TaylorMade RSi2 Irons
Category: Better-Player Irons
Price: $1,000, steel; $1,200, graphite
WE TESTED: 4–GW with True Temper XP 95 steel shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Cast stainless-steel long irons with tungsten weighting produce higher-launching shots; forged-face short irons provide enhanced impact feel.
PLAYABILITY: The slightly beveled leading edge works equally well through fairway or rough without digging; the RSi2 flights the ball high and straight—great for that better golfer who wants to elevate shots; a nice progression through the set—scoring clubs are maneuverable, while the long irons tend to decrease side spin.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Its strongest attribute—where this club really shines; testers say it’s almost hard to hit it offline—the RSi2 straightens out nearly every shot; very predictable and highly accurate; very generous sweet spot for a club aimed at better players.
DISTANCE CONTROL: Easy to rely on; shots from the rough go almost as far as those from the fairway; off-center contact gets some guys more yards than their current irons do; similar distances as testers’ current sets, but more consistent shot-to-shot.
FEEL: The entire face feels like a trampoline; there’s plenty of feedback engineered into this cavity-back head—impact is well-communicated, with no harshness on misses.
LOOK: Vertical black slots on the face contrast with the grooves to provide a vivid image of the sweet spot; midsize face sits perfectly square at address; there’s a lot of visible help built in; shorter irons have a clean profile without skimping on forgiveness.
Some guys have a hard time keeping the flight down; others say it’s forgiving to a fault—somewhat tough to curve the ball on command; little differentiation in feel no matter where on the face you hit it, dead-center or not.
BOTTOM LINE: The RSi2 is one of the more stable, forgiving irons in the better-player category. The slot technologies in the sole and clubface certainly appear to deliver the goods on misses.
BUY THE CLUB: Get your own TaylorMade RSi2 irons
NEXT REVIEW: Titleist AP2 714 Irons
MORE INFO ON THE TAYLORMADE RSi2 IRONS
From the December 2014 Issue of Golf Magazine
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. — Michael Chwasky
NEXT REVIEW: Titleist AP2 714 Irons