While TaylorMade’s new P790 irons were released a few months after their stablemates P770 and P750, it would be incorrect to believe that they were something of an afterthought.
In fact, TaylorMade always planned to offer an iron in the P700 series that provides the performance P790 does; it just took time from a design standpoint to get it exactly right in terms of the combination of distance and feel that TaylorMade was looking for.
“Our big goal with with the 700 series was to get max COR into a players iron,” said Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade Senior Director of Global Irons. “The P790 targets a scratch player or skilled player who’s looking for more distance but also the player who’s ready to graduate into a more refined set, something that looks better, feels better, and allows them to start working the ball.”
To get the look and feel that they wanted from the P790, as well as the increased distance and launch numbers, TaylorMade’s engineers were forced to take on a complicated construction process, especially in terms of the finding the perfect materials to build the iron they envisioned.
“We knew that to get the performance we needed and the feel we needed we had to go to a hollow forged construction,” Bystedt added. “A lot of the materials we tried had detriment to the COR, so we we actually worked with our golf ball R&D team. They understood our challenges.”
“There were lots of players tests conducted, internally and externally, to get what we wanted. And we definitely wanted to make it different than anything that’s out there.”
The key technological component in the design, and where the golf ball R&D team was of significant help from a development standpoint, is what TaylorMade is calling SpeedFoam.
What is SpeedFoam and how does it fit into the P790’s construction?
“The way it works is the back of the iron is 8620 carbon steel and the face is a 4140 steel that’s harder but thinner and faster, and that let’s us get a clubface that’s just 1.75mm thick,” Bystedt explained. “The SpeedFoam is then injected as a liquid into the head and it expands with air contact to fill the clubhead.”
The SpeedFoam serves two important functions in the design. First, it supports the P790’s ultra-thin clubface, which has been implemented to produce incredible ball speeds. Second, it helps provides a soft, responsive feel and sound at impact, something that can pose challenges when working with a thinner clubface.
The end result is that golfers are getting an iron that provides the soft, crisp feel of a traditional forged players iron with the explosive distance of a game-improvement iron, the latter of which has been revealed in testing that TaylorMade conducted between the P770 and P790.
“Right now, what we’re seeing with the 770 is a five-to-eight yard distance gain with 790, and with the 4-iron it’s more like 12 yards, which is pretty significant,” Bystedt said.
In addition to a unique combination of look, feel, and distance, P790 irons are also offering impressive forgiveness for a players iron.
Making that possible is the use of tungsten weighting to establish an optimal CG position as it relates to maximizing MOI.
Additionally, a highly flexible cut-thru Speed Pocket on the sole of the club provides forgiveness on low-center hits and also helps protect ball speed on shots struck from the heel or toe, with the result being improved distance consistency on mis-hits.
P790 irons are being offered with stock shaft options in steel and graphite, with the True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 being the steel option and the UST Recoil being the graphite choice. TaylorMade also has other premium shafts available at no upcharge for players in need of a different profile.
The stock grip for the P790 irons is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet.