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A Review On: TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 Fairway Wood

TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 Fairway Wood

Rated # 26 in Fairway Woods
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Recent Pricing:
Review Details:
Esthetics
Performance
Value
Purchased on:
Price paid: $129.00
mmoan2
Posted · 590 Views · 0 Comments

Pros: Looooooooooonnnng. Great feel. Looks sharp.

Cons: None

Ok, I'm not a fan of the name. When I first heard "Rocketballz" advertised on TV, my expression was like K.J. Choi's reaction in the commercial - complete befuddlement. It sounds like something a really seedy person would name their golf club to me. Maybe that just reveals I have a twisted mind, but "Rocketballz" with a z at the end is far too kitschy in my book. 

 

That's where the negative criticism ends for my Stage 2 - 15 degree version. Everything else about this club is world class. I believe it's the best golf club I've ever hit. Here's why:

 

Length/Trajectory: I used to play an OEM from a smaller golf company that isn't a major name in the industry. My home course has a par 4 that requires a 240 yard carry over water to a green that's listed as 280 in the center. My old 3 wood, which was also 15 degrees, 43 inches, stiff Grafalloy ProLaunch blue shaft with a Winn cord grip, would carry the water half of the time, and always come up either short of the green or on the front, leaving me a 50 foot putt. Needless to say, I hit driver on that hole (forget about laying up, that's no fun!). The first time I played the RBZ Stage 2 fairway wood - 15 degrees, 43.5 inch stiff 60 gram Matrix shaft, RBZ 43 gram light grip - on that hole, I hit a draw that bounced on the front of the green and skipped into the face of a hill about pin high. A slight miss that resulted in a tough chip and two putts for par, but it was 30 yards longer than my old 3 wood with almost identical specs. Two holes later, there's a 350 yard big dogleg right. My natural shot is a draw, so I tried to use a trailing wind to just whack the thing to about 75 yards away without worrying about a shot shape. Pushed it right into trouble. After about 10 minutes of ball searching, I found it HOLE HIGH (albeit down a steep hill that was hard dirt, so it probably rolled 50+ yards) where I hit a nice lob shot to 10 feet and made the putt for birdie. I haven't played much with this club yet, but after several sessions on the range with it, I carry around 30 yards more than my old 3W without needing to make a kill-shot swing. Same swing, if not more under control because I'm not trying to add distance, far more carry and roll. 

 

The RBZ Stage 2 produces a mid-high penetrating ball flight for me off the turf. When I tee it up, even very low, it really takes off to what seems a proportionally higher trajectory than it should. This leads to the mammoth tee shots I referred to earlier. Off the deck, it's much longer. Off the tee, it's a monster for me.

 

Feel: The thing I needed to adjust to the most with this club is how long it is without feeling or sounding long. A solid hit in the center of the face feels powerful, but it doesn't produce a resounding "crack" like my Ping G15, or even the old 3-wood I used. Maybe the lack of noticeable vibrations travelling through the shaft into your hands on a full swing well-struck is testimony to the effectiveness of the speed-pocket and "ultra-high strength Taylor Made Rocket Steel" technology. The length of this club sneaks up on you, but it is for real, without feeling like you just hit the longest 3W of your life. Aside from length, though, it feels very solid and inspires confidence. I also play a R11 hybrid which is sneaky long, but it feels a bit clunky. This club is extremely well-balanced, allowing you to rip it. I also find it forgiving, as off-center hits don't feel incredibly weak, and the extra length allows mishits to still be playable. I haven't measured the spin rate for myself, but I suspect it has a low side spin rate because I don't often hit banana hooks or slices, unless it's an extreme mishit, with this club like I'm wont to do with fairway woods and drivers at times.

 

Looks: I think of all the white TM clubs that have been released recently, this one looks the best. The Burner Superfast 2.0 wasn't bad, but somewhat unimpressive. Ditto for the R11. The lime green on the first RBz was distracting to me. I really didn't like the look of the irons. The crown on the R1 looks like a sweater design from 1977 (I read that metaphor somewhere, but can't recall where). This one has a sleek, subdued yellow and black graphic that complements the black underside well. The club scores well on aesthetic appearance. 

 

Other Considerations: I've written in another review that I think mid-handicap amateur players don't need to spend megabucks on wedges or even irons, but should consider cheap OEM alternatives. This is the first time where I find no comparison between the OEM I was playing and this comparable club. It feels like sitting down in a Mercedes after driving a VW for a while. Maybe I was playing the wrong product before from that company, but you can find this club brand-new at a sporting goods store for $160 or so now. I got mine at Global Golf in mint condition for $129. With fairway woods and drivers, custom fitting isn't a problem as well. With irons and wedges, you should definitely get the proper length/lie, which can be costly.

 

I would recommend that many amateurs use this club in place of a driver, which allows the addition of another wedge or a 2-iron or something. If I didn't like my driver so much, I might consider it. I only hit it about 20 yards longer on average. You hear and read lots of pros recommending teeing off with a 3-wood instead of a driver, and this club will allow you to gain that control without sacrificing much distance. 

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