FIRST LOOK: TaylorMade’s Milled Grind 2 and Hi-Toe Big Foot wedges
TaylorMade’s Milled Grind 2 wedges have already become a popular option on the PGA Tour since they were introduced at the 3M Open. They’ll soon be available to the general public after the second-generation wedge was formally unveiled with a new raw face designed to optimize spin and feel.
The ZTP raw grooves offer a deeper, narrower groove, along with a sharper radius, to increase the amount of zip each wedge is able to produce. Laser etching between each groove reduces skidding up the face and enables the ball to produce a consistent launch while generating more friction at impact for ample greenside spin.
Because the face is raw, there’s an oxidization process that occurs once the face is exposed to the elements. To keep the face fresh, each head features a 3M adhesive sticker covering the grooves. Once the sticker is removed, the grooves will immediately begin to oxidize, which begins the rusting process.
“Our Tour players have long benefited from the performance raw wedges offer and it’s great to now be able to offer these performance gains to golfers of all levels,” said Bill Price, TaylorMade’s senior director of product creation, putters and wedge. “We’re confident they will enjoy the look, feel and performance that a raw face has to offer.”
Along with boosting spin, designers improved feel by altering the head geometry to create a thick-thin design using an optimization tool previously applied during metalwood and iron design processes. The tool suggested combining a thicker back section with a thin outer section to optimize “frequency and duration” for better overall sound and feel.
The shift in mass can be found in a thicker face that was increased from 5.1 millimeters (Milled Grind) to 6.5 millimeters (Milled Grind 2). To thicken the head without increasing overall weight, a TPU insert was created for the back cavity that shifts mass while also creating a solid feel at impact.
Each wedge is CNC milled to ensure the leading edge and sole geometry is consistent from head to head. The consistency of the process is one of the reasons why Tiger Woods chose a set of irons and wedges boasting the same CNC milling on the sole.
“Now they can make them again and again and again, and they’re all the same,” Woods said of his P7TW irons and Milled Grind wedges.
TaylorMade’s Milled Grind 2 ($170; True Temper Dynamic Gold S200) will be available Sept. 6 and comes in a low effective bounce (LB) and standard bounce (SB) for golfers who play on different turfs. Satin Chrome and Matte Black are the two head finishes.
TaylorMade Hi-Toe Big Foot
You’ve probably heard of game-improvement irons. But a game-improvement wedge? TaylorMade believes there’s a market for a version of its popular Hi-Toe wedge that boasts an extremely wide sole.
“We have one of the best wedge line-ups on the market but realized that there was still one golfer out there that wasn’t catered for,” Price said. “With Big Foot we now have a game improvement wedge that’s easier to play regardless of course conditions, especially for those who struggle out of bunkers.”
The Hi-Toe Big Foot is designed with a flatter, asymmetric C-Grind and a sole that’s 6 millimeters wider (32 millimeters versus 26 millimeters) than a standard wedge. The sole includes 15 degrees of bounce and a blunted leading edge (with a beveled radius) to keep the wedge from digging into the turf or sand, thereby making it easier to use the club for a variety of shots and conditions.
The wider sole also features more bounce towards the toe apex for golfers with an outside-in swing path who regularly impact the ball towards the toe. The trailing edge has moderate heel side reduction to keep the leading edge low throughout the shot.
To increase spin and control flight, three “center of gravity pockets” were added to the head to reposition mass to the sole. The full-face scoring lines promote consistent contact out of the rough while also allowing for an increased toe height to rein in launch.
TaylorMade’s Hi-Toe Big Foot wedge (58 and 60 degrees) will be available Sept. 6 and retails for $170 with KBS’s 115-gram Hi-Rev 2.0 steel or UST’s 65-gram Recoil with SmacWrap graphite.