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Greatest TaylorMade Irons of all Time

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TaylorMade’s drivers revolutionized golf in the early 2000s, thanks to a string of performance leaders including the R500 series, which also lead to a lot of other firsts for the company.

What is often forgotten is just how many amazing sets of irons the company has produced over the last 20 years, which has also put them among the category leaders.

These are the best TaylorMade irons of all time.

P790 – Released 2017

The first iron on this list is also one of the newest. As soon as the 2017 P790 was launched, it was quickly adopted by golfers of all skill levels! It was the perfect combination of looks and performance, which created a mass appeal to both better players and mid-handicapper looking for and iron that offered a little extra help and ball speed, while still “looking the part.”

The SpeedFoam injected head backed up the looks to provide a club that felt great too, which is generally the biggest detriment to clubs initially meant for higher handicap players. In the end, whether it was a full set, or players using them to build combo sets in their long irons, there is a big reason the 2019 TaylorMade P790 only saw minor tweaks to the design—you don’t fix what isn’t broken.

RAC Forged CB – Released 2004

For a long time, this was one of the most-discussed sets of irons ever made by TaylorMade. 2004 Forged RAC CBs were hard to find unless you knew where to look, and to many, they looked very similar to the RAC “Coin Forged” Combo released around the same period.

There were big differences though between the two: the CB set came in a satin chrome vs polished. It was a full CB design instead of transitioning to blades in the shorter clubs, and how could we forget, were forged in very limited numbers by Miura—yes, the same Miura known for their extremely precise club manufacturing history.

The rumor was the CBs were planned to be a larger release, but Miura’s limited production output left TaylorMade having to source a new forging house to meet demand and the “Coin Forged” combo set was soon born. Although they never got a full-scale release, they are still one of the most well-regarded sets among golfers.

P7TW – Released 2019

What else could be said about the P7TW irons? These are Tiger’s irons down to every last detail and incorporate for the first time in an iron TaylorMade’s Milled Grind technology. They set the golf world ablaze last April when they were officially launched right before the 2019 Masters (TaylorMade P7TW irons: Designed for Tiger). We recently covered their development in depth here too: Phase 1 vs. P7TW: An inside look at Tiger Woods’ TaylorMade irons. This iron is the absolute peak of TaylorMade craftsmanship.

Original RAC LT – Released 2002

The RAC LTs (LT stands for lower trajectory) helped position TaylorMade among the leaders in the better players iron category in the early 2000s. The RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line as a whole was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for each player.

With other forged models released around the same time and the blades gathering a lot of the initial attention, the RAC LT initially flew under the radar since they were positioned at a lower price point compared to the TP models. In the end, TaylorMade sold a lot more sets of the LT compared to the blades, thanks to their perfect combination of playability, workability, and looks. The rest is history.

RAC TP MB Smoke – Released 2008

This blade easily goes down as one of the best looking TaylorMade irons of all time. The TP MB Smoke took the classic muscle-back blade and drew inspiration from input from their tour pros to give it a modern spin. The original version launched in 2006 offered the same look but in a chrome finish, and since it was still a popular design, they only changed the finish option in 2008. These irons also incorporated some of TaylorMade’s wedge technology through the entire set by offering their proprietary milled “Z” grooves for extra spin consistency in all playing conditions.

Tour Preferred MC – Released 2011

The 2011 TP MC was the flagship of the 2011 Tour Preferred line. The key design element of all the iron models was the weight screw positioned right in the middle of the back of the head to keep mass centered directly behind the sweet spot. This feature, something we have seen before and that continues to this day from other OEMs, allowed for precise controlling of head weight without altering the CG to maximize performance. When talking individuals in “the know,” the 2011 Tour Preferred series of irons are remembered fondly as some of the best irons ever made by the Carlsbad-based OEM.

The MCs still have such a cult following, Daniel Berger uses them on tour to this day (Daniel Berger notches top-10 finish with 9-year-old TaylorMade irons). 

Burner ’09 – Released 2009

If you talk to any club fitter, they will say to this day, “If a player comes in with a set of ’09 Burner irons and hits them fairly well, they are going to be very hard to beat.”

There are several reasons the Burners perform so well, including the fact they were one of the first sets to push stronger lofts and wider gapping of five-degree increments up to the 7-iron. Although lower CG and stronger lofts are commonplace now, this design and technology tweak allowed golfers to see improved distance and gapping, which is something most players still struggle with.

To this day it is still one of the top-selling TaylorMade irons of all time.

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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.

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Richard F wheeler

    Jul 24, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    What does anyone have to say about the KVD irons. I just picked up a set and will play them tomorrow. Remind me of my old Haig Ultras.

  2. stanley

    May 1, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    i have a set of p7 tw irons in tiger’s original specs. his loft if so weak compared to what we are accustomed to playing with today.

  3. Gerald Teigrob

    Apr 29, 2020 at 11:48 am

    I’m surprised to see that the TM Rocketblades irons didn’t show up here. I had the gap and sand wedge from that iron, and wish I still had them! I realize the Rocketballz would bring out our humor, but the Rocketbladez and Speedbladez were the irons that grabbed my attention. I did like the Burner 2.0 irons.I’d be interested in seeing the greatest Cobra irons of all time!

  4. Tiger

    Apr 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    2005 TP CB in the satin finish were perty! I think Goosen bagged these.

  5. chip75

    Apr 20, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    The 300 FCIs, the R9 TP Faldo set, (I think they were Japan only?), the original RAC blades.

  6. Dan Butler

    Apr 18, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    2009 TP Irons are better than all of these.

  7. Gary Byron

    Apr 16, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Never had much time for Taylor irons; but I have a set of “Speed Blades” that I can still hit as good as anything I’ve played!

  8. MikeB

    Apr 16, 2020 at 9:43 am

    Their older models may have been good, and don’t know about the newer stuff, will explain. Had the SpeedBlades when they came out, broke 3 of them, not in anger, during normal play. The inside of 2 irons shattered, and another broke off at the hosel, ball on the green, head on the forward tees. They were replaced by TM with the RSI irons, took just over a year before caving in the 4 iron, and multiple irons had their face slot material breaking and falling out. Both sets complete junk. Along with a 2016 M1, and 2017 M1 driver, face caved in both, will forever be done with TM. And when friends ask about getting new equipment, I steer them away from this crap

  9. Bobby

    Apr 16, 2020 at 2:39 am

    Taylormade Rac LT’s was my favorite iron of all time! Shot my lowest round ever with them. That iron set was my first ever. Before that I was gaming my dads old ping eye 2’s. I got too cocky and decided I was way too good for the Racs and needed a blade lol. Still to this day I remember how cocky I was with those things. Should have never switched so early only gamed for 1 year.

  10. JP

    Apr 16, 2020 at 1:50 am

    No love for the LCG?!?

  11. steve

    Apr 16, 2020 at 12:10 am

    We all have our personal preferences. Me, the ‘06 R7 TP. Been gaming them since new with only a recent shaft change to accommodate 15 years of aging. Im a rec player that will never eclipse a 2+ HDCP. So why bother Changing what feels good when $1000 for P790’s will make no/very little difference.

  12. Chris

    Apr 15, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    How do you not put Burner 2.0s on this list ????
    Best selling iron by Taylormade !!!!

  13. Imafitter

    Apr 15, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    P790’s are great looking and perform beautifully.

  14. Rory O Donnell

    Apr 15, 2020 at 9:49 am

    The only flaw with the original RAC LT, was that the head was too light

  15. Jerry Weir

    Apr 14, 2020 at 12:53 am

    The 1999 Hogan Apex blades (and their “players cavity back” Apex Plus) are the pinnacle of golf club development.

  16. Bob D

    Apr 13, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    I played the 300 1-percent until last year.never found a replacement until Srixon 785. Until I replaced them 300 irons are the best match of forged blade setup with moderate forgiveness that I ever played

  17. Prime21

    Apr 13, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    RSi TP was too good.

  18. jgpl001

    Apr 13, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    P750 for me
    Still in many tour bags

  19. Alan Peach

    Apr 13, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    Taylormade m2 tour, no mention, couldn’t get a new set for love nor money when they came out, they were very popular.

    • Ryan Barath

      Apr 14, 2020 at 9:26 am

      M2 Tour irons were quite good and were basically an updated Burner ’09 with new face tech – the profile was almost exactly the same.

  20. BJ

    Apr 13, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    NO RAC TP CB’s? The satin one with the milled faces!!!!

  21. N

    Apr 13, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Ironic that the list of ‘greatest tmade irons’ includes 2 sets that can barely be classed as an original design by tmade.

    The p790, a blatent rip off, that PXG rightfully filed a lawsuit against (they settled out of court)

    P7TW, an iron that was designed with input from Tiger and his old club designer, to be as close as possible to his previous Nike/Artisan set.

    • M.Coz

      Apr 15, 2020 at 11:25 pm

      You implications are incorrect. There was a suit and countersuit. TM did not lose in that settlement. Can’t go into details but just because someone sues somebody does not mean that the person who brings the suit is right. In fact in many or most they are not right. TM continues to use hollow heads (which they had in the 80’s!) and they continue to use their type of foam (which is different than PXGs) in subsequent models after the original 790’s. In the end PXG spent a lot money that in the end got them some publicity.

  22. ChipNRun

    Apr 13, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    The SLDRs from 2014 came and went fast, but for everyday people I don’t think you can beat the model. The 3i through 7i featured the innovative Speed Pocket Thru-slot technology, which made the longer irons much easier to launch. The stock KBS Tour C-Taper 90 shaft (lower-launching brother of KBS Tour 90) was an excellent fit for the heads. Between heads and shaft, a ball hit from the rough would set down nicely on the green rather than skittering over.

    The follow-on RSi variants offered no real improvement as far as I could tell.

  23. Cody Reeder

    Apr 13, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Good list. A few misses I think. The P7-TW are so specific that you really can’t add them to the best ever list.

  24. bl

    Apr 13, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    The Rac CB is one of the good looking set of irons. This is a pretty good list, but I would think the 300’s need to be included. I’ve never seen the Rac MB Smoke in person but they look pretty in pictures. I remember fitting people back when the Burner irons came out they were tough to beat they were so good.

  25. DelacruzC5D

    Apr 13, 2020 at 11:15 am

    OH MY GOODNESS…how did the Taylormade 300 forged irons not make it into this list?! I respectfully object, as I felt like that iron performed and felt better than any of the RAC models, minus the blade. And that’s not counting the infamous Miura forged specialty pieces.
    It took me over a decade and a half to find anything as good as the 300, and even now, I still bring them out of storage and hit them every once and a while.

    • Haloha

      Apr 13, 2020 at 1:48 pm

      I agree the 300 FCI are great cavity blades (still have them))and were better than the RAC, just not many people knew about them back then nor did they know Miura.

    • Large chris

      Apr 13, 2020 at 2:09 pm

      Blimey I picked up a set of 300s based on GolfWRX recommendations…. they’re a bit harsh aren’t they? Narrow soles, bit too aggressive looking, high pitched ding sound. Also found the swing weights very inconsistent had to adjust them quite a bit.

    • Dan

      Apr 13, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      Absolutely

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Equipment

Golf 101: 5 Tips to building your golf bag with CH3 (+ Charles Howell III WITB)

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I think at this point it’s safe to say that Charles Howell III is the adopted son and patron saint of WRX.

Not only is he a member of the site and visits regularly, but he’s also an avid club nerd and tester. I’ve become friends with CH3 over the past couple of years and have had some fun gear geek sessions with him. Want to know the coolest thing of all? He’s still as passionate and curious about gear as we are and not just Titleist (who he is on staff with) he’s curious about it all.

So who better to ask about how to build a great golf bag than with a man who knows it, does, and plays for his livelihood week in and week out?

These are 5 Charles Howell III golden nuggets that any golfer can learn from—and oh yeah, his take on the future is spot on.

Rule #1: Stability over speed no matter what

“Even for the guys on tour, stabilizing the clubface is paramount to good driving. One of the reasons I love testing shafts so often is to see if there is that magic combo of speed and control. However, the stability of the clubhead and shaft have to be there—I could find a combo that’s 20 yards longer, but if it’s something I can’t control, it doesn’t have a place in my bag. Extra yardage is fun until it isn’t.”

Rule #2: Find wedges that can do it all

“I chose the Vokey SM8 M Grind in the 56 and 60, because as the grind spectrum goes, they fall dead in the middle for me but everyone is different. I discovered that finding a middle ground grind wise solves the “different wedges for different grass problems” some players find themselves in. Even at Augusta, there was more Bermuda sticking out than normal which made shots from behind 15 different for example a little trickier. Not only are you chipping back towards a downslope with water behind, but it’s also now into the grain. Knowing I had wedges to combat either scenario made it that much easier. As a player, you have to put all the grinds through the paces and see what one checks off the most boxes. It might be something you never considered.”

Rule #3 Forgiveness looks different for every player

“Iron set makeups have changed so much in recent years. Pay attention to the soles when choosing your irons, even in the longer irons. It would be easy to think that bigger heads wider soles would be a no-brainer to hit, but to be honest, it’s not that simple. Sometimes finding a sole that will help the club get in and out of the ground easily will get you that center contact you were looking for. Although guys on tour may choose beefier long irons, it’s pretty rare to find one with a really wide sole. Soles that large encourage a player to try and sweep it off the turf which is counter-intuitive with an iron in your hand. When getting fit, pay attention to attack angles and center contact with your longer clubs; you may find that thinner soles help you more than anything else.”

Rule #4 Enjoy the process of learning and testing

“Obviously playing for a living gives me the advantage of testing a ton of stuff, but it’s just as fun doing the research at home (online) and understanding what certain equipment can do and the idea behind it. I still rely on testing as much as I can to see what works but it’s the pursuit of knowledge that keeps it all fresh week in and week out. Technology is so good these days but like anything you have to ask questions, look around try some stuff and then make a decision. Remember it’s your golf bag, take some pride in demanding that every inch of it works for you.

Eyes on the future…

“I think as we go down this Bryson/distance chase, the ultimate result on tour will be a lot of two driver bags. Look at it this way, having a 47-inch driver for long bombs, and a 44.5 inch for tighter drives, and a 4-wood isn’t all that hard to imagine. Players can tweak lofts in the irons and wedges easily to adjust to gapping. It’s not rocket science, and I don’t think we are that far from seeing multiple players on tour doing it that way.”

Charles Howell III WITB

Driver: Titleist TSI3 (10.5 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD XC 6 X

3-wood: Ping G425 LST (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 8 X

7-wood: Ping G410 Max (20.5 degrees @20)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 9 X
Irons: Titleist T100 (4-6) 620 MB (7-9)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5 (hard stepped)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (48-10F @47, 52-12F, 56-08M, 60-08M)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron 009M

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align

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GolfWRX Classifieds (12/3/20): Mavrik SubZero, rare Scotty Cameron, Wilson Staff

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member CLRMTgolfer – Wilson Staff forged combo set

This is one extremely nice custom combo set of irons from Wilson golf – from blades, all the way to the Staff utility, this set has everything you need for shotmaking.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Wilson staff iron set

Member EHSgolf1 – Callaway Mavrik SubZero driver

Your chance to get an almost new Callaway Mavrik SubZero for less than new price!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Callaway SubZero

Member Champ 2430 – Scotty Cameron Timeless longneck prototype

As they say “if you know you know” and this rare Scotty Cameron Prototype longneck is a thing of beauty – the only thing is I really hope you have a big golfing budget.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Rare longneck Cameron

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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Adidas X Vice Golf launch The Vice Golf Shoe by Adidas

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Adidas has teamed up with Vice Golf to launch the new Vice Golf Shoe inspired from off the course which includes a dozen Vice Pro Drip Lime x Adidas golf balls.

The Vice Golf Shoe from Adidas contains ultraboost and a signature lime-green colorway to accent the designs for life both on and off the golf course. The shoe features a camouflage pattern in gray and white on the top of the shoe, while a brand-new drip pattern decorates the boost material at the bottom.

The shoe features branding “discoverables”, such as a subtle Vice logo on the tongue of the shoe while a collab logo is celebrated within. The company’s motto “Embrace Your Vice” runs down the spine of the heel, while another Vice logo lives underneath the 3-stripe caging on the inside of the foot.

If golfers want a brighter color pop, the alternate neon lime laces give that option.

“Based in Bavaria like Adidas, we have always looked up to this global ambassador and brand that has made big moves in both the golf and footwear in recent years. It is a great honor to finally present the result of 22 months of work with tears of happiness when the final pair of shoes arrived” – Vice Golf founder and CEO Ingo Duellmann

In addition to the shoe, the packaging of the Vice Golf Shoe by Adidas is made to look, feel and act exactly like their signature golf ball packages. 

The bottom of the box is wrapped in a neon lime camouflage pattern, and the top cover features the exact, embossed Vice logo colored in neon lime drip pattern as seen and felt on the brand’s golf ball packaging. The connection continues after lifting the lid and discovering an actual box of Vice Pro Drip Lime golf balls, with Adidas logos, sitting in its own compartment.

The Vice Golf Shoe from Adidas (plus one dozen Vice Pro Drip Lime X Adidas golf balls) costs $219.95 and is available to purchase from December 7, 2020, 11 AM EST at ViceGolf.com.

 

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