The TaylorMade P790 UDI iron is basically the 2-iron version of the P790 irons that you can add to the set or use as a standalone driving iron.
UDI stands for Ultimate Driving Iron but most of the design is the same as the regular P790 irons as you have a cast 8620
carbon steel body that uses a high-strength forged 4140 carbon steel face cup that is wrapped around the front.
This creates a hollow head and TaylorMade fill this with what they call SpeedFoam through the screw in the toe.
This not only supports the thin face but also acts as a noise dampening tool to make the UDI head sound more solid.
Also built into the head is a tungsten weight in the back of the sole that adds weight to lower the CG and get it in the right position to create the best launch and maximise the MOI.
The sole has the usual TaylorMade Speed Pocket to maximise ball speed, especially from strikes lower on the face.
As the head is a little larger than the standard P790 long irons, TaylorMade has been able to reduce the size of the inverted cone, or the variable face thickness, to make it thinner around the edges of the face for more ball speed.
I really liked the P790 irons as they combined classy looks with a lot of ball speed and I thought of them as game improvement clubs for low single figure players.
The P790 UDI continues in this vein as the look at address gives you the feel of a generous blade, but you know that there is a hollow head there hidden out of site to give you a bit of extra forgiveness.
This is helped by the excellent Project X HZRDUS Black graphite shaft that is firm enough to be in this type of better players' club, but light enough at 85 grams to make it easier to get that club head speed up.
The sound and feel when you caught it right was lovely, but catching it right is the issue as it is more forgiving than a traditional blade, but not as much as an M4 iron, which I saw Dustin Johnson bulleting at launch and swearing was going in his bag.
For me there was a greater drop off in distance if you did not get it right compared to larger headed clubs such as the TaylorMade M3 Rescue hybrid, which you might expect, but it is a serious point as the choice of the UDI is not really about distance or forgiveness but shot type.
As you can see from the numbers below the P790 UDI at 17° loft was giving a much lower launch and peak height than the M3 hybrid adjusted down to 17° and that is because of the different head styles. Distance wise the M3 Hybrid at the same 17° loft was going further because it was launching higher with less spin.
The P790 UDI was about the same as the M3 at its standard loft of 19° for distance, but with a higher launch and flight the hybrid was landing steeper therefore is more likely to hold the green.
So for me with my 100mph driver swing speed the M3 hybrid would be the better choice as an approach club, but if I wanted a driving iron club to run down the fairway then the P790 UDI becomes an option.
I did like the P790 UDI for all the reasons better players like long irons because it looks good, goes straight and stays low into the wind. And let's face it, as I have said before, nailing a 2-iron stiff is one of the greatest feelings in golf.
However I would reluctantly have to put it back in the test bag with a heavy heart as I know it is not really for me unless I am playing in a hurricane as I will probably do better, have more options and be more consistent with a hybrid or a cavity back long iron.
The P790 UDI is really there for low single figure players with above average swing speeds who can generate the ball speed with the launch to get the most out of this club which is best categorised as a forgiving blade. That said, they should probably only go for it if they feel the need to shape the ball as they can already get the straightness and reasonable amount of playability by using a larger headed 19° M4 4-iron which launches more easily with similar distance for less than half the price.
As a blade style, hollow headed long iron the TaylorMade P790 UDI ticks all the boxes even if the price is high for a single graphite shafted iron.
The heart says go for it and the head says don't be silly. Which little voice you listen to is your call.