TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI Ultimate Driving Iron Review

TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI Ultimate Driving Iron (12)

50 Words or Less

The TaylorMade Tour Preferred Ultimate Driving Iron lives up to its name by combining clean, traditional looks with surprising forgiveness and playability.

Introduction

Though many people thought that last summer’s driving iron trend was just a passing fad, 2014 is proving that this segment of the golf club market is here to stay.  Among the new contenders in this market is the TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI or Ultimate Driving Iron.  As part of TaylorMade’s re-energized Tour Preferred line, the UDI offers better players an alternative to hybrids and fairway woods and allows for course-specific set make ups.

TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI Ultimate Driving Iron (9)

Looks

While most driving irons end up being really bulky to promote forgiveness and high launch, TaylorMade stayed true to the Tour Preferred moniker and made a club that better players will love to look at.  At address, there is very minimal offset, the top line is fairly thin, and there isn’t a big chunk of the sole sticking out behind the top line.  In the bag, the look is equally clean with straightforward TaylorMade and Tour Preferred branding on the back of the club.

Bottom line: the TaylorMade UDI is one of the two best-looking driving irons currently available, and it’s arguable that it owns the #1 spot.

TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI Ultimate Driving Iron (5)

Sound & Feel

At impact, the TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI produces a really crisp, solid sound on flushed shots.  You can get a sound and feel pretty close to that if you catch it a little thin, but any other misses will produce a much duller sound, more of a “thud.”  In my opinion, this is exactly the kind of clear feedback that a players club should provide.

TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI Ultimate Driving Iron (13)

Performance

If you watched the third round of the PGA Championship, you saw Jason Day pound his TaylorMade UDI 1-iron 290 yards.  While I can’t claim that I hit my UDI that far, it’s clear to me that there’s some meaningful technology inside this club.   How do I know?  Because driving irons and I have a  long, star crossed relationship: I love them, but can’t keep one in the bag.  Why?  Superhuman delofting and very mortal club head speed combine to create short carry distances and unplayable trajectory.  With the UDI, however, I saw my launch angle climb 2°-3° higher than expected while maintaining low spin.  Translation: the UDI launched the ball higher than almost any other driving iron, but maintained a strong, piercing ball flight.  I don’t expect that the 1-iron will stay in the bag, but, for the first time, a 20° iron is a real possibility (the UDI is available in 16°, 18°, and 20°).

There are two things that I think contribute to the strong performance of the UDI: an excellent shaft choice, the KBS C-Taper Lite, and the Speed Pocket.  I think the C-Taper Lite is a perfect choice for the type of player who’s going to bag the UDI because they probably play a 120-130 gram iron shaft and they’re not going to want a lightweight shaft in their driving iron.  That said, this is a club that they want to hit a long way, so shaving a little weight is a good thing.  At approximately 110 grams but with great stability, the C-Taper Lite is a perfect compromise.

The Speed Pocket is a technology that I was already familiar with from my review of the SpeedBlades irons.  In those irons, I saw an improvement in ball speed, higher launch, and excellent forgiveness, especially on thin shots.  All those characteristics were present in the UDI as well.  “Even God can’t hit a one iron, “ according to the punchline to one of golf’s oldest jokes.  Clearly God’s 1-iron didn’t have the Speed Pocket.

TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI Ultimate Driving Iron (11)

Conclusion

I often say that there are few, if any, bad golf clubs anymore.  The TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI is a lot more than “not bad,” it’s damn near perfect.  From the knockout aesthetics to a perfect shaft choice to the Speed Pocket, this is exactly the club that better players have been looking to add to their bag.  TaylorMade may have been fashionably late to the driving iron party, but they’ve arrived in style.

Watch the Video

The following two tabs change content below.

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.

Latest posts by Matt Saternus (see all)

9 Comments

  1. i was wondering how far you hit the 16 degree relative to say your 3 or 4 iron. I.m a +1 handicap 44 year old. In college I hit a one iron off the tee alot. I,m looking for something to play off the tee on my home course which is relatively short and tight. hybrids and woods tend to go too high for my taste. i want a more driving shot. I hit my 4 iron about 195-200

    thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Paul,

      My 4-iron is about the same as yours for carry, and I carried the 1-iron a bit longer, about 210, but it got more roll.

      Hope that helps.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Hi their just a quick question i saw rick shields talking to a tailor-made rep in his tour van and he was saying they you can bend the head if need be just wondering if this is true its because i play 2 degrees up right on my irons .

    • Matt Saternus

      Mark,

      I haven’t bent one personally, but there’s nothing that I know of that would indicate these couldn’t be bent. Hope that helps.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. Im looking for more consistency of the tee, without sufficing length. My driver if on can be a beautiful thing, the problem is its far an few between. Im solid and accurate with my irons so Im wondering if this may be the club for me. My club head speed is around 105 an im around a 15 hcp.

  4. I hit my 5 iron 200, my (Fourteen) driving 3 iron 235, the udi 1 iron is my 255-260+ club. This is Wisconsin and the fairways are not rockhard.

  5. Frans Belderbos

    Hi Matt,
    Could you please tell me what the difference is between the Tour Preferred UDI 1 iron and the RSi UDI 1 iron?
    I like playing with irons a lot more than fairway woods (or hybrids).
    My (driver) swing speed is app. 90 mph so I would need a regular shaft.
    Is the standard KBS C Taper Lite shaft the good one or do I need a custom build club?

    • Matt Saternus

      Frans,

      I haven’t tested the RSi UDI, so I can’t speak to the differences.
      As for whether the C Taper Lite is a good shaft for you, the only way to find that out is to test it.

      Best,

      Matt

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *