A game improvement iron that launches the ball exceptionally high and far – that's what TaylorMade are saying about their new SpeedBlade irons and it definitely appears to be the case.
At a recent launch in Illinois, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson all gathered to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new irons. Trackman at the ready, they fired off iron shots. Garcia hit a SpeedBlade 7-iron more than 200 yards, Rose hit a SpeedBlade 4-iron nearly 256 yards, only to be outdone by Johnson who hit the same club a massive 271 yards. Jason Day ripped a 3-iron 280 yards, ridiculously long by anyone's standards.
Despite these impressive distances, there is very little chance any of these players will use these irons as they're just too long. Pros are used to the distances they hit each of their irons and they don't want that to suddenly have to adjust to a new set that they are hitting two or three clubs farther.
In testing, Garcia hit a SpeedBlade 7-iron over 200 yards, Rose hit a SpeedBlade 4-iron nearly 256 yards.
Visually, the SpeedBlade iron is striking. Combining a two-tone chrome plating, it is definitely nice to look at. Its key performance feature is the Speed Pocket, which is present in the sole of the 3-7 irons and helps to produce faster ball speeds, higher launch and better feel.
“The Speed Pocket performs where golfers need it most,” said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade's director of iron, wedge and putters development. 'Our research indicates that 72% of shots by 5-25 gandicap golfers are impacted below the centre of the face. That typically results in low-launching shots of inconsistent distance. The Speed Pocket helps you launch those low-impact shots on a consistently higher, longer carrying and softer-landing flight.”
Since 2009 TaylorMade iron engineers have worked with their metalwood team to better understand how to incorporate driver design into an iron, and that is exactly what has gone into the SpeedBlade irons. As well as the Speed Pocket, they incorporate a low centre of gravity along with TaylorMade's Inverted Cone Technology that gives a bigger sweet spot on off-centre hits.
Throughout the set, the SpeedBlade's progressive shaping is critical to the overall performance. The slender topline and sole in the short irons gives better workability, feel and control while the bigger topline in the long irons inspires more confidence at address.
Finally, it's down to the comparison, the SpeedBlade irons are more compact than the RocketBladez. They fly higher, are more forgiving, while at the same time giving more feel and more consistent performance on mishits. TaylorMade believe they are definitely the best irons they have created to date.
“Five years ago we challenged ourselves to create the best iron we could,” added Bazzel. “We've taken everything we've learned since then and created our most complete iron ever in SpeedBlade.”
SpeedBlade irons are available in 8-iron sets (4-AW) and are equipped with a stock 85-gram steel shaft - RRP £599 - or 75-gram (stiff), 65-gram (regular), 55-gram (senior), or 45-gram (ladies) graphite shaft - RRP £699 and are available in shops from October 4 2013.