Today I had the opportunity to test drive the TaylorMade RocketBladez Irons, and I have to be honest, at first glance these irons did not strike me as anything special. They are a game improvement club—or so I thought. They have a medium thick top line, slightly offset, and a little slit on the bottom which TaylorMade calls the Speed Pocket. What a speed pocket it is.
The first club I test drove was the pitching wedge. I got on our simulator and set everything to neutral, no wind and 75 degrees. I wasn’t even warmed up and the first swing went 135 yards. Now, I hit my regular pitching wedge on a well struck shot 130 yards with about 125 carry and 4-5 yards of roll. The RocketBladez PW went 135. I thought to myself, wait a minute, maybe I hit a hot spot, so I hit another one. It went 140 yards and that got me thinking that the simulator was messed up. I moved over to a different hitting station and hit another shot 140 yards. Again, I am not even warmed up. Five more shots and this thing PW carrying 140 and rolling out to 145. I am in awe. I hit a few more and draw the ball 150 and cut the ball 130. Those distances are what I usually hit with my 8 iron so needless to say, I am curious. Is this just an anomaly, something weird with the loft setting, or are the other clubs just as long?
Next, I picked up the 7 iron and now that I am warmed up, I put a nice smooth swing on it. The 7 iron had a carry of 175 yards total and finished at 180. That is what I hit my 5 or 6 iron. I blasted (I say blasted because the ball explodes off the face) about 15 more shots and worked the ball from right to left. A draw gained about 5 yards to 185 and a left-to-right a fade lost about 5 yards to 175. Now, I am not going after it, I’m just swinging normally (for reference, my driver swing speed is about 102-103mph; not too bad but certainly not fast by anyone’s standard). I am hitting a 7 iron 180 yards on average. If these numbers stick, I just gained two clubs of distance with the RocketBladez.
I am thinking, wow, I can hit a 7 iron from 175 and it will stop, this is crazy. Next, I hit a 5 iron, and this is where things really got interesting. My carry for the 5 iron was 205 yards, and with a draw, rolled out to 215. I jumped on a few and even got the ball out there 225. Now, that kind of distance is what I would expect from my 3 hybrid, not my 5 iron. When I cut the 5 iron, the ball carried 200 and stopped on a dime. The launch on these clubs is exceptionally high, but I was able to flight the ball lower if I wanted to. I still got loads of distance with the lower trajectory and it only cost me maybe 5 yards of carry, but accounting for the additional roll, it ended up about the same amount of total distance.
TaylorMade has found something here with this speed pocket. The club launches the ball high so you have a lot a carry, but due to the speed pocket, which acts like an extra lever, the ball goes further than any club I have ever tested. I currently play the TaylorMade SuperFast 2.0 irons with KBS tour shafts. Normally, my wedge goes 130 years, my 7 iron 160, and my 5 iron 185. I had the 2.0 irons with me and hit them to confirm, and sure enough, those were the distances. All told, by using the RocketBladez I gained about 15 yards for each club.
In my humble opinion, these irons are a game changer and I cannot wait to get a set. They will be available November 23rd and will come in 4-PW,GW in steel or graphite. I can’t imagine you will need a 3 iron with the new hybrids that are set to hit the market, I hear they will employ the same technology and I can’t wait to try those out as well. Get excited for these irons and stay tuned.