On the back of launching their Tour Preferred irons and Tour Preferred balls, TaylorMade are continuing throughout the set with the release of their new Tour Preferred wedges.
The "Tour Preferred" idea is not new. For years TaylorMade have been designing equipment specifically for the game's best players, using feedback and input from their Tour players. Along with the TaylorMade's club designer, Clay Long, TaylorMade's Tour staff have helped created the new Tour Preferred wedge.
Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade’s Director of Product Creation for Irons, Putters and Wedges, told us:
“We dedicated three years to meticulously dialing in all shapes and dimensions. The outcome is two extremely versatile sole grinds in the Tour Preferred category. We combined that with a raw Micro Texture face to make this wedge truly worthy of the Tour Preferred name.”
When designing products for the best golfers in the world, one design or shape is often not enough. Players demand a look and shape that they prefer and can use as they want. Therefore, TaylorMade designed the new Tour Preferred wedge with two different sole grinds, the Classic Grind and the ATV grind.
The first grind, the Classic, is for players who like a clean, classic, traditional looking wedge. It features a progressive camber on the sole, increasing in the higher lofted wedges, and a noticable heel relief. This shape allows players to open the face easily at address whilst still offering a shape that works well on full and bunker shots.
The second option, the ATV grind, was first introduced in 2012 and is often credited to Jason Day and the shape of his wedges at the 2012 Masters. The "All-Terrain-Versatility" shape is slightly narrower than the Classic grind performing best with the face open or from tight lies. The versatility comes into play with the bounce. On full shots, chips or bunker shots, the ATV grind keeps the bounce lower, whilst increasing when a player opens the face to hit higher shots around the green.
Keith Sbarbaro, TaylorMade's VP of Tour Operations, talked of his excitement about the new design:
Finally I can say we have the most traditional, purest wedge we have ever made. The feel, the look, it is exactly what the best players in the world want.
As mentioned above, TaylorMade have used a new Micro Texture face designed to enhance ball speed and control. Combined with TaylorMade's "most aggressive groove design", the heavy-textured surface in between the grooves work to increase friction between the clubface and the ball, increasing spin around the greens.
It's unclear how many of TaylorMade's Tour players will have the wedge in their bags this week at Augusta, but TaylorMade tell us that 25 of the new wedges were in play at the Texas Valero Open earlier this month.