As a clubmaker, I’m fascinated by the different factors that go into the design of club. I’ve read Roger Maltby’s (of Golfworks) books on teh subject, and everything else I can get my hands on. The most interesting thing to me is the interaction of the various elements of the club.
The new TaylorMade Blog has a couple of interesting posts on the design of the R7 XD and R7 CGB clubs.
In the first, the blog discusses the necessity of having lower lofts on the clubs. It seems that in designing the clubs, they moved the weight far enough low and back that the standard lofts sent the ball up at too high an angle. So, to optimize the apex, they had to lower the lofts.
Moving the CG so low and so deep proved successful – testing of XD and MAX prototypes found both exceptionally easy to launch high and long. In fact, the resulting trajectory was too high. Leaving the CG in its new low and deep-back position and strengthening the loft of each iron allowed us to lower the ball flight to the precise point that promotes the optimal zenith, wherein the ball carries as far as possible without sacrificing a steep descent angle that promotes a soft, fast-stopping angle. Certainly, strengthening the loft of each iron delivers significantly added distance. But the point is that we didn’t originally plan for that, instead it was an adjustment necessitated by the powerful launch conditions created by our advanced CG management.
The second post talks about the choice of face materials in the R7 CGB and R7 XD. The CGB uses a steel face, while the XD has a titanium face.
The CGB, which has the largest face of any TaylorMade Iron had to have a steel face because of the amount of unsupported surface area. The smaller XD uses the Tuned Performance Cartridge to support the clubface and thus, allowed TaylorMade to use titanium and redistribute the weight savings.
It IS Rocket Science.