Two things every golfer looks to improve and maximize with their irons are distance and accuracy. Often, when trying to achieve greater distance the unforgiveness of the club will let you down and your shots will tend to start straying a bit off-course.
TaylorMade has introduced the P790 irons to address these two important factors of the game.
As your game has improved and your handicap number has been steadily creeping down, this might be the right time for a change. You want to upgrade your equipment and to look for a set of irons to take you to the next level.
The TaylorMade P790 irons might be just what you need to enhance your confidence, improve your scores, and your enjoyment of the game.
Who Are These Irons For?
These are not game-improvement irons and are not recommended for beginners or high handicappers. As a player who is established and on the up, what are some of the things you should be looking for in a set of irons?
Firstly, I would suggest we look at a reputable brand and TaylorMade is right up here with the best.
Next, we would want to know that the product is “tour-proven”, and with names such as DJ, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day sporting these clubs in their bags, that one’s covered. Cutting edge technology is the hallmark of TaylorMade products, and they are leaders in this field.
TaylorMade launched the P790 in 2017 and the new P790 was introduced in late 2019. They have been complimented for not making drastic changes to what was already working well. Only minor changes were introduced and the result is a “long” iron and one that instills confidence.
The name and the look remain the same, but a new version of the P790 Ti has been introduced. TaylorMade’s slogan is, “You don’t mess with what works, you make it better”.
The ball tends to have a higher trajectory and a lower spin rate, the greater ball speed resulting in the additional distance.
- Distance iron that looks like a blade
- Improved sound and feel
- Greater ball speed
- Forgiveness to benefit target players
- Only marginal gains over the original
- Not suited to high handicappers
The TaylorMade P790 is packed with high technology features that have presented a challenge to the development team to improve on the already successful earlier 2017 version.
Materials and build
Starting at the business end, the claim is a forged distance iron for better players, although this is not quite all forged. The wrap-around face is forged from 4140 Carbon Steel and then welded onto a cast 8620 carbon steel body. The feel comes from the forged bit that you hit the ball with, but there’s much more to the head.
The TaylorMade P790 has a hollow head, filled with 4g of Speedfoam through a screw in the toe. The Speedfoam expands to four times its size to support the forged face which has a thickness of only 1.75mm in places. This face has been thinned down by about 7% allowing an increase of 15% in the high-density tungsten weight.
This technology enhances the speed of the irons while still offers plenty of feel and good control.
This weight is positioned at the bottom of the cavity behind the sweet spot and helps to lower the center of gravity and increase the launch angle. In front of this, in the sole, is the Cut-through Speed Pocket to allow a little flex on the thinner face and increase ball speed. This speed pocket is found on clubs 3 to 7 and is not required for the shorter irons.
Inverted cone technology
The P790 also uses the patented progressive inverted cone technology (I.C.T.) design throughout the set to improve accuracy. This technology progresses out to the toe, the typical mishit location on long irons, while still protecting ball speeds.
The TaylorMade P790 has a more modern and cleaner look from the back. The “TaylorMade” logo has been replaced with the more subtle “T” logo and the sole section now has a shiny finish. The toe screw and square font for the numbers add to the good looks.
The top line of the blade is 79mm, hence the name, and is a bit thicker than average which helps to inspire confidence as does the slight extra offset. Further confidence-boosting comes from raising the toe depth just a fraction as well as a more rounded toe and heel shaping.
In the latest update, the shafts have also not been ignored, and the TaylorMade P790 irons are fitted with the new True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 VSS steel shafts. These shafts come in three flex options R, S and X. To further customize your options there are two graphite shafts on the rack.
The standard length of the shafts have also been shortened, compared to the previous model. This slightly shorter shaft length is designed to help players achieve more control, yet it does not negatively affect the ball speed as might be expected.
TaylorMade P790 Ti
With the new 2019/20 launch, TaylorMade has taken into consideration the higher handicap player also looking for an iron that looks like a players’ iron. Introducing the TaylorMade P790 Ti having a lot of the same features as the standard model, but comes with Titanium heads, hence the Ti. The super lightweight hollow-body Titanium clubheads produce fantastic forgiveness and explosive distance.
The TaylorMade P790Ti irons have a tungsten weighting, visible on the bottom part of the blade. Locked into the back bar of the clubhead it helps to launch the ball high with a very low spin rate and a trajectory for maximum distance.
The shaft options on the P790Ti are NIPPON NS Pro 950 GH NEO steel shaft or the Mitsubishi MMT graphite shaft. Both have the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grip.
The P790Ti offers the high handicap golfer a high-quality iron with a lot of forgiveness and great bag appeal although it is a bit pricey.
Are there alternatives that can compare to the TaylorMade P790 series? Sure, there are many different brands on the market, in fact so many that making the right choice can be a daunting exercise.
Callaway Epic Irons
The Callaway Epic irons is a good brand to make a head to head comparison with the TaylorMade P790.
Priced in a similar bracket, we found that when it came to sound and feel there was little to choose between the two. Compared to the regular Epic irons, the P790 has a sleeker and more compact look.
The Epic Pro would compare better in appearance. In terms of the numbers, the P790 had a marginally higher ball speed and distance, with the Epic tending to have a higher trajectory.
Overall the feel, comfort, consistency, and confidence was more with the TaylorMade P790.
Other brands that could be considered in this category would be Mizuno MP 20, Cleveland UHX, Cobra Forged Tech, and the Ping 1500. The Mizuno MP 20 series has a thinner top line, similar to the P790 Ti, making them more playable for the average golfer, but don’t match the P790 in forgiveness.
Many of us are loyal to a brand, but we also need to be budget-conscious. To save on the pocket, a great alternative is TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons, a very popular option at just over half the cost of the P790.
Being brand loyal, if you are already playing the 2017 edition of the P790 you might as well stick with them, as you will find little improvement for the additional cost.
Finally, what does the TaylorMade P790 do for us? It’s all about ball speed and distance, and so much more. The thin forged face with the Speedfoam filling gives a good solid sound and exceptional feel.
The Tungsten weight provides stability and liftoff, and the Cut-through Speed Pocket adds an extra flex to the face to increase the ball speed. Lastly, the progressive Inverted Cone Technology helps us keep the ball in play and provides forgiveness.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.