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Review: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Wedges
Callaway has come out with an eye-catching new-look wedge, the Mack Daddy 2 wedge, that is creating quite a buzz in the golf industry: Phil Mickelson even had two in his bag during his win at The Open Championship last month. Design features range from a sleek, small clubhead to a new look, newly grooved face, and even a “Designed by Roger Cleveland” stamp. I aimed to figure out what these wedges were all about. Here is what I found.
Lets begin the review with just what Callaway aimed to do with these wedges, and why they say they are the best wedges they have made. To begin with we have to talk about the most important part of any wedge, the grooves. Callaway has unveiled their 5V groove pattern, essentially larger grooves (39 percent larger) that aim to create increased spin, from the rough in particular. Callaway claims these wedges can add up to 25 percent (!!) more spin from the rough. They also incorporated laser-milled microgrooves on the face, which leads to a rougher texture, adding spin and control. Finally, Callaway offers these wedges in custom sole grinds making them ideal to fit to virtually any player.
The Feel, and Initial Impression
When I got my first look at the wedge, it was pretty obvious that it wasn’t your standard appearance. The mill on the face gives a distinct, and complicated looking pattern. Some of this I’m sure is for a “wow” factor, and it accomplishes its goal: I was intrigued. Looking down at the clubhead prior to hitting the club, it was apparent this is a much smaller club head than I was used to. To some that may be a bonus, feeling like you have a little more control, but it also comes across as intimidating in my mind. From the first shot I really liked the feel of the club, I did my best to not focus on results, and to go from feel alone. It was a clean and often times soft feel that really made me feel I was hitting good shots. Basically the club made a very good first impression.
Moving to the important stuff, the way the club actually performed in my somewhat capable hands. I put it up against a leading other wedge in the industry, the Titleist Vokey SM4. Neither of these clubs was my current gamer, but I felt it was a comparison that would be telling, judging by the popularity of the SM4. After doing my best to average comparable club head speeds with both clubs, and using a typical 75 percent wedge swing the numbers were extremely close. The biggest difference I noticed was a slightly lower trajectory I was getting from the Mack Daddy, this may be preferable to a higher skilled player that has trouble keeping their wedges on a more piercing trajectory. For all of the build up, and talk of spin on the Mack Daddy, it was virtually identical to the SM4. This is not necessarily a loss for Callaway, as the SM4 is hardly a low-spinning wedge, but I did expect a little more for a club that claims to be so high spinning. To be fair these shots were from a mat, and most of the claims made by Callaway involve increased spin from the rough, so that may still hold true. Overall I felt no real advantage was gained by either wedge, both performed well, and are clearly well made products.
Callaway has made a fantastic, new-style wedge. If you are looking to turn some heads, and buy into the milling and Roger Cleveland design, these wedges are definitely worth a shot. They do not underwhelm, but I have a hard time calling them game-changers. Maybe my expectations were too high, and being an equal counterpart to other high-end wedges certainly isn’t something for Callaway to hang their head about. The sleek,but unusual look may attract some, and may deter some, but it is safe to say these wedges had a lot of thought and engineering put into them. I admire Callaway for their innovation, and can’t wait to see the next installment in this series.