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TaylorMade Brings Back the TP Line and the SLDR Gets Smaller

Jan. 13, 2014     By     Comments (1)

The company's popular line of Tour Preferred clubs is back with the release of three new sets of irons. Also, the company has released a 430cc version of the SLDR driver.

Bag DropTaylorMade is a company well known for multiple product lines and updating clubs with new releases seemingly just months after the "old" ones have come out. In the past couple of years, we have seen the R11, Burner 2.0, R11s, RBZ, R1, RBZ Stage 2, R1 Black, SLDR and JetSpeed. That's a lot of clubs over a fairly short span of time, and something that the company takes ridicule for every once in a while. That being said, the clubs that they are producing are good quality, and if there is any sort of edge to be had, you can almost guarantee that TaylorMade is going to be the company to find it. Just a few months removed since the release of the company's current flagship driver, the SLDR, the company has added to that line with a smaller, 430cc version of it. Also, one of its more popular lines, the Tour Preferred irons, has been updated with new versions of the MB, MC, and CB irons.

Like I said in the intro, TaylorMade has made themselves known for updating clubs before the old ones even become old, but that really hasn't been the case with their irons aimed at the better player, the Tour Preferred line. Sure, they released a Tour Version of the RBZ irons and have had some other cavity backs since the last set of TPs were released, but those weren't quite the same thing. As they did a few years ago, there are three different models in the TP line so players of all abilities should be able to find something that fits their game.

For the best of the best ball strikers out there, TaylorMade has the Tour Preferred MB irons. As the name suggests, these clubs are pure muscle backs and will appeal to those players who don't want to sacrifice an ounce of workability. The clubs are forged from 1025 carbon steel and feature a thin top line with very little offset. After receiving feedback from Tour Pros  during the testing phase, the clubs have also been designed with minimal sole camber. For a company that sits on the edge of cutting edge design, these are surprisingly reserved with a classic design. Many comments around the internet say that they look a lot like the old Mizuno MP-14 irons.

For golfers in that next tier, or at least those wanting a bit more forgiveness, there are the Tour Preferred MC irons. These clubs have a very similar shape, albeit slightly larger, to the TP MB irons and have a "muscle cavity" which boosts the clubs moment of inertia. In the long and mid irons (3-7), the clubs incorporate Speed Pocket Technology. This helps to increase the ball speed across the lower portion of the club face, as well as making the club more consistent overall. The shorter irons in the set are forged to give the clubs optimum feel, spin and control. Like the MB irons, the MC irons have a hand-polished satin nickel-chrome finish.

For those wanting a full on cavity back iron but still Tour Preferred performance, there is the TP CB irons. The entire set is fully cast and, like the MC irons, feature the Speed Pocket in the 3-7 irons. The Speed Pockets in this set also have "micro-slots" to promote even faster ball speeds across the face and a higher launch. The short irons in the set are smaller and have minimal offset while the long and mid irons are larger and have progressive offset.

Lofts between the three sets is also a bit different, with the CBs having the strongest among the three sets. The MC irons have the same lofts in the short irons compared to the MBs but stronger lofts in the long irons. The MB irons are traditionally lofted. All three sets have the KBS Tour as the stock shaft in R, S, or X flex. Retail price is $899.99 for the CB, $999.99 for the MC, and $1099.99 for the MB irons.

Also new for the company is the smaller, 430cc version of the SLDR driver. Esthetically, the club is identical (besides the size) to the standard SLDR as it retains the charcoal-gray crown. Like the larger version, the CG of the driver is low and forward which helps it to be one of the lowest spinning drivers the company has ever produced. The sliding weight found on the sole of the club can be adjusted into 21 different positions to dial in the golfers desired shape and the loft can be adjusted 1.5° in either directions using the 12-position loft sleeve (this also will alter face angle). The standard version comes with the Fujikura Speeder 67 as the stock shaft and it retails for $399.99.

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Discussion

  1. R11driver says:

    I just took delivery of a set of the new TP MC irons. 6 thru PW. I ordered them directly from TM and got the Tour 90 shaft option in stiff flex (the only flex available). They came with the standard TM logo tour velvet grips. These club replace my previous model TP CB irons that I used for 2 seasons.

    Living in central Massachusetts, it will be awhile before I can use them on a real course. The same day they were delivered, Mother Nature also delivered another foot of snow. Grrrrr.

    Besides the fact that I love the looks of these irons, I was also looking to get back in to a fully forged head. My last forged set of irons were the Cleveland TA2's. So I was looking at the MC as well as the MB version clubs. I had a chance to try them out on a launch monitor at the local GolfSmith store and brought my CB irons to get a head to head comparison.

    The MB irons haven't been released yet (at least not at the time I was doing my testing) but the short irons in both sets are identical. Only the 3 through 7 irons are not forged but do have the new speed pocket design. Because I was only looking at the 6 thru PW set, only the 6 and 7 irons were not forged so much less of a deal breaker.

    The first ball strikes with the new 7 iron were amazing. It feels just like a forged head. Solid and pure. The new speed pocket design not only contributes to that feel but also increases ball speed. I could actualy feel the difference. After 30 or 40 balls my shot dispersion wasn't more than 10 yards with a slight draw on each shot. Distance wise, I easily gained 5 yards over my previous CB 7 iron and if I got after it, I could get 8 to 10 yards.

    The 9 iron was next and was just plain awesome. It had that buttery feel forged clubs are known for and was very easy to hit. It had a slightly lower trajectory than my former CB's and averaged a few yards further.

    So based on my experience with the launch monitor, I decided on the MC set and felt that the slightly lighter Tour 90 shafts would benefit me as well. I'm SO looking forward to playing with these clubs and can't wait for spring. Hope you enjoyed the review.

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