Six major championships and a reputation for being one of the most detail-oriented golfers in history give Sir Nick Faldo's words weight when it comes to golf equipment. The guy was so fastidious that during his playing career, Faldo admits he trimmed his fingernails on Mondays so he'd have the perfect feel in his hands on Sundays.
So imagine how TaylorMade representatives must have felt at the 2008 Open Championship when they showed Faldo, their newest endorser, the company's first attempt to at a new forged iron and he promptly called it "crap."
After taking Faldo's feedback and heading back to the drawing board (several times), TaylorMade finally presented Faldo with an iron that pleased his eyes. The way the hosel blended into the face, the look of the topline, the shape of the toe, the sole ... to the nitpicky Faldo, TaylorMade had nailed it.
The fruit of the company's hard work is now being released in the form of three new forged irons, the Tour Preferred Forged CB, MC, and MB irons.
All three clubs feature a new groove pattern that TaylorMade says goes right up to the USGA's limitations on volume and sharpness. Each club also has a weight in the back that allows TaylorMade to adjust the location of the sweet spot. Contrary to what some equipment blogs and message boards pondered, while the weight is affixed using a screw, it's not adjustable. The faces of the new forged irons are not replaceable like the faces of TaylorMade xFT wedges.
None of the new forged irons are designed with the high-handicap players in mind. TaylorMade has clubs like the Burner 2.0 for them. Instead, think of these clubs as tools for The Good, The Better and The Best.
For The Good
The new Tour Preferred Forged CB irons (CB stands for Cavity Back) are created by plasma-welding a 8620 carbon steel cast body and a slightly firmer, forged, carbon steel face. This construction allowed TaylorMade to incorporate an undercut in the back of the club, which in turn let designers move more weight lower and deeper to increase forgiveness.
The face also features TaylorMade's Inverted Cone Technology, which varies the thickness of the face itself so shots that are slightly mis-hit create nearly the same ball speed as shots hit in the sweet spot.
A carbon composite badge on the back of the face helps to dampen the impact sound and further enhance feel.
The TP CB irons have a thin topline, but the widest sole of the three new forged irons, as well as the most offset and slightly stronger lofts. Still, at their friendliest, the clubs would be classified as game-improvement irons.
Watch the video below to see Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade's Creation Manager for Irons and Woods, talk about the Tour Preferred Forged CB:
For The Better
The Tour Preferred Forged MC irons (MC stands of Muscle Cavity) are made from 1025 carbon steel and have a slightly smaller head and less offset than the TP CB irons. And like the TP CB irons, the weight screw has been placed in a carbon composite badge to dampen the impact sound and enhance feel.
But instead of a game-improving undercut, these irons simply offer perimeter weighting to assist golfers on mis-hits.
There is less offset here, which should help better players shape shots more easily, as well as a slightly-thinner sole.
Watch the video below to see Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade's Creation Manager for Irons and Woods, talk about the Tour Preferred Forged MC:
There is no carbon composite badge here to alter the feel created at impact, although to make the TP MB irons appeal to more players, a touch of offset has been added to the hosel.
The heads of the TP MBs are slightly smaller from heel to toe than the TP MC, but the par area, where the face meets the hosel, has been made much smaller. The reason for this is that most accomplished players want to see the face coming right out of the hosel.
Watch the video below to see Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade's Creation Manager for Irons and Woods, talk about the Tour Preferred Forged MB:
Through custom ordering, you will be able to build your own eight-iron set from the different offerings. For example, you could choose to play TP CBs in your 3-6 irons and TP MCs in your 7-PW.
Each of the new Tour Preferred Forged irons will come standard with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts in three shaft flexes (R, S, X) for $899 starting in March of 2011. The TP CB will also be available with graphite shafts for $1,099. Custom shaft options will also be available. Players choosing to go with the MC or MB irons can also separately purchase a 2-iron. You know, just in case your swing is better than Sir Nick Faldo's