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Grooves on Grooves: Callaway launches new Mack Daddy 4 wedges

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“Let’s do something else,” said Callaway’s Chief Designer and wedge-making legend, Roger Cleveland when talking about designing the new Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges.

And something else, he did.

Callaway’s Mack Daddy 4 wedges, which the company officially launched on Tuesday, use a new “groove-in-groove” technology that features raised micro-ridges between the main grooves on the faces. Rather than these ridges going below the surface, however, they’re actually “surface positive,” as Callaway explains it; that means they protrude above the surface. Therefore, the grooves and micro-ridges create more points of contact for the golf ball, and they create additional friction to induce more backspin.

In fact, Cleveland himself was so excited about the design, he stood up during our interview and drew out the design on a whiteboard. Professor Cleveland, if you will.

Related: For more insight from Roger Cleveland himself, click here to listen as he joins our 19th hole!

Using new, proprietary cutters, it takes 12 minutes per head to cut the grooves, according to Cleveland. Using a progressive design throughout the set, the lower-lofted wedges — 52 degrees and below — use “20D” grooves, while higher-lofted wedges — 54 degrees and above — use 5D grooves. That means, overall, the higher-lofted wedges are designed to create more spin for greater control around the greens, and the lower-lofted wedges will behave more like your shortest iron. Each of the wedges also have an added groove — Callaway calls it a “nip it” groove — near the leading edge that’s designed to induce more spin when you catch the ball a bit thin.

Maybe the new groove design is why so many PGA Tour players are switching into the wedges so quickly. Sergio Garcia already won with them in the bag at the Andalucía Masters, and Brendan Grace won using them at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. In the 2017 RSM Classic, in fact, there were 30 Mack Daddy 4 wedges already in play.

Grooves aren’t the only difference you’ll notice in the new Mack Daddy 4 wedges, however. Based on Tour feedback, Callaway has designed the wedges with a more compact shape, straighter leading edges, tighter leading edge radii, and slightly more offset throughout the line, according to Callaway.

The MD4 wedges have a progressive offset in the set in order to better blend looks-wise into your set of irons.

“Tour pros like only a subtle amount of leading-edge radius,” said Cleveland, according to a press release. “In the Mack Daddy 4 we gave them enough to make a performance difference while still pleasing the eye.”

As part of the Mack Daddy 4 wedge line, there are now 4 grinds: C-grind, S-grind, W-grind and a new X-grind that has a narrow sole but with high-bounce. Here is the rundown of what each of the grinds delivers, according to Callaway:

  • C-Grind: “Increased relief, especially at the heel, making it easier to play shots with the face open. Ideal for medium-to-shallow attack angles and/or firm course conditions. 8-degrees of bounce.”
  • S-Grind: “Medium-width sole with slight chamfer at the back and moderate heel relief to keep the leading edge low through impact, promoting solid contact on open-faced shots. 10-degrees of bounce.”
  • W-Grind: “Sole is wider at the center and toe and narrower at the heel, with moderate heel relief and generous front-to-back camber. That prevents digging without increasing bounce, and keeps the leading edge close to the turf at impact. Great for open-faced shots. More versatile than our previous W Grind. 12-degrees of bounce.”
  • X-Grind: “The newest grind features a narrow, high-bounce crescent sole, with the low point near the front. Excellent for moderate-to-steep attack angles and medium-to-soft course conditions. 12-degrees of bounce.”

The Mack Daddy 4 wedges, which are made from 8620 carbon steel, come in both Platinum Chrome and Matte Black finishes. Like the previous Mack Daddy 3 wedges, the Mack Daddy 4 wedges have four weight ports, and they have milled-aluminum medallions that progressively raise CG (center of gravity) as loft increases to help dial in ball flight, spin and feel appropriately for each loft.

Available lofts include 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 and 64-degree options, totaling 21 loft-bounce combinations. The wedges will come stock with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Tour Issue 115 shafts and Lamkin UTx grips. Mack Daddy 4 wedges will be in stores on January 26 and will sell for $149 apiece.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Mack Daddy 4 wedges in our forums.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. HDTVMAN

    Jan 10, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I like the look, but will stay with my PM Grind wedges. I don’t understand why more wedges do not have grooves across the entire face, like the PM Grind. Even if I miss off the toe, the shot is still acceptable.

  2. Uhit

    Jan 9, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Funny, the Bridgestone Tour B wedges have also that “new “groove-in-groove” technology”,
    already mentioned in a press release in august last year:

    http://www.bridgestonegolf.de/content/node_15813.htm

    and already reviewed on WRX in november:

    http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/1563642-bridgestone-tourb-xw-1-wedges/

    • Blop

      Jan 9, 2018 at 9:42 pm

      Cleveland/Srixon have been using this for a while now.

  3. stan

    Jan 9, 2018 at 10:38 am

    These hi-tech wedges are only effective for tour players with higher speed swings. Only the top 1% of golfers, which includes gearhead wannabes, will entertain buying these contraptions.
    Btw, in the 1967 book Search for a Perfect Swing (SPS) they tested a smooth grooveless wedge and found insignificant differences in performance compared to a grooved wedge. The testing was done under scientific condition of that time so perhaps the results would be different with these Cally wedges with the fancy face milling.

    • Paul G

      Jan 9, 2018 at 11:13 am

      I think wedges are one of the few areas of most amateur golfers games that can be in any way like a Tour player. Not the full swing shots, but those around the green are well within the reach of a normal golfer. If you look at a 30 yard pitch, the speed a Tour player uses and an amateur will be very close (providing they are playing the same kind of shot) as the goal isn’t about maximum yardage but the correct yardage. Of all the gear in your bag, wedges and your putter are the clubs that allow you to play a “tour players” game as they don’t rely on physical strength and speed to work

      Grooves are useful once there is anything in the way of the contact between ball and club, so a grooveless wedge is fine from a perfect clean lie, but poor everywhere else, hence all wedges have grooves.

    • Huh?

      Jan 9, 2018 at 11:28 am

      Stan – Where or how are you coming up with this nonsense?

    • Dan

      Jan 9, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      The groves are for poor lies. A grove wedge in the rain removes about 2 tsp of water from between the club face and ball. The groves also improve spin out of the rough.

      • stan

        Jan 9, 2018 at 5:28 pm

        So, if you hit different types of wedges off a clean tight lie there would be no significant difference between their performance results?

        • The dude

          Jan 9, 2018 at 8:27 pm

          I buy that….isn’t there an old article that proves that??

    • dlygrisse

      Jan 12, 2018 at 11:59 am

      Flawed study.

      Grooveless wedges only perform good under perfectly clean conditions. Like off a turf mat and a perfectly dry/clean ball. If any moisture gets on the ball or clubface the whole thing goes haywire.

      Wedges are designed for slower swing speeds, unlike drivers. Along with putters they are the most relevant.

  4. Travis

    Jan 9, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Groove-ception

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Equipment

GolfWRX Members Choice: Best driver of 2021

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What is the best driver in 2021? At GolfWRX, we take great pride in our online community and the cumulative knowledge and experience of our members. Needless to say, that extends to their GolfWRXers views on the best driver of 2021.

The bedrock of GolfWRX.com is the community of passionate and knowledgable golfers in our forums, and we put endless trust in the opinions of our GolfWRX members—the most knowledgeable community of golfers on the internet. No other group of golfers in the world tests golf clubs as frequently or as extensively, nor is armed with such in-depth information about the latest technology.

You can see the full results for the best driver of 2021, as well as additional comments, in the forums.

Best driver of 2021: The top 5

1. Titleist TSi3

Titleist Tsi3 sole

What Titleist says: “For players who create more consistent contact and require more precise control over CG placement. With a new Adjustable CG Track Design for advanced speed-tuned performance.”

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • @biebs333: “TSi3 driver is fantastic, great looking and forgiving; I love it. Tough to beat a Titleist, just a fantastic club all around.”
  • @dwboston: “Used my TSi3 on the course for the first time this weekend. 2 rounds, hit 22/26 fairways with it, and it’s noticeably longer than my 915 D2 (with the same shaft – GD AD BB 6S). It’s a keeper.”
  • @manima1: “Had the TSi3 for about a month now, and I can’t believe how good this head is. This thing should be getting more buzz than it is. Every once in a while, a product comes along that really moves the needle (i.e. Taylormade M series debut), and this is certainly one of those.”

You can read what other golfers are saying about the TSi3 driver in the GolfWRX forums, and see our launch piece here.

2. Ping G425 Max

Ping G425 Max sole

What Ping says: “G425 MAX elevates the moment of inertia to PING’s highest level in history. Forgiveness comes mainly from a 26-gram tungsten movable weight, made possible by weight savings from advancements in the driver’s dragonfly crown technology. The CG-shifting weight can be set in neutral, draw or fade. A T9S+ forged face increases flexing for adding distance.”

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • @EatDrinkRunLSU: “I was fitted for a PING G425 Max in late January and finally got it in late February. I’ve played 81 holes with it in the last 3 weeks. I’ve hit some of the longest drives I’ve ever hit in 25 years of playing golf over the past 3 weeks.”
  • @Jim123: “The 425 max has made me sell the tsi3 and not think twice. Yea the sound is not the best, but you have to miss the ball completely to hit this thing bad. It is beating the 400max by an easy 15 yards, and I believe it’s even more forgiving.”

You can read what other golfers are saying about the G425 Max driver in the GolfWRX forums, and see our launch piece here.

3. TaylorMade SIM2

TaylorMade SIM2 carbon sole plate

What TaylorMade says: “First we reshaped the driver, then we reconstructed it. Completely rebuilding the driver from the ground up to give you both forgiveness and distance. Go ahead, the tee box is yours. Swing away.”

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • @GooseHook: “Two rounds with the SIM2 this weekend, and I think I can at least say it’s a big improvement over the original…for me. The more lively feel and taller face are pluses, and more importantly, I had ZERO big right misses. The RDX Black has a great feel, but I might have to give my Atmos a run at it to see which one gets the most out of the head. For now at least, it feels like I can swing naturally and not fight my driver for dear life.”
  • @ScottHutch2: “I have been loving my SIM2 driver with Accra TZ5 shaft in it. Has been a great match up for me and given me the ability to hit fades off the tee again.”
  • @benclab: “benclab: “I just got the SIM2, and it’s better to me (then OG SIM). Feels better, a tad more forgiving and still hits bombs. Funny, I was making fun of the colors a few months ago, and here I am rocking one.”

You can read what other golfers are saying about the SIM2 driver in the GolfWRX forums, and see our launch piece here.

4. Callaway Epic Max LS

Callaway Epic Max LS

What Callaway says: “Introducing the new Epic MAX LS, designed for mid-to-low handicap players who want more speed, neutral ball flight and forgiveness in a lower spin, high MOI package. MAX ball speeds come from a NEW Jailbreak A.I. Speed Frame that works in combination with the A.I. Designed Flash Face. This unique driver head provides enhanced fade bias capabilities, along with Adjustable Perimeter Weighting to fine tune ball flight off the tee.”

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • @Swingblues: ” I don’t need to say the Max LS is pure PHENOMENAL, best driver ever made by Callaway. Period.”
  • @golfboy1: “Guys I have been golfing in Palm Springs, basically golf heaven! Finding the Max LS is a bomb… comes off hot and can shape it!”
  • @third-times-a-charm: “Max LS continues to impress. Again, I haven’t been seeing any positive gains like this from any driver in recent years. 

You can read what other golfers are saying about the Epic Max LS driver in the GolfWRX forums, and see our launch piece here.

5. TaylorMade SIM2 Max

What TaylorMade says: “The reconstructed SIM2 Max delivers high MOI with a heavy 24g tungsten weight positioned on the Inertia Generator. The TPS Front Weight is strategically located on the sole of the club to encourage optimal launch and spin properties, delivering complete performance and max forgiveness.”

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • @Titleist84: “Owned last year’s SIM and this year’s SIM2 Max. Last year’s SIM was slightly longer, but the SIM 2 Max is way more accurate.”
  • @tleader: “Love my SIM Max. Very little (if any) difference to “upgrade” to the SIM2 Max if fitted correctly.”

You can read what other golfers are saying about the SIM2 Max driver in the GolfWRX forums, and see our launch piece here.

Join the discussion about the best driver of 2021 in the forums. 

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Equipment

TaylorMade launches all-new 300 Mini Driver

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One month after landing on the USGA’s conforming list, TaylorMade Golf has launched the all-new 300 Mini Driver, which will hit retail on July 16th 2021.

The new 300 Mini Driver features a 307cc head designed to deliver a blend of distance, forgiveness and control, while the multi-material construction aims to provide the optimal combination of low-CG performance and high MOI forgiveness.

Speaking on the new addition, Tomo Bystedt, Product Creation, Metalwoods & Irons at TaylorMade, said

“It’s been 20 years since we last made a metalwood this size. It was only natural to call it the 300 Mini Driver to acknowledge what the 300 Series meant to our brand and the game. We blended the throwback look with modern carbon, titanium and steel construction to produce a club the speaks to TaylorMade loyalists while delivering distance from the tee and the fairway.”

The low CG and mass in the face are distributed across the sole from front to back in design to provide high launch with low spin characteristics. At the same time, the combination of a high-strength titanium face and Thru-Slot Speed Pocket seeks to deliver maximum ball speed.

The Twist Face technology in the Mini Driver aims to add another level of playability, while a reinvented V-Steel soleplate seeks to add to the low CG properties, promoting improved turf interaction and versatility when played off the deck.

A prototype model of the 300 Mini Driver was played last month during the U.S. Open by Phil Mickelson, and per the company, other Team TaylorMade athletes, including Dustin Johnson, are currently testing the design for potential play at next week’s Open Championship.

Specs, Pricing & Availability

  • Lofts: 11.5 and 13.5 degrees
  • Stock Shaft and Grip: Mitsubishi MiDr Proto (with numerous custom shaft options available); Golf Pride’s Z-Grip (47g)
  • Price: $399.99
  • At Retail: July 16, 2021
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What GolfWRXers are saying about the best drivers under $300

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In our forums, our members have been discussing drivers for $300 or less. WRXer ‘golfnmudd’ is bored of his current gamer and wants to change things up. Along with the driver needing to be $300 or less, he also reveals that he has a swing speed of about 115mph with a mid-high launch, and our members have been sharing their suggestions for him in our forum.

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.

  • SlicerMcGee: “Extensively used the Callaway Epic Max LS and Srixon ZX5. Both are are fantastic drivers and highly recommend trying out both.”
  • Gabe Althoff: “Cheap TS2’s on eBay. Bought mine for $200.”
  • Wam78: “I vote for Speedzone as well. Had one earlier in the year with a speeder Evo IV and it was an awesome combo! Had a little hot melt added to the toe. Sound and feel were great!”
  • NCGolfing: “Pxg proto …now that the Gen 4s are out, the protos are very reasonable. I bought one on here a couple of weeks back, added a Tensei pro blue shaft, and I’m loving it.”
  • puttingmatt: “I can only suggest you try Tour Edge Exotics; I play the EXS Pro driver with the Tensei Orange shaft. It’s a beast, a straight and long bomber. Again, I can only suggest.”

Entire Thread: “What GolfWRXers are saying about the best drivers under $300”

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