TaylorMade took a deep breath during the PGA Tour's off week, and kicked off BMW Championship Week on Monday night with an event to take the wraps off its latest creation – TaylorMade SpeedBlade Irons. |
The TaylorMade SpeedBlade continues the TaylorMade trend of cutting Speed Pockets into their clubheads, as found in such clubs as the RocketBladez irons and RocketBallz woods. The Speed Pocket is a deep slot that runs from heel to toe on the sole just behind the clubface that allows the face to flex and rebound faster.
That, TaylorMade says, increases ball speed and elevates the launch angle to boost distance, and provides more control because shots land on a steep angle. In addition, TaylorMade lowered the SpeedBlade's center of gravity to further increase the launch angle and to put more power behind shots hit low on the clubface – which the company says happens almost three-quarters of the time.
So is the Speedblade all hype and marketing or is it a legitimate improvement upon the Rocketbladez? Let’s first look at the benefits and drawbacks of the Rocketbladez. First of all, and for many most importantly, they go very, very far. We saw 17 yards in distance gains on average, mostly produced through significantly higher Smash Factors. There were negatives to the TaylorMade RocketBladez Irons however. The two most important performance factors that were lacking were height and distance control.
As a player’s handicap lowers the most important aspect in iron play is control. Most good players would rather give up 5 yards of distance to ensure the ball travelled at the same trajectory and the same carry distance every time. Think about what happens at a PGA Tour event when it rains and the course becomes soft.
For someone trying to hit the ball further this performance gap just didn’t matter. They would rather have the ball roll out because they were suddenly hitting their 7 iron from where they used to hit 5. The speedblade irons made the game more fun for them.
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