We're going to talk about some techy stuff. Tap into your inner golf nerd, and let's dissect one of the critical elements of the all-new P·790 irons. But, before we begin, let's define some of the keywords you're going to see in this article.
Z-Up: The distance from the ground to the center of gravity (CG) of an iron at address. The lower the CG, the better the launch properties, and with the new P·790 we shifted Z-up nearly 10% lower than the previous model.
CGx: This is the point where CG falls horizontally on the length of the blade. Essentially, it dictates how efficiently energy is transferred from club to ball.
As the name may imply, SpeedFoam Air is lighter than the previous generation. In fact, it's 69% less dense. Before we unpack how that diet has improved performance, let's go back and remember the original purpose of SpeedFoam. The urethane material encased by a precision-forged iron is designed to improve sound and feel without sacrificing the distance-producing properties of a high-strength flexible face.
SpeedFoam Air is injected into the iron head via a toe port.
The hollow-body construction borrows technology from our game-improvement irons, which create more forgiveness, fast ball speeds and higher launch thanks to a free-flexing face, perimeter weighting and super-low CG (see SIM2 with Cap Back Design). This sometimes happens at the sacrifice of the feel that better players demand. SpeedFoam, and subsequently SpeedFoam Air, allow us to blend the power and performance of a distance iron with a feel, sound and shape worthy of the P·Series moniker.
"A key for us during development was maintaining the premium sound and feel golfers expect from a players iron. This technology frees us up to have superior mass properties without sacrificing the sound and feel that sets P·790 apart in the player's distance iron category."
- ADAM WARREN, ADVANCED DESIGN ENGINEER | IRONS
The prior gen of SpeedFoam carried a weight of 14lbs per cubic foot, while SpeedFoam Air weighs in at just 5lbs per cubic foot – while maintaining the effective density needed to deliver optimal sound and feel. Ultimately, the change to SpeedFoam Air accounts for weight savings of approximately 3.5 grams per iron head. While that may seem minor, when paired with additional weight savings from internal construction refinements, we were able to increase the total weight of the tungsten insert from 13.8g to 31g in some irons. That's a massive jump.
This change fueled the Z-Up relocation. They say golf is a game of opposites. You swing down to get the ball to go up. You swing right to get the ball to turn left. Similar principles apply to club design. By moving the CG significantly lower, we're able to help golfers launch shots higher.
SpeedFoam Air also allowed us to use the thinnest iron face in TaylorMade history, while maintaining feel and unlocking a new intelligent sweet spot. Is the sweet spot going to ace the SATs anytime soon? Not exactly. The intelligence is in the design. We charted data from thousands upon thousands of golf shots to determine the most common impact points on the iron face. Armed with this info and the advancements provided by SpeedFoam Air, engineers shifted CGx slightly toe-ward, aligning the sweet spot with "Scoreline Center" while also capturing more of the off-center strikes that happen to us all.
"The lower CG helps improve forgiveness and launch, while the CGx shift improves energy transfer. Our goal is to have the center of mass aligned exactly with the ball at impact with greater consistency."
- ADAM WARREN
The 2021 P·790 contains much of the DNA that has made this a dynamic iron franchise for more than five years. However, the addition of SpeedFoam Air allowed us to push the boundaries even further. Now, you can discover the player they'll push you to become.