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Iron comparison: TaylorMade MC v. RocketBladez
From the forums, By Caesar Palache
My shop was lucky enough to get the RocketBladez delivered quite early and they came in today around 2 p.m. First thing I did was cut the box open and take them down to the range for a quick demo.
A little background on myself: I’m a 2.8 handicap but that doesn’t mean I don’t shoot 80 every few weeks, and I’m 5’6″ with spikes on. I do not hit the ball far nor do I try to, but I hit it straight. That being said my 7 iron is a 165-yard max club, meaning I pull the 7 iron out on 155-165 yard shots. I play Taylormade MC 4-PW irons with KBS C-Taper stiff shafts.
Today in Virginia it was a cool 50 degrees tops, and the wind was a slight breeze straight into my face. I expected to be hitting my 7 iron around 155 since it was cool, into the wind and I hadn’t swung the club in a week. I took out the range finder and found a spot on the range that was exactly 165 from one of the flags. Each MC 7 iron I hit was coming up around 5-10 yards short of the flag I was aiming for (155-160 yards). Then I pulled out the RocketBladez…
The first shot went up and kept going up, and continued to go up until it came down a good 5 paces beyond the 165 yard flag. The ball goes high. As I mentioned before I was hitting into the breeze so you assume the ball would balloon up into to, except this ball didn’t balloon. It cut right through the wind as if nothing was there and then came down soft at about 170 yards. My thoughts were maybe I nutted it. I took another swing and what do you know, the ball went up and up and flew to the 165-yard flag with ease as if it were a calm, sunny 77-degree day. I hit about 10 balls with the RocketBladez 7 iron and nine of the 10 carried the 165-yard flag. Did I mention the ball went high?
Now, the stock shaft is lighter then what I am accustomed to and because of this I missed a few left of the flag and hung a few right when I was trying not to “snap” it left. If I drew a line from the far left ball to the far right ball, 9 of the 10 balls would have been within 3 paces of the line. I hit some thin, hit some flush, pulled some, pushed some, even nearly hozeled one (the heel shot went dead straight about 160 yards, still carrying past my MC 7 iron on this chilly day). Needless to say I was quite impressed. I flew the RocketBladez iron on average 10-15 yards further then my MC 7 iron. It was a hard day to get a clear picture on how far these irons would go since it was cold and windy, but I have no doubt these added at least a club to a club and a half more distance.
Now for more of a detailed review. Click here for more discussion in the forums.
First things first, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the package up and pulled the 7 iron out. My first thoughts, this DOES NOT look like the RocketBallz irons from last year — these look darn good. Pictures do not do these clubs justice because they look great. This comes from a guy who plays the TM MC, a players club, but I could easily game the RocketBladez iron. I thought for sure I would have to go with the Tour version since it was more the players club, but these fit the eye more then you’d expect. The thin sole was a very nice surprise — think Taylormade CB meets Burner 2.0. The RocketBladez have a thicker top line then a players club, but not as much offset as you would expect. The 4 and 5 iron are obviously the most “Game Improvement” looking of the irons. Their heads seem much bigger then my MC heads, but the 6-8 irons seem only a touch larger and the 9, PW and AW looked like a players club.
TaylorMade said these clubs would feel as good as a non-forged club could feel, and yes these clubs did feel fairly good. This comes from a guy who thinks the MC irons are as good as it gets (without flushing a blade of course). There is nothing quite like flushing a blade, or in my case flushing my MC iron. In my mind, it literally sounds like a muted flush and feels effortless when you strike it a MC iron solid. Well, no one is going to mistake you for hitting a blade or MC when you hit the Rocketbladez. It sounds like your hitting a cavity back iron. Now, I’m not sure if that is because I picked the ball, or hit the ball thin. But at certain times I really heard a POP when hitting these. Don’t get me wrong: it’s great feedback to hear POP as you strike the ball and see it go up and up (Did I mention how high these go?). But coming from a player’s club background, I like my muted flush a little bit better.
As for the feel of the POP, it was actually quite nice, knowing “yup I caught that one well” as you see the ball climb higher and higher and pierce the wind like it’s nothing. Think of what it feels like to flush a hybrid. Add a little bit of iron feel and you’ve got it. As for the thin shots where they say the Speed Pocket is influenced even more, you can tell you hit it thin. It feels a bit harsher and doesn’t have the cavity POP I was talking about. A thin shot with a Rocketbladez though, is much, much better then a thin with my MC irons. Overall you know you are hitting a “game improvement” club, but it feels quite nice.
As I said, this shaft was lighter and probably a bit weaker then I would like. So I blame the left and right balls on the shaft, obviously, but I was overwhelmed with how easy it was to consistently hit the ball the same exact distance each time. My near hozel shot traveled straight and 160 yards, I think we would all take a straight heel shot. I “purposely” tried to hit some thin, and except for a touch harsher feel, the ball got up as high as my MC iron and went a touch shorter then a center face strike of the RocketBladez. I cannot wait to try these with a shaft that I am more comfortable with.
Now onto my favorite, can you work the ball? Obviously since I play the MC irons, I like to work the ball, preferably right to left. But who doesn’t love a little forgiveness?
After getting comfortable with the RocketBladez I tried shaping some a little bit more then normal. I started a 5 iron about 25 feet right of where I wanted it to land and released it hard from inside to see what it would do. Well, the ball went up and up and turned and turned right (well it actually turned left) into my target. Remember when I said these balls go high? Now, some of that movement can be attributed to the lighter shaft, but overall I was very surprised at how easy it was to move the ball around. It obviously wasn’t as easy as my MC iron but it wouldn’t be difficult to turn the ball into a tight pin if I needed too.
As for forgiveness, well, I didn’t slice one ball so it’s a high handicapper’s delight! In all seriousness the ball went straight when I missed it, my near hozel went straight, my thin shots went straight, my toe shots went fairly straight. They say the Speed Pocket helps with forgiveness and I believe it. The sweet spot is huge, it’s very very easy to hit it straight. (Take that with a grain of salt as I normally hit the ball straight and these where much easier to hit then my MC’s). As for hitting the ball, these were effortless to get up into the air. And they go high. For anyone who struggles launching the ball high, these are the club for you.
Overall I was very impressed with the Rocketbladez irons, considering I all but wrote them off and was expecting to only demo the Tour version. I think it will be quite a bit harder to just go with the Tour version because they are the “players club.” These Rocketbladez irons are a great club for a “player” if they can get over a few things first.
- Address: The top line is thicker then you would want in your players irons in the 4-7 iron, and the offset is reasonable through the iron set, with the exception being the 4 and 5 iron might be bit to much for someone who likes a blade. I was fine with the offset and would easily game the 4 and 5 irons, even if I went with the Tour 6-PW.
- Sound: for those who love the flush, these bladez don’t have it. Don’t get me wrong you can flush them, but they are a louder flush. They have the POP! but you can live without the muted flush sound. Trust me, you can get used to the POP! I found myself trying to get the loudest POP! I could after awhile.
- Now as for the lofts, get over it! I do not know what the lofts are off the top of my head and never thought of the lofts until just now. These clubs, even with their jacked lofts, will fly higher, land softer, and be more consistent then what you are playing now. So I could care less about the lofts. They flat out perform and I cannot imagine how high these would fly if they had traditional lofts.
My last word. Superintendants everywhere will be outraged with the destruction of their green complexes if these clubs are as popular as I believe they will be. They fly high! If you play on a course with soft greens, you better always keep a ball mark repair tool in your pocket or else. If I could play Rocketbladez with KBS tour or C-Taper, I think I’d have a winner. Actually give me a Rocketbladez with the stock shaft and I’ve got a winner. Taylormade you got me, I will game these “Game Improvement” irons over my MC’s any day.
(Disclaimer: I am a Taylormade loyalist, so you may believe I only like these because I drink the Taylormade cool aide. Try them for yourself, you will be surprised. I did this test in about 20 minutes outside because I was freezing, this was a quick review but I hope it helped sorry for the pictures, I snapped them quick)
RocketBladez 50* AW vs 52* ATV (last year’s model)
RocketBladez 7 iron vs MC 7 iron
RocketBladez 5 iron vs MC 5 iron