Unlike with many of its introductions, TaylorMade's newest technology already had wins before it was introduced. The company today unveiled its UDI (as in "Ultimate Driving Iron"), a day after Justin Rose completed his second victory in as many weeks with the 2-iron version of the new club in his bag.
UDI is a hollow iron design that features a thin Carpenter 455 steel face for more ballspeed potential. The sole, wider than the company's Tour Preferred MC and CB irons, features a slot designed to further enhance the way the face flexes at impact for improved ballspeed. The hollow construction helps the center of gravity move lower than in a typical cavity back iron.
The compact design is preferred by tour players as they look for an ideal back-up driving club in the usually windy conditions found at the Open Championship. According to TaylorMade's Todd Chew, tour product specialist, it's expected to find its way into the bags of perhaps a dozen players this week at Royal Liverpool.
"You've got a club with the benefits of a hybrid in the shape of an iron," Chew said. "So you've got hybrid performance, but it also allows guys to flight it down, something a lot of them feel like they can't do as well with hybrids."
UDI is available in 1-, 2- and 3-iron lofts (16, 18, 20 degrees), although Chew said several players have requested clubs with 4-iron lofts, as well. "We're learning a lot from players about how much further up the set they might be willing to go with a design like this," he said.
In stores today, UDI will retail for $200.