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.
GolfWRX Classifieds (01/19/21): PXG driver, Toulon Portland, TaylorMade Spider
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.
The MOI is high and the price is low on this 0811 XF driver head. Get it while the getting’s good!
To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: PXG Driver head
Whether it’s Portland, Maine, Portland, Oregon, or Portland by Toulon—all are great, but only one is a putter.
To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Toulon Portland
Does winter have you feeling a little blue? Well, cheer up because now you can get a putter that just so happens to match that particular hue.
To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: TaylorMade Spider
Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds
You can also follow along on Instagram: GolfWRX Classifieds
2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons
The 2021 SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons from TaylorMade are about bringing together key technologies from the previous generation and combining it with their all-new Cap Back cavity design to increase distance with more face flex and improve sound by completely changing the cavity design.
What’s new in the SIM2 Max irons
What started out as SpeedBridge, which we should note would make a great title for a Keanu Reeves action thriller/car movie that somehow has its culminating scene take place on a bridge, in the SIM Max and SIM Max OS irons has evolved to something bigger—dare we call it a sequel—with the all-new Cap Back.
What is Cap Back?
The Cap Back design of the new 2021 SIM2 Max irons replaces the metal speed bridge that ran from the rear of the sole to the top line of the 2020 models. This little strip of metal created tension to help support the topline and allowed engineers to bring more weight from the top of the iron low to lower the center of gravity and increase launch.
It also allowed the face to flex like a big oversized tennis racket to create more ball speed around a larger area.
The new Cap Back is a full cavity encasing polymer cap that connects and supports the topline without touching the face. It helps produce a higher MOI since the polymer material is seven-times lighter than the steel counterpart per g/cm3 and frees up more mass to be moved low in the head to raise stability—especially for shots missed around the face, which for golfers that fit into this iron category and going to do.
“We set out to take game improvement irons to the next level with SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS. To create Cap Back Design, we utilized multi-material advancements learned from our metalwoods to unlock forgiveness and distance with forged iron like feel. We leveraged a completely new construction to achieve the performance that golfers in this category both need and want.”
– Matt Bovee, Product Creation | Irons Category
SIM2 Max and Max OS iron technology
All-new Echo Damping System
Beneath the Cap Back and behind the face on the new SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons, you will find an improved Echo Damping System which features a more concentrated HYBRAR material. The damping system stretches across the entire face (from heel to toe) using multiple contact points and also utilizes a softer polymer blend to channel away more unwanted vibrations.
This vibration channeling helps contribute to what TaylorMade likes to call a forged-like feel while still promoting maximum face flex.
Progressive Inverted Cone Technology
TaylorMade’s Inverted Cone Technology (ICT) is strategically positioned into each SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS iron as a way to help increase the sweet spot and minimize mis-hits.
The reason for this is shots hit on the toe of longer irons generally result in a miss to the right, TaylorMade engineers have positioned the ICT towards the toe in both SIM2 Max and SIMs Max OS irons to counteract this. Through this move, the engineers have created a draw bias in the longer irons to minimize this common miss without resorting to adding additional offset typically found in larger game improvement designs.
Other technology carryovers from the previous generations that can be found in the SIM2 Max irons include the fluted hosel, 360° undercut cavity -now positioned under the polymer cap back, and an ultra-thin face.
What makes the Max OS irons different?
The SIM2 Max OS irons are everything the SIM Max irons are and more, including everything you would expect from a maximum game improvement irons are packed with all the same technology of the SIM2 Max irons but put together in a wider-soled, lower CG, stronger lofted, more draw-biased package to help golfers that are looking for every advantage.
Specs, pricing, and availability
The SIM2 Max and Max OS irons will be available for preorder starting January 19 and will be in retail locations beginning February 10.
Both sets will be priced at $799 steel (KBS Max MT 85 steel ) and $899 graphite (Fujikura’s Ventus Blue graphite, 7S, 6R & 5A) in 7 piece set configurations 4-pitching wedge – which is a departure from the way TaylorMade has assembled stock sets in the past. This allows golfers to choose whether they would prefer to order the matching wedges for the set – which include a gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge, or go with something else to find proper gapping.
The SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons will also be available for women and come outfitted with the Aldila NV Ladies iron shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip.
2021 TaylorMade SIM2 drivers: Better performance, piece by piece
TaylorMade is building upon the SIM driver platform with 2021 TaylorMade SIM2, SIM2 Max, and SIM2 D drivers.
With the launch of the SIM driver series in 2020, TaylorMade proved it could build drivers that offered low spin performance in three different configurations to enhance speed and fit golfers better to reduce dispersion. For 2021, engineers are taking the SIM driver platform further with the launch of the SIM2—including the SIM2 Max, and SIM2 Max D (draw)—by refining the package piece by piece to deliver better performance throughout the entire line.
2021 TaylorMade SIM2 drivers
What’s new, and what you need to know
- 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. By painstakingly looking at every single component and manufacturing process, that’s exactly what TaylorMade has done.
The technology inside and out
What’s the same? What has gotten better?
Twist Face technology: Since its introduction in the M4 and M4 drivers, this redesigned bulge and roll profile helps keep shots missed around the face online and closer to the center while also normalizing spin to increase consistency.
Speed Injected face: Speed Injection was introduced with the M5 and M6 drivers. It allows TaylorMade to calibrate each clubface right to the legal limit of CT without going over. With the new SIM2 drivers, this manufacturing process and the system used to dial it is have been moved and improved to save weight and further fine-tune face performance.
Inertia Generator: The extremely low and rear placed mass helps position the CG low and away from the clubface to boost MOI. With the new SIM2 drivers and the weight savings accomplished around the head, this weight is now heavier to increase MOI and drive the center of gravity lower.
Three models: The SIM2 driver family features three distinct models to help golfers find the right performing driver for them.
Improvement piece by piece
As mentioned off the top, the engineers at TaylorMade looked at every part of the driver to improve performance and increase forgiveness, so let’s take a deep dive into each component and put it all together.
CNC Milled ICT (Inverted Cone Technology) and redesigned Speed Injected reservoir
TaylorMade is taking its face precision to the next level by CNC milling the ICT (TaylorMade’s patented variable thickness face technology) into the back of the face. Other OEMs have started to use milling around the face of the driver in a different variation, but this is a first for TaylorMade and allows engineers to also remove a reservoir from the injection process.
By eliminating one of the front reservoirs and only having one positioned behind the face, engineers have been able to remove the dual injection ports from the face and place a single port on the toe. Less is more when it comes to drivers, and less structure and mass in the front of the driver head frees up precious grams to be redistributed.
Carbon composite crown
To say that the carbon crown on the SIM2 is revolutionary would be a stretch, but it is still a key part of what allows the designers to save mass and position it lower in the head and around the perimeter. The carbon crown of the SIM2 is comprised of six layers and comes in at just over 10g grams, meaning it holds less than five percent of the clubhead’s total mass.
Carbon composite sole panel
TaylorMade has used carbon in driver soles before, but it has never used it to make up the entire sole. By eliminating the sliding track, and the reinforcing needed to house the weights, it can utilize carbon from behind the face all the way to the extreme rear of the head where it attaches to the forged titanium back ring. Compared to the crown, the sole is comprised of nine layers of carbon fiber and only weighs 12 grams.
Although not part of the carbon sole panel, the other very noticeable new component is what TaylorMade is calling the “TPS Weight” for swing weight customization. If there is one part of the custom build puzzle TaylorMade has struggled with in the past for consumers it has been the ability to dial in requested swing weights—either because of length or custom shaft and grip combinations. With the SIM2, the folks at TaylorMade are hitting home it’s focused effort to deliver better at every turn, and this small weight results in a big change to their build process.
Forged aluminum back ring chassis
This is a whole new territory and a very cool part of the SIM2 driver’s story. Using a forged, CNC milled aluminum ring around the rear of the head saves mass that would have otherwise been taken up by titanium.
The aluminum ring weighs almost exactly 20 grams. Titanium, compared to aluminum, is 1.67 times heavier (4.5g/cm3 vs 2.7g/cm3) so the ring saves 13 grams, which would have otherwise placed mass higher in the head. Those 13 grams are reposition in the heavier inertia generator and low in the driver to once again improve forgiveness.
When you put it all together, it is truly better piece by piece.
The 2021 TaylorMade SIM2 driver models
TaylorMade is doing everything it can to eliminate any confusion when it comes to differentiating the SIM2 models, so let’s break down the type of golfer each one is designed for.
2021 TaylorMade SIM2
The standard model is the lowest spinning of the three new drivers and has the most forward CG to offer on average 250 rpm less spin than the Max, while still maintaining stability. The stock rear weight is 16 grams and it has a larger face than its predecessor to increase confidence and make the club more forgiving overall.
- The SIM2 will be available right and left-handed in 9 and 10.5 degrees with an 8-degree head available in right hand only.
- The stock shafts are the Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Blue 60 and the ProjectX HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 70.
2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Max driver
The SIM2 Max features a massive 24 gram back weight to deepen the center of gravity and boost stability even more. When you factor in the average driver head weight is around 203 grams, this back weight makes up almost 12 percent of the total mass, which is what helps create so much stability.
The face has also been made larger in the SIM2 Max compared to the previous model to help inspire confidence while still offering a neutral ball flight and not sacrificing any of the aerodynamic properties.
- The SIM2 Max will be available in right and left-handed in 9 and 10.5 degrees with a 12-degree head available in right hand only.
- The stock shafts are the Fujikura Ventus Blue 5 and the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver V5 60.
TaylorMade SIM2 Max D
With the SIM2 Max D, the entire goal is to help reduce a fade, and that is achieved by moving the rear inertia generator weight more towards the heel and also moving the TPS weight to the outer heel area.
The Max D has the largest face area of the three models, which also helps those golfers who struggle with constant face contact.
- The SIM2 Max D will be available in right and left-handed in 9 and 10.5 degrees with a 12-degree head available in right hand only.
- The stock shaft for the SIM2 Max D is the Fujikura Air Speeder 45.
- There is also a women’s stock offering which includes the Aldila NV Ladies 45 shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip.
Pricing, and availability
The new SIM2 drivers will all be priced equally across the board at $529.00 and will be available at retail starting February 19.
…infomercial style “but wait, there’s more!”
If there is one thing golfers love even more than new equipment, it’s new customized equipment. TaylorMade’s “My” program has been immensely successful (currently offered with select putter and wedge models). For 2021, TM decided to bring it to the driver space for the SIM2 and SIM2 Max models.
The online platform will allow golfers to fully build a driver to fit their own style preference and make a club that is uniquely their own. The personalization options include:
- Topline Paint Color: Chalk or matte black.
- Aluminum Ring Color: Red, Blue, Gold, Orange, Green, Silver, Black, and Light Blue.
- Crown Decals Color: Red, Blue, Gold, Orange, Green, Silver, Black, and Light Blue.
- Sole Decal Color: Red, Blue, Gold, Orange, Green, Silver, Black, and Light Blue.
- Face Pin Color: Red, Blue, Gold, Orange, Green, Silver, Black, and Light Blue.
Specs, pricing, and availability for MySIM2 program
MySIM2 drivers will be available for preorder starting January 19 at TaylorMadeGolf.com and at select retail locations starting February 19. The MyIM2 drivers will start at $629.99 and will be offered in 8, 9, and 10.5-degree lofts with a 12-degree loft option available in the SIM2 Max.
All MySIM2 drivers will have custom shaft and grip options.
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