FAQ: RocketBladez and RocketBladez Tour IronsNovember 10, 2012
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main differences between the RocketBladez and RocketBladez Tour iron?
RocketBladez Tour has a thinner topline, thinner sole, smaller cavity, very little offset, tour-caliber shaft and a different grip.
What type of player is the RocketBladez a good fit for?
We believe that anyone and everyone can play these irons, from Tour pros to 30-handicaps.
Why should I choose RocketBladez over last year’s RocketBallz irons?
Performance. The Speed Pocket promotes faster ball Speed, higher trajectory, longer carry, a steep and quick-stopping descent angle and consistence distance from shot to shot. Plus the Speed Pocket delivers more ball speed and distance on mis-hits low on the face.
Are RocketBladez Tour irons workable?
Yes, the compact head shape, thing topline, thin sole, small cavity back and minimal offset all help to make RocketBladez Tour irons extremely workable for players who like to attack pins by drawing and fading the ball.
Will you eventually release an MB set with the Speed Pocket technology? If not, is it expected that players gaming the current Tour Preferred MBs will want to switch to the RocketBladez Tour irons?
Although the design of the RocketBladez Tour iron is more in line with the Tour Preferred MC in terms of size, shape, offset and topline and sole design, the technologies have been specifically and precisely designed to give better players the longest, most consistent, and best feeling Tour iron we’ve ever made. A true muscleback – like the Tour Preferred forged MB – would not benefit from the incorporation of the Speed Pocket like in RocketBladez Tour because the MB’s small, thick-faced, blade-like design does not lend itself to the combination of features needed to deliver the performance enhancement.
Will there be a RocketBladez “B” version?
Right now dozens of Tour pros are clamoring to try RocketBladez Tour, so our focus is to build a set for all of them, which is a huge undertaking. However, given what we’ve already learned about this technology, we’re confident we can incorporate it into different iron designs. Combine that with the fact that we’re always working with our Tour Staff pros to test new prototypes, it’s not out of the question that there will be another version of RocketBladez Tour at some point. But, as mentioned earlier, our focus right now is on the model we unveiled two days ago and getting it in the hands of every tour pro who’s asked us for a set.
Any plans to put Speed Pocket technology in a forged iron?
The technologies we’ve designed into the cast RocketBladez Tour irons and the performance gains we’re seeing with this new design are not currently achievable in a traditional forged iron model. Our pursuit of greater performance led us to the innovative design with multiple features working together (including an advanced variable thickness face design with ICT, cavity undercut, speed pocket) which could only be created in a cast process.
Why is RocketBladez Tour equipped with the KBS Tour shaft?
We wanted to make the hottest iron on Tour, and right now KBS Tour is the hottest shaft on Tour.
How are you going to convince forged iron fans to switch to RocketBladez?
All you have to do is try RocketBladez Tour and you’ll discover how fantastic they feel and how responsive and workable they are. That’s in addition to the long, high flight and soft, quick-stopping landings. .
How big is the sweet spot in RocketBladez Tour?
The sweet spot in RocketBladez Tour is about the size of a quarter, compared to the size of a pea in other Tour-type irons.
Why hasn’t anyone developed a serious performance innovation in a Tour iron before now?
Thinning the clubface to add more speed and distance to an iron has also resulted in a “hot spot” on the face that hurts distance consistency. Tour pros insist on precise distance control, which is why there hasn’t been any real serious performance innovation in Tour irons ever. (In our opinion, the last innovation to blade-style irons came in the 1930s, when production techniques improved and the quality of the heads and grooves became much better and consistent.)
What was the last significant innovation in a Tour iron?
51 years ago, when Ping introduced the perimeter-weighted cavityback iron.
What’s the COR measurement in RocketBladez irons?
The COR in both RocketBladez and RocketBladez Tour irons is up to .820, which is 10 points higher than our Burner 2.0 irons
Will an iron ever reach the COR limit of .830?
Given the strides we’re making, anything’s possible. Ten years ago we didn’t dream we could reach .819 in an iron, yet we have with RocketBladez.
Do RocketBladez and RocketBladez Tour have a new groove design?
No, they have the same groove as RocketBallz irons.
What makes RocketBladez feel so good?
The vibration-absorbing badge on the back and the polyurethane filling in the Speed Pocket, and badge on the back.
How do RocketBladez help you hit straighter shots compared to previous fast-faced irons?
The new Inverted Cone and clubface design together projects the ball straight down the target line when the face reflexes at impact, instead of at a slight angle as previous fast-faced irons often have. We started making this kind of improvement in how the ball comes off the face in our RocketBallz irons.
How does the Speed Pocket promote longer distance on mis-hits low on the clubface?
The way the Speed Pocket flexes and rebounds at impact promotes significantly higher ball speed and distance on low-face mis-hits. That’s a huge benefit because according to our research, 68% of iron impacts by amateurs are mis-hits low on the face.
Are the distance gaps consistent between each RocketBladez iron?
Yes, they are consistent between each club, even though there isn’t a Speed Pocket in the 8-iron through wedges. Here’s how it works. We have a variety of variables to work with in each iron head that we used to “tune” and control the distance. In TaylorMade irons those variables include the face thickness, the Inverted Cone shape, the undercut depth, the CG location, the loft degree, and size of the Speed Pocket. Our ability to precisely control and coordinate these variables in each iron head allows us to regulate the performance of each iron so that the distance gaps are even across the entire set.
Most players’ have smaller distance gaps between their long-irons compared to the gaps between their middle- and short-irons. Because of that, we designed the RocketBladez 3-iron and 4-irons with maximum distance enhancement, including the thinnest/fastest faces, the deepest undercuts and the deepest Speed Pocket, all of which combine to deliver the highest COR to promote high ball speed and distance. As you progress downward through the middle-irons and short-irons, where you distance gaps are naturally more evenly spaced (as opposed to the long-irons) we’ve again balanced the variables in RocketBladez irons to deliver increased distance while keeping those gaps consistent. When you get down to the 7- and 8-irons, we took great care to coordinate the variables in each clubhead to create a distance gap between them that’s consistent with the rest of the set, even though the 7-iron has a Speed Pocket and the 8-iron doesn’t. To do that, we don’t put as much “juice” in the 7-iron as we do in the 3- and 4-irons by carefully controlling the 7-iron’s face thickness, Inverted Cone shape, CG location and loft. That allows us to ensure a consistent distance gap between the 7- and 8-iron.
The RocketBladez set is “anchored” with the pitching wedge (PW), which delivers similar distance to our previous game-improvement, distance-oriented irons. As you work your way up from short- to long-irons and the loft of each club gradually increases, the flex of the face does more to promote ball speed and influence distance.
How am I now going to fix the distance gaps between my longest iron and my fairways/Rescues?
That’s exactly why we developed RocketBladez irons. As metalwoods have gotten longer thanks to innovations like the Speed Pocket in our RocketBallz fairways and Rescues, the distance gap that’s formed between your longest iron and your shortest metalwood has grown. RocketBladez will help you close that gap. However, because there isn’t a Speed Pocket in the 8-iron through wedges, your distance gaps will grow progressively longer starting with the middle-irons on up through the long-irons. You can see a very clear illustration of this gapping between RocketBladez iron at taylormadegolf.com.
Why is the Speed Pocket filled with polymer and not hollow like the RocketBallz fairway?
To keep dirt, mud grass and similar debris out.
Is the Speed Pocket the future of irons now?
We believe it is, and that any iron without a Speed Pocket is now outdated, including our own.
Why don’t the 8-iron thru wedges have a Speed Pocket?
You don’t need it in those irons because you don’t compress the ball as much with their higher-lofted faces.
How are you going to dial in the swing weight without the Precision Weight Port?
Centrally swingweighting a golf club is still an effective feature to an iron. In the development of RocketBladez we unlocked such a massive improvement in performance from the Speed Pocket, a performance benefit that far outweighed the benefits of center swingweighting. In addition, the complexities of the Speed Pocket did not allow us to weight the product in the center, so the decision to walk away from PWP was easy, the overwhelming improvement from the Speed Pocket was just to big to ignore.
What’s the notch on the back of the hosel for?
The notch on the back of the RocketBladez hosel makes it much easier to bend the head to adjust the line angle.
Can I bend this club myself?
We don’t recommend trying to bend the clubhead yourself to change the lie angle. Instead you should take it to a professional clubfitter, and even he or she shouldn’t , change the lie angle by more than 2 degrees in either direction
Was Mark King serious when he said that RocketBladez will be the No. 1 iron on the PGA Tour next year?
Yes. We’ve already shown RocketBladez Tour to several key members of our Tour Staff and they were all blown away by the performance. Judging by that alone we believe there will be a lot of Tour pros who put RocketBladez Tour in play next year.
What Tour players are you targeting?
All of them. Men, women, seniors.
How have Tour professionals responded to these irons?
The early feedback from Tour has been phenomenal. Sean O’Hair has already put them in play this fall. He begged us to give him a set as soon as he tried them this fall. That’s rare, because at this stage in the year most Tour pros aren’t putting much new equipment in play.
Why have Tour professionals previously shunned fast-faced distance irons?
Tour pros demand precise distance-control in their irons, more so than distance. Previous fast-faced irons typically have a “hot spot” high on the face that promotes a jump in distance. Tour pros don’t want that unpredictability, and thus have steered clear of distance irons. The Speed Pocket gives RocketBladez and RocketBladez Tour irons a faster clubface without a hot spot, which is why RocketBladez Tour is the first distance iron played on Tour.
Didn’t Wilson try a similar idea in their Reflex iron, back in the 1980s?
We started developing the Speed Pocket in our RocketBallz fairway woods and hybrids and RocketBladez irons simultaneously in an attempt to increase clubface COR to promote increased distance. However, the additional 17 yards that better players have gotten from RocketBallz metalwoods is the result of several innovations working in conjunction to boost the speed of the face – the Speed Pocket, the flexible crown and the forward CG location. Likewise, RocketBladez’ distance-enhancing COR is the product of a variety of TaylorMade advancements working together including a highly sophisticated, ultra-thin face design, an extremely large unsupported face-area made possible by the large head and deep cavity-undercut, our unique Inverted Cone technology, the Speed Pocket, and an exceptionally low and centered CG location. The result is a COR measurement that’s higher than any other TaylorMade iron to date, and over 20 points higher than the Wilson Reflex. And it’s important to point out that our unique combination of design features and mass properties not only delivers a faster clubface, but also a clubhead that launches the ball significantly higher (leading to softer, faster-stopping landings), that feels great, and that delivers a significantly higher level of consistency across the face for precise distance-control from shot to shot.