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Review: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Wedges

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Pros: The Mack Daddy 2 wedges feature a compact, forged head with some of the highest-spinning grooves we’ve tested. With three different grinds available for the 58- and 60-degree wedges in two different finishes, the line supplies a wedge for most any preference.

Cons: The head is noticeably smaller than that of many other companies’ wedges, which may not be for everyone. If you like to hit the occasional 100 percent wedge, it may make you a little timid to really go after it, at least at first. On those fuller swings, the feel and sound are fairly firm, which may also surprise some players.

Bottom Line: The start of a very solid wedge lineup from Callaway (expect more grind/sole options to be released in the near future). In a product category normally dominated by other companies, the Mack Daddy 2 represents a legitimate contender for a spot (or two…or three…or, in Callaway staffer Phil Mickelson’s case, four!) in the bag. Legendary wedge designer Roger Cleveland put blood, sweat and tears into this line of wedges. They are his pride and joy. If they weren’t, you would not see the words “Designed by Roger Cleveland” stamped onto each Mack Daddy 2 wedge.

Overview

Above: Members of the GolfWRX Staff and GolfWRX Featured Writers Team discuss the Mack Daddy 2 Wedges with Roger Cleveland. 

The Mack Daddy 2 wedges wear their technology on their faces. The centerpiece is the 5V grooves available on the 56-, 58- and 60-degree models, which are 39 percent larger than Callaway’s 2011 Forged line of wedges. Cleveland has asserted that these wedges produce “roughly 85 to 90 percent” as much spin as was created by wedges from before the USGA’s 2010 regulations, which curbed the sharpness of wedge grooves, and up to 25 percent more spin out of the rough than previous Callaway wedges.

In addition to the grooves, there is a considerable (the maximum allowable by the USGA) amount of rough milling between the grooves, meant to add extra spin. The oval shapes on the face of the club resemble leopard prints and will fade with use.

For the lower-lofted Mack Daddy 2 wedges, Cleveland adopted a contrarian attitude. The grooves on the 47-, 50-, 52- and 54-degree wedges have been dialed back somewhat, in order to accommodate fuller swings without the player running as much of the risk of over-spinning such shots.

The 58- (right-handed only) and 60-degree (right- and left-handed) models of the Mack Daddy 2 wedges come in a choice of three grinds: S, C and U. The S and U grinds, both with 10 degrees of bounce, differ by the construction of both the leading edge and sole of the wedge. The S (for “Standard”) grind has a flatter leading edge that is meant for players who play most wedge shots with a relatively square face. The U grind, preferred by Phil Mickelson, has a very rounded leading edge and a sole that has been partially concaved, making it easier to open the face considerably in order to hit a variety of higher, softer-landing shots. Wedges with the C grind have 14 degrees of bounce, a partially flattened sole and a leading edge of middling roundness.

The wedges, available in both chrome and slate gray finishes with, sell for $119 with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold S300 shaft.

Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Wedge Specs

Performance

IMG_3055-copy

 Above: The face of a Mack Daddy 2 wedge in a milky chrome finish that reduces glare. 

Everything Roger Cleveland and Callaway say about the amount of spin the Mack Daddy 2 wedges produce is true. Hitting simpler pitch shots with even the more modestly grooved 52-degree wedge takes some acclamation, as the first instinct of the ball on even short-carry chips seems to be to pop straight up in the air like the gnarliest drop shot imaginable in tennis. But that amount of spin is something most any golfer would be ecstatic to get used to.

The wedges shine especially brightly from the rough, where the 25 percent spin increase figure sometimes seems a bit conservative. With proper technique and enough club-head speed, golfers will get a good deal of fluttering soft landings, even from thicker grass. As much spin as the wedges produce when asked to, they similarly can back off if more of a running “dead-hands” shot is desired. This versatility is definitely the strongest suit of the Mack Daddy 2 line.

Out of the sand, the Mack Daddy 2’s are also brilliant. The 10 degrees of bounce on the 60-degree wedge I tested (since I’m a lefty, I had to bend my U Grind 60-degree wedge 2 degrees strong to get it to the 58 degrees of loft I prefer) gives the player confidence in the ability to attack certain bunker shots — even shortish ones — and impart some serious spin.

The wedges are excellent short-range clubs. If any criticisms might be leveled, the main one would be that on fuller swings, the wedges seemed to fly slightly shorter than one might otherwise expect. As one who can normally manage 120 yards with other 52 degree wedges, similar swings with the Mack Daddy 2 seemed to produce 112-to-115-yard shots.

The same went for the 60-degree (bent to 58) — instead of 100 yards, 92-to-95 yards seemed to be the norm. That said, the trajectory produced was excellent — flatter, yet with prodigious amounts of spin when called upon. And once again, lower-spin shots from 70 to 105 yards were more than doable. Versatility!

Looks and Feel

There is a definite click that one hears and feels hitting the Mack Daddy 2 wedges. The quality of the forging of the club head itself is unquestionably good, but it is certainly a wedge best suited to those who prefer a slightly firmer feel and sound.

The S Grind

Callaway-Mack-Daddy-2-S-Grind-58
Mack-Daddy-2-58-Address

 The C Grind

Callaway-Mack-Daddy-2-C-Grind
Mack-Daddy-2-C-Address

The U Grind

Callaway-Mack-Daddy-2-U-GrindCallaway-Mack-Daddy-2-U-Grind-Address

 Click here to read more about the different grinds in our “Tech Talk” story.

Callaway has always produced wedges whose heads appear a little smaller than those of other manufacturers, and the Mack Daddy 2 line is no different. Switching from most other companies’ wedges, the at-address aesthetics of the wedge may take some adjustment, but will eventually become a non-issue. Both finish options are gorgeous and minimize potential sun glare, which can be a problem with other companies’ offerings.

Purely as objets d’art, the Mack Daddy 2 wedges are attractive. The backsides of the wedges have more writing, stamping and imagery than stodgy purists might prefer, but as a modern wedge, it is lovely. The classic-font “Callaway” and chevron symbol form an interesting contrast with the sharp mill marks and the more modern-looking text to the right — a nod both to the company’s heritage and the forward-thinking ideology for which it has become known of late. It is a club for the 21st Century for sure.

The Takeaway

Callaway is a company that is not afraid to take chances, which makes Phil Mickelson an ideal ambassador for the brand. And Mickelson’s thrill-seeking nature, channeled by Roger Cleveland, is reflected in the design and function of the Mack Daddy 2 wedges. The selection of three different grinds in the higher-loft wedges (with more lofts and grinds to come in the future) gives golfers a taste of the limitlessness of equipment setups previously reserved only for touring professionals.

Callaway’s acknowledgment that all golfers are not created equal is wonderful, ensuring that a wide variety of players will be thrilled by their new wedges, especially at their very reasonable price point. Other companies offer customization, but generally at close to twice what one will pay for a Mack Daddy 2 wedge.

The versatility of these wedges’ design translates beautifully to the golf course to the point where a chipping green becomes the most fun place to practice. And on the course itself, those who find themselves testing the limits of what sorts of greenside shots their Mack Daddy 2 wedges can handle will surely not be alone in their delight. In closing, Callaway has built a wedge that most any player, from the mid-high handicapper to Phil Mickelson himself, will be pleased to use.

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Tim grew up outside of Hartford, Conn., playing most of his formative golf at Hop Meadow Country Club in the town of Simsbury. He played golf for four years at Washington & Lee University (Division-III) and now lives in Pawleys Island, S.C., and works in nearby Myrtle Beach in advertising. He's not too bad on Bermuda greens, for a Yankee. A lifelong golf addict, he cares about all facets of the game of golf, from equipment to course architecture to PGA Tour news to his own streaky short game.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Gary

    Jan 31, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Great clubs. I own a few of them. They are as good or better than any wedge in their price category imho. Great feel, accuracy, durability seems to be good too.

  2. Jimmy Cliffe

    Jun 8, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Brilliant club, excellent feel and has improved my short game a lot! Just don’t get the slate finish, although it looks great it will rust straight away. Played one game in the rain and now it looks ancient.

    • Jafar

      May 6, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      I didnt like the rust at first but now I welcome it. Your golf clubs are going to get dirty. Having some of that rust reminds you of the work they do for you.

  3. Steve

    Oct 22, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I got the Mack Daddy 2, 60 degree “C-Grind” at a member guest. This is by far the best scoring club in my bag. I’ve chipped in two and have hit the flag three times just in the first week I’ve had this club. I can’t wait to get it in a 56. Thank you Rodger Cleveland, Great wedge!!!

  4. G

    Oct 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Hi can any one tell me if the ‘mac daddy’
    Slate wedge rust ?
    Regards g

    • James

      Oct 17, 2013 at 11:38 am

      G. Yes it will, I have had mine for about a month so far and I do notice that it is a little Rusty.

    • Steve MCMurchie

      Feb 8, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Yes the mac daddy Slate wedges rust, I have 2 56° & 60° great clubs they just luck bloody awful after a while!

  5. G

    Oct 12, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Hi can any one tell me if the ‘mac daddy’ 2 wedge
    ‘Slate’ will rust ?
    Regards g

  6. Tyler

    Aug 16, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Don’t like the name. Mack Daddy, Rocketbladz- not liking this new trend.

  7. Steve

    Aug 12, 2013 at 12:10 am

    I purchased a 52 (bent to 50) and a 56 (bent to 54) shortly after they hit the stores and couldn’t be happier. Both are rock solid, easy to pick a ball off of a tight lie and feel wonderful when you hit the sweet spot. I prefer a smaller wedge (which is why I didn’t go with another set choice), I just hope that Callaway offers additional shaft options without undue hassles. I like TT shafts, but have KBS tour shafts in my irons, and would love to see Callaway offer the High Rev shaft as a viable option. Try these, they are nice wedges…

  8. Erik Johnston

    Aug 2, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    You guys never went over the durability of there new club face design and I was wondering if you have any input on it. I don’t want to get it and have it wear out the first month I have it.
    Thank you for all the work you do to bring us information.

    • Gary Lewis

      Aug 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      I imagine the durability of the grooves will be pretty good, maybe better than average. Callaway forged wedges typically wear pretty good from my experience (X-Tour, X-Forged and the previous version). The face pattern will probably wear off fairly quickly but that shouldn’t be a problem.

  9. daniel

    Jul 31, 2013 at 8:11 am

    just get more loft and have it bent stronger decreasing the bounce

  10. J.

    Jul 26, 2013 at 8:07 am

    12* of bounce on a 52* wedge is ALOT!! Any comments from the reviewer on this? This is one of the first wedges from the US market I’ve really liked the look of in recent years, classic looks with modern tech, and I’m thinking about giving them a go, but that high bounce 52* makes me wary… Any thoughts would be great.

    • LL

      Jul 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      12* Bounce on a 52* is more than most companies although Ping has the same set-up in the Tour S wedge. If you are hitting it with a square face and striking it downward you won’t have any problems. I really like the idea that it can be used for slightly longer bunker shots where the lip is not excessively high. When you have to carry some length of sand in the bunker or just have a flag that is well back on the green this could be a great tool.

  11. D

    Jul 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    The review mentions lower lofted MD2s – 47 and 50 – but these are not listed on Callaways site. Can you clarify this?

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jul 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Those lofts are currently not available, but according to Roger Cleveland they are coming to retail in the near future.

      – Zak

  12. Pingback: Editor Review: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Wedges – GolfWRX | Golf Products Reviews

  13. R

    Jul 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    “Wedges with the C grind have 14 degrees of loft, a partially flattened sole and a leading edge of middling roundness.”

    Should say “14 degrees of bounce”, to avoid confusion

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Reviews

In the GolfWRX forums: A trip to the TaylorMade Kingdom for a wedge fitting and more giveaway, review opportunities!

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Our forum faithful are well acquainted with the incredible giveaways going on in the realm of threads and comments, but we want to make sure front page readers are able to get in on these unique opportunities.

Check out a roundup of our current giveaways and review opportunities below!

TaylorMade MG3 wedge fitting experience! At The Kingdom!

First off, the big one: A chance for a TaylorMade MG3 wedge fitting at the Kingdom at Reynolds Lake.

Do you want to have a once-in-a-lifetime golf experience?! Would you like to get fit for a brand new set of TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 wedges? Do you want to experience everything that The Kingdom at Reynolds Lake has to offer? How about heading to East Lake and getting a tour of the TaylorMade Tour Truck? I don’t even know why we are asking these questions because the answer to all of them is “YES!”

We are looking for 4 members to get fit for the new TaylorMade MG3 wedges in a way that few ever will! Apply now for your chance to be a part of this amazing experIence!

Enter here. 

Tour Edge Exotics Pro 721 fairway wood! Enter now!

Tour Edge has launched the new Exotics Pro 721 fairway woods and we are now giving 2 lucky members the chance to win one of their own! These fairway woods are designed with faster swingers in mind and we know there are plenty of GolfWRX members who can take advantage of all that power! Enter now for your chance to win one of these great fairway woods.

Enter here. 

Cobalt Golf Q-6 Slope gangefinder! 3 testers needed!

Cobalt Golf and GolfWRX have an exciting opportunity for our members to test out Cobalt’s Q-6 Slope Rangefinder! Apply now to be one of three members to test out this beautiful rangefinder and report back to the community about your experience.

Enter here. 

The reviews are coming in…

Five WRXers are testing Bridgestone’s new e12 golf ball.

10 GolfWRXers are testing Srixon’s new Q-Star Divide golf ball.

Three GolfWRX members are testing Rapsodo’s MLM.

Five GolfWRXers are testing 3D printed Cobra putters.

Five members will be giving Strackaline yardage books a look.

GolfWRXers are testing Edel’s new Swing Match System wedges.

Finally, Tour Edge Exotics C721 drivers are getting a GolfWRX member look.

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Driver Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Tour Edge Exotics C721 driver

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Tour Edge’s Exotics line of high-end golf clubs has been known for excellent fairway wood and hybrid performance over the years. The Chicago-based company has been consistently putting out high-quality products, and golfers are really taking notice. The new line of C721 drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids take yet another big leap forward from last year’s EXS line. 

The new C721 driver takes a lot of technology from the 2020 EXS line and further refines and expands on it. I know it is a little cliche when companies say every model is their best ever, but Tour Edge is 100 percent right this time.

When unboxing the C721 the first thing I noticed was the much-improved looks and shape over the previous Tour Edge drivers. The biggest change to my eye is the added bulge, giving a more rounded and softened topline.

The overall shape of the C721 is slightly stretched from front to back, giving it just a hint of a triangular look. The Ridgeback is a titanium spine flanked by two carbon fiber wings that add stability and forgiveness to the head, but they can also work together and an additional aiming device to ensure you are lined up down the center of the fairway. 

Getting the C721 out on the course is where you really start to appreciate all the technology that went into this driver. Well-struck shots are very long, very boring, and will hang with anything out on the market today. Center contact is rewarded with a long and very low spin shot that is just fun to hit.

The sound and feel are very solid, you can really feel the ball compress on the face as it leaves at high speed. The sound is more of a muted crack and much quieter than I anticipated. If you practice on an enclosed range your ears will thank you for your choice in drivers. Shots hit away from the center of the face retain a lot of ball speed and stay online really well.

My miss is low on the heel and those misses stayed in the air fairly well and went a good ways. Shots hit down on the heel or higher on the toe side still stay online really well due to the Ridgeback spine and rear weight. The C721 is just slightly higher than mid-launch for me, but the low spinning head never allowed my shots to balloon or rise even into the wind. I do wish the face was just a touch deeper as I had to play with my tee height in order to find the optimal setup. The better players will enjoy the neutral weighting and there seems to be very minimal draw built into the driver.

Overall, the Tour Edge Exotics C721 driver is a great club that will probably be overlooked by too many golfers. If you are looking for added distance, a lot of forgiveness and want to keep some money in your pocket, then you should seriously take a look at Tour Edge.

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Apparel Reviews

Apparel review: Justin Rose Collection @ Bonobos

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Bonobos? Bonnaroo? What do they have in common, besides being fun words to pronounce that belong to today’s generations? That’s a question for another story. We’re here to tell you about the latest addition to our curated polo collection, the Performance Golf Polo from the Justin Rose collection. It comes from Bonobos, so kick back to this 2020 Bonnaroo mixtape and read up on white anchors.

Professional golfer, Justin Rose, photographed for his Spring 2021 Bonobos capsule collection.

Bonobos has been working to reinvigorate its golf category that launched in 2011 and bring a fresh face and new thinking to their golf mix. The brand has been eyeing pro-golfer Justin Rose for some time, especially as he’s risen in the game and his style on and off course aligned with the brand’s aesthetic, it was a natural fit. Bonobos made the official partnership in 2019 and since then, Justin has worn Bonobos on the course during his tours, and in his everyday life, by choice.

In March 2021, the brand launched the Justin Rose Golf Collection, its first co-designed golf line with Justin consisting of an assortment of printed performance polos, pants, and shorts that are versatile for casual days on the course, to playing 18-holes and to the clubhouse afterward.

My fit arrived promptly, and I couldn’t help but throw it over my head and shoulders, and strut around the house. No matter the time of year nor the weather outside, a golf polo always works in the indoor arena. I had considered the slim fit, but opted for the standard. It was reassuring to realize that either one would have draped well over my torso. Plenty of room from shoulders to ribs to belly, both static and active. First box, checked.

The next task was no less arduous: wear the shirt in the out-and-about. A brisk day arrived, so I tucked a long-sleeved shirt beneath my polo, and went about my daily business, aka teaching. My students perked up when I entered the hall, and asked immediately about the anchors. “Ya know, just a new polo,” I replied. The company logo was apparent on my sleeve, so no need to ask about its origin. I’ve worn polos in the past that did not interface well with a shirt beneath. When you play golf in the wee morning hours or the evening gloaming, or the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, you often need to trick out your fit with another layer. The Bonobos Performance Golf Polo was comfortable beyond words on this day, and the collaboration with the long sleeve was a success. Second box, checked.

At this point, a little transparency will help matters. I looked good in this shirt, but when I read the added description about the model 40-inch chest, six feet two inches tall, size medium slim fit), I couldn’t help but feel a bit…inadequate? Then I looked in the mirror again, smiled, and winked, and I still looked good.

The final checkpoint was my new, Bryson-esque golf swing pitted against the Bonobos PGP. Having played golf with a gentle, consistent, non-violent swing since I picked up a club, I made the decision that 2021 would be the year that I would tear the cover off the ball. Why wait for a better time than the present, am I right? Swing after swing at the dome produced a variety of shot traces (Bryson wasn’t built in a day, after all), and my body still loved my second skin. Box three, checked.

In addition to the White Anchor pattern, something I would call the small-repeat, Bonobos offers five other patterns for purchase in this shirt model. Two floral patterns (Red Tropical and Teal & Pink) fall under the large-repeat style. The Green Sailboat Geo fills the entire top with a small-repeat, making it hard on the eyes for me. The Blue Lighthouses pattern is a medium-repeat; not as large as the Florals, but more sizable than the anchors, sailboats, and the last pattern (on a dark-blue shirt) the Navy Golf Bags small-repeat. Three white backgrounds, one blue, one red, one teal. That’s a pretty nice lineup from which to select a few new coller-poppers.

End of the day: Two happy shoulders (out of two) for the affordable ($69 retail) Bonobos Performance Golf Polo. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to check out the rest of their virtual Guideshop. Peace!

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