By John Spagnola
TaylorMade’s original P790 irons delivered a classic design with breakthrough distance. The hollow-bodied irons were created to help increase ball speed and distance while keeping a clean, classic look at address.
With the launch of the P790 irons, TaylorMade’s engineers answered the challenge of creating a forged iron that delivers remarkable distance. The engineers started with a hollow cavity and injected the cavity with their revolutionary SpeedFoam™ technology which is an ultra-light urethane foam engineered to push the design limits of face speed while simultaneously improving feel. They also added in their Speed Pocket™ to maximize ball speeds and provide forgiveness on shots lower on the face.
Due to the success of the P790 irons, TaylorMade rallied around the idea that “you don’t mess with what works, you make it better.” In September 2019, the new P790 irons launched with several new advancements. The new P790 irons include a low profile tungsten weight designed for a lower CG and higher launch. They also feature a patented Progressive Inverted Cone Technology strategically located in each iron designed to improve accuracy and protect off-center ball speed.
The P790 irons are for the better player that wants the workability and the feel of a forged iron with more distance. The P790s help increase ball speeds providing distance gains and are more forgiving than a standard forged iron while keeping a classic look.
TaylorMade wasn’t done improving the P790 line of irons and have now released the P790 Ti. The Ti version includes a titanium body that uses 9-1-1 titanium and machined 6-4 titanium for the face forming a super lightweight hollow body designed to deliver explosive distance and forgiveness.
Using titanium over stainless steel allowed engineers to save a lot of weight which enabled them to add tungsten weighting into the back bar of each iron. This helps produce a higher launch and low spin trajectory to maximize distance.
You really can’t go wrong with any version of the P790 irons and should experience the triumph of engineering at a GOLFTEC Club Fitting.
Cameron Champ led the 2019 PGA Tour season in driving distance with an average of 317.9 yards. Justin Thomas smoked a 457-yard drive on No. 10 at Club de Golf Chapultepec (which sits at 7,500 feet above sea level) during the 2019 WGC Mexico. And the 2019 World Long Drive Champion, Kyle Berkshire’s longest drive ever was 474 yards.
Whether you chalk it up to the equipment, their strength, elevation, or the fact that these guys are just really good, they can hit the ball miles. But they do this for a living, and we can be honest with ourselves, a 474-yard drive might be a little out of our range. But we can probably squeeze a couple of more yards off of the tee.
Director of Teaching Quality, Brad Skupaka, is no stranger to hitting the ball far. The 6x World Long Drive Championship competitor has his fair share of bombed drives. In the video above, he talks about one very large separator found in the swings of those who hit the ball very far and those who don’t.
Those who struggle off of the tee tend to keep their chest pointed down during the backswing. Doing so is problematic because it limits how far you can take the club back and how much power and speed can be generated at the top of the swing.
What the long bombers like Champ, Thomas, Berkshire, and Skupaka all do in their backswings is focus on bending (or arching) their back as they take the club to the top of the swing. This move helps force their chest up and gives plenty of room for a long, power generating backswing.
So, you don’t have to be Cameron Champ or travel to Mexico City to take advantage of the elevation in order to gain distance; focus on lengthening your backswing, and trust me, you can gain some yards off of the tee and feel like a World Long Drive Champ!
Doesn’t it seem like there’s continuously some new fangled thing in the equipment world released every other week? And us, as consumers need to stay on top of everything. Well, you might be onto something about the continuous release of new tech, but I think some things should grab your attention more than others.
Take the hi-toe wedge, for example. You can find this type of wedge from almost every equipment manufacture, but what in the world does ‘hi-toe’ even mean, and how is it different from the three other wedges currently sitting in your bag? If you’re asking these types of questions, you’re a smart golf consumer and, you’ve come to the right place for the answers.
Having a solid short game is comprised of many different skills. The ability to get up and down from every type of scenario around the green and using a variety of clubs to do so all while being able to judge the kind of trajectory needed. It’s a lot.
So when you’re faced with a challenging shot, like a low flighted wedge shot, grabbing one of your traditional wedges from your bag might not end well. The reason for that? The Center of Gravity (COG) or ‘sweet spot’ is located about five grooves from the bottom of the wedge. This promotes the trajectory of the ball to be much higher.
If you take that same challenging shot and attack it with a hi-toe wedge, you’ll see much better results due to where the COG is located on that wedge. The COG can be found about seven grooves from the bottom, resulting in much lower trajectories.
Equipment manufacturers can move the COG on hi-toe wedges by redistributing weight from the back of the club into the toe, hence the reason for the elongated, ‘hi-toe.’
Even though it might be hard to keep up with what’s latest and greatest from the equipment manufacturers, it’s honestly quite fun to see the type of technology they’re creating, all to help us play better golf! And if you want to add one of these sweet hi-toe wedges to your bag, find a GOLFTEC near you and schedule a wedge fitting!
I’ve never stood on a tee box and heard a playing partner say, “oh, please slice, please slice,” after their shot. The usual expression is, “oh, please stop slicing!”
We surveyed our students, and 94% of them come into GOLFTEC currently hitting a slice. Just looking at that stat, more golfers are prone to struggle with a slice than any other ball flight. That’s a ton of balls landing in the right rough.
These golfers end up in a GOLFTEC bay because they want to change that ball flight, well, among other things. So you probably won’t be surprised when 97% of them say they want to hit a draw or straight ball. And if you’re a seasoned golfer, you know that’s easier said than done.
As most of our students know, you can’t just walk into a lesson, and after a few swings, your slice is magically gone. It takes time and, honestly, quite a bit of rebuilding. That rebuild begins with a break down of your swing path and clubface direction. But trying to mess with both at the same time becomes tricky. So, for the sake of simplicity and your sanity, let’s only focus on one: path.
Swing path is crucial when trying to encourage a draw, and Director of Teaching Quality, Patrick Nuber, is sharing a couple of tips that’ll help change your path to promote a draw.
This might sound crazy, but the best way you’re going to encourage the ball to draw is to aim a little more to the right.
You can do this by moving your lead knee slightly ahead of your trail knee and lead arm a little higher than your trail arm at address.
And then, when you’ve taken the club back, and it’s reached parallel to the ground, try to point the clubface down. You can do this by rolling the lead wrist down or by taking the trail palm and pushing it towards the ground. You can use either method, as long as the clubface is pointed down.
Now, these are not quick swing changes, and once you add a ball, it’s probably going to feel a little off.
The only way to engrain these changes into your swing is by taking half swings, eventually working your way up to a full swing, and by consistently practicing. Your slice won’t go away overnight, but by adding these changes, you’ll start to see it fade with every swing.
We’ve talked about course strategy and management before. It’s a pretty big part of being proficient on the golf course and keeping the large numbers at bay. However, having a game plan in your pocket to attack large carries and dogleg par fives is helpful, but are you as prepared when you reach a par three?
Even though par threes are the shortest holes, they’re often the most difficult to master. There are tricky bunkers, tucked flags, hanging trees, and the distances vary from 65 to 200 yards. Par threes are anything but a walk in the park.
Before you start analyzing the hole and its quirks, take notice of your shot pattern. If you tend to slice or hook the ball, you’ll want to consider that first and then adjust accordingly to the trouble surrounding the green.
Take, for example, the picture to the right; there’s a large bunker in front of the left side of the green. If you tend to hook the ball, you should aim more to the right. And if you miss the green and end up in the right fringe, that’s not a terrible miss at all.
Nevertheless, when faced with a par three that has any trouble surrounding the green, the safest bet is to go for the middle. Playing smart and leaving yourself with a two-putt should always be the goal. When you start to get fancy and go directly for pins, that’s when the doubles and triples come into play.
GOLFTEC’s VP of Instruction, Nick Clearwater, and Director of Teaching Quality, Brad Skupaka, play this exact par three in the video above and explain their strategy behind their approaches to the hole. You can learn a ton just by their thought process and apply it the next time you’re on the tee box of a par three.
There are a couple of sacred rules in golf that are slightly more well known than others. One, in particular, is not grounding or touching the sand with your club in the bunker before you hit the ball.
Well, we’re going to be a little reckless and throw out the rule book (sorry USGA) and share a drill that encourages you to ground your club. Yes, I know, I know this is just a drill, and you are allowed to touch the sand while practicing, but it’s fun to be a little rebellious, right?
Anyway, back to the drill. Why do you need to mess with the sand to begin with? Isn’t the point to get the ball away from the sand?
As Vice President of Instruction, Nick Clearwater, explains in the video, golfers who struggle with contact in bunkers can benefit from drawing a line right behind the ball and trying to hit the line at impact. Doing this helps golfers take just the right amount of sand to get the ball up and out of the bunker. Practicing without a ball a few times can help ingrain that feeling.
Once you add a ball, open the face of your club, make a full swing and ensure you’re hitting that line in the sand just before the ball. If you do all three, you’ll see your ball end up in a pretty good place on the green.
When you take this new grooving sand shot out with you on the course, the rule book is back in play, and you can’t draw your trusty line in the sand, but you can still imagine it’s there. And if you can successfully do that, you’re going to have one solid bunker game.