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TaylorMade RAC LT Irons Review

Jul. 1, 2005     By     Comments (23)

The RAC LT irons: the perfect blend of feel and forgiveness? From TaylorMade? Our reviewer thinks so.

Taylormade RAC LT IronTaylorMade's recent "every iron is a long iron" advertising campaign has done well for the Carlsbad fraternity. Marching to the same beat as their "own the teebox" campaign, the "long iron" campaign has drawn a good amount of attention to TaylorMade's irons. Look inside the bags of players at your local course and you're unlikely to find too many playing TaylorMade irons - you'll see plenty of Titleist, Ping, and Callaway. You may even see more MacGregor (if you count the hand-me-downs), Wilson, and Nike. Despite the fact that TaylorMade ranks highly in sales numbers, their irons just don't seem to hang around in the bags of better players very long.

Then again, TaylorMade hasn't had a compelling line of irons for quite awhile, and a good bit of their iron sales were trickle-down from outstanding driver sales… Until now. One step down from TaylorMade's forged RAC TP line, the RAC LT promises to merge the playability of a cavity back with the workability and sexy looks of a forged blade for the above-average player.

To help write this review I asked Ed Koster, a 12-handicap golfer, to give the irons a thorough workout. His thoughts follow.

Technology
Like many younger siblings, the RAC LT does what it can to take after its bigger brother, the forged RAC TP. The LT is engineered to deliver a combination of workability and forgiveness with nearly as much feel as the forged TP. The LT is a semi-cavity-back iron with medium offset, a low center of gravity, a medium topline, and a midsized head shape also borrowed from the TP.

The RAC technology, a "Tuned Performance Cartridge" in the sole, aims to deliver solid feel by capturing and dampening vibrations. The cartridge also saves 16 grams of clubhead mass which are then relocated to enhance the moment of inertia (MOI) and the center of gravity (CG) to enhance forgiveness.

Taylormade RAC LT Backs
The RAC technology - the "feel chambers" along the bottom of each club - help get the ball airborne and increase feel by dampening vibration. Click here for an image of the cartridge.

The Tour-cambered sole, also found in the RAC TP line, is thin with the intent of allowing the clubhead to glide through turf, catering a bit more towards the ball "strikers" than the high-handicap "diggers." The RAC LTs also ship with new shafts - the T-Step Professional/110-gram steel and LT 85/85-gram low-torque graphite - reputed to increase shot control. Finally, the clubs are chrome-plated with a satin finish designed to inspire confidence.

Depending on the shaft chosen, TaylorMade recommends the RAC LTs to above-average golfers with a driver swing speed measuring 90-115 MPH looking for a low- to mid-launch iron with forgiveness and workability and a little offset.

Technology, Meet Tradition
The RAC LTs are some of the more highly engineered "better player's clubs" on the market today. Unlike other highly engineered irons (cough, ahem, the Callaway Fusions), the RAC LT encloses its technology in an attractive, confidence-inspiring form.

Taylormade Rac Lt Toe View
The thin sole and medium-thickness topline may not provide much of a true "cavity," but these irons are some of the most forgiving I've played. Seen here: pitching wedge, 7-iron, and 3-iron.

The traditional head shape, midsize clubhead, and hidden cavity back encourage better players to work the ball, but those not as comfortable working the ball know the cavity back is there, inspiring confidence for a wide variety of better players.

The overall appearance of the club is very pleasing to the eye. The satin finish of the chrome plating reduces glare well enough that I never had to squint. The clubs look high tech without blowing past "traditional," offering a perfect blend of visible and "under-the-hood" technology in an attractive package.

Feel and Playability
Looks are one thing: how a club performs is an entirely different matter. In a few words, the RAC LTs are the most forgiving irons I've ever played. Shots hit low on the face got up in the air on a good trajectory and with exceptional distance. Shots hit high on the face flew as far as I would expect (particularly off the tee on par threes). In fact, I gained just over ½ club in distance from my previous set of irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT Fronts
The traditional head shape contributes to the workability of the RAC LTs.

The RAC LT produces shots on a medium trajectory with a good amount of spin. The thinner sole allowed the club to glide through the grass and dirt. Fat shots lost less distance than I've come to expect and the feeling of hitting dirt instead of ball was minimized. The thinner sole allowed me to move the ball around in my stance and hit different kinds of shots, particularly from tight lies, with ease.

I liked the bottom-weighted cavity-back design. This gave the clubs a forged blade feel with a cavity-back appearance and forgiveness. The feel of the club contacting the ball is outstanding. I never felt a stinging sensation that typically accompanies an especially thin shot. My feeling is that the thinness of the cavity back gives a superior feel when the ball is struck. I've never played forged blades, and when I have I didn't hit them well. As with a forged blade, the RAC LTs still let me know where I hit the shot on the clubface. The RAC LTs offer the feedback of a forged blade and the forgiveness of a cavity back better than any irons I've ever hit.

Taylormade RAC LT Top View
Even the 3-iron looks, at address, like a traditional blade. The cavity is completely hidden from view.

My only complaint: the medium offset forces you to mind your ball position. I found myself pulling some of the longer irons a bit left until I moved the ball back slightly to compensate for the offset - something my previous irons didn't have. If your current irons have a medium offset, this may not affect you.

Overall
The RAC LTs are my new irons, and I've never been happier. I'm retired, but my irons truly are "long irons" and I'm keeping it out there with players 40 years my junior. As a 12 handicap, I mis-hit my fair share of irons, but the RAC LTs forgive my mis-hits with exceptional distance and shots that stay online. The feel evident in these clubs, even on mishits, is tremendous.

The next time you're at your golf course, look for TaylorMade irons in the bags of your friends and fellow golfers. If you fail to notice a lot of TaylorMade sets, just smile. We'll keep these RAC LTs as our own little secret.

Special thanks to Ed Koster for his review. You can reach Ed by posting a comment below.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (23)

Discussion

  1. Ed Fink says:

    Just read your review of the RAC TP irons, leading into my problem.
    I recently watched Golf Channel "Golf Channel Academy" episode where an instructor was against golf club manufacturers "delofting" of their irons. Although I shoot in the high 90s/low 100s, I sort of agree. When I first started skiing I obviously used beginners skis, shorter, softer, etc. Once I got the hang of it, I immediately bought advanced/expert skis, against everyone's, mostly sales persons' advise. It took a little while, but I was able to get used to them. I think faster than a few years of using intermediate skis. Couldn't this be true of golf clubs? I've always used Taylor Made(Supersteel) and would love to get their RAC Tour Pro, yet am always told these are for single digit handicappers. Regardless of brand(Ping, Callaway, etc), why shouldn't I be able to get low handicap clubs. When comparing specs(loft) to all club models, the difference is tremendous. Especially when trying to replace certain clubs with Hybrids or woods. And if I buy them custom fitted)lie angle, grips, shaft,etc), wouldn't this help?
    Thanks,
    Ed

  2. Paul says:

    beautiful irons, i am about to purchase them as soon as i sell my old cobra's

  3. Van Hudson says:

    I can't agree more with your review. I've searched an entire year through every name brand club out there. I've been not only looking for a really good set of irons to compliment and improve apon a 16.5 local course handicap, but a name brand that I could make up a complete set of weapons with. That being said, I didn't run to spend the $350.00 on the R7 425 driver until after owning and playing the RAC LT2's. Then there came the V-Steel 3 and 5 wood, the RAC TP 56 degree black finish sand wedge and the Rossa Lambeau 7 CGB. Within the last year, I've been through Ping's, Callaway's, Cleveland's,Cobra's, titliest, Ben Hogan's, Nike's, and Mizuno's. Taylormade beat them all. All brands mentioned were the 2003 to 2005 models with stiff flex shaft, and they've all taken a trip to E-bay. Time to hit some greens in regulation, and I especialy like the fact that you don't see a lot of these in other players bags. Een better when I win.

  4. Noel Daof says:

    Mr. Ed Koster,
    That was a good review. I also like the looks of the rac lt but wondered how it felt. I like what I've read in your review. Thanks.
    May I ask what type of shaft it had when you tested? steel/graphite?
    My name is Noel Daof. My current index is at 9.7. I think my swing speed is about 100-106 on an average.

    Regards,
    _noel

  5. Rob says:

    very well written ed,
    I am a 18 year old golfer with a moderate swing speed playing off 16.7 today (although i had a plus 7 round today so that should come down). Ive been told i have a good swing and think ill be off less soon if i practise more. any speacial recommendations for me, or should i just find some LT's and give them a go?

  6. keith goldie says:

    I have just bought a set of these beautiful irons to say the least. I was playing on my local course only to score a hole in one. As a 9.4 handicapper i thought of going for a set of blades but decided against it and got these instead i strike the golf ball very well and you know when you hit these right on the dot. thanks taylormade for this special memory.

  7. Andrew says:

    Hey, My name is andrew im 14 years old and ive been lokking for some new clubs. Im inbetween the Tatlormade MB TP's and the RAC LT's. After reading the review it gave me a better idea on how the LT's felt and im wounderous on if i buy the MB TP's that they will be hard to hit. Im a 14 handicap and have only been playing for about 10 months. But the review was great and i think the LT's have one me over because of cheaper price and good looks. Although i have tried the MB TP's and hit them very good, i think the LT's will have much more fogiveness. THANLS FOR READING Andrew.Ellingson

  8. Matt says:

    I just got a set of the LT's. There simply GREAT! The feel of the iron is that of quality. It is what you would expect coming from Taylormade. My old set was the older Taylormade 200 steel's, not a push over set either. When I go to the golf store to look for new clubs the first thing I do is hit them. Ascetics come second to how the club performs. The feel of the club striking the ball is a solid feel. If you hit square on the face, which I do not have a problem doing with my 4 handicap, it will give you the desirable feel you look for in a good club. I've noticed from alot of newer irons that you almost get a shock or sting in the shaft from hitting balls. Theses clubs have nothing more then solidness. I will say though that I do not believe they are as forgiving then most other irons out these days. Although the smaller face allows more workability for every shot, which is what I’m looking for. If you looking for a new set of irons the best thing to do is, get your lie angle checked out, make sure you know your game, if you not a good ball striker then these clubs will not improve your game at all. Taylormade has a wide variety of clubs ranging from a blade to the extreme oversized head. I believe in Taylormade products and they've proven themselves over and over again on the PGA tour. I believe Retief Goosen uses these irons which prove that these clubs are even for the best of players.

  9. Fredrik says:

    I bought the LT2 irons with stiff flex about a month ago but I've only played them a couple of times yet.

    First of all I think that it's quite difficult to feel where the club head is during the swing when hitting the shortest irons. I also hit the ball about one club shorter than with my old Cobras and they go EXTREMELY high.

    I've got a swing that is rather fast (8 iron 170 yards), so the shafts might not be as stiff and heavy as I need them to be. Still I do think that a golf club that is supposed to fit better players should have some better shafts. Thes are way too light!

    Hmm, that's the punishment you get when you buy your clubs on the Internet. :???:

    Maybe I should have the set reshafted ... I think I'm gonna google my way to an online store with a sweet deal on shafts. :razz:

  10. Parry says:

    that is the exact thing I am going through, they balloon way up and every iron spins. I was hitting a smooth 160 before with 7 iron, now I need to take a half swing and club up 2 more just to have control....and it still spins. If you hit a high ball, these will accentuate it big time ..I am going to find some s300's i think !!and then try again!

  11. Chris Mar says:

    These clubs really are fantastic.

    Not as big and oversized as the RAC OS irons. A little bit more of a mid-handicapper's club.

    I found these clubs (with stiff shafts) to be very workable. The top line is thin and the sole not as fat as other mid-sized irons out there.

    The build quality is amazing. I've had Ping irons all my life, and these are of no less quality.

    I'm not sure what the other sare talking about when they mention that the LT's (low trajectory) are hitting the ball higher than normal. maybe they should critique their swings rather than these clubs.

    The minimal offset and the club face ooze confidence when addressing the ball. The dampeners in the cavity really pay off when hitting shots a little thin. It appears than even more slight-offcentre shots are going at around the same distance.

    If you are considering purchasing these clubs, please buy them. They are at a great price point not. But even if i saw these clubs at US$900, knowing what i do now, i would still go ahead.

    These clubs are great for mid to low handicapper's looking for a little bit more distance and forgiveness in a cavity back, but without losing the workable qualities of a blade design.

    I have tried my brothers old r7 OS irons, and i prefer mine.

    Just make sure when you buy them, choose the correct shaft flex (stiff is better for <35's) and steer away from graphite as these clubs reward the feel that steel provides.

  12. Matt says:

    I bought the irons almost exactly a year ago and i am not impressed. The clubs feel extremely heavy and i find it hard to shape my shots and hit knockdowns. I usually shoot in the 70's and i think these clubs are better for 88+ golfers. They are forgiving but the ball goes high and it spins a lot. I want to get some titliest 755's

  13. Conor says:

    Hey Im 15 years old and a scratch.. I dont swing hard at all. I just got these irons (after having blades for 4 years the Titleist 755's and then the AP2's)... Let me tell you even though i love the look of a true blade these clubs are pretty close to the look of a blade and they are so forgiving. Honestly every golfer would benefit from these irons. Plus the shafts are so nice.. There light and give u so much more control of the club. This is coming form someone whos played the Projects X's for a year. The stock Taylormade shafts on these clubs blow every iron iron shaft out of the water. At 110 grams its impossible to miss. Every shot is square. If anyone here is a really low handicap player where ur right on the verge of breaking par i highly recommend these irons. You can go at the ball with more confidence with these clubs. I'm hitting about 15 greens per round compared to 11 with the old Titleist's. These irons are my little secret and have me laying up and putting a 9 iron in hand rather than a lob wedge. Thats a rarity when someone can have more confidence in a 150 yard shot than a 40 yard shot. U can pick up these irons dirt cheap right now. Get em u wont regret it.

  14. Jerry says:

    I just ran across this review while "surfing", this review is EXACTLY as I feel about my RAC LT's. I purchased my irons in 05' after hitting a dozen different sets. Although there were a couple sets I couldn't decide on, I always came back to the LT's when hitting a different manufacturer's clubs.
    I'm a 9 hcp now, down from 13 prior to the LT purchase and I love these irons. I've golfed for 20yrs and I've not ever hit another club that is as consistent and forgiving as these. When any of my buddies hit these on the range, from scratch to hi-hcp, the response is always the same, "nice club!!"
    I agree with the review, let's keep these our little secret. It won't be hard since I understand they are now discontinued, as I was looking for the gap wedge today. What a shame. :wink:

  15. Mike says:

    Howdy from Colorado,

    I am a 6 handicapper, and hit the ball above average distance. I had been using Ping Eye 2 (vintage :oops: :lol: ) for 20 years and insisted I would never change as I loved them so much. I even bought a second set of used Ping Eye 2's as a back up set.

    Anyway, about a month ago, a friend gave me a set of RAC LT's with S graphite shaft, and I could not believe it! I have used them for 5 or 6 rounds now.

    From 3 iron to 6 iron, I get about 10-15 yards more distance (club down 2 clubs with the long irons), and from 7 to W I have to club down one club. They drive the ball on a lower trajectory than the PE 2's and when you hit it on the sweet spot....you can feel the tuning fork in your loins. AAAHHHHHHHH!

    My ball striking with these more slender soled irons has improved markedly. The spin has improved immensely, but that could be more due to the fact that my grooves on the PE 2's were worn out (20 yrs. old). The tour blade look as you stand over the ball gives confidence and comfort as opposed to the big clunky oversized look of most "techno" cavity irons out there today. These have a smooth sleek look...kinda like a Ferrarri vs. Chevy Impala. :razz:

    The only problem I would mention is due to the increased length of these irons, I now need about 4 gap wedges to work my game in the 140 and in zone as I hit the W about 145-150. Frankly, I have to believe these irons may have been delofted, which I am not sure is necessary. Not sure though.

    Overall.....the sweetest hitting, and sleekest looking iron I have looked at, or tried, in 20 years. :grin:

  16. RElax says:

    I currently use the TM Rac Lts and agree they are great clubs. I purchased 2.5 years ago when playing off a 9. I play off a 3 now. Only play once a week so really like the forgiveness. However... I played with the Titleist AP2s with Project X shaft last weekend and will be purchasing. They gave me similar forgiveness as the LTs but a little more feel and feedback when miss hit. I also tried the Taylor Made R7 TPs. Prefer the TM rac lts and AP2s.

  17. John says:

    I have had the lt's since 2005 when they came out...don't think I will ever buy another set...was a 20 hc when purchased and after years of lessons and playing am down to an 8.3 I play about every day and I love my clubs. Originally had the rifle 6.0 shafts which were long but not consistent in accuracy. I have changed shafts several times. I am currently playing the dg s300 shafts and love the control I can stop 5-pw on a dime 3-4 iron has moderate roll, 3 to 5 yards, I am going to try the hl x100 dynamic gold shafts next.
    They are a great little secret and have been keeping my eyes open looking for a backup set for about a year now... everyone i know with them, isn't coming off of them though... I think that says a lot for the club... I did have a friend that used to work for taylormade though and he says never buy a taylormade club before hitting it...he says there are to many manufacturing variances that are out of their control...so with that in mind I am reluctant to order a set from ebay or the such...(he did say tp models are the only ones that are individually quality checked though)
    For those of you still playing these clubs, I highly recommend changing shafts every year or two depending on how much you play... every time I have changed shafts I have indoubtedly found more than one slightly bent. I also really really really like the lamkin crossline midsize grips with double tape(recommend washing them wish dishsoap about once a week throughout the season to maintain that sticky new feel)... the feel of these irons is still like no other club on the market today.

  18. mickeyD says:

    I have just purchased a new mint condition never played with set of TM rac LT's 2005. Have hit sets of used LT's at Golfsmith many times but never on the course. I hope they feel as good on course as in the store and that the above mentioned manufacturing variations are not apparent.

  19. BONNER says:

    TaylorMade's forged RAC TP line, I LOVE THOSE CLUBS JUST CAN;T FINE THEM FOR UNDER $200.00 THANK YOU.

  1. TMaGInsider linked here

    [... TaylorMade's recent "every iron is a long iron" advertising campaign has done well for the Carlsbad fraternity. Marching to the same beat as their "own the teebox" campaign, the "long ...]

  2. [... TaylorMade's recent "every iron is a long iron" advertising campaign has done well for the Carlsbad fraternity. Marching to the same beat as their "own the teebox" campaign, the "long ...]

  3. [... TaylorMade's recent "every iron is a long iron" advertising campaign has done well for the Carlsbad fraternity. Marching to the same beat as their "own the teebox" campaign, the "long ...]

  4. [... TaylorMade's recent "every iron is a long iron" advertising campaign has done well for the Carlsbad fraternity. Marching to the same beat as their "own the teebox" campaign, the "long ...]

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