Technology AND Looks Included in These Irons by @igolfreviews
When it comes to irons it seems like you get one or the other, Technology or Looks, but never both. If they are easy to hit, they don’t look very good but if they look great, they don’t have much help in terms of forgiveness. Now I realize that for many people the things that make irons easy to hit are off-set and thick soles, but for some of us, thin soles and little off-set works best if only we could get some of the new iron technology included. TaylorMade did that with their new Tour Preferred Line, especially the MC (Muscle Cavity) Irons. They have the Speed Pocket technology of the TaylorMade Speedblades in the long irons, with the looks and forged feel of the Musclebacks in the short irons. In my mind and from my results, this may be the perfect combo; Technology and Looks.
In order to make sure I had the right combo for my bag and to see which of the TaylorMade irons would work best for me, I had a fitting at the TMPL in MN by James Tracy. You can read about the experience here. I left the fitting pretty confident I had the irons that were best for my game; not too demanding, but still great looking and feeling irons. After trying all the different club head models and all the different shafts, we settled on the Tour Preferred MC irons with DG S400 tour issue shafts at standard length and lie topped with Lamkin Crossline 3Gen Ace grips. We also added a 50* Tour Preferred wedge to fill in the gap between the irons and my typical 54* and 58* wedge set-up. I felt really good leaving the fitting because the LM showed me I was hitting them better than my other irons. But…..would that actually be the case once the snow melted and I had to hit off real grass?
These irons arrived just in time for my first month of golf here in MN. I’ve played them more than 5 rounds now and I am even happier with them now than when I walked out of the fitting. I knew they were a good fit, but I didn’t know how it would impact my game. I didn’t really pick up additional yardage and it wasn’t like I was spraying my previous irons all over the planet, so what were the TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons going to bring to my game? Consistency. Specially I hit more greens in regulation. I’ve been tracking data a little closer as of recent to try and figure out where I am losing strokes to par. I realized that par 3 holes have been my weakness. Sure I wasn’t getting doubles or triples on them, but 3 out of 4 I would bogey during a typical round. I found it was because I wasn’t hitting my irons onto the green. I was always scrambling trying to make par. I didn’t find it as noticeable on par 4s and 5s, but the 3s were killing my total score. It is mainly because par 3s tend to be long irons shots for me. Most are between 200 yards and 150 yards. With the TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons I am getting 3 out of 4 pars and have even snuck in a few birdies.
The additional pars really happened because of the Speed Pockets in the 7-iron and up. While many want to talk about the additional distance, I found the additional forgiveness is what really sold me on the technology. I found that I could hit it just about anywhere on the face and there was almost no loss of distance or direction. I hit so many greens with these long irons even when I came out of the swing feeling like it wasn’t going to happen. I could still look down at a players shaped club, but get game improvement club results. The landing circles for the long irons are the tightest I’ve ever hit.
In the scoring irons 8-PW they offer forged goodness. Even though they don’t have the Speed Pockets, they are still a moderately forgiving cavity back irons. They look and feel like players irons when you are hitting those shorter yardages and trying to get close to the pin. I found a great consistency with these irons too, but to be fair most short irons tend to be easier to hit for golfers. What I really appreciated was the turf interaction with these clubs. They have a good blunted leading edge which resists digging, but yet thin enough to cut in and cut out of the grass, short or tall. There was just enough camber to react nicely with tight lies too.
What is really good is how smoothly they transition from top to bottom. The feel is consistent from the long irons to the short irons. Even though the long irons are not forged the Speed Pocket makes up for that, and feel very similar to the forged shorter irons. I can’t say I could feel a difference between the 7 iron and the 8-iron. The pocket space and polymer fill creates a softer feel, just like a forged iron.
The fitting also showed me that importance of the iron shaft too. While I was able to hit just about every shaft we tried decently, the DG S400 Tour Issue shafts made everything tighter and better. It lowered the spin, and made the landing zone smaller. They are basically a little heavier shaft with tighter tolerances. Those specs turned into results on the course.
Another nice addition was the Tour Preferred 50* wedge. I found I had a gap between my pitching wedge and 54* wedge. Now it depends on the set of wedges I play, but I’ve really gravitated toward this set-up lately meaning I need a gap wedge of some sort. Some irons sets include them, the Tour Preferred MC’s don’t. But the new TaylorMade Tour Preferred wedges will work well with all their sets. It made a perfect transition between my irons and wedges. I had excellent distance control with this wedge. It was my go to 100 yard club. It was set up to match the rest of my set during my fitting.
The final touch of the TaylorMade Tour Preferred line showed up in the mail after I’d played about 3 rounds with these clubs; a Tour Preferred Membership pack. 2 sleeves of Tour Preferred balls, a ball marker and a membership card for my irons in case they needed adjustments or spec checks along the way. It was a really nice touch for registering my clubs into their database.
If new irons are on your list for 2014 or if you could use some improvements to your iron game without hitting game-improvement irons, the TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons are the perfect mix of technology and looks. There is finally an iron for better players that helps them hit lower scores without looking the part. I suggest going to a TMPL (TaylorMade Performance Lab) near you and hitting all the new TaylorMade irons. The fitting will really give you confidence and will set you up with the best set of irons for your game. The Tour Preferred MC irons were the best fit for me because they have the technology my game needs, but the looks I want.