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New for 2020, Callaway Jaws MD5 wedges boast more bite

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Say hello to the new 2020 Callaway Jaws MD5 wedges from Callaway Golf. Redesigned from the ground up to create ultimate performance on all shots, the new Jaws wedges are being marketed as the most aggressive grooves in golf.

It’s been almost 10 years since we’ve seen the Jaws name used as part of the Callaway wedge lineup, but with the introduction of the new MD5 (Mack Daddy 5) Jaws wedges and their completely rethought-out groove design, Callaway felt that if there was a time to bring it back, it’s now!

2020 Callaway Jaws MD5 wedge 1

Callaway Jaws MD5 wedges: The story

The Rules of Golf have limits set on everything, but when you have a lot of smart people trying to solve problems, those limits just mean you have to get creative with design. That’s exactly what the engineers have done with the new Callaway wedge and its Jaws grooves. By changing the overall shape compared to all previous models, they have increased not just spin but total control. That’s probably the most overlooked part of the wedge equation: creating greater control and consistency. Sure, more spin is great, but if it fluctuates from shot to shot, you are in no way better off.

The new proprietary groove design of the Jaws wedge is a change to the whole shape, including a different way to get the contact radius right to the limit, and when we say right to the limit, we mean it. In fact, when initially prototyped and brought to Callaway’s manufacturing partners for scaled-up manufacturing, the initial response from the factory after test runs was “sorry, we just can’t do this.” The reason? Fail rate was close to 50 percent becoming nonconforming which is a big no-go in the world of manufacturing. Such a situation would drive cost (because of losses) through the proverbial roof, especially when you consider each wedge’s face takes 10 minutes of machine time—not including the microgrooves.

The solution for Callaway? Changing the cutting tool every 15 wedges. Sure, you could attempt to get more life out of each tool, but when you have everyone from recreational players to the world’s best putting them in play, you can’t make sacrifices.

Callaway 2020 MD5 JAWS Wedge Grooves

Callaway 2020 MD5 Jaws wedge: groove detail

The end result is the MD5 Jaws spins over 10 percent more on shots hit around the green compared to the Callaway MD4 and launches lower by one degree (for those wondering if one degree matters: yes it does). Lower launch might not seem like something you want with a wedge, but if you talk to any short game coach with a launch monitor, or Roger Cleveland in Callaway’s case, you will quickly realize that being able to control launch with a wedge is just as important and is it with a driver. A lower-launching wedge means the coefficient of friction is higher since the ball isn’t riding/sliding up the face—and boom, you have a greater ability to hit the better-player-preferred “low checker.”

Now beyond the grooves, Callaway and the wedge team re-evaluated the whole shape and profile of the MD5 Jaws, along with the grind options. As the trend of more players swapping their stock pitching wedges for wedges that match the lower end of the bag (up to 45-46 degrees). Callaway designers decided to reshape the lower lofted wedges from the 46-56 degrees to have a smaller profile and flow better from the lowest to highest loft in the wedge set. Don’t think this is just for looks either—smaller heads allow for more concentrated mass and with a smaller shape comes better workability. There is no sense in trying to replace your stock set pitching wedge with a less versatile option.

Callaway Jaws MD5 wedge face

The other reason for this change in the MD5 Jaws wedges is that data and player testing shows the 46- 56-degree clubs are used a lot more often for full shots compared to the higher lofted wedges, which are more likely than not to be hit with a more open face. This creates the ability to flight and control the ball better with the “full swing” clubs, yet still gives more face surface area to hit when the higher lofted “around the green” clubs and opened up. It’s a “best of both worlds” design philosophy. Instead of committing to a single size and shape for the whole line—which from a manufacturing perspective is less expensive—Callaway pulled out all the stops in making the Jaws wedges better, not just newer.

New Callaway wedge face

With all the talk of reshaping, the last part of this puzzle are the sole grinds. From the C Grind to the W (wide) sole wedges, everything has been tweaked. One of the best examples of this tweaking is the new lower bounce W (Wide) sole wedge. Mr. Roger Cleveland himself was doing a lot of customizing for tour players to tweak the stock MD4 W Grinds to reduce bounce and width of the soles, and after seeing this trend, the most popular tweak has now become a stock option on the MD5 Jaws.

There is even additional heel relief to help those players that want to open the face up for shots around the green. The opposite could be said about the new C Grind; with more effective bounce thanks to a wider center of the sole—but more playability with aggressive heel and toe relief. What seem like small changes are really a commitment to continued improvement by the wedge team at Callaway Golf, and I think with the MD5 Jaws wedges they have a winner destined to take a BITE out of the wedge market (Give me credit for taking this long to make a shark pun).

Customs

With the new MD5 Jaws, Callaway is upping its Customs game with 10 different “zones” to choose from, including the paint fill on the sole, the hosel, new medallion options (including emojis), and the back of the club. More ways to customize your wedge than ever before!

Callaway Jaws MD5 wedges: Availability and options

Shafts

Steel: True Temper Tour Issue 115 with a blue and silver shaft band


Graphite: Project X Catalyst 80g

Grip: Lamkin UTX Blue

Price: $159.99

 

 

 

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Sean

    Oct 9, 2019 at 6:14 am

    Great wedges. Well worth the investment.

  2. chadj

    Sep 10, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    No LH 46 degree or 64 degree, but 5 different LH options for a 60 degree. Seems fair callaway….idiots

  3. Milo

    Sep 10, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Why are wedges so damn expensive?

    • gwelfgulfer

      Sep 11, 2019 at 9:00 am

      Because people continue to pay the prices. Lemmings will always lemming.

  4. DB

    Sep 10, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    They look good, forged or cast?

  5. Greg

    Sep 10, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    The steel shaft offering sucks.

  6. Travisty

    Sep 10, 2019 at 9:26 am

    These are actually a nice step forward from MD4 (and MD3 before that). Callaway is doing great things in their wedge department. The black finish here IMO is much better than before too.

  7. Off-Centre ChromeSoft

    Sep 10, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Find it, cut it.

  8. Bradley

    Sep 10, 2019 at 7:46 am

    I wonder if Callaway clubs are off like there golf balls?

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Whats in the Bag

Dustin Johnson WITB 2020

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @ 10 degrees, D4 swing weight)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1 inch, 45.75 inches)

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila RIP Alpha 90 X

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (22 @ 19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 105 X

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), TaylorMade P730 DJ Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (soft stepped)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09, 60-10 @ 62 degrees)
Shafts: KBS Tour Custom Black 120 S

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Mini
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R (1 wrap 2-way tape + 2 wraps left hand, 3 right hand)

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Top 10 clubs of 2003—inspired by Adam Scott’s Titleist 680 irons

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As has been well documented, Adam Scott recently won the Genesis Invitational with a set of Titleist 680 blade irons, a design that was originally released in 2003. One of the great benefits of being one of the best players in the world is you don’t need to search eBay to find your preferred set of 17-year-old irons. Titleist has been stocking sets for Mr. Scott—even to the point of doing a limited production run in 2018 where they then released 400 sets for sale to the general public.

A lot of time has passed since 2003, and considering the classic nature of Scott’s Titleist 680, I figured now was a good time to look back at some other iconic clubs released around the same time.

Ping G2 driver

This was Ping’s first 460cc driver with a full shift into titanium head design. The previous Si3 models still utilized the TPU adjustable hosel, and this was considered a big step forward for the Phoenix-based OEM. The driver was a big hit both on tour and at retail—as was the rest of the G2 line that included irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT (first gen) irons

The RAC LTs helped position TaylorMade back among the leaders in the better players iron category. The entire RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for the target player. It also included an over-sized iron too. The RAC LT went on to have a second-generation version, but the original LTs are worthy of “classic” status.

TaylorMade R580 XD driver

Honestly, how could we not mention the TaylorMade R580 XD driver? TM took some of the most popular drivers in golf, the R500 series and added extra distance (XD). OK, that might be an oversimplification of what the XD series offered, but with improved shape, increased ball speed outside of the sweet spot, and lower spin, it’s no wonder you can still find these drivers in the bags of golfers at courses and driving ranges everywhere.

Titleist 680MB irons

The great thing about blades is that beyond changing sole designs and shifting the center of gravity, the basic design for a one-piece forged head hasn’t changed that much. For Adam Scott, the 680s are the perfect blend of compact shape, higher CG, and sole profile.

Titleist 983K, E drivers

If you were a “Titleist player,” you had one of these drivers! As one of the last companies to move into the 460cc category, the 983s offered a classic pear shape in a smaller profile. It was so good and so popular, it was considered the benchmark for Titleist drivers for close to the next decade.

Cleveland Launcher 330 driver

It wasn’t that long ago that OEMs were just trying to push driver head size over 300cc, and Cleveland’s first big entry into the category was the Launcher Titanium 330 driver. It didn’t live a long life, but the Launcher 330 was the grandaddy to the Launcher 400, 460, and eventually, the Launcher COMP, which is another club on this list that many golfers will still have fond memories about.

Mizuno MP 33 irons

Although released in the fall of 2002, the Mizuno MP 33 still makes the list because of its staying power. Much like the Titleist 680, this curved muscle blade was a favorite to many tour players, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. The MP 33 stayed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years and was still available for custom orders years after that. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a set now you are going to have to go the used route.

Callaway X-16 irons

The Steelhead X-16 was a big hit at retail for Callaway. It offered greater forgiveness than the previous X-14’s but had a more compact shape with a wider topline to inspire confidence. They featured Callaway’s “Notch” weighting system that moved more mass to the perimeter of the head for higher MOI and improved feel. There was a reduced offset pro series version of the iron, but the X-16 was the one more players gravitated towards. This is another game improvement club for that era that can still be found in a lot of golf bags.

Ben Hogan CFT irons

The Hogan CFTs were at the forefront of multi-material iron technology in 2003. CFT stood for Compression Forged Titanium and allowed engineers to push more mass to the perimeter of the head to boost MOI by using a thin titanium face insert. They had what would be considered stronger lofts at the time sounded really powerful thanks to the thin face insert. If you are looking for a value set of used irons, this is still a great place to start.

King Cobra SZ driver

In 2003, Rickie Fowler was only 15 years old and Cobra was still living under the Acushnet umbrella as Titleist’s game improvement little brother. The Cobra SZ (Sweet Zone, NOT 2020 Speed Zone) was offered in a couple of head sizes to appeal to different players. The thing I will always remember about the original King Cobra SZ is that it came in an offset version to help golfers who generally slice the ball—a design trait that we still see around today.

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Equipment

Today from the Forums: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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Today from the Forums we delve into a subject dedicated to wedge fitting. Liquid_A_45 wants to know if wedge fitting is as essential for golfers as iron fitting, and our members weigh into the discussion saying why they feel it is just as imperative.

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.

  • Z1ggy16: “Super important if you’re a serious golfer. Even better if you can get fit outdoors on real grass and even go into a bunker.”
  • ThunderBuzzworth: “The biggest part of wedge fitting is yardage gapping and sole grinds. If you have a grind that doesn’t interact with the turf in your favor, it can be nightmarish around the greens. When hitting them try a variety of short game shots with different face angles etc. with the different grinds to see which one works best for what you need.”
  • Hawkeye77: “Wedge fitting I had was extremely beneficial when I got my SM6s a few years ago. Mostly for working with the different grinds and how they interacted with my swing and on different shots and having an eye on my swing to help with the process and evaluate the results. My ideas of what grinds were right for me based on researching on Titleist, etc. just were not correct in 2/3 of the wedges I ended up with as far as the grinds were concerned. Good to have an experienced fitter available to answer questions, control variables, etc.”
  • cgasucks: “The better you get at this game, the more important wedges are.”

Entire Thread: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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