TaylorMade's new Qi10 range places a focus on forgiveness levels this time around, and whilst only one of their drivers actually features the 10,000 MOI level that has been a focus of lots of their marketing, the name also find its way into the rest of their woods.
I already use a TaylorMade Stealth Rescue and so I was excited to see whether the brand had been able to make any more improvements with their latest release.
Who Is It Aimed At?
The Qi10 looks and feels like a TaylorMade Rescue, so if you've used one in the past, you'll have that familiarity as soon as you start to hit it. The difference this year is that it feels like more emphasis is placed on stability rather than all out speed and distance, even though the numbers are still good.
The Qi10 is the standard model in the range, and so it has a friendly head shape without being too big, and sits really nicely behind the ball. TaylorMade said it offers a blend of distance, forgiveness and workability which should mean stereotypically it's the most popular model in the range.
There are three models in the Qi10 range: the standard Qi10, Qi10 Max and Qi10 Tour.
The Qi10 and the Qi10 feature an all-new Carbon Crown, which is designed to free up mass to optimise weight distribution and forgiveness in the head.
The V-Steel Sole and Thru-Slot Speed Pocket, repeated technology that we have seen on TaylorMade's woods for a number of years (dating back to the SIM range), is designed to help with both performance and forgiveness regardless of the playing conditions.
A new split weight design sees a deep 450SS face with a higher toe and added internal heel-toe weight. The design is thinnest at the centre and around the edges, designed to maximise speed across the face and provide more durability.
TaylorMade Qi10 Rescue Review
Looks and Feel
I currently have the TaylorMade Stealth Rescue in my bag and I love the shape of it, it feels workable and versatile without looking too small or intimidating down by the ball.
As lots of golfers will probably agree with, I'm not a big fan of hybrids which have too much offset or look draw-biased at address, as I just worry that I'm going to lose the ball left. The Qi10 sits nice and square, making it easy to lineup and giving you plenty of confidence that you're going to be able to shape the ball in the way that you want to.
The Qi10 Rescue looks similar in terms of profile, although it features a gloss finish on the head rather than the matte black of the Stealth. Ideally I prefer the matte look although this still looks fantastic.
The overall design of the Qi10 range is smart, if a little safe, but I can imagine it being popular with the majority of golfers and it's probably less divisive than the red of the Stealth and Stealth 2 ranges.
As soon as I started hitting this club I felt like it was powerful and very stable, more so than my current Stealth Rescue, especially when I hit a couple of shots from the toe which is my tendency.
I headed down to Hukd Golf to hit the Qi10 Rescue using the GC Hawk launch monitor and found that the results were really impressive.
Whilst distance is not the key feature of this year's range, the numbers were good and on the higher end of what I'd expect to see from a 22 degree 4 hybrid, with an average carry distance of just under 195 yards, and ball speeds creeping up towards 130mph.
The difference between my longest and shortest shots was around 15 yards, which is relatively good as even the worst shots are still likely to find the front edge of the green, and that did include a couple of mis-hits which still performed well.
Both the spin rates and peak height were consistent across the test, which is great for providing a predictable ball flight - exactly what you want to see from a hybrid if it's going to replace a long iron in your bag.
The thing that impressed me most was the dispersion of this hybrid, with only two of my 10 shots during the data collection stage missing the green - hitting 80% GIR with a hybrid is definitely not normal for me!
Even when I didn't strike the ball perfectly I found that it was able to fly straight and, whilst I did tend to hit a draw with the club, I wasn't worried about losing the ball to the left which can often be a common complaint with hybrids.
TaylorMade Qi10 Rescue Verdict
TaylorMade's whole marketing strategy this year has been very un-TaylorMade like - they've gone along with the likes of Callaway and Ping in focusing on forgiveness rather than all-out speed and distance this year.
Perhaps they've realised that us golfers are becoming wise to the fact that you can't just claim that your clubs go further year on year, especially when more and more people have access to a launch monitor these days... Not to mention the small matter of a golf ball rollback on the way!
The new Qi10 Rescue actually reminded me of the Ping G430 hybrid I reviewed last year, and I mean that in the best possible way, because it's extremely stable and really easy to hit.
In all honesty I've never been completely sold on the effectiveness of the Twist Face technology but I did see a lot of my shots still managing to find the green that I had set up on the simulator, even when I didn't strike it out of the middle.
This is a fantastic all-round hybrid which is easy to hit, forgiving, and the distances produced were as good as you'd expect from TaylorMade.
It's priced at £269 which is about the going rate for a hybrid these days, and I think it's right up there in terms of looks and performance in the market.
Would I Use It?
If the Qi10 had a matte crown then it would be going straight into my bag, but I think I probably do prefer the look of the Stealth Rescue at address. However the performance was fantastic, so I'm very tempted to make the switch.
TaylorMade Qi10 Rescue Pros & Cons
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
TaylorMade Qi10 Max Driver Review
Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Hybrid Review