What we say...
TaylorMade P790 Iron review: TaylorMade's new P790 irons are a distance iron for the better player- combining the best parts of a blade and cavity back iron by featuring a hollow body, forged face and Speedfoam
Any reasonable golfer will tell you their ultimate set of irons would combine the looks and feel of a forged blade with the playability and forgiveness of a cavity back that delivers remarkable distance combined with excellent feel.
Until recently, the concept has been a pipe dream, but thanks to the introduction of hollow-body forged iron constructions, it’s all changing – and the TaylorMade P790 irons are the latest to fit in to that category.
Designers have specifically targeted the look, feel and feedback of a true blade iron. But by teaming the muscleback styling with a decent sized internal cavity – they have filled the TaylorMade P790 with a new polymer called Speedfoam – meaning that you get the forgiveness and playability usually expected of a perimeter weighted iron.
This was accomplished by incorporating technologies that improve on feel, sound and consistency while delivering significant distance. The P790 features a soft, 8620 carbon steel body combined with a high-strength forged 4140 carbon steel WrapFace in a hollow body design. Scroll down to read our review, plus more inside info about the tech.
WATCH our video review below
TaylorMade P790 Irons Review: You need to know
With the looks of a blade and playability of a cavity back the P790s are a potent mix. A forged face delivers great feel, while speed foam in the internal cavity (mid and long irons) supports the face and optimises sound. Thanks to the forged two-piece construction and speed pocket sole the lower face is completely unsupported, which TaylorMade say maximises face flex and rebound where golfers misses are most common.
REVIEWED: Longest 2018 irons Click here
TaylorMade P790 Irons Review: We say
One of the most talked about irons since they launched last August, the P790’s have put the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons for reasonable golfers looking for a new set of irons. With the looks of a blade, but playability of a cavity back the P790’s are a potent cocktail. Our test pro liked the lively slighter lighter feel, which in part is down to the Dynamic Gold 105 being 22g – 25g lighter than a traditional Dynamic Gold shaft.
With a ball speed average of 124mph the P790 was tied (with Titleist AP3 and Callaway Rogue Pro) for the fastest on test (better player iron category). Unlike our Crossover irons test last year (where the P790 produced the longer carry distance) the P790 didn’t quite out shine the TitleistAP3 for overall carry distance (184 yards vs 179 yards) but our data does prove how closely the two are matched.
To see all 2018 Top Gear irons ranked by forgiveness Click here
TaylorMade P790 Irons Review: Verdict
We’ve heard a good number of TG readers have made the difficult choice between the P790 and Titleist AP3. Both have hollow bodies, both are fast and long so if you need help deciding between the pair, we recommend hitting them both. If you still can’t make up your mind, look at the set make-up you need, P790’s come as a set whilst the AP3’s are sold individually.
Click here to see how the P790 compares to other Crossover irons (Titleist 718 AP3, Mizuno MP-18 MMC, Ping i200, Wilson Staff C300 Forged)
How much difference is there between blade and cavity-back irons? Click here
What TaylorMade say about the P790 irons...
Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Irons, told us: “This is a distance iron for the better player. It combines the forgiveness and playability of a perimeter weighted design with the look and feel of a true player’s iron. It has a 20% higher inertia (more forgiveness) than the P770; its level of forgiveness is similar to the cavity backed M1 iron.
“Speed foam fills the internal cavity. That allows us to make the club face thinner (1.7mm thick) which improves ball speed, it also dampens sound and improves feel. It’s the most complex iron construction we’ve ever created. By wrapping the forged face onto the sole and combining it with our most flexible speed pocket, we’ve increased ball speeds especially for shots hit low in the face.
“Jason Day and Xander Schauffele both put a P790 long iron in play the first week it was available at the WGC Bridgestone, and both said feel was softer but more solid than the UDi (Ultimate Driving irons) they’d been playing.”
"With P790, we created a forged iron that meets the demands of discerning players and delivers distance performance never before seen in a players iron. By combining our new SpeedFoam filler and WrapFace technology with a clean, classic design, we have effectively engineered an iron that is as beautiful as it is powerful – setting the new standard for all-around iron performance."
TaylorMade P790 Irons: Key Features
➤ Carbon Cast
Making the ultimate iron means taking the best bits from both the forged and cast camps. An 8620 cast carbon steel body means the TaylorMade P790 irons have an intricate and precise internal structure to help improve forgiveness. A super thin, forged 4140 carbon steel face maximises impact flex and you get the feel expected of a forged iron.
The TaylorMade P790 iron also features an ultra-thin 1.75mm face thickness with re-engineered Inverted Cone Technology optimised for the slightly smaller face area. Whereas the company’s previous ICT which had a larger, heavier profile, the new, smaller Inverted Cone allows for reduced face thickness at the edges of the face, thus increasing flexibility from heel to toe and low on the clubface, resulting in more ball speed across the entire face.
➤ Speed foam
The TaylorMade P790 irons have a very special, secretive polymer which is injected into the internal cavity before expanding to fill the gap. TaylorMade says it helps reinforce the super-thin face, without hampering flex at impact. It also helps deliver great sound and feel. It’s a key ingredient in making hollow heads sound better than ever before.
TaylorMade say: "The P790’s hollow cavity uses SpeedFoam Technology, a new proprietary construction which serves a dual purpose of generating ball speed as well as the management of sound and feel. Injected into the clubhead, SpeedFoam provides the face support and damping properties that make the performance of the P790 unlike any other iron in the TaylorMade family."
Watch: How Speedfoam in TaylorMade P790 works
➤ Tungsten weighting
The P790 name refers to the blade length (79mm long) but you need more than just a longer blade to make a noticeable improvement in forgiveness. An internal tungsten weight (ranges from 13g to 8g) towards the toe of each iron raises the MOI to similar levels as TaylorMade’s current M1 iron and 20% higher than the P770s.
➤ TaylorMade P790 irons: Floating face
TaylorMade says the P790 irons have the most complex construction of any iron they’ve ever made. A Speed Pocket in the sole cuts through to the internal cavity, meaning the bottom of the face is literally unsupported. The design helps improve flex and ball speed on shots hit low in the face, which according to TaylorMade research is where lots of reasonable golfers miss.
➤ Lighter shaft
Dynamic Gold has been the most played iron shaft on tour for years, but as more and more golfers are going lighter TaylorMade is fitting the P790s with a new slimmed down Dynamic Gold 105. It’s about 25g lighter than the original, with the same profile, so delivers a lighter, faster overall feel.