TaylorMade were the company that pioneered ball speed-boosting slots in the sole of irons. Even one of the world’s best ball strikers, Sergio Garcia, uses irons with the technology. Up until now, though, they’ve only helped forgiveness on shots struck low on the face. But TaylorMade’s new RSi range takes the idea one step further.
Their internal research found that mishits happen 76 per cent of the time. So the three new 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.
These face slots 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, giving players improved performance on mis-hits.”
The three new models (see below) feature “Face Slots” – and they’re called the RSi 1, RSi 2 and RSi TP. Each model also features a Speed Pocket in the longer irons irons. All the irons in the family have a sound managing badge between the clubface and a plasma-welded, stainless steel back bar. For those wondering, the name RSi comes from them being a Speed Pocket iron part of the R Series.
Replacing Speed Blade, the RSi 1 is the largest and most forgiving of the new RS family. They have Face Slots in the 3-8 irons and Speed Pockets in the 3-7 irons. TaylorMade says this increase 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.
The face slots on the RSi 1 irons are the largest within the trio and are wider at the top and bottom to maintain durability. RRP £699(s), £799(g), eight-piece sets.
More compact than the RSi and replacing the SLDR iron from last year, the RSi 2 also has Face Slots (3-8 irons) and Speed Pockets (3-7 irons) along with other technology 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 fully 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. The face slots in the more compact RSi 2 are slightly thinner and positioned slightly closer to the grooved area on the face. RRP £829(s), £929(g).
As the TP (Tour Preferred) name suggests, these are the better-player option. Along with Face Slots and Speed Pockets in the longer irons irons, a two-piece welded construction (forged carbon steel hosel and face, stainless steel back bar) adds the feel good players want.
“The shapes of these irons will be instantly pleasing to better players and will have the feel and workability that golfers expect in a forged product,” said Bystedt. RRP £949 (steel only).