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Review: TaylorMade RSi 1 and RSi 2 Irons

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Pros: The RSi 1’s offer big distance from almost anywhere on the face. The more compact RSi 2’s are top performers that surprised us with their improved feel, and their progressive design will work for a wide range of players.

Cons: The RSi 1 and RSi 2’s are a bit better than their predecessors — SpeedBlade and SLDR, respectively — but that’s probably not enough for most players to upgrade.

Who are they for? Golfers looking for more distance and forgiveness. Put these on your list of irons to test if you’re in the market for new irons.

Overview

For once, I get to start a review writing something other than “these clubs will be crazy long!” Instead, with the RSi 1 and RSi 2 irons, TaylorMade focused on forgiveness. So while the new RSi irons will be just as long if not slightly longer than their predecessors — TaylorMade’s SpeedBlade and SLDR irons — the new irons focus on creating more distance on mishits, not on center hits.

Both iron sets employ TaylorMade’s Speed Pocket in the 3-7 irons, which is a slot in the sole that is designed to produce longer, higher-flying shots, especially on mishits low on the face. It works like this — a polymer-filled slot in the sole makes the bottom of the irons more flexible, which helps shot hit on the bottom of the clubface launch higher, faster and with less spin.

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So what about shots hit on the heel and toe? That’s where TaylorMade’s new Face Slot technology comes in.

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Face Slot Technology

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The new Face Slot Technology, which is included in the 3-8 irons of each set, is like Speed Pockets for the heel and toe areas of the club. When mishits happen there, the slots allow the face to more easily. That, in theory, will help generate more ball speed on mishits than previous TaylorMade irons.

RSi 1 Irons

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The RSi 1 irons are the largest and most forgiving of the three irons in the RSi family. Aimed squarely at the higher handicap golfer looking for maximum forgiveness, their Face Slots, Speed Pockets and thin faces help deliver consistent ball speeds all over the face. The 3-7 irons are cast from 450 stainless steel and the 8-iron through AW are cast from 17-4 stainless steel.

RSi 1 Specs

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RSi 2  Irons

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The RSi 2 irons are aimed at better players looking for a more traditional shape, sound and feel. They’re TaylorMade’s most progressive set when it comes to materials and construction. The 3-AW contain five different constructions to maximize feel, distance, sound and consistency.

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Tungsten has been added low in the toe of the 3-5 irons for added forgiveness. The 6-7 irons are cast from 450 stainless steel, and the 8-PW are cast from 431 stainless steel, but with the added feel benefit of a forged 1025 carbon steel face insert. To round out the set, the AW and SW are fully-forged from 1025 carbon steel.

RSi 2 Specs

rsi2specs

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The RSi 1 irons are available in 3-PW ($799), 4-PW ($699), and 4-PW, AW ($799). The stock steel shaft is the new True Temper Reax 90, which will produce a slightly flatter trajectory than the Speedblade stock shaft.

The RSi 2 irons are available in 4-PW ($874.99) and 4-PW, AW ($999). The stock steel shaft is the KBS Tour 105 available in R and S flexes. Custom shaft and grip options are available.

Both sets were released on November 14, 2014.

Performance: Driving Range & Course

As with all the club testing I do, I like to first get outside and test the clubs at the driving range during calm conditions, just to get a feel for the clubs.

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Because I was interested in how the forged face insert of the PW would feel and perform, I started the testing with that club. Unlike the SLDR irons, which took a full range session to warm up to, I was instantly in love with the RSi 2 irons. I mean right after the first ball came off the face. The feel and sound was incredible and the ball flight had a nice tight draw with good height. The forged insert really made the entire club feel almost completely forged. The 8 and 9 irons also have the forged face, so I hit those two clubs next with the same result. Super soft feel with plenty of feedback.

My distances all looked spot on. I wasn’t hitting these clubs any further than I expected and there weren’t any hot spots on the face. Moving down into the mid and long irons, where the face slots come into play, I was curious how mishits would feel. These aren’t magic clubs, so mishits are mishits, but I did notice that my shots off the toe and especially the heel still got up in the air and they weren’t as likely to spray sideways.

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I really liked the KBS Tour 105 shaft. It was much more similar to the True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts that I have been gaming the last few years. There was a sturdiness to it, without feeling heavy. I felt like I could go after shots much more than I could with the stock KBS C-Taper 90 of the SLDR.

On the Course

I played Bear’s Best in Atlanta with my brother Casey, a track that makes you think about where you want to land the ball, especially on greens which were fast and undulating. Casey is a typical weekend golfer who would be a perfect fit for the RSi 1 irons, so I was interested to see how he hit them.

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Above: TaylorMade’s RSi 2 irons (left) have narrower soles, shorter blade lengths and less offset than the RSi 1 irons. 

The performance of the RSi 2 irons on the course was nothing short of fantastic. I’m not exaggerating or trying to play these irons up. I hit some stunning approach shots with the irons, especially anything 6 iron and shorter. By the middle of the round, I started to lay shots back so I could hit a variety of different irons. The entire set has a nice baby draw to it. Nothing crazy and I could work the ball to the right, too, but I was consistently hitting a nice tight draw with these clubs.

We all have a shot we remember and mine was a 9 iron from 145 to a back pin on an elevated green. It started to get a little windy so I wanted to keep the ball down and played a boring, tight draw that hit, checked and stopped within feet of the pin. It was a designed shot that executed perfectly. If I wasn’t already sold on putting these in the bag, I was after that shot.

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I mentioned I wanted Casey to play some shots with the RSi 1 irons. I brought a PW and 7-iron and asked him to hit those instead of his Cobra S3 irons. He sometimes has a problem getting height out of his irons and his tendency is to miss right with a cut. His best shots of the day came with the RSi 1 irons. He used the 7 iron from a variety of different lies and each time was able to get the ball up with more distance, height and accuracy than his current set.

I checked out the impact marks from some of the shots out of the rough and could see that he wasn’t hitting the dead center of the face, but the shots still looked and performed like good golf shots. While we might only be talking about a few shots during a round, it was important to see how the RSi 1 irons performed for a player squarely in their target market.

Performance: Launch Monitor

The next step was to get on a launch monitor and to get some real numbers and see how ball speeds were affected on mishits. Because I was testing two sets and wanted to do all the testing during one session, I tested the PW, 8-iron, 6-iron, and 4-iron in each set. I threw out true mishits and also looked at ball speed on shots off the toe and heel, as well as high and low on the face. My goal was to simply see if the ball flight matched TaylorMade’s claims. All the clubs were tested on the same launch monitor with the same type of balls. I also tested the SLDR 6 iron during the same session for a direct comparison.

RSiIronsChart

After seeing the shots on the range and the course, I expected to see that my distances were all inline with what I was seeing on the course and they were. The average ball speed, launch angle, spin, and peak height were all right in the range I hoped to see with the RSi 2.

Comparing the two sets together, there were some differences. Across the board, the RSi 1 irons, with the larger heads and more forgiveness, generated an average of 1 mph more ball speed and 1 yard more carry. The spin generated by the RSi 1 irons was generally less for every club except the 8 iron. Interestingly, the launch angle for the RSi 1 irons was lower for me than the RSi 2 irons, as was the peak height. We’re talking about no more than a degree or two of launch and a yard or two of peak height. Although both sets are designed to have a flatter trajectory than the SpeedBlade or SLDR irons, I expected to see balls getting up in the air more with the RSi 1 versus the RSi 2 irons.

Forgiveness on Mishits

In addition to this review, Tom Stickney as a great piece where he compares the results of solid to unsolid hits with the RSi 2 and also includes dispersion charts from Trackman. I would recommend you check it out as well.

For my swing and testing, the results turned out to be very similar. Shots off the heel of the RSi 2 6 iron produced ball speeds an average of 5 mph slower than shots off the middle of the face. Shots off the toe produced speeds an average of 4 mph slower than off the center. The dispersion of all of the shots stayed within a 7-mph range for all unsolid, center shots. Most importantly, the direction of the shots was not affected as much on mishits. My offline dispersion was relatively tight, staying within a 15-yard range side to side. That is enough to keep me in the fairway with long irons and close to or on the green with approach shots.

Comparison to SLDR

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One thing we strive for when writing reviews at GolfWRX is to be as unbiased and transparent as we can. The reality is that technology has come a long way and we get a chance to review the very best. The RSi irons are no exception. Many of you are probably wondering how these stack up against the SLDR irons that were just released this summer. Well, if a buddy of mine gaming the SLDR irons asked me if he should switch to the RSi 2 irons, I would say unless he has money to throw around or just likes to have the latest gear in his bag, he should stick with what he has. The SLDR’s are still an excellent set. I’ve hit beautiful shots and played great golf with them. If a buddy is going out looking for a set to replace one from a few years back, however, I’d send him straight over to hit the RSi 2.

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A Tale of Two 7 irons: TaylorMade’s RSi 2 (left) and SLDR irons.

It is true that I’m playing better golf so far with the RSi 2 irons, but the differences are really, really close. The trajectory is noticeably flatter than with the SLDR irons. Some of this can be attributed to the difference in the KBS C-Taper 90 in the SLDR and the slightly heavier KBS Tour 105 in the RSi 2. Mishits off the toe and heel are only separated by an average of 1 mph of ball speed and 2 yards of carry. Even the peak height, spin and launch are all very close, but numbers aren’t everything. What I’ve seen on the course is that my misses are more playable, the feel is softer and the sound is better than with the SLDRs. All this adds up to a belief that the RSi 2 irons are better for me, and that likely plays a big role in scoring well.

That said, we’re getting close to the holidays and if someone wraps up a set of SLDR irons for you, put them in the bag and know that you are going to love them.

Looks & Feel

Let’s start by talking about the RSi 2. When I reviewed the SLDR irons earlier this year, I complimented TaylorMade on moving away from the flashy colors and sporty look of the RocketBladez and SpeedBlades of the past and toward a more traditional, understated and “tour-like” look. It is clear the RSi 2 irons are the SLDR’s better looking younger brother. Every line on the club has a subtle roundness and smoothness to it. The colors all blend nicely, and the steel is more matte and less shiny polished chrome. The “Forged” stamp on the 8-PW, while somewhat misleading, does lead you into believing, even for a second, that you have a fully-forged club in your hand. Even the RSi 2 logo is small and the only edgy component to the entire design package.

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Above: TaylorMade’s RSi 2 (left) and RSi 1. Both clubs are 7 irons. 

The RSi 2’s have the same general shape of the SLDR irons and sit between the RSi 1 and RSi TP irons when it comes to size. The toplines and soles are smaller than the RSi 1 and will appeal to the better player. I love how these sit behind the ball at address. There is some mass to these irons, but I never had the feeling that I wasn’t in complete control over the face. The larger long irons and smaller short irons is exactly what I want to see in an iron set like these.

Getting past the sexiness of these clubs, I’m straight up in love with the feel. The forged face inserts of the 8-PW are so soft that if I hit shots blindfolded (and actually hit the ball) I wouldn’t be able to tell the entire head wasn’t forged. But every club, all the way down to the 3 iron, has a soft, responsive feel with an incredible amount of feedback. On the range or even the course, I knew exactly where I made contact. Pure, flushed shots felt even better than the SLDR, which I also really like, and the new sound dampening of the irons produced a really striking sound at impact.

That all said, I’m disappointed in the grip choice. The stock TaylorMade Lamkin just doesn’t cut it with such a solid, premium set. There are a couple other custom options available at no extra charge, but I would’ve been happier to see at least the same Golf Pride Tour Velvet come stock just as with the SLDR. I’ll be regripping these clubs for sure.

The RSi 1 irons, while following a similar design package, are the sporty twin to the RSi 2’s preppy look. The bold red and black colors, graphics on the grip and bright polished chrome give these a more typical game-improvement iron look which is instantly recognizable as a TaylorMade product. There isn’t as much refinement to the cast, and while I prefer a more classic look, these are still a good looking iron.

When I asked my playing partners to take a swing with the RSi 1 7 iron, everyone agreed that the larger head and more mass was confidence-inspiring at address. But they didn’t feel like the iron was too big or that they would just “be along for the ride” as with some of the larger irons on the market today. I felt the same way all the way through the set.

The feel of the RSi 1 didn’t quite suit my tastes. While still very nice and responsive, they had a more typical cast feel through the set. For higher handicap golfer however, these likely will feel great. There is still a softness to them and you get feedback on mishits, but that feedback is somewhat masked. For some, that will be just fine as long as the ball flies straight toward the green.

The Takeaway

The RSi 1 and RSi 2 irons, with the new face slots, deliver great performance. While I didn’t see a massive difference in forgiveness between the RSi 2 and the SLDR irons, the consistency on mishits all over the face is evident in the numbers, but more importantly, evident on the actual course.

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The soft, responsive feel, crisp sound and performance will be appreciated by better players and the RSi 2 irons will likely be one of the best performing irons of the coming year in their category.

The RSi 1 irons, also with the new face slots and a slightly larger more forgiving head, will help higher handicap golfers hit more consistent shots when they miss the middle of the club face. This means more greens in regulation and better scores.

As with any new club purchase, you should stop by a local golf shop and hit these for yourself. Both the RSi 1 and RSi 2 should definitely be at the top of the list of clubs to test this year and the RSi 2 irons are going in my bag.

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the irons in our forum.

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When he is not obsessing about his golf game, Kane heads up an innovation lab responsible for driving innovative digital product development for Fortune 500 companies. He is also the co-founder of RoundShout and creator of Ranger GPS, the free iOS GPS app for the driving range. On a quest to become a scratch golfer, Kane writes about his progress (for better or worse) at kanecochran.com and contributes golf technology-focused articles on GolfWRX.com.

45 Comments

45 Comments

  1. Mike

    Jul 11, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Several manufacturers have done testing with similarly shaped and designed clubs in forged and cast models and the best players in the world could not tell the difference in a blind test. The feel of a club comes primarily from how it is shaped and not whether it is forged or cast.

    Based on this information, I wonder why so many golfers still comment about the “softer” feel of forged over cast clubs.

  2. Shayne Sullivan

    Jul 3, 2015 at 8:42 am

    4 hdcp looking to update my decade old Mizuno Pro 2’s. I hit the RSI2, Callaway Apex, and Ping i25 and liked them all. The main difference was the lofts of the clubs. The i25’s had the same lofts/loft gaps as my current set. The RSI2’s also had the same lofts and gaps as my Mizuno’s but for some reason the number on the sole of the club was different. My 21* club has a 3 on it and the RSI2 21* club has a 4. Who do they think they’re fooling. While testing these clubs it was obvious that I wasn’t hitting three 7 irons. In fact I’d say the RSI2 trajectory was closer to my Mizuno 5 iron. TM makes quality products (I have an Aeroburner driver and 3 wood in my bag,) but I can’t get past the feeling that they’re trying to “trick” me into buying their irons. Ultimately I went with Ping because I felt that all things being equal, I’ll choose the company that is being straight with me.

  3. Tater

    Jun 7, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    thinking about getting these but probably need at least a half inch over and 3 degrees upright. Has anyone tweaked the RSi Ones similar to this and does it mess with the swing weight too much?? These irons are already slightly longer than my G25’s which is a concern to me.

  4. Trey

    May 30, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    I got the RSi2 as a gift for my graduation. I love the way these irons feel. I’d say if you are below a 16 handicap you should go with the 2 over the 1. The clubs, at least for me, produce exceptional spin and distance. I am an 8 handicap and this club is absolutely amazing. As long as you use “real” golf balls, Not range balls you will see great spin numbers and great grab on the greens. I personally struggle with long irons and the tungsten in the toe has dramatically increased my trajectory, spin, and distance. I would say the club is doing its job quite well.

  5. Harru

    May 6, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    I read and I think gee I too play taylormade prouducts and it doesn’t upset me that they bring out new clubs more often than some other company’s but I play what is best for my game(older golfer)and here in vegas the taylormade center guys are very willing to you and not buy the latest and greatest but what fits your game me being th sample demo the new news they fitt me for older model sldr out this last summer. In Graf. I had the newer model in hand to buy so not always are these guys trying only sell the latest .

  6. harald wolf

    Apr 7, 2015 at 11:02 am

    for me.there is no question about loft. my question is: are this RSi 2 Clubs good for an mid-hadicapper?????

  7. rgb

    Mar 9, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    ???

    What is this supposed to mean, from the article: “When mishits happen there, the slots allow the face to more easily.”

  8. Bob

    Jan 30, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I’m a 4 handicapper and went to buy new irons as my old cgb r7 with graphite shafts with a massive cavity back ( I started on a 24 handicap w these irons) were becoming outdated for my game- I went and tested all the irons in the shop on track an. Cobra, Wilson, titleist, ping, callaway mizuno. I though I needed forged, shape shot, low handicapper irons. In the end I bought rsi 1’s – the end of the day, people want to be seen to be hitting the better club, but the realities are you hit what feels best and works best. I didn’t want a club that would outdate bla bla – but common sense prevailed – hit the club that works for you and don’t listen to the marketing hype

  9. Tom Duckworth

    Dec 6, 2014 at 11:47 am

    I’ll start by saying that the RSI 2 irons are really nice looking irons. Some of the best looking irons from TM I’ve seen. I’m sure I would like them.
    All this talk about loft is getting a little bit old. Don’t you take your clubs out and see how far you hit them and adjust to the set? I don’t ask my playing partners what iron they hit after every shot.
    Who cares if it was a six or seven iron?
    That being said I know there are guys out there that want to impress others by how far they can hit their irons. Just nod your head roll your eyes and keep moving. Your score is the bottom line. Getting my friend to buy a set of Speedblade irons was the best thing for his game and his health. I can see that if they make a higher launching iron the loft would need to be stronger to even things out. I’m sure there were golfers the thought steel shafts would ruin the game. The only thing that keeps me from buying TM clubs is that I know when I buy that set a new one will come out in six months and I really don’t like that. It feels like I being played. It would suck to be a golf retailer and have to mark down clubs after a few months and bring in new stock knowing your going to have to dump them in a few more months. I want to stick with a set for at least four to five years. I like my Wilson FG tour V2s and I can feel good about them for a long time. I’ll change as I get older and need to. That’s why I like brands like Ping and Titleist they stay with a design for a few years until a new design is really better. Not just different looks.

    • Nic

      Jan 15, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      So you can’t buy these clubs and play them for 5 plus years? Nobody is forcing you to buy new clubs. If you hit some clubs well, buy them, play them, then tune out the noise.

    • GC

      Feb 21, 2015 at 11:40 am

      If you like the clubs you bought stick with them. I just bought the SLDR irons for $400 less than the RSi … They get great reviews almost universally… I’ll play them for several years and not care what TM comes out with until I’m ready to upgrade… Clubs are like computers and phones… Always something new coming out but if you like what you have and it works who cares!

  10. GJ

    Nov 25, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Got my fitting and placed my order for RSi 2’s. Received 3 sets of clubs in the mail! Bonus! Haven’t been able to use them yet, but they really look good.

    • Ken c

      Dec 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Gj
      Are your clubs for sale?

      • GJ

        Dec 10, 2014 at 1:15 am

        Hey Ken,

        Being the honest citizen I am, I sent the extra two sets back to Taylormade. Haha. I’ve played two rounds with my new set and getting adjusted. The weight of the clubs feel quite a bit different than my R9s but finally seem to be getting more comfortable with them after some range time.

        Gary

  11. Martin

    Nov 22, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Rocketballs, Rocketbladez, SpeedBladez, Tour Preferred, SLDR and now RSi.

    Those are the “New” irons currently for sale in our Golftown here in the TMAG section. All of them revolutionary at some point over the past few years.

    Tried most of them and didn’t like them after playing and loving R7’s for a good while.

    At first glance here the spin is incredibly low for a 6 iron, I don’t know how you would ever hold a firm green with one. I had the same issue with the others listed above I tried, a bit longer but less precise than my Mizuno’s. I tried the new 850’s and distance was longer than with my 800’s, but spin rates were essentially the same.

    More TMAG gimmickry.

  12. Joe

    Nov 20, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I think the Mis-Hits Happen graphic is Mis-Taken! +5-5? I think the average tour pro is about. +3-4 and if their club face looked like that they’d be out of a job. That graphic is way to generous for the stated handicaps, and hosel rockets must be exstinct.

  13. Alex

    Nov 19, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    The glaring thing is that launch and spin is still super low.

    You should be getting a few more thousand RPM of spin out of the 6i and at least another 2k with the 4i.

    There’s a significant fitting issue there.

  14. cdvilla

    Nov 19, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I hit these in comparison to my Nike VRS Forged Combos on a launch monitor. I compared lofts (not the number they stamp on the clubs) with the same shaft and across the board the RSi2 is a little more than a 1/2 club longer. The RSi2 definitely lives up to the marketing from my opinion. I’m going to make the switch… now I just have to time the pricing.

  15. Al

    Nov 19, 2014 at 5:08 am

    I can’t believe they’ve called these RSI Irons. I am in the Occupational Health & Safety Industry in Australia and those initials routinely stand for ‘Repetitive Strain Injury!

    • Josh

      Nov 19, 2014 at 11:29 am

      How will TaylorMade ever recover from the lost market share of those people who actually get that reference?

  16. Tom Stickney

    Nov 18, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Thx for the mention Kane. I found them to be quite awesome as well.

  17. tomuch23

    Nov 18, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Quit crying about lofts everytime something comes out. Stronger lofts have been going on for awhile and will continue. That’s what serves the majority and where the money is.

  18. Fsubaseball21

    Nov 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Fot the longest time now I listen to folks hate on the ” jacked up” lofts of a taylormade irons. What’s the problem? They now have a set of irons that is not only longer than what you play but also more forgiving and players can still work the ball both ways. All this does is free you up to take a headcover out of your bag and add a wedge or two. This stuff is absolutely legit and if you don’t think so go product test with an open mind. Who doesn’t want to be 5-10-15 yards longer per iron and not sacrifice accuracy. Everybody has there own brand loyalty but like I said, go try them with an open mind.

  19. RG

    Nov 18, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Leave it to TM to hand someone a 20 degree club stamped with the no.5 on the bottom and market it as “longer.”

    • HackerDav31

      Nov 19, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      Or every other OEM in the market… but yeah, Taylormade is the devil and all.

    • Joe

      Nov 20, 2014 at 10:13 am

      EVERY club maker does this, what don’t you understand? It’s very simple math: makers have figured out that moving the center of gravity (CG) forwards provides many benefits, including forgiveness. But moving CGI forward flights the ball up, so they have to strengthen lofts to keep the ball flighted reasonably. If a club maker moves CG, it has to adjust lofts, whether it wants to or not. Same thing in hybrids, fairways, and drivers, but in these clubs makers have much more “room” within which to move CG. So, if you hate Taylomade, for whatever reason, at least pick a reason that doesn’t showcase your lack of knowledge.

  20. Tom lazarides

    Nov 18, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I bought the RSi 2 iron the other day with Matrix Ozik programme f15 regular flex graphite shafts that are 85g but on the shaft specs is says they’re 77g are my shafts right (flex/weight) ?

  21. totebagger

    Nov 18, 2014 at 10:43 am

    given the new tech with speedpockets and face slots, they are only using loft as a means of controlling distance. if these things were traditional lofts the 4 iron would go as high and as far as a pitching wedge. there’s only so much “loft jacking” that can be done before you hit a point of diminishing returns.

  22. dot dot

    Nov 18, 2014 at 9:36 am

    “A” Train review now arriving at GFLWX station. All aaaboaaaard.

  23. Scooter McGavin

    Nov 18, 2014 at 9:36 am

    A 6 iron with 3285 spin… and 13* launch angle? Do you have to land it 15 yards short of the green and let it roll out? O.o

  24. Rob

    Nov 18, 2014 at 8:43 am

    They look ok…but I hope people do some research prior to purchasing these. Take your current 6-iron and get the loft on it measured then don’t be shocked when you hit this RSi1 or 2 further. Strengthened lofts happen along with mishits. That would be as if I am surprised that I hit my 5-iron further than my 7-iron…foolish!

    • Ken c

      Nov 18, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      Good point Rob. I believe one reason that the lofts are stronger is distance gapping the clubs. I know most amateurs don’t hit irons solidly enough to get the most out of their irons. Some will hit an 8i 135, 7i 143 and 6i 150. And don’t bother discussing 5i and lower. From other reviews I’ve read, these irons will fly higher. So getting stronger lofts and a higher flight should allow most weekend golfers so “cover” more distance. Maybe their 8i will fly 140, 7i 152, 6i 164. On par 3s or an approach shot of 165 to the green, having the confidence to hit a 6i rsi2 is greater than a 5i of your current irons.

    • Ben

      Nov 18, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Modern technology allows irons to launch higher than normal. To counteract this, manufacturers have strengthened lofts by a couple degrees so that while a 7 iron will still launch at the same angle as it used to (or higher still), it will also travel farther. In this sense, you’re actually gaining distance without swinging a 6 iron stamped as a 7 iron because the launch angle and thus the trajectory haven’t changed.

  25. Largechris

    Nov 18, 2014 at 5:26 am

    It’s the spin numbers that really determine the iron, an 8 iron should be (x1000) about 8000rpm, a 4 iron 4000 rpm etc.

    Instead you have two 8 irons with around 5000 rpm. Too low. That is where a lot of the distance is coming from. Same for most modern sets now, and control will suffer.

  26. Mark R

    Nov 18, 2014 at 12:37 am

    the RSi 2 irons look way more appealing than the Rsi 1 irons. Would you recomnded the Rsi 2 irons to someone with a handicap of 14? I hit both clubs over the weekend at my local sports store and by far the Rsi 2 felt better, I just don’t know if a high handicap like myself should be playing them.

    • Charles Panco

      Nov 18, 2014 at 7:25 am

      First of all, you are not a “high handicapper”. A legitimate 14 handicap is among the top percentage of amateur golfers. If you are playing to a 14, you should play what feels best for you.

  27. jim

    Nov 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    in 6 months time they will be giving these away with the release of RSI 2.0 is my bet and where is the movable weights

  28. Joe S

    Nov 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    The 5 iron is the same loft as my r9 4 iron! Funny. The actual 4 iron in these things is a joke at 21 and 20 degrees. The three iron is an old 1 iron. Why take off the plastic?

    I love how these look but squeezing lofts down on the bottom is just a waste. I wish someone would come out with a mid-sized iron starting with a 48 degree wedge and moving down in 4 degree increments. They would sell an extra wedge or hybrid by doing this and actually make more money…they could call it ‘true loft’ and specifically aim it towards people that are sick of the 44 degree pitching wedge marketing. Wishful thinking…but I guess I’ll stick with my R9 TP’s.

    • Paddy ou

      Nov 18, 2014 at 12:54 am

      You should check the lofts of the sldr irons then

  29. BC

    Nov 17, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Launch condition data seems off to me. Either launch or spin would seemingly need to be higher than you listed to achieve the heights you listed. I’m not surprised the spin is so low, just pointing out that those numbers wouldn’t be ideal launch conditions for your ball speed.

  30. JT

    Nov 17, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Noticed the super jacked up lofts as well—-what a bunch of bunk!!

  31. ChrisK

    Nov 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Do you think they’ve jacked up the lofts enough? No wonder they seem long.

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Iron Reviews

Review: Honma TW737-Vs Forged Irons

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GolfWRX Member Reviews: TaylorMade 2017 M1 and M2 Irons

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

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

df5745825623a9697f92315cd9d8f1d7

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

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

Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

Brock9007

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

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

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

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

deathbymuffin

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

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

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

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

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

poppyhillsguy

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

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

Fourpar18

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

P.S. LOVE the Lamkin UTX grip!

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

noahdavis_7

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

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

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

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

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

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

golfnut5438

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

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

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

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

DblEgl

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

Bstein74

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

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

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

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

Bobcat271

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

myurick2

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

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

hammergolf

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

Ace2000

M1 

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

M2

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

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

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

tpeterson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Members Choice: The Best Irons of 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Members Choice: The Best Players Irons

Mizuno_JPX_900_Tour_Feat-1021x580

Vote Leader: Mizuno JPX-900 Tour

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

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

Full List: The Best Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: The Best Exotic Players Irons

PXG0311t-600x377

Vote Leader: PXG 0311T

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

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

Full List: The Best Exotic Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: Best Game-Improvement Irons

CallawayApexMembersChoice

Vote Leader: Callaway Apex CF ’16 

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

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

Full List: The Best Game-Improvement Irons of 2017

The Best Super Game-Improvement Irons 

PingGironsWRX

Vote Leader: Ping G

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

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

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

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