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TaylorMade RocketBladez Tour Irons: Editor Review

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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.

Overview

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.

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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.

Performance

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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.

515x500-Tour_Speed-Pocket

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

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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

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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

IMG_3134

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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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

45 Comments

45 Comments

  1. louis

    May 7, 2014 at 5:51 am

    Just purchased these. Played about 6 rounds with them. I have notice I’m losing about 7 to 12 yards with the gap and pitching wedge and the 9 iron. Why Is this?

  2. killerbgolfer

    Nov 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    I just ordered these yesterday. Time will tell if they knock the i20s out of the bag. Can’t wait to play them.

    • killerbgolfer

      Nov 9, 2013 at 11:43 am

      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.

      • Hafid

        Sep 29, 2014 at 6:09 pm

        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

      • Marco

        Oct 1, 2014 at 9:39 am

        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.

  3. 7464

    Oct 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    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!!!

  4. Gazza

    Sep 9, 2013 at 11:30 am

    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’

  5. Lloyd

    Aug 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    These would of been better if they was forged then they could of been probley the No1 iron on the market but there not

    • Geoff

      Oct 25, 2013 at 7:25 am

      If the spelling and grammar were better, then the comment may have some validity.

    • Misunderstood

      May 25, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      What ever Lloyd!~

  6. JB

    Jul 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Taylormade is the Jersey Shore of golf equipment.

  7. Daniel Gibson

    Jul 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    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

  8. Greg Hunter

    Jul 14, 2013 at 12:07 am

    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!

  9. GGWolverine

    Jul 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    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!!

    • Chris

      Jul 13, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      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.

  10. G

    Jul 13, 2013 at 11:31 am

    The Callaway X Hot irons and Mizuno JPX 825 are better.

    • Chris

      Jul 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Very subjective comment. Please offer some facts to support your statement.

    • Tom

      Jul 24, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      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.

  11. Jon

    Jul 12, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    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.

  12. Doug Sevier

    Jul 12, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Man, these irons have my name written all over them. Will have a set as soon as I can save the $$ !!! Can’t wait!

    • Mitch

      Jul 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Well Doug, based on comments noted above, if your name is written all over them, it will soon peel off. No worries.

  13. Rob

    Jul 12, 2013 at 2:37 am

    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

  14. M

    Jul 12, 2013 at 12:49 am

    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.

  15. Rob

    Jul 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    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…

    • Trevor

      Jul 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

      You’re in for a surprise with the AP2’s and paint issues then. The paint is known to peel off of those shortly after unboxing them. I had a set of AP2’s and within weeks the paint was lifting!

      • Billy

        May 20, 2014 at 12:33 pm

        What a bunch of divas. Does the paint help you hit the ball further or straighter?

  16. Ben

    Jul 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Cons:
    stupid name
    ugly styling

  17. Trevor

    Jul 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    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!

  18. mick

    Jul 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    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.

    • Mitch

      Jul 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Gee, based on Mick’s comments, these irons have magical powers. I want them.

  19. John

    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    If they can produce a model that has a ball flight similar to the mb or mc then I’m buying them. And I don’t care for taylormade

  20. Stephan

    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    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?

    • Kc

      Aug 31, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Stephan, thanks for being spot on in your analysis. Finally someone who thinks before they talk

  21. david

    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    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’.

    • Steve

      Jul 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      This. Blind hate for TM like usual. They HAVE to adjust the lofts unless you want to launch your 7 iron higher than your normal PW. Pretty common sense.

  22. J

    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    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.

    • John

      Jul 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      Umm yes, yes he did.

      He specifically stated the loft dictates spin and CG dictates launch.

    • Jeff

      Jul 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      also, he specifically stated that the lofts on THESE irons aren’t strengthened

    • Chris

      Jul 12, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      If you read the article, you would know your comments are completely off base with regard to the Rocketbladez Tour.

      • Mike

        Jul 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm

        No the tour irons are at traditional lofts compared to pretty much any other players club out there. Check any club you want against it. The standard rocketbladez irons are strong lofted, but for reasons other than just to hit it further. Pretty much any other oem is at the same lofts as well. Face it, stronger lofted clubs are here to stay.

    • ray

      Jul 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      reg rocketbladez have strong lofts. the tour editions only have about .5 to 1 degree stronger lofts. read first.

  23. ShadC

    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    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.

  24. Jeff

    Jul 11, 2013 at 11:30 am

    tremendous review and echoes my thoughts exactly. I love these irons

  25. Adam Frank

    Jul 11, 2013 at 11:24 am

    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.

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Review: Honma TW737-Vs Forged Irons

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GolfWRX Member Reviews: TaylorMade 2017 M1 and M2 Irons

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One of the many benefits of being a GolfWRX Forum Member is exclusive access to Giveaways and Testing Threads. For Giveaways — we give away everything from golf clubs to golf balls to GPS units — all it takes is a forum name. Enter any Giveaway, and we select winners randomly. You’re then free to enjoy your prize as you wish.

For Testing Threads, the process a bit more involved. GolfWRX Forum Members sign up to test the latest and greatest products in golf, and then they provide in-depth reviews on the equipment. Being the intelligent golf-equipment users they are, GoflWRX Members are able to provide the most-informed and unbiased reviews on the Internet.

df5745825623a9697f92315cd9d8f1d7

In this Testing Thread, we selected 75 members to test a TaylorMade M1 2017 7-iron and TaylorMade M2 7-iron. Each of the clubs were built with the stock lofts and shafts — M2 2017 (28.5 degrees) with a TaylorMade Reax shaft, and M1 2017 (30.5 degrees) with a True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shaft — and the testers were instructed to post their review of the clubs here.

Below, we’ve selected what we’ve deemed the most in-depth and educated reviews out of the 75 testers. We have edited each of the posts for brevity, clarity and grammar.

Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

Brock9007

To be honest, looking down on the TaylorMade M1 and M2 irons at address, there is really not much difference. I would have to pick one up to see which is which.

The first 10 balls I hit were with M1 and 6/10 felt great, while the other 4 were toe hits, which I felt and the distance reflected that. Kinda what I expected with a club design for lower-handicap players. Distance was about 1/2 longer than my Srixon iron and dispersion was close, as well. I will say they did not feel as good as the Srixon on center hits.

Next 10 (ok, 15) balls were with the M2. Wow, can you say “up, up and away? The ball really popped of the club face, but wasn’t a ballon flight. Waited for the ball to come down and WTH, with the roll out it was 5-8 yards longer than balls hit with M1, and that is with a few toe shots. I did some smooth swings and then very aggressive swings and was a little amazed at this iron. Just like the M1, it does not have the forged feeling and does have a clicky sound (which I hate).

Bottom line: M2 is the longest iron I have ever hit. I love my 545s, but I could see myself playing M2 very easily. Matter of fact, I will be taking this M2 7 iron in my bag and play it more head-to-head against my Srixon 545 on the course.

deathbymuffin

These are both beautiful clubs. What surprised me the most is how much alike the two clubs look at address. I was expecting a chunky topline and significant offset in the M2, but it’s footprint looked almost exactly the same as the M1, outside of the chrome finish on the M2 versus the frosted finish of the M1. The M2 could almost pass as a player’s iron to my eye at address. These clubs both get A’s from me in the looks department.

The M1 felt a tad thicker than most player’s irons I’m used to, but it seemed to come with a bit of added forgiveness too. Well-struck shots felt good, with a nice mid-trajectory and with the workability that I’ve come to expect from a player’s iron. But true to TaylorMade’s claims, the M1 seemed more forgiving than a traditional player’s iron. Had a nice soft feel at impact, mishits didn’t sting and left you with a more playable result. A really nice combination of the better attributes of both player’s and game improvement irons. I’ve been playing with an old set of Tommy Armour blades, but I’ve been recently wanting more forgiveness for when I’m stuck with my B or C swing. Based on the early returns, I could definitely see myself bagging these.

I’m not sure if it’s the shaft, the design of the clubhead, or a combination of both, but the M2 is definitely a different animal than the M1 at impact. This club launches the ball high, arguably ridiculously so. I was hitting Jason Day moonbombs with this bad boy. Didn’t seem to matter what kind of swing I put on it, the ball launched high, flat and dead straight. The club was super forgiving and if not for the insanely high ball flight, I would love to have a set of these for when my swing is out of sorts. I didn’t really try to flight it at all, so I’m not sure what it’s capable of at this point. One other note was that the M2 had a clicky feel at impact. It didn’t bother me since it still felt so sweet… so strange as it sounds, clicky, but smooth and sweet at the same time. I think these clubs will be big winners with the mid-to-high handicap set.

The M1 is a fine iron, but doesn’t really stand out in any way from other irons of its class.

The M2, on the other hand, is an iron on steroids. I’m really starting to love this thing. It’s super forgiving and just goes and goes. According to my laser, flush shots were going 195 yards (my usual blade 5 iron distance) and very high. I can’t help but think golf would be a whole lot easier, particularly longer courses with long par 3s, with a full set of these in my bag.

poppyhillsguy

M1 feels softer than the M2 and I felt the ball flight was more consistent and what I want in an iron. The M1 did have a harsher feeling in my hands than I typically like, but I’m going to credit a lot of that to the range balls.

M2 flies very high. It was a windy afternoon and about 100 degrees. I love the high ball flight on the range, but I have a concern what that ball flight would be like on the course. I like to hit the ball different heights for different shots and I don’t think I could do that confidently with the M2, but I could with the M1. I don’t like the sound of the M2. It sounded “clicky” to me.

Fourpar18

Initially on the range I was scared because the M1 had a regular flex in it, so I took it easy for my initial 10-15 swings with it. Ball SHOT off the face, loud crack (didn’t care for it, but not too bad) and ball just kept rising and rising but didn’t balloon. I thought, “whoa,” that’s not what I expected…did it again…another CRACK and the ball just flew. I set another down and I paid attention to how it looked behind the ball, not much offset for a game improvement and I thought…”I could actually play this club!”  The 5-7 were EASY swings, aimed at a target of 170 yards away (my normal 7 iron distance) and with a EASY swing I was flying it by 20 yards or so. The next 5-10 I really went after it, same CRACK and ball just flew but to my surprise it was a nice draw, harder draw than the first but it was a nice 10-yard draw. This time the balls were landing just short of the 200 yard marker. Damn, 200 yards with a 7 iron! I know they are jacked lofts but it feels good to say “my 7 irons just few 190-200 yards!”

P.S. LOVE the Lamkin UTX grip!

Now, this was interesting, the M2 was quieter then the M1… weird!  Now, there is more carbon fiber added to this one and there is a “Geocoustic” label on the back. I am sure that it has something to do with all that carbon fiber but it does have a better sound. Other than the sound, it played exactly like the M1: long and straight. The REAX shaft felt a little weaker than the True Temper shaft and it flew a little higher but nothing else I could pick up.

noahdavis_7

Finally got out to the range after getting these bad boys in on Friday. My first impression of them is that they look really sharp. The graphics and design really stand out and really give these clubs a cool, modern look.

They were both a little to big IMO, as I am currently bagging Mizuno MP-68s. The M2 isa definite “game improvement iron”, while the M1 was similar in size and shape to my previous irons, Titleist AP1s.

They both really launch it, high and far. Ridiculous for 7 irons. I don’t have access to a launch monitor, but it was about a 20-yard difference between my gamer 7 iron and these (stronger lofts, as well).

The M1 definitely was more suited for my eye, and produced more consistent ball flights. It felt much more smooth and solid as the M2 had a clicky, cheap feel.

The M2 just isn’t for me. I felt like it was launching too high and ballooning, which could be due to the shaft (the M1 had the S300, while the M2 just had a stock “Reax” shaft). The feel off the face of the M2 just turned me off, to be honest.

While I don’t think I’ll be putting either model in play, I can definitely see the appeal for mid-to-high handicaps. Both irons were super forgiving, and they should be a dream to the average weekend golfer who has trouble with ball striking consistently.

golfnut5438

Looks: As expected, I preferred the M1 with less offset, slightly smaller sole and a smoother finish. Less glare looking down on the iron. I must say the M2 did not look as bulky, or have as much offset as I thought it might have.

Feel: This was a close race, probably due to the shafts as much as the heads. The M1 was just a slight bit smoother feeling on solid shots. But the M2 was not bad at all, just not quite as smooth.

Distance and performance: Our range has a slight incline up the length of the range, so specific yardage gains or losses were difficult to measure. Both irons had a higher trajectory than my gamer 7 iron. Neither sole dug onto the turf either. The lofts for both irons are a degree or two stronger than mine, so I would think they probably flew a little further than my gamers. Neither iron flew “too” high, however. Might be a little harder to hit knock down shots, though.

Final thoughts: I had hit both the M1 and M2 irons last year during a fitting day, but did not like either. This year’s model were both better in my eyes. I asked a fellow member at our club to hit both and he felt the M1 was his preferred model, and he is a 20-index player. So coming from both a single digit, and a high double-digit, the M1 won this battle of wills. I will try and see if I can locate both a 5 iron and 9 iron to see if a full set might be a winner for me.

DblEgl

I was surprised that the M2 was the winner in this brief session. It felt better, flew higher, easier to hit and about 1/2 club longer that my gamer Apex CF16. The feel/sound was better than I thought it might be, but really not up to the CF16. I could, however, easily game the M2’s.

Bstein74

Feel: I hit the M2 first, and found it to be very solid when hit on the screws. There was almost no feel off the club face at all. When I mishit it, you knew it was, but it wasn’t harsh at all. Hit the M1 next, and same type of feel when hit solid. Much more harsh when mishit though, but I knew that was coming.

Distance and performance: This is was where I was curious to see how they would play. The M2 went out high in the air, and just kept going forever. Now granted my eyesight isn’t that great anymore, but it looked like I got about 10-15 yards more from the M2 compared to my Wilson D300. The only thing I didn’t like about the M2 was how much I was able to turn it over. Got a lot more hook compared to my D300. Don’t know if that was from the REAX shaft, but would love to find a less spinning shaft to correct that.

The M1 wasn’t a great performer for me. Same height as the M2, but much straighter off the club face. Didn’t get any great distance advantage as compared to my D300. Can’t game a player’s iron anymore, and testing this one just reaffirmed that.

Final thoughts: Was very happy with the distance I gained with the M2 compared to my current gamer. Very good-performing iron for me, and something I would definitely consider changing them out if I could reduce the spin off the face. If you’re looking for more distance, you need to try these out. The M1 just wasn’t for me, but as a player’s iron, I can see it as a great option.

Bobcat271

Like the other testers, I found the M2 to launch the ball much higher and is 10-to-15 yards longer than my Adams XTD forged 7 iron. Of the two 7 irons I prefer the M1. I like the design of the M1 and its visual appearance at address. I feel more confident in trying to work the ball with the M1. The M1 gave me more feedback as to where the club head was in relation to my swing plane. If I had my druthers I would put the M1 in the bag as it stands now. Will continue to test, what a treat to compare the two irons.

myurick2

Once I started making solid contact with a decent shoulder turn, the M2 really came alive in my hands. Towering flat height, for me, and very long. No more clacky hollow feel, just a very mild pleasant sensation… then zoom. Once I started making better swings, back to the M1, which was a very nice iron. Shorter than the M2 (though not short) and a little lower ball flight. Felt nice and substantial without being heavy. Very forgiving on slight mishits.

But the M2 was the star for me. High trajectory and very long. Club felt lively and fun. Frankly, unless a player wanted a lower trajectory, or likes to hit a lot of knock downs or feel shots, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t choose the M2. They are very attractive and a very fun iron. I think folks who say that the M2 feels and/or sounds clicky, clacky or hollow may be mishitting the iron toward the toe. I am not judging — I mishit a lot of shots at first. I agree on toe mishits the iron did not feel great. It almost felt like plastic. The ball still flew pretty well, but it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience. Not painful, just felt very dead. But when hit nearer the center, the iron felt fantastic. Light, springy and very lively. 

hammergolf

They are both good-looking clubs. Not too long heel to toe and toplines were not that distracting. M1 is more what I like to see shape wise, but M2 was not bad at all. Personally, not a fan of seeing the face slots. But I could see how some people may like how they frame the ball. 

Ace2000

M1 

– Has a very odd sound on contact, almost sounds a tad like a fairway wood “ting. Not a fan
– Looks very good at address with the brushed finish
– Most shots I hit with it seemed to fall out of the sky (very likely a lack of spin). Ball flight was much lower than I would have expected (not super low, just not much different than my 7 iron)
– Inconsistent misses. Next to no distance gains vs RocketBladez Tour 7 iron

M2

– Doesn’t look as good at address as the M1. Chrome finish at address is not an issue in even direct sunlight for me
– Feels and sounds quite nice to my ears at impact. Not a classic sound but very good considering what type of club it is
– Ball flight is very strong (comes off hot). Ball stays high in the air for awhile. Very high and lands soft
– 10-12 yards longer on average vs my 7 iron, it even had the horsepower to hang with my 6 iron
– VERY forgiving on thin strikes. Couldn’t believe how a near-top still traveled to nearly the front edge in the air and still went as far as the M1 did on a good strike
– Shaft is too light

Even though I’m a 2-handicap and don’t fit the M2 “mold,” I could see myself playing this club from 4-6 iron (although gapping would be a major issue mixing these with almost anything else) if it had a heavier shaft in it (I can only imagine how far this 4 iron must go… yikes)

M1 = 2.5/5 stars
M2 = 4.5/5 stars

tpeterson

Visual first impressions: The M1 7-iron is visually appealing to me as far as the finish and overall look. Even though it is classified as a player’s iron, it doesn’t seem so tiny that it would be tough to hit. I am not a huge fan of the bright-yellow badging, but I probably could get over it. The iron inspires confidence with its topline and a little bit of offset. The “rubber” piece on the hosel is a little bit funky to me.

I thought the M2 7-iron would look clunkier than it really is. Besides the finish being a little bit different, the difference between the M1 and M2 is actually pretty small. The M2’s topline and sole are a touch wider, but not by much. Not a huge fan of the fluted hosel since it can be seen at address. The M1’s fluting is only on the rear of the club.

I did notice that the sole’s finish did scratch pretty easily. Overall, I thought the M1 and M2 are pretty good looking, but I would definitely give the edge to the M1. I also preferred the stock Lamkin grip on the M1 vs. the ribbed M2 grip.

On course action: They both feel solid. I tried hitting both irons in all different types of on-course situations over a two week period. Both clubs launch the ball high but I would not say they balloon. For me, the M2 was about 10 yards longer and higher than the M1. Compared to my Cleveland irons, they are 1 to 1.5 clubs longer.

M1 loft = 30.5
M2 loft = 28.5
Cleveland TA7 loft = 33.5

I know this accounts for the distance gain but the ball definitely comes off hot compared to my set. I was hoping I would hit the M1 better since I like the appearance better, but that was not the case. The M2 definitely felt better for me and I felt more confident with it in my hands.

Discussion: Read all 75 reviews and the responses in our Testing Thread

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Equipment

Members Choice: The Best Irons of 2017

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To help golfers find the best irons for them in 2017, we enlisted the services of GolfWRX Members, the most knowledgeable golfers on the internet. They not only understand the technology used in the latest golf equipment, but they also test new clubs extensively. Following their detailed experiences and words of wisdom about the latest products is the perfect starting point for anyone interested in purchasing new golf clubs.

To gather their votes and feedback, we as a company first needed to properly sort the irons into categories. We aimed to keep the categories as simple as possible with 2017’s crop of irons, and we broke them down into three general categories:

  • Players Irons: Basically, small-sized irons. These irons have sleek top lines and soles. They place workability and control over distance, and for that reason they’re irons you can expect to see in the bag of a professional golfer.
  • Game-Improvement Irons: Basically, medium-sized irons. This category includes a wide-range of clubs that blend distance, forgiveness, good looks and workability.
  • Super Game-Improvement Irons: Basically, large-sized irons. These irons are juiced with hot faces, wide soles, thick top lines, big offset and a low center of gravity, among other engineering feats, that are often unique to each company.

Note: Because of the abundance of Players Irons currently available, we divided that category into two categories: Players Irons and Exotics Players Irons. The Exotic Players Irons list included players irons from companies such as Epon, Fourteen, Miura, PXG, and Honma, which are not as widely available for testing in the U.S.

Below you can access the full results of our Members Choice 2017: Best Irons lists, as well as feedback about each iron from the GolfWRX Community. We’d like to sincerely thank all the GolfWRX Members who participated in the voting and provided feedback on the irons. We also want to thank those of you who provided feedback on the voting process itself. We assure you that we read and consider everything, and we’re going to continue to improve our process in order to provide the best and most useful information about the latest golf equipment.

Members Choice: The Best Players Irons

Mizuno_JPX_900_Tour_Feat-1021x580

Vote Leader: Mizuno JPX-900 Tour

“WOW! Great mix of buttery feel and forgiveness.”

Overall, the Mizuno JPX-900 Tour irons earned nearly 15 percent of votes on the Players iron category, giving them top billing for players irons. One GolfWRX member said he was “weak in the knees from first look at the satin finish and compact size,” and that the “feel is excellent, and there’s just enough forgiveness.” Another said the JPX-900 Tour irons are the “best irons out there right now in terms of blending feel, forgiveness, and the ability to shape shots.”

Full List: The Best Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: The Best Exotic Players Irons

PXG0311t-600x377

Vote Leader: PXG 0311T

“I can’t say I have ever hit anything that feels as good as the PXG.”

With more 21 percent of votes for the Best Exotics Players Irons of 2017, PXG’s 0311T irons were described by GolfWRX members as “a great looking club,” and that they “felt unbelievable.” When comparing the irons to Titleist’s 716 MB irons, one member said, “The fact that you can barely tell if it has or doesn’t have more offset than the MB 7 iron just shows how little it has.”

Full List: The Best Exotic Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: Best Game-Improvement Irons

CallawayApexMembersChoice

Vote Leader: Callaway Apex CF ’16 

“Apex CF is simply the most explosive, best feeling iron I’ve ever hit in this category.”

Acquiring nearly 20 percent of votes of all models in the Best Game-Improvement Iron category, GolfWRX Members described the Callaway Apex CF ’16 irons as “simply the most explosive,” and that they “perform very well on center hits and almost as good on mishits.”

Full List: The Best Game-Improvement Irons of 2017

The Best Super Game-Improvement Irons 

PingGironsWRX

Vote Leader: Ping G

“The Ping G takes what Ping has done for years and added in increased ball speed, improved feel and much better looks.”

An iron that “will appeal even to Ping haters.” GolfWRX Members described the Ping G as “stupid easy to hit,” providing a “high and straight ball flight,” and “an eye opener.” The irons also accumulated more than 22 percent of the total votes in the category.

Full List: The Best Super Game-Improvement irons of 2017

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