What we say...
BUY from Amazon
Ball speed-boosting slots are nothing new in irons. Up until now, though, they’ve only helped generate faster ball speeds from shots struck low on the face. TaylorMade’s new RSi irons take the idea one step further – with slots on the face.
Their research from thousands of club fittings found that 76 per cent of shots hit by amateurs were mishits. So three models feature slots either side of the face to maintain ball speeds – and generate more distance – on off-centre hits towards the heel and toe. They work in conjunction with Speed Pockets to offer more forgiveness wherever you hit the ball.
“We’ve taken everything we’ve learned about Speed Pocket technology and have been able to apply it to the face,” says Tomo Bystedt, TM’s Director of Product Creation. “Face Slot technology provides greater consistency across the face.”
Three new models feature “Face Slots” – the RSi1, RSi2 and RSi TP. Each also has a Speed Pocket in certain irons.
The most forgiving irons in the RS family have Face Slots in the 3-8 irons and Speed Pockets in the 3-7 irons. TaylorMade says this increases the launch angle and ball speed on all shots. A thin face, deep undercut cavity and TaylorMade’s Inverted Cone Technology combine to produce as much speed as possible from the face.
Price: £699 (steel), £799 (graphite), eight-piece sets.
More compact than the RSi1, this also has Face Slots (3-8 irons) and Speed Pockets (3-7) along with other tech to help players hit it higher and further, namely tungsten in the 3-5 irons, soft-feeling forged steel faces in the 8-PW and a forged head in the A-wedge. “This iron provides the best of all worlds in a slim, beautiful package,” said TM’s iron R&D boss Bret Wahl.
Price: £829 (steel), £929 (graphite).
One of three new irons with Face Slots that boost ball speeds on shots struck toward the heel and toe. A Speed Pocket in sole of the 3-7 irons helps maintain ball speed on shots struck low on the face.
Despite drastically going against convention, the Face Slots aren’t as noticeable as expected; In certain lights you can barely see them. When you do, they frame the ball more effectively and actually help to align the face. RSi 2 looks like a game improver iron with moderate offset and top line thickness.
A little clicky but not horrendously so and the feel from the heel and toe areas is certainly softer than irons of a similar size and construction without Face Slots.
Top of its class, RSi opens up a new category of forgiveness in irons. Ball speed and carry distance from heel and toe strikes was higher with RSi 2 compared to its predecessor, the SLDR iron. With an 8-iron, we’re talking a 2-3 yards, which could be the difference between carrying a bunker or not.
Given how most shots amateurs hit are mishits, a smaller reduction in ball speed is a big confidence booster. Having that visible tech staring back at you is a reminder that help is at hand and combined with the Speed Pocket, nearly all poor swings are catered for. You’d think these holes in the iron would come at a cost of feel but this isn’t the case – if anything it improves on SLDR.
Available Jan 2015, the TP version combine the forged look and feel preferred by better players with Face Slots. An advanced two-piece construction merges a forged carbon steel hosel/face with a stainless steel back using plasma welding in the 3-7 irons. The short irons (8-PW) are forged heads with a slight muscle cavity. KBS Tour Steel Shaft as standard.
Price: £949 (steel).
See our first hit video above!
The new RSi series is the third generation of TaylorMade irons to feature a speed pocket on the sole – a deep slot behind the clubface that allows the face to flex and rebound faster, thereby increasing ball speed and launch angle. However, while the RocketBladez and Speed Blades touted a lower centre of gravity (CG) and increased distance on shots hit out of the lower portion of the clubhead as their major selling points, the RSi1 is positioned more as a distance forgiveness iron. By that we mean, in addition to improving performance on shots struck low on the face, it’s also designed to minimise the loss of distance on shots struck laterally away from the centre of the clubface towards the toe or heel. The addition of face slot technology (think mini vertical speed pockets located either side of the grooves) enables the entire face to flex more at impact thereby improving ball speed on off-centre strikes.
RSi TP - TG Reveiw:
Tech: Offers the full RSi technology but in a smaller tour-inspired, forged head. Used by elite TaylorMade Tour Players, the RSi TP iron provides maximum workability and a smaller top line, coupled with the consistent performance seen across the RSi range.
Looks: The minimal offset makes it look like a player’s iron but it looks larger than most in this category, offering a little more length from heel-to-toe but without looking too chunky. The finish has a slight sheen to it and the slots are barely visible in certain lights. If anything they help align the face and frame the ball centrally.
Feel/Sound: They feel soft at impact but the sound doesn’t quite match up. It’s louder than I was expecting, but nowhere near enough for me to dislike the hitting experience.
Forgiveness: When you combine the face slot technology, which I’ve seen proven numerous times to help the performance of mishits, with the extra length from heel-to-toe, good players get a much higher margin for error on ball striking.
Performance: The 7-iron within the set is 34° which tells us this is not an iron built for distance alone. It’s not short – in fact I was probably 1-2 yards longer than my current irons with these – but the main sell here is the look, feel and forgiveness. If you’re a good player that likes a traditional-looking iron but wants assistance on off-centre hits, the RSi TP will be right up your street.
Related Equipment Reviews
Taylormade Irons User Reviews
Just bought a custom fit set of these irons today. Don't read too much into the 'forgiveness' - they will still let you know if you have hit a really bad shot. They are not miracle-workers. What they will do, is give you beautifully effortless, consistent shots when you hit it reasonably well. Do get them custom fitted though - it didn't cost me any extra at my local shop in Long Crendon. I ended up with longer, stiffer shafts, an adjusted toe angle and bigger grips. That will probably make more difference than the upgraded clubs in the long run. For me, they felt better than the Ping G30s and the Big Berthas. Each to their own though. They did give me an extra 20 yards of carry too, as well as the improved consistency. Can't wait to get out on the course with them.
From the moment you look down on these irons at address you can't help but feel confident with them So easy to hit the feel off the face is like no other iron I've ever hit They come off the face like a bullet from a gun I've added 15 to 20 yrds per club with these irons 5 ***** from Taylormade.
Has a loud sound but felt pretty solid, quite firm but powerful. Achieved good distance and mishits held their line as well as maintaining good ball speed. You notice the slots for the first few balls then you forget them. They’re not too chunky either.
Smaller head compared to others, it’s still forgiving even with a thin top line. I don’t mind the look of the slots, mishits held their line. It was more forgiving than I thought it would be given the size.