Golf club makers have been trying for years to make golf clubs that will help golfers on mis-hits. Only the rare few out on the courses are precision ball strikers and I’m not one of them. A study put on by TaylorMade Golf found that 76% of all iron shots are mis-hits struck outside the center of the face. I guess I can’t say I’m surprised by that number.
[button color=”blue” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”http://bunkers.wpengine.com/42695/10-worst-tiger-woods-blow-ups-cover-your-ears/”]10 Worst Tiger Woods Blow Ups: Cover Your Ears[/button]
Fun Teaser Video by TaylorMade Golf. #NobodyIsPerfect
Companies have tried all kinds of technology and tricks to help on those mis-hits, some with success and some not so much. So what else can golf club makers try? Introducing the new Face Slot Technology by TaylorMade Golf. Grab a seat because this might just blow your mind.
“Face Slot Technology provides greater consistency across the face, giving players improved performance on mis-hits,” said Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade’s Director of Product Creation for Irons, Putters & Wedges. “No golfer is perfect, not even the best players in the world hit the center of the club every time. So with RSi, we’re giving all golfers a technology that can help their mis-hits perform more like pure strikes.”
TaylorMade sent us over the new RSi1 Irons for some pre-release testing a few weeks ago. Since arrival we have been testing them in our hitting studio along with some on course testing.
TaylorMade is using the slogan, “Nobody’s Perfect”, which is actually fitting since golf is a game of misses. Two years ago, TaylorMade introduced the “Speed Pockets”, which was a small slot in the sole of the iron to improve shots struck low on the face of the iron. They have taken that same technology and put it into the face of the iron in hopes to provide a more uniform flex across the face of the club, which in turn should help with better ball speeds on off-center hits. Yes you read that correctly, on the FACE of the iron.
- Face Slot Technology
Only available with RSi, Face Slots are found in the 3-8 irons. Positioned at the toe and heel, just outside the score lines and vertically spanning 35 to 38mm (depending on the iron number), the slots are cut all the way through the face and filled with a durable epoxy compound. The heel and toe slots allow the face to flex easily and protect ball speed for more consistent distance across the face.
- Loft/Lie Etc
- Improved Speed Pocket
In addition to Face Slots, they improved the Speed Pocket in the RSi iron, which features ThruSlot technology – engineered to activate the lower portion of the face by minimizing speed reduction and creating higher launch on shots hit below center. Like Face Slots, the Speed Pocket (found in the 3-7 irons) is meant to protect ball speed, launch angle and spin rate, especially on shots struck low on the face.
The idea behind having both the Speed Pocket and the Face Slot Technology is to create a larger sweetspot with more forgiveness near the toe, heel and the bottom of the golf club.
As you can see from the photo above it’s a decent looking iron. It has a nice clean TaylorMade logo on the bottom of the club, with dark black in the cavity area. I also like the dark gray snake skin look. TaylorMade also added a hint of red highlights to the back of the iron to give it some flare. You can see the Face Slot Technology tabs protruding from the back of the iron. If you turn the club upside down you can see the Speed Pocket insert, which looks almost identical to the SpeedBlade irons of last year.
The top line of this club is extremely thin for such a forgiving iron. The great news here is that with all this technology game improvement irons no longer have to look like the “shovels” of the past. TaylorMade calls it the Advanced Face Design, which incorporates their “thinnest face ever”.
When you hear the word “tuned” more than likely your first thought wouldn’t be golf related. TaylorMade really spent some time on how each slot will benefit the longer to mid irons in this set. The RSi 1 maintains feedback even while dampening mishits like no iron I’ve ever hit. It wasn’t hard to distinguish between pure contact and bad shots, but the feedback was never even close to be what I refer to as harsh. Let’s just say that the face slot and thruslot technology provide the most springlike transfer at impact of any iron they have released.
The grip is a a TM RSi Red Cap grip that matches the clubs design quite nicely as it has simple lines and a hint of red. The RSi 1 comes standard with the new Reax 90 steel shaft from True Temper, which is supposed to maximize ball flight and distance. I can’t say that the Reax 90 gram steel shafts will be for everybody. My transition to a lighter weight shaft was pretty painless. The overall weight of the club felt pretty natural with no major tempo issues at all. You get the solid feel of the SLDR iron with the added benefit of even more forgiveness.
I’m going to start this section off with two words, long and forgiving. Whether you are a TaylorMade fan or not, there will be no denying that these clubs perform.
The TaylorMade RSi 1 Irons are quite long and for me to say that it’s something. I’m not a long ball hitter and never have been. My 7-iron is typically 140-155 and the 155 is on a really good day where there is wind to my back. Let’s put it this way, if there is an approach shot from 155, I’m normally pulling out my 6-iron. Laugh at it all you want, but I know my distances.
I’m including some screen shots of my testing with the TaylorMade RSi 1 irons just so you can see some of the numbers. I used a 7 iron with these tests and faced them up against three other top irons from 2014.
As you can see from the photos, on average I gained about an extra 5-yards with the RSi 1 irons compared to the others and what my “normal” distance is. There is one slide where my swing speed was 94 MPH, which I absolutely tried to murder the ball, but didn’t quite hit it flush. You can see that I still got decent distance even with the mis-hit.
I was very impressed with the flight with the Reax 90 Shaft. I felt that I could really go after the ball without worrying too much about the dreaded snap hook. My ball flight actually looked pretty darn good! I generally hit my irons very high, which causes me to lose a lot of distance , but with the RSi I was getting a piercing ball flight. The Reax 90 shaft just happened to fit my game perfect, who knew?
What did I take away from my numbers on the monitor? The RSi was not only longer on well struck shots, it also performed extremely well on mishits too with minimal loss in distance and dispersion. It seems as if this honeymoon is off to a good start!
Nobody’s Perfect! Isn’t that the truth! There really isn’t much I can say negative about this club except that you might not like the looks of the Face Slots or colors. But honestly, when hitting these irons, I didn’t even notice the face slots. I completely forgot they were there. This club is going to help a lot of golfers to hit more accurate shots without having to sacrifice distance.
Pricing and Availability:
Both RSi 1 ($799 steel; $899 graphite) will be available to demo at select TaylorMade retailers on October 15, 2014. Sets (3-PW) can be purchased beginning on November 14, 2014.