-iron for a long time, and up until a few years ago would rotate it in and out of the bag with a 5-wood. 2019 was the first major tournament Tiger won using a 5-wood instead of his trusted 2-iron.

Masters Winning Gear from 1997 – 2019

Tiger Woods WITB 1997 Masters

Winning Score: -18 bested his next closest competitor Tom Kite by 12 shots!

5101543P BAY HILLS INVIT''L

Driver: King Cobra Deep Face (9 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

3-wood: Titleist PT (15 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 15

Irons: Mizuno MP-29 (2-4) and MP-14 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTG (Raw Tour Grind) (56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport TeI3

Ball: Titleist Professional 90

Tiger Woods WITB 2001 Masters

Winning Score: -16, beat David Duval by 2 shots and Phil Mickelson by 3.

Driver: Titleist 975D (7.5 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shaft

3-wood: 
Titleist 970 (15 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Irons: 
Titleist 681 Forged (2-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: 
Titleist Vokey Design 200 Series (58 bent to 56 degrees, 6o degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: 
Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball: 
Nike Tour Accuracy TW

6502203P THE MASTERS X

Tiger Woods WITB 2002 Masters

Winning Score: -12, was 3 shots better than Retief Goosen and 4 better than Phil Mickelson

Driver: Nike Forged Titanium (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

3-wood: Titleist 970 (15 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Irons: Titleist 681 Forged Prototype (2-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design 200 Series (58 bent to 56 degrees, 6o degree)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter:
 Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball:
 Nike Tour Accuracy TW

1805138SH010_Amex_Champs

Tiger Woods WITB 2005 Masters

Winning Score: Tiger beat Chris DiMarco in a playoff after they both tied at -12. The next closest golfers were Luke Donald and Retief Goosen at -5.

Driver: Nike Ignite 460cc (8.5 degrees)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Diamana 83 TX

3-wood: Nike T60 Ignite (15 degrees )
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 103 TX

Irons: Nike Forged Blades (2-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Nike Pro Combo (56 degrees), Nike Blade TW (60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball: Nike One Platinum TW

Tiger Woods WITB 2019 Masters

Winning Score: -13, was one shot better than Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Xander Schauffele.

Driver: TaylorMade M5 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 60 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (13 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 70 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 80 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P-7TW irons (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (56 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Golf Ball: Bridgestone TourB XS

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

 

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Equipment

The irons GolfWRXers with a 10-18 handicap are playing

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In our forums, WRXer ‘jjfcpa’ dedicated a thread to irons that fellow members with a handicap in the 10 to 18 range play. ‘Jjfcpa’ himself currently plays Callaway Apex CF19’s, and our members have been discussing the irons they currently play and why in our forums.

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.

  • tangojay: “Ping G-700, Alta CB graphite shafts, hitting them long, high and straight. Hitting them same distance and higher than my seven-year-old G-25’s with steel shafts, am 58.”
  • SouthLand: “Right now it’s a set of Cobra Amp Cells (~2013 GI), but I am in the process of upgrading. Need more spin on the ball, as I’m way below the desired range for spin metrics mainly. Pro thinks I could pick up some distance with improvement there. Driver too.”
  • Twinsgroupie: “Coming from Cobra Tour Forged and just ordered a set of PXG 0211’s. I tend to like a little bit more of a players iron than game improvement. Ball striking of the irons is better than my handicap would lead you to believe – let please not talk about my short game and putting…”
  • pat_kato: “Was playing Nike Vapor Pro Combos then went with the Mizuno MP-20 MMC, and I love them.”
  • BPetry: “Just got a set of Cobra Forged Tec players distance irons and so far I really like them. I came from hitting Callaway Razr X MB’s or a set of MP-54’s that I still hit well when I swing well but needed the extra distance with a bit slower swing speeds as I get older.”

Entire Thread: “10-18 handicap: What irons?”

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about Ping Eye 2 Berylliums

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In our forums, our members have been talking about Ping’s classic Eye 2 Berylliums after WRXer ‘mywong23’ kicked off a discussion on the irons. ‘Mywong23’, who refuses to replace them with newer technology, reaches out to fellow members who give their thoughts on the vintage clubs.

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.

  • Old Tom Morris: “I never liked the way they looked. The shape was funny, and the lack of ferrules turned me off. However, they were and still are an excellent iron that are as good as many models out now. Nothing wrong with gaming that set, not hurting you at all.”
  • need2golf: “The rich kids had the Eye 2’s back in the late ’80s, nothing wrong w/ that. I had Wilson 1200 GE’s. Years ago, I bought my very own Eye 2’s, loved them, but sold them. Just bought BeCu Eye 2’s a little while back, can’t play golf yet but dying to game them. I shot some great scores w/ the Eye 2’s several years ago, can’t go wrong.”
  • scruffynick: “No but they’re my dream irons. Used the stainless for best on two decades… They were the greatest irons ever made for me. But I’d love a set of BeCu…. Had a look while on lockdown as there’s a 6-PW in red dot and I’m so tempted but… Mrs not having it considering I’ve got brand new Mizunos in my locker.”
  • 14max: “I’ve always been partial to the steel EYE2s, but the nickel and copper ISIs have made their way into my bag on more than one occasion. The copper EYE2s are pretty special and just seeing them sitting in a bag makes me wax nostalgic…”
  • BobV56: “I played mine until 2018. Sometimes I still miss hitting them.”

Entire Thread: “Ping Eye 2 Berylliums”

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