Written By: Tony Covey
On the relative heels of the PM Grind Callaway has announced the MD3 Milled Wedge, which is basically the full line wedge release we all knew was coming. The MD3 is the most robust wedge lineup to date from Callaway, and includes 2 finish options, 3 groove designs, 3 sole grinds, and 8 lofts for a grand total of 15 different wedge options (30 if you count the finish options seprately).
And while all of that is intriguing – especially for those of us who appreciate choices – what’s more impressive is the effort Callaway put in to simplifying the explanation of the offerings to the point where just about anyone who stumbles across the new wedge should be able to make sense out of what Callaway’s new offering.
With this release, Callaway has taken small step back from their recent run of hyperbole and instead has focused on presenting the details in an easily digestible format that neither diminishes nor overstates the technology. All they’ve done is make it easy for everyone to follow along at home, and that’s not nearly as easy to do as it sounds. Quite frankly, this is Callaway meets PING as far as how the product is being presented to the golfer, and that’s a good thing.
Breaking down wedge performance is complex. Callaway has made it look easy.
It’s not the PM Grind
The first thing we should note about the MD3 Milled Wedge is that it’s not the PM Grind. While Callaway does offer 3 distinct sole grinds (S-Grind, C-Grind, and W-Grind) the PM Grind is not among them, though it’s worth noting that the W-Grind should be most similar from a performance perspective.
It would be pointless for me to waste time explaining the differences, because, as I said, Callaway has already done an exceptional job of simplifying it for us.
Aesthetic similarities between the PM Grind and the MD3 are primarily limited to the green goo-filled holes left behind when Callaway removes mass to raise the center of gravity for more spin. While not the extent of the PM Grind, the MD3 also features the curved leading edge, variations of which are common to many Roger Cleveland designs. As with the PM Grind, for those who prefer a flat leading edge, this might be a deal breaker. For whatever it’s worth, it’s one of the Callaway design elements that I really like.
Progressive Groove Optimization
In addition to the different grind/bounce options, Callaway’s MD3 Milled Wedges offer what the company calls Progressive Groove Optimization. The idea is that we need our grooves to perform differently depending on the function of the wedge. Grooves at gap wedge lofts are designed to play more similar to, and ease the transition from irons. At sand wedge lofts, the grooves are designed to spin, but not to an excessive degree. At lob wedge lofts, the grooves are designed for maximum stopping power.
Once again, Callaway does an exemplary job of laying out the details.
It’s true that Callaway isn’t the first to do this. Mizuno and others have been varying grooves as different lofts for a while, Callaway has simply done the best job to date of explaining it in a way the average guy can absorb. This is just the latest example that proves that it doesn’t matter who had the idea, what matters is what you do with it and how you present it.
Plenty of Options
As you can see from the charts below, the MD3 is available in lofts from 46° to 60° with different grind options available at each loft beyond 52° (in pw/gw lofts, the S-Grind is your only option).
Once you find the right loft and grind setup for your needs, the biggest question you’ll face is matte black or chrome?
Which do you prefer?
Moving the Needle
Already #2 on the PGA Tour, #1 on the LPGA Tour, and #3 at retail. If the momentum from PM Grind sales carries over (and I think it will), Callaway is positioned to overtake Cleveland as the clear #2 wedge at retail (Vokey has a firm grasp on the #1 spot). That would be yet another significant gain for a company that’s already made big market share gains in the metalwood and iron categories over the last couple of years.
The MD3 is available starting 9/4 (pre-orders begin 8/14) for $130 each.
from MyGolfSpy http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Mygolfspy/~3/ziXXYv36dbA/