TM launch Rocketballz line

TaylorMade are almost certain to have you squinting or raising your eyebrows at the name of their latest product line.

TaylorMade are almost certain to have you squinting or raising your eyebrows at the name of their latest product line.

Unveiled at the weekend was their new TaylorMade RocketBallz range which is set to replace their highly successful white R11 and Burner Super fast woods and irons.

The name Rockteballz was originally conceived by the R&D team for their prototype after gathering some impressive test data, but though their name is very different to anything that has gone before it, their technology aims for the new clubs remain true to the ongoing TaylorMade’s focus on creating speed for the users of their clubs.

Most specifically the Rocketballz fairway woods and hybrids now each boast a slot in the sole which is designed to enhance the flexibility of the head and face.

The new clubs (all offering a slightly deeper face) are cast from stainless steel and feature a web-like crown structure that gets as thin as 0.4 millimeters.

The weight saved is the crown is then used to create a center of gravity position that is low and forward to create a faster ball speed with low spin.

To illustrate the club’s performance, TaylorMade has provided a video of Dustin Johnson testing the RocketBallz fairway wood, complete with ProTracer graphics. Obviously its pretty impressive

Their new he sole slot is especially interesting . They are not the first company to use it. Adams and Nike have also produced clubs with similar features. But in TayloeMade’s case, the slot is designed to help the high-strength 455 steel face flex more at impact.

Dr. Benoit Vincent, TaylorMade’s chief technical officer, says the slot was positioned in the sole because it is an area that is normally not very flexible due to the amount of weight positioned there.

The other benefit, he said, is that golfers tend to make contact with fairway woods and hybrids low on the face. Placing the slot in the sole adds speed to those shots.

Lofts on the fairway woods which will have a suggested retail selling price (srsp) of $230 are 15, 17, 19, 21, 21 and 24 degrees while the hybrid (srsp price: $160) comes in 19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees.

A Tour version of the hybrid is also available in 16.5, 18.5, 21,5 and 24.5 degrees.

Although the fairway wood and hybrid are non-adjustable, the RocketBallz driver has an adjustable hosel with eight loft/lie angle settings, making it a very attractive buy at its srsp of $300.

The driver does not feature any slot technology – and for good reason. Drivers have much larger, springier faces that are already close to the USGA limit on flexibility and therefore a slot is not required.

The Rocketballz driver also continues TaylorMade’s recent work in the area of lightweight clubs (299 grams overall including a 50-gram Matrix Ozik XCON 5 shaft).

They do this by offering thin crowns and inverted cone technology in the face. The shaft, at 46 inches, is slightly shorter than the Burner SuperFast 2.0, but it is still long enough to help boost swing speed.

Two versions of the driver are available.

The standard model features a larger appearance at address with a standard face height and a slight draw bias while the tour model appears slightly smaller, but with a deeper face and a neutral face angle.

Lofts are 9, 10.5 and 13 degrees on the standard model and 9 and 10.5 degrees on the Tour.

Although the RocketBallz woods serve as their headliners, TaylorMade also unveiled several other notable products and rounding out the RocketBallz line are two irons sets – the RocketBallz and the RocketBallz Max.

The game-improving RocketBallz set features 3-, 4- and 5-irons that are made from a high-strength steel alloy and feature a hollow construction to optimize distance. The large face is as thin as 1.8 millimeters in some areas to boost the springlike effect. The clubs (which come with 85-gram steel shafts as well as the ability to bend the hosel for lie and loft adjustments) will cost you around $700 for a set of eight.

Those seeking more distance from their irons might prefer the RocketBallz Max iron set ($1,400).

The strong-lofted irons use tungsten weights that are located inside the hollow areas of the sole (primarily in the heel and toe areas) to improve forgiveness. Designers also stiffened the clubface in the toe area to help promote a slight draw bias.

TaylorMade have also followed up its R11 driver with the R11-S.

This 460cc R11-S (srsp $400 with two lofts of 9 and 10.5 degrees) has the same three areas of adjustability however the soleplate now offers five positions. In all the club boasts 80 combinations which is 32 more than last year’s R11.