by Dominic Choma, Club Fitter
Distance, it is the #1 request that I get from my customers on a daily basis. They want to hit the ball farther, whether it be with their driver or their irons. This makes sense, as most golfers are more comfortable hitting an 8 or 9 iron compared to a 6 iron. Many irons in today’s game are designed to help golfers of all abilities hit the ball farther, and companies are always looking for the next technological breakthrough that will make their clubs go higher and farther than their competitors.
With that in mind, TaylorMade has introduced the P790 iron. The P790 is labeled as a “distance players” iron, meaning that the P790 is supposed to have the look and feel of a classic forged iron, while also providing higher ball speeds and more distance. The major difference between the P790 iron and the rest of the irons in the distance players category is the use of a material called speedfoam inside the clubhead. The speedfoam material is meant to help the clubhead produce faster ball speeds across the entire face, so that the golfer will see more distance and consistency. The speedfoam material is also a softer material that helps to enhance how the clubs feels at impact, giving the better player the softer feel that they generally prefer. The irons retail at $162.50 per club, or $1299.99 for a set of 8.
For this test, I compared the P790 to the two irons in the TaylorMade line that I believe are the most similar to the P790. These two irons are the M1 and the P770. With the M1 being more of a forgiving distance iron, and the P770 being more on the players, the P790 in theory is designed to be a combination of these two irons. The distance of the M1, with the look of the P790. All of the clubheads were set to 2 degrees upright, with a the Dynamic Gold X100 shaft at +½”. I only used shots that I deemed to be solidly struck and I tried to make the same swing for every shot. Results are below.
|Ball Speed||Launch Angle||Spin Rate||Height||Landing Angle||Carry|
I can be honest and say that I was surprised at the results of this test. The M1 iron has been one of the longest irons we have had in The Cluboratory this year, and the P790 averaged 6.3 yards longer in carry than the M1. The major reason for this is the difference in ball speed, with the P790 averaging 2.6 miles per hour faster than the M1. Also, the P790 had a lower spin rate on average when compared to the M1, with the difference being about 456 rpms. The lower spin rate and the faster ball speeds both contributed to the increase in distance that I saw from the P790 over the M1.
When compared to the P770, the P790 was 15 yards longer in carry. There are many contributing factors, starting with ball speed, with the P790 averaging 5.9 miles per hour faster than the P770. The P790 launched 1.7 degrees lower and spun 1450m rpms less than the P770 as well, which provided a flatter and more penetrating flight that helped to increase distance. All that produced the gain in distance mentioned earlier with the same peak height and landing angle, which mores that the golfer will not lose performance and stopping power coming into the green.
Compared to these particular TaylorMade irons, the P790 iron was extremely impressive. The P790 was easily longer than both irons, while still providing the proper peak height and landing angle to allow the ball to land softly on the green. I’ll be honest and say that for me the P790 probably goes too far, but for the vast majority of golfers this iron will be a great option. With the look and feel of a player’s iron, and the distance of the longest irons on the market, TaylorMade has done an excellent job designing the P790. Available for demo now in The Cluboratory!