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TaylorMade RocketBallz Tour Driver Review

by   |   August 20, 2012
rbz tour driver review
TaylorMade RocketBallz Tour Driver Review GolfWRX
Looks
Performance
Feel/Sound

Summary: Dark Horse of 2013

4.5

Overall


TaylorMade has notably been the leader in Drivers out on tour and in retail shops. While the R11s family seems to receive most of the TMag driver buzz, we are looking towards the RocketBallz Driver to be the 2012 Dark-horse of the year. While surveying a select few top 100 fitters, we found this driver to float to the top slot in late year polling. The ball speeds and dispersion performance are best in breed. Here is a quote from a well respected member of GolfWRX aka “Bob57“…

“Most of the tests I’ve seen list the RBZ as the highest ball speed producing driver today.”

_______________________________________________________________________

Editor Review by: fore_life

Pros: Great pop on center strikes while being surprisingly forgiving on miss-hits. Launches high with low spin, and flight can be adjusted accordingly with the FCT system.

Cons: The white color, while not visually off putting, may be a bit a problem for someone who wants to keep the driver for a few seasons at least, as it shows every spec of dirt and any little ding that may occur.

Bottom Line: We have lift off. Sean O’Hair was right. This thing is a Rocket Ballz!

_______________________________________________________________________

REVIEW:
TaylorMade’s latest driver offering features inverted cone technology to help produce maximum ball speed from all across the face and the company’s Flight Control System (FCT) to fine tune ball flight to your desired shot shape. Let me preface this part by saying that when it comes to drivers, I tend to favor the traditional head shapes and sounds. To my eyes, nothing looks better than a simple black club head without any fancy alignment aides or gimmicks, and nothing sounds sweeter to my ears than the sweet THWACK produced by many of the drivers that have gained legendary status out here in message board land. I’ve owned the legendary J33r, the 9015d, the 905r,the Nike VR tour, the Superdeep, and my most recent gamer, a 983e, all of which have that meaty thud upon impact.

LOOKS:
When I got word that I had been selected to review the RocketBallz driver, my initial thoughts were “I wonder if they’d make me a black one?” I have taken short glimpses at the older r11 models and that’s as far as it went, I just wasn’t into the color. It made the 460cc club head look even larger.

 

Upon receiving my RBZ, what immediately stood out to me was how “not huge” the club head appeared. I feel that the lime/silver graphics on the rear of the crown do a great job of breaking up the visual lines, and the overall club head shape looks much better and dare I say more traditional that that of the non-tour RBZ model. Much less of a triangle shape going on here. The matte black finish of the club face really pops against the white background, and accompanied by the ahina ion plated shaft, I had one sweet looking club on my hands.

I do have to say that the white color doesn’t bother me from a visual /performance aspect, it does bother me on the level that it shows every little piece of dirt/debris and if you plan on keeping it in the bag for a few seasons, it seems that it could drive someone crazy if you are a stickler about not having paint chips or dirty clubs (like me).

PERFORMANCE/PLAYABLILITY:
After much back and forth with Rob (HipCheck), I confirmed my custom specs for the RBZ Tour. I went with the 9 degree head shafted with the 60x Diamana Ahina, tipped one inch, playing at 44.5″. I also asked if possible, could they throw and extra wrap of tape underneath the new grip, which nicely is absent of any markings so it appears the same no matter which setting you have the FCT adjusted to. When the box arrived, I dug and found that it was built to my specs, with a VERY quick turnaround time once my specs were submitted.

Once again (and probably more in the future here) I will reference my past drivers as the baseline on performance/feel. My gamer before the RBZ arrived was a 983e 8.5 degree that I shafted up with a 66xx UST proto shaft. Ball flight felt true to loft, and I was getting pretty good results. Well, I thought I was getting good results.

Here is a great Technical discussion with TaylorMade about the RBZ Driver:

First swing at my local range shocked me as I launched my ball suuuuper high, but man, it just kept flying and flying, holding its peak trajectory, no ballooning whatsoever. Time and time again, just high bombs on the neutral setting. But we all know how range time can be deceiving, so I was extremely excited to see how this bad boy would perform on the course.

First round was at Papago out here in Phoenix on a day where the high peaked out just under 80 degrees, a little windy, and fairways in soft conditions. It’s 7,333 yards from the tips, 75.0/130. I tied my personal best on that track with a 74 first time out. The high launch most definitely increased carry distances and I was able to take some more aggressive lines off the tee which was nice, but even more was just how forgiving mishits where. Shockingly so. Misses high and on the toe stayed pretty true and distance was superb on mishits. I’ve got 4 rounds in now with the RBZ, played with multiple friends, and all seem to have noticed both how much higher I hit this set up, and how much more forgiving it appears to be. Drivers I’ve played in the past were MUCH more taxing on bad days, and if the tour plays so forgiving, I can’t even imagine how much of a cinch the non tour must be. Center strikes are freaking deep! I know a lot it to be said for the proper shaft/head combo, and maybe I just hit the nail on the head with this set up, but this is the most consistently deep set up I’ve ever gamed. Good stuff.

 

FEEL/SOUND:
Speaking of mishits, there is a definitive audible difference when not struck on the bolts. When hit on the screws, it’s a very loud but yet a powerful sound IMO, not anything “tinny” in nature. Mishits do sound a bit harsh, but really not nearly as bad as I was expecting given some of the reviews I had read beforehand. Do not be mistaken, it is not a quiet driver and you will probably pull a few looks while whacking this thing on the range or on the course, but the feel of the driver and performance negates any sound complaints, at least for me. Hell it’s could make a little kitten “meow” when hit and if put out good results, I’d be all for it.

The clubface does feel extremely hot though and it really feels like you can feel the ball shooting off the face, nothing of which I have experienced before in a driver. IMO, if you’ve hit the TEE fairway line, then that is the best thing I can compare it to, the balls just seems to FLY off the face.

Overall the club has a great balance and feel to it. Good solid weight to the club head, in fact the head has a stout and heavy feel, very reminiscent of my old j33r. Just a solid feeling driver that inspires confidence.

 

OVERALL BOTTOM LINE:
Say what you will about the TMAG marketing juggernaut, but the results I am getting from this bad boy cannot be overlooked. I have not hit any of the latest offerings from other manufactures nor do I have launch monitor data to back me up, just real life performance on courses that I have played numerous times. Time and time again I found myself flying the ball past where I would previously roll out to. 320 all carry on wet fairways? Why the hell not! 290 on mishits high on the toe? Superb!

2 buddies hit the driver on an Easter Sunday round, went home and immediately began looking to replace their old drivers. I hope they can chime in here with any additional input/insight.

I’d like to say thanks again to GolfWRX and Taylor Made for providing me with this opportunity. This site has been an extreme asset to myself and the golfing community worldwide.

 

DISCUSS THE TAYLORMADE RBZ DRIVER REVIEW HERE IN THE FORUMS

 

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GolfWRX is a leading source for news, information and resources for the connected golfer. It's staff, featured writers and members report on the latest golf news and how it inspires golfers around the world. GolfWRX’s 3.1 million monthly visits is the world's largest and best online golf community. It surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process with original photographic and video content, peer-to-peer advice, camaraderie, technical how-tos and more.


45 Comments

  1. Dendo

    July 22, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I used to hit around 230yds with my old driver, now 240-260 or so with the tour 9 RBZ. Pretty straight. Very high flight. Dialled it down to 8 degrees. Still very high flight so I will take it down to 7.5 – might get a few more yards.

    So all you 300 yds guys – congratulations.

    But real congrats goes to the guys that can hit the center of the fairway everytime whatever the distance.

  2. ursa1

    July 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I am hitting my RBZ just fine. I read a review from 2008 for the exotics xcg driver//They were about 399. dollars then..I went to a local store and got a used one for 49. with a aldila dvs r shaft..guess what..I am hitting it 10-15 yds further than my rbz..Goodbye RBZ..hello tour edge exotics..

  3. fernando

    June 10, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Guys: being very honest…I play every day several courses in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl I am very consistente with mu irons wedges and putter. I play high seventies everyday at every course.
    I have been using an old FT-IQ TOUR driver that puts me right in the center of the fairway everytime.
    225 yards less to worry about.
    I became greedy and wanted more distance!
    Bought the RBZ Tour 9 and I’ m not even near the distances many of you talk about. My swing is absolutely decent. My speed very adequate, My hits: very accurate, I keep the ball in the enter of the fairway as well. But I have never hit more than 237 yds no matter how ard I try. Does anybody feel like I do?
    thanks to all of you.

    • jim

      June 18, 2013 at 12:58 am

      Take it back. It may be defective. I just bought the driver today and immediately played a round with it. I was laughing and smiling every time I hit the ball off the tee.

  4. tiger comeback 2013

    December 31, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    i used to have a burner 2.0 super fast and changed to this last week i used to hit 250 with burner now i hit 270.

  5. Spencer

    December 9, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Just got the 10.5 and hit a really bad snap hook tuned it up to . and dead straight 270yd for a 15 year old

  6. Colt

    December 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I hit my RBZ Tour driver with a Mitsubishi Alpha X flex shaft 370-380 yards consistently and have hit many drives over 400 yards since I have gotten this driver in September. Does anyone know the best way to get in to long drive competition?

    • ned

      December 8, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      335+ carry = SS 135+ they will come find you!
      Give Art or Jason or Brian at LDA a call!

      • Colt

        March 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm

        Jason or Brian who?

  7. Nap

    November 25, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Why is it everyone hits the ball 300+ yards? Why don’t you head for the tour?

    • Tom

      November 25, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      No reason to be bitter, golf is a hobby. I have a full time job and three kids and I work hard at my game. The amount of talent it takes to compete on tour is exponential from hitting the ball long or even being a scratch golfer.

  8. Buck Holiday

    November 21, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Gained yardage ranging from 15 to 30, even 40 yrds!
    Hating TM because they’re a popular and giant company is dumb.

  9. Mugs

    November 17, 2012 at 2:22 am

    I’m in Pennsylvania and play in the poconos all the time. Rbz took my game to a new level. Winning !!!!

  10. Mugs

    November 17, 2012 at 2:19 am

    RBz r the best clubs I’ve hit. Making lots of money I got the whole set. It’s on

  11. Tom

    October 17, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I am a scratch golfer and tried the RBZ Driver, 3 wood and 5 wood at Dicks Sporting Goods. I was a bit freaked out by the added distance. (I asked if they were juicing the screen and they claimed they weren’t) Was hitting the driver 290-320, 3 wood 270-280 and 5 wood 240-250. Next day I bought them (with permission of the wife early birthday and xmas present). I have had them for two months and play 3 time a week. The driver was much lighter than my old one and took a few weeks to get use to hitting (club open at impact). I can now attest that they are as every bit as long as advertised. Great clubs, have changed my game.

  12. bomber

    October 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Bull, worst driver yet. Not adjustable and the ads leed you to believe you can make two adjustments, not so… When you lower loft you open the face and increase loft and close face. The face is painted and marks very easily. $250 wasted. Also not longer than the burner, buyer beware.

    • ned

      December 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      r7 quad txxxx b still blows by the r11s &- r9 superdeep w/x con 7 and whiteboard, still longer , straighter, solid-

  13. kenny

    October 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    have haad my 10.5 rbz with reg shaft now for 4 weeks and dont get the distance you guys talk about is so bad i,am taken big loss and taken the club back with my old big bertha 460 ican blitz 250 to 275 i have to say american golf have been less than impressive words fail me #############

  14. Pingback: GolfWRX.com – TaylorMade RocketBallz Tour Driver Review | Golf Products Reviews

  15. Lenny

    September 10, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Mauro -get fit properly and you should see improvements, good luck

  16. Mauro

    September 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    From the comments everybody sounds like a low handicap golfer. How would this driver work for a senior who has started playing recently and still shoots in the 90′s? I now have a Cobra driver, a few years old, and my distance is less than 180 yards…Painful!

  17. Cory

    August 9, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    This driver is awesome! I was hitting the 460 burner and was at 4400 rpm and ballooning everything. Now that i have the rbz 9.5 with the ozik hd6 I have brought the spin down to 1800 rpm and have been flying the ball right around 270 on each shot. I have also found that with this driver and shaftI am able to really control my ball flight, whereas with the burner I had no control.

  18. Ron

    August 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I don’t think the speed groove/channel thing would keep the smash legal on the driver.

  19. Roger

    July 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I have the Tour 10.5 and it carries 270 almost on a dime every time. The thing that sold me was the spin: I had 2700 rpm with my Rapture 9 degree but my spin is less that 2100 rpm with the TM RBZ. I get about 25 yards of roll and can even hit the RBZ off the turf……….yes turf. The ball goes so high I tried it from the turf and it does pretty well there too. Great stick.

  20. Kevin

    July 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    I’m a lefty and I golf atleast 4 times a week and I just got this driver. I have a really bad cut( ball goes right to left) and this diver is making it worse.

    • rickybobby

      November 4, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      you slice hard and you bought the rocketballz tour? you must not be the brightest. the tour’s is or should be straight, with no offset, unlike other drivers that arnt tour.

    • Brent

      April 17, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Wouldn’t make sense to buy a Tour club if you are a high-handicapper as most that hit a slice are. the problem isn’t the club it’s your swing.

  21. Pingback: Taylormade R11S TP Gold Coast- How Good It Is

  22. Pingback: Taylormade Rocketballz Tour Gold Coast- Get The Best From It

  23. kyle

    July 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    so is tm gonna put a speed pocket in one of there rbz drivers? If they do im sold. The rbz fairway wood is super long with that speed pocket. I think they would be crazy not to put it in a driver.

    • Dakota

      January 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      They can not do that because it would boost the cor (spring effect) to make it illegal.

  24. Tim Martinez

    July 3, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    After reading your review I went to a TM demo. I am already a huge TM fan entire bag is TM including the new Penta. I was still playing the orig R9. I was ready for a new driver and so when I was fit for a Rocketballz Tour TP with real Diamana Kaili I didnt blink. Week later driver made it here and I had planned range time anyway as I had a 2 day tournament coming in 2 days. The driver was the same as when I demoed it. PURE>>>> I never do this that fast put I put it in play for the tournament. First day great! Almost drove the first green 345 yds 8) Second day I wanted to be there a little early to warm up as I put my self in the final group and was 3 shots from the lead. I began warming up and moved into the drier and today it just wasnt right… I look down and theres a one inch crack right thru the alignment aide in the crown. 3 days old… I was so hyped about the driver I Was gonna bite the bullet and get the 3 wood too. Still a TM fan but a little cracked…

  25. jim

    July 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    after hitting the tour rbz on the simulator, i noticed my launch angle was better and i loved how it felt. i bought it expecting good results. the first thing i noticed was that my misses were 30yds longer. after about 30 swings things came together. 300 yds is no longer a quest, its an expectation…now 340 is my quest. do the math…..

  26. Rowan

    June 30, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I personally find the RBZ tour to be horrible compared to the razr fit. Razr you can work the ball is 10-15 yds longer than RBZ. Trust me you will be doing yourself a favor by trying out the RAZR and “Performance over paint”

  27. Mike

    June 28, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Bought the 10.5 degree regular flex in addition to the HL 3 wood & 21 degree 7 wood. Once I found my swing on the range yesterday I was flying the 7 wood 180m(just short of 200 yards carry). I have never got close to that with any other 7 wood.
    No idea how far I was hitting the driver as the last marker on the range is at 200m but my balls are going places they have never visited.
    No complaints from me. Great looking clubs, great feel. Can’t understand why some people go on about the sound – I love it!!
    Highly recommended but at the end of the day it’s really all about your swing – rubbish swing, rubbish result whatever clubs you hit.

  28. Jacob

    June 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    RBZ 10.5 regular shaft=bombs for me!

  29. brenmuldoon1

    June 25, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Can someone please explain the “inverted cone technology” to me. My logic says it would make a sweet spot smaller – if thats possible, but the reviewer says it makes off center hits go further – how?

  30. roho

    June 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Are the face angles open on this tour version?

  31. Ian

    June 20, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I went to the pro shop yesterday and got them to tape up a normal RBZ 10.5 Stiff and the RBZ TP Tour 10.5 Stiff.
    The normal version went far too high for me.
    The Tour version with the TP shaft was awesome though. Much more penetrating flight and plenty of hang-time and roll. I bought it obviously..
    I havent tweaked the settings at all as I want to see what it does on the course with some Pro-V1X’s first and take it from there.
    Playing tomorrow evening and can’t wait for the first long par4.

  32. John

    June 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I love the RBZ. Just bought it a couple days ago and the ball just flies off so fast its somtimes hard to follow but i love the driver. When you catch the sweet spot you’ll definatly hear it, but im not complaining when im hitting 300 or more yards with it. Overall, the best driver I have ever hit.

  33. Jason

    June 6, 2012 at 6:03 am

    I have a RBZ tour 9 degree with a Matrix Ozik black tie stiff and have never been happier, hit it 300+ metres constantly and have never found a workable shaft like this before. I have gone through 3 shafts before this one to find the one. The others were good just not as consistant and yes for sure the miss hits still get out there but when you get it off the screws its hot!! low boring flight that runs a little extra when it hits the ground just to rub it in to my playing partners.

  34. Lee

    June 3, 2012 at 5:56 am

    Great review and pretty much spot on to my findings with the club. I’m gaming the 9 degree tour with the stock xcon 6 stiff shaft shortened to 44.5. This baby has increased my club head and ball speed by 3-4 mph and raised my smash factor from 1.41 to an amazing 1.48. I’ve also previously had problems launching the ball to high however I’m now consistently around 13 degrees which the pro who did my fitting attributes to the shorter shaft length. In my opinion a great club at a great price point.

    • William Mackay

      June 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      My friend has one of these, he got the white top covered by Carbonfibre skin. It looks the business. Will try & get photo to upload.

  35. Rob Bennett

    May 8, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Great review.. I’ve been hitting the Tour 9* with a Miyazaki Kusula Black 61x shaft in it and it is a bomber with a great ball flight and tons of consistancy. You are right, the mishits are unbelievable…they don’t feel great, but work out nicely the majority of the time.

  36. Pingback: TaylorMade RocketBallz Tour Driver: Featured Review | Augusta Blog

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