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TaylorMade RocketBallz 3-Wood Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


TaylorMade RocketBallz 3-Wood
Bottom Line: The TaylorMade RocketBallz 3-wood tested well in distance, producing a yardage gain along with good dispersion. It's a promising club with an unmistakable look.

• Slotted sole helps promote faster ball speed off face.
• Lower CG promotes higher launch.
• Lightweight shaft, grip contributes to swing speed gain.

• Shaft may be too light for some players.

• TaylorMade RocketBallz (RBZ) fairway woods are offered in 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9 woods.
• The stock shaft is the Matrix Xcon 5.
• A tour version (heavier shaft, neutral flight bias) is available as well.
• MSRP at time this review was published: $229 per club.

Review: TaylorMade RocketBallz 3-Wood

May 17, 2012 - If there were any louder buzz surrounding the 2012 release of TaylorMade's RocketBallz line of fairway woods, we all would have needed beekeeper's suits. The hype that launched the RocketBallz (RBZ) line in February 2012 was this: If you put an RBZ 3-wood in your bag you'd gain 17 yards over your previous fairway wood. Hence, the campaign featuring gobsmacked PGA Tour players demoing the club and then showing up to tournaments with the number "17" emblazoned on their ballcaps.

Aside from a brilliant marketing campaign and different shaft and clubhead cosmetics, the main difference between the previous line of Burner 2.0 SuperFast woods and the RBZ fairways is the slot at the bottom of the club. And that is a game changer. The slot in the sole makes the clubface springier and boosts ball speed, which is a good thing if you're looking to find extra yards.

Testing the Distance

TaylorMade RBZ 3-Wood Sole© TaylorMade Golf
So what goes into distance? In layman's terms, it's quality of contact, ball speed, spin or lack thereof, and the intangible of feel. One caveat from TaylorMade, however, with the RocketBallz fairway distance claims is that better players with faster swing speeds should see the greatest distance gains.

I decided to see if an extra 17 yards was in the cards for me. I took my trusted 2007 TaylorMade Burner 3-wood and put a similarly shafted and lofted RBZ to the test. After warming up, using a Foresight launch monitor on a dead wind day, my 14.7 USGA Index was able to eek about 3 more miles per hour of ball speed out of the RocketBallz fairway. Ball speed usually translates to 2 yards per mile per hour gained. But, not only had the technology in my '07 Burner gotten older, so had I. So gaining 6 total carry yards is, I'd say, a very reasonable accomplishment. Some might even say triumph! What I also noticed was that the RBZ was easier to hit. Perhaps a little heavier head feel, which might be due in part to a lighter-weight shaft (only 45 grams). The sound was solid, as was the feel. Off-center hits were not punished and even seemed to steer back to center.

Like a Bee to Honey

There are several different loft offerings for the RocketBallz fairway woods. The Tour model of the RBZ features a slightly deeper face, neutral flight bias and a .335 size tip as well as heavier stock shaft.

Why the half-star deduction for the RBZ? Not until you get to the fine print do we find out that 17-yard gain is for high-speed swingers testing against the previous TaylorMade offering. I felt a little taken in by the hype machine. Plus, the price point made it seem like I was personally paying for all that pro player use.

But, the TaylorMade RocketBallz 3-wood found the fairway in our testing like a bee finds honey. And a club that is forgiving, high launching and offers lower spin is a club that is likely to find its way into a lot of golf bags.

TaylorMade RocketBallz Fairway Woods

All the metalwoods in the RocketBallz line have a black clubface.

© TaylorMade-adidas Golf
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