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.


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.


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


Face Slot Technology


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


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


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.


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


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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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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


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.

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.

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.


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 and contributes golf technology-focused articles on


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  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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

  7. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    • 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.

  15. 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) ?

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

    • 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.

    • 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

    • 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.