Finally, TaylorMade has made a wedge that I feel can challenge the main brands in the specialist wedge sector.
The Tour Preferred EF has a lovely classic shape that is much more traditional and almost like some of the early TP wedges they created.
The cast 1025 carbon steel head has a shiny, smoky PVD finish that combines great looks with non-glare style and will get your playing partners drooling over it.
The finish will wear over time so if you can't get that ball wear mark in the centre of the face like the pro's then you can always get the steel wool out instead.
TaylorMade says the EF wedge will spin at 350rpm more than the chrome Tour Preferred 14 wedges thanks to the Electroformed (EF) Nickel Cobalt grooves.
The grooves are part of a plate upon which a TaylorMade add a face insert that is 0.25mm thick comprising 'charged ions from the ionization of nickel and cobalt.' There, unless you are a chemistry expert, you know as much as I do now.
The face also features a Micro Texture face to 'increase ball speed and control' and, like several other models, it is really just some extra roughness between the grooves to provide more grip.
TaylorMade claim the grooves will stay sharper for longer due to the finish and the EF grooves and I would say spin levels were about average for a premium wedge straight out of the wrapper.
The sole has what TaylorMade call the Tour Grind, which is a subtle C grind that extends from a well relieved heel along the length of the sole. You can just make it out below going diagonally from the toe to the heel.
At address it sits very well and has a small offset and a relatively straight leading edge that still manages to get under the ball with ease.
I tried a 58 degree version with 10 degrees of bounce and from the turf it was effortless and tended to play with a little less bounce than the number on the sole says. The grind made it equally versatile to play with the the toe down and the heel off the ground or to open up from tight lies and this is where the TP EF wedge has a real advantage.
It did struggle a little out of soft sand due to that low bounce style, so make sure you have a loft with enough bounce if you play in those conditions a lot.
The TP EF wedge comes with the excellent KBS Wedge Tour V shaft that is 5 grams heavier than the standard KBS Tour wedge shaft
This shaft has been specifically designed to give the right trajectory and spin for wedge shots and it suits the club very well. The trajectory was more of a mid height and it was very easy to manipulate it higher or lower if required.
Overall the TaylorMade Tour Preferred EF wedge is very versatile and does everything that a better player would want and the EF finish brings it all together in a classy package.
If you touring around for a traditional looking wedge that plays with a little less bounce than average, then the TaylorMade EF is certainly a preferred choice.