The TaylorMade RocketBladez Tour irons at first glance seemed perfect for low handicappers. We had already reviewed the standard RocketBladez iron and whilst the performance was excellent for all golfers, we felt that the slight offset and thicker top line in the longer clubs especially might dissuade some better players who had grown up on forged irons.
The RocketBladez Tour irons are a slimmed down version and for once the Tour suffix really means what it says.
Compared to the standard version, there is hardly any offset and the top line and head size are more compact and closer to a traditional head size for better player irons. This made the 5 and particularly the 4 iron a bit scary for all but the better players among you.
The feel and sound throughout the set is better than the standard version and they are also much easier to shape. Like the standard version, TaylorMade have done an excellent job with the short irons as they are among the best in the market for this type of set.
Of course it is the slot in the bottom of the RocketBladez irons that gives these clubs more ball speed, forgiveness and consistency. However in the smaller headed Tour version the effect of this is reduced.
Using trackman we could see that the ball speed was higher throughout the set and the spin was lower too, resulting in around 10 yards more per club for us.
Now the lofts are stronger and the stock shafts longer and lighter in the standard version so the RocketBladez Tour will always be at a disadvantage here. This also means it is not really possible to blend the long and short irons of the two sets as these specifications are so different.
However the consistency of flight was better on the standard irons too because of the larger sweetspot and this is the key difference.
Whilst very few players on Tour used the R11, they are all chucking in the RocketBladez Tour irons is because that is who they are aimed at. Professionals and elite amateurs who can hit the middle more often and better that even a low single figure player.
Yes the standard versions are a little chunkier but having been through the TaylorMade fitting process you just have to look at the numbers for launch, spin, distance and projected trajectories to realise that you would have to have a very strong aversion to cavity backs to look past the standard versions.
Let's not be confused here. The RocketBladez Tour irons are excellent clubs provided you are at least as good with them as the standard irons. The rest of us will do just fine with the standard irons. The TaylorMade rep said he had fitted a pro and a 70 year old into the same standard head, obviously with different shafts and there is a good choice of those too.
Low handicappers should go test them both out and get fitted for either of these excellent TaylorMade RocketBladez irons and you will see what I mean. The rest of you should just go regular and enjoy.