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Gear Review: TaylorMade Z TP Wedge

Review: TaylorMade Z TP Wedge

 

Tester Specs: 56 degrees loft, 12 degrees bounce, standard length and lie, Dynamic Gold W flex

Also Available: 52 degrees loft, 8 degrees bounce; 54 degrees loft, 10 degrees bounce; 58 degrees loft, 8 degrees bounce; 60 degrees loft, six degrees bounce. 52, 56 and 60 also available LH.

 

What They Say:

  • Milled Z grooves with aggressive edges and increased volume deliver higher spin for more stopping power

  • Tour-proven C grind sole makes it easy to open the face differing degrees to play a variety of greenside shots (54°, 56° and 58° only)

  • Smoked PVD finish reduces glare and promotes improved focus

 

What We Say: I liked this wedge so much, I went out and bought myself another one.

Now, I admit, Im a bit of a wedge ho. No other club in the bag takes as much abuse as ones wedges, and as such they tend to wear out rather quickly. As a result, Im a big believer in having a lot of them. Typically, I try not to practice with my gamer wedges, for fear of wearing down the grooves too soon.

No can do with the TaylorMade Z TP wedge. Hitting shots with this thing is just too much fun.

[photopress:ZTP_Wedge_3_4_1.jpg,full,alignleft] No other club in the bag is as important to the average amateur as the wedges. With the possible exception of the putter, these are the clubs that save you the most strokes, when used properly. They are precision instruments and demand to be treated as such.

Thats the beauty of the Z TP wedge. Visually, its a stunner, from the sleek gunmetal-style finish and classic head shape to the 50s-era cooling-fin cavity back and stylin checkered-flag TM logo. Behind the ball, it looks a treat, making it hard not to take the club back with confidence.

But its at impact where this baby really shines. From short chips to full-swing pitches, the ball seems to leap off the face of the Z, with no sting or shudder from off-centre hits “ every inch of the clubface seems a sweet spot. With 12 degrees of bounce, this tester-model 56 functioned perfectly as a sand wedge, and yet still sat nicely _ even with the face open _ on close-cropped fairway or tight hardpan lies.

Its hard to nail down precisely what it is about the Z thats so comfortable, but this is a club that feels balanced and precise at every position in the swing, which is precisely what you want in a precision tool.

The so-called Z groove, designed to promote increased spin, is a step up from TMs popular Y-Cutter series, although its hard to notice much of a difference. Paired with the right ball, either model provides more than adequate stopping power on full shots.

The classic C grind on the sole provides excellent versatility, as well; you may decide you can forgo a lob wedge on some courses with the Z. And the low-glare finish works well when flaring open the face, except for when the club is brand shiny new. Otherwise, go to town.

Wedges, like putters, have a powerful visual effect on a player. If youre looking down at the same Trusty Rusty youve been relying on for years, chances are youre going to strike the ball with confidence. The Z TM evokes that same degree of confidence, even if youve never hit it before in your life.

If youre like me, youve probably got a basement full of Vokeys and Cleveland RTGs from bygone eras, just waiting for the day when you put them back into play. Make a little more room, because TaylorMade is producing lofted short-game tools that deserve a special space in every self-respecting wedge hos collection.

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James McCarten

When James McCarten isn't at the Ottawa offices of The Canadian Press, where he works as parliamentary news editor, he's either on the golf course or putting off his latest freelance golf-writing gig to spend time with wife Lisa and school-age kids Claire and Lucas. With 20 years of experience in Canadian journalism, James also suffers from a financially crippling addiction to all things Scotty Cameron.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Great review!

    “I try not to practice with my gamer wedges, for fear of wearing down the grooves too soon” Now that’s what I call a wedge Connoisseur 🙂

    TaylorMade always introduces great product lines, and it looks like this is no exception. Already having a great driver line, it looks like they are also trying to make more of a wedge presence.

    -Dan

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