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.
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.
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
The C Grind
The U Grind
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.
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.
GolfWRX Spotlight: Tour Edge Exotics EXS Pro hybrid
Hybrids, for many of us, are one of the clubs that don’t get replaced very often. Once we find one that we can confidently hit in pressure situations, it stays in the bag for as long as possible.
I am exactly one of those players as my hybrid has been in the bag since 2015 and has the paint chips and embedded dirt to prove it. That club has been my crutch to lean on when I couldn’t hit anything else straight off the tee, needed to hit the green on a long par 3, or go for the green in two on a par 5.
I wasn’t really looking for a new one when the Exotics EXS Pro showed up at my door, but the shape grabbed my attention, and I had to give it a try.
Tour Edge just announced the Exotics EXS Pro line of woods and they are “from the tour van” with tour-inspired shapes and performance. You can read the whole launch story we did HERE and also read about the new fairway woods.
The EXS Pro hybrid is smaller and has a deeper face than its EXS 220 sibling, giving it a look that better players look for. The shape is initially what got me, as it isn’t a tiny hybrid like we have seen with some other “tour” versions, but it isn’t too large either. The head is also a little more rounded overall, without a sharp toe or other lines. As I am one to hit my hybrid off the tee a good amount, the deep face was welcome—while it isn’t so deep that you can’t hit it off a tight fairway lie. The moveable weights in the sole allow you to adjust the head in order to make it an “anti-left” club that many better players fear.
On the course, I really felt comfortable with the EXS Pro right away. The first shot came off the face feeling hot thanks to the Beta Ti Face that is brazed onto the stainless steel body. The ball speed is really fast and the shot shape was flatter than my previous hybrid setup. If you are a high ball hitter and have a hard time with hybrids, the EXS Pro should be on your shortlist of new ones to try. Better players are going to love being able to flight the ball for windy conditions. Distance is of course fantastic, but it is repeatable and consistent.
The EXS Pro is a little longer than my previous hybrid, but still fitting into the distance that I require. Tour Edge didn’t just make the club longer to add distance, the lofts are pretty standard as the 19-degree I have is only 40.25” long and has a lie angle of 57.25 degrees. Dialing in the EXS Pro should be no problem since they make six lofts between 16 to 22 degrees to fit your gapping needs.
Over the past two weeks, I have found that this EXS Pro does remove the left side of the course. Tour Edge claims it is an anti-left hybrid, and so far I have found that to be nothing short of the truth. Shots are slightly fade biased with the heavier weight in the toe, but you can still easily turn it over and hit it straight. Tight lies or fairly deep rough are no problem with the compact shape and Slipstream sole, making it versatile all over the course. I
like the deeper face for hitting if off the tee and shots where the ball is sitting up in the rough. That deep face just gives me a little more confidence that if I get a little steep with my swing I will still be able to save a decent shot.
My only real complaint is that the EXS Pro’s Slipstream sole collects some dirt, and you have to grab a tee to clean it out, but really nothing that should stop anyone from putting this in their bag.
Overall The Tour Edge Exotics EXS Pro is an anti-left hybrid that is built for better players. What is might not have in total forgiveness it makes up for in lower launch, great distance, and its fade bias. If you have been struggling to find a hybrid to fit your game, the Tour Edge Exotics EXS Pro could be your answer.
GolfWRX Spotlight: Crossrope weighted jump rope & app
An 18-hole round of golf averages out to just under five miles of walking, which on its own is a good workout. Once you throw in some potential uphill trekking you get some serious cardio too, but if you all looking for a quick workout between rounds of golf look no further than Crossrope.
Crossrope – The details
Crossrope is a system of the weighted jump rope that allows you to quickly switch the weight of the ropes you are using to boost your workout—they range from 1/4 lbs all the way up to 2 lbs depending on the kit you start out with. There is an accompanying app that helps you go through multiple workout routines and is available free, or you can upgrade to the entire library of workout routines along with more workout tracking options.
This is NOT your middle school jump rope
The handles are heavy duty and feature precision bearings to allow the rope to move smoothly around as you go through a routine. They are also ergonomic and fit into your hand naturally, which making gripping easy, something that is really nice when you’re swinging a 2 lbs coated steel cable around. The handles also come with a fast clip system to make changing cables depending on your selected workout easier too.
The ropes themselves are made from braided steel and are almost impossible to tangle, allowing them to be easily transported and stored when not in use. All in you are getting a premium piece of workout equipment that is effective and easy to store—hard to same the same thing about a treadmill.
When it comes to a workout, skipping rope is one of the most effective cardio workouts you can do, and with Crossrope, you can get both cardio and low impact weight training when using the heaviest ropes, and follow along with the guided workouts.
As someone that hadn’t used a jump rope in over a decade, starting out lighter was a nice way to ease in before moving up, and I was pleasantly surprised how easy and fun some of the workouts in the app were. If you are looking for a fun way to add something to your workouts, or you just want to try something new to get you into golf course walking shape, this could be right up your alley. To learn more check out crossrope.com
TaylorMade SIM and SIM Max driver review
New for 2020, TaylorMade has launched the new SIM driver family. First the lower spinning SIM then a more forgiving higher spinning SIM Max and a SIM Max D head to help draw the ball for those that need it.
We have seen the tour players using all three of the SIM drivers.
- Keegan Bradley WITB using the SIM Max D
- Tiger Woods WITB using the SIM
- Dustin Johnson WITB using the SIM Max
The SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D drivers from TaylorMade feature an asymmetric sole shape as well as a redesigned Inertia Generator. The asymmetric sole shape of the drivers is designed to reduce drag while providing faster clubhead speed, with the redesigned Inertia Generator redistributing weight at the very low-and-back portion of the club in a bid to provide improved forgiveness.
The SIM Max D clubhead contains a heel-bias internal weight with a topline masking to make the clubhead look more open at address to help golfers who struggle with a right-miss.
Other features of the SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D drivers includes a speed injected twist face, inverted cone technology, a thru-slot speed pocket, multi-material construction and an adjustable loft sleeve.
Exclusive to the SIM driver is sliding weight technology which allows face angle and flight bias preferences of up to +/-2° loft change and up to +/-20 yards of draw-fade bias.
Here are the individual reviews from GolfWRXers’ trip to The Kingdom.
Tester: Rob “osubuckeyes691“
I’ll start by saying this. SIM is very good. It’s not a magical 30 yards like everyone is talking about here. That comes from being properly fit. But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have.
My current set up is a Callaway Epic Flash SZ Double Diamond with a Fuji Ventus Black 6x. LOW LOW LOW combo…and I still hit it high haha. I live in the low to mid 170s ball speed with spin sometimes getting up to 2700 2800. Drives I hit well, spin around 2100. My miss is a big push slice.
But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have. -Rob
I ended up being fit in to a SIM 9* with the new KBS Tour Driven 70 Category 5. This shaft is super interesting. It’s really hard for me to describe but it has feel, and a lot of it. Spin dropped to about 2400 on my miss right and really, that’s what I was hoping would happen. I wanted something that when I missed, wouldn’t lose me 30 yards. We put the weight in the heel and it really did help straighten out the miss. Huge advantage for me. I knew as someone who swings 120ish I wasn’t going to pick up 20 yards. I wanted to reduce my miss and that’s exactly what SIM was able to do for me. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
Tester: Will “fillwelix“
For my driver fitting, I was with Perry, who was a blast to get to work with. I started by hitting my gamer on Trackman, talking with Perry about what my misses usually are, and what I wanted to get out of the fitting.
I usually don’t have a problem with distance so I told him the biggest thing I was looking for was a tighter dispersion. I don’t have the trackman numbers yet but with my gamer, I was averaging about 110 club head speed, 160-something ball speed, 270-275 carry, 285-290 total. Launching a bit too high but spin was okay.
The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. -Will
We tried the 10.5 SIM in a Ventus Black 6x, and he gave me a couple tips in my setup, because my AOA was something like 4 or 5 degrees up. The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. Carrying 295-300, total of 315-320. One shot carried the fence of the driving range at The Kingdom.
Spent some time going through different shafts to see if there was an improvement, played with weights, etc. but the best numbers were with the 10.5 SIM with Ventus Black 6x and the weight all the way in the toe, because my miss is usually left. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
Tester: Nick “n_rones“
I started off with my fittings working with Joe. After some warmup we started with the drivers. Coming in I was playing a Srixon Z785 with a Hzrdus black 6.5 70 gram shaft at 45 inches.
I’m a really tough fit because I have an unusual swing and hit down on the ball heavily with every club. My AOA with the driver was between 5 and 7 down which is pretty nuts I always knew I hit down on it but not that much. I’m still waiting on the trackman date to be emailed to me but with my own driver I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 109 swing speed with a launch angle of 4 degrees and 4000 spin (Ridiculous I know right).
I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. -Nick
His main goal for me was to get launch up and spin down. The first club he handed me was the Sim 10.5 turned up to 11.25 with a Graphite design IZ 7x. Instantly my launch angle increased and spin dropped. We then went through a few other shafts like graphite design ad di 7x. We came back to the IZ and with a quick change in tee height we ended up where we wanted. We knew with my angle of attack we were never going to get me to super low spin and high launch we just wanted to get it to a manageable number.
By the end of the fit I was hitting the sim with the iz under 3k spin with a couple down at 2500 and 9 degree launch increasing my carry from the 244 range up to the 260-265 range on good swings and we neutralized my cut massively. I was fortunate enough to finish my fit while other guys were still busy so we went right into the build shop and he built me my driver on the spot and gave me a super cool kingdom exclusive headcover. I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. Most of that is me never being through a proper fitting before but a big factor was I was able to get into the sim head with high loft but it was a great spin killing head for me. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
I am one that gained a good bit of ball speed from getting fit for the SIM driver. My gamer is a Titleist 915D3 9.5* with a Rogue Silver 70X. I wasn’t fit for the driver as I just bought the parts off of the BST. I always felt that I lost yardage due to high spin. The Trackman didn’t lie as I was getting 166mph ball speed and 3000 rpm of spin on well-struck shots. Where this posed a problem was when I was off-center, the ball would be a high right spinner that would lose a lot of distance.
Where I saw great gains was in dispersion. TwistFace just flat out works. Toe shots came back to closer to center, and heal shots faded right back towards center. I also didn’t lose as much yardage. I did pick up about five mph in ball speed. There are a plethora of reasons for this gain and the resulting 20 yard gain in ball flight.
Some could attribute the gain to almost 30 feet of height in ball flight. It could also be because there was 300 less RPM, or over a degree increase in launch angle. Either way, it has proven to me that getting fit by a knowledgeable fitter is crucial. This is the first time that I have been fit for a driver. All the expectations of mine going into this fitting have been met.
The SIM is forgiving. The SIM is aerodynamically superior to what I have been playing. The SIM just flat out performs for me because it doesn’t balloon, it is forgiving on mishits with good direction and ball speed, and it reduced my spin rate. –
The sounds of the SIM line is amazing. The solid “thwack” sound it makes at contact is extremely welcoming. Gone are the days of high pitched aluminum baseball bat sounds. Now, some sounds just sound perfect to me. Johnny Wunder posted a video on Instagram of me hitting a driver, and you can hear the sound. Here is a link to his post in the forums.
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