***Disclaimer*** This post may include affiliate links, including Amazon. This does not affect your viewing, or any pricing on the associated sites, but we make a commission on purchases. This is how we help fund this site. Thanks!
Whether you’re just getting interested in golf, or have been playing it for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Roger Cleveland and probably used some of his work. Well, these past 20-odd years he’s been working with Callaway, and one of the results of this cooperation is probably one of the most versatile wedges to hit the shelves – the Callaway Mack Daddy 3. And that’s exactly why we’ve compiled this Callaway Mack Daddy 3 wedge review where we explore the club in detail.
Of course, it would be remiss to speak of the MTD3 without mentioning the older MD2, which is, in turn, designed after the even older X-Forged. So, in a way, we’re merely looking at the latest results of years worth of development and tweaks.
In a hurry?
Why the MD3?
First thing’s first – the Mack Daddy Forged is the newer version. And, yes, the MD3 is indeed cast, so that pretty much sums up the difference in names. With this in mind, there’s certainly plenty of space for the Forged to grow, so we might see more lofts and finishes than it already offers. That’s why we’ll focus more on its older, or, rather, tried and tested cousin, the MD3.
The Callaway Mack Daddy 3 has a consistently good feel through the lofts. It lets you, for lack of a better word, feel the turf on contact. Now, this might not mean much to high handicappers or novices, but more advanced players will know to appreciate it. On that note, the MD3 is indeed the perfect everyman’s wedge, meaning it will suit all types of players, from low to high handicappers.
Meanwhile, the Forged will feel more at home in an advanced player’s hands, if for nothing else, then for the fact they’ll more readily notice the difference (the difference being that between cast and forged wedges). On that same note, the Callaway Mack Daddy Forged, the younger brother of the MD3, does have a nice, sharp feel on the face, with a matching sound on impact. Throw in the comfortable and nice looking grips, as well, and you’ve got yourself a keeper.
Callaway Mack Daddy 3: The Trifecta of a Great Wedge
For this Callaway Mack Daddy 3 wedge review, we’ll pretty much be comparing the Mack Daddy 3 with a milled grind and its younger cousin, the Mack Daddy Forged. For a start, the most important difference is the number of lofts – while the MD3 has all the lofts from 46 to 64 (the 50, 52, and 64 are recent additions) in 2-degree increments, the younger Forged model has only mid to high lofts (50 through 60, also in 2-degree increments).
As far as the bounce options go, the two are equal. Another difference, and major one, at that, is who can benefit the most from either. While the MD3 packs plenty of forgiveness and playability from all sorts of lies, Forged comes with a wee bit less forgiveness, though it is almost up to scratch in the way of lies.
The Forged does perform well as a precision tool, so it should appeal to more advanced and/or creative players, while the MD3 is more of an everyman’s wedge, as we already mentioned.
It’s All About the Appearance
Both the MD3 and Forged feature a fairly large head, which might not sit right with all types of players, but most golfers will find it reassuring. The profile of the head is nice and rounded, though comes off a bit squarish on the leading edge.
Speaking of which, it’s worth noting that the Forged does have a groove more than the MD3 right above it, as low on the clubface as they could put it. The idea behind this extra groove is to help you with opening up the face when you’re making pitches and chips, as it lets the face grab the ball sooner and let you have better control on the spin and trajectory.
While we’re on the subject of spin, it’s important to note the progressive groove design the Mack Daddy 3 sports on its face. In a nutshell, there are three different variations of the same V-groove design – 30V, 20V, and 5V. The point here is to optimize the grooves depending on the loft, and, therefore, optimize the spin you need, seeing as you’ll obviously need different amounts of spin for different distances and lies.
With this in mind, Callaway put the 30V grooves in their pitching wedges (46 and 48) and gap wedges (50 and 52) to help you make shots that will carry some distance. In this vein, the 20V grooves will be seen in Callaway sand wedges (54, 56, arguably 58), so you can probably guess their purpose is to give you the right amount of bite on full and bunker shots.
Finally, the 5V grooves come with the lob wedges (60, 62, 64), and their configuration allows you to have as much control as possible for playing precision shots (from the rough and/or around the green).
One of the major selling points on Callaway’s Mack Daddy 3 is the cavity back design, which allows the head to fit four holes in the back of its sole. What these holes do is take some weight out low on the head, which in turn raises the Center of Gravity (CG) ever so slightly.
This is done to maximize distance control, increase spin (although marginally), and let you have more forgiveness, you know the drill. So, the looks will change drastically from the 46 into the 64 as you look at the sole (and the same goes for the Forged), but overall, the head stays nice and roundish.
The Callaway MD3 comes with three grinds, from the barely relieved S Grind to the wide-sole W Grind. There’s also the C Grind, which is more of a story for itself than a middle ground between the other two. Let’s get to know them in a bit more in detail.
The S Grind is the most versatile of the three, and it should play nicely on a variety of surfaces, from soft to firm turf and white sand to the packed. It’s available in all of the lofts, so you don’t have to make any choices you don’t want. It has very little heel relief, which again adds to the versatility in terms of lies.
The C Grind is a bit more flexible than the S Grind, and should appeal to more creative and/or better players. On that note, it does play better on firm surfaces, thanks to the wider sole (compared to the S Grind), as well as the fact it packs more relief in the toe and heel area.
It should go a long way to helping you make short chips, as it allows you to open up and close the clubface whichever way you feel gives you better control. You can get it with the mid to high lofts (56, 58, and 60).
While the S Grind is by far the most versatile of the three, most pros recommend that you go for the W grind in your higher lofts. This is because the W Grind is, quite appropriately, the widest of the three. It plays equally well out of bunkers around the green and the grass, as its low camber and wide sole combine to give you exceptional playability and a wide (pun not intended) margin for error.
The Final Verdict
The Callaway MD3 comes with plenty of loft options, both for right-handed and left-handed players, as well as a decent selection of grinds. Moreover, the loft-specific grooves give you not only lots of spin, but the appropriate amount of spin depending on the loft. On that note, the MD forged does have a slight advantage over the MD3 in this regard, due to the one extra groove at the bottom of the face, but it’s nowhere near as forgiving as its cast cousin.
Bottom line – if you don’t care whether your club is cast or forged, and would like something with plenty of forgiveness on off-centre hits, then the Callaway Mack Daddy 3 is your friend. Conversely, if you’re able to tell the difference between the two types, you’ll probably get more out of the Callaway Mack Daddy Forged. Either way, fairways and greens to you!