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Tech Talk: TaylorMade SpeedBlade irons

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Clank. It’s a sound golfers hate, and the main criticism of TaylorMade’s RocketBlades irons. But despite their awkward sound, the distance-happy RocketBladez irons sold like hotcakes and became the No. 1-selling iron in golf.

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Wrong. In true TaylorMade style, the company decided to revamp the construction of the new SpeedBlades irons, creating a set of clubs that not only feel better, but look and sound better as well.

The most noticeable structural change engineers made the design of SpeedBlade was removing the chunky toe section on the rear part of the club. That allowed them to place more weight lower and deeper in the head, which according to TaylorMade Product Creation Manager Brian Bazzel gives SpeedBlade the lowest center of gravity of any TaylorMade iron ever produced. The lower CG helps most with forgiveness on shots hit on the bottom part of the face, where Bazzel said 72 percent of golfers contact the ball.

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

Click here to read about the SpeedBlade iron launch at the BMW Championship.

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But again, SpeedBlade is a TaylorMade iron, and it’s not the company’s style just to make one change to a new product. The iron’s SpeedPocket, a slot in the sole of the iron, is now longer and wider than it was in the RocketBladez, particularly in the heel and toe sections. That allows the face to flex more on shots hit on those areas, enhancing ball speed to help mishits leave the face with a similar velocity as shots struck in the center.

The more important change to the SpeedPocket, however, is what golfers can’t see. The slot is extended all the way through the sole of the iron, as well as in three different spots on the back part of the irons to give the structure more flex. That creates a larger area of maximum spring-like effect, or a larger sweetspot. (Note: the SpeedPocket is only used in the design of the 3 through 7 irons, where Bazzel said it is most important for forgiveness and ball speed).

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Above: A SpeedBlade 6 iron at address. 

According to Bazzel, the lower CG and larger, more effective SpeedPocket allowed TaylorMade to make a change that most golfers will notice immediately: TaylorMade made them smaller. Adding to the compact look of the SpeedBlade is its new two-tone, satin-nickel-chrome finish with a dark smoke plating that creates more visual shrinkage at address. And yes, the combination of the new struction, dampening mechanism and SpeedPocket filler make the irons noticeably less harsh at address, turning the RocketBladez’s clank into more of a SpeedBlade smoosh.

The SpeedBlade irons will hit shelves on Oct. 4. They’ll cost $799 for eight irons with 85-gram proprietary steel shafts (R and S flexes), and $899 with 65-gram graphite shafts (L, M, R and S flexes).

Check out the spec of the new irons below, as well as more photos of the SpeedBlade irons and wedges in the gallery.

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 7.37.54 PM

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

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

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41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. james saden

    Apr 22, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Was wondering how durable the polymer in the speed pocket is. I don’t store my clubs in a climate controled environment. Is it affected by heat/cold? If the pocket fails wouldn’t the face deform? Only a two year warranty. $800 is a lot to spend. The clubs I am using now have lasted six years.

  2. Conrad

    Sep 17, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    man my 4 iron is 24 degrees loft. thats between a 5 and 6 speedblade…

    • Ola scholander

      Sep 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

      So? Whats important for you, loft ( number) or trajectory ( result) ?

      • Frank Garrett

        Sep 28, 2013 at 9:05 pm

        Flat bill hat is the most important to me

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Yea those guys at intech need to get with the times

  3. Ola

    Sep 15, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I dont get you guys. I hit higher and longer with these, with more control. Why should i not use them. The game is about least shots to get the ball in the hole. If you wanna use hogan edge irons from the late eighties, feel free to do so.

    Secondly, id like a company to release new stuff when they have improvents, not waiting 2 years to put them in. When i buy my new club i want the latest, dont want a 2 year old product

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      Don’t forget to click in at your taylormade job monday

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      2 things …..
      1st U couldn’t hit it high on the moon probably
      2nd. It don’t matter about the least amount of strokes
      u will still lie on the card

    • Kieran

      Feb 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      I didn’t know everyone on this forum worked for Golf Digest Magazine. WOW you guys should be the one reviewing the hot list.

      Diff golfers want diff equipment and something must be right with these if they made gold on the hot lit. I somebody wants to enjoy the game and easy too hit irons to give them most enjoyment go ahead and use these clubs so what if there cranked. who cares.

      I will see all you guys on the PGA tour then YES ? Oh no wait. Cowboys!!!

  4. Jay Randle

    Sep 15, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Taylor Made needs to stop…pretty weak offerings. I mean the best companies put out the least amount of equipment…read Mizuno, Titleist

    • NG

      Sep 19, 2013 at 1:13 am

      What makes these the best companies? FYI- TMaG iron share is 32%

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      Really? Mizuno??? Is it April 1st already

  5. lloyd duffield

    Sep 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    it about time taylormade stopped messing around releasing new stuff every week and bring some decent forged irons out

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Come up with a catchy not-even-close name and they will

  6. paulmuehlboeck99

    Sep 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I think Taylormade doesn´t help the sport. They bend down de lofts by 4 degrees and make the shafts longer by inches. That doesn´t make it easier to swing

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      U keep playin those spalding blades from ’74 and tell me how that helps

  7. Bri-guy

    Sep 13, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Wow I just cannot wait until these things come out. Ill be the first to buy. I just love how Taylormade switched from the lime green to the blue, and changed the insert in the cavity a little and called it a speed blade. Trading in my rocketblades immediately. The fact it says speed blade means I have to gain some ball speed, right? Also, little will me buddies know that when I hit 2 less clubs than them, its really because my lofts are crazy strong. “Oh you hit a 7 iron from 165? I hit a 9 iron. I’m the man!” That is what I’ll be saying every Saturday. Also, I am so glad I did not pull the trigger on those ATV wedges. They were good when they were released 6 months ago or so, but these new speed blade wedges are so much better. Yea, they look like the same thing you may say to yourself, but you’d be wrong. These wedges are going to be bombers! SPEED and DISTANCE! Exactly what I want in a wedge. Distance control is so overrated. Thinking I will order a 89* wedge in these though for the 120 yard shots and in. I mean with how far these clubs go I’ll need something for those shorter shots.

    • MWP

      Sep 13, 2013 at 10:18 am

      oh my gosh bri-guy, I couldn’t agree more! But personally, I just cannot wait until they come out with the “speedbladez” putter! I mean i just can’t ever hit my putts fast enough or far enough! hopefully they’ll make some type of putter with a speed grove on the bottom so i can putt better. if they do, how could I not become a PGA Professional?!

      And the really good news is that I ONLY use mallet putters. And since taylormade LOVES calling things bladez when they aren’t blades….. im sure the speedbladez putter will come as a mallet!!!! Oh man, gonna go work some overtime so I can save up for that bad boy when they release it.

      • paulmuehlboeck99

        Sep 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm

        you´re defenetly right man

      • Frank Garrett

        Sep 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm

        I think the putter will be an old skool l/r putter…. It’s gonna be called switchblade

      • Hyoga

        Oct 1, 2013 at 3:54 am

        Thank you bri-guy and MWP, you made my day.

    • virgil

      Feb 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Hilarious

  8. Mitch

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    ill go find a stick and a rock in my backyard… tie them thangs together and call it the new and improved “twigzblades” and i’m starting to think somebody would buy them.

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Tell me where I can find the specs

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      What’s the kick point of the stick

      • Mitch

        Nov 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm

        Kickpoint: No kickpoint, its a pretty thick stick

        Loft: rock

        Lie: rock

        Length: 76″

        Distance: infinite

  9. JHM

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    USGA Museum has a set of Ben Hogan’s irons. His 5 iron measured 37 inches and 30 degrees. Now that’s a 7 iron.

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Why don’t u post something about his driver being smaller than current ones

  10. Jack

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    I might have to see how much better these are over my AP2s, which I love.

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Yea I love my fingers stinging after I hit the ball too

      • Ryan

        Oct 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm

        Don’t really feel like you should blame the guy above you for your inability to hit irons half decently…

  11. corey

    Sep 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    a 17 degree 3 iron? slapping the number 3 on a 1 iron wont make it any easier to hit

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      If youre complaining now just wait for 3 yrs when tm busts out negative loft long irons

  12. Tim

    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Does anyone else find it weird that whenever equipment companies release new equipment, they always have somehow found a way to lower the CG and enlarge the sweetspot (enlarge the speed pocket in this case)? It’s even more disturbing that we, the naive consumers, will pay MSRP to purchase new equipment that’s so much better than the one before.

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Yea I have …. I think the cg of drivers gotta be outside the clubhead by now….. But I read a few weeks ago that they move it 1 milimeter

  13. Jay

    Sep 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Any word on when the SpeedBlade Tour model will be released?

    • Frank Garrett

      Sep 28, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      Probably a week before speedierbladez come out

    • Andrew Cain

      Oct 8, 2013 at 10:47 am

      TaylorMade Rep states Feb 2014 for Tour version

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pga tour

Andrew “Beef” Johnston WITB 2017

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2017 RSM Classic (11/14/17).

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 70TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 80TX

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H2 (19 Degrees)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 90HY TX

Driving Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 2 & 3 Iron (17 & 20 Degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Irons: Titleist 718 MB (3-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (46-10F, 50-08F, 54-10S)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat I GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport 2
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat II GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

WITB Notes: Beef was testing a variety of putters ahead of The RSM Classic. We will update this post when his choice is confirmed. 

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Beef’s clubs. 

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Equipment

The hottest blade irons in golf right now

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As we’ve written before, the decision to put a new driver in the bag is usually obvious. Better numbers at testing, perceptibly longer distance, and as long as your bank account allows, you have your new gamer.

The iron switch, however, is a trickier beast. Comfort with the variety of shots one needs to hit is key. Confidence from one’s long irons through the higher lofts is critical. Thus, even the greatest enthusiasm for a new iron release isn’t always followed by a mass exodus to gaming said irons. This is doubly true at the professional level, where the tools are critical to a player’s livelihood.

That said, the combination of forum chatter, GolfWRX member enthusiasm, and what we’re spotting in our WITB photos from tour stops are a reliable indicator of the hottest irons in the game.

And judging by the response to our recent Instagram post, we’re confident that these four models are the hottest blade irons in golf right now.

Callaway Apex MB

Buzz built steadily for the Apex MB iron when we first spotted them in Tour players’ bags at the beginning of 2017. The irons are the product of direct feedback from the company’s Tour staffers, according to Luke Williams, Director of Product and Brand Management at Callaway. Forged from 1025 Carbon Steel, these irons have the shortest blade lengths, the thinnest soles and the smallest overall heads in the vast line of Callaway irons. They’re designed for maximum workability, and for tour-desired turf interaction.

Related: Callaway (finally) launches new Apex MB and X Forged irons

Mizuno MP-18

The pioneers of Grain-Flow Forging, Mizuno went back to its roots with the MP-18 iron model. A throwback to the great muscle backs in the company’s history, Mizuno was shooting for the look of an iron that could have been forged a century ago. Shorter blade length, cambered top line, sharp, compact wedges, all combined with the most minimal badging make the MP-18 an instant classic that set the GolfWRX forums afire.

Related: Mizuno brings the MP family closer together

TaylorMade P730

TaylorMade’s P730, particularly in its prototype incarnations, made quite a splash on the PGA Tour. Building on the heritage of the TP-MB irons, P730 was developed in collaboration with the very best players in the world. The 1025 carbon steel irons irons feature a smaller profile and crisper lines than the MB series irons. The combination of the clean look and a deep rear groove have players drooling. Discussing working with Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose to design the P730, TM’s Senior Director of Irons, Tomo Bystedt said, “What these players need is a very low-inertia club that they can [manipulate] easily, almost like a surgeon’s scalpel.” Behold the scalpel.

Related: Taylormade expands forged offerings with P730 and P790

Titleist 718 MB

“For the purist there is no substitute for a one-piece, muscle back iron. The 718 MB is the modern choice for those desiring a traditional forged look and feel,” says Titleist in the 718 MB marketing materials.

It’s hard to argue with that statement from the “appearance of a classic forged iron” standpoint. Purists appreciate that the 718 MB maintains Titleist’s traditional lofts (the 6-iron is 31 degrees, the pitching-wedge is 47 degrees), thin top-line, minimal offset, and limited badging. In short, if it ain’t broke…

Related: Titleist’s 718 irons offer endless possibilities.

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Whats in the Bag

Austin Cook’s Winning WITB: The 2017 RSM Classic

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution TX-Flex

3 Wood: Ping G400 Stretch (13 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujifuke Motore Speeder VC 7.2 TX-Flex

Hybrid: Ping G400 3 Hybrid (19 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91X

Hybrid: Ping G400 4 Hybrid (22 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91 X

Irons: Ping S55 Orange Dot (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour S-Flex

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 SS (50-12, 56-12), Ping Glide 2.0 WS (60)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne 
Grip: SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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