If you were present at any Saturday club competition during the summer you would have undoubtedly heard, at some point, a golfer or two yelling at their ball to 'bite' as it hurtled across the green before toppling over the back edge.
Well, this year Callaway has taken things one step further by introducing a Jaws Groove Design to their new Mack Daddy 5
Wedge, which the brand is describing as the 'most aggressive groove in golf'.
What's It All About?
Created with the guidance of wedge guru Roger Cleveland and his team, the Mack Daddy 5 Jaws is a wedge which is said to provide total performance - with premium shapes, striking finishes, great feel and spin and versatility.
The new Jaws groove design represents a complete shift from the previous Mack Daddy 4, as the new grooves are designed with a 37º wall angle compared to 5º in last year's wedge.
This makes the edge of the grooves much sharper, to provide maximum grip and spin from all types of lies. Callaway are saying that you will see a difference particularly from 80 yards and in as it promotes a 'one hop and stop' reaction, just like you see each week on the PGA Tour and think "how do they do that?!"
The wedges still use the Groove-In-Groove Technology which was first introduced with the MD4. These are Micro-Positive (protruding) mini-grooves which are placed within the main grooves to create a rougher surface with extra grip.
This, along with the Jaws grooves, provides 84 different contact points for even greater spin.
One of the keys to a good wedge is feel, and the MD5 Jaws is constructed with 8620 mild carbon steel. This, along with a precise CG placement, creates a soft yet substantial feel.
The wedges feature a natural shape-progression, which allows for a better transition from short irons, to lower lofted wedges, to higher lofted wedges. The 46º to 52º wedges are slightly smaller than the 54º and upwards.
All of the wedges feature Callaway's distinctive medallions in the back of the head, this time in a vivid blue look, and the wedges are offered in Chrome and Tour Grey finishes.
There's a new low-bounce W Grind which features more heel relief and sole-taper for a more versatile, playable shape which still allows for the full bounce to used on full shots, in the 58º and 60º heads.
The C-grind has been updated to add versatility by lowering the bounce and widening the middle section of the sole, and is available between 54º and 60º.
I took the wedges down to Bramall Park Golf Club where I was able to really put them through their paces, by conducting on-course testing as well as finally getting some use out of the short game facility with some much-needed chipping and bunker practice.
I also took them down to The Range in central Manchester to use their launch monitor in some more specific, set-yardage testing to see whether they produced the desired numbers.
Callaway Mack Daddy 5 Jaws Wedge Review
First things first - looks. I think Callaway has always created great-looking wedges and these are no diffrerent. I was a big fan of the red look of the MD4 Wedges but I think that, if anything, the new blue detailing is even smarter.
The shape and styling is pretty clean and simple, and the brushed Platinum Chrome finish looks great too, although it does give off quite a bit of glare if you're in direct sunlight.
This doesn't affect the milled face, which is good, but if this is something that you are particular about the you may be better opting for the Tour Grey finish instead.
The wedges look great down by the ball, with a really classic look and very little offset lending itself to my eye. The subtle changes in profile as the lofts change also work well to blend into the top end of your iron set better.
This is something which I think will be beneficial to the higher handicappers who want the feel and performance of a wedge like this, but are perhaps worried that they won't get the same consistency or forgiveness when compared to a set wedge.
Once I starting using these wedges it became immediately noticeable that the spin was fantastic, even on the shortest of shots. Obviously when you get a wedge with brand new grooves (aka the best thing in golf) you're bound to get a bit of extra grip, but I found the spin was consistent and also predictable.
There's no point having your ball come skidding to a halt if you can't judge when its going to happen - it might look great but it doesn't help if you keep coming up 10ft short. So I was pleased to see that I was getting consistent check on chip shots, even when the face and ball was wetter thanks to the dew, allowing me to better visualise where I needed to land the ball in order to get it close.
I tested the MD5s in 52º, 56º and 60º, which is the same as my current setup and so provided the perfect chance for comparison.
The 52º and 56º came in the standard S Grind which is a bit of an all-rounder, as it is geared towards playing fuller approach shots but also features a little relief in the heel and toe, in case you want to open or close the face a little if you're feeling creative.
The 60º lob wedge featured the newly redesigned C Grind and out of the bunkers, this was extremely easy to get up and under and the ball was landed very softly with plenty of check - it may take a bit of getting used to if you usually see your bunker shots running out.
During the on-course testing the thing which I was most impressed by was those 3/4 swing shots when you're in between yardages. The 8620 mild carbon steel is fantastic for a responsive feel and there was still plenty of spin on offer even when not at full-speed, making it easy to get your distance control right.
10 degrees of bounce in the gap and sand wedge helped to ensure ideal turf interaction. I am usually quite shallow through the ball without much of a divot, and so it was great to feel the clubhead gliding through the turf. I tested this both on a soft, spongy fairway and some tighter lies around the green and was really impressed with the versatility of this grind.
Having been suitably impressed out on the course, I headed over to The Range to check whether all the numbers stacked up. As I expected the spin rates were pretty good for all three wedges, particularly in the sand and lob wedge even when hitting half-swing shots to shorter targets.
One comment I would make is that the short/long dispersion in the lob wedge testing was a little higher as the C Grind seemed to want to be opened up, and it felt like it was much more suited to shots around the green than 50 yard approaches.
Obviously some of this is user error, but I couldn't help but think that if I was to use this set, I would opt for the sand wedge and open it up slightly if I wanted to play a higher approach from mid-range.
The Dynamic Gold Wedge shaft felt good and although I was getting quite a high ball-flight on the fuller shots, it seemed that the ball was still able to get through the air well and the carry numbers were as expected.
I never like to hit a wedge shot at full power so with a flag set out at 100 yards with a gap wedge I was more than happy to be hitting the green there with just a smooth swing. If you have been using a chunkier, set wedge you may see a loss of a few yards when moving to a traditional, bladed wedge like this, but the feel and performance should make up for this.
Callaway Mack Daddy 5 Jaws Wedge Verdict
Overall, these are among the best-feeling wedges I have ever used, and I was really impressed with how well-rounded the performance was. Around the green, from the sand, on longer approaches and even in the rough, there was good levels of spin and feel.
At address - these are about as good-looking as you're going to get, and I was surprised with how forgiving they actually felt too. These will be suitable for the vast majority of golfers and I am confident that if you get properly fitted to best suit you, you're bound to see the benefits.
Yes, they are a little expensive but are they worth it? Well, that's for you to decide. But if you are looking to lower your handicap, instead of spending hundreds of pounds on a driver, perhaps looking at a proper wedge fitting may help to rescue you around the greens and save you a few shots on your way round.
Would I Use It?
Without a doubt. Not only because there are not many better things in golf than fresh wedge grooves, but because they really are fantastic wedges.
They also work extremely well as a set too and I found that the progression between lofts as you work up from 52 to 60 degrees really works well. Having matching wedges is not really necessary but I think in this instance it could help you.
You can see the profile of the wedges gradually altering as you go up in loft and this will definitely help golfers to acclimatise to their new set should they decide to add more than one to their bag.
The looks are fantastic, the performance is great and these are easy enough to use that they would come highly recommended for nearly all golfers. Try them out, get fitted to your specifications, and you won't be disappointed.
- Good, controllable spin
- Fantastic looks
- Abundance of grind and sole options
- Surprisingly forgiving
- Glare was a bit of an issue
- Price point is high if you're interested in more than one
- Bright blue grip may deter some golfers