Mike Ferris, TaylorMade's vice president of product marketing, was counting each stride as he marched across the front of the conference room. "Twelve, thirteen, fourteen," he said before touching the wall, turning around and pacing back again. "Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen." P.T. Barnum would have loved the way Ferris had just shown how much longer TaylorMade claims the new RocketBallz 3-wood is than last season's Burner SuperFast 2.0.
(Click here to see an exclusive video on the RocketBallz fairway woods.) Once you get past the name, the first thing you'll notice about the RocketBallz fairway woods is a cavity carved in the sole. Positioned just behind the face, it is designed to increase the flexibility of both the face and the sole of the club to help increase ball speed. Golfers will notice a weight plug positioned directly behind the cavity. In drivers, weights like this one are often positioned in the back to move the center of gravity lower and farther from the face to encourage a higher ball flight. In the RBZ fairways, TaylorMade has moved the center of gravity in these clubs forward. "Historically, we've always said, let's move the center of gravity back to make the club easier to play" says Tom Olsavsky, TaylorMade's senior direct of product creation. However, Olsavsky notes, most golfers hit their fairway woods and hybrids high in the face. He says the physics that helps you hit longer shots with your 460-cc driver doesn't help you as much with fairway woods because they feature a smaller head and shallower face. In order to get a higher launch angle, more ball speed and more carry distance, TaylorMade says that it moved the center of gravity in to keep it more aligned with where golfers actually hit the ball. Olsavsky says the combination of the cavity and the forward adjustment of the center of gravity increased the RocketBallz ball speed by 3-4 mph over the Burner SuperFast 2.0. He also notes that the same features make the RocketBallz Rescue clubs 15 yards longer than their Burner counterparts.
Arriving in pro shops on the same day, the RocketBallz and RocketBallz Tour rescue clubs will each cost $179 and come with a proprietary TaylorMade graphite shaft. A RocketBallz Rescue TP with an upgraded shaft will be $229. Available lofts will range from 16.5°-27°. See-Try-Buy: Learn more about TaylorMade clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith. Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook | Google+