Roger Cleveland is renowned for his work with wedges having founded the Cleveland Golf company. After selling the business in 1990, he began creating wedges for Callaway in 1996.
Arguably his best creation so far was one of his first, called the X-Forged. So when one of the leading wedge gurus says the Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedge he designed is based on the X-Forged shape, then you know you have something special going on.
Like its predecessor, the Mack Daddy 2 is also forged from soft 1020 carbon steel to get the best feel and control and you can almost take it for granted that I found the feel was great on the new version too.
Grooves and grinds are what wedges are all about and the Mack Daddy 2 grooves are 39% bigger and have sharper side walls than the previous Mack Daddy wedge. A change in production from pressing to machining the grooves has enabled Callaway to get closer to the limits allowed in the rules and the result is a more aggressive groove.
Also on the face is a laser etched Micro Groove pattern that Callaway says adds 25% more surface roughness and will fade over time. This does give it a very aggressive look and you can just imagine all the spin this will put on the ball.
The back of the head also features some nice graphics and a band of etched markings that adds to the overall feel of a quality wedge.
What you can also see is the variety of different grinds that come with the Mack Daddy 2 range.
From left to right, the C grind has the most versatility and features a heel and toe grind to enable it to be opened or closed to suit firm conditions or those with a sweeping swing.
The U grind in the middle adds bounce to the sole and is for aggressive players who swing steeply into the ball, whereas the Standard grind is a straighter, more traditional sole that sits in between the other two in terms of playability.
The variations in the grinds start to come in from 56° upwards to 64° which is a little disappointing if you like to get versatile with a 52° or 54° wedge.
At address the head is a good size for a better players' wedge and not too compact, so you feel you have a decent chance of getting the ball out of pretty much any type of lie.
Compared to the market, Callaway wedges usually play with a little more bounce than it says on the sole and that is the case with the Mack Daddy 2. This is not a bad thing, just something you need to be aware of, so try before you buy if possible.
Despite being a D3-D4 swing weight, it is a relatively heavy feeling wedge to play, which can be a good thing as the weight can help the smoothness of your swing.
The grip from the Mack Daddy 2 grooves on the ball is excellent and one of the best in the market. You can see this from how it reacts on the green from chips and from bunkers.
You can also see it from the lower trajectory on full shots as the balance of the club and the extra grip do send the ball out lower than its competitors, but still with enough spin to stop.
Since the X-Forged, Callaway wedges have been good, but not at the same level, as evidenced by the number of Tour Pro's you still see using them. However, I think the Mack Daddy 2 sees them back at the top table. It is a different type of wedge to the other main brands with that heavier feel, lower trajectory and higher general level of bounce, so if you like that sort of stuff then there is a wide choice of lofts, grinds to choose from in Chrome or Slate finishes.
However, if you do want a little more choice with grinds then Callaway has a Tour version too.
Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Tour Grind Wedge Review
The simplest way to describe this is that it is a Mack Daddy 2 wedge with a lower bounce T grind on it.
The T grind comes with a generous heel and toe grind, plus a straighter leading edge for better turf interaction. It only comes in 5 lofts from 52° to 60° and in one bounce setting per loft.
If like me you are more of a sweeper with your wedge shots then the Tour Grind is the one for you as the grind makes it plays with less effective bounce than even the C grind on the standard model.
It is a beautifully balanced wedge and retains all the great features of the standard wedge in a more versatile head that is differentiated with some lime coloured graphics that look pretty cool.
Whichever wedge you go for the Callaway Mack Daddy 2 is one of the best in the market and if nothing else the look of the face should grab attention as much as the ball.