Golf Monthly's TaylorMade P790 Irons Review - Technical Editor Joel Tadman hit the TaylorMade P790 irons on the GCQuad launch monitor
There’s an awful lot to like about the TaylorMade P790 irons before a ball is struck. From the back view they look like a muscleback iron, with no cavity visible behind the face, just a clean, metallic piece hiding what transpires to be great deal of technology and innovation.
The size suggests a wide target audience with its generous sole width, hint of offset and mid-thickness topline, perhaps a little more confidence inspiring than the recently launched P760 iron.
Clip a few away and your first thought is to the feel and sound of the club. It is unusual to say the least with the SpeedFoam clearly contributing to a dull, muted and slightly clicky hit as clubface strikes ball. Even after my exhaustive testing session with the 7-iron, I still hadn’t decided if I liked the feel or not, simply because it was so different to anything I’ve experienced.
They feel extremely fast off the face, like you would expect from a hollow club, jumpy to the point where you get the impression it might go too far. Sure enough, the distances with the 7-iron were big. The loft is 30.5°, which is 2.5˚ stronger than the the P770 model and is probably lower than it needs to be, but the carry distances I got on the Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor were certainly impressive – average 181 yards and rolling out close to 190 yards.
While I wasn’t yet sold on the feel, I couldn’t complain about any other area of performance. Distance was up but without losing out on consistency or accuracy. In fact, you’ll see the grouping of my shots was incredibly tight.
I really enjoyed hitting the P790 irons and could definitely see them earning a spot in my bag, although the extra distance would take some adjusting to. For their relatively compact size, they are surprisingly easy to hit and there will be many game improvers licking their lips and the thought of getting the same distance and forgiveness as many larger, chunkier irons in a more slimline package that will look like a blade in the bag.
I also think the new Dynamic Gold 105 shaft certainly helped. I’ve struggled to get hold of my favourite Dynamic Gold SL shaft for a while now but this new offering, which has weight taken out of the top of the shaft, seems to give me the stiffness profile that works for me in a lighter weight.
I tested in S300, which perhaps launched the ball a touch high, but with the ball spinning at 4669 on average that did no harm whatsoever.
Some interesting, complex and unique technology has gone into the P790 irons and the performance speaks for itself. While the feel and sound may take some getting used to for some, the exceptional distance and forgiveness from a relatively compact address profile will appeal to a wide spectrum of players. Yes you pay a premium for it, and the lofts are fairly strong, but the results go a long way towards justifying it.