By Mike Stachura
Tommy Armour 845 Driver
The Tommy Armour 845 lineup of woods and irons for 2020 may get your attention for its complex use of multiple materials, but its real mission is thankfully much more simple: fight your slice with your woods, get the ball airborne with your irons. Its main lever to promote that kind of improvement in your game through the bag is repositioning the center of gravity.
Building on the “845” name that references the brand’s defining iron of the late 1980s (an iron whose design incidentally also focused on CG location), the 2020 Tommy Armour 845 lineup will feature a new driver, fairway wood, hybrid to go with three irons targeting three different player levels: the 845 Forged, the 845 and the 845 Max.
Throughout the wood lineup the story revolves around a CG that favours the heel side in an effort to help a player more avoid an open face at impact. The designs of the 845 driver, fairway wood and hybrid use a combination of carbon composite materials in the crown and internal weighting to give the clubs heel bias.
“We know at our price point 90 percent of those golfers are going to slice the ball so if we can focus our technology on giving those players all the help they can get to square the club face at impact,” said David Michaels, senior product manager. Michaels points specifically to the way two carbon composite “halves” wrap around the crown and skirt within the wood’s metal frame. “With the dual crown, we were able to reposition the center of gravity deeper and more heel side than we were in last year’s Atomic line.”
The result is what’s called the “CG angle,” which can be seen in how much the club head naturally angles closed when the club is balanced on a flat surface with the head hanging over the edge. It’s similar to toe hang on a putter. Michaels said the CG angle on the Tommy Armour 845 driver, fairway woods and hybrids is 20-30 percent greater than its predecessors, the TA1 lineup from 2018 and the Atomic woods from last year.
The 845 driver uses the two carbon composite wraparound pieces to save enough weight to reposition seven percent of the head’s total weight. It also features a variable thickness forged titanium face and an adjustable hosel sleeve that accommodates plus/minus two degrees of loft.
In addition to the deep, heel-biased CG location and dual carbon composite crown feature, the 845 fairway woods and hybrids both feature a maraging Carpenter 450 steel variable thickness face.
The 845 iron lineup starts with two levels of game-improvement focused entries, the 845 and 845 Max. Both focus on lowering the CG to facilitate higher launching shots through the use of a hollow-body construction. The 845 uses heavy tungsten low within the body to provide a lower CG and more off-center hit forgiveness while maintaining a conventional game-improvement head size. The 845 Max meanwhile lowers the CG even further through a wider sole that puts more weight low and reduces friction on the fat shots that are all too common for higher handicappers.
Both irons are hollow designs that utilise an L-shaped face insert where the face wraps around the leading edge and into the sole. The design aims to produce better face flex, especially with impacts low on the face. They also feature high-density tungsten powder in the sole to increase moment of inertia for more stability on off-center hits. Both sets start with strong-lofted 5-irons (22.5 degrees on the 845, 23.5 degrees on the 845 Max) with the more super game improvement 845 Max generally featuring a degree higher loft to help slower players launch the ball higher.
Joining the two game-improvement-focused models might be the jewel of the Tommy Armour 845 iron line, the 845 Forged. The first true players distance irons the company has introduced, the 845 Forged utilises a three-piece hollow construction that starts with a S20C carbon steel body and hosel, adds a high-strength, faster-flexing, softer-feeling HT1770 maraging steel L-shaped face plate and balances the design with a meaty 40-gram internal slug of tungsten braised into the frame low and toward the toe for stability and higher launch. That allows the compact frame to provide improved off-center hit performance through a MOI higher than might be found on a similar sized one-piece construction.
“This 845 name in the irons is really where the legacy for the brand comes into play so what we wanted to do here is to make sure we have an iron for every player type,” Michaels said, noting that the 845 Forged will be a limited offering, starting with 500 sets only.