TaylorMade RocketBladez irons (4-SW), +0.75 inches, 2º upright, from TaylorMade standard, with RocketFuel Graphite shafts 65 grams, stiff flex.
About TaylorMade RocketBladez Irons
The RocketBladez irons incorporate a slot on the sole of the iron, which gives the golfer greater distance and higher launch on all shots. TaylorMade introduced this “speed pocket” in 2012 with its RBZ fairway woods and hybrids. In conjunction with the speed pocket the RocketBladez feature an improved Inverted Cone design that allows for a slightly bigger clubface area, as well as the elimination of hot spots. In summation: longer and straighter shots with tighter dispersion.
Lives up to the billing. These clubs are longer than other game improvement irons I have tried, and they are straight. The RocketBladez also have a forged feel to them. Yes, some may say that the lofts are a bit strong, but that is the trend these days with game improvement irons.
This is a game improvement club, those looking for a players’ iron will have to look elsewhere, or wait until February, when the RocketBladez Tour are set for release.
This is a very nice looking iron and should appeal to wide variety of golfers, from the traditionalist to the mid and high handicapper alike. Unlike the RBZ irons, whose green badging some found a bit loud, the black/gold is very understated. The club has a satin-like finish that I find very appealing. The sole, where the speed pocket is located, has a chrome finish.
The term “speed pocket” is a bit of a misnomer. It’s not a pocket at all since it is completely filled in so you don’t have to worry about it getting jammed up with dirt or debris when you hit a shot. The pocket is actually filled with a specially formulated polyurethane developed by 3M. You will find the speed pocket on the 3 through 7 irons. It’s not on the 8-iron on down because it becomes “less active”.
The sole of the RocketBladez is narrower than some game improvement irons, and the look is a bit more understated too.
The graphite shaft is black with the same, understated gold graphics found on the club head. It’s quite sharp looking. The grip is similar to a Golf Pride Tour Velvet in feel, but perhaps a bit softer, and follows the same black/gold theme.
Purists may find the topline a bit thick and the sole a bit wide (though not as wide as the G20s for example), but both are fairly standard for a game improvement iron. One nice feature is a notch located near the base of the hosel, which makes adjusting the lie angle much easier.
Overall this is a very nice looking iron.
Having owned both the TaylorMade Burner 2.0’s and the Ping G20’s, I was able to compare the RocketBladez with both. The first thing I noticed about the RocketBladez is the feel. When you hit a shot on the sweet spot it feels like a very well made forged iron. Yeah, I know, surprised me too.
Unlike the Burner 2.0s the RocketBladez exhibits none of the “hot spots” the Burner 2.0’s are known for. What really stands out is how straight the ball goes, the consistency in distance, and the nice high trajectory I was seeing with each shot. Make no mistake though, the ball wasn’t ballooning, but pierced through the air. Even shots hit off the toe would go straight without a terrible loss in distance.
I had replaced the Burner 2.0’s with the G20’s because I found I my distances were inconsistent with the Burner 2.0’s. The G20s took care of that inconsistency very nicely. The RocketBladez also gives you a very consistent distance shot after shot. It’s comforting to know the club in your hand will give you the yardage you are shooting for.
While I like the G20s very much, I’d give a slight nod to the RocketBladez. Yes, the lofts are stronger in the RocketBladez from the 7-iron on up, but when I took my G20 6-iron and the RocketBladez 7-iron (29º and 30.5º respectively), I found I was hitting the RocketBladez slightly further. In addition, I was hitting the RocketBladez a tad higher and straighter as well. And finally, the RocketBladez had a slight better feel to them. However, I think the finish on the G20 is more robust than on the RocketBladez.
Compared to the Burner 2.0s the RocketBlades surpassed them in all the categories mentioned above even more so.
I’ve even had some success hitting the long irons, especially off the tee. I was surprised at the distance I was getting, especially with the 4-iron, however, it does have 20º of loft. Does that mean I’ll ditch my 7-wood? Not just yet, because for the most part I hit it really well. However, I’ll keep working with the 4-iron and see where it takes me. Either my golf swing is getting better, or it’s all about the technology, or a little bit of both.
The higher trajectory, sans the ballooning, gives you the added benefit of landing the ball on the green softly without all that nasty rollout. When it comes to the scoring clubs, 8-AW, high and straight will translate to lower scores. I also hit a few low punch shots with the pitching wedges into a brisk wind, and had no problem keeping the ball down.
The graphite shafts feel quite smooth and have a very nice feel to then. For an OEM shaft it performs quite admirably.
On a closing note, I don’t find the RocketBladez to be “ridiculously long”. They are longer, but not ridiculously so. I am more impressed with how straight they are and how they feel when you hit the sweet spot.
I wanted to talk a bit more about this because I was so surprised the first time I hit one on the sweet spot. I was on the range warming up (I usually start out chipping and pitching until I get loose), and I grabbed the nine iron, took a full swing, hit it well, and oh my. The shot felt very similar to a forged iron. I then took the 7-iron. Same thing. I wanted to see if this was for real and head out to the course.
I decided to leave all my woods in the bag and play from the forward tees with just the irons. I wanted to hit every tee shot with an iron to see if I was imagining things. Maybe the range shots were an anomaly.
No, they weren’t. A well struck tee shot, shots out of the fairway, shots out of the rough, all had a forged feel to them. Nice! Remember though, I’m playing graphite shafts here. Perhaps that had something to do with it? I don’t know.
Included with the irons for me to test was a RocketBladez sand wedge with a loft of 55º. This is a great looking wedge, with a satin like finish, and a bit of a cavity back. The sand wedge has the same ATV sole (All-Terrain Versatility) that their “players” wedges have, but with a bit more forgiveness. I’ve always been a fan of the ATV because it allows a golfer to play a variety of shots from a variety of turf conditions and not have to be to concerned about bounce. I have a 64º ATV wedge that’s been terrific.
I wasn’t at all surprised at how well the sand wedge performed. It was great from the rough, off a tight lie, and out of the sand. It had some bite to it too and a few times the ball checked up on the green.
It always surprised me that people will be encouraged by their pro to purchase a set of game improvement irons, or based on an article they read in a golf magazine, or from a book they’ve read, but will still end up purchasing a set of “players” wedges. If a golfer purchases a set of game improvement irons, why not a set of game improvement wedges?
I would encourage anyone thinking of purchasing a set of RocketBladez irons to give the RocketBladez wedges serious consideration. The AW/SW/LW come in 50º/55º/60º respectively.
The TaylorMade RocketBladez is a game improvement iron that anyone can enjoy. These irons do everything well in a very nice looking package. They are bit longer, forgiving, straight, and feel terrific.
The casting process has come along way. For those of you that believe that forged is the only way to go, but have been looking for a more forgiving forged iron, I would suggest you take the RocketBladez for a test drive. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
For those of you looking for a game improvement iron that has a nice understated look, with a hemi under the hood, you don’t have to look very far. There is a lot of technology packed into the RocketBladez, and the nice thing is you’re not hit over the head with it.
If you’re in the market for a new set of irons I think you owe it to yourself to give the RocketBladez a test drive, and please don’t forget the wedges.
That all said, you still have to put a good swing on whatever club you purchase, however I think TaylorMade hit a home run with the RocketBladez irons.
Overall Rating: 4.65/5.00
For more information on the RocketBladez irons, please visit Taylormade’s website at: http://taylormadegol...3,en_US,pd.html
Face of Sand Wedge
Back of Sand Wedge
Gap Wedge & Sand Wedge
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