2019 TaylorMade P790 Iron Review - We assess the performance of the new 2019 P790 iron and how it compares with the original
The original P790 was a huge hit for TaylorMade. It was one of the first of a raft of hollow compact distance irons that came in an aspiring, blade-style look.
We weren’t 100 per cent sold on the sound off the face but overall, there was much to admire, notably the ball speed and distance from what was a relatively compact iron.
The new P790 hasn’t changed a great deal visually but there is a fair amount of new tech – which you can read about here. It’s a little cleaner looking from the back – The full TaylorMade logo has changed to the ‘T’ logo in the corner – and it now has a shiny sole section.
At address, the top line looks to be a touch thinner, but there really isn’t much in it. This is a relief, as the original P790 was one of the best looking compact distance irons on the market.
Performance wise, the differences were expectedly marginal but it appears there are some gains to be had. We tested both old and new P790 7-irons (both 30.5°) on the Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor in a similar Dynamic Gold 105 shaft in S300.
You’ll notice from the data that once gross mishits were deleted, from the eight counting shots with each the new P790 did provide a fraction more ball speed. It launched basically the same but did spin 300 rpm less than the old P790.
Despite a one-yard lower flight, the new P790 did hit the longest shots, with carries of 180 and 181 yards, at an average of 178 yards. The old P790 gave us an average carry of 176 yards and interestingly, this was from a 1.5 mph faster clubhead speed.
The stock shaft length of the new P790 is actually 1/8″ shorter than the original P790, which goes some way to explaining why our clubhead speed decreased with the new model.
In fact, the efficiency of Smash Factor of the new P790 was higher at 1.37 v 1.35 with the old P790, so it appears the clubface is working harder on the new model, especially on slight mishits.
Looking at the dispersion, you couldn’t say the new P790 was any straighter and both provided almost equally consistent ball speeds.
We did feel that the 2019 P790 has a slightly quieter sound to it, which for many will contribute to a softer feel.
In summary, if you’ve got a set of the original P790 irons you don’t need to rush to upgrade to the new model. But there are some marginal gains to be had so if you were tempted by the original P790 but didn’t bite the bullet, your patience looks to have been somewhat rewarded.
The 2019 P790 has a cleaner, more appealing look and offers a little more ball speed and distance compared to the original. It also feels and sound a little more iron-like and maintains the compact address profile serious golfers look for.