The Taylormade P790’s have achieved legendary status within the category of Player Distance Irons. They offer an excellent combination of technology, easy distance, and low spin, while being compact enough in terms of design to appeal to both low and mid-handicap golfers.
In this comparison post, we compare the differences between the 2017, 2019, and 2021 P790 models. It should give you a better understanding of how these irons have evolved over time and potentially help you choose between sets if you are thinking about buying them.
Loft Specs - 2017 vs 2019 vs 2021 P790 's
|Loft||P790 (2017)||P790 (2019)||P790 (2021)|
|Length||P790 (2017)||P790 (2019)||P790 (2021)|
Lie Angle Specs
|Lie Angle||P790 (2017)||P790 (2019)||P790 (2021)|
|Offset||P790 (2017)||P790 (2019)||P790 (2021)|
1. Improved Speedfoam
Taylormade was one of the first equipment companies to introduce a foam insert into player distance irons. They did this in order to improve the feel and the sound of the irons.
Without a foam insert, player distance irons tend to feel hollow, producing more vibration throughout the club and a less than desirable sound. Thankfully, Taylormade’s introduction of SpeedFoam was the perfect solution to this particular problem, with other company’s like Cobra quick to follow suit.
Arguably the biggest difference between the P790 models is the introduction of SPEEDFOAM AIR into the 2021 model. The difference between the original SpeedFoam and SpeedFoam Air is the weight of the material being used.
As stated by Taylormade, SpeedFoam Air is 69% lighter than the original SpeedFoam. The benefit of using a lighter material is that it allowed Taylormade to redistribute that weight into other areas of the club, ultimately resulting in improved launch conditions.
2. Larger Sweet Spot
While the 2017 and the 2019 P790’s both have pretty big sweet spots, the 2021 P790 has the largest sweet spot of them all.
As mentioned earlier, by shifting to SpeedFoam air, Taylormade was able to alter the CG settings and redistribute more tungsten into the toe of the club. This translates to a more forgiving and stable clubhead, with an even larger sweet spot.
3. Thinner Face
The main benefit of a thinner face is that it should produce additional ball speed on well-struck shots and mishits.
In theory, this means the 2021 P790’s should travel marginally further than the 2017 and 2019 P790’s, given that the launch and loft specs are so similar.
4. Less Offset In Lower Irons
This particular change is true of the 2019 and the 2021 P790’s. In essence, the offset in the lower irons (3 iron to 6 iron) was reduced slightly. This effectively means that the later versions have a more neutral ball flight bias in the lower lofted irons, whereas the original 2017 P790’s have a bit more of a draw bias in the lower lofted clubs.
Product Features - 2017 P790 Irons
The 2017 P790 irons pack powerful performance into a clean, classic design to deliver unprecedented distance in a players iron. Through a combination of forged construction and our revolutionary new SpeedFoam Technology, golfers will experience feel, forgiveness, and workability unlike any iron of this caliber.
With the 2017 P790, TaylorMade’s engineers have answered the challenge of creating a forged iron that delivers remarkable distance as well as enhanced playability and feel—all in a refined shape preferred by discerning players.
The 2017 P790’s hollow cavity uses SpeedFoam Technology, a new proprietary construction, which serves a dual purpose of generating ball speed as well as optimizing sound and feel. Injected into the clubhead, SpeedFoam provides the face support and sound-damping properties that make the performance of the 2017 P790 unlike any other iron in the TaylorMade family.
The incorporation of the new wrapped face construction creates a cut-thru Speed Pocket on the sole with extreme flexibility in the lower part of the clubface; it’s this flexibility that creates greater forgiveness and consistency than is typically seen in a distance iron design.
The 2017 P790 also features an ultra-thin 1.75mm face thickness with re-engineered Inverted Cone Technology optimized for the slightly smaller face area. The new, smaller Inverted Cone allows for reduced face thickness at the edges of the face, thus increasing flexibility from heel to toe and low on the clubface, resulting in more ball speed across the entire face.
For forgiveness and playability, P790 irons feature strategically placed internal metal-injection-molded (MIM) tungsten weighting for precise CG placement and higher moment of inertia (MOI).
“With the 2017 P790, we created a forged iron that meets the demands of discerning players and delivers distance performance never before seen in a players iron. By combining our new SpeedFoam Technology and forged face with a clean, classic design, we have effectively engineered an iron that is as beautiful as it is powerful – setting the new standard for all-around iron performance.”
–Tomo Bystedt, Senior Director, Iron Creation
Product Info sourced directly from 2017 P790 Product Page
Product Features - 2019 P790 Irons
The 2019 P790 is effectively an enhanced version of the 2017 P790, with a forged hollow body construction, SpeedFoam™ insert and a redesigned tungsten weight for optimal CG performance.
The 2019 P790 features ultra-light urethane foam injected inside the head, engineered to push the design limits of face speed while simultaneously improving feel.
A new thinner forged face with a progressively located ICT design is engineered to maximize COR area while improving accuracy. The 2019 P790 also features a low-profile tungsten weight designed to give you a lower CG and higher launch.
Product Features - 2021 P790 Irons
The 2021 P790 Irons feature a newly engineered SpeedFoam™ Air is 69% lighter than its predecessor. It provides an average of 3.5g of weight savings that has been redistributed to further optimize mass properties for better launch conditions. The new formulation gives you exquisite sound and feel while producing a fast, flexible face.
THIN-WALL CONSTRUCTION AND FORGED L-FACE
A new 8620 carbon steel construction makes the 2021 P790 head thinner by up to 37.5% in strategic locations, allowing for a significantly lower CG placement. This new thin-walled design pairs with a responsive 1.5mm forged 4140 steel L-Face to promote supreme flexibility, fast ball speeds, and distance while upholding a premium forged feel.
THRU-SLOT SPEED POCKET™
The Thru-Slot Speed Pocket™ provides increased face flexibility while preserving ball speed and distance on low face strikes.
INTELLIGENT SWEET SPOT
Using data analytics, Taylormade has repositioned the sweet spot lower on the face to naturally capture more shots and provide performance where golfers need it most.
TUNGSTEN MASS FOR LOW CG
Engineers developed new construction methods to thin out the body of the 2021 P790. This allowed for up to 31g of tungsten to be placed in the toe. It creates a massive amount of stability and forgiveness wrapped in a player’s package.
Product Information Sourced From 2021 P790 Product Page
All in all, it’s pretty clear that Taylormade have done a good job of tweaking a player distance iron formula that appears to be working for them and the players that choose to put them in the bag. The original 2017 P790’s were a breakthrough product, becoming tremendously popular with low and mid-handicap golfers across the world.
Instead of starting from scratch, Taylormade has simply refined this particular product range, working on forgiveness, feel, launch conditions, and stability.
The final result is the production of arguably the best player distance iron that you can possibly buy.
The 2021 P790 irons are superb, but the older siblings (2019 and 2017 versions) will still perform almost as well in most conditions. If money is no object, the 2021 versions are a wise choice, but if you can find the 2017 or the 2019 versions on special, you can’t really go wrong by putting them in the bag.