If you’ve been out shopping for a new set of golf irons recently, you’ve likely come across the TaylorMade P770 and P790 models.
Both are celebrated for their game improvement potential and are renowned in the golf community as being suited for both beginner and experienced players.
But, which ones are better?
In general, the TaylorMade P770 irons are more suited to mid-to-low handicap players due to their compact design, thinner top line and shorter blade length. The P790 irons are better for high handicappers as they have larger heads and are more forgiving.
I’ve spent some time at my local golf shop getting to know these two clubs, and in this article I’ll share my experiences to help you decide whether the P770 and P790 irons are the right ones for you.
Table of contents
TaylorMade P770 vs P790 irons: The key comparisons
|Design||Compact player shape, thinner topline, less offset, and shorter blade length||Larger shape with more offset, designed for distance and forgiveness|
|Construction||Forged hollow body with a soft carbon steel body and a forged 4140 steel face||Forged hollow body with a larger cavity, engineered SpeedFoam Air, thin-wall construction, and forged L-Face|
|Feel||Crisp, clean feedback with an ultra-thin face and SpeedFoam technology||Solid feel with SpeedFoam Air for increased face flexibility|
|Forgiveness||Thru-Slot Speed Pocket and Progressive Inverted Cone Technology to maintain ball speed on off-center hits||Thinner face with intelligent sweet spot, redesigned tungsten weighting, and a thin-wall construction for optimal launch and forgiveness|
|Performance||Explosive power and distance for a compact iron||Fast ball speeds, increased flexibility, and optimal launch for increased distance and forgiveness|
|Player Profile||More experienced golfers or lower handicap players who value precision and control||Wide range of players, particularly those seeking extra forgiveness and distance|
I’ve compared the key things you’ll need to know before deciding on your purchase: that is, how these irons look, feel, sound and perform, along with the cost to buy them.
At the end of this review, I’ve also answered some common FAQs to help inform your decision.
The first thing golfers often look at is the appearance of the club – how it looks can really affect how we feel about using it, and our performance too.
Personally, if I hate the way a club looks, it’s highly unlikely I’ll end up buying it.
Luckily, the P770s present with a sleek, compact design.
Their thinner top line and shorter blade length gives them a classic look that is definitely pleasing to the eye (particularly if you’re someone who likes playing blades).
They ooze elegance and are likely to appeal to those who appreciate the ‘traditional’ golf iron aesthetic.
The P790s, by comparison, are slightly larger with a bit more offset and a medium topline.
The clubhead has a more contemporary design, giving it a modern and powerful look.
Mid-to-high handicappers may feel more confident addressing the ball with these irons in hand compared to the P770s as they’re larger, more forgiving and less intimidating.
In terms of finish, both models sport a high-quality chrome finish that adds to their premium feel (and price tag – but more on that later).
However, in most cases, beginner players will prefer the game-improvement look of the P770s, while more advanced players will opt for the sleeker, blade-like appearance of the P790s.
When first gripping the P770s, I could immediately sense the compactness of the design.
This iron seems to talk directly to experienced golfers who appreciate a more traditional, precise feel at impact. The first swing I took, the feel was unmistakably crisp.
You could tell that the combination of the soft carbon steel body, the forged 4140 steel face, and the SpeedFoam inside worked together to provide incredible feel and feedback.
Each well-hit shot sent a satisfying sensation up the shaft, allowing me to clearly distinguish where I struck the ball on the face.
On the other hand, the P790s, even at first glance, clearly lean more towards distance and forgiveness, and this is somewhat reflected in the feel as well.
These irons are larger when it comes to clubhead size, and you can sense that in their weight and the feedback they provide.
That’s not to say they didn’t feel good, of course.
The SpeedFoam and the forged construction technology offered a solid and satisfying impact, but it was slightly different, and less precise, compared to the P770s.
The larger face certainly masked the off-center strikes better than the P770s did.
Overall, I found the P770s gave me that extra touch of precision and feedback, while I felt like I could strike the ball worse with the P790s yet still get away with decent results.
The P770s produce a crisp, clean sound at impact – it’s a ‘click’ that tells you when you’ve absolutely flushed it, even without looking.
It’s not overly loud, but rather a precise, clean sound that reverberates nicely with a well-struck shot.
The P790s, however, produce a more resonant ‘thwack’ due to their larger hollow body design.
When you flush a long iron, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Overall, the P770s produced a sound that, to my ears, was more classic and crisp – some might call it ‘pure’ – which is what I tend to prefer.
The P790s still sounded great, but you could tell they’re geared a little more towards game improvement.
I was actually surprised how forgiving the P770 irons were, despite their somewhat intimidating, small clubhead size.
The Thru-Slot Speed Pocket and Progressive Inverted Cone Technology certainly came into play in preserving ball speed on off-center strikes, ensuring that my poorer shots still had a decent outcome.
However, due to their design being geared towards precision, rather than game improvement, off-center hits were more discernible and the effects more noticeable compared to the P790s.
In contrast, when swinging with the P790 irons, their forgiveness truly stood out.
Even on those swings where I didn’t hit the center of the clubface, or caught it a touch fat, the ball still traveled a surprising distance and with a fair amount of accuracy.
This is largely attributed to their design, with the SpeedFoam, hollow body design and Thru-Slot Speed Pocket working together to maintain performance even when I didn’t make perfect contact.
While the P770s provide a good degree of forgiveness for a players’ iron, the P790s clearly have the upper hand in this regard.
They were more forgiving on less-than-perfect strikes, making them a great choice for players like me who appreciate a little extra help in maintaining performance despite occasional mishits.
The downside to be aware of, however, is that because of this extra forgiveness, the P790s won’t be as responsive when it comes to shaping the ball through the air.
The TaylorMade P770 irons feature compact player shaping, designed to be aesthetically pleasing to more discerning players.
The design includes a thinner topline, less offset, and a shorter blade length compared to the P790 irons.
These irons have a forged hollow body construction, consisting of a thin, wrap-around forged 4140 steel face and a soft carbon steel body.
Up to 46g of tungsten weighting is designed to deliver explosive distance and forgiveness.
The SpeedFoam technology involves an ultra-light urethane foam injected inside the head. This is designed to push the design limits of face speed while simultaneously improving feel.
The Thru-Slot Speed Pocket is TaylorMade’s most flexible Speed Pocket design. It’s engineered to maximize ball speeds and provide forgiveness on low face shots.
The irons also incorporate Progressive Inverted Cone Technology (ICT) into their manufacturing.
Engineers have strategically positioned Progressive ICT in each iron to improve accuracy and protect off-center ball speed. Each face is uniquely designed to optimize performance for the specific iron.
Overall, the P770 irons share much of the same technology and DNA as the P790 irons, but in a more compact players’ shape.
These irons are designed for enhanced feel, distance, and forgiveness, and aim to be playable for low-to-mid handicap golfers.
The TaylorMade P790 irons are still designed with advanced technology aimed at optimizing performance and forgiveness, while still delivering speed and offering a ‘premium’ feel.
The Forged Hollow Body Construction and the SpeedFoam Air enhance face flexibility and speed – it’s also lighter, allowing for the thinnest P790 face ever and an intelligent sweet spot that masks some of those off-center strikes.
Additionally, the P790 irons are engineered for optimal launch and forgiveness with their thin-wall construction, forged L-Face, and redesigned tungsten weighting helping to get the ball into the air.
This is great for golfers who may lack swing speed, such as seniors or beginners just starting out.
Cost is a significant factor when deciding on a new set of irons, and there is a difference between these two models.
The P770s, with their refined construction and features, come at a slightly higher price point being the newer model of these irons.
If you value feel, control, and a more classic design and are willing to pay a bit more, they might be the better choice.
The P790s, while still carrying a premium price tag, are generally more affordable than the P770s.
These clubs may present better value if you want a combination of distance, forgiveness and a modern aesthetic at a slightly lower cost.
Pros and cons: TaylorMade P770 irons vs P790 irons
After testing both clubs, and outlining their key features, I’ve put together a quick summary of their pros and cons.
|Pros||Sleek, classic design. Superior feel and control. Crisp sound on impact. Adequate forgiveness for its size.||Modern, powerful design. Excellent forgiveness. Powerful sound and feel. Slightly more affordable.|
|Cons||Less forgiving than the P790s. Higher price point. Requires a more consistent swing to fully benefit.||Less control and feel than the P770s. Modern design might not appeal to traditionalists. Stronger lofts might not suit golfers who prefer traditional loft configurations.|
In summary, both clubs have their own strengths and, honestly, it’s hard to go wrong with either.
I loved the P770s’ classic and sleek look, coupled with its precision-oriented performance. The clubs feel wonderful in the hands and offer that sought-after solid sensation at impact.
I also liked how much easier it was to shape the ball with these clubs.
However, if you’re a high-handicap golfer and value forgiveness above all else, that’s where the P790s really shine.
They’ll respond far better to mis-hit strikes and still give you decent results in terms of distance and accuracy, keeping you in the fairway or on the green easier than the P770s might.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are the P770 or P790 irons suitable for beginners?
Both clubs could suit a beginner, but the P790s, with their higher level of forgiveness and slightly lower cost, might be the better choice if you’re just starting out.
Can I mix and match the P770s and P790s in a set?
While I wouldn’t recommend doing it, you absolutely can if you wish to.
However, I’d suggest keeping them as a whole set as this will help your consistency but also improve the resale value of the clubs if ever you want to upgrade in future.
How do the P770 and P790 irons compare in terms of distance?
Both clubs are designed for distance, but the P790s have slightly stronger lofts and a larger clubface, which can result in a bit more distance.
What is SpeedFoam and how does it improve the clubs?
SpeedFoam is a lightweight urethane foam injected into the hollow body of the clubs. It provides support to the face while improving feel and sound.
In both the P770s and P790s, it contributes to the overall performance of the irons, offering enhanced ball speed and forgiveness.
Are custom fitting options available for the P770 and P790 irons?
Yes, TaylorMade offers custom fitting for both the P770 and P790 irons. It’s always a good idea to get fitted for your clubs to ensure they match your swing characteristics and help you perform your best.
What type of golfer is each club best suited for?
The P770 irons are typically more suited for mid-to-low handicap golfers who value control and feel.
The P790 irons are often preferred by mid-to-high handicap golfers, or those who value distance and forgiveness.
However, personal preference and feel play a significant role, and either club could be used by golfers of all skill levels.
Choosing between the TaylorMade P770s and P790s will come down to your personal preferences and the areas of your game that you’re looking to improve.
If you value precision, control, and traditional design, and are willing to pay a bit more for these features, the P770s would likely be your ideal match.
On the other hand, if forgiveness, distance and a modern look appeal to you more, and you’re looking for these features at a slightly lower cost, the P790s might be the irons for you and will do the job just fine.
But remember, the best way to know for sure is to test them out for yourself.