TaylorMade SpeedBlade Irons
Category: Game-Improvement Irons
Price: $799, steel; $899, graphite
WE TESTED: 4-AW with SpeedBlade 85 steel shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: An elongated “Speed Pocket” produces fast ball speeds across more of the face than RBZ irons. The club’s low CG helps to launch shots on a high but penetrating ball flight.
PLAYABILITY: Offers lots of assistance in getting the ball airborne from all kinds of lies—produces a high, hot trajectory just about every time; it performs well from the rough; no problem moving the ball right to left with long and mid-irons.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Covers up sidespin misses well; some guys see it as a straight-hitting point-and-shoot club; right on target with short irons.
DISTANCE CONTROL: Solid length without having to really go at it; testers dial in shorter irons with ease; nice results for three-quarter shots when needed; clubs retain distance on most reasonable hits.
FEEL: Springy but slightly muted impact feel -- an improvement over last year’s RocketBladez irons; stable through contact with little or no twisting or digging; enough feedback to know you’ve missed it.
LOOK: Kudos for its overall aesthetics -- hides the amount of offset and other game-improvement qualities well; big improvement in the overall color scheme compared with the RBZ; large head with relatively thick topline looks easy to hit.
Perfectly acceptable forgiveness but doesn’t blow away all testers; not quite as long as a few guys expect; it’s minor, but SpeedBlade makes it a bit harder to keep shots low than some others do.
BOTTOM LINE: An easy-to-launch set that provides plenty of distance for most testers.
NEXT REVIEW: Titleist AP1 714 Irons