For years, TaylorMade Adidas Golf (TMAG) has been known for technical innovation and marketing acumen. Last year they introduced the R11 and Superfast 2.0 drivers and fairways painted all white. Every time a player on a professional tour took the head cover off and you saw a white head, you knew instantly that it was a TaylorMade club. A club’s usage on the PGA Tour has a huge influence on consumers and drives equipment companies to come out with new designs constantly. If you don’t believe me, just walk into your local golf superstore and count how many belly putters are for sale this year versus last. The white driver was a marketing coup for TaylorMade, and they will continue being “..all in with white.” as one TMAG staffer told me. This year, the prolific company has a whole bunch of new clubs out which will make their debut at the annual PGA Merchandise Show on Jan 26-28. Here’s a first look at all the new wood offerings from TaylorMade Golf. (Click the title header for the official press release, and click the photos to zoom in for a closer look)
An update to the popular R11 driver, the R11S driver can be tuned for 80 separate launch settings, making it the most adjustable driver in golf, and maybe the most confusing too. The all white 460cc club features a 3 degree Flight Control Technology (FCT) sleeve, Movable Weight Technology (MWT) and the new 5-way Adjustable Sole Plate (ASP) that allows the golfer to find their optimum address set-up. In terms of TaylorMade’s lineup, this club will probably appeal to a larger cross section of golfers than any other on the market, because of the custom shaft options and the club’s adjustability.
Like the new R11S driver, the white R11S and R11S TP fairway woods from TaylorMade are classically shaped and feature the Adjustable Sole Plate Technology (ASP) and an upgraded Flight Control Technology (FCT) sleeve for added adjustability. These new features allow for up to 24 different settings, promoting maximum performance and increased distance through tuning. The new FCT sleeve allows the golfer to make an adjustment in the range of 3° of lie and 3° loft/6° face angle. The R11S fairways provide up to approximately 54 yards horizontal trajectory adjustment and 3° and 1500 rpm of launch condition change.
This is the one everyone is talking about. The RocketBallz (RBZ) name alone has been discussed, joked about and ridiculed by people I have spoken to about the new clubs, and the performance has been raved about by TaylorMade staff pros. Of course, when a paid endorser raves about a club you have to take it with a grain of salt, and TaylorMade’s YouTube Videos seem a bit over the top with the distance they are claiming, but we’ll get to see for ourselves in a few short weeks and let you know if there’s any truth to the hype. Heck, the full name doesn’t even fit on the club. They had to use the initials “RBZ”. RocketBallz drivers are being offered in two models: RocketBallz and RocketBallz Tour. According to TaylorMade, The RocketBallz driver boasts a larger appearance at address with a standard face height, while the RocketBallz Tour driver is mid-sized at address with a deeper face. Both are traditionally shaped and feature improved aerodynamics thanks to what TaylorMade calls their Ultra-Thin Wall (UTW) casting process and Thick-Thin crown design.
“The RocketBallz fairway woods and Rescues represent a game-changing breakthrough in performance comparable to few products in the history of our industry,” said Sean Toulon, Executive Vice President of TaylorMade. “To hold a RocketBallz metalwood in your hands is to possess confidence, power, speed and distance potential that will regularly and quite literally redefine the long game for golfers.” OK, marketing hype aside, these are being billed as some of the longest fairway woods and hybrids ever made. Here’s what TaylorMade says about the new woods: Major challenges had to be surmounted to develop RocketBallz technology, including the need to create a durable yet flexible sole/face structure with a deep sole pocket. Additionally, we needed a deeper face design and low CG to maintain excellent playability off turf. Lastly, the products needed a front-low CG without sacrificing playability and control. To achieve these qualities, the RocketBallz fairway woods and Rescues were developed with a high-strength 455 steel face plate welded to a cast body. They incorporate improved sole geometry and a “Speed Pocket” to improve overall head and face flexibility and a slightly deeper face with a further-forward CG location than traditional designs. So what does this mean for golfers? According to TaylorMade it means distance gains of up to 17 yards for better players.
I’m looking forward to seeing the new clubs, and stay tuned because there’s much more coming from TaylorMade, including new irons, wedges and golf balls! For now, here’s a video from TaylorMade talking about the origins of the RocketBallz name…
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