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The truth of the matter is, when you think of wedges, you don’t usually think of TaylorMade, but the Milled Grind feels just as good as anything on the market, and it’s definitely worth a try. It’s also the first time TaylorMade has a more substantial offer in the way of grinds, so there’s a bit of something for everyone. In this TaylorMade Milled Grind Wedge Review we will have a closer look at the wedge and discuss in detail what’s new. Continue reading if you want to find out more.
In a hurry?
New Grinding Method
TaylorMade used to grind their wedges by hand, but now they’ve changed the process and started machine-milling and grinding their wedges to give them more consistency in regards to the shape of the head and the way the sole interacts with the turf. This should, in turn, give you more control on the distance and strikes in general.
The Milled Grind TaylorMade wedges have a classic look to them, one might say retro, even, what with the nice and rounded high toe and straight leading edge. In a way, they really give off that classic Wilson Staff Tour Blades’ vibe.
The leading edge sits comfortably under the ball at address, without digging into the turf. Another nice thing about the way it looks, and which more advanced players will find appealing, is that there’s no (or hardly any) offset, and the head just flows in a straight line from the front of the hosel to the leading edge.
The Milled Grind
The biggest new thing about these wedges, when compared to the Tour Preferred EF wedge, which is technically its predecessor, is the milled grind on the sole and bounce (the score lines are clearly visible on the sole even upon a cursory inspection).
TaylorMade makes a point of highlighting this and the fact that the process enables them to make consistently quality wedges, with little to no discrepancy from wedge to wedge as they come off the production line. Also, the fact that it’s machine milled rather than hand ground leaves less margin for error, so that each and every new wedge is as close to that classic look as possible.
TaylorMade Milled Grind: Just As Good
The TaylorMade Milled Grind wedges come in a variety of lofts and grinds, as well as two finish options – Satin Nickel Chrome and Antique Bronze. As of yet, the Antique Bronze finish is only available with the standard bounce, but comes in all lofts. Speaking of which, you’ve got six of them going from 50 to 60 degrees in 2-degree gaps.
The grind selection, as we noted earlier, is fairly rich, though you’ll only find the Standard Bounce in all lofts. Two other features worth a special mention here are the grooves and a little red dot you’ll notice on the hosel, which we’ll discuss in a bit more detail presently.
So, as noted above, the TaylorMade Milled Grind wedges have new and improved grooves on them (this phrase is starting to wear off), marked as the ZTP-17. There are 17 of them – hence the name, probably, which is one more than on its predecessor (technically, that would be the Tour Preferred).
Moreover, they’re made with sharper edges and steeper side walls, which should give you that extra bite on the ball, enabling you to generate more spin on mid to short length pitches, as well as from the rough. Granted, this is far from being the leading factor you should be checking out when buying a new wedge, but it’s definitely something you’ll want to keep in mind.
The Red Dot
The red polymer dot on the sole is an interesting new feature you’ll notice right off the bat, no doubt; it serves to cover up the Precision Weight Port, which does pretty much what one might guess (provided one is not entirely new to golf).
It’s there to allow about 10 grams (approximately 0.3 ounces) to be taken away from out of the hosel so as to alter the position of the Center of Gravity (CG) (that’s center of gravity, just so we’re clear), as well as the launch angle and the rate of spin. Thanks to this bore-through neck, the CG is moved ever so slightly away from the heel and more to the center of the face.
This also moves the sweet spot, obviously, to the center, so that it’s a bit easier to hit. Of course, this is far from groundbreaking work, as some other manufacturers have already done the same thing (moved the CG more to the center of the face), but that doesn’t change the fact that this makes the TaylorMade Milled Grind wedge more playable.
On that note, since it’s a bit more toe-heavy, so to speak, this also makes it more forgiving on off-center hits, so you’ll have an easier time controlling the trajectory even if the wedge twists.
There’s three different grinds here, and five bounce angles, though there are effectively three bounces– low, standard, and high. While it’s true that choosing bounce depends on the turf you’ll be playing (low for tight lies and firm turf, high for white sand and soft turf, standard for versatility), it’s more of a swing type of question.
In a nutshell, the High Bounce Grind is more suited for players with steep attack angles, or, indeed, those who mostly play in soft conditions; the Standard Bounce is your friend, handicap, swing, or turf notwithstanding, and should suit the greatest number of players; finally, the Low Bounce is more of a specialist grind, and it really comes into its own in the hands of more advanced players.
It’s important to note that the TaylorMade Milled Grind is the first mass-produced wedge to feature a machine milled sole grind. The big deal about this is that, for one, they’re able to make more uniform wedges, with little to no discrepancies in quality from one wedge to the other, and two, they’re better than ground by hand.
Whenever you have a hand-ground sole, there’s a considerable (comparatively) margin for error, seeing as it’s hard to replicate the ideal wedge shape from one product to the other. With machine milling, this process is much more consistent, and the results are consistent as well. In other words, you’ll be getting a variety of tools for your short game that are as identical as can be. Let’s have a look at the different grinds in detail.
Low Bounce Grind
The Low Bounce Grind, as touched upon briefly, is not a grind meant for novices. It makes use of a C-shaped relief and carries the lowest bounce of all three grinds – 9 degrees. What they did is basically remove the back and make a fairly versatile head that you can play from different lies.
Thanks to the 9-degree bounce, the heads with this grind cut nicely through the turf and play beautifully on chipping shots and bunker shot. It’s available mostly in the mid to higher lofts (54, 56, 58, and 60).
Standard Bounce Grind
The Standard Bounce Grind is available in all lofts, but best of all, it’s the only grind of the three to come with both Satin Nickel Chrome and Antique Bronze finishes. As for the loft-to-bounce combo, here’s what’s on the menu: 50.09, 25.09, 54.11, 56.12, 58.11, and 60.10. It’s a medium bounce, obviously, with just a wee bit extra heel grind, so that you can open up the clubface if/when needed.
High Bounce Grind
The High Bounce Grind comes with the highest bounce (obviously) and widest sole of the three grinds. On that note, the HB Grind features a slight camber, so it’s able to slide off rather than dig into the turf. It’s available in the three higher lofts (56, 58, and 60), with the bounce angles decreasing as the loft increases (13, 12, and 11 degrees, respectively). As noted above, it’s designed for players who have somewhat steep swings.
The Final Verdict
These are clean, sharp, and beautiful looking wedges, quite thin, with nice and straight leading edges, which should appeal to most players (those who have been playing for a while, at any rate). One thing you should pay attention to when buying the TaylorMade Milled Grind wedges, (as opposed to any other TM wedges, oddly enough), is the fact that they tend to play a bit lower than their bounce number would suggest.
So, when you’re out shopping and testing, go with the HB Grind first. Chances are it’ll feel right the minute you try it. As for the lower lofts (pretty much just the gap wedges, in this case), the SB Grind is more than adequate.