Pros: Clean and classy at address, with no visible bulk behind the top lines. These launch higher and faster than most irons their size, and they’re one of the best at delivering forgiveness on mis-hits.

Cons: Sound and feel are subjective, but the RocketBladez Tour irons are certainly a departure from what we’re used to from TaylorMade. Some golfers will like the louder sound, others will not.

Bottom Line: Making a long, forgiving set of irons that appeal to tour players is no small task, but TaylorMade made it happen with the RocketBladez Tours. They’re not for everybody, particularly high-ball hitters, but the increased ball speed and launch angle is incredible for an iron their size.


The RocketBladez Tour irons were designed to do the impossible — convince professional golfers that they should give up their muscleback irons for a set that was:

  1. Cast.
  2. Had a deep undercut cavity-back design.
  3. Went substantially farther and/or higher than their current set of irons.

If those changes weren’t big enough for TaylorMade’s tour players, the company then had to explain to them how a slot in the sole of the 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 iron would make the clubs fly more consistent distances on mis-hits.

Many of TaylorMade’s staff players did convert to the new irons: Sergio Garcia, Sean O’Hair, Justin Rose, Justin Leonard, Reteif Goosen, Y.E. Yang, Matt Bettencourt and others are all currently using RocketBladez Tour irons. So why isn’t TaylorMade shouting from the rooftops about all the tour players it has converted to an iron that on paper is the antithesis of a tour iron? Well, despite their success in the hands of a few players, the RocketBladez Tour irons have been very hit and miss.

Here’s one example — after Dustin Johnson won the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions with the RocketBladez Tour irons, he immediately switched back to TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB irons. And several other TaylorMade staffers such as 2013 PGA Tour winners Brian Gay, D.A. Points and Martin Laird have either switched away from the RocketBladez Tour irons or haven’t bagged them at all.


A Mixed bag: Justin Rose uses RocketBladez Tour long irons (3-6), but prefers the look and feel of TaylorMade’s Tour Preferred MB irons for his short irons (7-PW). Click here to see what else is in Rose’s bag. 

But Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s product creation manager for irons, wedges and putters, said he’s not surprised by the reluctancy of certain players to use the new irons.

“Think back to the original metal woods,” Bazzel said. “Any time you have something like this, where there’s a significant performance break through, it takes a certain amount of time for players to get used to it.”

One of the most criticized parts of the RocketBladez Tour irons actually has nothing to do with them. Many spec-conscious golfers balked at the lofts of TaylorMade’s non-Tour RocketBladez irons, which are sold with a stock 6 iron loft of 26.5 degrees. That number is between 1 to 4 degrees stronger than a lot of 6 irons on the market, which can equate to about one full club of distance on its own.

2013 RocketBladez Specs

Because of the perceived similarities between the RocketBladez and the RocketBladez Tour irons, the Tours have gotten a reputation for having strong lofts even though they’re somewhat traditionally lofted — the 6 iron is 29.5 degrees.

2013 RocketBladez Tour Specs

What makes the RocketBladez loft dilemma even stranger is this — members of our custom fitter panel have reported that for every set of RocketBladez Tour irons they’ve sold, they’ve literally sold dozens of standard RocketBladez irons, which just happen to be one of the best selling irons in golf. That proves what we’ve known all along — golfers might complain about strong lofts on irons, but if they can hit shots farther and straighter with them, they’ll be quick to find their credit cards.

Farther and straighter is exactly what the RocketBladez and RocketBladez Tour irons do. So why is it that the standard RocketBladez irons have been flying off the shelves, while a much smaller percentage of professional golfers and serious amateurs are gaming the RocketBladez Tours? The answer is simple — it’s an issue of height.

[youtube id=”QpmrytE3gLI” width=”620″ height=”360″]

High-to-mid-handicap golfers, the target audience for the standard RocketBladez irons, almost always need to hit their irons higher because it gives them more carry. And the standard RocketBladez are one of the highest-flying, longest-flying game-improvement irons on the market.

Low-handicap golfers, however, the ones that TaylorMade targeted with the RocketBladez Tours, often don’t need or want any more distance or height from their irons. Sometimes, they actually want their irons to fly lower. So TaylorMade’s decision to create an iron that allows for a steeper angle of descent into greens isn’t that attractive to them.

But that doesn’t mean that RocketBladez are bad irons. In fact, they’re really good, and for golfers who would like more height on their iron shots, they might be the best irons they’ve ever hit.



Other than height, one of the biggest concerns serious golfers have about RocketBladez Tour irons is their disposition to a “flyer,” which happens when a golfer catches a shot slightly above the sweet spot on the club face. The higher contact point gives golfers almost all of the speed of a center hit, but it drastically reduces spin, which causes iron shots to fly much farther than intended.

TaylorMade engineers said they fixed the hot spot problem by making the sweet spot of the RocketBladez Tour irons much larger. According to Sean Toulon, executive vice president for TaylorMade, the sweet spot of a RocketBladez Tour iron is about the size of a quarter, while the sweet spot of TaylorMade’s most recent muscle back iron is closer to the size of a pea.

So why would a tour player choose to play a shorter-flying iron with the sweet spot the size of a pea when he or she could have a longer-flying iron with a sweet spot the size of a quarter? According to Toulon, tour players like blade irons despite their small sweet spots because they’re “slow everywhere.” So even though one-piece forged irons don’t fly as far as multi-material irons, they tend to fly around the same distance on center hits as on slight mis-hits. For better players who make contact near the sweet spot nearly every time, the improved distance control means more birdie chances.

As a former blade player, I was skeptical that an iron with a high coefficient of restitution (COR) — TaylorMade claims the RocketBladez and RocketBladez Tour irons both have a COR of 0.819, which is near the legal limit 0.83 — could be as consistent as the one-piece forgings I’d gamed my whole life. But the speed slot technology that goes into the RocketBladez Tour irons makes sense — by adding a slot to the sole of the iron, the entire structure of the iron becomes more flexible. That not only increases ball speed on good shots; it also increases speed on mis-hits.


According to TaylorMade engineers, the added speed on mis-hits would be most apparent on shots hit low on the face, as that’s where the majority of flexibility was added. And that’s a good thing for better players, as most of their mis-hits are the result of shots struck too low on their club face.

When I first received my RocketBladez Tour irons several months ago, I tested them against my gamer irons on our in-house FlightScope X2 launch monitor. With every one, I saw a higher launch angle and faster ball speed. I didn’t really care that I was hitting the short irons farther, but I was ecstatic to see the increased distance from the long irons. Like most golfers, the new technologies in my 15-degree fairway wood and 18-degree hybrid created a larger gap between those clubs and my longest iron.

I still wasn’t convinced that I should be playing a cast iron with a slot in it, however, so when I took a trip to Modern Golf, a custom fitting facility in Toronto that is on our “Best of” panel, I warned them that I’d be pestering them for feedback on a set of RocketBladez Tour irons.

During the iron fitting, Modern Golf fitter Ian Fraser described me as a “pincher” of the ball, someone who tends to hit down steeply and launches the ball lower than most golfers in my swing speed range. That’s why he said the RocketBladez Tour irons were so good for me — I needed the extra height. During testing on their Trackman, I continued to see the same results I saw on FlightScope — shots with the RocketBladez Tours were flying higher and faster than shots with my one-piece forgings. But the irons did need a little bit of tweaking to be fully optimized for me, as they will for most golfers.

Tuning carry distances


Above: The RocketBladez Tour 7 iron is the last iron in the set to have a slot in the sole. According to TaylorMade engineers, the value of the speed pocket diminishes with shorter irons because of the added loft. 

According to TaylorMade engineers, fitting RocketBladez Tour irons is similar to fitting a driver. The center of gravity position in the head controls the launch, while the loft controls the spin rate. I wish I could say that getting the RocketBladez Tour irons right for me was as simple as strengthening or weakening all the lofts 1 degree, but it wasn’t. To maximize the carry distance of the irons, Fraser bent the 3 iron 0.5 degrees weak, kept the 4 iron at 22 degrees, bent the 5 iron 0.25 degrees strong, bent the 6 iron 0.5 degrees strong, bent the 7 iron 0.25 degrees weak, left the 8 and 9 iron at 38 and 42 degrees, and bent the pitching wedge 2 degrees strong.

Those changes gave me a steady increase of about 9 yards through the set. The practical application is that I have a set of irons that covers a wider range of yardages, and on the long end I’ve been able to hit long irons instead of fairway woods and hybrids into par 5’s and short par 3’s.

Forgiveness and playability

More impressive than the distances the RocketBladez Tour irons fly on good strikes is the distance they fly on mis-hits. I won’t say that flyers don’t exist, particularly with the long irons, because I’ve hit shots that went a little farther than I thought was possible for the given situation. But those shots are few and far between. Overall, I’ve found the hotter faces of the irons to be unbelievably forgiving on slight mishits, and better than any players iron I’ve ever tested on poor strikes.

I’ve hit several shots with the RocketBladez Tour irons that I thought had no chance of getting to the green, but they found their way there anyway. The opportunity to be putting instead of chipping was the biggest selling point for me.

Looks and Feel


Above: Because the short irons (8-AW) do not have a speed slot, they can be cast from a softer-feeling metal — 431 stainless steel. That gives them a quieter sound at impact, which many golfers will prefer to the long irons, which are cast from 17-4 stainless steel. 

Few golfers will fault the RocketBladez Tour irons for their looks. All they will see when they look down at the irons are player’s sized top line and blade length, a round toe and a small amount of offset. There’s absolutely no spillover of the back cavity at address, even in the long irons, which creates a classic look that’s very similar to TaylorMade’s Tour Preferred MC irons — exactly what TaylorMade engineers said they were shooting for when they initially drew up the RocketBladez Tours.

Just about every golfer, however, will have something to say about the way the irons feel — good or bad. There’s a distinct difference between the sound of the long irons — the 3 through 7 irons that are cast from 17-4 stainless steel, and the short irons — the 8 iron through AW that are cast from 431 stainless steel.

I wouldn’t say that the RocketBladez Tours feel harsh, but they are substantially louder than other players irons. It’s much like using a Scotty Cameron Newport putter for a long time, and then switching to a Newport Beach model with a sound slot. Some golfers think the slot makes the putter sound awful, while other love the sound and feel. The short irons are also “clickier” than most irons in the RocketBladez Tour class, but not intolerably so.

The good news about their construction? RocketBladez Tour irons are extremely hard to bend, so once golfers get their lofts and lie angles dialed in, they won’t have to worry about them moving that much.

The Takeaway


Above: The deep undercut of a RocketBladez Tour 4 iron. The undercut, combined with several weight-saving measures such as a smaller hosel, thinner faces and a more compact design allowed TaylorMade engineers to position the CG of the irons lower and deeper in the head for a higher launch. 

Like it or not, irons like the RocketBladez Tour are the future of iron design. One day, golfers will look back on the one-piece forged irons that they played for decades in the same way they now look at wooden drivers — they’ll wonder how they ever played with them.

There’s several things TaylorMade can do and probably will do to make the RocketBladez Tour irons better in future generations:

  • They could feel softer.
  • They could be more compact in size.
  • A lower-trajectory model could be released.

But those suggestions shouldn’t imply that there’s much wrong with the current version, and that they won’t help golfers like me hit higher, farther and more consistent iron shots.

The RocketBladez Tour irons haven’t been the revolutionary product that TaylorMade wanted them to be when they were released, but they’re yet another shot to the heart for one-piece forged irons.

If you’re a low-ball hitter, blades should already be dead to you. Give these a shot.

The RocketBladez Tour irons are currently selling for about $699, and come stock with KBS Tour steel shafts in R, S and X flexes. 

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    • So after one range session…. I want some more. They look a lot more “bladez” like than the i20s. The feel is a more solid “thud” than the hollower “click” that I would apply to the i20s. The good shots do fly further. The range had crappy balls and it was windy out, so distance consistency was tough to judge. I’m hoping to go out for a round on Monday and get a better idea of what I can do with these irons. Looks and feel are great. TM shipped my custom set out quickly and the price was very good.

      • March 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm 5 of 5 people found the flinowlog review helpful Loved it, March 18, 2012Bya0J. Ralls (Texas) a0a0I am a below average player. I was having a lot of mis hits with my old club. I am swinging the same way but my shots are much more consistent with better elevation and distance. My golfing buddies were amazed at my new shot making with this club. My golfing buddy was so impressed he was asking me lots of questions about the club. I am left handed so he was not able to try my club. I love this 5 wood and will probably buy a 3 wood too. Taylor Made also makes a 3 iron hybred the length of a regular iron. I have one of these too and the hit is fantastic.Help other customers find the most helpful reviewsa0 Was this review helpful to you?a0 | a0Comment Reply

      • ITA, just me, they have this fixation on Rob. As much as I like hrinaeg things like this from other actors, it is not natural, meaning, this should be their moment, they should not constantly be compared to anyone else even Rob. The journalists, if you can call them journalists, have no creativity in their questions anymore. It is rare to hear someone offer something other than comparisons.

  1. Great write up and I guess feel is very subjective because I love the way the long and short irons feel…I am a KBS Tour guy and the combination of the KBS and the RBZT head…perfect! Great job TM!!!

  2. Love these clubs, very easy to hit; I hit down steep in the ball, so these are perfect for me. Also like the traditional lofts, although they do fly as far as the ‘new standard’

  3. I don’t get people slating the lofts, read what was written, if they,’re so strong why are they getting the ball up Higher. Buy a set bend them to your ” traditional” lofts and then throw them in the bin. I don’t like tm marketing but I understand the lofts, ppl should get off the back of tm just for the sake of it because their following sheep, test them

  4. I bought a set of these for my 13 year old and he hit them well. But, he was brainwashed into getting a set of AP2’s, so I sold them and bought a set of AP’s/ I noticed and he did also that the TM’s were better but makes all kinds of excuses why the AP2’s are better. I hit them both and preferred the TM’s. But I’m not 13!

  5. The lofts on the tour are stronger in the long irons vs my Bstone J40 DPC’s and Mizzy MP-53’s. I’ve hit the tour and I think the feel sucks. Nothing beats the buttery feel of forged!!

    • The RBZ Tours are the first cast club I’ve played in many years. When the RBZ Tour irons are hit in the center of the face, they feel great. When hit thin or off the toe, they feel like a cast head. I like the feel.

    • I’ve hit the X Hots and owned the 825s. I wanted an iron that looked like an AP2 at address and performed like the 825s. The TM BLDZ Tours are not quite as long as the 825s, but close and far more consistent. And they look great. The X Hots provide a lower trajectory. They aren’t quite as long as the TMs and the top line is thicker –a good looking club, but not as nice (to my eye) as the TM and not as forgiving on mishits.

      TM really got it right with these sticks. I had no plans to buy them, but was encouraged to give them a try and never looked back after I did. I figured I would end up with Ping (I20s) or AP2s. At the end of the day, absolutley no comparison for me. And I keep liking them more.

  6. i was skeptical when they first came out and was never a fan of TM irons. When getting fit for new irons i tried a variety of irons from various manufacturers at the range. THe rocketbladz tour was consistent shot after shot. I tried blind hitting the clubs (not paying attention to the brand i was hitting) so i wouldnt be biased one way or another and the bladz continued to win me over. I bought them the next day and have been hitting more greens than ever. It took a little while to adjust to new longer distances and the slightly different feel of a new club but now im on point.

  7. I bought a set and paint came off. I thought I got a fake set but it was just poor quality. Luckily the new set don’t have issue. They do hit the ball too high for me in short irons but are great in long irons

  8. I hear a lot of argument about the strong loft thing. I bought a set.
    Here is my take home. My new RBladez 7 rion flies the height of my old 9 iron and as far as my old 6 iron.

    Enough said. Dont believe me. Go try them. They are legit.

  9. I bought a set in feb, had them replaced in April because the paint was coming off the back cavity, took that new set back in may because the paint was coming off the back cavity. The paint is coming off the back cavity in the photos on here.

    Come on TM, this should be sorted by now…

    I now have AP2 in the bag. Performance of the RBZ tours was great, sound was weird and the chosen KBS is well suited to the head. but the paint thing, £529 for peeling paint .. Not impressed.

    Customer service was great though, can’t fault them…

  10. I’ve went all over the place in my fitting session, I never left with irons, I decided to come back in a week after thinking about suggestions. I left and couldn’t stop thinking about the Rocketbladez Tour, I went back for one final session and tweaking and sure enough I left with them.

    Few months later and I love them more than the day I got them, it seems the honeymoon phase that I’ve experienced in the past doesn’t go away with these, they are deadly accurate for me and an all around joy to hit!

    This review posted here is bang on!

  11. I made the switch from my old Ap2’s to the RocketBladez tours and have not regreted it yet. Over all ever iron feels great and let me tell you these irons are pin seakers. I attack the flags and have no worry of the ball not going where i want. These irons have produced more birdies and eagles so far since i had them than my Ap2’s did in the 3 years i had them. The only down side to these irons is you hit way more greens with them so expect your putt count to go up on your rounds from hitting so many greens in regulation.

  12. The reason they have stronger lofts is that the design improvements mean you have a higher launch angle. Therefore they can make the loft stronger while still keeping the launch angle the same as a traditional 7 iron. Would you prefer a high ballooning flight?

  13. but if the 7 iron launches higher than expected, then strengthening the loft to restore a typical 7 iron launch angle makes perfect sense, no? then the distance is ‘free’.

  14. Nothing about the article addresses why Taylormade felt the need to increase the lofts. There is no need for it… You hit the ball 20 yards longer with a 7 iron? That’s cause it’s a 6 iron. I’m not sold on technology that claims distance gains but then uses strong lofts to increase distance. This is the bottom line issue with Taylormade for alot of people. The perception of deception. Wether it’s true or not, and Im not saying it is or it isn’t true, the perception is that Taylormade crafted a 7 iron…. Stamped an 8 on it and then sold it as ” longer ” than your 8 iron.

  15. I recently switched from Titleist 710 MB’s with tour issue Dynamic Gold X-100’s to the RocketBladez Tours with KBS Tour stiff shafts. I’m getting a higher ball flight, but the higher ball speed is resulting in greater overall distance! The difference in the long irons is especially striking. The results on mishits is shocking! Shots hit lower on the face tend to go about the same distance as dead center hits. Toe shots see only minimal distance loss. I was very concerned about overall feel, especially small bump and run chip shots around the green (feel being my main reason for staying with forged muscle-backs over the years). I have been pleasantly surprised, the overall feel and results have been great! Traditional look at address, greater height, carry and overall distance, and unbelievable forgiveness add up to a club that has positively impacted my game! I absolutely love the clubs!

    NOTE: I am low single digit handicapper that played college golf.

  16. Great article on the new rocketbladez tour iron. I recently went to the TaylorMade performance lab in Georgia at Reynolds Plantation. Cory the Master Club Fitter fit me with a set of these knowing that I had a very high ball flight. After a couple months using the clubs with the proper shafts my ball flight has actually come down and my scores are much more consistent. The biggest thing that I have noticed is better results with my mishits. I definitley would recommend these irons and the custom fitting experience that TaylorMade offers.