Twenty years ago, TaylorMade Golf’s Rescue clubs were among the first of what we now call hybrids and in fact Rescue’s were so popular the name was generic for any maker’s club of that type. TMaG also knows the replacement of long irons by hybrids means it became more difficult to control shots of those longer-than-an-iron-shorter-than-a-fairway wood yardages.
As the company explained, “With a majority of players not comfortable hitting 3, 4 and even 5 irons consistently to precise yardages or with any dependable accuracy and 5, 7 and 9 woods often difficult to control, TaylorMade set out to engineer a line of products that allow golfers to get the distance, carry and control needed to fill these gaps.”
This thinking led to design of three new clubs named GAPR which you can think of them as Gap Rescues.
Hybrids typically have smaller heads with lower and deeper center of gravity and a face with very little if any bulge and roll compared with fairway woods but larger and more forgiving heads than the typical iron. However, as manufacturers tried to provide players with the potential of more distance it was obvious more face flex was needed and to do that the size of hybrid heads grew.
Presently hybrids fall into two broad categories, those with smaller heads and the larger almost fairway wood head size models. However, because they needed to have more accurate control over workability, distance and trajectory better players have tended to replace hybrids with utility irons or even driving irons. They still want (and need) the forgiveness and launch characteristics of hybrids plus clubs to give iron-like distance and trajectory control.
TMaG’s GAPR models all have the same SpeedFoam inside the heads first seen in the popular P790 irons to help with ball speed and reduce vibration. The center of gravity is located very low in the head for better playability with higher launch plus each has a Speed Pocket in the sole to preserve ball speed when impact is low on the face. All make use of TaylorMade’s Loft Sleeve to adjust loft and lie.
Here are the things you should know about the individual models.
GAPR LO – For higher swing speed players it has the smallest head, most forward center of gravity and produces the lowest trajectory of the three. Head shape will remind you of a driving iron. Tiger Woods chose a 17° LO for use at the British Open at Carnoustie. Available lofts and head sizes: #2 17° (58cc), #3 19° (59cc), #4 22 (60cc).
GAP MID – Slightly larger head size, the MID has a low and forward center of gravity with a mid-trajectory. It is intended for players of all skill levels. Lofts: #3 18° (73cc), #4 21° (74cc), #5 24° (75cc).
GAPR HI – The high but penetrating ball trajectory from the HI will make it a favorite of a wide range of players and TMaG says the high-toe “peanut-shaped” head makes it the modern version of the traditional Rescue. Lofts: #3 19° (91cc), #4 22° (92cc), #5 25° (93cc), #6 28° (94cc).
Each will be at retail August 24 and carry a price of $250 with a KBS Hybrid shaft.
In Case Anyone Should Ask:
British Open: It no surprise but Francesco Molinari used the same sticks to win in Carnoustie as he did winning the Quicken Loans three weeks ago. When you’re on a roll…
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (8.5 degrees), Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 60X shaft
Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M3 (13 degrees) and M4 (18 degrees), Aldila Xtorsion Green 70X shafts
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (4) and P750 (5-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (50 & 56 degrees) and Hi-Toe (60 degrees), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Bettinardi DASS BB0
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
TaylorMade had both the most played putter model at Carnoustie, the Spider Tour and the most played driver models, their M3 and M4. Seventy percent of 109 in the 156-man field at the British Open teed up either the Pro V1 or Pro V1x while 18 used Callaway Chrome Soft or Chrome Soft X. Titleist was top choice in irons with 43 sets, Vokey Design Wedges were tops in approach, sand and lob wedges with 187 and Scotty Cameron was the most played putter brand with 57.
Barbasol Championship: Troy Merritt’s best finish this year had been a tie for eighth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and along with seven missed cuts was having an unspectacular season until his one stroke victory in the Barbasol. He is the only winner this year using a full bag of Wilson clubs though Brendan Steele used their irons when taking the Sanderson Farms event.
Driver: Wilson D300 (9 degrees), Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana D+ 70X shaft
Fairway Wood: Callaway Rogue (15 degrees) Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana BF 80X shaft
Utility iron: Wilson FG Tour V4 Utility (2), KBS Tour Prototype Hybrid shaft
Irons: Wilson C300 Forged (4), KBS C-Taper 125 shaft & Wilson FG Tour V6 RAW (5-PW), KBS C-Taper 125 shafts
Wedges: Wilson FG Tour PMP (50T, 54T & 58TG degrees), KBS Tour 120 shaftsPutter: Yes! Mollie
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
New Glides from PING: Glide wedges have gained a following for their looks and performance and the newest ones in the line are the Glide Forged priced at $217.50 each with a steel shaft or $232.50 with a graphite shaft. A forged 8620 carbon steel head is combined with a tungsten toe weight, a milled face and wheel-cut grooves with a machined flange. The choice of six lofts and each is customizable with graphic options (including Mr. PING), lettering and 112 paint fillings.
Scotty Cameron Concept X: Tagged as experimental prototypes the Concept X models – CX-01 and CX-02 – have some of the look at address of the Newport 2 blades but combine with the “wings” of many mallet-style putters. The biggest difference in the two is the neck profile with the CX-01 having the Tour “Nuckle Neck” with one shaft of offset and the CX-02 a new low slant “Joint Neck” that promotes additional toe flow. The price for either is $599 and they will be available at select Titleist retailers on Aug.