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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

The most popular golf shoes on Amazon right now (Fall 2020 edition)

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What are the most popular golf shoes on Amazon right now? From time to time, we like to get out of our little bubble of OEM releases and what’s being played on tour to look at what golf consumers are buying on one of the largest online retail marketplaces: Amazon.

Here are some of the best-selling golf shoes on Amazon as of October 2020.

1. Adidas Men’s Tech Response Golf Shoes

From the listing:Mesh/synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Thintech, adituff, thintech cleat, traxion, adiwear. Lightweight mesh and synthetic upper for enhanced breathability and comfort. Soft eva insole for lightweight comfort and cushioning. 6-spike configuration with thintech low-profile technology for improved traction and stability.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

2. Skechers Go Golf Men’s Torque Waterproof Golf Shoe

From the listing:Synthetic. Imported. lace-up. Rubber sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Replaceable soft spikes. Waterproof.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

3. FootJoy Men’s Fj Flex Golf Shoes

 

From the listing:100% Textile. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Performance Mesh – lightweight performance mesh delivers incredible comfort, breathability and all-day comfort. Complete support – a soft EVA midsole provides increased underfoot cushioning, enhanced comfort and exceptional stability.”

Price: $89.99

Buy here.

4. PUMA Men’s Ignite Nxt Lace Golf Shoe

From the listing:100% Textile and Synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Sole shield. Performance Mesh +TPU. Ignite Foam.”

Price: $99.99

Buy here.

5. Skechers GO GOLF Men’s Max Golf Shoe

From the listing:Imported. Rubber sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Skechers Goga Max insole delivers enhanced high-rebound cushioning for all day comfort. Durable grip tpu outsole with a spikeless bottom. Lightweight. Water resistant. Synthetic upper.”

Price: $74.97

Buy here.

6. Adidas Men’s Tour360 Xt Spikeless Golf Shoe

From the listing: Leather and Synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Leather and microfiber synthetic upper. Spikeless Puremotion outsole for enhanced flexibility and grip with X-Traxion primary lugs for grip and balance.”

Price: $135.59

Buy here.

7. FootJoy Men’s Fj Originals Golf Shoes

From the listing: Built on the Austin Last, this last offers the fullest rounded toe character, fullest fit across forefoot, standard instep and heel. EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) Fit-Beds provide lightweight cushioning underfoot. EVA does not take a set, so the cushioning will remain the same for the life of the shoe. This easy care synthetic upper offers outstanding 1 year waterproof comfort, breathability, and durability.”

Price: $89.95

Buy here.

8. Skechers Women’s Max Golf Shoe

From the listing:Imported. Rubber sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Spikeless, durable grip tpu outsole. Ultra-lightweight, responsive ULTRA Flight cushioning. Goga max insole delivers enhanced high-rebound cushioning. Water resistant. Synthetic upper.”

Price: $57.55

Buy here.

9. FootJoy Women’s Sport Retro-Previous Season Style Golf Shoes

From the listing: ” Lightweight – the linen-textured synthetic uppers offer lightweight comfort and durability. Cushioned rubber – the gum rubber outsole is a soft rubber compound which provides flexibility and comfort. Enhanced traction – This molded rubber outsole provides turf gripping performance and durability.”

Price: $59.95

Buy here.

10. New Balance Men’s Sweeper Waterproof Spiked Comfort Golf Shoe

From the listing: Synthetic. Imported.Rubber sole.Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Waterproof microfiber leather upper. REVlite 10mm drop* midsole provides lightweight cushioning & premium responsiveness. NDurance rubber outsole with removable FTS 3.0 Pulsar spikes.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

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Justin Thomas: What makes him an elite wedge player

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It might be easy to say that a player like Justin Thomas is near the top of the leaderboard because

  1. He hits it the best
  2. He drives it long and relatively straight
  3. He is having a good putting week

I would agree and disagree with all three. Yes, they are definitely factors, but in my opinion, it’s his wedge play that has been the most notable part of his game—especially in 2020.

If you look at the stats, you will find a player who is not only damn-near deadly from 150 yards and in, but also a player who gets out of trouble about as well as anyone in the top 10 in the world.

We are talking about 2020 as a whole FYI.

(Stats via PGATour.com)

Now strokes gained wedge stats have multiple variables affecting the ultimate stat, fairways hit, where a player misses it, out of the rough vs out of the fairway, putting, yada, yada, yada….

At this point, if I had to pick a player to get it done around the greens it would JT or Jon Rahm. True artists. Go back and watch some of the shots from the FedEx at TPC Southwind or even Kapalua this year, it was the reliance on his wedges that became the secret sauce. Like the putter, good wedge play can be an equalizer when anything else is falling short. And when the rest of the bag is decent, for a player like JT, good wedge play equals wins.

I wanted to dig in a little deeper, so I asked my old friend, Vokey’s Aaron Dill a few questions on what makes JT unique with a wedge in his hands…

JW: As far as technique, what in his action makes JT so good? And if you could compare him to someone who would it be?

AD: Justin’s technique is really something to watch. His ability to stay loose, calm, and maintain effortless speed while delivering the wedge accurately really shows his comfort with a wedge in his hands. Justin keeps the club out in front of him and he has mastered the ability to control his golf ball’s flight and spin.  I could compare him to many, but I sometimes feel he is in a league of his own.  

JW: Beyond the great shots we see on highlight reels, where does JT really get it done from an SG perspective? What do you see that the average person wouldn’t? 

AD: Justin does it all very well. You know this because he is 9th in SG around the green and this is partly due to his spotless technique but his ability to scramble in difficult situations. Something he does that amazes me is his creative vision of shots. There are times when he is in a situation where he hits a shot we don’t expect or think of. His comfort with a wedge is fun to watch, he makes all short game shots seem like they are no big deal and you can see this by his free-flowing, loose and speedy wedge action. You can tell he feels at peace with his wedge technique.

JW: He has an interesting set up for his wedges that has been well covered, but since you first met him, how has his understanding and approach to his wedges and wedge play evolved?

AD: Justin’s wedge set is unique, however, a lot of thought and intelligence has gone into crafting this matrix. Since the first time I met him, he has worked hard and he has always had the desire to want to improve and push himself. You can see it in his strength training, his increase in ball speed, and his general approach to competitive golf. His knowledge of his short game has improved over the years and it shows in his success. You can see how comfortable he feels when a wedge is pulled from the bag, you can bet he will be landing the ball close to the hole setting himself up for a makable putt.

Justin Thomas’ wedge specs 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Raw SM7 (46-10F @47.5, 52-12F @52.5), Vokey SM8 (56-14F @57), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60T @ 60.5)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (46), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (52-60)

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How to pick the right putter

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In the game of golf, putting is the great equalizer. It doesn’t take speed or strength and simply requires you to select a line and hit a ball at the right speed—easier said than done. But regardless of your skill level, it is the one club in your set you really never have to upgrade once you find the right one, which is why knowing how to pick the right putter is so important.

This is the GolfWRX guide to selecting the right putter for you.

How to pick the right putter: The right look

This one seems simple, but you have to like the look of your putter and feel comfortable lining it up. For some golfers, that means finding a more traditional heel and toe weighted blade with a basic metal finish, for others that could also mean a larger mallet style that inspires confidence thanks to its larger footprint and contrasting colors.

Between the two aforementioned styles, there are still varying hosel/neck (where the shaft meet the head) configurations that can change how a putter wants to naturally rest when being held which can, in turn, change the natural toe hang of the putter and how it will fit.

How to pick the right putter: Understanding putter toe hang types

  • Face Balanced – Depending on the hosel configuration, this style can be found on both mallet and blade-style putters, and when being balanced by the shaft, the face will sit perpendicular to 12 o’clock. These are intended to fit golfers with a straight back-straight through stroke/minimal face rotation.

  • 1/2 Toe Hang – This is the most neutral type of toe hang and sits between the face balanced and full toe down. It is found on most heel-toe blade putters with full-shaft offset (Scotty Cameron Newport 2 shown) and is for slightly arcing strokes with medium face rotation.

  • Toe Down/Full Toe Hang  – This type is only going to be found on the most heel-shafted blade-style putters, and when being balanced by the shaft, the toe will face “6 0’clock”—directly down to the ground. These are intended to fit golfers with the most extremely arcing stroke and high level of face rotation.

NOTE: There are multiple variations of 1/2 toe hang that sit both closer to full toe down and face-balanced all designed to fit various stroked depending on the amount of arc and face rotation.

Whatever reason you have for picking the putter you ultimately use, make sure you like the looks of it because you’re going to be seeing a lot of each other.

How to pick the right putter: Understanding your stroke style

Your putting stroke will inevitably play a big role in the putter you select because certain styles are going to work better for certain golfers depending on their putting stroke style, which is referenced above. To make it easy to understand—putting strokes can be put into three categories, and for visual reference, check out the handy guide below with pictures supplied by our friends at Ping.

Slight Arc

Fitter and golfer reviewing PING Color Code Chart

This is where most golfers fit in since it is the most natural stroke to make. A slight arc is also what I like to call a neutral stroke, meaning that when it comes to picking a putter it gives the golfers the most options for finding one that is going to fit best.

Straight back and straight through

Fitter applying impact tape to bottom of iron

A straight back and straight through stroke can help a lot of golfers eliminate variables, and when paired with the right putter can really help those that struggle to get putts started on line. Golfers in this category usually perform best with a face-balanced putter.

Strong Arc

Fitter watching golfer hit shots

A strongly arced stroke is the exact opposite of straight back-straight through and requires the most amount of practice and technique to maintain consistency. Players with a strong arc generally also use a lot more wrist in their stroke and because of the inconsistency, this stroke creates, there are fewer putters on the market that fit this type.

Putting it all together

Once you have selected your putter, the last step is getting it dialed into your final spec for length, lie, and loft. For length, the goal is to be able to stand in a comfortable putting position with your eyes over the ball or, just inside of your eye line.

For lie and loft, it is best to see a fitter, since it requires specialized tools to properly adjust, but if you are trying to get an idea for the direction your putter will need to be bent use the reference guide below.

To see how a professional putting fitting is conducted, check out the video below from TXG

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