- Callaway has announced the JAWS Raw wedge, the replacement for the MD5.
- It features a raw face design for improved spin.
- Available in 17 loft and bounce combinations.
- Retail price is $179.99.
If you’ve been waiting for Callaway to launch the MD6 wedge, here you go, kinda. The Callaway JAWS Raw is the company’s new flagship … mainstream … whatever you want to call it … family of wedges. The JAWS Raw is the replacement for the MD5 because, apparently, Mack Daddy has run its course.
It’s true that correlation is not causation but it’s worth pointing out that the Mack Daddy name traces back to Phil Mickelson with whom the company has parted ways. The two may or may not be related but, either way, for Callaway, JAWS Raw gives them a clean slate, a new beginning—that sort of thing.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the details
Callaway JAWS Raw (Face)
Perhaps the most notable change from MD5 is the addition of a raw face. If you’re at all familiar with TaylorMade’s MG wedge offerings, no explanation will be necessary. For the uninitiated, the raw face approach means that the head of the wedge is fully finished except for the hitting area. Your takeaway is that the face is going to rust.
Some will misconstrue the design as support for the argument that rust adds spin. It still doesn’t. All of this “raw” stuff boils down to the reality that finishes are applied after grooves are milled. While some companies account for that in their groove specifications, finish material often alters the groove geometry. That means a plated wedge may not always perform as designed.
With the JAWS Raw wedge, Callaway has chosen not to use a full-face grooves. That said, the ungrooved toe section is plated with a more muted finish which should reduce glare significantly. Best of both worlds, perhaps.
Callaway JAWS Raw – The Most Aggressive Groove in Golf
When Callaway rolled out the MD5, they called it a “spin machine” while touting the most aggressive groove in golf. That’s a bold statement meant to convey the idea that MD5, and now JAWS Raw, produce plenty of spin.
On the list of things that won’t be on the test at the end: the JAWS Raw offers the same 37-degree groove wall angle from the MD5. There’s no reason to get lost in the numbers. The point is that, for Callaway, it’s a specification that strikes the right balance of aggression and USGA conformity.
Groove-in-groove designs (aka, texture between the primary grooves) should be familiar now as you’d be hard-pressed to find a manufacturer that didn’t offer some kind of groove between its grooves. With the MD5, Callaway’s microfeatures fan parallel to the primary groove. With the JAWS Raw wedge, the grooves between the grooves have been offset.
The new microfeature design coupled with the raw face may explain why Callaway is seeing 30-percent higher spin rates on both full and pitch shots in wet conditions compared to MD5.
Most wedge manufacturers are starting to pay attention to (and design for) performance in wet conditions. Ultimately, that’s a good thing for all of us.
Callaway JAWS Raw Wedge – Weight-Balanced Design
The idea of a weight-balanced design speaks to a number of enhancements Callaway has made with the objective of improving the flight and spin characteristics of the raw face wedge.
First, Callaway has increased the length of the hosels in the sand and lob wedge lofts. This is fairly common practice in wedge design circles. The idea is to raise the center of gravity which promotes a lower trajectory with more spin.
If designers don’t account for added weight in the hosel, you end up with a center of gravity that’s been pulled towards the heel. So to pull the CG back to the middle of the JAWS Raw wedge, Callaway added tungsten to one of the ports in sand wedge lofts and two of the ports in lob wedge lofts. The result is a heel-to-toe CG location that’s basically identical to MD5.
The tungsten weights also serve to put some additional mass directly behind the typical hitting area for open-face shots. I guess we can call that an added bonus.
The final piece of the weight-balanced design story is the weight pad in the high toe section of the Callaway JAWS Raw wedge. What might go unnoticed as nothing more than a cosmetic detail, a bit of extra mass (more mass still in the lob wedge) has been added to the high toe section of the wedge. Again, the goal is to raise the center of gravity to promote a flatter, spinnier ball flight.
Like everything else in golf, preferences change over time and so club shapes evolve with them. The bottom line is that today’s players tastes differ from those of the past (even if that past was only three years ago) and so Callaway has evolved the shape of the JAWs Raw wedge to better suit the eye of the current crop of golfers.
None of this is over the top. We’re talking about relatively subtle changes but the discerning eye will notice a straighter leading edge and the subtle refinement of the par area (where the hosel transitions to the face).
Callaway JAWS Raw Wedge – New Z Grind
Billed as the “hero grind” within the lineup, the new Z grind can be thought of as a less diggy C grind.
While the versatility of the C grind made it a popular choice, both on Tour and in the market, for steeper players it had a tendency to dig. The Z grind seeks to replicate, perhaps enhance, the playability of the C grind while adding more forgiveness.
To be clear, this isn’t forgiveness in the typical MOI sense. We’re talking about forgiveness that comes from the sole grind. Think of it as having a wider margin for error when delivering the club through the turf.
The Z grind features a 33-degree leading edge chamfer (also not on the test). Akin to a pre-worn leading edge, Callaway calls it a skid plate. The midsole has eight degrees of bounce while the trailing edge has a negative bounce. It all comes together in a low-bounce design that keeps the leading edge relatively close to the ground in nearly every playing position while the bigger, wider sole helps eliminate digging.
Bounce and Grind Options
Looking at the entirety of the Callaway JAWS Raw grind lineup:
- The Z grind is what Callaway calls “a shot maker’s low-bounce wedge.” It’s available in lob wedge lofts (58 and 60 degrees only).
- The S grind is a versatile mid-bounce option that spans the full range of lofts. It should work well for a large swath of golfers.
- The X grind is the higher-bounce sand and lob wedge option. It’s kind of the anti-Z grind and should work well for golfers who struggle with the low-bounce option. Like the Z grind, the X grind is available in lob wedge lofts only.
- The W grind is the higher-bounce alternative to the S srind. It offers the widest sole in the JAWS Raw lineup. It offers more forgiveness for steeper attack-angle golfers or those playing in softer conditions.
In total, the Callaway JAWS Raw lineup offers four grinds and a total of 17 loft and bounce combinations. It’s not the most robust lineup on the market but it’s better than most. Swapping the C for Z was done for performance reasons. Callaway dropped the low-bounce W to avoid confusion in the market and the T grind with eight degrees of bounce that was offered with the MD5 Raw is just gone (at least for now).
The Callaway JAWS Raw wedge is offered in two finishes: chrome and unplated Raw Black Plasma. The latter is a QPQ (quench, polish, quench) finish that will wear over time. That said, in the grand scheme of things, it should prove significantly more durable than PVD.
Through Callaway Customs, you can customize your JAWS Raw wedges. There are nine customizable zones where you can choose variety of paint-fill options (13 colors to choose from) as well 15 emojis, 16 medallion colors and eight stamping patterns.
Callaway JAWS Raw Wedges – Stock Options, Price and Availability
The stock steel shaft for the Callaway JAWS Raw wedge is the True Temper Dynamic Gold Spinner (115 grams). The graphite option is the Project X Catalyst (80 grams). The women’s stock option is the UST Recoil F1.
The stock grip is a Lamkin UTx Charcoal (men) and Lamkin Women’s Comfort.
Retail price for the Callaway JAWS Raw wedge is $179.99 in steel and $189.99 in graphite. Pre-sale begins on July 8 with full retail availability beginning July 22.
For more information, visit Callawaygolf.com.
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