TaylorMade's Performance range of irons for better players currently comprises four models, which always seemed like there was one too many bodies on the sofa.
Going into 2019 and the P730 blades are still there for the purist and the P790 foam filled, hollow headed irons have been leaping off the shelves, so if you can find a set, then they are still there too.
That leaves the two cavity back forged models in the middle and as they say, if you stay in the middle of the road too long, you get run over.
Well, run over is a little harsh as both 750 and 770 models were commendable, but the speed of P790 in a compact head was more appealing to better players.
Therefore the TaylorMade P760 iron takes over in the middle to try and combine the foam filled speed of P790 long irons with the looks and feel of the P750/P770 short irons.
The full set goes from 3 to gap or 'Attack Wedge' in TaylorMade speak. The 3 to 7-irons have a 1025 Carbon Steel hollow body that is filled with SpeedFoam to improve sound and support the thin SUS630 steel face so that it can increase ball speeds for more forgiveness and distance.
The SpeedFoam is injected into the head through the hole in the toe as a liquid and as it solidifies it expands to fill the cavity.
The short irons from 8 downwards are forged from 1025 Carbon Steel in a single piece design with a simple cavity back to combine the style of a forged blade with a bit of perimeter weighting forgiveness.
All the heads come with a small grind on the leading edge which is meant to improve the turf interaction. It effectively reduces the bounce a little and the P760s get through even the firmest surfaces very well.
TaylorMade call this a progressive set, which means that the head size and offset gets larger as you go up through the set to the longer irons.
Conversely the hosel gets longer as you go down the set so that the wedges have a long hosel to match traditional set ups and the longer irons have less weight in the heel to move the CG across the face and closer to the sweet spot for more forgiveness.
The P760 lofts are closer to the P750/770 models so they are weaker than the P790, but this is meant to be a better players' iron with a head that is not as deep so the extra launch is required to get the ball on the right trajectory.
Taking the various P700 irons on GC2 with Pro V1x balls you could see that the 8-irons performed similarly despite the fact that the P790 8-iron has SpeedFoam in the head.
They were going roughly the same distance but in different ways, with the P760 offering a lower flight with more spin, whereas the larger headed P790 was giving a high launch with less spin. Therefore you can see why the P760 will suit faster speed players in the short irons.
It's not only the speed as the feel is also one of the reasons the P760 has been introduced. A lot of P790 customers who were low single figure players did not like the hollow head feel of the short irons and preferred the more traditional feel of a forged single piece head that the P770 had. The P760 set is this combo design in a single set in order to meet this need.
The longer foam filled irons still have a slightly muted feel to them but they don't sound very hollow and maybe a little 'firmer' than the P790. However they are not the crisp blade like sensation that you get from the P750 or P770.
The short irons from 8-iron downwards do feel very good, but again in a different way to the previous models and that is probably because there is less of a muscle back to the P760 when compared to the P750 and P770 that gives you that more traditional blade feel.
Moving over to the 6-iron and you could start to see the progression the models because the larger head not only had more tech and forgiveness, but it is also deeper so the launch and spin also changes.
The lofts did vary with P750 (30°), P760 (29°) and P770 (29.5°) being different to the stronger P790 (26.5°) and there were different shafts too.
Taking all this into account, I would say that as the head became bigger the average ball speed increased because there was more margin for error and there was less loss of speed from off-centre hits. As the head became deeper from P750 to P770 then the launch and peak height increased.
The P790 really reveals its speed credentials in this size of head as it was 4mph faster, which is probably due to the lower loft and the SpeedPocket in the sole, but with less spin and the same peak height it went 11 yards further than the P760.
The P790 did sound a little hollower and have a relatively thicker look with more offset so this is your trade-off between looks or playability and outright speed.
Whilst single figure players can use the P790, they will probably prefer the P760 for looks and for feel, especially in the short irons.
If you already have the P770 then the feel of the P760 is closer to that than the P750, but you probably get a lower flight. More generally I felt the P760 was a more consistent club than the P790 and less prone to variations in distance.
The hollow head in the longer irons going up to 3-iron made it play a little easier than it otherwise might look, so for elite amateurs who have the club head speed, then these could be an alternative to the P790 UDI with less offset and a thinner top line.
The looks are maybe not as sexy as the P790, but the feel is better and adding the SpeedFoam technology into a head of this size is a good technical achievement.
They are also a little pricey as a result, but if you are a low single figure player who wants a bit more speed with forgiveness and is feeling flush then I would recommend checking the TaylorMade P760 irons out.