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There are few things in professional golf like the first impression between a player and a new product. Especially a new revolutionary product like the RocketBladez Tour irons, designed to promote and enable dramatically improved performance versus a current offering.

Take a new product to a PGA Tour driving range and you’d be smart to expect a serious exchange of Q&A. How does it sound? How does it feel? What makes it better? It’s one thing to pass the eye test – the first thing almost any professional does with a new product is set it down and assess its appearance at address – it’s quite another to pass the performance.

Armed with the knowledge that RocketBladez Tour irons are borne from the same DNA that delivered game-changing performance in the RocketBallz fairway woods and Rescues, TaylorMade Tour Staff professional Rory Sabbatini was certainly optimistic prior to his first experience with “This Little Thing.”

“Nobody can touch that thing. If you’ve got the same technology that’s in your 3-wood in these irons, consider me interested,” Sabbatini said.

It didn’t take long for Sabbatini to validate his assumption about the performance of the RocketBladez Tour irons during his first testing session on Tuesday of tournament week at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. With his Tour Preferred MC forged irons in tow, Sabbatini headed to the range with both products and jumped right into comparison testing. One of Sabbatini’s real strengths in ballstriking is his ability to work the ball both ways while maintaining a sharp and precise control of trajectory. High, low, right-to-left, left-to-right. Call a shot and he’ll hit it.

That said, his first impression with the RocketBladez Tour delivered against all key performance categories on which he judges and analyzes a new product – especially workability and feel.

“I’ll tell you – the look of these irons is fantastic,” Sabbatini said, working through the short irons. “You guys nailed it here. I’m very impressed.”

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The longest iron in Sabbatini’s gamers is a 4-iron – he’s traditionally substituted a Rescue in favor of a 3-iron – but that hardly proved a concern in his first experience with the RocketBladez Tour long irons. As he worked through the set into the long irons, he was taken back by the higher launch and longer carry without sacrificing the feel of a forged iron, even joking that the 3-iron might kick his Rescue out of the bag, if it behaved.

Following the range testing, Sabbatini took the RocketBladez Tour irons on-course for testing on the Palm Course at Disney and was more than encouraged during the situational testing. Shot after shot, he evaluated the performance characteristics and gave the new irons high marks.

Feel? Check. Distance? Check. Consistency off the clubface? Check.

He wrapped the testing session after nine holes on Tuesday and although he didn’t pull the trigger on a switch at Disney, noted that he remains optimistic that with proper off-season acclimation and more time to build confidence in the new irons, he’ll be ready to go with RocketBladez Tour in his bag in 2013. We look forward to continuing to track his progress  as we close in on the kickoff of the upcoming PGA Tour season.

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