For golfers who don’t want to play a blade but also can’t bare to look down at a shovel GI iron, we have a option that impressed the editors at GolfWRX. Callaway X Forged cavity back irons for 2013 have some cool technology and the looks and feel of a forged muscle back iron.
Callaway X Forged are some sweet players irons. We are excited to have them in play. As we said in the original article about these heads: What’s better than a forged muscleback iron at address? Nothing, except maybe an iron that looks the same, plays the same and has more forgiveness. That is what we have found here with these new-for-2013 X Forged. Looks and feels like a MB but has he forgiveness of a cavity back.
Pros: Killer looks and soft buttery feel. We were suprised that a cavity back as large as the X Forged could produce such a great feel. Also the sole design has more bounce than many modern forged irons today. Roger Cleveland and the Callaway designers like to add a lot of bounce to their irons and wedges. Performance is also very good. Long irons were high and the shorter irons were flatter.
Cons: We wish there were no badges in the cavity. Callaway added two small badges that we thought at first were part of the forgings until we looked harder.
Bottom Line: Looking for a players iron that looks great, has a forged pure feel and performs as good as you can get forged iron to perform? This is one on a very short list we recommend for you launching this year. Performance packed into a great design.
Looks and Feel
The chrome finish on these irons looks fantastic. The cavity with two small badges and the face are both in a satin chrome. Combination of the shiny chrome and the satin cavity make these irons look great. You will also notice tightly spaced grooves that Callaway has been using since the groove rule regulated the size of the groove. Callaway began to space the groove tighter to allow the players to be more aggressive in shot shaping.
Aesthetically, the 2013 X Forged look more like Callaway’s musclebacks as well. They have a shorter blade length than the RAZR X Forged, but it’s not quite as short as the musclebacks. The 2013 X Forged irons also lose the high heel and sharp toe that gave the RAZR X Forged a polarizing appearance, opting for a face profile closer to the musclebacks.
“Pretty much every player that puts the muscle back iron down like the way it looks,” Williams said.
The heel to toe is compact to help move players that are used to using muscle backs into these cavity backs. We learned that Callaway has attempted to create a PGA Tour-inspired forged cavity back designed by Roger Cleveland that offers cleaner looks and better performance than its predecessor, the Callaway RAZR X Forged.
All you will have to do is demo this set to understand why we rated it so high for feel. During testing we compared the X Forged to Mizuno’s MP-64, Epon’s 302, Scratch Golf’s irons, Miura’s 501 and also the current cast offerings on the market. We will not say they felt any softer than the Mizuno MP-64’s, but we can say they are comparable. Don’t believe what we are saying? Go and see for yourself and demo a set.
There was a “black and white” difference between these and the cast offerings. Cast gave us a click sound vs. a thud and also the cast was not as sensitive to provide feedback as these forgings were. The solid feel at impact left you with a clear understanding why some golfers prefer to play forged. The forgings will provide you a clear report with the slightest hit off the sweetspot. An instant report card about the hit.
We believe that the small pocket badges in the cavity helped offset the reduced mass behind the sweetspot to allow a softer feel. More mass behind the sweetspot typically translates to a softer feel at impact. Callaway has for years used different polymers in the badge construction to optimize the “feel” and “sound” of an iron. Callaway does this typically in cast offerings. So when you see them appear in these higher end forged CB’s we chatter around the water cooler that this was an effort to make them feel even better. Possibly to tune them to satisfy the very picky Tour players that can feel the most minor differences.
What we saw in testing on Flightscope was very predicable distance control as well as some great trajectory numbers. Long irons were going higher and the shorter irons were flighting lower. Spin numbers were average and on the higher long irons we were seeing some great numbers that suggested they dialed the designs in right and with purpose.
According to Williams, Callaway’s recent musclebacks have been a hit because of what the company is calling CG Height progression. CG (center of gravity) Height Progression puts the center of gravity lower in the long irons for the higher trajectory that Tour pros want. It also places the CG higher in the short irons for a flatter trajectory. Callaway’s previous forged cavity back irons, the RAZR X Forged, had the opposite CG progression. The center of gravity was actually the lowest in the short irons.
Callaway also got feedback from Tour pros that the RAZR X Forged irons had a tendency to dig through impact, while the muscleback irons went more smoothly through the turf. So the new X Forged were designed to have what Williams called “a slightly wider muscleback sole.”
Here is a photo of the new Callaway X Forged on the left and last years RAZR X Forged on the right.
This is part of the review that is more objective for us. GolfWRX like to make sure to blend in facts and objectivity to our editorial reviews.
That is why we are trying to distance ourselves from very subjective criteria. Callaway designed a very forgiving sole design here. The bounce on the irons are more than a typical set you will see in this category. This isn’t new for Roger Cleveland and the design crew at Callaway. Here is a picture of the generous bounce on the Callaway X Forged 7 iron:
As an example, the bounce on the Callaway X Forged starts in the 3-iron at 3 degrees and increases by a degree for every club ending at 10 degrees for the PW. Compared to the Mizuno MP-64 bounce progression starting at 2 degrees for the 3-iron and ends at 6 degrees for the PW. That doesn’t sound like a lot but four degrees of added bounce or a difference from 6 degrees and 10 degrees for the X Forged on the PW is a lot. So much you will have to consider that when you buy the gap and sand wedge to match the set.
The X Forged irons go farther than the RAZR X irons as well. They do so, according to Williams, for two reasons:
- The clubs have one degree stronger lofts (20-degree 3 iron, 46-degree pitching wedge)
- CG height progression
Despite what many believe about modern iron design, the lofts were not strengthened simply to make the ball go farther. Stronger lofts are a result of Tour feedback. Williams said that Callaway had set the lofts on its Tour irons based on Tour trends. And it’s vital for Callaway to follow the loft trends on Tour, since changing the loft of an iron also reduces the bounce on an iron, which can lead to digging. Bending an iron one-degree strong won’t change a iron’s response to the turf that much, but bending a club stronger than that can certainly change things.
“We really design a forged iron product like the X Forged for the Tour,” Williams said. “But we know if we get them right, they will work for amateurs as well.”
CG Height Progression makes the X Forged long irons go farther because since they’re launching higher, they’re also carrying farther. It also makes the short irons go farther thanks to a more piercing trajectory.
Williams expects that the X Forged will become Callaway’s most popular iron on Tour, knocking some muscleback irons out of the bags of Callaway staff players.
Luke Williams, senior director of global woods and irons for Callaway, said the most popular irons on the PGA Tour and European Tour right now for the company are not its forged cavity backs. It’s the company’s muscleback offerings — last year’s RAZR X Muscleback irons and its predecessor, the Tour Authentic X-Prototype irons — that Callaway Tour players are trusting in their bags.
Jim Furyk one of the most particular equipment aficionado’s on Tour, switched to the new Callaway X Forged cavity back. Furyk has a history of playing what works the best for him even if it means playing manufactures other than his sponsor. Luke List, Branden Grace and now it looks like Furyk made the switch to the new X Forged cb’s. Here is a photos of Jim Furyk testing the clubs in March at the WGC:
Here is Branden Grace WITB photo. You can see a full gallery by CLICKING HERE.
The reason is not necessarily that Tour players don’t need the added size and forgiveness of a forged cavity back, either. Yes, one of the reasons musclebacks are more popular with Tour players than forged cavity back irons is because of their clean looks. But there are also performance reasons.
Golfers looking for a Tour-quality ball flight will also be happy to learn that the new X Forged irons come stock with a Project X PXi shaft, a lighter weight model of the popular Project X shaft with similar flight characteristics.
“We felt that PXi was the best fit, given the trend of going lighter with iron shafts,” Williams said. “Players are recognizing the value of lighter shafts if [those shafts] can maintain the consistency.”
The 2013 Callaway X Forged irons will retail for $999.99 per set. Here are additional specs:
Below are images and comparison pics of this year’s X Forged and last year’s RAZR Forged irons.
Tommy Fleetwood joins TaylorMade in multi-year deal; Fleetwood 2021 WITB
TaylorMade has officially announced that Tommy Fleetwood has joined its tour staff in a multi-year deal.
The Englishman is no stranger to TaylorMade equipment and has been playing a set of prototype irons built by the company since 2019. For 2021, Fleetwood will play a bag with TaylorMade woods and irons, as well as the brand’s TP5X (2021) #19 golf ball, as he continues to test wedges and putters.
Per the company, Fleetwood upholds strong ties to Adrian Rietveld – who was TaylorMade’s lead technician on the European Tour before making the move stateside in 2019 – and he also played a variety of TaylorMade metalwoods after becoming an equipment-free agent in 2016.
“This could be the start of something special. I have a feeling there are some exciting times ahead, I couldn’t be happier to join Team TaylorMade.” – Tommy Fleetwood
Fleetwood is a five-time winner on the European Tour and has also had three top-5 finishes in the majors, two top-5 finishes in WGCs and a top-5 finish at the Players in 2019. In the Ryder Cup 2018, the 30-year-old went 4-1-0 winning 4/4 fourball and foursome matches with Molinari.
Speaking on the new signing for Team TaylorMade, David Abeles, CEO, TaylorMade Golf said
“Tommy Fleetwood is a premier golfer, but he’s an even better person. Statements like that get thrown around a lot, but if you ever have the chance to spend time with him, you’ll immediately know it’s true. There’s a warmth, sincerity and wit about Tommy that stands out. He’s the ideal fit for Team TaylorMade as we embark on a journey to become the most people-centric golf brand in the world. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to the team.”
Tommy Fleetwood 2021 WITB
Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 (10.5 degrees) or SIM2 Max (10.5 @ 8.5 degrees)
Shaft:Mitsubishi Diamana DF 70 TX
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 (13.5 degrees Rocket)
Shaft:Mitsubishi Diamana DF 70TX
5-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 (18.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 80TX
Irons: TaylorMade P7TF Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5
Wedges: Callaway Jaws (52S, 56S, 60T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Odyssey White Hot
Ball: TaylorMade TP5X (2021) #19
Per TaylorMade, Fleetwood is continuing to test TM wedges and putters.
Fleetwood is currently ranked No. 17 in the Official World Golf Rankings and is set to debut his new TaylorMade equipment this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Best forged driving irons – GolfWRXers discuss
In our forums, our members have been discussing forged driving irons. WRXer ‘Merv’ is on the hunt for a new driving iron and reaches out to fellow members for suggestions – with DI’s from Srixon proving to be popular amongst WRXers.
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.
- FatThinShank: “Srixon U65/85”
- Cptwiggly: “I love my u85 2 iron. I bent it 2 degrees weak for gapping, and it’s a great addition to my bag.”
- Bama_Rich: “The new Callaway X Forged UT is the best feeling one I’ve hit. It has more of a “crack” at impact compared to the “clicks” feel of others. I have a review coming soon.”
- golfer881: “+1 for Srixon ZX.”
Not yet a GolfWRX member? Sign up for FREE here.
2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Launch Day Report: Everything you need to know about the new equipment from TaylorMade
Today was the official launch day of the all-new 2021 TaylorMade SIM2 line of clubs, which includes drivers, fairways woods, hybrids, and irons. To summarize the newest release from the Carlsbad-based golf equipment company, for TaylorMade and the SIM2 line of clubs, it’s all about refining great products to increase speed and stability without sacrificing any of the distance golfers achieved from the original line.
If are looking for in-depth information, on the ins and outs of the new designs and the technology that makes them possible be sure to check out our full launch pieces below.
- Designers have taken every step to look at different materials and configurations to add forgiveness while maintaining the low spin characteristics of the original 2020 SIM design.
- No more sliding weight track. The sliding weight on the standard model has been removed to save mass and increase MOI (a measurement of forgiveness).
- Three different models to choose from with greater differentiation to help golfers get dialed in more effectively and find the design that is the best fit.
- More precision built into every part of the driver. The only way to make a golf club, especially a driver, better is to maximize the weight properties and geometry, and by painstakingly looking at every single component and manufacturing process, that’s exactly what TaylorMade has done.
For 2021, TaylorMade engineers are upping their game and the SIM fairway wood platform with the launch of the TaylorMade SIM2, SIM2 Max, and SIM2 Max D (for draw) fairway woods. Each is designed to improve consistency, turf interaction, forgiveness, and reshape what is possible with each model in the line.
- The SIM2 Titanium has a reconfigured heavy steel soleplate to go along with its 10cc smaller size to move the center of gravity farther back in the head to increase MOI. The Max and Max D models have also gotten larger to improve forgiveness.
- Unlike the SIM2 Titanium, the SIM2 Max fairway has gotten bigger and now comes in at 190cc head in the 3-wood (compared to 185 in the 2020 version) to increase forgiveness, and although the head has gotten larger, it is still easy to elevate from tighter lies with the help of the newly redesigned two-step V Steel sole.
- The unofficial motto of the SIM2 Max D should be “go big or go home.” It offers the largest head size at 195cc (in the 3-wood) and also has the largest face area to help those golfers who miss a bit more than they would like to admit.
To build on the success of the SIM Max rescue, TaylorMade has improved the original Max rescue and are also introducing an all-new model geared towards higher swing speed players looking for a hybrid that offers adjustability and workability with the 2021 (non-MAX) SIM Rescue, thanks to input from its tour staff, including Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.
- The SIM2 Rescue draws a lot of inspiration from previous TaylorMade and (some Adams) generation hybrids, including the popular ’09 Rescue TP—except with a whole lot more technology! The profile is compact with a higher squared-off toe to have a more “iron-like” appearance from address to help golfers find the perfect transition club from long irons to fairway woods.
The new SIM2 Max hybrid brings everything golfer loved from the previous version and added a newly refined sole geometry to increase forgiveness and deliver more consistent results. The SIM2 Max Rescue has a C300 maraging steel face and comes with the now-familiar Twist Face, which only became a feature in the Rescue line last year.
mycowdog: Hit the 9* sim2, about a dozen swings. Easy to hit, nice launch and spin for me. I haven’t played a TM driver. Many more to test, but I was impressed.
Stanks: Will it get the M6 outta the bag?! Looks promising!
J-Zone: Spent time with both heads today, I think people will be thoroughly impressed once they have them in hand. They look much better than the pictures, and is a very premium looking driver. Did not have time to compare to SIM1.0, but they feel a bit more firm (subjective) with a muted thwack vs a longer ringing or ting sensation.The Max will be the home run for TM people who have a very neutral delivery or want consistent spin, and the Standard is going to fit anyone who wants to cut spin but not in a super alarming way.Max launched super easy, but I can see guys needing to go up in loft if they were in standard 1.0 and went standard 2.0.
GolfWRX’s resident equipment tester, Brian Knudson of the Club Junkie podcast, had this to say
SIM2: TaylorMade kept the sound and feel great, muted and very responsive. Offers a really neutral ball flight and skilled players will love to be able to work the ball with ease and precision. Misses of the toe still keep a decent amount of trajectory, but still lose some distance. The most penetrating flight of the 3 SIM2 drivers.
SIM2 Max: Very stable head and little higher ball flight than the SIM2. Little more spin than SIM2, can see a little rise with shots into the wind. Shots hit off the low heal carry straighter and farther than last year’s SIM Max. Straighter misses for me on all shots that I was hitting.
SIM2 Ti fairway: The sound and feel are really good and love the smaller profile from address. Slightly more of a “crack” sound at impact. Could really feel the ball compress off the face and it seemed to really come off hot. Ball launches higher than last year, even on miss hits. Toe and heel mishits stay on line really well, would easily keep those shots in the fairway. Fairway just wants to get straight, little harder to work the ball and flight shots down. Pretty neutral ball flight with maybe just a touch of natural draw.
SIM 2 Max fairway: Good sound, little more metallic and higher pitched than its titanium sibling. Head is very stable and might have offered a little more forgiveness than the Ti. Higher ball flight and little more spin, but well struck shots carry a long well. Slices and hooks tend to have a little less curvature to those shots.
SIM2 Max Hybrid: High ball flight that carries a good distance. Easy to square up the club and find the center of the face repeatedly. Shots hit low on the face still get way up in the air and carry really well. Harder to hit fades since there is some draw built into the head, but overall the ball wants to go straight.
SIM2 Rescue: Sound and feel are very muted, heavy “crack” at impact. Penetrating ball flight that is flat, but you can still get the ball off the turf without too much effort. Pretty straight ball flight with more emphasis on the ball wanting to fall right. Easy to work the ball and flight it down as low as you would like. Shots even struck on the toe didn’t draw much and still stayed on a better line that I expected from a smaller club head.
Here’s what the biggest YouTube testers and reviews have to say on the newest Ping G425 line
From the Twitterverse
— Peter Finch (@PeterFinchGolf) January 19, 2021
?TaylorMade website is listing Tiger with the new SIM2 Driver for his bag setup, however no fairway wood change shown. He’s usually very slow to switch the fairway woods. ?: @TaylorMadeGolf pic.twitter.com/SABcuDbqBq
— TWLEGION (@TWlegion) January 19, 2021
Where it started Where we are pic.twitter.com/6S9B2iGoAA
— Ryan Barath ????? (@RDSBarath) January 19, 2021
— Mark Zecchino (@ZeeManGolf) January 19, 2021
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