TaylorMade has created a very enjoyable iron to look at and hit that remains suitable for a wide spectrum of players. It will go too far for some better players, but the extra launch and consistency built in will appeal to the majority, as will the excellent feel, while the opportunity to mix it with other models in the P Series further enhances the offering.
Faster, higher launching and more consistent than the prior version
Produces longer, more accurate carries
Explosive, stable feel
Thicker topline at address may not suit eye of lower handicap golfer
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2021 TaylorMade P790 Iron Review
Watch Joel Tadman test out the TaylorMade P790 iron
One of the best TaylorMade irons right now, the P790 has been an incredibly successful franchise for the brand, appealing to a very wide spectrum of abilities. For 2021, the new version is undoubtedly a step up in aesthetics - it looks cleaner, more blade like from the back and has a lighter finish, especially on the hitting area, which frames the ball even better than the 2019 version. The face on the new P790 looks taller than the old version and the topline looks thicker, a change not all golfers will necessarily enjoy, especially the lower handicaps.
The construction of the head is very different but the make up of the club remains the same - the 7-iron loft is still 30.5° so it was interesting to test both models in the same shaft on the Full Swing Golf simulator to capture some performance data. It told us the the new P790 offers up across the board improvements. With a very similar club speed, the new P790 was nearly 2mph faster off the face and launched just over a degree higher. It also produced a touch less spin and a higher peak height, resulting in two yards longer carries on average but with seemingly no sacrifice in stopping power.
The dispersion in all directions also stood out. The 7-iron we tested was incredibly consistent. In fact, the shortest shot we hit flew 172 yards and the longest 176 yards, demonstrating how uniform the performance was given we weren’t striking the sweet spot every time. This is testament to the forgiveness built into the club, especially low on the face, but also the resistance to twist on those slight heel and toe hits that can cause the ball to curve significantly off line, but didn’t seem to here.
The feel was another stand out attribute. The new P790 manages to feel faster but with a slightly softer, quieter sound. Balls seem to melt onto the face when struck centrally and then spring off, but in a consistent manner to maintain similar carry distances. In fact, it was one of the most enjoyable ball striking experiences we’ve had for a long time because of how large the sweetspot seemed to be.
The old P790 iron was no slouch, and the gains with the new model might seem fairly minor, but combined together they make for a much more playable and fun iron to use on the course. The target market is certainly broad, centering around the high single figures up to high teens, and there is scope to mix the P790 with other models in the P-Series, with P770 short irons perhaps, although some tweaking of the lofts may be required to create an even gap at the split point.
If you’ve got the original model from 2017 or an iron set from a similar era, an upgrade could or should be on the cards given what we've outlined in this 2021 TaylorMade P790 iron review. Or if not the P790, why not one of the other best compact mid-handicap irons on the market instead?
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Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: Ping i230 4-UW
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x
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