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TaylorMade doubles down with SpeedBlade

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TaylorMade’s CEO, Mark King, said the company has changed the dynamics of the iron business. The company’s Executive Vice President of Product Development, Sean Toulon, said it’s the biggest advancement in golf equipment since woods became “metal woods.”

Say what you want about TaylorMade’s speed pocket, a slot in the sole of its irons that the company claims makes “all other irons inferior.” But there’s one thing you can’t say: that TaylorMade executives aren’t betting the farm on it.

Click here read our tech story on the SpeedBlade irons.

TaylorMade’s newest iron, SpeedBlade, was announced Monday night at the BMW Championship in an event that felt more like an iPhone launch than a golf equipment event. In attendance were the usual golf equipment writers, but also veteran PGA Tour scribes, who would have likely taken the night off had it been any other golf equipment company’s event. But with PGA Tour superstars Sergio Garcia, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose in attendance, the SpeedBlade event slipped past the realm of golf equipment and into that of golf culture.

[youtube id=”_k9unWck_wY” width=”620″ height=”360″]

Maybe that’s why King, Toulon and iron guru Brian Bazzel spent little time on head-to-head comparisons between the RocketBladez and SpeedBlade irons. Instead, TaylorMade executives chose to discuss what Toulon called the “mind-blowing,” “myth-busting” performance of the speed pocket itself.

In a round table, Garcia, Rose, Johnson and Day discussed how TaylorMade’s previous iron model, RocketBladez, had changed their attitude toward technology in irons. Garcia, who was the first golfer to win with TaylorMade’s RocketBladez Tour irons, talked about how their larger sweet spot nullified slight mishits, helping him hit shots closer to the pin more consistently.

SpeedBlade Round Table

Rose discussed the process he went through of individually testing each RocketBladez Tour long iron in the spring of 2013. He started with the 3 iron, which impressed him enough to put that club in the bag. Then he went on to the 4 iron, the 5 iron and finally the 6 iron.

“I didn’t want to change,” Rose said. “Because I was hitting it really good [with my old clubs].”

Justin Rose SpeedBladez

Justin Rose compared a SpeedBlade 4 iron to the TaylorMade MB Forged 4 iron he used in early 2013. The results? SpeedBlade flew noticeably higher and as much as 20 yards farther.

But Rose said the speed pocket in his RocketBladez Tour irons allows him to hit higher, more consistent long-iron shots, like the towering 4 iron he hit into the 72nd hole of the U.S. Open at Merion that sealed his first major championship victory.

It’s Johnson’s and Day’s experiences with the clubs that are more typical of most Tour players, however. Johnson put RocketBladez Tour irons in play in the first tournament of the 2013 PGA Tour season, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He went on to win by four shots, but then benched the clubs for the rest of the season.

Day used a strong-lofted RocketBladez Tour 2 iron in both the U.S. Open and British Open, ripping 1 iron-like shots in excess of 300 yards at Merion and Muirfield. He said that the slotted long iron allowed him to do what similarly lofted hybrids simply couldn’t, keep the ball under the wind. But his runner-up finish at the U.S. Open and T32 finish at the British weren’t enough to convince him to keep the club in the bag. Like Johnson, he was intrigued, but not ready for an iron makeover.

Sergio Garcia SpeedBlade

All four Tour stars spent the evening in Lake Forest, Ill., demonstrating just how game-changing the SpeedBlade irons can be. Garcia hit a SpeedBlade 7 iron more than 200 yards. Rose hit a SpeedBlade 4 iron nearly 256 yards, while Johnson crushed one 271 yards and Day hit a SpeedBlade 3 iron 280 yards. And it was no tomfoolery. According to Bazzel, the SpeedBlade irons were built to the same specifications as their current irons.

The fact remains, however, that there’s almost no chance that any of the four superstars will put a SpeedBlade iron in their bag until TaylorMade releases a smaller, shorter-flying version.

Dustin Johnson SpeedBlade

Above: Dustin Johnson celebrates his 271-yard shot with a 4 iron, which bested the drive of former Chicago Bears defensive end Richard Dent.

Yes, the SpeedBlade irons are more compact than their predecessors, RocketBladez. They also fly higher, are more forgiving, better looking, better feeling and more consistent on mishits. But golfers like Garcia, Rose, Johnson and Day simply don’t trust an iron that flies two-to-three clubs farther than the forged blades they grew up playing.

It’s not that the SpeedBlade irons are worse than the irons they’re playing. According to Bazzel, the SpeedBlade irons are the most technically advanced model TaylorMade has ever produced. They’re just different.

But different is good. Different is what changed golfers from woods made of wood to ones made from metal, and from wound golf balls to solid-core models. It’s also what gets average golfers out of bed early on weekends, hoping that today’s round might be different.

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With the SpeedBlade irons, TaylorMade’s executives proved to the golf world that they’re committed to distance irons for the foreseeable future. They’re convinced they can change golfers’ minds, and in turn change their games.

Not everyone will agree with them, of course, but no drastic change has even been without skeptics. Often, the kind of exceptional criticism hurled at a product like RocketBladez and SpeedBlade irons can mean something else — that a company is on to something.

Click here to see what GolfWRX members are saying about the SpeedBlade irons in the forum.

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121 Comments

121 Comments

  1. Henny Bogan

    Oct 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Taylor made is not bad since they replaced my driver head that blew out a hole in it. Happy they stand by their products. With that in mind, I preferred the R11 to the R11s they sent me since it sounded better and felt better. I’m still playing my buttery soft Hogan apex edge pro irons. I am a bogey golfer (85-92) broke 80 once with a 78 but the feel of hitting the sweet spot is more important for me than where the ball ends up. Sounds crazy, I know. But I just love the real feel of a pro v or b330 solid in the middle. In fact my next clubs I would prefer a little smaller head just to force me to concentrate a bit more.

    • Longpar5

      Aug 23, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      What, in the world, does that have to do with this article. This is why golf forums full of hackers get so tiresome…People commenting on themselves and their set up and recommending something totally different than what the article/original post was about.

  2. OVER THE TOP GOLF

    Oct 4, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I will never give up my Ping Eye2s or my forged steel Zaap putter. I also only play old school Maxfli A10s which are pretty much extinct now but I managed to hoard about 100 dozen of ’em. I laugh when I talk to 30 handicap golfers who won’t pay $15 for a lesson but will drop a grand every year on new sticks.

  3. reggie jaggers

    Oct 2, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Strange to say the least, it seems to me that every club, be it iron or driver is “pushing the PGA’s limits, if that’s true then how can this iron possibly be any longer than the Rocket blades? it’s pure bull. Every club they come out with is supposedly longer but still their under the limits, explain that to me? it’s marketing BS

    • Anthony Maccioli

      Oct 3, 2013 at 1:14 am

      And sadly people still buy the “latest and greatest”.

  4. Keith

    Oct 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Looks like a winner.

  5. carp

    Sep 21, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    HYPE ALERT! I found on the Golfblogger’s site that Wilson had irons in the late 70s called Reflex. They had a slot very similar to these.

    http://www.golfblogger.com/index.php/golf/comments/wilson_reflex_irons_had_a_slot_in_1978/

    If these had really been that great…well, do the math.

  6. Pete

    Sep 20, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I absolutely despise taylormade I have two taylormade clubs in my bag a R11 driver set to 9 degrees of loft with adila rip phenom red eye alpha x stiff shaft and there old white smoke putter my other clubs are birdgestone j38 3-pw and i have ping I15 tour stiff 3w and 5w with a mix of cleveland reg 588 wedges and sometimes i use my titleist sm4 but to get to the point I hit my driver on average about 280 carry so i can hit it around 300 with good roll ” im only 16″ but to get to the point my girlfriend who plays on the AJGA tour went to sea island fitting center and got fitted for all new taylormade gear the R1 2.0rbz rocketblades the whole works she was also using bridgestone clubs before this 6 months later she absolutely despises these clubs there GAME IMPROVEMENT they have no feel forged irons with feel is where you need to be these game improvement irons do nothing there for hacks and for hype nothing more

    • spazo

      Sep 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      the period key is what you need

      it’s located between the space bar and the enter key
      use it.

      • t120

        Oct 5, 2013 at 10:35 pm

        I rather liked the egocentric ramblings of a ready-for-the-pga poster with TMAG gear he hates and no actual point, or punctuation. And no, ALL CAPS, isn’t punctuation, just annoying.

        I would also challenge him to buy a comma. Wait, nevermind, I’ve got a few lying around you can borrow.

        ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  7. Doug

    Sep 17, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Any input on JPX EZ forged irons? The lofts are crazy long and makes me suspicious on how accurate they may be.

  8. Doug

    Sep 17, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Yes! A 200 yrd iron sounds like a sandtrap to me?

  9. Tyler

    Sep 17, 2013 at 11:10 am

    I wonder how “EXCITED” Dustin, Sergio, and the other pro’s were to be there!

  10. Shane

    Sep 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I laugh when I read, “TaylorMade is simply strengthening the lofts of their irons.”

    UPDATE: Every club manufacturer is doing this; Mizuno; Titleist; TaylorMade. Look at the specs.

    That particular argument is getting old.

    FYI, I play a Scotty putter, Vokey wedges, TaylorMade R9 TP irons, an RBZ 3-wood and a Titleist 910D2 driver, so I’m not basing my post on an exclusive love for TMaG products – just stating something that so many others seem to have missed.

    • Kc

      Sep 26, 2013 at 11:25 pm

      Speedblade has the same lofts as other company’s clubs (same as my callaway diablo forged irons). I currently play rocketbladez tours, which have weaker lofts than speedblade or rocketbladez regular ( pw-47.5 loft). They fly higher, go farther and land softer. I can score better with these clubs than previous clubs and isn’t that the point in new iron technology? I’m really hoping the new speedblade will improve on rocketbladez tours. I’m having trouble with the long clubs, 4-6i. These speedblade look sweet and the reviews online sound promising. Can’t wait.

      • Anthony Maccioli

        Oct 3, 2013 at 1:12 am

        Do you see the problem with that logic?Despite the whole idea of having the long irons be easier to hit you still have trouble hitting them. Then how are the flying higher, going father, and landing softer?… how does it make sense to go out and basically buy the same irons and get the same results?

        • Kc

          Oct 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm

          I didn’t plan on getting the speedblade in place of my rocketbladez tours. I said the technology in these newer TM irons have improved my ball striking and lowered my scores. Demo the tours or speedblades and see if you hit them better than your current clubs. Btw, next year TM will release forged irons, probably an update of the forged models from a coupl years ago. Will these new forged offerings included the speed pocket? We’ll see.

    • David T

      Apr 14, 2014 at 12:03 am

      I think everybody is missing the point here. What realy matters is who buys the beer at the 19th. My 24 year old EYE 2 + BECU’s have provided me with more than my share over the years. Yes, these new clubs are very nice but at the end of the day it’s not how but “how many”.

  11. Lee

    Sep 12, 2013 at 2:56 am

    The irons are so good the Pro’s say whilst thinking why do they keep making me take my blades out of the bag for a few days! More Tosh from TM I don’t think even their marketing machine believes this latest installment.

  12. Sagamore

    Sep 11, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    How much for a set of irons? Assuming 4 thru pitch…
    When Rocketbladez came out, they were about $800.

  13. Stanley

    Sep 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    TM create new clubs constantly they are still trying to make ones as good as Titleist. Even the Pros driver heads are completely different than the rack or TP stuff. Real golfers can stick with the real gear.

  14. Trygve Ekern

    Sep 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    The reality is a bit of everything that we have heard… Yes… Taylor made makes some very nice products, of which I bag several myself, yes… They are shameless whores for coming out with new models every few months… But… In their defense they have done the market research that tells them people will keep buying the latest version of things… Capitalism pure and simple, contant releases may come back to bite them, but for now people seem to be eating this s*** up!?

    • David D Banks

      Sep 11, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      I play 1999 Callaway Hawkeyes and I think their as good if not better than anything out there

  15. Caleb

    Sep 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    So they come out with technology a year later that is that much more of an improvement? Sounds just like apple….going one small step at a time with their so called “new technology.” Rippin peoples heads off

  16. Shankerton

    Sep 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    What happens when I cake them with mud after 6 chilli dips in #1 fairway?

  17. jontyrees

    Sep 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    So much outrage over a new set of irons! TM likes to have a new product on the mkt, with associated hype, at all times. That doesn’t mean you have to ditch the rocketbladez you bought a yr ago to buy these. It means that the guy who is in the mkt to replace the clubs he bought 5yrs ago looks at articles on new clubs and sees the newest TMs, and possibly buys them. I fail to see why so many people have a problem with that. They make good clubs, and they always have something fresh on the rack. Sounds like a solid business model to me.

    • Shane

      Sep 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Finally, a rational post.

      It’s terrific business. Since when does a smart business model justify anger, hatred, etc.?

      And let’s not forget that TaylorMade is owned by Adidas – a global sports brand. I’m willing to bet that their business marketing folks know what they’re doing.

  18. stoneydukes

    Sep 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    What about RocketSpeed?!!

  19. Joda

    Sep 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I was entertained enough to read all the comments – thanks guys. Here’s my 2¢… I played the Callaway RAZR irons since they came out. I just upgraded to the RBZ irons (not the rocketbladz) and have found I not only hit them farther but straighter. I’m a 6 handicap. I do believe the technology is getting better but my RBZ’s are already outdated by what 3-4 models? It is nice to find someone on Craigslist to buy my old sets at a high price and find Dick’s or Sports Authority coupons to buy the clearanced new sets at such a cheap price. So the best thing about new irons every few months is that TM (or other companies) clear out the older models and I get a new set every two years for almost nothing 🙂

  20. Chris

    Sep 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Isn’t SpeedBlade simply a color update to match the SLDR?

  21. Ola

    Sep 11, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I dont get these rants. I am a 12 hcp but short hitter (150 yds w 7 iron) i use ping g25. With rocketbladez that i tried last week i get 160 yards, AND same or even higher trajectory. AND freakin straght. Lofts shafts lenghts who cares?? Ill be approacing greens w one club less wich will amount to one club better targeting. Mizuno blades make me cey, but they are not for my lousy swing speed. And dont tell me to practice, ill take you out on chipping any day

    • chowchow

      Sep 11, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      try out the new Mizuno JPX Forged irons that are coming out or the non forged. They are a more forgiving club than the 825 pros. The new Mizuno stuff will be on the shelves any day now. My ordr came in today. Heading out back to hit some balls with the H-4 – MP-54’s and The EZ 825’s. The black heads I like. H-4’s you can see thru the set the muscle area changes thru the set. Mizuno has some winners once again.

      Why do all you guys throw nut fits when TM releases a new club. There are lots or idiots out there just like you guys snieveling like 8 year old school girls on the play ground fighting over Barbie. It must work.. I sell lots of their products. Companies don’t do things unless there is a market their.

      HOW MANY OF YOU HONESTLY CAN BREAK A 100 and GOLF MORE THAN TWICE A WEEK? NGF says this is the norm. Twice a month and can’t break a 100. Less than 1% are single digit.

      Remember be honest(no lying & counting all your stokes). after all it is a gentle mans game. so all you say

  22. Philip

    Sep 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Lets fault Taylormade for attempting to make profits. They are the Apple of golf. Prior to Taylormade’s recent marketing, all other companies fit to a uniform process. Taylormade is creating buzz and hype to a somewhat boring sport (to outsiders). While you guys are bashing them for selling their products, they are on the way to the bank with your friend’s money.

  23. Scott

    Sep 11, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Lol @ the golf snobs in here.

    If you don’t like a brand ignore their adds and don’t buy their gear.

  24. Alex

    Sep 11, 2013 at 5:32 am

    As somebody who works in Golf retail, you guys have to understand whose buying golf clubs these days. 90% of people I fit do not understand the basic components of a golf swing let alone differences in equipment. All they see us that one club is going slightly further than the rest, and its most likely the newest model in the store (because tmag release new sticks every fortnight). Tmag aren’t fussed whether or not low handicap golfers get frustrated with there frequent releases.

  25. Richard

    Sep 11, 2013 at 4:52 am

    I think Taylor Made gives the consumer choice – which I believe is a good thing

    I hit the Rocketbladez irons when they came out – I didn’t get on with them, so I purchased a set of Cobra AMP forged irons, which I think are incredible irons. They are long and soft. Give me a set of forged cavity back irons any day of the week.

  26. NG

    Sep 11, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Cannot believe the posts on here comparing Speedblade irons top player forged type irons…are you serious? of course your not going to like them…i’m sure there will be a tour model to appeal. I remember everyone saying the same things last year about Rocketblades and guess what TMaG sold a bunch of those too! Don’t give up your day jobs people!

  27. Chock

    Sep 11, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Some call it a SLINGblade…….. Hehehehehe

  28. SN

    Sep 10, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    I like to buy new clubs.
    Every time I buy one, it reminds me of my swing flaws.
    and it makes me go out and practice…

  29. Gregory

    Sep 10, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I hit my 7i 190. I play Mizuno MP 53 +1″ project x 6.5. I’m 6’3″ 240.

  30. Jake

    Sep 10, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    I think I’m just going to wait till next month to get the SpeedBlade 2.0 at the same time i pick up my Iphone 5s(c) in blue so they can match………………. Not! Fail…..wait for it….Fail 2.0!!!!!!

  31. pooch

    Sep 10, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    The only thing that makes the ball go further is “Club Head Speed”

    • III

      Sep 10, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Well, TM would like to think that the CT and the COR is maxed out to the limits with these latest clubs

  32. WM

    Sep 10, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Wait for it next spring we will see Speed Bladzi-er.

  33. Weekendwillie

    Sep 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    How is this different than any other “toy” someone buys? I hate TMAG stuff but I’m pretty sure they do their research to know what sells and gets people excited. Any time I play, there are r1s and rbzs galore so it’s working. people like new things so whether its new clubs , TV, a new phone ( think about that for a second), a new ATV, snowmobile(people upgrade yearly to this crap, so you really need 50 more HOrse power) , a new compound bow( do you really need to go from 300 ft per second to 310?) it’s all what you like and want to spend your money on. The nice thing is I am %100 positive that a new club will marginally improve my game.. maybe..but if I like it and can wait 6 months after its release, eBay is wonderful and it’s a pretty inexpensive hobby in the grand scheme of things .

  34. Blanco

    Sep 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    This is getting really, REALLY old.

    • Canadian Golf Pro

      Sep 11, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      I have no problem with companies introducing new products, the bottom line is those companies have to make money and to do that they need to innovate. What I don’t like is the distance claims they make. I never hit the RBZ Stage 2 any farther than i hit my X-Hot or my old launcher titanium….I tested the rocketbladez and did not hit the 5 iron any farther than my R11 5 iron or PING s57

      • sleeper

        Sep 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm

        Completely agree. This is just silly. I took the rocketbladez “bucket challenge” and they failed. Hit my current irons just as far.

        By their own standards, I think Taylormade is slowing down. I expected them to have replaced the “speed pocket” with something just as ineffective by now.

        Side note: When did GolfWRX start doing advertorials? Taylormade’s credibility is gone, but I’d like to think this site tries to be objective.

      • Argentinian Golfer

        Oct 3, 2013 at 9:55 am

        Please, not compare the loft of a Ping S 57 with any TM from TM Burner 1.0.
        TM are 2 (two) degrees stronger than any Ping and Titleist irons.
        Ping i15 7 iron: Loft 33.
        TM speed, blade, bla bla bla 7 iron: Loft 31.
        Yeah …. the champion of the distance …. with less loft!

  35. Roger

    Sep 10, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Cool Product.
    Yes i have tried the Mizuno Fli Hi.
    Yes i had a Ping ISI 2 iron back in the day.
    Looking forward to buying a 3 or 4 SpeedBlade used around xmas
    when they are one model old.
    Marketing WORKS.
    Distance Sells.
    WRX’rs are say the top 5 to 8 % critics of the buying public.
    It is the other 92 to 95% the Marketers target.
    Have a Happy Day.

  36. mike

    Sep 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I dont understand why you think this is bad marketing. Its great marketing, but potentially poor business strategy. If you look at golf club sales, they tend to sell high volume toward the first month or two of a products release and then taper off quick. So instead of having 1 set of irons sell for the entire year, they are increasing their lineup to have 2 sales bumps for the year. The marketing of their products generate the hype and interest. But sooner or later, they will oversaturate the golfing population and it could bite them in the a**.

    • LB

      Sep 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      You won’t believe how unsaturated the market is, though.

  37. yo!

    Sep 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    You guys aren’t going to be playing this upcoming year with last year’s equipment and be behind the times, are you?

  38. Billy

    Sep 10, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    What a Joke!! TM is the worst.

  39. Young

    Sep 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    no thank you
    150 with 7 iron is perfect for me

  40. michael

    Sep 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    chunky irons dont look like blades to me …

    • Joel

      Sep 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      I agree, they are playing fast and loose with the term blade…

  41. Swoosh

    Sep 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Funny to listen to comments because EVERY golf company pulls these same tricks. Titleist 913s are the same exact clubs as the 910s but nobody gets mad at them.

    • Joel

      Sep 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      The difference is the 910’s were good…and the 913’s are good.
      Meanwhile, the rocketbladez were terrible…and these look like about the same.

    • paul

      Sep 10, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Im glad they are the same. someone stole my titleist 710 cb out of my bad one day. now i can order a 712 and it still fits my set 🙂

    • Baba Booey

      Sep 10, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      except Titleist does this every 2 years. Taylormade is every 2 weeks

  42. RH

    Sep 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Is it just me or does TMAG seem to be shying away from the whole “white” theme and going with a new blue color scheme brand

  43. Joel

    Sep 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Well…I do think they look better than the rocketbladez, plus at least speed blade doesn’t have weird z’s or abbreviations like sldr in it. I don’t know, I miss not having to carry a gap wedge since most pw’s are damn near a classic 9 iron loft. All that being said, tmag is going to sell a ton of them I’m sure and as long as so many tards keep buying this stuff they will keep producing this weird slotted stronger lofted garbage.

  44. JHM

    Sep 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    My new set make up –
    SLDR Driver – 315
    Stage 2 TOur 3w – 285
    Stage 2 Hybrid – 275
    Speed Blade 4,5,6,7,8,9,PW – 255,242,230,215,200,188,172
    Gap Gap Wedge – 160
    Gap Wedge – 148
    Sand Wedge – 138
    Lob wedge – 125

    Had to take my putte rout to make room for the extra Gap Wedge, and I never get to hit the SLDR or Stage 2 off the tee, cause I cant get closer that 125 to the flag, but I’m killing my 4 iron!!

    • george

      Sep 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      at what altitude

      • Chock

        Sep 11, 2013 at 12:11 am

        Lol

      • chris

        Sep 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm

        They hit the ball far because they have great swings and club head speed.. unlike the weekend warriors whos swing mostly kinda stink. There’s not a person I know who can even try and pretend to hit a 7 200 yrds.. and I know a few good golfers

    • Canadian Golf Pro

      Sep 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      Love the sarcasm, it actually did make me laugh. But i’d love to have that problem. I’d love it if i had nothing longer than a 6 iron and carried 6 wedges. Long irons blow.

  45. Brian

    Sep 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    That notch at the heal looks a little like Ping’s notch. Ah lawsuit??????

    • LB

      Sep 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      Ah no? If that is worthy of a lawsuit, the blatant copy in the whole design of this iron to the Mizuno MP-58 should be examined.

      • NG

        Sep 11, 2013 at 1:24 am

        I heard Ping and TM had a trade of patents…TM got the bending notch and ping got an orginal FCT sleeve design.

  46. tim

    Sep 10, 2013 at 11:57 am

    So…
    (me)How is the Speedblade better than the Rocketblade?
    (TMAG) Uh…umm, It’s Blue…Next question please.

    Well done TM marketing guys.

  47. BL

    Sep 10, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Umm…. what club is J. Rose hitting in that photo? I don’t see a slot – and by the loft of it, it should, right?

    • LB

      Sep 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      He is swinging his own MB 4 iron with the C-Taper. May be it was meant to be a comparison analysis so the Pros hit their own one and then the SpeedBlade.

    • JnRadioActive

      Sep 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      its there, angle nd glare make it looks like its not but if you look close you can see the ends of the slots (bigger than rest of slot)

  48. Mizuno Zeke

    Sep 10, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Why would you want to hit a 200 yard 7 iron?

    • mike

      Sep 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      so i dont have to try and hit my 4 or 5 iron 200

      • David N. Simms

        Sep 12, 2013 at 6:59 pm

        I hit a TM TP CB 7 iron 180…dang 3 iron goes 230-240. Irons go so far already, I rarely have the need to use a driver any more. It’s more about the ball construction and club head speed than the club IMO.

    • Brian

      Sep 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Don’t worry, 99% of amateurs won’t

    • Canadian Golf Pro

      Sep 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Why wouldn’t you? If you can use a shorter, easier to hit club from 200 yards wouldn’t you want that? I’m a 2.5 index and i’ll hit the green maybe 1/5 times with my 5 iron, but i’ll hit it 4/5 with my 7 iron…distance is a good thing. All the best players in the world are long hitters.

      • CD

        Sep 11, 2013 at 1:18 pm

        Geometry dictates that your logic is incorrect, particularly for the average golfer. Let’s say you’re hitting your 7-iron to a 150 yard par 3, and you launch it offline by a mere 5 degrees (for example). At that distance, you’ll land about 13 yards left or right of your target. Maybe you still catch a piece of the green, maybe not. Now, hit your 7-iron to the 200 yard green (same size green, but 200 yards away), still offline by that same 5 degrees…. you’re now 17.5 yards left or right. That’s a 35% increase in distance away from the target. That 15-20 feet difference left or right may have just put you in the bunker or water.

        • Sagamore

          Sep 11, 2013 at 9:35 pm

          You are 100% spot on. A miss is accentuated the farther the distance traveled.
          Under normal conditions, with a target just short of the flag, I am using a 7 iron from 160 yards. I hit maybe, 50% of the par 3’s and 4’s in regulation. The rest I will miss because I am off target due to a miss hit. If I am 160 out, with one of these clubs, theoretically, I am at a 9 iron. What am I accomplishing?
          I can miss with a 9 iron too.

        • Alex

          Sep 26, 2013 at 3:08 am

          You forget to realize that the lie and length of the clubs are a variable that would not be the same. While it’s true that distance magnifies errors, shorter clubs with more loft tend to be easier to hit.

          So, while it might make sense to assume the same error, the likelihood is that the 7i shot is more accurate than the comparable 5i, thus reducing the amount off target.

      • Mizuno Zeke

        Sep 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm

        Canadian Golf Pro,
        I can see your point and I have a GHIN 2.0 handicap. But with all this distance, won’t this take away the finesse of the game? Short courses will become extinct and I think it hurts the game.

        • Alex

          Sep 26, 2013 at 3:11 am

          Face it…people aren’t hitting it too far for short courses.

          People on here like to complain about it, but the fact is, most amateurs can’t hit it solid enough to be hitting it too far.

          The short course going extinct thing isn’t relevant to the large majority of golfers.

    • Kc

      Sep 20, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      I don’t think most of us have to worry about hitting a 7i anywhere near 200 yds. Only pros and single digit handicappers are close to that. Just hope that 7i flies higher, goes a little farther and lands softer than your current clubs. If its easier to hit, than its worth a demo.

  49. Mattias

    Sep 10, 2013 at 10:07 am

    New Taylormade and Callaway irons fly longer, but probably not from the “speedpocket”. An iron head is to hard and thick in the sole for that to make any difference i guess. Stronger lofts, thinner faces, longer and better shafts make a difference though. Remove all the crappy plastic emblems and strange decals and use proper lofts then also experienced golfers could give it a try.

  50. Baba Booey

    Sep 10, 2013 at 10:00 am

    TMAG sells to weekend golfers that want to go to Dicks and have the latest equipment to one up their buddies. They go out on the weekend and shoot 100 and hit a few shots to keep them coming back. The next guy in their 4-some who’s wife allows him to buy clubs goes and buys the next thing TMAG puts out next month to one up his buddies. These guys suck at golf, but it makes them feel like a golfer to shell out to buy the latest and greatest.

    I have friends like this. They go to Dicks, buy the R1 off the rack, post it to Facebook, go out and shoot 110. Next month it’s the irons, need speedpocket. Go buy them, post photo to facebook and go shoot 110.

    Nike and Taylormade are made for one another.

    • george

      Sep 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      so true Baba Booey so true lol!!!!!

    • Mike

      Sep 10, 2013 at 11:55 pm

      you are absolutely right. this is for weekend golfers, also for beginners to step into golf course easier

      • Fooshee

        Oct 9, 2013 at 9:52 am

        Not quite. I had some Cobra Forged CBs. A lot closer to a player’s club as opposed to a game improvement club. I wasn’t hitting them as well as I used to due to lack of playing. I tried the Rocketbladz and was wowed. I hit shots now that I never have before. My distance control is a lot more consistent with mishits and I can still work the ball. I can hook all the way to slice at will. The deal is that I hit them consistently straighter. As long as I hit a straight enough tee ball, there’s no need to work the ball as much. They are plenty good enough for me.

    • leftright

      Sep 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm

      That is why I have neither in my bag…

    • Stewie

      Sep 14, 2013 at 8:36 am

      Well put!… You’re SO right!

  51. David Smith

    Sep 10, 2013 at 9:52 am

    OH. MY. GOD. This is just silly now. TaylorMade has become the fisher price of golf and sadly people are buying this nonsense up like crazy.

    I overheard one guy in the club house saying the “Speedpocket Technology allowed him to work the ball better and easier with distance and precision while landing it softly”, the guy can barely hit the thing let alone work the ball, I guess this is TMaG’s niche market; people who can’t golf but want to fit in.

    • NC

      Sep 10, 2013 at 10:16 am

      The thing is, no other company is doing it – therefore, TM is simply filling up the room on the shelf. If the other competitors came up with stuff as much as TM is, there wouldn’t be room, the profit margins would drop, the costs would rise, and there wouldn’t be so many. But because the margins are good, the clubs can be made cheaply, and because there is a lot of room on the shelf at your local golf shop – why not just fill it?
      It’s working, obviously, as they can just a certain number of the current models at a certain cheap price point and turn around a quick profit. And then they can just make another one. Until somebody else steps up to fill the void, and use as much money in advertising, it will continue to be this way.

      • Steve

        Sep 10, 2013 at 11:07 pm

        Cally and the FT Optiforce say hello…

        • Chock

          Sep 11, 2013 at 12:10 am

          You mean the Apex? But that thing’s obviously not ready

      • Larry Sherer

        Sep 11, 2013 at 1:32 pm

        Wrong, Callawy has had 3 THREE new drivers this year alone, the new one is comming out with the slider like TaylorMade just minutes after their last one had the head cover pulled off. And Balls, what is happening there? WIth balls I think they are running out of names for each new product.

    • Stewie

      Sep 14, 2013 at 8:40 am

      I agree… I think they finally jumped the shark with their ‘slider’… This is getting STUPID!… I have a feeling TM is about to go over the cliff, taking some of the others with them. Consumers are going to suddenly hit the wall, and just walk away because they’re being treated like cash cows… The 25 year old Cobras in my garage are looking better every day!

  52. Eric

    Sep 10, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Taylormades marketing is solid and draws people in. I just don’t understand how you release Rocketbladz at the beginning of the season and then release a new set at the end of the season. The technology and innovation cannot be that different from it’s predecessor.

    A lot of you may be asking why Taylormade is using this strategy. It is simple answer growing there profits and margin. The parent corporation is pushing them to grow there business to help grow the stock price. I have insight to this being I worked for division of Nike and they pushed us to grow our business beyond expectations each year.

    I just question the distance iron play. I think golf is a game accuracy and shot making. With big hitters like Bubba, Tiger and Dustin golf has become about the long ball. Most casual golfers struggle to drive the ball 225 straight let alone 300 yards. All this distance is making golf courses longer and making it tougher on the casual player. No club or ball is going to make the ball fly straight if your swing is flawed.

    It is all smoke and mirrors

    • Gino

      Sep 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      Actually the Rocketbladez were released in Oct. LAST year. Google is your friend.

      • J

        Sep 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm

        And October is the start of the season for some…

        • Chock

          Sep 11, 2013 at 12:09 am

          Exactly! There’s a whole Southern Hemisphere !

    • Chris hunter

      Sep 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      I have heard that more this year than any other, these new clubs are great with distance but folders are having more trouble moving the ball at will. The newer clubs are just helping them hit starighter but have no feel.

      • John

        Oct 2, 2013 at 7:15 pm

        Exactly! I have the Rocketbladez, and was wowwed by the gain in distance. However, I can no longer work the ball. A draw is a pull – hook and a fade is a push – slice.

  53. Rob

    Sep 10, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Hmm… I guess the Rockbladez HPs will be coming out for $399.99.

  54. Danny

    Sep 10, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Zzzzzz

    Wake me up next week when they come out with Speedblades 2.0

    Taylormade has deminished their brand so much in the past 3 years. Start making clubs guys can hit 200 yards on a dinner plate, not 9 irons with jacked up lofts so guys can hit them farther.

    • milton

      Sep 11, 2013 at 1:44 am

      your my friend hit it on the head, you can’t drop a new club every week and be considered serious about your brand. this just shows your in it for ONLY…..the money. Not to build technology

  55. scott

    Sep 10, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Why has the game of golf become all about distance? I play golf with guys who say; “I hit a 7i 170” me, what did you shoot? 170 7i guy, “92” makes sense!

  56. Jack

    Sep 10, 2013 at 5:01 am

    LOL yeah if the pro’s can hit their 7 iron at 200, then going down, their 8 at 188, 9 at 176, PW would be about 164. How many wedges do you need below the PW for your short game? That’s one of the reasons. The other would be that Pro’s probably think it’s weird to play with game improvement clubs. I’d say their ego is getting in the way of them winning (see Dustin Johnson). If DJ really took the irons out of his bag after he won with them, he’s an idiot. Still really good at golf and now has bagged a hot wife, but I guess he’s a golf purist by sticking to his blades or whatever he games.

    • MorikawaTMaG

      Sep 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      they ususally have 4 wedges and also he was the first one to win this year. Also he never played the rocketbladez, he stuck with his MB’s

    • Kc

      Oct 5, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Most pros don’t hit their 7i 200 yds. This “demonstration” is just for show. It’s Taylormade’s chance to wow regular joes to fork over $800. Hitting at a driving range without any hazards is different than tournament play with the pressure and intimidation staring the player’s in their face. Most tour players use a 5i or 6i for a 200 yd. a weekend player will use a 7i for 150-165 yd shot. Lets see if the real gains are higher ball flights and more consistent and accurate hits.

    • tjw

      Oct 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      funny ! but true

  57. BOC

    Sep 10, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Oh marketing, I love you.

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Opinion & Analysis

The differences between good and bad club fitters—and they’re not what you think

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Club fitting is still a highly debated topic, with many golfers continuing to believe they’re just not good enough to be fit. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but it’s a topic for another day.

Once you have decided to invest in your game and equipment, however, the next step is figuring out where to get fit, and working with a fitter.  You see, unlike professionals in other industries, club fitting “certification” is still a little like the wild west. While there are certification courses and lesson modules from OEMs on how to fit their specific equipment, from company to company, there is still some slight variance in philosophy.

Then there are agnostic fitting facilities that work with a curated equipment matrix from a number of manufacturers. Some have multiple locations all over the country and others might only have a few smaller centralized locations in a particular city. In some cases, you might even be able to find single-person operations.

So how do you separate the good from the bad? This is the million-dollar question for golfers looking to get fit. Unless you have experience going through a fitting before or have a base knowledge about fitting, it can feel like an intimidating process. This guide is built to help you ask the right questions and pay attention to the right things to make sure you are getting the most out of your fitting.

The signs of a great fitter

  • Launch monitor experience: Having some type of launch monitor certification isn’t a requirement but being able to properly understand the interpret parameters is! A good fitter should be able to explain the parameters they are using to help get the right clubs and understand how to tweak specs to help you get optimized. The exact labeling may vary depending on the type of launch monitor but they all mostly provide the same information….Here is an example of what a fitter should be looking for in an iron fitting: “The most important parameter in an iron fitting” 
  • Communication skills: Being able to explain why and how changes are being made is a telltale sign your fitter is knowledgeable—it should feel like you are learning something along the way. Remember, communication is a two-way street so also being a good listener is another sign your working with a good fitter.
  • Transparency: This involves things like talking about price, budgets, any brand preferences from the start. This prevents getting handed something out of your price range and wasting swings during your fit.
  • A focus on better: Whether it be hitting it further and straighter with your driver or hitting more greens, the fitting should be goal-orientated. This means looking at all kinds of variables to make sure what you are getting is actually better than your current clubs. Having a driver you hit 10 yards farther isn’t helpful if you don’t know where it’s going….A great fitter that knows their stuff should quickly be able to narrow down potential options to 4-5 and then work towards optimizing from there.
  • Honesty and respect: These are so obvious, I shouldn’t even have to put it on the list. I want to see these traits from anybody in a sales position when working with customers that are looking to them for knowledge and information…If you as the golfer is only seeing marginal gains from a new product or an upgrade option, you should be told that and given the proper information to make an informed decision. The great fitters, and I’ve worked with a lot of them, will be quick to tell a golfer, “I don’t think we’re going to beat (X) club today, maybe we should look at another part of your bag where you struggle.” This kind of interaction builds trust and in the end results in happy golfers and respected fitters.

The signs of a bad fitter

  • Pushing an agenda: This can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Whether it be a particular affinity towards certain brands of clubs or even shafts. If you talk to players that have all been to the same fitter and their swings and skill levels vary yet the clubs or brands of shafts they end up with (from a brand agnostic facility) seem to be eerily similar it might be time to ask questions.
  • Poor communications: As you are going through the fitting process and warming up you should feel like you’re being interviewed as a way to collect data and help solve problems in your game. This process helps create a baseline of information for your fitter. If you are not experiencing that, or your fitter isn’t explaining or answering your questions directly, then there is a serious communication problem, or it could show lack of knowledge depth when it comes to their ability.
  • Lack of transparency: If you feel like you’re not getting answers to straightforward questions or a fitter tells you “not to worry about it” then that is a big no-no from me.
    Side note: It is my opinion that golfers should pay for fittings, and in a way consider it a knowledge-gathering session. Of course, the end goal for the golfer is to find newer better fitting clubs, and for the fitter to sell you them (let’s be real here), but you should never feel the information is not being shared openly.
  • Pressure sales tactics: It exists in every industry, I get it, but if you pay for your fitting you are paying for information, use it to your advantage. You shouldn’t feel pressured to buy, and it’s always OK to seek out a knowledgeable second opinion (knowledgeable being a very key word in that sentence!).  If you are getting the hard sell or any combination of the traits above, there is a good chance you’re not working with the right fitter for you.

Final thoughts

Great fitters with great reputations and proper knowledge have long lists, even waiting lists, of golfers waiting to see them. The biggest sign of a great fitter is a long list of repeat customers.

Golf is a game that can be played for an entire lifetime, and just like with teachers and swing coaches, the good ones are in it for the long haul to help you play better and build a rapport—not just sell you the latest and greatest (although we all like new toys—myself included) because they can make a few bucks.

Trust your gut, and ask questions!

 

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Podcasts

TG2: TaylorMade P7MB & P7MC Review | Oban CT-115 & CT-125 Steel Shafts

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Took the new TaylorMade P-7MB and P-7MC irons out on the course and the range. The new P-7MB and P-7MC are really solid forged irons for the skilled iron players. Great soft feel on both, MB flies really low, and the MC is more mid/low launch. Oban’s CT 115 & 125 steel shafts are some of the most consistent out there. Stout but smooth feel with no harsh vibration at impact.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: Improve your transition for better wedge play

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In my opinion, one of the most misunderstood areas of the golf swing is the transition from backswing to downswing, but I don’t read much on this in the golf publications. So, here’s my take on the subject.

Whether it’s a short putt, chip or pitch, half wedge, full iron or driver swing, there is a point where the club’s motion in the backswing has to come to a complete stop–even if for just a nano-second–and reverse direction into the forward swing. What makes this even more difficult is that it is not just the club that is stopping and reversing direction, but on all but putts, the entire body from the feet up through the body core, shoulders, arms and hands.

In my observation, most golfers have a transition that is much too quick and jerky, as they are apparently in a hurry to generate clubhead speed into the downswing and through impact. But, just as you (hopefully) begin your backswing with a slow take-away from the ball, a proper start to the downswing is also a slower move, starting from this complete stop and building to maximum clubhead speed just past impact. If you will work on your transition, your ball striking and distance will improve, as will your accuracy on your short shots and putts. Let’s start there.

In your wedge play, your primary objective is to apply just the exact amount of force to propel the ball the desired distance. In order to do that, it makes sense to move the club slower, as that allows more precision. I like to think of the pendulum on a grandfather clock as a great guide to tempo and transition. As the weight goes back and forth, it comes to a complete stop at each end, and achieves maximum speed at the exact bottom of the arc. If you put that picture in your head when you chip and putt, you will develop a tempo that encourages a smooth transition at the end of the backswing.

The idea is to achieve a gradual acceleration from the end of the backswing to the point of impact, but for most golfers, this type of swing is likely much slower than yours is currently. I encourage you to not be in a hurry to force this acceleration, as that causes a quick jab with the hands, because the shoulder rotation and slight body rotation cannot move that quickly from its end-of-backswing rotation.

Here’s a drill to help you picture this kind of swing pace. Drawing on that grandfather clock visual, hold your wedge at the very end of the grip with two fingers, and get it moving like the clock pendulum–back and through. Watch the tempo and transition for a few moments, and then try to mimic that with your short or half swing tempo. No faster, no slower. You can even change how far you pull the club up to start this motion to see what happens to the pendulum tempo on longer swings.

An even better exercise is to have a friend hold a club in this manner right in front of you while you are practicing your chipping or pitching swing and try to “shadow” that motion with your swings. You will likely find that your transition is much too fast and jerky to give you the results you are after.

If you will practice this, I can practically guarantee your short-range transition will become really solid and repeatable. From there, it’s just a matter of extending the length of the swing to mid-range pitches, full short irons, mid-irons, fairway woods, and driver–all while feeling for that gradual transition that makes for great timing, sequencing, and tempo.

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