3, 3HL, 5, 5HL, 7
X, S, R, M, L
15, 17, 19, 21, 23
1 February 2013
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When TaylorMade first released the RocketBallz fairway wood, they claimed it would add 17 yards to a better player's game. Now, they are launching the TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 fairway wood, and they are ready to make another claim: another 10 yards.
Yup, TaylorMade claim that the newly designed RBZ Stage 2 fairway will see up to 10 yards more distance for better players over the original RocketBallz. How can they make that claim? Well they have some new features and materials in the Stage 2 version designed to faster and longer.
The high-strength steel, TaylorMade's RocketSteel, used in the RBZ Stage 2 fairway made by Carpenter™, produces a face that is thinner and faster-flexing. Combine the RocketSteel with an improved Speed Pocket, and the flex offered in the face of the RocketBallz Stage 2 is clearly built for speed and distance.
The club features a low clubhead profile than before, as well as a shallow and low CG (centre of gravity), which TaylorMade engineers claims improves the club's playability and ease of launch.
As well as lowering the profile of the club in relation to the ground, TaylorMade lowered the weight of the club. The Thick-thin Crown Technology used by TaylorMade's R&D team meant they could vary the thickness of the crown, saving weight and allowing them to move the CG even further forward and lower to create the RocketBallz Stage 2 fairway wood, designed to launch high and go farther and faster than before.
Even more RocketFuel was added to the club in the form of the new Matrix RocketFuel 60 gram shaft.
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The TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 fairway wood is pretty much the same RBZ fairway that you know and love from before with a wider speed pocket in the sole. This means that the ball speed off the face is increased and TaylorMade say that this should go on average 10 yards further than the original RocketBallz fairway. And that was supposed to gain you 17 yards...
These are big claims, but when we tested the RocketBallz Stage 2 3-wood against the TaylorMade R1 driver, it was only 25 yards or so less carry, so this is a very powerful 3-wood. If you struggle with your driver and prefer teeing off with a 3-wood then the RBZ Stage 2 will be the answer as the distance gains are more noticeable when the ball is teed up.
However if you like your driver, then this extra distance could create problems as you will increase the distance gap in your set to the next club down. When we spoke to European Tour player Paul McGinley at the launch he said that he had gone down a loft to a 4-wood and taken an inch off the shaft length to bring the distance back to the 235 yards he wanted. Why bother you ask? Well, the extra loft of the 4-wood gave him a softer landing trajectory than his 3 wood so he can stop it better on all these par-5 greens he can reach in two shots now.
Therefore some thought is required on the correct loft before parting with your cash. Do you want more distance from an easier teeing club, more distance from the fairway or similar distance with a higher flight from a lower loft. The choice is yours and it can be confusing so seek out a custom fitter to help.
The white crown comes with some, shall we say, ‘interesting’ graphics that bizarrely do help, so they are not all form over function. The triangle and grey centre shape highlight the centre of the face and also assist with aligning the face. The head is a lovely oversized shape and sits very well behind the ball. The sound and feel at impact is very good. As well as being pretty forgiving, it was easy to shape the ball if you wanted to and for all round performance as a general use fairway wood there was very little to fault.
The Matrix RocketFuel shaft has been upgraded since the last version and for a TaylorMade stock shaft it is very good. At 60 grams it is nice and light and the stability is excellent and should suit most players.
So in summary the TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 fairway wood goes too far, looks so-so, still has a weird name and therefore our verdict is...get one. It’s great and you will forget about all the above when you hit it.
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