The words “forged iron” resonate as magically in the ears of most serious golfers as the sound those clubs produce when it makes perfect contact with a golf ball. They evoke styling and feel as well as the possibility of great performance. Which is why people tend to perk up when they hear about offerings like one TaylorMade brought out late last year.
That’s when the California equipment maker introduced a trio of forged iron models. One is the TaylorMade TPMB (for Tour Preferred Muscleback), and it is a sleek puppy with a compact player’s shape, a straight leading edge, minimal offset and a tapered hosel. These irons are made in a six-step forging process designed to create a more precisely shaped and finished head.
Company engineers have also employed a new weighting port in the back of each TPMB to ensure accurate swing weights while guaranteeing optimal and consistent center of gravity location. In addition, TaylorMade has incorporated an advanced, USGA-conforming groove design into the faces to promote more spin and control from the rough.
The TaylorMade TPMC (for Tour Preferred Muscle Cavity) are made with the same forging process but also feature a shallow cavity, to combine feel and workability with added stability and forgiveness. The clubhead here has that classic player’s look. But the sole is less cambered, to prevent deep digging. TaylorMade uses the precision-weighting port in these irons as well, and they also feature the advance groove design.
Then, there is the TPCB (for Tour Preferred Cavityback). These have a two-piece head that melds a forged face with a cast body. They also incorporate an undercut cavity to deliver the feel of a forged iron and the forgiveness of a cavityback. Not surprisingly, the TPCB boasts the highest MOI (for Moment of Inertia) of this new line and is the only one to utilize TaylorMade’s Inverted Cone Technology, features that combine to promote faster ball speed on distance-robbing, off-center hits.
Different as the TPCB may be from the others, it does have the same advanced groove design as well as the precision weighting ports.
“Forged irons are typically devoid of performance technologies,” says Bret Wahl, senior director of iron, wedge and putter development for TaylorMade. “Their compact and solid construction forces very specific type of impact parameters to hit a good shot with virtually no margin for error. The reward for that is unparalleled feel and workability.”
“We took a long, close look at the make-up of forged irons to determine if we could advance the performance with the use of technology,” he adds. “And we found we could.”
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