They have already on Golfsmith.com
In Hand Pics! TaylorMade RocketBladez Tour and RocketBladez irons! New Pics Added! 1-3-13 - Page 2
Anyone buying these who is gullible enough to think they're buying blades probably won't care what the polymer insert does over time because they'll be getting suckered into something else long before it's an issue. Anytime I see a commercial with "Dustin Johnson demonstrating the new . . . " I change the channel.
Hit the 6 iron today and took some video. On good shots I wouldn't say that I hit it that much farther but definitely longer on mis hits. Sound is slightly hollow which is just the construction of the head. Has more of a "thwack" sound, almost like some hybrids. Very easy to hit high but the ball doesn't balloon even with the stock 85 gram shaft. I like the look at address, easy to line up, large head but not chunky, very similar to the Tour Burner from a few years back. Distance control was great, for me my pattern was consistent even out of different lies. Must say, it was a lot of fun to it
Wow, Taylormade replied to a guy who posted ^^^ that pic on their Facebook page. Kind of impressed that they took the time to reply:
Also, the Reflex didn’t have enhancements like the RocketBladez’ complex face design, Inverted Cone, high MOI and low and centered CG location. The Reflex had a constant face thickness of about 3mm, while RocketBladez’ varying face thickness is 1.6 mm at its thinnest. The Reflex’s vertical CG was relatively high, about 20 mm above the ground, and the set didn’t employ progressive head design in terms of topline, sole width and MOI.
I remember these! If I'm not mistaken, they were determined to be "illegal" by the USGA due to the "trampoline effect". I think they filled the hollow slot behind the clubface with some sort of plastic later on, but the Reflex didn't sell well enough to survive.
So what TaylorMade is saying is that - the Reflex design was ahead of its time? Because while TaylorMade lowered the CG - the COR only improved by 20pts from .800 to .820. LOL
I'd say the advance over the Wilson irons is timing, tuning the sound, and providing a more user friendly leading edge. Take any irons from the 1970s or 1980s, grind down the leading edge, put on fresh grips, and they'd be completely playable. With the smaller head sizes they'd all be players irons though.
Doing a little fun research, it looks like the patent on this was first granted in 1983 and assigned to Pepsico, who at the time was the owner of Wilson Sporting Goods. Patent #4,398,965 claimed an iron with a "front striking face and slot space rearwardly from the striking face" and that this would "store energy when striking....and transfer energy to the ball as the ball leaves the striking surface". This appears to be a follow on from their work patented in 1976 using a flexing slot on the insert in their wood clubs.
Since the original Pepsico patent on the iron slot was granted in mid-1983, they would have received 17 years of protection on that concept and their patent would have expired in summer 2000.
Subsequently, a number of other patents with various manufacturers have played off this theme as well. Nike has patents for a "bridge slot"; Callaway has some patent activity for the slot concepts, and Taylormade has some patents going back to 2001 on similar concepts.
The Wilson patent, however, wasn't the first in this field. A 1976 patent with Shamrock Golf Company had a similar concept with the slot extending almost through the club, and even before that there was a patent granted in 1962 with a slot going through the club.
Kids were born in the USA, only Canadian is the wife. My "tourette's" is from from having 27 swing thoughts, down from 35