Some readers will know the name Harry Taylor, the majority though, might not. Rest assured that in the world of club design the name is one that has been involved with some legendary clubs of all types. If you want to know more about the man behind the brand, be sure to take a look at the review we did on the HT 305 wedges a couple of years ago (https://www.thehackersparadise.com/harry-taylor-wedges-review/). Given my experience doing that review on the HT 305’s, when I heard I would be receiving another Harry Taylor club to review, I was curious, partly because it’s nice to see them still keeping on, but also because I found out it would be a 60° wedge from the HT 405 “Dimple Series”.
Yes. Dimple Series.
If you have been on the forum you probably saw the preview thread, and the subsequent reactions. No doubt, this is a polarizing club both visually by profile and design. The shape itself is not new, we have seen a couple of companies bring to market very similar designs, one of them a major manufacturer, so we know there is merit to it. The premise is simple, and sound. A wider sole with a larger undercut allows for more forgiveness and less propensity for hitting fat shots, which is where a lot of golfer’s struggle from all over the course, not just the bunkers. We know for a fact that designs like this work, the issue though comes with them being so “non-traditional” that getting them into the hands of ego driven golfers is sometimes tricky, but once in the hands once will see they do precisely what they are designed to do.
Visually, beyond the obvious dimples on the sole, the HT 405 is a look right in line with what I saw when I reviewed the 305’s. The satin finish is clean and classy, it was a smart move going this route as opposed to anything polished. At address the wedge is surprisingly tame, and I say that in a good way. Yes, the overall size of the face is a bit larger and blends with the rounded leading edge, but there is nothing at address that gives away the size of the sole, at least in the 60° that I got in for review. The ability to balance the oversized sole design with a thin topline and a traditional look offset wise deserves to be pointed out here, the actual club may not fit your tastes, but it’s a well thought out package. As for that dimpled sole, I’m going to come back to that here in just a bit.
It is natural for some people to assume that a non “major” brand wedge might come up short in the feel department by being harsh or ‘clicky’, but the HT 405 never gave any feedback like that. Given the size of the club and where the weight is placed, I anticipated a more solid feel/sound at impact and that is exactly what I got. While impact sensations didn’t change across the face, I believe that is pretty expected in this kind of wedge design.
I spent time with the 60° HT 405 Dimple Wedge primarily on the course and did all data collection there, including data collection with the Foresight GC2. I hit the HT 405 from every lie imaginable, though the data that follows is focused primarily on full swings. With so much weight and mass placed where it is in the design, I had expectations of an extremely high ball flight on full swings that might border on ballooning. However, as the data following this section will show, that wasn’t the case. Instead peak heights in relation to spin numbers and descent angles made for a flight that worked to its apex. With the spin numbers hitting in excess of 10,000 RPM on some shots, the action into the greens was fun to see in a super wide sole and forgiving wedge. I had a lot of shots where the string was pulled, and the shot backed up 5-10 feet.
Versatility wise, we know that designs like these work wonders out of thick and sandy lies, and the HT 405 was no different for me. Out of the sand, it was a hilarious amount of fun because even on plugged lies the sole lets you get as aggressive as you could ever want to be with the shot. Likewise, in the secondary cut with the ball sitting down I didn’t have any issues getting the sole down and through to pop the ball out with a surprising amount of accuracy and consistency. Greenside however, what you see with this wedge is what you get. Face manipulation just isn’t there, which for some who demand maximum versatility around the greens could be an issue, but in my opinion, those aren’t going to be the target audience here anyways, at least not in the higher lofts. Again, the HT 405 did for me exactly what the design is supposed to, performance doesn’t lie.
Of course, I would be remiss to not talk about the “Dimple Sole”. Visually, it’s what sets the HT 405 apart from any other wide soled wedge out there. No doubt most will agree they have never seen anything like it, but they will also ask, why? Well, according to Harry Taylor, it is all about reducing the friction through the turf that the wider surface area of the sole creates. In fact, the Harry Taylor website goes so far as to call it a “chunk proof dimpled sole design”. Bold claim to be sure, however, the issue is there is no true way to test it besides personal opinions on it. For me, the sole didn’t provide any notable difference through the different lies and situations, but it also didn’t leave any negative thoughts. Even with performance attributes in question, it does create one heck of a talking point, so well done there Harry Taylor.
Options are good, and outside the box options are a lot of fun. Harry Taylor has got something here with the HT 405 Dimple Sole that will cause a reaction, and for a small company that is a win no matter what. That said, it also performs as you would expect and that is another win for the company. Priced at $149.00, which is admittedly a bit steep for a small brand, the company has been quite good at running sales often ($60.00 off at the time of this review) and making the thoughts of trying one out more tempting. It is good to see the brand continuing to evolve and try to branch out and get into the eyes of the consumers, and I believe the decision to run some commercials on the Golf Channel will definitely help with that.
For more on the man behind the brand as well as all of the other Harry Taylor offerings, check out their site at www.harrytaylorgolf.com.