TaylorMade RSi 1 and RSi 2 Irons
RSi 1: $799, steel; $899, graphite;
RSi 2: $999, steel; $1,199 graphite; golf.com/taylormade
To squeeze more distance out of their irons, the club makers of old could only strengthen lofts, shift CGs and strip weight from shafts. Eventually, stronger, lighter materials and undercut cavities led to thinner, more flexible faces. But check under the hood of today’s top-of-the-line distance irons, and what you’ll find looks more like a wood than ever.
TaylorMade’s been at the forefront of the distance-iron revolution. In 2009, the company’s engineers built technology from its woods into first-generation Burner irons. Those sticks utilized an “inverted cone” face design and the benefits were obvious: higher COR, faster ball speed and big distance. However, it created a significant problem—the distance was often inconsistent, particularly on shots struck away from the sweet spot. So, two years ago, TaylorMade’s R&D team came up with the “speed pocket,” a cutout in the sole to increase ball speed on shots struck low on the face. Since then, the company added a “thru slot” behind the face for even more flex and higher launch on those low hits.
TaylorMade’s new RSi irons take it one step further with slots on the face in the heel and toe, in addition to the cuts on the sole and cavity. The company says this combo provides more uniform flex, ball speed and consistency across the clubface, regardless of whether you miss it high, low, or toward the heel or toe. The RSi series consists of two models for the vast majority of players, as well as a blade-like TP version aimed at Tour players and top amateurs. Both the RSi 1 and RSi 2 feature face slots in the 3-8 irons, “speed pockets” with “thru slots” in the 3-7 irons, and the thin, inverted cone throughout the set.
The RSi 2, which replaces SLDR irons in TaylorMade’s lineup, has a more compact profile, thinner topline, slightly less offset and less sole bounce than the RSi 1. The multi material RSi 2 has cast, stainless steel long irons (3-5) with tungsten weighting to produce higher launch angles, and forged face short irons (8-PW) to enhance impact feel.
The midsize RSi 1, which replaces SpeedBlade irons, has a deep undercut behind an ultra-thin face. A larger area of the face maintains high ball speeds than in its sister irons. In addition, the sand and lob wedges have the company’s multi purpose ATV sole grind for playability from a variety of lies. RSi 1 and RSi 2 are available November 14. RSi TP available Jan. 15, 2015.