2021 TaylorMade P790 UDI Iron Review

50 Words or Less

The 2021 TaylorMade P790 UDI is a true Tour-style club for those with a lot of speed and ball striking skill.  Only available in a 17 degree 2-iron.  Ideal for hitting stingers.

Introduction

With apologies to the SIM UDI [review HERE], the 2021 P790 UDI is the true follow up to TaylorMade’s 2019 Ultimate Driving Iron [review HERE].  I got my hands on one to see if, like its predecessor, it’s best left to the elite ball strikers or if this can be a fairway finder for the average player.

Check out the new, more forgiving TaylorMade Stealth UDI HERE

Looks

In the bag, the 2021 P790 UDI is almost indistinguishable from the 2021 P790 irons.  They have identical backs and similar sole widths.  The one distinguishing mark is on the toe: it says “UDI” beneath the “2.”  Having a 2-iron in the bag, even if it’s a faux-blade, can certainly provide a psychological edge on your opponent – assuming you can hit it.

At address, the top line of the P790 UDI is medium thick and the offset is moderate.  It appears that the top line is a little boxier and the offset has been slightly enhanced compared to the 2019 version.  More noticeable is that there’s a stark difference in the finish between the face and the heel and toe.  This is done to make the face appear more compact at address.

Sound & Feel

The 2021 P790 UDI is a bit of a grouch.  Uncompromising, if you’d prefer to spin it positively.  If you don’t do exactly what you’re supposed to do – which is to say, hit the center of the face – this club is going to let you know.  The feel on anything but centered shots is firm, clicky, and unpleasant.

When you do hit the sweet spot, this club is a real treat.  It feels much softer and sounds solid and satisfying.  If you want a club with crystal clear feedback and high expectations, this is it.

Performance

There’s a lot of technology in the 2021 TaylorMade P790 UDI, but there’s only so much that can be done with a 17 degree iron.  This is a club for players with speed and excellent ball striking ability.  There are plenty of utility iron options for the lower speed players and those that need forgiveness, but this isn’t one of them.

For that better player, TaylorMade has done a number of things to make the 2021 version of the UDI a bit faster and friendlier than its predecessor.  That starts with SpeedFoam Air, the material inside the P790 UDI.  This new version is 69% lighter, allowing TaylorMade’s engineers to optimize another 3.5 grams of weight.  There’s also a Thru-Slot Speed Pocket to increase ball speed, particularly on low face strikes.  Finally, there are 31 grams of tungsten in the toe to boost stability and forgiveness.

When hit well, the 2021 P790 UDI will terrorize your opponents.  Shots come screaming off the face on a piercing trajectory.  The spin is quite low, so your shots will run forever.  I suspect that higher speed, more skilled players might be able to launch this skyward and hold a green with it, but that’s beyond my pay grade.

The other side of that coin is that, when you mishit this club, it does not go anywhere.  Despite the tech, the ball speed drops off fairly quickly when you hit the toe or heel.  Hitting it thin will produce single digit launch angles and very limited carry distance.  This is the modern 1-iron.  Some of you are going to head to your golf shop, try it out, and hit one shot so spectacular that you throw it in the bag against all your wiser impulses.  But unless you have speed to burn and high quality ball striking, those wiser impulses are eventually going to say, “I told you so.”

Conclusion

Lots of clubs say “Tour” or “Pro” on them.  The 2021 TaylorMade P790 UDI doesn’t say it, but it does walk the walk.  For the skilled, high speed player, this club can be a real weapon.  The rest of us should probably be opting for something with more loft and more forgiveness.

Visit TaylorMade HERE

TaylorMade P790 UDI Price & Specs

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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6 Comments

  1. Haha, immediately reminded me of the time my uncle had his racing motorcycle stored in my parents garage when I was 14. I had to show off to my buddies, so I fired it up, and as soon as I let the clutch out I knew I had made an awful mistake.

    This Taylor Made club is tempting for knuckleheads like me who just can’t say no to such a lovely and sleek looking instrument. It’s perfectly safe to “dry-fire” in the shop, but would only be disastrous on a real course. A boy can dream though, can’t he?

    BTW, My uncle was more than understanding about the buggered up bike— like he knew I was going to do that. He laughed hysterically, when he saw me on crutches, which hurt more than if he had just ripped into me. My body took longer to repair than the bike — I still have a massive scar on my knee, it doesn’t hurt, but my ego does 50 years later.

    My playing partners would laugh — like my uncle did — if I teed this beast up. No thanks. But, if some young buck pulls it, I will have a rye smirk on my face when he does.

    Thanks for the warning Matt.

  2. This is exactly my experience with the last generation of this club. I hit my friends a couple times and the bad strikes I had were just awful and pathetic. Paired with the stout HZRDUS Black shaft this thing is for the best of the best. I instead bought a SIM2 Max 4 iron bent to 19 degrees and it is soooo much easier to hit and swing.

  3. How was this in comparison to the t200 utility build? Definitely rivals in the 17 degree 2 iron space

    • Matt Saternus

      Matthew,

      I’d say they’re roughly equal. At 17 degrees, you need a fair amount of speed and ability to make either one work. Both are easier to hit than a traditional iron, but they’re not a free pass by any means.

      -Matt

  4. Hey Matt,

    I’m thinking of bending this iron 2 degrees weak to fit in my bag as a 3 iron. (4i is 22 degrees). In your opinion, do you think this club would be more manageable? My swing speed isn’t fast or slow. (110-114)

    • Matt Saternus

      Brandon,

      I think adding some loft would be helpful for most players. If you’re hitting the center of the face most of the time, this club could definitely work in that configuration.

      Best,

      Matt

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