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Do TaylorMade’s RSi Face Slots actually work?

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Yes, I’m a teaching professional, but I don’t hesitate to use all the technology that equipment manufacturers are building into their new clubs. Like you, my job keeps me from playing and practicing as much as I’d like, so I want all the help I can get from my equipment. That’s why I was excited when I heard about TaylorMade’s RSi irons, which have new technology that promises to improve performance on off-center hits.

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The RSi irons have slots cut through their faces that are said to help mishits — especially those on the heel and toe — fly more like shots hit on the sweet spot. They work together with the slot on the bottom of the sole (TaylorMade calls it a “Speed Pocket”) to help iron shots launch higher, faster and more consistently.

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It wasn’t until Doppler Radar Launch Monitors like FlightScope and Trackman came out that I became clear on how big of a difference equipment plays in changing ball flight. By changing club heads and shafts, golfers can totally shift the launch, spin, height and landing angle of their shots, which affects their carry distance, roll and dispersion.

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I used to order the same set makeup every year, which wasn’t too different than what I used during my formative golf years, but now I’ve switched to multiple fairway woods and different types of modern iron constructions (hotter, more forgiving long irons and blade-like short irons) that help me play my best. I found this to be my ideal set makeup through testing on my Trackman, and when I got TaylorMade’s new RSi 2 irons in the mail I could wait to see if they worked better for me.

The RSi 2 has a size that between the TaylorMade’s RSi 1 irons (a larger, game-improvement model) and its RSi TP (a smaller moder for better players).

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Full disclosure: I am a TaylorMade staff professional, but I approached this testing in the same non-biased way that I approach my instruction articles with GolfWRX. Don’t take my word that these irons are good or bad — look at my numbers, or better yet go get fit for the and see the results for yourself.

The testing below took place the week after a (non-golf) vacation, so I really got to see how good they RSi’s were at helping me on mishits.

7 iron, RSi 2: Solid shots with centered impact

Photo 1
Click the images to enlarge it.

I separated my best stock shots with my 7 iron.

  • Clubhead Speed: 85.1 mph
  • Ball Speed: 115.2 mph
  • Smash Factor: 1.35
  • Carry: 157.7 yards
  • Height: 75 feet
  • Spin Rate: 6458 rpm

RSi2, 7 iron: Random unsolid impacts

Photo 2
Click the images to enlarge it.

I separated my mishits with my 7 iron, throwing out the grossly mis-hit shots that are not typical of my on-course play. My averages are below. You can see they they’re different than my best hits, but they’re much closer than what I expected.

  • Clubhead Speed: 85.3 mph (from 83.3 to 89.2 mph)
  • Ball Speed: 111.4 mph (from 108.5 mph to 115 mph)
  • Smash Factor: 1.31 (from 1.28 to 1.36)
  • Carry: 152.9 yards (from 148.9 yards to 154.8 yards)
  • Height: 78.9 feet (from 67.2 feet to 90.5 feet)
  • Spin Rate: 5107 rpm (from 3687 rpm to 5947 rpm)

Let’s compare the 7 iron data together

Photo 3
Click the image to enlarge it.

Both impact conditions have the same clubhead speed that averages around 85 mph. The ball speed of the solid shots averaged 115 mph vs. 111.4 mph on the unsolid ones. That’s a Smash Factor difference of only 0.04, which is miniscule.

What is interesting to see is that the carry distances are under control on the solid shots — no hot spots from the slots, which was a concern with TaylorMade’s original RocketBladez and RocketBladez Tour irons. Even better was the consistency on off-center hits in terms of carry distance. I missed the ball all over the face and got an average carry distances that was only 4.8 yards shorter than my best strikes.

——————–

Now, what about a longer iron? That’s where there’s a much greater potential for mishits and those mishits are often amplified. With the RSi 2, TaylorMade added tungsten weights to the soles of the 2, 3, 4 and 5 irons to add more MOI to the clubs for even better ball speed retention on mishits.

Here’s how the same test went with a 5 iron. I followed the same protocol as above.

5 iron, RSi2: Solid shots with centered impact

Photo 4
Click the image to enlarge it.

  • Clubhead Speed: 88 mph
  • Ball Speed: 126.9 mph
  • Smash Factor: 1.44
  • Carry: 179 yards
  • Spin Rate: 5402 rpm
  • Height of 65.6 feet
  • Landing Angle: 37.6 degrees

5 iron, RSi2: Random unsolid shots

Photo 5
Click the image to enlarge it.

  • Clubhead Speed: 88.5 mph (from 87.8 mph to 89.6 mph)
  • Ball Speed: 125.6 mph (from 123 mph to 128.8 mph)
  • Smash Factor: 1.42 (from 1.4 to 1.44)
  • Carry: 174.3 yards (from 167.9 yards to 180.2 yards)
  • Spin Rate: 5571 rpm (from 4892 rpm to 5971 rpm)
  • Landing Angle: 41.7 degrees (from 38.9 degrees to 44 degrees)

Let’s compare the 5 iron data together

Photo 6
Click the image to enlarge it.

The clubhead speeds on both series of shots was constant at about 88 mph. Amazingly, average ball speed was only separated by 1.3 mph from the “solid” to “unsolid” group. Smash factors between the two showed a very consistent energy transfer on the unsolid shots as well — just a 0.02 of a difference

The carry average on the solid shots was 179 yards, and the average of the mishit group was less than 5 yards shorter — 174.3 yards. Only one mishit that fell outside of a 10-yard gap. It flew 167.9 yards, which was a nice surprise based on the contact (awful).

The Takeaway

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To me, this test showed that TaylorMade’s new RSi 2 irons are the company’s most consistent irons in their category to date. The improved Speed Pocket and Face Slots do make a difference. Just how much of a difference will depend on your swing speed, average contact point and mechanics, but they will be more consistent.

Are they worth the upgrade? I’ll be making the switch because I know they’re better for me. The numbers proved it. If you’re interested in a new set of irons, get to a qualified custom fitter and see which model works for you — the RSi 1, RSi 2 or RSi TP — and if they’re better than what you’re playing.

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Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (www.puntamita.com) He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email: tom.stickney@puntamita.com

126 Comments

126 Comments

  1. DJ

    Dec 1, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    The slots probably do help, but not using a forged face in the RSi 2’s provides a terrible feel. Haven’t been able to hit the TP version since they are not in stores, but typically don’t play player irons.

    • tp demo

      Dec 29, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Stores that have the Taylor made Select Fit system should have TP iron demo heads. I work for such a place, and we’ve had the demo head since October. I’ve hit the TP, and like it. It doesn’t get as much distance as the rsi2 head (I used the same shaft installed in both) for me, but a customer I let hit it hit the TP further than the 2. I told him that I thought that was because of the heavier head in the TP (aka higher swing weight) which resulted in him taking it back smoother instead of jerking it back and getting out of sync like he appeared to do with the 2. I will probably order myself TP irons after they are released (as long as they offer they type of shafts I want).

  2. BobH

    Oct 28, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Tom, enjoyed your review and comments. I hit the Rsi 2 7i w/KBS Tour S @ Roger Dunn in Santa Ana yesterday (indoor/mats/launch monitor). Club felt pretty solid, higher flight, a little clunky, but wasn’t distracted by the face slots at all. I would be interested in your opinion of a Rsi 1 and 2 combo set. Really don’t like my long irons lately, but worry about differences in lofts between models. Also, in your opinion, would Project X help to bring the flight down a little. My avg 7i=160, 6i=170. Thanks in advance.

    • Tom Stickney

      Nov 8, 2014 at 2:23 am

      It should. Call Scott Felix at spring creek ranch in memphis. Felix Clubworks. He can help you with shafts. He’s the best.

  3. Mctrees02

    Oct 28, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Thanks for the info Tom. I may have missed this in the comments…but did you compare the RSi2 vs your current irons? As much as anything, I would think that is the best way to compare them. TM’s claim is that the irons are better on mishits than other models. Testing that would be what I would look at before switching. I’ve hit the RSi2 at a local retailer and agree that the mishits seem to be improved but I couldn’t buy a new iron until I can directly compare them vs my gamers.

  4. John McLandsborough

    Oct 24, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    How did you determine the difference between solid centered and random uncentered impact? Did you use impact tape? Subjective feedback from the club and shot feel? Smash factor?

  5. Mad-Mex

    Oct 23, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    How much difference would they have to be in YOUR opinion for the average golfer to go out and buy these new clubs to replace their current set? Remember, we have to pay for our equipment!

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 24, 2014 at 1:35 am

      They have to be much better with the part of my game that I need help with. Distance isn’t my issue at the country club level of golf that I tend to play. I can often hit balls unsolid due to a lack of play/practice due to my teaching schedule so that’s what I’m looking for in the RSI irons. Hence the reason I never played the rbz or speedblades they were distance irons.

  6. marcel

    Oct 23, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Sorry Tom – but for teaching professional you have too big variation to earn any respect. On the distance – you have 14 yards difference on 5 iron and 11 yrd on 7 iron!?!?! im kicking my self when i hit 3-4yrds difference and i am an office guy!!! man you gotta work on your swing before you teach someone else. sorry mate

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 23, 2014 at 1:33 am

      You’re kidding me right?

    • Bob

      Oct 23, 2014 at 11:38 pm

      You should be on the tour if you’re that good. You obviously don’t know anything about the game of golf. I would bet an entire months pay that Tom would demolish you on the course.

      By the way thanks for the review Tom! Very helpful.

    • Mctrees02

      Oct 28, 2014 at 11:36 am

      That’s pretty funny. I wish I knew how be so reliable as to always hit my irons within a 3 yard window.

      That is pretty much the equivalent of Clayton Kershae saying that his fastball always goes 96mph and he’s miffed when the gun reads 94…or 98. I bet Roger Federer hates when his serves go 126mph instead of 129mph.

      • Mctrees02

        Oct 28, 2014 at 11:37 am

        Yes I know it’s Kershaw…stupid typo w/ no edit option.

  7. Regis

    Oct 22, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    It seems no matter what TM does they are going to get blasted. Based upon their marketing, perhaps deservedly so. That being said my first irons were MacGregor MT Tourneys. Gamed Mizunos and Miura forged for a ton of years. Had to switch to graphite shafts which was a problem with the .355 taper hosels. Got fitted for G-25’s, then tried Cobra Amps. Finally tried the SLDR irons. For my game, Closest thing to forged in terms of feel and feedback plus the forgiveness. I have no interest in the newer models but I am a believer in slot technology. If you criticize the concept without trying them then your criticism has no more basis than the marketing “gimmicks” you so easily and summarily dismiss. Thanks for the write up Tom.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 23, 2014 at 1:34 am

      Thx. Like I said. Try them for yourself.

  8. JT

    Oct 22, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Just the typical BS marketing hype from Taylor Maid—if all their garbage talk was true all would be hitting the driver 450 yards and every iron would be at least 50 yards longer than a few yrs ago.

    • Wally K

      Oct 22, 2014 at 11:00 am

      JT–not everyone in golf is perfectly fit or have the perfect swing like you do by your comment. TM is a business and like all other OEM they want to make the game as easy as possible with in the rule of golf to make the number of golfers grow. What is the harm in that.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 23, 2014 at 1:34 am

      Don’t know if I’d say it’s all hype.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 24, 2014 at 1:38 am

      JT- if it wasn’t for Tmag then we’d have never heard about adjustable hosel drivers, moveable weight technology, or lower spinning drivers. It’s their marketing that moved these great ideas into everyone’s bag…thank goodness

      • Justin

        Dec 16, 2014 at 6:47 pm

        Found this late… but it was Wishon that made the first metal adjustable hosel. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Wooden heads could be drilled at different angles to alter lie and loft.

        • Jerry

          Dec 24, 2014 at 10:52 am

          True. And it was Mizuno who had the first moveable weight driver, the MP600 in 07 or 08. Mizuno’s J33r was developed as a low spin driver nearly a decade ago. Tom, don’t be taking credit for technologies developed by other companies.

  9. Lowell

    Oct 22, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Personally owned a set of sldr irons and I currently game the tp irons with a MC/CB set up. I gave the RSI 1 version a shot and actually liked it. Great solid feel and the dispersion was pretty spot on. One thing I could not get out of my head are having the slots on the heel and toe of the club. In the earlier stages of my golf life, all I played were forged blades (mizuno 14, 32, 33 and the cleveland cg1) and to say need to hit center of face for best results pretty much was the standard. The RSI is comparable to the TP cb irons I currently have at this moment. A lot of weight behind the ball and slightly lower. Makes for a solid feel and with the 7 iron with Kbs 105s my carry distance was 192 yards average. That is insane. I am very tempted to purchase a set but am holding out for the TP models coming out early 2015. For those looking for a slight step up from the current Tour preferred set, the Rsi 1 is worth taking a look at.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 22, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Wait till you see the tp/RSI 2 combo!!

  10. Mad-Mex

    Oct 22, 2014 at 4:56 am

    I started reading this article with great interest, but, the interest demolished when I read you were a Taylor Made staff professional, I am sure you can understand that made me a bit skeptical.
    I continued to read the article waiting for your comparison to another club, even say, your current set so we could see the difference, if any, but it never came.
    I am sorry but this seemed like another add for Taylor Made disguised as a review, and yes, would still like to see a comparison of new versus old.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 22, 2014 at 10:35 am

      As stated I will be comparing them to my game set when I get off the road.

    • Davemac

      Oct 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      My thoughts as well, far from an unbiased opinion, I also would have expected the grouping to be closer between the two sets of strikes.

      • Tom Stickney

        Oct 24, 2014 at 1:39 am

        Davemac– you must be much better than I am. Because I’m pleased with those misses.

  11. Gary Jones

    Oct 21, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    I’m heading out to the Taylormade Performance studio at Poppy Hills on Nov 10th to get fit for Irons. I’m guessing if they don’t have the RSI 2’s yet it’s worth waiting for until they do?

    • Carl Spackler

      Oct 22, 2014 at 3:22 am

      WAIT. Try the RSi2 before you buy. I tested both RSi irons. The RSi2 are really similar to the SLDR irons and the RSi1 are more like the speedblades at address. Depends on what you prefer but the RSi2 was rediculously consistent and if you prefer the SLDR or CB iron look to the speedblade than you are going to want to wait for the RSi2. Hope this helps.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 22, 2014 at 4:16 am

      They should have demos I’d think?

      • Gary

        Oct 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm

        I checked and they have demos to be fitted with and I’ll just have to have them shipped after they go on sale Nov 14/15th instead of taking them with me right away.

    • Lowell

      Oct 22, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Im planning to do that as well, I second the trying out the RSI 1 also as the RSI 2 remind me of the sldr irons. You might like the RSI 1 as I did. Good luck and hope they set you up right with your next set of clubs

  12. Ryan K

    Oct 21, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Ok something like this is what I needed to see to confirm that I should try these along with the new Nike line. May I ask what made you go with the RSi2 versus the RSi TP version? I don’t know your game and realize there is a difference, respectfully, between a teaching pro and a touring pro but I still need to ask!

    Also, you replied to a post about that amateurs secondly need to learn HOW to score…you are speaking of things such as course management? and?? Might I have missed a previous article of yours?? As always, keep up these types of articles!

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 21, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      Thx. The ones Tmag sent were the 2’s which matches the ones I usually get. Course mgmt is the key.

    • Thomas Beckett

      Oct 22, 2014 at 2:42 am

      The only TM irons I could get my hands on to test were the RSi1 and RSi2 that came from TM about two weeks ago. I think the forged iron comes out in February with the R15 from what I heard from a TM rep although who knows, they may speed up the date for a holiday release.

      • Tom Stickney

        Oct 22, 2014 at 4:17 am

        We’ll see. Love to see the tp’s out earlier.

  13. Rumble

    Oct 21, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Nice article, but how are cuts (filled with polymer, of course)through the face legal according to the USGA?

  14. marty

    Oct 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    No new modern golf clubs are terrible like some of these comments are looking for. I think golfers just have to find the right match club for their swing. Nobody cares if you don’t like a club better than another.

  15. Christosterone

    Oct 21, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I play the 2007 nike chrome forged blade…no graffitti just chrome and a tiny swoosh.
    Soft stepped white kbs x and white iomic sticky 1.8…..if TM(or anyone for that matter) could make a club without all the crap painted on it those of us who prefer clean lines may consider the switch.
    Im not a pro so comfort over the ball is everything and that club looks too busy for my eye(s)…

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 21, 2014 at 10:35 am

      “Looks” to the player is everything

    • Golf Symantics22

      Nov 5, 2014 at 9:54 am

      I totally agree. I game the Mizuno MP4 and they are a clean simple iron. I am thinking of getting the RSI2 for my father as he ages and struggles to get the ball in the air.

  16. Johnny

    Oct 21, 2014 at 8:39 am

    They may very well do exactly what they are advertised to do but when I read the title of the article, posed as a question, I immediately knew that you were going to say that they work as advertised. Duh!

    The next equipment article I read on the GolfWrx home page that says the equipment being talked about is really not very good will be the first.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 21, 2014 at 10:36 am

      If they stink I would say so…the numbers won’t lie

      • Johnny

        Oct 21, 2014 at 11:26 am

        Okay, tell us what clubs from a major manufacturer stink.

  17. S

    Oct 21, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Good review. I have tested the TM RSi 1 and 2 irons over the last few days. I tested them both with DG Tour Issue S400 shafts and I will say that the RSi’s tested way better than their predecessors. RSi 1 is much better performing iron than the speedblade. Ball speed #’s were 3-4 MPH faster on center hits and 2-3 MPH faster on off-center hits. The ball launched higher on average and spin rates were pretty consistent. I am not a TM staffer just a non-biased club fitter who works and does fittings a GD Top 100 Club Fitting Facility.

  18. Brian

    Oct 21, 2014 at 7:32 am

    You fail to mention which shaft you used in both irons. Were they exactly the same? Were they tested? If not this is not an apples to apples comparison. Shaft can have just as much influence on dispersion

  19. Slots don't work

    Oct 21, 2014 at 3:20 am

    So the slots don’t do their job. Your 5 iron misses are way too disparate to say that the slots are doing their job.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 21, 2014 at 7:08 am

      I’ll take that miss pattern from 180 yards….

      • No sense

        Oct 22, 2014 at 3:00 am

        13 yards of distance in the miss? That’s a huge gap. And you say you eliminated the worse hits. And this is the best grouping you came up with. How’s that going to help anybody, especially a player who is not consistent? You make no sense.

      • Jack

        Oct 22, 2014 at 4:13 am

        I don’t know but does that guy just play video game golf? I was really impressed with the miss pattern myself. Maybe a full time touring pro would be disappointed and having an off day, but for anyone who just plays for fun (as well as teaching pro’s who have no time to practice and play I guess), those are stellar results!

  20. paul

    Oct 21, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Good article Tom. But you had to know that people would demand a comparison to another club. So why not just do a comparison to whatever is in your bag already? It would have made sense.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 21, 2014 at 12:42 am

      It was an article comparing solid to unsolid hits. Will use other irons to appease the masses

  21. Bryan

    Oct 20, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Nice review! I currently play rbladez and like them a lot. I know that you mentioned to try these and then make a determination. Would you be able to post your numbers (data) with your old 7 iron and 5 iron in comparison to this. I’m really curious about the mishits with your old clubs in comparison with these. Thanks

  22. Kyle Klages

    Oct 20, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Great article, Tom. Very much looking forward to the test against other irons.

  23. Rick

    Oct 20, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    This is a good start, but clearly from all the comments above, we all have the same question: how much better are they than the jetspeeds, rbladez, burners, etc. I don’t think anyone believes taylormade has created a less forgiving iron, but without showing the numbers from the older irons, this article doesn’t tell me much. I can tell you that last week I hit the rbladez, jetspeeds, and rsi’s on the launch monitor and did not notice any considerable difference. If I was on the taylormade staff I’d gladly accept my new free irons, but as a consumer, I’ll save my money for the time being.

  24. Wayne Smith

    Oct 20, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    What I’m wondering is that from what I’ve read and heard most of this new technology is geared more towards those that have faster club head speeds. It’s like I’ve tried a number of different so called hot drivers suggesting increased speed and distance yet I’m not finding that. I’ve actual gone backwards 2 or 3 model years and have found better numbers when. Not to sound cynical but I am, I just don’t trust Taylormade, to me they keep coming out with something new every 6 months and it just kind of turns me off their equipment. God knows this sucker has purchased and tried a lot of the new technology and I just don’t see that much difference and I’m a +hdcp and when you start talking about the average joe who can’t swing the club the someway 1 out 20 times it ain’t happening. Go to the golf shops and look at all of the returned so call new and improved clubs in the used racks, amazing….a lot Taylormade and Callaway. Give it up, and off center hit is an off center hit and the result is still less than perfect, which by the way doesn’t happen very often. I suggest working on ones short game and stop the search for a few 2, 3 maybe 5 yds of extra distance. 🙂

    • Dan

      Oct 20, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      I think iron technology took a big leap forward about 3-4 years ago and it continues today. I have JPX 800 Pros and I’m starting to look around again already because this stuff isn’t snake oil right now with the irons. I’m confident these are a superior iron, but I don’t understand how comparing RSi 2s against RSi 2s is supposed to turn my head. I mean, I have to take you at your word you were hitting it all over the face on the “unsolid” hits. It would be helpful to see what the comparison is to 3 year old popular iron sets (golfers currently looking to upgrade) and even more helpful to see how the RSi 2 compares against Mizuno EZ Forged or Ping G30, etc (help me decide what to buy!). When you boil it down this article either means you never hit it too far off the center of the club face, or these irons are really forgiving, who knows.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 20, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Test em. Unless they work better don’t buy them

      • Dan

        Oct 20, 2014 at 9:12 pm

        I don’t have time to test, that’s why I’m always up reading golfwrx all night:)

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 21, 2014 at 10:38 am

      Short game is also important.

  25. Jeff

    Oct 20, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Tom, another very well written article about how instruction or equipment can lead to a better game. I find it funny how many comments bash you for being a TM staff guy and therefore can’t be unbiased in your article when you say this is a good product. If you had done this test with Mizuno irons, and the results of the test proved they were not as good on mishits (not saying they would or would not have been as good of results) you would have been bashed for being a bias TM staff guy as well who doesn’t think other companies make good product. Many of the commentators are the ones who have the bias, not you in the writing of the articles you do for GolfWRX. Keep up the great work and Thank you

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 20, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      Thank you. I’d test anything for anyone and be 100% honest about it.

      • Joe Golfer

        Oct 23, 2014 at 12:54 am

        Seems some folks feel you can’t be unbiased due to a TM affiliation.
        I trust that you are, as I’ve read other articles by you that always seem straight forward and honest.
        Also, I read a Bunkers Paradise website review which mirrored your results in the respect that the clubs were extremely forgiving on mishits. The tester was a slower swinger who runs that website, and he seemed quite impressed. Folks can go to that website and look it up for themselves. He did test the most forgiving model, with the 95 gram shafts, so it wasn’t the exact same model as you, but the speed slots principle was the same. It wasn’t about adding distance. It was about “not losing distance” on mishits, and especially not losing accuracy.

        I would like to see more articles where you test clubs from other manufacturers. Mizuno is often advertising how their JP850’s are the most forgiving irons, even having a demo showing results comparing them to numerous other brands.

      • Eugene Marchetti

        Dec 19, 2014 at 8:45 pm

        I believe you are an honest man and your reviews are extremely unbiased. But I do not believe there is not enough difference in the RSi 2 and the SDLR to spend the cash for a new set.

    • christian

      Oct 21, 2014 at 7:14 am

      This whole article would never be printed if Tom found these new TM irons to be junk. You REALLY think he would call TM stuff crap even if it were? Then there would rather be no article published at all. Get real

      • Tom Stickney

        Oct 21, 2014 at 10:41 am

        My job was to show you dispersion patterns I saw with these irons. The pattern tells me they work. If the pattern was worse then it would be hard to say how good they were wouldn’t it??

        • christian

          Oct 21, 2014 at 6:27 pm

          Then this article would not be printed, that’s my point. Had you found these irons gave you terrible dispersion had your takeaway then stated “These are awful irons for me, would never bag them, ever”. No. If that was your conclusion you would have pulled this article, because you would lose your sponsorship in a hurry.

          • Tom Stickney

            Oct 21, 2014 at 10:33 pm

            I’ve always been true to Tmag. If something sucks I will say so. The rbz’s sucked!

      • Johnny

        Oct 21, 2014 at 11:34 am

        Exactly.

  26. Geoff Wattoff

    Oct 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I find this article interesting but inconclusive. The questions that need to be answered are, “Are the Rsi irons more forgiving than other irons? Do the face slots make a difference” To do that, the test should be performed with other game improvement irons and more “players” irons. How much more forgiving are these irons than the Speedblade irons (which have slots in the sole but not in the face)? Only then can we truly tell if the face slots provide an improvement in forgiveness.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      As stated I test all my irons before switching.

  27. Bobsyouruncle

    Oct 20, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I have to say I appreciate the up-front honest disclosure about you being a staffer from TM, but I stopped reading the article with seriousness at that point. I find it impossible that this testing and writeup is non-bias no matter how hard you tried, as I’m sure your job description and perhaps work contract with TM would not allow you to publish an article stating the exact opposite if that’s what your true findings were. Afterall, that would be a tough sell for TM if one of their own staffers knocked the clubs in an article they published. 🙂

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 20, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Look at the data and test them on your own…you’ll thank me.

      • Bobsyouruncle

        Oct 21, 2014 at 1:15 am

        Sounds like a challenge. I will definitely have to try them out at the next demo day. I’m especially wondering how they feel and sound?

        • Tom Stickney

          Oct 21, 2014 at 10:42 am

          Not as tinny sounding as the rbz and speedblades.

      • Fred

        Oct 23, 2014 at 12:38 am

        I think the data I’m really interested in is from the everyday amateur, not a professional who is going to be more constant with his or her shots. it seems the Callaways and TalorMades (among others) of the golf world are coming out with a new iron or driver every six months. Bottom line, buying a new set of irons or woods is not going to improve your game if you haven’t learned how to hit the ball correctly. If you can do that, you may just find that the set you’re currently using works just fine, and you’ll end up spending less money on equipment that’s continually getting more expensive each year – depute the fact that fewer and fewer people are playing the game
        .

  28. enrique

    Oct 20, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Nice writeup –

    But I still have to ask, with all this technology in clubs how comes the cumulative handicaps of players registered in the GHIN system not gone down? Forgiveness, speed, increasing MOI, etc. And the answer isn’t that golf courses have gotten longer or harder because they haven’t. Bottom line is that these technological enhancements to equipment don’t improve players scores.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Hitting more greens is the key for the average golfer per Mark Brodie’s book. Secondly am’s need more help learning how to score but 95% of them are more interested in learning how to hit the ball instead.

    • Knobbywood

      Oct 21, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Golf courses haven’t gotten longer and harder? Sorry u lost all credibility with that one… This coming from a guy who works in the golf course design business btw

      • Tom Stickney

        Oct 21, 2014 at 10:43 am

        Knobby I think your comment was for the guy above?

  29. Jim

    Oct 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Nice little write up. The results of your test are interesting, but I really don’t get a lot of meaning from the stats without something to compare it to.

    It would be nice to see comparisons to either a competitor’s iron set (Ping G series, etc.) or even to Taylormade’s previous generation. So there’s some frame of reference for the improvement offered by the new technology.

    Thanks. Jimmy Mac

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 20, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Agree. Wish I could get a few others clubs to test as well

      • jwc

        Oct 20, 2014 at 8:04 pm

        I think this is the most important thing, how can you make a judgment without a control group of some sort?

        • Tom Stickney

          Oct 21, 2014 at 12:06 am

          Jwc…make the other companies send me clubs and I will be happy to do so.

  30. Jason

    Oct 20, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I would like to see the new clubs compared to what you already use. And thanks for giving us a demo of someone using an average swing speed, it seems like most of the test are done with near tour level swing speeds so this was a lot more realistic to what I hit.

  31. Tom Stickney

    Oct 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    As I said in the article…don’t take my word for it. Agree

    • Thomas Beckett

      Oct 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      I did test the new line of TM irons. I always test clubs thoroughly before I buy which probably irritates the Palm Desert Golfsmith salesman but the Rocketbladez were the first irons I purchased after only 1 week of testing switching out of Ping I20 because of the results. I played the RBladez competively for a year and a half. The tests and on course play confirmed to me that my thin shots lost minimal distance compared to any other iron on the market at that time. My only conclusion was the slot must have worked. I switched a few months ago to Mizuno MP54s because the Rocketbladez had occasional hotspots. After testing the new TM RSi2 I was shocked at how consistant that iron was with grouping not only with lateral deviation but mishits were 50% closer to max distance than my Mizunos. I didn’t see a distance gain but the consistency was pleasantly surprising. I won’t be switching from my Mizunos not because the data wasn’t better but because I just got my irons dialed in and I don’t make my living from the results of my golf shots so I can wait a couple of years to improve the occasional mishit. Taylormade certainly has my attention with their new iron line and if I were in the market for irons these would be contenders to go in the bag. Thanks for the data and the non biased write up Mr.Stickney.

      • Dan

        Oct 20, 2014 at 8:49 pm

        @Beckett thanks for taking the time to write this, Mizuno 800 Pros have hotspots too and I want to fix that, but I don’t play enough to go MP54 or anything. Definately will check these out. Nothing is more frustrating than watching your ball fly and extra 15 yards–directly over the flag stick–due to a hotspot hit.

        • Tom Stickney

          Oct 21, 2014 at 10:46 am

          Thank goodness we aren’t still playing the old ultra and top flight distance balls

      • Tom Stickney

        Oct 21, 2014 at 10:45 am

        My pleasure. Come see me at bighorn!

      • Tom Stickney

        Oct 21, 2014 at 2:58 pm

        My pleasure Thomas

  32. Duncan Castles

    Oct 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    While TaylorMade bombard us with advertising for these irons it’s worth noting that there are a range of earlier variable-thickness face designs that achieve equivalent off-centre hit forgiveness. You could, for example, get properly fit for Wishon’s 771CSI irons, which, in my opinion, are a far better looking club. I suspect their manufacturing is superior too.

    Here’s Tom Wishon’s thoughts on the new TM models and their marketing: “I guess about the only thing I can say is that we did our first variable thickness face design on an iron with the old model 770CFE that was introduced in 2004. Since then we have done the 807Ti irons and the 771CSI irons with variable thickness faces.

    “The variable thickness face was my way to figure out how to deliver really good distance and results from shots hit off center. And there is no question that it works. If you were to sub any of our variable face high COR irons into that robot in the video, the same thing would happen – the off center hits would still get on the green same as does the on center hit.

    “Because of the slick marketing made possible by lots of money, things like this can tend to look like the big companies invented it, but this sort of off center hit performance has been around for 10 yrs now, with us being the first to figure it out and do it. So if they are on their first generation super forgiving iron face design, we are now on our third.

    “The same thing as you see on that video would happen with our 870Ti and 771CSI iron models because these both have the variable thickness face, which is just a different way of making the off center areas of the face flex inward the way that TM’s slots on either side of the face do it for their model.

    “There are two ways that a designer can try to increase the distance for an off center hit vs the normal distance with an on center hit. One is to make the head have as high of an MOI as possible by putting as much of the head’s weight all around the outer perimeter of the head. This increases the MOI of the head which in turn causes the head to twist less in response to an off center hit. The reduced twisting for the off center hit from the higher MOI design of the head then causes there to be a better transfer of energy to the ball for the off center hit so the ball does not lose as much distance when it is hit off center.

    “The other way is by designing the face in some manner so the off center hit still can cause the face to flex inward by as close to the amount as possible that the face flexes inward for an on center hit. And to do this, you can either design the face as we do, so the center area is slightly thicker than the surrounding outer area. or you can design the head as TM has done so there are slots on the side of the face to allow the off center hit areas to also flex inward a little more than before.

    “Same result, just two different ways to do it when you look at the slots vs the variable thickness face.

    “As to the 560 iron, there is no question that an off center hit with the 560 will go farther than an off center hit of any other thicker face conventional COR iron. But the off center hit of the 560 won’t fly quite as far in relation to an on center hit as what you can see for an off center hit vs on center hit with a high COR variable thickness face. So while the 560 is a superbly forgiving head among all forgings of normal COR, it cannot get quite to the off center hit performance of a variable thickness face on a high COR design or to a slot face like the TM iron has.”

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Tom knows his stuff

    • Joe Golfer

      Oct 23, 2014 at 1:19 am

      A good intro to the Wishon clubs and the 771CSI iron model in particular, and a good explanation of the means to improve shots on mishits.

      I haven’t hit those 771’s, but I’ve seen a set. A really nice looking iron, not too big, not too small, not overly or underly offset.
      There is one feature that I’d like to see Wishon incorporate that some major OEM’s have done, and that is the use of tungsten in irons to increase MOI even more on off center hits.
      Put some tungsten in the sole at the corners, at least in the longer irons, especially in the toe area like Ping does.
      I think that would improve his club even further.
      To Duncan Castles, thanks for the Tom Wishon post explaining these factors.

      I once saw an article by Tom Wishon all about adjustable hosels, and about how they really don’t do all that they are supposed to do, as they change so many factors when you alter one thing. I wish GolfWRX would ask Tom to post that article on their website, but I fear it might alienate too many major OEM’s, as the article used specific examples of name brand drivers.

  33. Tom Stickney

    Oct 20, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Not the case at all. I always test my irons before I make a switch.

  34. Joel

    Oct 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Well done article Tom, I would also be curious to see this data matched against a set that does not have face slots to see if there is much of a gain. I dont think anyone doubts the forgiveness but having a tangible increase in forgiveness with some numbers behind it would do an awful lot for the face slot acceptance by the masses.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Will do another addition to the article.

  35. cdvilla

    Oct 20, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    All the marketing here is very compelling for a mid-capper like me. If I can save a few scratchy contacts per round, it’s going to make a huge difference. I’ll be doing some homework on these for sure. Thanks for the article.

  36. Jay

    Oct 20, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Another equipment advertisement brought to you by GolfWRX.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      I’ll GLADLY test any other companies products…still waiting for another company to send me something to try.

    • jim feil

      Oct 20, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      You do know this is a golf forum and website? Would you rather have him test drive Toyota’s.

  37. Kris

    Oct 20, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Very good article. My only Question would be if you have the same testing data (from the same day preferably) with your current/previous irons to compare slots vs no slots.

    • Jeremy

      Oct 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Exactly. It’s good to know that they appear to offer forgiveness, but I’d like to know how much more forgiveness they offer above clubs without the face slots.

      • Tom Stickney

        Oct 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm

        Might do another addition to this article.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Compare all iron sets before I switch.

    • Teaj

      Oct 20, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      thats what I was thinking, its great to get data but to not have anything to compare it to does not mean much as other clubs could have had the similar or better performance.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 21, 2014 at 10:44 am

      Am going to do so.

  38. cody

    Oct 20, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    If i can’t alter the face of my club, why can taylormade? I’ll tell you why. …payola. equipment manufacturers are ruining the game

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Equipment

Making golf easier: Single length vs hybrid irons? – GolfWRXers discuss

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single length irons

In our forums, our members have been discussing directions to take to make golf as easy as possible. WRXer ‘SugarLandGolfer’ kicks off the discussion, saying:

“I see two paths to make the game easier:

1) Hybrid irons with shafts to keep the flight down

2) Single length irons

I did a demo day with Cleveland recent and tried the launchers with i95 steelfiber shafts, and they felt amazing. Only hit the 8 iron, and it felt like hitting the ball with a sledgehammer. However, I’m still concerned about the longer clubs. Hence single length.

If you were making the easiest to play set, which direction would you go, and why?”

And our members have been having their say on the matter in our forums.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • NoTalentLefty: “Lessons for sure, but there are a few ways to do it. Hybrids for the 3 thru 5 6 or 7 irons is also a way. Offset in irons and hybrids, fairway woods, etc. Single length, as you say. It’s a great thought, but the only way the game got easier for me was golfing a lot. Then as I got older and was familiar with the swing, I filled in what clubs to play. I’m 60+ now and the only club I never Been comfortable with since the advent of the 400+ CC head Is the driver. Godspeed on your search.”
  • dlygrisse: “I like the idea of going shorter steps between clubs, say 1 /4 to 3/8”. I believe some custom fitters think this is the way to go. I’ve also seen sets where the short irons are say 8-LW at 36” than the 5-7 are 37” and the long irons or hybrids are 38”. I’ve always wanted to try a similar set.”
  • jomatty: “If you wanted something super easy but not hybrids, I would look at the Cleveland uhx. I’ve got a 20 degree 4 iron, and it is very easy to hit. Going to a Cleveland launcher style club does make it a lot easier t9 hit the ball in the air and make solid contact. It has really helped my wife and is something I would consider.”
  • pinestreetgolf: “Neither one. It’s like asking us which is easier to put on, a small shirt or an XXL shirt? Well, it kinda matters what size you are. Your swing determines which is “easier”. The question itself belies a fundamental misunderstanding about how to shoot a low score, and that is correlating golf and golf swing. Your basic question is “which of these clubs makes playing golf swing easier” when that has relatively little to do with your score. Golf is a game of decisions. It is much closer to chess than tennis. You score lower when you make better decisions. Mechanics and equipment help (a lot) but they do it inside the context of an overall game and the way you swing. There is no objective answer to getting better except figuring out how to get the ball in the hole in fewer strokes. There is no answer to this question.”

Entire Thread: “Making golf easier: Single length vs hybrid irons?”

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about the single best piece of equipment they’ve found lately

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In our forums, our members have been discussing their latest great find in the equipment department. WRXer ‘Double Dodger’ kicks off the thread with his choice of The Grip Master’s perforated leather grips, saying:

“They are amazing! I play without a glove and have psoriatic arthritis and have never felt a grip like this before. No issues whatsoever with slipping. No issues with harshness.

I have played about 30 rounds and see absolutely no wear at all, and the tackiness is unbelievable.”

And our members have been discussing the piece of equipment they’ve found in the last year that has changed their game.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • uglande: “Ventus Blue shafts.”
  • NoTalentLefty: “The Callaway B21 Fairway woods. Got the 3 and is it easy to hit.”
  • spring7: “I am not sure I have been happier with more clubs in my bag at any single time, and I have been doing this a long time! Cobra Speedzone Extreme Yellow HzDRUS Smoke – Longer and straighter than anything I have hit! TEE EXS Pro 15* Tensi Orange- Still honeymooning, but amazing off the tee and fairway, bad swings are punished though. Callaway MD5 Jaws 54 X Grind, perfection every way.”
  • Pepperturbo: “My most exciting find has been 620MB’s irons, specifically PW, 9i but 7i at 150yds uphill. It’s like aiming and shooting at a target and the ball sticks. Second best has been Ventus Velocore shafts. They be keeping this ole man in the game.”
  • mizunotps: “G410 plus driver. Really easy to hit.”

Entire Thread: “Single best piece of equipment you’ve found lately?”

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GolfWRX Classifieds (9/30/20): Miura heads, Cobra combo set, Odyssey Triple Track Ten

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Pit – Cobra forged combo set

Be the King of your next foursome with a sweet new set of Cobra King forged combo irons.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: King forged combo

Member Davo32683 – Miura TC201 heads

For all you club builders out there, here is your chance to build your very own set of Miura irons, and if you are in need of some shafts, this listing has those too!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Miura Heads

Member RFC – Odyssey Triple Track TEN putter

If you struggle with alignment, this is your ticket! The Odyssey Triple Track has a proven “track record” (yeah, I went there) of helping golfers line up better and sink more putts.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Triple Track putter 

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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