Gear: TaylorMade P790 (2019) irons
Price: $1,399.99 with True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grips; $1,599.99 with UST Mamiya Recoil Recoil 760/780 ES SmacWrap graphite shafts
Specs: Forged carbon-steel body with a forged 4140 carbon-steel face, tungsten weight and vibration-reducing urethane foam
Available: Sept. 6
TaylorMade was thrilled with how the original P790 irons were received by accomplished players who wanted a classic-looking club that delivered more distance. Those P790s have been the company’s best-selling irons for almost 18 months. The challenge for the company’s designers in updating those clubs was to improve them without altering too much.
The chassis of the new P790 is forged, then a 4140 carbon-steel face is welded on, creating a hollow chamber inside the heads. Instead of leaving it empty, TaylorMade injected a urethane material inside called Speed Foam. The foam soaks up excessive vibrations at impact. However, it does not inhibit the face, which has been made 7 percent thinner, from flexing efficiently at impact.
The face also was given a progressive inverted-cone design, which broadens the sweetspot and protects ball speed on mis-hits.
TaylorMade gave the P790 irons a Thru-Slot Speed Pocket in the sole. It is behind the leading edge and is covered by a thin piece of urethane so grass and debris do not get inside the club. The slot helps the face flex on shots struck low in the hitting area.
There is also a low-profile tungsten weight inside each head. It is 15 percent larger than the weight in the original P790, which helps to lower the center of gravity and encourage a higher launch in the long and mid-irons.
The result of these technologies working together is more ball speed, higher-flying shots and a softer feel.
From a shape perspective, the 3-iron through 6-iron have progressively less offset, and the blade length has been decreased slightly in the 7-iron through gap wedge.
The P790’s lofts are slightly stronger than the lofts of some better-player irons, with the 5-iron being 23.5 degrees and the 9-iron at 40 degrees. However, because of the high launch angle and distance-enhancing faces, players likely will see shots fly on familiar trajectories but reach peak heights farther downrange.