By Jeffrey A. Rendall, Images courtesy of Callaway Golf
CARLSBAD, CA – Versatility is a good thing. It’s always great when something you buy performs multiple tasks – makes life a little easier, doesn’t it?
Versatility is what we found in trying Callaway’s Mack Daddy 2 wedges. It used to be we’d buy golf clubs to perform specialized functions – hit it far, hit it a certain distance, hit from sand, etc.
But today’s wedges have to do much more than mastering just one mission. Wedges need to be designed to not only blast it from sand, they must also adapt to different course conditions and player imaginations. It’s a tall order, but players want their wedges to work miracles sometimes.
"Golfers ask their lob wedges to perform a lot of different shots so it's important to design these wedges to be extremely forgiving and versatile," said Roger Cleveland, the mind behind the Mack Daddy 2. "And that's what we've done with these new grooves and the added custom grind options. The MD2's will be a must for the golfer who wants to perform to his or her best in the toughest of conditions."
Roger Cleveland is a legend in wedge design, having started his own company in the early 80’s to specifically focus on creating specialized clubs. It should be noted that Roger Cleveland is no longer affiliated with Cleveland Golf, and has been working for Callaway since 1996.
The grooves Cleveland was referring to are the new 5V Groove Pattern (engineered into wedges with 56-degrees of loft and higher). According to Callaway, the 5V pattern provides wider, more aggressive grooves that increase spin. In addition, all Mack Daddy 2 wedges feature a unique Lasered Micro Groove for added face roughness – which adds more spin.
The increased spin is what you’re looking for around the greens when trying to stop the ball on slick surfaces.
Again, according to Callaway, the new groove pattern is 39 percent larger and produces 25 percent more spin than its predecessor (measured from full shots hit out of the rough compared to the 2011 Callaway Forged Wedge).
Supplementing the spin is the shape of the Mack Daddy 2 wedges, which is tour tested and preferred by Callaway staff (including Phil Mickelson and Chris Kirk, winner of the recent Deutsche Bank Championship). The shape was inspired by Callaway’s popular X Forged ’08 and honed by Roger Cleveland.
Last but not least, the Mack Daddy 2 wedges come with custom sole grinds:
U-GRIND The U-Grind, which Phil Mickelson inspired, has a concave sole and the tightest radius of the three grind options, which significantly relieves the heel and toe. This allows the leading edge to stay low and under the ball when opening the face to add loft. This grind is versatile in both firm and soft conditions.
C-GRIND The C-Grind is also relieved in the heel and toe to prevent golfers from creating too much bounce when opening the face. The depth of the sole is narrow to help facilitate proper contact and to allow the wedge to perform in all conditions, firm or soft.
STANDARD GRIND The S-Grind -- or Standard -- is relieved in the heel only, and is best suited for firmer playing conditions. This grind is fitting for the golfer who does not want to add loft for a shot and instead play it with a square face.
For our purposes, we tried a 52 degree S grind (12 degrees of bounce), a 56 degree S grind (14 degrees of bounce) and a 58 degree U grind (10 degrees of bounce).
True to the above description, the U grind wedge definitely has a noticeable concave sole.
We gave the wedges a solid workout during a trip to Pinehurst, North Carolina, which allowed us to try them in all sorts of conditions from fairly wet fairways to bone dry waste areas. All of them performed admirably, though we did have some trouble with greenside bunkers – which was more likely our poor judgment on how to treat the sand rather than the wedge itself.
Don’t blame the wedge, in other words.
Chipping and pitching with the wedges was above average, simply because it was effortless. The spin generated by the Mack Daddy 2’s allowed for excellent distance control and the confidence that goes along with using a wedge you know will apply the brakes on slick greens.
The wedges also worked well from the fairway. Some wedges seem to either dig or ‘bounce’ too much, but these seemed just right. No fat or thin shots. Very well done.
As an added bonus, on its website, Callaway offers a company-produced series of videos titled “Wedgeducation.” In the videos, Roger Cleveland and Randy Peterson (Callaway’s Director of Fitting & Instruction) provide short game tips and offer advice on how to make wedges work.
That’s something we all can use, isn’t it?
Phil Mickelson may be able to hit wedges from a hospitality tent, but that doesn’t mean the average player can master them without some help.
Finally, the Mack Daddy 2’s come in two finishes: a Slate finish (the company says it looks fresh from a workshop bench) and a Chrome finish with a smoky, muted rich look that reduces glare (we chose Chrome).
At GolfTheUnitedStates.com, we don’t endorse products – but we do recommend that you try them yourself. Wedges are highly personalized clubs and you can’t know what’s right for you until you’re holding them in your hands and putting them to the test.
Callaway’s a high quality brand, and the manufacturing of the wedges is flawless. Give them a look if you’re in the market for versatile wedges.
Available at your higher-end golf retailers and club pro shops.
Check out more information about Callaway Golf products at:
Check the website for locations to demo and purchase products.
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