Game improvement iron: RocketBladez
RRP: £549 Best price: £529
Loft: 26.5-degree Lie: 62.5-degree Length: 37.63” Swing Weight: D3.5
Shaft: RocketFuel 85 Steel Grip: RBladez 47.5g
Summary: RocketBladez incorporates a 2mm wide slot called a speed pocket on the sole (in its 3- to 7-irons), providing the golfer with greater distance and higher launch on shots. The speed pocket, placed low in the iron, produces a trampoline-like effect to help get the ball airborne, not only faster but further. In conjunction with the revamped speed pocket - a feature successfully launched in the RBZ fairways and hybrids last year - the RocketBladez has an improved Inverted Cone design that allows for a slightly bigger clubface area, as well as the elimination of hot spots for longer and straighter shots with tighter dispersion.
Appearance: This is the best-looking iron TaylorMade has made. Unlike the RBZ irons of 2012, whose bright green design was just far too loud and off-putting, the silent black and gold racing lines of the RocketBladez, mixed in with a satin-like finish, is all very appealing. You don’t need to worry about getting any turf or sand stuck inside since the speed pocket slot has been filled in with a specially formulated polyurethane developed by 3M. As a word of a caution to the high handicapper or beginner, RocketBladez has minimum offset and may not be the way forward given the soles aren’t as wide as other game-improvement irons in this test. 8.5 (out of 10)
Feel: When you strike the RocketBladez, you have to quickly remind yourself you’re not hitting a player iron - despite the misleading ‘Bladez’ terminology. But ball striking feels every bit like a blade. Hitting this iron out the centre feels rewarding but the sound off the face was incredibly loud. So loud, in fact, the rest of the range turned to Bay 18. 8
Performance: The RocketBladez presents high-towering, straight ball flights and consistent distance thanks to the 17.5g of weight strategically distributed low in the iron. Even shots struck out the heel would go relatively straight without a drastic loss in distance. The advanced, ultra-thin face design of the RocketBladez also contributes to distance gains. While the lofts have been slightly cranked (26.5-degrees is more akin to a 5-iron) results presented a narrow V dispersion pattern and a 169-yard average - an approximate seven-yard distance gain. 9
RocketBladez will offer you significant distance gains, great feel and steeper descent angles than ever before. The speed pocket will unlock and make more flexible the lower part of the face so thinned shots will have more speed and launch higher than previous TaylorMade irons. You will, however, need to re-educate yourself when clubbing yardages and be prepared to stomach that sound at impact. 25.5 (out of 30)
Click this link for a first look at the new TaylorMade SpeedBlade irons.