There is often debate when buying a second-hand TaylorMade wedge about whether to extend and match your iron set, or go down the route of a specialist wedge for increased consistency and feel. TaylorMade has tried to solve this debate by becoming one of the first manufacturers to introduce a blade style to accompany their irons sets (SW). They believed, with technology improvements, they could match the benefits in forgiveness a deep cavity gives you in a bladed wedge giving the user a complete iron offering.
When designing their wedges, TaylorMade focuses on the grind and trying to find a solution for both playability and ease of production. Their first solution was the ATV wedge (Named after the All-Terrain Vehicle) which was a one size fits all wedge. Whether you wanted to open the face or keep it square at address, the ATV would sit beautifully behind the ball. The Milled Grind Hi-Toe wedge still features this grind.
The TaylorMade ATV wedge addresses the ease of use however the wedge was still ground by hand and therefore inconsistencies excited, however minute, from wedge to wedge. The introduction of the Milled Grind wedges, which are machine finished rather than by hand allowed them to create precise sole geometry and identical wedges every time. These deliver precision where it matters most for optimal turf interaction and consistent performance.
Away from the grind, TaylorMade has also focused on the face and groove. When the groove rule changed in circa '08, the designers at TaylorMade decide that keeping their grooves in tiptop condition was paramount. They created a wedge with an interchangeable face. As spin dropped off, the user could add a new faceplate to bring new life to their favourite wedge. Technology soon caught up, and spin was back (and surpassing) the levels before the rule change, so the replacements faces in wedges were quickly discontinued.
Like the majority of their product, TaylorMade wedges are in the bags of the world's best players. Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, and John Rahm all have a selection of TaylorMade's wedges in their bags on the PGA Tour. It was feedback from these players that lead to the development of TaylorMade's Milled Grind Hi-Toe wedge. Input from the PGA Tour requested a higher and more centred centre of gravity for lower launch and more spin. To deliver this, engineers had to draw the toe up and away from the hosel. At the same time, this allowed for full-face scoring lines to ensure consistent ball contact out of rough. Although not the purest wedge aesthetically the Hi-Toe (and wedges like it) are becoming more and more common in the bags of TaylorMade's staffers.