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The greatest Ben Hogan irons of all time

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Ben Hogan was a perfectionist. From his swing to his golf club designs, it was always about striving to get things just right. Although younger generations may not connect to the Hogan brand the same way golfers from an older generation would, I believe it is important to recognize the impact the man had on the game, golf equipment, and design.

One of the most famous stories surrounding the founding of Ben Hogan golf is how Mr. Hogan’s desire for perfection actually drove away one of the company’s initial investors when he refused to go to production with any of the prototypes produced over the first six months. That lead to one of the other partners who had absolute trust in Hogan’s approach to purchase the shares of the nervous party. It went even further in 1954 when the first production run arrived and they too were also not up to Hogans standards—this resulted in the company destroying over $100,000 worth of inventory which today is over one million dollars—not small change for a startup company.

Eventually, the production issues were sorted out, and in 1954 the original Precision iron was introduced, the rest, as they say, is history. Although Ben Hogan Golf has gone through a number of changes since its original inception, one thing has remained the same—the constant pursuit of creating the best golf clubs possible.

These are some of the finest examples.

Ben Hogan Precision – Released 1954

This is the iron that went through all of the production changes before finally coming to the market in 1954. It is “the granddaddy of all modern blade designs,” as Patrick Boyd likes to point out.

The key element of this clubhead is the mass positioned lower in the head to create the modern muscle back style we know today as well as the notched toe to position more mass in the middle of the head behind the hitting area.

Beyond some minor tweaks and shaping, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most influential club designs ever.

Some of the most iconic designs from Mizuno—including the MP-14, MP-29, TN-87, and MP-37—have all utilized this toe cut design to help move mass—you can even see it still in the MP-20s. Obviously, a lot has changed as far as production, tooling, and tolerances, but the overall shaping is easily recognized.

An interesting question is, why, after winning the triple crown with his MacGregor Personal set in 1953, Hogan chose to forgo a lot of the design cues of that set and strike his own path in design. Whatever the answer, it was obviously the right choice.

Ben Hogan IPT – Released 1963

“IPT” stands for Improved Power Thrust.

With the original version of the Power thrust released in 1960, Hogan had started to experiment moving mass away from the toe area and pushing it towards the center of the head. It helped position more mass behind the striking area and closer to the shaft axis to increase workability. The IPT took that concept further and introduced the very first Ben Hogan iron with the muscle-on-muscle design. It removed mass away from the perimeter of the head and put it where it is most effective. This design element has been a key feature of almost every Ben Hogan iron that came after it.

Ben Hogan Apex – Released 1972

The shape of the 1972 Apex was not new at the time of its release—it’s basically the same head design as the Bounce Sole irons, which debuted in 1970. What makes this iron so iconic is the name “Apex”—this was the first! The Bounce Sole was iconic in its own way, because in this era of clubs the sole had more bounce and was much more cambered than other clubs on the market.


Although Callaway owns the rights to the Apex (name thanks to the acquisition of Hogan assets when they purchased Spalding) and have rightfully done the name justice, classic gear buffs will always associate Apex with Ben Hogan. The most discussed feature of this head is the shifting weight pad to raise the CG and improve trajectory control. To me, this iron epitomizes Ben Hogan’s desire to create golf clubs to offer maximum control for players seeking precision instruments. Elements of this design are alive and well with some of the irons produced by National Custom Works.

Ben Hogan Edge – Released 1989

For Hogan iron purists, the Edge might seem like an odd club to find on this list, but let me assure you it holds an important place in the history of the company.

Up until the release of the first Edge iron, Hogan irons were strictly forged blades. The Hogan Edge was the very first full production forged cavity back iron from a major manufacturer. They were produced by Cornell Forge in Chicago, and pictures of their production process were prominently displayed when entering their facility. “Full production” is the key phrase there because Ping’s first iron the Ballnamic 69 were made from forged Golf Craft blank heads and milled out to create perimeter weighting (see below).

Photo: Second Swing Golf

Ping irons actually played a big role in the development of the Hogan Edge, since it was only a few years prior in 1982 that Ping released the Ping Eye 2 iron with its perimeter weighting. These new forgiving cavity back clubs were sweeping the world of golf. Everyone from professionals to amateurs starting adapting more forgiving cavity back irons and Hogan needed to fight back. They did just that with the Edge, and if you look closely at the design with the more swept toe and offset, you can see Karsten Solheim’s Eye 2 had a big influence on the Edge.

Ben Hogan Apex – Released 1999

Jeff Sheets is the man behind a lot of important designs and breakthroughs in the golf industry, and he still calls the ’99 Apex one of his all-time favorite designs.

This is from Jeff himself on how this iron came to be courtesy JeffSheetsGolf.com

“… I was ready to pursue this project only after doing much homework, studying every Hogan design I could find and by interviewing past Hogan Company employees. In my research of studying Mr. Hogan’s design characteristics, I ended up creating the infamous Hogan iron chart using a 1-megapixel digital camera and black fabric backdrop as I photographed every iron on my credenza “photo studio”. I had two big assets available to me in the execution of the new Hogan Apex irons. The first was my CAD operator Charles Lovett who had a keen eye for blades after he had been hired away from Mizuno. The second was my prototyping contractor Tom Stites, an ex-Hogan R&D staffer who would convert our CAD files to hittable specimens. The ’99 Apex is the epitome of a Hogan forged iron design. It was the first Hogan iron to be forged by Endo Manufacturing in Japan. Stite’s group, Impact Engineering, did such a fine job on the final prototypes that we were able to laser scan them for creating the forging dies.”

After reading off all the names involved with this project, it’s no wonder this is still considered one of the greatest Hogan irons of all time. Jeff went on to design for Golfsmith and still operates his own design consulting company to this day. Tom Stites’ Impact Engineering was purchased by Nike and became Nike Golf, which is why it was located in Fort Worth of all places, and the master shaper at Impact was none other than Mike Taylor of Nike and now Artisan Golf.

This iron holds a special place in Hogan fans’ hearts because it was the first club released after Spalding purchased the brand in the late ’90s. Many diehards fans worried Spalding would just use the name to sell inferior lines of clubs on the back of the Ben Hogan name and in a way disrespect the legacy built by Mr. Hogan. This design by Jeff Sheets put those fears to rest, and thanks to the backstory behind it, has lived on to become a highly regarded set.

The Future of Ben Hogan Golf

Today, Ben Hogan Golf exists as a direct-to-consumer brand, and they continue to push the boundaries of design and develop clubs for both discerning players and those looking for a little extra forgiveness. Their newest iron, the Icon, combines a lot of the key elements of previous Hogan irons, and the question is now whether it will earn its place among others on this list.

Special thanks to Patrick Boyd of National Custom Works and Boyd Blade and Ferrule Co, for his help with this piece. He is a walking encyclopedia of classic forged iron knowledge.

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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.

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. stephen hall

    May 6, 2020 at 12:21 am

    I had a set of HOGAN EDGE GS irons, had for about 25 yrs until they were stolen great irons Hogans are the best…

  2. Joe

    May 2, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Why can’t tour pros (PGA) play cool, quality irons like they are still producing today? IMO the PGA WITBs are quite redundant with every player signed to like 5 companies. Those ICON irons look SICK.

  3. Billyjack

    Apr 30, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Loved my Apex Ii irons with that Apex shaft. That wedge! Sad day when some crook stole them.

  4. Richard Douglas

    Apr 30, 2020 at 12:28 am

    The Hogan Edge changed everything. Until then it was forged blades or 17-4 steel cavity-backed irons. The Edge brought the two concepts together.

    This iron was my first real set of irons. I loved them, but went to even more forgiving clubs in a couple of years. But they were beautiful!

  5. Kevin

    Apr 29, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    So, where do the Apex PC irons (circa 1985) fit into this thread? I have a set inherited from my father, 1 through E. I played them for years before changing to the recent Fort Worth 15 irons. Not sure the newer clubs have improved my game (about a 6 handicap). Those old blades are sweet to look at when addressing the ball. Given that 1, 2 and 3 irons are so rare these days, I’m never giving them up.

  6. BingHogan

    Apr 29, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    I currently have a NEW set of Hogan PC’s. I played 9 holes with them about 5 years ago with the Apex shaft number 4 when I went back to Ohio to one of my old boyhood courses. I walked in the Pro shop and asked if I could rent some clubs etc.. to bring back some wonderful memories. They said they only had a few rentals that weren’t that good. But, we have a nice set of Hogan’s right there behind you for sale 3-E. Original grips and $35! Only the 8 iron and E were hit one time.

    A great day!!

  7. Jack Ryan

    Apr 29, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    I’ve had two sets of the +1s, two through wedge (one is in still in the garage). I had a set of the Edge–they were nice but heavy and the top line was too thick. I have a set of 92 Apex–also in the garage currently. I am currently playing the Ft Worth 15 and loving them.

  8. TacklingDummy

    Apr 29, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    I had the Hogan FTX player forged irons. Progressive offset cavity back, but not much offset. Excellent set. Bagged them for several years until moving to Titleist AP2 then to the CBs.

  9. Mark

    Apr 29, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    I have owned 3 sets of Hogans – Apex II, Apex Grind and Apex 1999. All were very good but the 1999 model was a standout in my opinion and it’s the set I wished I would have kept. I have played Mizuno for years now but I sure do miss that set.

    • Dean Mitchell

      Apr 30, 2020 at 6:32 am

      The 99s are the best clubs I’ve ever played golf with, and I also wish I’d kept mine. The most playable and beautiful muscle backs ever made.

  10. cody

    Apr 29, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    You forgot to add the 1992 (I think) channel backs… some what copied by both Callaway in the prototypes and Mizuno with the MP5…

  11. chip75

    Apr 29, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Callaway make some nice sticks, but I’m not sure how they’ve done the Apex name “justice”? They bought Spalding (which I think was for the Strata ball) and acquired the Hogan assets, they kept the Apex name and repurposed it for nostalgic brand recognition.

    • Stacey Uchtman

      Apr 29, 2020 at 4:32 pm

      Agree, they should have let that name go with the brand.

  12. Suncoast 9

    Apr 29, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane Ryan. My first top of the line set was Hogan Apex in 1973. After switching to Ram Tour Grind in ’87 I answered the cavity-back siren song with Hogan Edge in ’94. It was back to musclebacks with a 1999 set of Hogans, which finally gave way to my current Mizuno MP69s. I still have the ’99 Hogans tucked away in my basement, along with a PC 1-iron that I actually could hit half decently once upon a time.

  13. Mark

    Apr 29, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Love Hogan clubs. My first set of golf clubs(bought used) was the 1959 version of the Starburst. Since then have sets of Percussion PC5, Bounce Sole, Round Sole, Producer, Radials (’83 version), Radials (’87 version), and Apex Redline. Most have been from ebay, with some bag chatter and some scuffing, but if you check them out before buying and with some cleaning, paint fill, re-grooving, and loft and lie adjustment they look and play well. While some of the 2, 3, and maybe 4 irons from these are displayed on the wall, I play the others. Still working on filling in the gaps by finding others, like Power Thrust, IPT, PT III, etc. Currently have 5 and 6 Radials and 7-Equalizer Round Soles in my bag. With the higher lofts when compared to current GI clubs, I am closer to having something like a 6.5 iron to Gap with these. The Radials are the most forgiving “blade like” club ever. (Shot my lowest 9 hole score ever last year with 5 – E Radials in the bag. OK, from the shorter tees since I am getting old and can’t hit it far enough anymore, but so what.) The Round Soles have “fairly” wide soles and set up nicely based on the sole curvature. In many ways, Mr. Hogan was ahead of his time. I would love to find a book or some kind of literature that would document the history of all clubs from the Precision to the mid to late 90s while Mr. Hogan was still active with the company. Anybody aware of that – I would love to know.

  14. Mike

    Apr 29, 2020 at 10:54 am

    The ’99 Apex were my first blade irons… every set I’ve acquired since then are held to that immeasurable standard.

    On a side note, I truly enjoyed the series of articles Tom Stites penned about his experience coming up at Hogan, but they seemed to end abruptly. Did this series end prematurely?

  15. CaryK

    Apr 29, 2020 at 10:28 am

    I had a set of the original 1972 Apex irons. Great feeling clubs for their era. To me, though, the 1984 Hogan Apex PC (Percussion Center) might be one of his purest designs. The 1988 Apex Redline irons were also very beautiful as well. Hogan’s 1983 Radials were an interesting design too that might have been ahead of its time.

    But my all time favorite is the 1952 Personal/Precision irons. I have a friend that has the limited edition boxed set that Hogan made in the 80’s. Just plain gorgeous!

    • Tom54

      May 4, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      You are indeed correct. I remember these too as I thought that they did not resemble any Hogan irons I had ever seen. I was never a fan of Ben Hogan irons but these were like a thousand dollars back in 83 a price unheard of at the time. Occasionally they will pop up on EBay but you will have to part with some serious cash for them. As I recall they were stunning looking irons.

  16. Dave Burdette

    Apr 29, 2020 at 10:27 am

    I have a set of Slazenger Precisions forged in England. I’ve been trying to get information on these for the past 5 years. They are exactly like the 1954 irons with the exception of Slazenger on the soles and red leather grips. If you have any history of these, I’m all ears.
    Thanks. Great article.

    • Suncoast 9

      Apr 29, 2020 at 11:59 am

      I had a set of Hogan clubs in 1973 that had Slazenger labels on the shafts. My understanding was Slazenger was licensed to manufacture (assemble?) Ben Hogan clubs outside of the US. The pro who sold me the clubs said the Slazenger label would be my proof to Canada customs that the clubs were bought in Canada.

  17. Michael

    Apr 29, 2020 at 9:48 am

    Over the weekend, I was able to score a set of Edge CFT irons from a guy cleaning out his garage. They may not be fully forged (just the faces) like the sets listed in this article but they’re in great shape and very playable. My next find will hopefully be a set of the Apex irons you mentioned. Thanks for sharing this article- even this forty-something year old has a special affinity for classic Ben Hogan irons!!

  18. Bob Jones

    Apr 29, 2020 at 9:42 am

    I bought a set of the 1999 Apexes and had them fitted for me. Wonderful clubs. When I was shopping, I tried a Ping i3+ and it felt just like the Hogans, but they looked funny and those 1999 Apexes appearance-wise are the tuxedos of the iron world.

    I also bought a set of Red Lines (1988) on eBay and had them retro-fitted. I like them even better and for good reason. The Grinds (1990) are well thought of, too. At his death, Hogan had set of Apex II (white cameo) irons in his bag.

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Equipment

2020 TaylorMade P770 irons: Distance and precision redefined

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New 2020 TaylorMade P770 irons are here, and with them, a reminder that every club in your bag has a purpose.

A driver is designed to go as far as possible, wedges are designed to be versatile precision instruments, and iron sets are built for both. The new 2020 TaylorMade P770 irons from TaylorMade bring together the distance of the extremely popular P790 with the precision of a midsized player cavity to offer distance and control to an iron unlike TaylorMade has ever produced.

2020 TaylorMade P770

2020 TaylorMade P770 6-iron. Cavity view.

TaylorMade P770 irons: The origin story

The story of the P770 starts with two clubs—the P760 and the P790. Now, if my math is correct, the combination of the two clubs would actually create the 775, but in the world of irons, that model number was taken over a decade ago by another OEM, and if we’re being honest, 770 sounds better anyways.

2020 TaylorMade P770, TaylorMade P790 comparison.

2020 TaylorMade P770, TaylorMade P790 comparison.

Let’s start with the P790 and its ability to infiltrate the golf bags of players of all skill levels. According to TaylorMade’s fitting database, the 790 is a club that can be found in the bags of players from +4 handicaps all the way up to golfers looking to break 100.

What makes the P790 so functional and appealing to so many golfers starts with its looks and ends with its performance. The P790 has the clean appearance of a blade iron from the back, and from address, it maintains sharper line associated with a  players club.

But off the clubface, or should I say all over the clubface, you get ball speed and launch conditions normally reserved for a much larger game improvement club. This iron helped redefine what is now known as the “players distance” category, and whether you consider that title an oxymoron or not, it’s impossible to argue with its popularity.

Then we have the P760, TaylorMade’s first combo iron set, which combined the power of SpeedFoam-filled longer irons with the precision of single-piece forged short irons. These irons again found their way into the golf bags of mid-handicaps to players all over the professional tours thanks to their ability to offer extra forgiveness and launch in longer clubs while still maintaining a small player’s look and preferred feel.

Regardless of skill, one of the biggest factors in the playability of any iron relies on a golfer’s ability to create speed, launch, spin, and angle of descent—the below video featuring our own Brian Knudson testing the P790 Ti is the perfect example of how an iron with strong lofts, for example, can launch higher and descend at an angle to make them playable when you combine the right technologies.

The ultimate design goal of the P770 was to combine the best of both these irons into a small, fast, playable package using every technology available to the engineers and designers at TaylorMade. This iron is about precision without sacrificing distance.

If you are a golfer looking for maximum workability and shotmaking control that puts less of a premium on distance, then the P7MB or P7MC is probably more up your ally, but if distance is still a big part of your decision-making process for a set of irons, then buckle up.

The technology

A look inside the construction of the P770

A simplistic way to describe the P770 would be to call it a shrunk-down version of the 790, but doing that would not give justice to the actual engineering that went into this design. The reason is, you can’t just shrink down a golf club and expect it to perform the same as a larger club, because not only are the mass properties different, but trying to maintain additional ball speed would be like expecting a smaller trampoline to bounce you as high as a larger one with bigger springs—the physics don’t add up.

“Designed to deliver P790-like performance in a smaller package, the all-new P770 leverages forged hollow body construction to pack as much distance and forgiveness as possible into a compact player’s shape.” – Matt Bovee, Product Creation

From address, and looking at the sole and toe profile, the P770 has a much stronger resemblance to the previous P760 than the 790, but from the back and from a technology standpoint, its got the guts of the P790.

The key technologies are

  • A SpeedFoam-supported forged 4140 high-speed steel face attached to a soft forged 8620 carbon steel body. Since the hosel is part of the forged body, you get the full lie and loft adjustability of a forged club along with the ball speed of a larger one. The secondary benefit of SpeedFoam is it creates an iron that feels extremely solid while being a multipiece construction
  • The other part of the speed story is the Thru Slot in the sole which helps shots hit lower on the face retain more ball speed and helps create extra launch. This technology runs from the 3-7 irons.
  • Speaking of launch, the new P770 has 46 grams of tungsten in the 3-7 irons positioned as low and as far back as possible towards the toe to boost MOI and launch in the longer clubs while precisely locating the center of gravity.
  • The final piece of the puzzle that helps with both distance and distance control is the Progressive Inverted Cone Technology or IVT. It is positioned closer to the toe in the longer irons to help with common mishits and moves higher and more heel ward into the shorter clubs. This keeps ball speeds variances as consistent as possible through the set.

More photos and discussion in the forums.

Choose your own P700 Series adventure

This is the part where the whole iron series really excels. For a long time, it used to be OEMs would release a number of iron sets that catered to various golfers but didn’t really have any cross over potential as far as building combo sets because of the large differences between designs. To counter this, they would often design exclusive combo sets either catered to better players or to higher handicaps/slower speed players with game improvement irons paired with hybrid long irons.

From the beginning and by design, the entire P700 series has been built to be custom combo’ed for any golfer—an impressive design feat. This allows players of varying ability with different swing and player traits to get exactly what they need out of different parts of their set. They have even gone as far to make sure that no matter how someone is looking to build their set, they can get looks, offset, bounce, and performance to match up from club to club—they even have an easy-to-follow chart!

Pricing, availability, and specs

The TaylorMade P770 irons will be available for pre-order starting August 14th and will be be available in retail shops starting September 4th.

They will be available from 3iron to pitching wedge in right and left-handed with an A wedge option available to right-handed players only. An 8 piece set starts at $1399 (174.88 per club) with KBS Tour steel shafts and Golf Pride Z-Grip grey and black as stock.

P770 Stock Specs

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2020 Mizuno E21 wedges: High performance reimagined

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New design, new construction, and a new way to look at what a high-performance wedge can be—these are Mizuno E21 wedges.

When talking about new clubs and the technology being utilized by engineers, the conversation eventually turns to mass properties and how adjusting them within the clubhead helps to create higher-launching lower-spinning shots. This is great when talking about drivers and fairway woods, but at the other end of your bag, high-launching, low-spinning shots are the enemy of great wedge play and distance control.

The key to hitting lower-launching, higher-spinning wedge shots is making contact below the center of gravity lower on the face. To help players achieve these optimal launch conditions, the Mizuo E21 utilizes multipiece construction to place the center of gravity higher in the head than ever before.

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

Mizuno E21 wedge technology

Mass properties play a massive role in the performance of any club. By design, wedges are the heaviest full swing clubs in the bag. This gives designers more mass to move around. To get the most of the Mizuno E21’s performance, the focus was to relocate as much mass higher and deeper in the head without sacrificing both looks and feel. The only way to do this was by using a hollow body construction.

The E21 wedge brings together a 1025 Grain Flow forged boron face and hosel with a 431 Stainless steel back, this helps the wedge maintain the soft and solid feel Mizuno is known for while also increasing groove durability. Don’t think that because a wedge is packed with technology it makes it a club meant for higher handicap golfers either—any golfer can benefit from improved wedge technology, the same way we can all benefit from hitting higher launching, lower spinning drivers.

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

The new E21 wedges even offer the exact same, if not thinner appearance from address than the Mizuno T20’s even though the back of each wedge looks extremely different—again, just like with drivers, something that looks different is different for a reason.

Soles designed for versatility

Beyond the new and improved mass shifting the E21 wedges provide, the most important part of the wedge is the sole, and Mizuno R&D pulled out all the stops when configuring the soles of these wedges to fit a wide variety of players.

They come in both a narrow and wide sole option, but unlike with irons where a wide sole is generally reserved for game improvement clubs, the wide sole models of the E21 have been configured for maximum versatility. Mizuno is not the only OEM offering versatile wider sole wedges, Callaway has the “X” grind, and Titleist with the low bounce “K”, to give you a few examples.

The wide sole E21’s have a lot of heel and toe relief along with a lot of front and back camber to keep the leading edge closer to the ground for those tight lies around the greens.

Mizuno Hydroflow Micro Grooves

Just like with last year’s release of the T20 wedges, instead of using traditional laser etching parallel to the milled grooves, Mizuno engineers took the concept of tread from high-performance tires and went perpendicular to the grooves and parallel to the direction the ball moves up the face to channel moisture away.

This directional tread has proven to increase spin on shots especially in conditions with moisture up to 1,200 RPM on a 60-yard shot. It’s not just about spin either: the more the friction created also means more control on launch angle and less of a “floating” ball flight. That’s how those low flying “zippers” really zip!

The other part of this groovy tale has to do with the reconfiguration of the grooves. Just like with the T20, the lowest groove on the E21 wedges has been shortened and centered. This puts it closer to the leading edge without having it disorient the look of the club from address and making it appear that the heel or toe is thinner on one side.

By bringing together the new CG placement with leading groove technology and reconfigured soles, Mizuno is once again changing the way players think about wedge performance.

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

Price, availability, and specs

The E21 wedges will be right-hand only and available this October with the exact date upcoming and priced at $200 per club.

The stock shaft is the KBS HI Rev 110 Wedge flex in black ion finish, along with a Lamkin ST Hybrid grip

Mizuno E21 wedge loft and bounce availability

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

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2020 TaylorMade Spider FCG putter: Blade performance, mallet forgiveness

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2020 taylormade spider putter cover

If you love the feel of a blade putter but struggle with alignment and need the extra stability only a mallet can provide, then this could be the putter you have been waiting for—the all-new 2020 TaylorMade Spider FCG (Forward Center of Gravity).

Although the new Spider FCG doesn’t look like any Spider ever imagined by the putter team at TaylorMade, it is a Spider through and through thanks to its multi-material design, and it’s built to offer the extra stability synonymous with the Spider name.

2020 TaylorMade Spider FCG putter: It’s what’s inside that counts

The key to the new Spider FCG putter is the distribution of mass relative to the face along with the extreme heel and toe weighting to boost MOI. This isn’t a small tweak either, to offer you a direct comparison, the center of gravity of the standard Spider X is 3 times further back in the head compared to the new Spider FCG. This is why most mallet putters, including the Spider X from TaylorMade, rely on various hosel configurations to fit a player’s stroke—and even then they can only get so much toe hang out of these designs.

Tech/fitting note: The reason we don’t see many high MOI (low and back center of gravity) putters that also have more than around 30 degrees of toe hang is that the nature of high MOI designs makes them harder to open and close relative to square. For someone with a more gated stroke, this means a high MOI style of putter requires more manipulation to get back to square at impact oftentimes results in the face being left open causing a “push.”

To get the center of gravity as forward as possible, TaylorMade did a number of things to the weighting properties of the head, including using more than 100 grams of tungsten weight in the heel and toe of the putter and positioning the interchangeable head weight directly behind the face. The most clever design trick was removing as much weight as possible from the back of the head, but maintaining the shape from address.

“We tried to think of the top and rear portions of the putter as a canopy. It’s rigid, allows us to create a long alignment tool, but takes up a very small portion of the putter head’s total mass” – Bill Price

The face also plays a big role since TM is using a new CU29 PureRoll insert, which offers all the same roll enhancing properties as other inserts in the line except for the fact it is constructed of pure copper and weighs 25 grams, making it the heaviest insert TaylorMade has ever created.

This putter is all about TaylorMade expanding available options to golfers, because the Spider FCG offers greater toe hang than any other putter in the Spider family ever at 46 degrees (with the slant next), which puts it directly in line with the TP Soto at 47 degrees. It also comes with two other hosel options to give players with a less gated stroke a better fitting putter—while still offering a longer alignment line and more forgiveness.

“In developing Spider FCG, we sought insights from many of the top players on TOUR. We compiled that information to construct a clean and traditional mallet shape that performs in a non-traditional way. The result is an intelligently designed high-MOI mallet that’s built for golfers who have an arced putting stroke. Forward CG placement lets the toe release freely like a blade, while the mallet shape and perimeter weighting help maintain the signature Spider family forgiveness.” – Bill Price; Product Creation Putters and Wedges

Now Speaking to alignment, the Spider FCG has what TaylorMade is calling TruePath T-Sightline. It combines the perpendicular alignment from the face with the long line pointed at the target. Giving this a technological name might seem like a bit of a stretch, but when talking with TaylorMade’s Bill Price about the top’s contrast he noted

“White is the very bright to our eyes and by creating high contrast along the front of the putter it helps players set up more square to their putting line regardless of eye dominance.”

It’s been proven time after time that player alignment is very much attributed to their eye-dominance; some players use the leading edge while others use longer alignment lines on the top of the putter—the FCG with TruePath is offering both.

Price, availability, and specs

The Spider FCG will be available at retail and online starting September 4th with the retail price of $350.

It is offered in three different neck styles to help golfers varying amounts of face rotation in their stroke to find the right model

  • The L-Neck (aka Plumbers Neck) with 25° of toe-hang
  • Short slant next with 46° of toe-hang, which puts it in line with most blade putters on the market
  • Single bend which is close to face-balanced for those with limited face rotation

It will come stock with a KBS Stepless Black CT putter shaft along with a Super Stroke Pistol 1.0 black and white grip, with other grip options available through custom order.  The putter will come in both right and left-handed and will come in the stock lengths of 33”, 34”, and 35”.

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