If you’re a golfer that struggles to hit a lot of greens in regulation having wedges in your arsenal not only can be a stroke-saver, but, they can also be your saviour bailing you out of trouble. If you’re a golfer who falls into this demographic, after your putter its your wedges that are likely the most oft-used clubs in your bag. Similar to a putter, the wedges almost need to take on an intimate feel.
When TaylorMade Golf introduced the new TaylorMade Grind 3 (MG3) wedges, it ushered in the third generation of the Milled Grind wedge franchise. Following on the heels of successful generations before them, there was still a way to improve upon their design. Evolution right?! TaylorMade Golf’s R&D department received a lot of input from their Tour Professionals and with the feedback that was received, TaylorMade Golf sought out a way to make solid wedge offerings of previous generations, better. How did they achieve this? It all starts with the face.
One of the standout innovations employed by the design team was incorporating what they dubbed “RAW Face Micro Ribs”. These Micro Ribs have one job to do and that job is all about delivering more spin. From the fairway or around the greens thanks to the added face texture of the Micro Ribs. Some of the best players in the world prefer raw finishes on their wedges, while a majority of recreational golfers prefer a satin chrome -or similar- finish. The face of the MG3 wedges are RAW meaning that it’s designed to rust over time, which further aids in increased spin rates. A characteristic that is especially beneficial in wet conditions.
Through what TaylorMade Golf refers to as its “Thick-Thin Design” engineers were able to optimize the CG location for precise flight and enhanced feel. The design team accomplished this by creating a thinner topline and placing additional weight closer to the top of the head, which is also good for consistent flight from strikes higher on the face.
Having dispensed with some of the technical information, it’s time to dive into the testing.
I was very unfortunate to receive an early look at these wedges during a TaylorMade Golf Canada Media Day hosted by Copper Creek Golf Club prior to their release to the public. It was at this event that I had a chance to make some swings on the practice range prior to my round. I liked the overall feel of the MG3 wedges on the range, but there’s a difference between a pristine, sanitary driving range and swinging new clubs “under fire”.
Little did I realize, I would be receiving a custom wedge for the purposes of a long-term testing opportunity. The order that I placed was for a 60/12 High Bounce wedge with my custom specifications of 2*Flat in their Black finish. Shaft wise, I opted to go for the UST Mamiya Recoil ES SW 780 F4 (Stiff) shaft.
To break down the review, I’m going to adjudicate it using four different pieces of criteria. Esthetics, Feel, Greenside Spin/Performance, and Approach Spin/Performance.
Esthetics – As soon as the wedge from TaylorMade Golf arrived, I wasted no time taking it to the driving range and unboxing it. Yes, I had seen them previously at the Media Day, but what I looked at was a serious looking weapon. A few colour accents made it not quite “Murdered Out” (all black) but the overall look is what I would describe as “sleek and sexy”.
I like the contrasting silver/grey face and I found that it seemed to really “frame” the golf ball in the address position. Flipping the club over, while examining the reverse-side of the head, I took in and appreciated the blue paint-fill where “MG3” is stamped. The MG3 looks great in the address position and it’s the looks that gives you a sense of confidence. It just looks like it’s ready to perform.
Feel – I have a lot of experience playing forged wedges. The head of MG3 is forged from 8620 Carbon Steel. Golfers that know about this metal expect irons and wedges forged from this material to be soft and pure. Whether it’s from the fairway on a full shot or greenside from the fringe, the MG3 wedges provide spectacular feel. Is it because of the forging process? It could be, but maybe the graphite shaft contributes towards this wedge’s feel, at least a little.
Greenside Spin/Performance – Have you ever held a wedge in your hand just prior to executing a shot and just knew that something good was going to come of it? Well, that’s exactly what occurred during my on-course testing not long after testing commenced.
From the first strikes at the range, It just seemed like there was nothing that this club couldn’t do. Holeouts on chips from the fringe, pitch shots, and greenside bunkers. It didn’t matter if I hit a “dead-handed” chip, lob or flop. No matter the type of shot that I needed to play, the results have been very well-rewarded. The Micro-Ribs and grooves are “spin generators” and as I write this review, there are signs of the head forming its own individual patina and rust pattern. As the rust develops I will predict now that the MG3 is going to provide spin like I’ve never seen before. The golf ball plays an important role too.
One of the higlights of the design of the MG3 wedges that I never touched on in “The Set-up” was the sole. Each wedge has a milled finish to it and the reason for this is simple. To provide better turf interaction and the way that this wedge glides through the turf is something to behold. I can’t reflect on a time where a pitch or similar was chunked. It slides through the variety of turf conditions like “a hot knife through butter”.
Bounce is your friend, and the 12*of bounce in this head has worked out for me in all sorts of playing conditions. Hard, wet, and frozen.
Approach Spin/Performance – First things first. Remember, wedges are a finesse club. They aren’t meant for turning on the power. The golf ball, much like in the section above, plays an integral part here as well. Or does it?
Throughout my testing I’ve used a plethora of golf balls. Anything from a Pinnacle Rush, a TaylorMade Golf Soft Response, and of course TaylorMade’s TP5. One observation has been consistent. No matter the golf ball, the MG3 wedges imparts enough spin that either the golf ball drops and stops or the golf ball spins back. There hasn’t been one time where I saw rollout on any strikes from out beyond the green, except for shots from the rough, but, that’s expected.
The MG3 wedges are a “green light” club for pin-hunting.
I won’t mince words.
If you’re in the market for new wedges in 2022, you might want to take a serious look at the Milled Grind 3 wedges from TaylorMade Golf.
These wedges have great looks, better feel, and all-world performance. I have no problem identifying these wedges as “stroke savers”. Over and over again when I missed a green, they provided me with the results needed, allowing me to save par scrambling. Which of course breeds confidence.
Up to this point in my years of reviewing golf equipment, the TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 wedges are the best wedges that I’ve put into play. No joke. Get RAW.
Until The Next Tee!!