TaylorMade Men’s Speedblade Wedge Review
Whether you’re a scratch player or a high capper, if you’re looking for a nice set of wedges that’ll help you shave a couple of strokes off your game, then the Speedblade just might be the thing for you. We’ll help you dig deeper into the details of the club in this TaylorMade Men's Speedblade wedge review, so you’ll know exactly what you would get should you choose to invest in one. Let’s dive right into it.
In a hurry?
Matches the Irons
Obviously, the TM Speedblade wedge was designed to go along with the Speedblade line of irons and as such it shares some of the technologies that went into making the line; the line includes 3- through 9-irons, plus the four wedges, pretty consistent swing weight and a decent amount of offset that’s progressively smaller as you go up the lofts (from 4.3mm in the 3-iron to 0.9m in the LW); the trend is similar when you look at the shaft lengths, as you’d expect.
Now, it would be remiss if we talked about the Speedblade wedges without saying a little something about the irons, seeing as the wedges were practically made to blend into the range. Besides, according to TaylorMade, this is one of the bestselling, if not the bestselling line of irons in their history, so they warrant a word or two on that account alone.
The Speed Pocket
The design of the irons incorporates a Speed Pocket, which the company initially introduced with their RocketBladez irons (to be honest, not really a fan of the name). It’s safe to argue that the Pocket was fairly revolutionary when it first appeared – it’s basically a handlebar-shaped cavity in the sole of the lower lofts (3- through 7-iron), and what this thing does is help you create more ball speed and higher launch angles, as well as have more consistency in your shots.
With the SpeedBlade line, the pocket was made even wider and longer, which goes a long way to giving you more face area towards the heel and toe, which in turn allows for more forgiveness on off-center hits. In other words, if you catch the ball a little bit towards the toe or a wee bit towards the heel, you could still get away with it pretty easily.
This same forgiveness continues as you go into the Speedblade wedges, albeit not because of the Speed Pocket, but more to the shared sole design between the Speedblades and the ATVs.
TaylorMade Men's Speedblade Wedges: Greased Lightning
The wedges, much like the rest of the set, have a fairly solid feel, somewhat muted, which is particularly welcome seeing as they are cast rather than forged. On that note, when you do hit an off-centre shot with the irons, the feedback tends to be a little numb. Although, it is noticeably absent from the wedges (especially in the higher lofts). The sound you get at impact is a very pleasant click, definitely up to par (pun intended).
Now, the feel is admittedly a little bit firmer than with other wedges, but they’re still responsive enough allowing you to make adjustments on mishits. On a similar note, the laser-milled grooves definitely go a long way to giving you consistent spin, which is exactly what you’ll want around the greens – precision, stopping power, and clustering.
You’re Covered With Four Wedges
In all seriousness, though, the 5-degree gaps are close to optimal (ideally, you’d be shooting for 4 degrees), with the two lower lofts blending in perfectly into your short irons, both performance-wise and in terms of the looks. You can probably bend them to better suit your configuration, but you should have all the yardages covered with the set as is.
As we mentioned above, the shafts become progressively shorter as you go up the lofts and through the set (as it should be), which is somewhat mirrored on a smaller scale in the Speedblade wedges, as well. In other words, you have 35.5’ in the PW, AW, and SW, and 35’ in the LW.
That said, these clubs are definitely longer than other wedges on the market, and in some instances, you might even have to go down two clubs to achieve the same distance. On that note, they also hit the ball considerably higher than you might be used to, so be careful to factor that in your swing, as well.
The TaylorMade Speedblade pitching wedge, to give it its full name, has a loft of 45 degrees, which makes it quite a strong-lofted club, and one that goes a long way (in a manner of speaking). It has pretty much the same design as the rest of the range (referring to irons), and is a really long club, one that plays more like an 8-iron than a pitching wedge.
It hits high and straight, with plenty of good spin thanks to the laser milled grooves, so you should have a decent amount of check on that second bounce. Of course, just like the rest of the line, this is a cast wedge, and coupled with the stock graphite shaft, it’s a bit on the firm side.
On the flipside, it does come with a good amount of control thanks to the grooves and the sole design, and it’s definitely a GI club (game-improvement). To put it like this – if you’ve only aimed to hit the green in general so far, with this puppy you should be able to really go after the pins.
The TaylorMade Speedblade gap wedge (though TaylorMade call it the approach wedge – tomayto, tomahto) comes in a 50-degree loft, and it’s where things start getting a little interesting as these wedges are concerned. It’s here that the cavity back design very much present in the irons and the PW fades away in favour of a more blade-like appearance down below; still, this wedge feels quite forgiving, though not as forgiving as its stronger-lofted counterpart.
The TaylorMade Speedblade sand wedge is available in a 55-degree loft and is definitely the main selling point of the whole range. Unlike its lower-lofted brothers, the SW has no cavity back. It sports more of a traditional look, and also incorporates the ATV sole design, which should allow you to play it from all sorts of lies and positions, letting you open up the clubface or square it down to get a bit more playability out of it.
In short, the ATV and the Speedblade sand wedges are pretty much the same – same sole grind, similar size and profile, the only difference is pretty much the fact that the ATV has a somewhat softer feel thanks to the flex on its stock shaft.
The TaylorMade Speedblade lob wedge; oddly enough, is the only loft (60) of the entire set (irons included) that’s not available for left-handed players. Its design pretty much follows the idea we see developing in the sand wedge – you have the ATV sole grind, with generous amounts of relief on the heel and toe to allow you more workability, as it were, and more than enough bite on the face to give you good consistency on the spin.
Something to Think About
On that same note, here’s a nickel’s worth of free advice – don’t go for the brand or a particular model just because you heard someone, possibly an expert, say it’s this way or that. Find several clubs you think might be good for you, take them out for a spin and then decide.
As for the shaft, just go with whatever flex you’re fitted in your irons – if you rock graphite, go with graphite, if you prefer steel, go with steel; the idea behind it is as solid as it is logical, and manufacturers came to the same realization a long time ago – same flex allows you to have same results on the ball flight consistently throughout your bag. It’s the same with the TaylorMade Speedblade wedges.
The Final Verdict
Overall, the TaylorMade Speedblade wedges are great little wedges, and clubs that should appeal to all types of players, from scratchers to high-handicappers. Just like the irons, the wedges span the spectrum of handicap levels thanks to the overall progressive design of the set – you get forgiveness in your long irons to travel the distance as well as control and workability in the short irons and wedges.
This progressive design is somewhat repeated on a smaller scale within the wedge range – you get a bit more forgiveness in your stronger lofts (PW and AW) and a bit more playability in the higher ones (SW and LW).