TaylorMade SpeedBlade

We test the best game improvement irons designed to help you get better

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 25 Nov 2013

Brand: TaylorMade
Game improvement iron: SpeedBlade
RRP: £599 Best price: £399
Loft: 26.5-degree Lie: 62.5-degree
Length: 37.63” Swing Weight: D1.5
Shaft: SpeedBlade 85 Grip: SpeedBlade Rubber

Summary: TaylorMade claims its SpeedBlade iron launches higher, flies further and feels better than any other game improvement iron in the brand's history. The Speed Pocket, which also features on TaylorMade’s RocketBladez irons, has been widened and lengthened and is now in the shape of a handle bar in the 3- to 7-irons. This gives golfers more clubface area toward the toe and heel that promotes a high launch angle, strong ball flight and better feel.

Appearance: Placing clubhead down at address and the most striking difference from RocketBladez to SpeedBlade is that the innovative Speed Pocket in the 3- to 7-iron is now not such a 'little thing' anymore. It's a little wider, a little length-ier and in the shape of a handle bar. This radical change provides much greater clubface area toward the toe and heel, and allows the face to flex more on shots struck in those areas. The most noticeable structural change, however, is how TaylorMade has chopped off the chunky toe section on the rear part of the iron. This has allowed the brand to place more weight lower and deeper in the head to give the SpeedBlade the lowest centre of gravity in TaylorMade's history. Perhaps a little too much offset than ideal but it's a handsome club with its new two-tone, satin-nickel-chrome, non-glare finish with dark smoke plating. In terms of topline, something we always like noting when it comes to a GI iron, it's a little larger on the long irons in comparison to the RocketBladez. 4.5

Feel: We found the revamped slot was providing us with a little better launch angle than the RocketBladez of earlier this year, and more importantly, better feel. A new polymer material has been installed in the Speed Pocket this time around and that appears to dub down any vibration. The combination of the new structure, dampening mechanism and SpeedPocket filler makes the SpeedBlade iron noticeably less harsh at address, turning the RocketBladez’s clank into more of a SpeedBlade smoosh. While we loved the 'blade-like' feel of the RocketBladez earlier in 2013, it was far too loud. Yes, the SpeedBlade is still a little vociferous but not anywhere near as deafening as those gun shots! 9.5

Performance: A real explosion off the face as balls spring off into the sky, thanks to the new Speed Pocket, when caught out the middle. One of the longest irons in this test and also one of the most forgiving with a very pleasing offline dispersion pattern. We found they're also very workable for a game improvement cast iron. Not quite as workable as the Callaway Apex but a left-to-right fade was working wonders. 9.5

Andy

Carry

Spin rate

Launch angle

TaylorMade

171

4,400

15.9

Charlie

Carry

Spin rate

Launch angle

TaylorMade

169

5,600

18.8

Verdict: TaylorMade has designed its best game improvement iron-to-date, in our book. We love the fresh, new appearance, the dubbed-down sound at impact is a welcome bonus and the widened and lengthened Speed Pocket achieves a much higher ball flight and faster ball speed on those off-centre hits. Impressive. 23.5

Next up, Wilson Staff D-100